Wednesday at 12 midday for 12.15pm
Bowral Bowling Club
40 Shepherd St
Bowral, NSW  2576

0409 122 141
District Site
Venue Map
Another great meeting last week with a presentation from our Honorary Member, Jennifer Star PHF, founder of Tara.Ed, being the highlight.  This was particularly pleasant for me as I have heard so much about the wonderful work of this great young lady but had never had the opportunity to meet her in person.  I was not disappointed I assure you.
Over the 10 years that the Club has worked with her on her projects in India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan she has achieved so much with very limited funding – including engaging with over 18,000 students and a multitude of local teachers.  She works roughly along the lines of the “learning to fish” principle, don’t just go and help the kids but instead guide the local teachers on how to educate their students better.  Jennifer has plans for new programs in new countries and it is obvious that her new son, Sebastian, is hardly going to slow her down.  I hope we will be able to continue to assist this Bowral High graduate achieve her dreams well into the future.
It was also an unusual meeting in that our members were outnumbered by the visitors.  Not only did Jennifer’s parents and infant son attend, but there were also a number of people there who had been associated with Tara.Ed over the years, some of whom had travelled to the Asian continent with her a number of times.  No wonder she achieved recognition as NSW Young Australian of the Year in 2012.  Go Jennifer!
The rest of the meeting was somewhat colourless by comparison.  However, we did get the opportunity to thank Ian at the Bowlo for his catering services over the year, and to celebrate our last meeting there for the calendar year by breaking Christmas crackers and hacking into a delightfully sinful chocolate cake to mark the occasion.
From The President
Our Meeting of the 7th November was a Club meeting.  I find such meetings very useful as they give us a chance to talk more fully about important matters and projects and get good feedback from members on suggestions.  I think this is important as it the members who actually have to make things happen.  
We talked about the very successful movie evening last week where we sold 199 of the 200 tickets on offer and will bank well over $3,000 after the raffle income and event costs are taken into account.  A great outcome and thanks again to all concerned. We also discussed the good feedback that we had  received, not only for the event itself but for the video we showed regarding Mental Health First Aid.  This emphasises the importance of having next steps developed in the near future to build on the momentum created.  Lyndall McGrath and her team will work on the development of a couple of seminars to expose the wider community to the benefits of MHFA. 
The guidance from District on the distribution of Drought Relief Funds was also a topic that caused much discussion.  It was generally agreed that it is actually easier to raise the funds than to distribute them in a fair, cost-effective and tax-effective manner.  Shelley Boyce undertook to investigate possibilities for us to partner with a drought affected community in Western NSW to see if it was worthwhile for us to undertake the fairly bureaucratic process required to apply for, distribute and account for up to $5,000 of the RAWCS multi-million dollar pool.  I also gave a quick update on the Berrima Playground upgrade project.  There was a site meeting last week at Berrima Marketplace involving Wingecarribee Shire Council staff, Berrima District Rotary members and design consultants Play by Design (who did our concept plan).  PbD has been tasked to prepare a new concept plan for the whole park with early emphasis on the playground component, with a 7-week timeline.  In parallel, I am negotiating with the Community Building Partnerships Grant Scheme managers to incorporate our $30,000 grant into the overall picture.  This is a little complicated due to the 31 March 2019 deadline on completion of our part of the project, which has to be fitted into a considerably longer timeline for the whole playground upgrade under the recently obtained Stronger Country Communities Grant.  
Our meeting of the 14th November saw Helen Richards as our Guest Speaker.  Helen is a Clinical Nurse Consultant and Stomal Therapy Nurse at Ramsay Health Care’s Wollongong Private Hospital, but this represents only a fraction of what she does for bowel surgery patients. Active in the Illawarra region she has run education days and acted as volunteer Ambassador for the Illawarra Combined Rotary Clubs bowel scan campaigns.
For 15 years she has run a bi-monthly support service for patients and their families.  In 2013 she volunteered to go to Kenya as a stomal therapy nurse and has made return visits over four years. For the last two years she was a delegate to the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, most recently at the 22nd annual congress in Kuala Lumpur.  Helen regularly and generously donates medical supplies and consumables to our Medical Aid for Oceania and Worldwide (MAFO) project. While delivering one of these donations earlier this year she met MAFO’s client, Dr Gary McKay of DAISI, and found herself volunteering once again, this time for one of DAISI’s training and surgery missions to the Solomon Islands, from which she has only recently returned.  Helen explained (in quite some detail!) exactly what a stomal therapy nurse does and left members in no doubt that the care and advice such nurses provide to bowel surgery patients vastly improves their quality of life.  She also described the conditions in third-world countries where things we take for granted like pain killers are often simply not available in their hospitals. Training of local doctors and hospital staff by volunteer medical specialists from Australia and other developed countries is vital to the health care systems of those countries.  The talk was clearly appreciated by members and demonstrated that the work of Helen and her colleagues is a credit to their profession.
Our meeting of the 21st November coincided with White Ribbon Day.  Their Ambassador, Garry Ponder, came along to  talk to us about their organisation which focusses on helping female victims of domestic violence.  Garry was appointed an Ambassador for White Ribbon earlier this year, and has been busy raising funds for them along with other responsibilities and activities on their behalf.  He said that the Government only provides 17% of the funding required so a lot of fundraising is required to keep them going (sounds like Rotary!).  He also provided a number of daunting statistics about the high proportion of women who suffer from this problem each year, while noting that a large number of offences go unreported for a variety of reasons. He also noted that there are a significant number of offences by females against males which get a lot less attention. Finally, he noted that White Ribbon operates a female shelter in Bowral which is underutilised, either because the victims are unaware of its existence or they are reluctant to go to a local shelter for fear of ongoing harassment.  Still lots of work to be done in this area it seems.
On Rotary matters, I advised that we are under some pressure to utilise the Community Building Partnerships grant ahead of the March 31, 2019 deadline despite the fact that it will be difficult to implement within the timeline for the WCS Master Plan process.  We will see if a political avenue can be opened up to gain more flexibility in this matter.  It was also noted that there seems to have been little progress in accessing and distributing funds from the RAWCS Drought Relief pool as yet.  Shelley Boyce is working with a group from Goulburn to see if this process can be facilitated in some way.
December 5th, will be our AGM.  The Bowling Club is not available so we are proposing to hold it in a private room at the Bangkok House restaurant in Mittagong.  Please join us on this occasion.
Earlier this year Berrima Rotary had the pleasure of meeting Dr Alfred Chidembo who told us his story of growing up in rural Zimbabwe where his father insisted he had access to books and therefore access to knowledge. Dr Chidembo has recently graduated with a a PhD in Materials Engineering from University of Wollongong. In 2015 Dr Chidembo set up Aussie Books For Zim (ABZ). ABZ collect gently used and new books, stationery and library furnishings (otherwise destined for landfill) and ship them to Zimbabwe to set up libraries in rural disadvantaged communities. They seek to improve literacy in disadvantaged communities and to empower children with knowledge and the confidence to help them shape the world they live in.
ABZ need help to ship 60000 books to Zimbabwe. Follow the link and watch the video to hear more of the story. 
We had no speaker this week as we had a Club only meeting to allow members to participate in Lift the Lid on Mental Health Day (formerly Hat Day) as part of Mental Health Week. We had a particularly spirited discussion centred on Mental Health First Aid after yours truly had heard a talk from the co-founder of this organisation, Betty Kitchener, at the D9710 District Conference in Cooma over the weekend. 
Youth Direct Bridget Cosyn updating us on the latest n mental Health First Aid
The discussion was most apropos as two of our members, Bridget Cosyn and Lyndall McGrath, had recently attended a two day training course on this subject. A number of possible actions were canvassed including showing a short relevant video at the upcoming Charity Movie Night at the Empire and approaching 2ST to see if there was a way short information bites on the subject could be aired.  I also undertook to raise the matter at the upcoming Presidents’ meeting to see if a joint Highlands Club activity might add value.  Watch this space!
I advised that the Wingecarribee Shire Council has appointed an external consultant to develop a master plan for the Berrima Marketplace with an early focus on the proposed playground all-abilities upgrade.  The consultant happens to be Play by Design who provided the original concept plan that has formed the basis for our engagement with the local community and the grant applications that we have lodged.  I also updated the members on the highlights of an excellent Cooma Conference.
Eric Conley then outlined his suggested first steps in capturing the volunteer hours and dollar and i-kind donations that the Club makes over the year so they can be recorded on My Rotary.  There was some debate about what constituted relevant activities but it was agreed that it would be better to err on the generous side to start with and judgements can then be made as to what should be recorded against each project or activity.  It will be instructive to see what the total community impact of the Club has been by the end of the Rotary year.
Members were reminded that next week the meeting will be held on Tuesday night at Highlands Golf Club to enable all three Southern Highlands clubs to meet with District Governor Margaret Hassall at the one time.  The meeting was then concluded by a lively fining session related to the assortment of unusual headwear worn (or not worn) to mark the occasion.
John Smythe with his wining Hat! 
What a fabulous meeting we had this week! After stressing out all week because we could not use the Bowling Club due to Tulip Time commitments and needed to find another venue at short notice, we lucked out at the Scottish Arms in East Bowral.  Not only did they provide an excellent venue but also a terrific meal choice and a drink thrown in.  Cap all that with a highly informative and captivating presentation from the world-famous botanical artist, Susannah Blaxill, what more could you ask!?  It is a tribute to her pulling power that there were more non-Rotarians at the meeting than Rotarians. 
Susannah ran through 60+ slides demonstrating her marvellous attention to detail, colour and shadow in her botanical art.  She also revealed her fascination with garlic, onions, pears, mushrooms, eggplants and a variety of other unlikely botanical items.  She also introduced us to the subtleties of water colours and charcoal to render the detail of the various vegetables, fruits and seed pods.  
Even a crass mining engineer like me was fascinated by the processes she uses and the artwork she produces.  No wonder she is prized in a number of private and public collections around the world.  And all of this from an artist who is unashamedly self-taught. As a final bonus, she explained the true meaning of FAIL – First Attempt In Learning – which would be a good thing for us all to remember.  Even her “failures” looked pretty good to me.  I suggest you view a compendium of Susannah’s work at if you want to know more about this wonderful artist.
A slight change of pace this week.  We were lucky enough to snag the services of Dr Michelle Mulvihill, one of the three co-founders of the Dignity organisation, as our speaker.  Michelle and two of her female friends decided several years ago that there was a lot of talk about helping the homeless in the Southern Highlands, but not a great deal of identifiable action.  They decided to contribute their own capital to change the dynamic, and they were off and running.
In the past three years they have established twenty five emergency accommodation centres, which house up to 200 men, women and/or children on any given night. An extremely high percentage of these people do not return to being homeless. Dignity supports them in both the short and long term so that they experience success and can sink foundations back in society.  The accommodation facilities are of the highest quality and the residents are provided with a comfortable bed, food, showers, new clothing and other personalised support and are generally treated like valued human beings.
Dignity has such emergency accommodation services in the Southern Highlands, and also in Goulburn, Nowra, Illawarra, Wollongong, Queanbeyan, Campbelltown and Northern Sydney.  The uniqueneness of Dignity lies not only in its capacity to bring fresh resolutions to today’s problems, but also in its innovation and use of technology to solve social issues.
They have a 98% success rate in ending homelessness for those who engage with them. This means that the downward spiral of homelessness is broken.  They often cover the bond for people to start their own rental arrangements, and they have been fully repaid in every case.
They were recent finalists in the Telstra Business Awards as Social Changemakers, and won the local Southern Highlands Business Award for the best not-for-profit organization in the local area.  The Berrima Club is examining ways in which we might engage more closely and effectively with this organisation down the track.
At the end of the meeting, members were tasked with selling a bunch of tickets for the movie fundraiser, Bohemian Rhapsody, scheduled for the 1st of November at the Empire.  Come along and bring your friends and relatives for what promises to be a fun evening highlighted by watching the story of Queen accompanied by music we all know and love.  Get moving as tickets are selling fast!   Tickets are $25 each and include food and refreshments as part of the package.   Don't forget there will also be a raffle plus a prize for the best dressed!  Please return any unsold tickets to Lyndall (not the theatre) as soon as possible as tickets are also being sold at the Cinema and through Trybooking.
Another fun day for Berrima District Rotary.  We took ourselves off to the PCYC facilities at Mittagong for a guided tour by the Manager and RCBD member, Krischan Keller. The meeting began with a sumptuous picnic lunch beautifully prepared by Melissa Meredith, and a rundown on the current PCYC operations from Krischan.  He also regaled us with his plans for future developments at the site with a particular focus on the fitness components and the introduction of more sports to fully utilise the potential of their large multi-purpose building.
He proudly showed us the brand new refrigerator that houses a large supply of packaged soups provided by Dignity that are available for collection by anyone who needs them.  Dignity restocks the supplies as they are consumed and there are plans to widen the range of meals over time. I offered the services of our members to spread the word about this service, and Krischan undertook to provide us with suitable flyers in due course. He also noted that one of the main drivers for the establishment of the Mittagong facilities was to serve not only Wingecarribee Shire but also Wollondilly Shire.  Therefore his forward plans include more activities to the north.  In addition, it was of some interest that they provide space for a distance education program that offers alternative and part time schooling for students that are unable to fully engage with the local public school system.
Once we had completed the grand tour, we were given a quick lesson on the use of the archery equipment and then challenged to wing a number of arrows towards the seemingly distant targets.  To my surprise, not only did a number of us get pretty close to the bullseye, but I am reliably informed that Lyndall even managed to nick the apple in our version of the William Tell challenge. Perhaps there is the kernel of an inter-Rotary Club activity here!
We had the pleasure of the company of a couple of potential new Rotarians and a welcome make-up from Ian Langford of Bowral Mittagong. 
Melissa’s mum, Pru, also joined us for the meeting. Krischan finally reminded us of the PCYC Ambrose Charity Golf Day fundraiser at the Highlands Golf Club on the 23rd of September.  Anyone who would like to nominate a team of four for the Ambrose event would be more than welcome with the cost of entry only $35 per head (
Wow, what a meeting!  The main event was the Rotary 4-Way Test Public Speaking Competition, and not only did we have 5 great speakers from Bowral High (2), Frensham, Moss Vale High and Oxley, but we had a swag of visitors from the Bowral Mittagong and Moss Vale Clubs as well as teachers from the four schools.  We were also graced with the presence of our District Governor Elect, Peter Ford, who came all the way from Murrumbateman to be with us. I suspect that, despite their excellent turn-out, RCBD members were significantly outnumbered in the end.
After a tightly fought competition, the judges from each of the three Southern Highlands Clubs had a very difficult task in selecting the winner.  My congratulations to Jade Gillis from Oxley College who was chosen unanimously as the winner, but only by a very small margin.  Jade will now go on to compete at the District level and we wish her all the best in the next round.
At the conclusion of the competition, Chris Young gave a very polished and informative wash-up by giving each speaker some pointers on how they might develop their public speaking skills for future presentations. Then Peter Ford helped me present Participation Certificates to each of the contestants.  It must have been quite a challenge for each of them to stand up and speak to such a large and somewhat older crowd. In due course a suitable winner’s prize will also be delivered to Jade. 
My heart-felt thanks go to all those RCBD members who made this event such a success – Bridget Cosyn, Lyndall McGrath, Melissa Meredith, Chris Young and Richard Krohn in particular.  Also I would like to express my appreciation for the positive support from the other two Highlands Clubs, and I hope this will be the first of many successful combined activities this Rotary year.
It was a good week for women in Rotary and for women associated with Medical Aid for Oceania – not that MAFO had anything to do with their success!
Among the 20 finalists in the Rotary Districts of NSW Inspirational Women’s Awards were Dr Vera Sistenich and Helen Richards CNC STN. Vera is a team member of HandUp Congo, a regular client of MAFO’s shipping and logistics services, and Helen frequently donates medical consumables to MAFO. In the end Vera took out the award but we congratulate both of our associates and all of the finalists. 
Dr Vera Sistenich
Vera volunteers with Handup Congo, whose medical and health care supplies MAFO ships to the Democratic Republic of Congo every year. She is team leader of the Emergency Medicine Education Project, a RAWCS initiative sponsored by the Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney. In 2015 Vera launched a far-reaching training program in the DRC, a nation of more than 80 million people with no paramedics and few ambulances. She has now trained more than 400 doctors and nurses in seven provinces and has moved on to help develop an academic program there in emergency medicine. She will be there again in October this year, despite the two outbreaks of Ebola virus that have occurred in recent months. As if all of this wasn’t enough Vera also managed to fit in the birth of her first child – a son, Marcus – in July.
Helen is a Clinical Nurse Consultant and Stomal Therapy Nurse at Ramsay Health Care’s Wollongong Private Hospital, but this represents only a fraction of what she does for bowel surgery patients. Active in the Illawarra region she has run education days and acted as volunteer Ambassador for the Illawarra Combined Rotary Clubs bowel scan campaigns. For 15 years she has run a bi-monthly support service for patients and their families. In 2013 she volunteered to go to Kenya as a stomal therapy nurse and has made return visits over four years. For the last two years she was a delegate to the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists, most recently at the 22nd annual congress in Kuala Lumpur.
Helen Richards
The Inspirational Women’s Awards (RIWA) were established eight years ago to recognise women and young women who best exemplify Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, in the community service the individual performs above and beyond their normal role. The Awards are an initiative of the Rotary districts and clubs of NSW.
The award this year coincides with the despatch by MAFO of 24 boxes of medical equipment and health care supplies to the Democratic Republic of Congo for distribution by HandUp Congo founder Lucy Hobgood-Brown and Dr Vera Sistenich. The air freight consignment will arrive in the DRC capital Kinshasa ahead of the mission team’s arrival in early October.
South African Air Cargo to DRC
We had a most entertaining lunch meeting last Wednesday when the Captain of the Mittagong Fire + Rescue Unit, Gerry Conway, regaled us with anecdotes about his 15 years in that service.  Not only did he cover a wide range of topics, but he also did it in a most entertaining fashion.  I was sorry to have to cut him off after 40 minutes as I am sure he could have continued on in the same vein for a lot longer!  We hope to catch up with him again in the not too distant future as Melissa and I would like to arrange a vocational visit to his Fire Station before the end of the year.  
On another note, it was good to receive a couple of committee reports this week with promises of upcoming meetings of a number of other committees soon.  This will be very helpful for the Board to enable them to plan and prepare a budget for the year ahead.  I understand that the first fundraising event of the year last week was well attended and most enjoyable, as well as providing funds for the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster program and Rotary Youth activities.  Well done Lyndall and Melissa.  Keep up the good work.
I received advice this week from the Wingecarribee Shire Council that they are about to appoint an external consultant to assist with the preparation of a Master Plan for the Berrima Marketplace Park.  I understand they will place a high priority on the proposed all-abilities playground upgrade in this planning process which will enable us to get our teeth into something concrete there soon.  We are also expecting an announcement this month from the NSW Government on the success or otherwise of our joint application for a grant under the Stronger Country Communities scheme.
Other than that, don’t forget we have the 4-Way Test Speaking Competition this week and I understand we have nominations from most of the local high schools for this event.  If last year’s competition is any indication, it should be a most entertaining lunch session.  Come along and support your local students in their endeavours.
On Wednesday the 15th August Berrima Rotary had a social evening at the home of Melissa and Graham Meredith.  We started the evening by acknowledging the transfer of Rose Conley from Bowral Mittagong Rotary Club and officially welcoming her to the Rotary Club of Berrima District.  We are thrilled to have a member of her calibre join us. 
After her induction we were treated to a sumptuous supper consisting of Soup Shots, a delicious lamb casserole and crusty bread washed down with mulled wine and followed by yummy brownies and melting moments.
We were entertained by Sebastian Arancibia who is a student at Chevalier College and currently participating in the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster.  The "muster" is a foundation purely for the purposes of assisting young people to pursue their dream to sing. This is being facilitated by presenting cash awards, singing tuition awards and other incentives to school students throughout the Shire.  Sebastian was accompanied by his family and friends as well as the Wingecarribee Vocal Musters founder - Richard Lane.
Sebastian has contacted us thanking us for the opportunity to sing and play and to support the “Youth Working for Youth” program. He said it was an amazing experience and he was looking forward to doing it again in the future!
We were also joined by a number of non-Rotarians, including some staff from a local business - Worthington Clark.  Thank you to their boss who sent us a generous donation on the Thursday after hearing about Rotary Youth Programmes from his staff.
We wish to thank everyone for attending - we raised $800 which we will be using to send two children off to the RYPEN Programme in September with the rest going towards our other Youth Programmes - RYLA, MUNA and NYSF.
A special thank you to Melissa and Graham Meredith for opening their home to us and to Geri Gardiner, Bridget Cosyn, Melissa Meredith and Shelley Boyce for their delicious catering contributions.  Thank you also to Katrina Hill from Far Ago Hill, Canyonleigh, for her contribution to the base ingredients of our Mulled Wine.  We look forward to our next Youth Working for Youth Supper Club in a couple of weeks.  Stay Tuned! 

I want to donate to the fund:

Visit or call 1800 732 165

I’m a farmer needing immediate assistance:

Assistance is available right now from the following places:
Support type
Commonwealth Government Drought Hotline
132 316
Farm Household Allowance payments
Rural Aid
1300 327 624
Fodder, volunteer help
Salvation Army
13 72 58
Household expenses
13 11 14
Mental health
Frontier Services
1300 787 247
Volunteer help
NSW Government (Rural Assistance Authority)
1800 678 593
Freight subsidies, low interest loans
02 8337 0210
Household expenses up to $3,000
Drought Angels
0409 548 414
Bills, stock feed, groceries

I want to donate goods to farmers:

  • The Fighting for our Farmers 2018 Drought Relief Fund only accepts monetary donations.
  • Queries on fodder/stock feed donations can be directed to Rural Aid on 1300 327 624.

I want to volunteer to help farmers:

  • You can register to volunteer on-farm via Rural Aid. Call 1300 327 624.

If someone exhibits signs of poor mental health:

Please note that there is no lunchtime meeting next Wednesday. Instead we are having a social meeting - YOUTH WORKING FOR YOUTH. Interested in what Rotary does in your local commuity? Why not come along, bring your family and enjoy a delicious supper, a couple of glasses of mulled wine and a solo acoustic musical performance from Sebastian Aranciba from the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster.

Tickets are $25 for Adults and $10 for under 18's

The monies raised from this event will be used to fund our Youth Projects - RYPEN (Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment), MUNA (Model United Nationals Assembly), RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), and NYSF (National Youth Science Forum). So far this year our BBQ at the Botanic Gardens raised enough money to send two students off to the RYPEN Camp in May. The Youth Workers at the Highlands Community Centre have identified two more students that they would like to be able to send along to the September Camp. So please come along, and bring your friends and family for a great night of food, music and social discourse.

Please contact us via by Monday 13th August to confirm your place.


Rotary Australia, in partnership with the National Farmers Federation and Channel 9, have launched FIGHTING FOR OUR FARMERS - 2018 Drought Relief Fund.   It's an appeal to big business and everyday Australians, so we can provide some emergency relief. 100% of donations go to the farmers and is tax deductible via Rotary and RAWCS. Every dollar counts.

The link for the donation page for the project is:




Just a reminder that there will be no lunchtime meeting of the Rotary Club of Berrima District this week.  Members are urged to attend a make-up at the Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong on Tuesday night where the speaker is Dr John Hewson.  


In Australia, farmers are the lifeblood of our country and they are in crisis.  Record breaking heat and lack of rain means farmers are struggling to feed sheep and cattle, and keep crops alive.  Families on the land are suffering and they need our help.  Channel 9 and Rotary Australia have partnered with the National Farmers’ Federation, launching an appeal to big business and everyday Australians, so we can provide some emergency relief.  100% of donations goes to the farmers and is tax deductible via Rotary and RAWCS.  Every dollar counts. 
The link for the donation page for the project is:
The RAWCS website home page has the link also:
It was a pity if you didn't make the meeting last week as you missed the entertaining sight of me try to imitate Frank Rodrigues as the guest interviewer.  I hope our speaker Daniel Lane didn’t find the experience of working with an amateur too trying.  In any case, we all wish Frank a speedy recovery from his recent operation and hope to see him back on his feet (literally) soon.
Daniel proved to be a very interesting and engaging interviewee.  He has had a long and illustrious career in sports journalism and biography authorship, starting out with Kerry Packer at Australian Consolidated Press and Channel 10 and finishing recently at Cricket Australia.  In between he has had close association with a number of well-known sports personalities in a variety of arenas, and has covered World Cups and Olympics events around the globe.  He also has a particular interest in war history incorporating visits to some of the most famous battlefields of Europe and North Africa.

Derek White & Daniel Lane
Daniel was accompanied by his brother, Richard, who has been a regular visitor to our meetings.  He gave us an update on the status of his Foundation – Wingecarribee Vocal Muster – which is concentrating on providing opportunities for young people to display their singing prowess in public.  This will be a great help in preparing them for potential singing careers, and we plan to have an ongoing association with the Muster at upcoming Club social evenings.
As I expect to be away for the next couple of weeks helping our eldest son and daughter-in-law in their transition from Vancouver to Melbourne, you will be blessed with the presence of PP Lyndall in my place. I think she has had sufficient recovery time since her two-year stint ended to be able to get back in the chair for a short period.
Don’t forget to get those committee recommendations ready for the next Board meeting on the 22nd of August.
There will be no meeting on the 8th August.  Members are invited to attend Bowral/Mittagong's event - An Evening with Dr John Hewson on Tuesday the 7th August at the Highlands Golf Club.  Details are in the following flyer.
Rotary Club Of Berrima District are upgrading the already fantastic Marketplace Park in Berrima.  The Honourable Pru Goward, through the NSW Government has helped to facilitate the contribution of $30,000 to assist with purchasing an inclusive orbit carousel, all abilities trampoline and more! Tune in to hear all about their plans from the fantastic people driving this project.

COMMUNITY OWNED RENEWABLE ENERGY? For those of you who missed Andrew Forbes informative and thought provoking presentation at the Mill, Bowral, in April this year Berrima Rotary have the please of sharing breakfast with him this Wednesday morning. 7.15am Bowral Bowling Club, 40 Shepherd Street, Bowral. Everyone is welcome but we do need to know numbers prior to Tuesday afternoon for catering purposes. Cost $20 pp. Please pm Lyndall McGrath for further information or call us on 0418861612.

For those of you who missed Andrew Forbes informative and thought provoking presentation at the Mill, Bowral, in April this year Berrima Rotary have the pleasure of sharing breakfast with him this Wednesday morning. 

Come along - bring a friend, bring the family ... everyone is welcome but we do need to know numbers prior to Tuesday afternoon for catering purposes. Cost $20 pp. For further information call us on 0418861612.

Community Owned Renewable Energy?
Andrew Forbes, A local of over 20 years wants to continue the work done by previous groups that had a vision to see the Highlands community support a renewable energy project that provides clean energy, creates local jobs, and produces good investment returns for Highlanders.

Can this be done in the Southern Highlands? In asking this question Andrew looked to a community group in Victoria – Hepburn Wind – that was established in 2007 and has built two wind turbines of 4.1MW capacity delivering enough to power over 2,000 homes. The group is community owned, has become profitable in the last two years, has paid back more than $3.5mn in bank loans since 2011 (that were related to the project construction costs), and has contributed over $100,000 to community projects.

We can do this in the Southern Highlands. Many people have investigated the possibilities, but so far we have not been able to get a project going.


The ANZAC spirit will live on in the Highlands thanks to a very special family.  The Macpherson family of Bowral donated a Lone Pine to the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens (SHBG) on March 9. 

John Macpherson had four uncles serve in World War 1, and kindly donated the tree to commemorate the fallen soldiers.  On August 6 1915 the 1st Australian Infantry Division launched a major offensive at Plateau 400 on Gallipoli.  The ridges were originally with the Aleppo pine, but were later cleared to provide cover for the Turkish trenches, leaving just one, solitary pine.  After the battle, Lance Corporal Benjamin Charles Smith, 3rd Battalion AIF, collected several pine cones from the branches used to cover the Turkish trenches.  He sent the cones home to his mother, in remembrance of his brother who died during the battle.  From one of these cones she sowed several seeds, and successfully raised two seedlings. 

One of the trees was planted in Inverell where Benjamin and his brother had enlisted, and the other was planted at the Australian War Memorial. 

Bowral's Lone Pine.

 Bowral's Lone Pine.

In December 2008 the tree injured severe damage after a storm.   However, it was saved and more seeds were created.  “The tree we donated really is a direct descendant from that Lone Pine in Gallipoli,” Mr Macpherson said.  “This has been propagated from the tree which was planted at the Australian War Memorial from one of two cones brought home after WW1.”

Four of Mr Macpherson uncles fought in WW1, and two of which were ANZACs.  Second Lieutenant Ewen Fergus Lord Macpherson enlisted on August 29 1914. Lordie, as he was affectionately known, served on the Gallipoli Peninsula until 1915 when he was admitted to hospital. He was later killed in action on August 10 1916.


The Macpherson family with the newly planted tree.

 The Macpherson family with the newly planted tree.

Second Lieutenant Jack Machattie Lord Macpherson was the sixth child of Ewan Fergus Macpherson and Genevieve Louisa Machattie, and the third of four brothers who served in the Great War.  Jack enlisted on April 4 1915, and served on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the area of Russell’s Top and Fatigue Gully until December when the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force withdrew and returned to Egypt via Mudros.  Sergeant Randolph George Lord Macpherson was the second oldest of the four boys to serve in the Great War. Private Lachlan Charles Lord Macpherson was the youngest of the brothers to enlist. He was killed on August 29 1918 during the lead up to the Battle for Mont St Quentin/Peronne. 

Mr Macpherson said it was very special for he, and his family, to have a Lone Pine planted at the botanic gardens.  “It’s a very important commemoration to these men and our family,” he said.  “We are all very pleased to donate this tree to the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens.”

SHBG chairman Charlotte Webb said the tree would become an important feature of the gardens.  “This forms one of the first trees in really, what will become an area of remembrance,” she said.  “I think it really is a significant introduction to the gardens and it’s lovely coming from such an important family as the Macphersons.” 


What's new with Berrima Rotary?
We are trialling a new meeting regimen. In recognition of the broad range of community needs, the Berrima Rotary Club are adding breakfast meetings to our repertoire in April. This change should allow members of the Highlands community who have difficulty in attending lunch or dinner meetings a better opportunity to learn about, and hopefully participate in, Rotary’s local and international projects.
We are also continuing our traditional lunch meetings on alternate Wednesdays as follows:
18th April - lunch meeting at 12 noon for 12.15pm (close 1.30pm)
11th April - breakfast meeting at 7am for 7.15am (close 8.30am)
2nd and 16th May - lunch meeting at 12 noon for 12.15pm (close 1.30pm)
9th and 23rd May - breakfast meeting at 7am for 7.15am (close 8.30am)
6th and 20th June - lunch meeting at 12 noon for 12.15pm (close 1.30pm)
13th June - breakfast meeting at 7am for 7.15am (close 8.30am)
Our Club holds its meetings at the Bowral Bowling Club, 40 Shepherd Street, Bowral.
Southern Highlanders and their friends are encouraged to come along for breakfast (and/or lunch) and explore joining with existing Rotarians in “Making a Difference”.
Please don’t hesitate contact us at if you have questions.
Welcome to 2018.  We wound up 2017 with a Christmas Party at the home of Melissa and Graham Meredith and we thank them for their hospitality.  We raised $500 which we donated to the Highlands Community Christmas Dinner held at the Southern Highlands Christian School.  Thank you to all who attended.  We also finished 2017 with the induction of Geri Gardiner who will be assisting us with fundraising.
January is usually a quiet month for the Rotary Club of Berrima District however this year was a little different.  Melissa Meredith, Bridget Cosyn and I were off to Canberra to facilitate the District 9710 RYLA Programme for 2018.  In our absence we welcomed a new member - Krischan Keller who is works with the PYCY.  Krischan and his wife welcomed their first son -  Sebastian Richard James Keller - on the 22nd of January - so our heartfelt congratulations to Krischan and his wife Jacki.  On Australia Day we ran a stall at the Berrima Australia Day Markets and our Youth Exchange participant, Georgia Saeck, returned from 12 months in Switzerland.  Not so quiet after all!
Our trial of two meetings per month has concluded with the majority of members agreeing that they would prefer weekly meetings.  For the moment we are back to lunchtime meetings at Bowral Bowling Club but are currently discussing the possibility of trialing two breakfast meetings a month ... stay tuned !
Want some more information?  Our January 2018 Bulletin has been published so click on the link and find out what's been happening ... 
Lyndall McGrath
The Rotary Club of Berrima District would like to thank the Honorable Pru Goward, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Minister for Social Housing, and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, for her part in assisting us gain a grant to go towards the upgrading of the playground in Berrima Market Place to include some all abilities play equipment and disabled access.
The Rotary Club of Berrima District (RCBD) is a bit different from other clubs in the area.  We are a smaller Club with a very big agenda.  Internationally, we are partnering with Ramsay Health Australia to re-assign surplus medical equipment to third world countries where there is a critical need for such equipment.  We call this our MAfO Project (Medical Aid for Oceania.  We are also currently fundraising to provide and install some all abilities play equipment into the park at Marketplace,  Berrima. We take both our work and our fun very seriously.  In general we focus on the young folks both in our area and internationally, and aim to help the community become the best they can be.  Curious yet?  Just contact us on  to learn more.
Club Executives & Directors
Director Club Service
Director International
Director Rotary Foundation
Director Youth
Immediate Past President
Youth Protection Officer
Public Officer
Director Community Service

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