4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition
On the 30th August 2017 the Rotary Club of Berrima District hosted the 2017 Southern Highland’s 4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition.  Berrima put forward two contestants – Celia Battcock from Frensham and Campbell De Montemas from Oxley College.  The Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong had two contestants from Bowral High School – Phoebe Staats and Hayden Koek.  Ben Brittle from Moss Vale High School was representing the Rotary Club of Moss Vale.
The students presented on different topics and related them to the Rotary 4 Way Test:
  • Is it the TRUTH?
  • Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  • Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Hayden Koek, Bowral High School, discussed Bullying and applied the 4 Way Test to how to deal with bullies and bullying.  Hayden suggested that we spend too much time focusing on the bullied rather than the bully and feels that finding out why someone is a bully is a far more effective way to stop it happening in the first place.
Campbell De Montemas, Oxley College, spoke about suicide and believes that the 4 Way Test could be used to help treat people suffering from mental illness or contemplating suicide.  Campbell believes that truth and fairness when it comes to mental health is beneficial to all concerned.
Ben Brittle, Moss Vale High School, applied the 4 Way Test to the current political climate in North Korea and found that the Government policies failed the “test”.  Ben suggests that the actions of “rouge” governments around the world are one of the biggest threats to today’s young people and that acts of war are NEVER beneficial.
Phoebe Staats, Bowral High School, informed us that the 4 Way Test was first put forward by Rotary after World War Two in response to a world that had lost it’s moral compass.  Phoebe then applied the 4 Way Test to the current Australia Day controversy and determined that it would be better to change the date.
Celia Battcock, Frensham, applied the 4 Way Test to forest clearing, animal extinctions and pollution and found that we humans fail the 4 Way Test when it comes to protecting the environment.  Yet, conservation is fair and decidedly beneficial to all. 
All 5 speeches were brilliant.  The topics covered were well thought out and well presented.  The Judges – Chris Young (Berrima), Don Graham (Bowral/Mittagong) and Jim McAlpine (Moss Vale) had a difficult time choosing just one winner but they overwhelmingly agreed that Phoebe Staats was it.  Her speech was also a crowd favourite.  Our congratulations to Phoebe who will be competing in the final later this year.  Thank you also to the Students, their Teachers, Parents and the Rotary Clubs of Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale for attending and putting forward contestants.  It was a great day and I look forward to the 4 Way Test again next year.
District Governor’s Visit
We had a visit from DG Steve Hill’s representative, PDG Phil Armstrong, who gave us a very interesting talk on where the End Polio Now campaign is up to.  Prior to Rotary, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, stepping up to the plate there were 350000 new cases of polio reported every year.
Since 1988, we’ve seen a worldwide reduction in polio cases of 99.9%. Last year we only saw wild polio cases in three countries.  However, the fight isn’t over.  We need to keep up the immunisations for at least 3 more years before the world is declared Polio free.  World Polio Day is on the 24th October.  For more information please visit the following site: https://www.endpolio.org/
RAM – Rotarians Against Malaria
John Macpherson brought us an update on RAM from the National Conference in August 2017.  Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM) is a volunteer-run organisation working to eliminate malaria. Fifteen years ago, malaria killed a child every 30 seconds. Under the Millennium Development Goals, however, considerable progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing and treating malaria. As a result, deaths have fallen by 60 percent. Now, under the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, they are aiming to reduce malaria cases and deaths by a further 90 percent by 2030.  Though the deaths have fallen the statistics are still grim.  One child dies every two minutes … How can we help?  Just $500 from each Rotary Club this year will go a long way to helping defeat Malaria.  Current programmes in Timor Leste, Paupa New Guinea, and the Soloman Islands, are providing mosquito nets, equipment and training so that the people can turn the problem around.  Education seems to be the key.  Griffith University, the Burnett Institute, James Cook University, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Australian Army Malaria Research Unit and the Australian National University are all working together to develop a vaccine.  For further information please visit http://ram.rawcs.com.au/
So what are our plans for 2018?
RYLA 2018
Applications for 2018 RYLA are open.  We have had a hiccup with the online applications however this has now been sorted.  As District Chair of RYLA I feel very lucky to have a wonderful group of mentors and committee members to help out this year.  I am especially lucky to have our RYLA candidate from 2017, Jade Rein, as one of our Mentors plus our Youth Director, Bridget Cosyn, and our Director Club Services, Melissa Meredith as committee members.  Bridget was a RYLARIAN and Melissa is the mother of a RYLARIAN and a previous RYLA committee member.  We are always on the lookout for candidates or people who may like to assist in the programme.  Stay tuned for updates … https://www.rotaryd9710.org.au/projects/vocational/ryla.html
Australia Day
Please mark the date in your calendars.  We are having a stall in Berrima Market Place as part of the Australia Day celebrations that take place every year in Berrima.  We will be looking for volunteers to populate the stall throughout the day.  We will be selling food, refreshments and using the day as a membership drive as well as fund and awareness raising for our proposal to install some all abilities play equipment in the park and the associated groundworks.
MARCH 2018
District Conference
PP Allen Cupitt gave us a briefing on where the planning is up to for the District Conference which is to be held at Mittagong RSL Club from the 23rd to the 25th March 2018.  There are some really exciting speakers lined up and there appears to be a comedy theme running though the programme.  Look out for details of the entertainment at the District Governor’s Conference Dinner on the Saturday night …
The organising committee will be looking for volunteers to populate the House of Friendship throughout the conference.  Stay tuned for more details.  Registrations open on the 1st November 2017.  For more information please visit the following site: https://conference.rotaryd9710.org.au/index.html