New Meeting Regime

The Club now meets face to face on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 12.00 for 12.15pm. OR ONLINE by ZOOM.
For the time being the venue is Bowral Bowling Club.
The Notice of Meeting will include links for ZOOM meetings when necessary.
Intending visitors are asked to contact the Secretary, mob 0448 022 892, 
OR e-mail  
New Meeting Regime 2021-02-27 13:00:00Z 0


At 6pm this Wednesday, the 26th August 2020, The Rotary Club of Berrima District is having a Zoom Trivia Night. Why not come and join us and meet some of your local Rotarians. It's $5 to enter and you could win a small gift basket of local goodies. Send us a message for the zoom link, pour yourself a glass of your favourite beverage, grab a pen and paper and prepare yourself for a battle of wits ... all monies raised will go towards Rotary programmes supported by the Rotary Club of Berrima District
ZOOM TRIVIA NIGHT 2020-08-23 14:00:00Z 0
MOVIE NIGHT - Wednesday 29th July 2020-07-20 14:00:00Z 0

from the President

Report from President Ric Mejias
Thank you, Past President Shelley and the entire Board for the privilege to serve Berrima Rotary as this year's President. In doing so I hope to continue the great legacy of those that have served and continue to serve in the work we provide many in our local and international communities.
I acknowledge our Board old and new for the great service above self. They invest a great deal of time on projects to help others. The work can be thankless at times and I really do appreciate all the board has done. Sadly time restrictions prevent me from recognising ALL our members and friends so allow me to do the highlights version and at the very least formally recognise
  • Past President Shelley
  • New Board and Officers:
    • Secretary: Mignon Aistrope
    • A/Secretary & Youth Protection Officer: John Macpherson
    • Treasurer: Martin Fenaughty
    • Club Service: Frank Rodrigues
    • Community Service: Chris Webb
    • International Service: Barry Barford
    • Vocational Service: Lyndall Dalley
    • Youth: Bridget Cosyn
    • The Rotary Foundation: Mignon Aistrope
    • Sergeant at Arms John Smythe
My goals for our year ahead
  • Return to some normality for meetings. 
    • Join us each 2nd Wed 12 pm (formal+board), 4th Wed 6 pm (fun),  and 5th Wed (Vocational visit)of each month.  
      • 8th July we met to discuss the year ahead and have a Board meeting.
      • 22nd July fundraiser $35 for 3-course Spanish dinner and cooking lesson click here to BOOK NOW
      • 29th July we GIVE BACK to Empire Cinema BOOK NOW
  • Service for others. We will continue to help others locally and abroad and service to others this year will include helping our project leaders and board and youth.
  • Youth mentoring with the inclusion of youth on all projects we take on where possible
  • Growing our reach thru more members, and more projects.
    • One of many examples of a new Project:
      • Rotary Berrima is now a CREATIVE KID's PROVIDER and we are seeking $5000 NSW Grant to support more youth in Wingecarribee. 
  • Recognition of members, friends of Rotary and others in the community like RFS, SES, our Hospitals.
    • Certificate of Service awarded to:
  • Past President Shelley awarded: a Rotary pin, a Rotary necklace and a Certificate of Service
  • Treasurer Martin Fenaughty
  • Secretary Mignon Aistrope
  • Executive Secretary John MacPherson 
  • The Prestigious  OUTSTANDING ROTARY AWARD (ORA) will be announced further in the coming weeks and months.
Berrima Rotary has a great team of members, board and officers and ALL provide us with INSPIRATION.
LET US ALL look to INSPIRE and mentor new members and youth in our projects this year.
I’d like us to consider PEOPLE in all our projects. What can we do a lot together INSPIRE PEOPLE as People of Action as together Rotary OPENS Opportunities.
from the President Ric Mejias 2020-07-18 14:00:00Z 0

Rotary Club Of Berrima District - Annual Report 2020

Presidents Report - Shelley Boyce
We come to end of what has been a year to remember, we have found our community facing unprecedented hardship, years of draught followed by bushfires that devasted many parts of the Highlands.  With over sixty homes lost, the equivalent number of properties who lost fences shedding and infrastructure in the fires, leaving in its wake hardship, trauma, anxiety for those trying bravely to rise from the ashes.
I suppose we thought that we had reached our limit when the Covid 19 hit and we were thrown into a panic, lockdown, social distancing, loss of jobs, income, and sense of purpose. Families learning to live 24-7 together, home schooling, shortage of supplies and isolation.
Those in our community that were in most need of support from Bushfires were now also in lockdown and even more isolated than before.  As Rotarians, we are always first to give help Despite all the hardship the club managed to keep in touch with Zoom, staying up to date by telephone and continuing to look for ways to help.  Looking for ways of putting ‘Service above Self in our everyday life’
We spoke a lot about change this year, taking a critical look at our club and at what we can do to make our meetings welcome and relevant.  Making meeting times flexible and providing options that might encourage new members and give older members a fresh look at what a Rotary meeting can be.  More discussion on this will prove beneficial and perhaps bring back the ‘Hay Days’ of Berrima Rotary when meetings were well attended, good fund, informative, engaging and we were all involved and doing great work in our community and the world.  These are some of the highlights of the year presented by Rotarians who made a difference.
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE – Medical Aid for Oceania and Worldwide (MAFO) - Barry Barford
Demand for medical aid shipments and logistics planning continued to grow during the year, and while coronavirus restrictions had a significant impact on air freight, sea freight remained largely unaffected apart from schedule disruptions caused by quarantine delays. For the first time ever, less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments outnumbered full container loads (FCL) 56 per cent to 19 per cent. This is a good development as it allows for greater flexibility and removes the temptation to fill unused container space with unwanted goods.  Despite international airline fleet groundings because of the pandemic, air freight accounted for a healthy 25 per cent of shipments. A total of 63 consignments were handled during the year. MAFO’s original region, Oceania, was the dominant recipient of donations this year and the project now covers almost the entire Pacific from French Polynesia to the Philippines. Australia’s more immediate northern neighbours, Papua New Guinea and East Timor were also served. Africa fell a little with India and South-East Asia remaining roughly the same as the previous year. This year is MAFO’s 10th year of operation and the eighth year of formal partnership with Ramsay Health Care.
COVID- 19 RESPONSE – Alan  Cuppitt
When the reality of the COVID 19 health disaster became apparent there was a sudden realisation by the health and political establishment that there was a massive shortage of medical equipment to cope. A chance contact between Rotarian Allen Cupitt, walking the dog and Janina Rodrigues, driving to work as the Workforce Manager Human Resources at Bowral & District Hospital discussed a shortage of non-touch digital thermometers for the Hospital.
Allen initially sent an email out to Club Members:  “I was made aware this morning the hospital has a need for some digital thermometers, and they have an order in the will take a further minimum of three weeks. The problem they have to scan all staff, visitors every time they come in for an elevated temperature.  They are using the ear thermometers that require a disposable cover every time they used.  Can you please put out a call on your social media accounts for any touchless thermometers that people may have in their medical supplies at home?  The need is great, they are planning to have to triage many people coming in over the next weeks and these devices can help.  I am happy to collect them too.”  Allen then found and ordered 5 for the Club on ebay. A couple of days later the first 5 thermometers were delivered to the delighted of the Hospital team.  With the support of Bowral Mittagong and Moss Vale Clubs a total of 11 Thermometers were supplied to the Hospital and the cost shared between the Clubs.  The whole exercise shows how quickly Rotary and Rotarians can identify and solve a problem.
Berrima All Abilities Playground - Derek White
"The Berrima Marketplace All-Abilities Playground Upgrade project was finally approved by Council during the year at a total expected cost well in excess of the $272,000 grant funding with the balance being made up by the Council.  Several delays were encountered due to the need to address several  Heritage issues and because of the difficulty in finding a suitable contractor to perform the total works and COVID constraints.  The contract has been let to Growth Civil Landscapes to undertake the playground upgrade.  I have had two (2) trees removed that impacted on the new playground footprint in preparation for the upgrade. Neighbouring properties were advised before these trees were removed.
Growth Civil Landscapes have submitted a revised layout plan that required a modification of the Development Application to be lodged.  Some minor changes to the equipment locations were required for fall distance compliance.  This has been approved within WSC following the necessary procedures.  Please note that the bubbler relocation and the bench seat shown on the righthand side of the plan are not included in this Project.  The sterling efforts of the WSC Project Manager to move this project along as quickly as possible have been much appreciated."
YOUTH REPORT- Bridget Cosyn
Youth programmes supported by the Club this year have delivered wonderful outcomes.
  • The 4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition
  • RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award)
  • NYFS - Nation Youth Science Forum
  • RYPEN – Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment.
The 4 Way Public Speaking Competition in Sept had the most participants from nearly all the local schools in recent years. Brodie's speech was shown at the District conference in March via video. Her topic was about Rural and Regional Remote Mental Health was very relevant considering the past few months of drought and fire disasters.
NYSF - Chloe Johnson attended NYSF in Brisbane. She presented her report via Zoom which was not only engaging but also appropriate for the times! This year she has encouraged a fellow student to apply, that's a testament to how beneficial attending the Forum was for her.
RYLA - Lyndall shall report - I can attest that our candidate, Michael, returned from the week a much more confident and engaged person.
RYPEN - Due to district restructuring it was too difficult for participants to attend this year. 
Bridget, Lyndall and Melissa was invited to attend Oxley College assembly to present Jade Gillis the medallion for the District 4 way Test and support Skye Holmwood with the NYSF presentation. Bridget presented a Rotary Youth programme video to inform potential applicants.
RFS fund raising success.  140% of Monies raised purchased RFS weather stations.
 During the Australia Day celebrations in Berrima, the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster (WVM), Leo Sayer, John Waters, and others performed for the benefit of RFS.  WVM volunteers performed in great spirit and WVM partnered with Berrima Rotary to fund raise for RFS. Our Rotarians collected almost $5000 during the performance and thru the marketplace, the pub, and the main street with their trusty buckets. $5000 was converted by Rotary to about $7000 worth of 19 x Kestrel Pocket Weather stations so that EVERY RFS Brigade in the Southern Highlands would receive one.
On Sunday 23rd February, the Rotary Club of Berrima District and Richard Lane of Wingecarribee Vocal Muster (WVM) presented the Berrima RFS with 19 x Kestrel 3000 Meters.  One meter for each of the 19 RFS Units in the Southern Highlands.
The Rotary Foundation
Continuing past practice of collecting $5 per head per lunch attended, the Club donated $AS1775 to the Foundation as at 30th April 2020.  Within this amount 11 members contributed $AS100 or more thus qualifying as Centurions.  The previous year’s donation totalled $AS2370.
Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM)
The Club again met the RAM challenge of  ‘$500 per Club per annum’ through the generosity of Rose Conley, Alan Schofield and John Macpherson donating a total of $1200. (2018/19 $900).
Originally sponsored by the Club in 2012/13, and having regard to the original objective of reaching out to 20,000 children, the following story provided by Jennifer Star is apposite.  
Stories of success: (name removed for privacy)
……….’s father died when she was in year 3, leaving her mother to bring up three daughters on the money she made selling dried fish. Tragedy struck the family again, seven years later, when ……….’s younger sister died from a meningitis infection in a hospital carpark, because the family didn’t have enough money to pay her hospital admission fees. 
Tara.Ed first provided ………. with a Tara.Ed Star Kids Scholarship in 2009, when she was in year 5. The Star Kids scholarship provided ………. with a fully funded place in a residential hostel close to the school and covered her tuition fees, school uniform and books.
………. completed her year 10 school certificate exams with flying colours, gaining admission to a competitive science college where, in her year 12 exams, she placed first in her class and won a scholarship to study a combined nursing and pharmacy degree at university. Driven to work in healthcare to ensure that other children didn't suffer the same fate as her little sister, ………. graduated from university in 2019 with a distinction average. She is now working as a paediatric nurse at Holy Spirit hospital in Mumbai.
………. is just one of the 20 828 lives that Tara.Ed has changed since 2008.
Given numerous insurmountable problems in India, Tara.Ed is expected to close later this year. Any surplus funds will be directed to the teacher support programme established in Bangladesh as an extension of the teacher training component of Tara. Ed.
RYLA- Lyndall Dalley, District Chair
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award programme (RYLA) is a challenging 7-day residential program for young people aged 18 to 25 which offers a unique opportunity for motivated individuals to access some influential and inspirational speakers and trainers. With presentations, workshops and exercises, attendees are introduced to concepts of effective leadership including: Leadership Theory, Communication, Resilience, Mental Health, Values & Ethics and Conflict Resolution & Mindfulness. 
It’s a challenging programme and this year turned out to be more challenging than most.  We had 60 participants from across D9700 and D9710 and over a third of them were mid evacuation from their homes due to the bushfires.  Threatening fire fronts and toxic bushfire smoke inundation in and around Canberra had our programme in a holding pattern.  On the evening before our planned start date I heard from the RFS who said we were good to go.  Our comprehensive Risk Management Plan, including an evacuation plan, gave them the confidence to allow our programme to go ahead.  The National Youth Science programme had been cancelled a week prior due to smoke in Canberra and we also had to keep in mind that if we were evacuated many of our participants would be unable to travel home due to bushfire evacuations in their home towns.    So, armed with a boot full of P2 masks we headed off for a vastly different RYLA experience.  Teaching young people about leadership and resilience in a time when their world was so uncertain was incredibly challenging … but we made it through with excellent results.  We had to juggle our guest speakers and introduce some live video lectures as two of them were isolated by the bushfires in Victoria.  As you can probably imagine the mental health component of the programme was more important than ever this year.  Our Club’s candidate, Michael Connoly, was a star!  It is a privilege to watch people you know go through the programme and see the real changes in them by the end of the week.  I wish to thank all involved in the programme with special thanks to Julia McGrath, our 2018 candidate, who did an amazing job returning as a first year Mentor; Bridget Cosyn who gave everyone shoulders to cry on and ensured that we all ate very well for the duration and Melissa Meredith.  Melissa has retired from her role on the Board after 6 years.  She has done an amazing job and has been so supportive of the Board, the Mentors, and the participants.  She will be greatly missed. 
    Rotary Club Of Berrima District - Annual Report 2020 Lyndall McGrath 2020-06-25 14:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Club of Berrima District & the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster Support Local RFS Units

    140% of Monies raised goes to local RFS Units
    On Sunday 23rd February, the Rotary Club of Berrima District and Richard Lane (Wingecarribee Vocal Muster) presented the Berrima RFS with 19 Kestrel 3000 Meters.  This is one meter for each of the 19 RFS Units in the Southern Highlands.
    During the Australia Day celebrations in Berrima, the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster (WVM), Leo Sayer, John Waters, and others performed for the community while Berrima Rotary volunteers collected almost $5000 with their trusty buckets. The plan was for 100% of moneys collected to go directly to the RFS Southern Highlands Units to purchase safety equipment.
    The RFS asked for some specialised safety equipment, Kestrel 3000 Meters, and Berrima Rotary delivered EXACTLY what was asked for.  The Kestrel 3000 is a pocket sized instrument that can accurately measure Current Wind Speed, Maximum Wind Gust, Average Wind Speed, Air Temperature, Wind Chill, Relative Humidity, Heat Stress Index and much more, and is exactly what is needed by RFS on the front line.
    Berrima Rotary’s Vice President, Ric Mejias, negotiated with the Kestrel supplier to convert $5000 to almost $7000 value to enable the purchase of 19 Kestrel Pocket Weather stations so that EVERY RFS Brigade in the Southern Highlands would receive one.
    The Meters were officially handed over to the Berrima RFS Station by the Rotary Club of Berrima District’s President Shelley Boyce.
    100% of moneys raised were used to purchase the safety equipment and delivered without administration fees directly to RFS Southern Highlands. The Southern Highlands community, the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster and the Rotary Club of Berrima District proudly support the RFS Southern Highlands.
    Rotary Club of Berrima District & the Wingecarribee Vocal Muster Support Local RFS Units 2020-02-22 13:00:00Z 0

    From the President ... 

    Berrima Rotary have put their heads together to implement some changes to our meetings.  One of the options we were talking through was the option of becoming an E-Club.  With the view of possibly becoming a Hybrid E-club, we invited Angus Robertson along to you meeting and he gave us a frank and informative talk on the pros and cons of an E-club.  Angus had been a charter member of an E-club as well as a member of traditional club.  We decided to put this idea back on the shelf, and so we have moved on to another option.
    We have now decided to move our meetings back to every second week, on those weeks we will continue with the traditional format with speakers and lunch.  The alternate weeks we will meet for a casual drink at a pub, do a vocational visit or some community service, in this way we will have regular contact with all members and add some variety to the meeting calendar.  This will all come into effect in December.
    During the past months we have had some very interesting speakers, challenging us to think beyond our everyday.  Peter Tyas spoke to us about his youth and his introduction to Dentistry, a story that was charming and somewhat serendipitous!  He has had an interesting career and most engaging we simply ran out of time.
    Bill O’Gorman introduced us to his life from racing cars to Jazz Bands, several our members attended a “Shhhh Jazz” concert at Bowral Bowling club inspired by his passion for Jazz.  What a wonderful addition to the events calendar of the Highlands.
    Our very own John Smythe told us stories of his youth, his love of cricket and his rise in his chosen profession.  He from humble beginnings to very successful career.
    Happy Birthday Berrima District!! Members gathered to celebrate the clubs Birthday.  It was a top night with pizza, vino, games and one very delicious Birthday Cake.  It was a chance to share fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere. Surely the success of the night could be measured by the amount of laughter and the fact that we were ushered out when the restaurant closed.
    “Boys and their Trains”, David Sommerville spoke of his love of trains, in this case one big and very historical Engine.  We heard of a total dedication to the restoration of his Garret 6029.  It is hoped that we can possible work out some fundraising using the services of this mighty steam train.
    Alfred Chidembo is a friend of Berrima Rotary and we were very pleased to have him address our club again.  “Aussie Books to Zim”, Alfred’s charity are making significant impacts on the lives and futures of the children of Zimbabwe. It was wonderful to hear that our club member Barry Barford and our project MAFO have help Alfred in working out logistics for his books.
    A fantastic event “Soiree for Michael” was held at one of our members home.  The aim of the event was to help Michael Connelly raise funds to attend RYLA in 2020.  Michael is a local young man who has been involved with ‘Vocal Muster’ a brainchild of Richard Lane. Michael provided entertainment for the night of good food, good music and good company, a perfect mix.
    From the President ... 2019-10-23 13:00:00Z 0


    Tickets are now on sale for Highlands Theatre Group's performance of Anne Of Green Gables.  Your ticket to the performance on Friday 1st November 2019 will include canapés and light refreshments. They will be served from 6.30pm, prior to the performance, by the Rotary Club of Berrima District. Proceeds from this performance will go towards supporting Rotary Youth programmes for residents of the Southern Highlands. These programmes include MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly), RYPEN (Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment), RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and NYSF (National Youth Science Forum). The Rotary Club of Berrima District wish to thank the Highland's Theatre Group Inc for their assistance in this fundraiser.

    To purchase tickets to the Rotary Fund Raising evening please follow the link through to the Friday 1st November date.

    The wonderful story of orphan girl Anne Shirley and her new life when she comes to live at Green Gables. Based on the timeless classic by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables Based was first published in 1908, not long after the end of the Victorian era, ‘Anne of Green Gables’ has been masterfully adapted for the stage and features beautiful, new music and inspiring choreography. It is a family show for young and old.
    Please share this and invite all your friends and family.  Our last fundraiser with Highlands Theatre Group was a sell out and we hope this one is too!
    RCBD YOUTH FUNDRAISING EVENT 2019-09-01 14:00:00Z 0
    2019 Changeover 2019-07-08 14:00:00Z 0

    From the President - 23rd April 2019

    Fire! Fire! Fire! The call that stirs the blood of our speaker this week – Bruce Hansell.  Bruce is a volunteer member of the Berrima Rural Fire Service, carrying on from his participation with the RFS in Armidale.  His total service spans over 12 years, during which he has earned a number of qualifications to help him fight fires and attend serious traffic accidents.  He is also qualified to drive one of those big red trucks, which I am sure many of us would like to do as well.
    Not satisfied with just the RFS activity, he is also an active member of the Bowral Men’s shed and the U3A organisation as well as doing volunteer driving for the NSW Cancer Council.  He has kindly offered to see if the Men’s Shed can do some urgently needed repairs to our Rotary lectern.
    Bruce regaled us with statistics that highlighted the importance of the RFS in our communities and also covered some interesting aspects of the history of the Berrima unit, which currently has 15 active volunteers and five new joiners in training.  However, he did note that the membership was over 40 in the early days, but the reduced numbers reflect the increased involvement of other bodies such as the SES, NSW Fire & Rescue, NSW Forestry and the CFU.  He assured us the relationship with these bodies is in good working order despite some issues that arose during the Tathra fires.
    He finally ran through some of the unique equipment they have housed in their shed in Berrima and noted the changes and improvements that have occurred in this area in recent years.  In this regard, he thanked the Club for our proposed contribution towards the purchase of a pretty fancy stand-alone LED lighting system that will be a handy addition for their night-time work – particularly at vehicle accidents which make up around 90 per cent of the callouts at Berrima.
    Berrima Marketplace Playground Upgrade
    We seem to be finally zeroing in on a Concept Plan that should meet the approval of most stakeholders, although no doubt there will still be one or two dissatisfied customers. This will now have to go to the next available Council and then on to public display to allow community feedback.  We need to achieve certain milestones by August of this year to satisfy the NSW Government funding  requirements, so the timetable will inevitably be tight.
    From the President - 23rd April 2019 Derek White 2019-04-22 14:00:00Z 0

    Shelter Box Bronze Champion

    To the Rotary Clubs of Batemans Bay, Canberra Weston Creek, Cooma, Moss Vale, Nowra, Woden Daybreak, Aurora Gungahlin, Berrima District, Canberra East and Narooma.
    Congratulations on being a ShelterBox Bronze Champion for 2017-2018.  Out of over 1100 clubs in Australia you are among an elite group that are dedicated to ensuring families in disaster have shelter in their time of need.
    Attached is your ShelterBox Champion digital logo that you can use to showcase your dedication to disaster relief on your website, social media and newsletters.    
    ShelterBox is proud to be Rotary International’s Project Partner in disaster relief, further strengthening a global circle of friendship. 
    This year ShelterBox has launched the ShelterBox Champion Awards to formally acknowledge the amazing support that Rotary provides in supporting families that are left without shelter.
    Natural and other disasters are inevitable and frequent, and the need is continuous. In 2018, with global Rotary support, ShelterBox provided shelter and life-saving items for 42,000 families robbed of their homes by disaster and conflict. That is 210,000 people helped on the road to rebuilding and recovery. 
    Once again we thank you and congratulate you on your efforts for being one of a handful of ShelterBox Champions in 2017-2018.
    Shelter Box Bronze Champion 2019-04-22 14:00:00Z 0

    From The President - 18th March 2019

    Who knows much about Rare Cancers (affecting 6 or less per 100,000 of the population) and even Less Common Cancers (affecting 6 to 12 per 100,000)?  Well those RCBD members who made it last Wednesday certainly now know much more than most, thanks to contributions from the Manager of Community Engagement (Zac Hulm) and the Patient Care Co-ordinator (Brian McDade) of Rare Cancers Australia (RCA). This is a Bowral-based organisation that provides a range of services to rare cancer sufferers and their carers and families. 
    The unfortunate truth about such cancers is that they are so uncommon that they do not get sufficient attention from Big Pharma or the relevant research organisations, as they do not provide the “bang for a buck” of more common afflictions. They also often have difficulty getting pharmaceutical support from the PBS system in a timely manner.  Therefore, the treatments are usually much more expensive than the average, and often require travelling overseas.  RCA does what it can to help the sufferers, using funds primarily derived from grants and donations.  If you feel inclined to help them in some way, please visit their website at
    Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens
    A number of us will be attending Earth Hour event at the SHBG on the 30th of March from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, where we will attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records by participating in the largest solar lantern display in the shape of a footprint that has ever been attempted. The target is to have at least 1500 solar-powered lanterns on display.  Unfortunately, those available at the event have been sold out, so you may have to bring your own.
    In support of our Community Services Director, Chris Webb, we will also be helping out by providing BBQ facilities at the Gardens for the Autumn Open Gardens and Plant Fair which will take place on the 27th and 28th April, 9.00 am to 4:00 pm both days. The 2019 event promises to be an exciting one for SHBG and the Fair. As well as the activities at the Gardens site, they are featuring four town gardens - ‘Bangala’, ‘Gowan Brae’, ‘Timbarra’ and ‘Wirreanda’ in Bowral, and the extensive and historic rural garden ‘Rotherwood’ at Sutton Forest. All five gardens are very different and we all look forward to visiting them in April. 
    Further information on SHBG activities is available on their website at
    Changeover Dinner
    This highlight of the Rotary Year is fast approaching, and I have asked Geri Gardiner to help me get it organised.  We are looking at a few venue options, and we will update you as things firm up.  As a first step, we have settled on a date that fits in with our President Elect’s busy overseas travel schedule over the next 3 months or so – put Wednesday the 26th of June in your diaries.  Could all Directors also start thinking about their yearly reports so I don’t have to chase you too hard on the final days.
    Next Week and Beyond
    Thanks to Frank Rodrigues, we have a suite of excellent speakers promised over the next couple of months.  The details are available on the Home Page of the RCBD website at
    From The President - 18th March 2019 2019-03-17 13:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    A bit of catching up to do this week, so I will start with the great presentation on the 27th February from member Krischan Keller and his two Youth Case Managers, Senior Constable Matthew Davenport and Senior Constable Daniel Korn. They enlightened us regarding some of the great work they are doing at the PCYC Mittagong with some of the less-privileged amongst our local school leavers.  They focused particularly on two of their key programs.
    Fit For Life is an early intervention program designed to engage youth who are at risk of poor choices and anti-social behaviour. Through physical fitness, nutrition and social engagement, Fit For Life aims to improve overall wellbeing as well as prevent and divert youth from offending behaviours.
    Fit To Learn is a program designed to re-engage disengaged youth into the education system, allowing them to further develop intellectual and social skills. This program encourages participants to explore their strengths in building respectful relationships within a school environment whilst also developing emotional intelligence skills preparing them for future employment.
    On Wednesday 6th March we had one of our irregular social evenings at the Botanic Gardens.  Our thanks to Chris and Charlotte Webb, not only for allowing us to access the Gardens but also for all of the equipment and infrastructure they made available for our use.  A good number of members, family and friends turned up and, thanks to our RYLA stalwarts Lyndall, Melissa and Bridget, everyone enjoyed a Gourmet BBQ meal followed by a touch of chocolate.  The highlight of the evening was a display of Blues prowess on the keyboard by one of our recent RYLArians, Mikki Dunne. 
    Mikki is apparently self-taught and not able to read music, but promises to have a great future as a musician.  To this end, he is currently contemplating doing an Arts/Music degree at Wollongong Uni. Several of us encouraged him to pursue this option, including a couple of his fellow RLYArians, Emily Wheatley and Sean Wilson, who had come all the way from their respective universities in Canberra to bolster the audience.
    From The President 2019-03-11 13:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    We had a double whammy at the meeting this week with presentations from our most recent RYLArian, Julia McGrath, and Community Worker Nicole Blaik from Highlands Community Centres.
    Julia gave us an excellent summary of the activities they undertook at the most recent RLYA get-together in Canberra in January.  This was the first one that combined attendees from both Districts 9700 and 9750, and by all reports, it went very well with around 50 participants.  Berrima District was well represented by our District RYLA Chair, Lyndall Dalley, ably assisted by Bridget Cosyn and Melissa Meredith.  Julia obviously enjoyed herself and participated in all the exercises with suitable gusto.  There is no doubt that this is a great Rotary program in promoting self-improvement and self-confidence in our youth and we should continue to actively support it next year. Lyndall tells me that they are planning to limit the numbers to around 40 next time so the can provide better individual attention to each RYLArian, so is likely to be a long waiting list next time now that 9700 has some clear air to plan ahead.
    Nicole, given the nature of her work, was perhaps a little less upbeat as she gave us a rundown on her activities at the HCC. Firstly, she described what a community worker actually does, which is a combination of supporting clients who need a great deal of help with their lives, providing referrals to other organisations, running programs to increase resilience of those in need, organising relevant events and liaising with the wider community.  She then went on to tell us about a couple of the programs she runs. 
    The principal one is My Life My Dreams which goes under the banner “a program to empower women to live their best lives”. She profiled the candidates for us – aged from mid-30s to mid-50s; nearly 50% from single parent households; main source of income usually a pension or social benefits; often have mental health and substance abuse problems; most had experienced domestic violence. MLMD gives these women reason for hope by providing employment opportunities, better education and improved life skills. It also provides better health outcomes, an increased social network and a feeling of empowerment for the women who participate.
    The other program she covered is On Track which our Club has made a major contribution to. This program picks up young people who usually have just left school and are searching for some direction in their lives. With one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia (25.4%), the Highlands are not well-placed to provide such direction.  On Track provides practical skills, well-being and soft skills such as managing emotions (often anger management is an issue), self-esteem, confidence building and goal setting.  It then provides work experience opportunities in a choice of aged care, retail, hospitality or construction which are the four biggest employers in this area.  Nicole sounds like a great asset to the HCC and we hope to see more of her in the future.
    From The President 2019-02-17 13:00:00Z 0

    From the President

    Sorry, it has been a while since the last Banter but the hot weather has introduced a level of ennui.  Last week’s meeting was a good example of the old adage “quality is better than quantity”.  Those who did attend were challenged by John Smythe to give an impromptu talk on a random subject selected from a list he had prepared ahead of time.  These varied from “What is your earliest childhood memory?” to “What was your favourite Christmas?” and even “Subject of your choice?” (I wimped out by selecting this one!).  We should do this again as it gave individual members an opportunity to tell us a bit more about themselves – always an engaging subject.
    This week’s presentation was an equally engaging and perhaps more relevant subject – the Southern Highlands Community Hospice.  Their General Manager, Carisa Wells, gave us an overview of hospices generally, their benefits in relieving pressure on the hospital system while providing intensive personalised care, and some of the realities surrounding palliative care.  As many of us have had some association with palliative care already, and may well have much more in the future, this was of particular interest to the attendees.  Carisa also outlined some personal experiences that underpinned her passion regarding the development of a full-scale hospice facility in the Southern Highlands.
    Carisa then went on to tell us more about the state of play in this area.  At the end of last year, they finally received DA approval to build a 10-bed facility on Bowral Street directly across from the hospital.  This will be done in partnership with local knee and hip man, Dr Nick Hartnell, and will be on land that has been designated as being exclusively for medical-related facilities.  The actual development could take up to two years to complete so, in the meantime, they will start offering “in-home” services, which can either be rolled into the completed hospice or continued in the home depending on circumstances at that time.
    Finally, Carisa spoke briefly about the four hospice shops in Bowral and Mittagong and the 300+ volunteers that make all this possible.  She indicated that more volunteers would always be welcome, and I will circulate an application form for this in due course.
    From the President 2019-02-09 13:00:00Z 0

    MERRY CHRISTMAS from the President

    Trust us to pick the wettest day of the year so far to have our Christmas Party starting at the Exeter Croquet Club! The unfortunate, but sensible, decision was made to cancel this part of the event and move to the Tap House in Moss Vale a bit earlier than planned.  We had a good roll up there for a very convivial evening scoffing tapas and quaffing craft beers.  My thanks to Martin Fenaughty in particular for organising both venues, and Lyndall Dalley for her promotion and administration efforts.  We will try to reinstate a croquet afternoon some time next year before daylight saving ends.
    I managed to squeeze in attendance at the Triple Care Farm Graduation Day in what has been quite a busy week.  It is hard not to be impressed by the outcomes of this facility run by Mission Australia and funded to a large extent by the Sir David Martin Foundation.  My understanding of the statistics this year is that they have engaged with over 400 young adults at risk of which around 120 were via the new detox centre at David Martin Place.  Of these 120, nearly 80% completed the program and, of these, 60% went on to do the 12-week residential program at TCF.  As usual, the 30 or so graduates were the highlight of the day with some outstanding presentations both verbal and musical.
    Finally, with the help of Pru Goward and her staff we have made some progress with rearrangement of the Community Building Partnerships grant.  The CBP administration team are now proposing that our grant be rolled into the larger Stronger Country Communities grant so that our March 31 2019 spending deadline no longer applies.  Provided the Council agrees and RCBD gets suitable undertakings on the use of the funds and adequate recognition at Berrima Marketplace, this should be a reasonable outcome for all concerned.  Thank you Pru!
    I would like to wish all Members and Friends and their respective families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  See you back on deck on the 16th of January.
    Derek White
    President RCBD
    MERRY CHRISTMAS from the President 2018-12-16 13:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    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 2018-12-08 13:00:00Z 0

    November @ Berrima Rotary 

    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.
    November @ Berrima Rotary 2018-11-24 13:00:00Z 0

    Aussie Books For Zim

    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. 
    Aussie Books For Zim 2018-10-17 13:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    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! 
    From The President Derek White 2018-10-13 13:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    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.
    From The President 2018-10-06 14:00:00Z 0

    From The President ...

    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.
    From The President ... Derek White 2018-10-01 14:00:00Z 0

    Vocational Visit - PCYC Southern Highlands

    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 (
    Vocational Visit - PCYC Southern Highlands Derek White 2018-09-05 14:00:00Z 0

    4 WAY TEST Public Speaking Competition

    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.
    4 WAY TEST Public Speaking Competition Derek White 2018-09-02 14:00:00Z 0

    Women in Rotary Excel

    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
    Women in Rotary Excel Barry Barford 2018-08-29 14:00:00Z 0

    From The President 

    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.
    From The President 2018-08-26 14:00:00Z 0

    Youth For Youth Supper Club

    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! 
    Youth For Youth Supper Club Lyndall McGrath 2018-08-26 14:00:00Z 0

    Drought Relief – Telephone Guide

    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
    CWA of NSW
    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:

    Drought Relief – Telephone Guide 2018-08-13 14:00:00Z 0

    This Wednesday's Social Meeting

    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.


    This Wednesday's Social Meeting 2018-08-09 14:00:00Z 0

    August 2018

    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.  


    August 2018 2018-08-05 14:00:00Z 0

    2018 Drought Relief Fund for Australian Farmers - RAWCS Project

    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:
    2018 Drought Relief Fund for Australian Farmers - RAWCS Project 2018-08-01 14:00:00Z 0
    MUNA Update 2018-08-01 14:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    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.
    From The President Derek White 2018-07-30 14:00:00Z 0
    International Service Award 2018-07-01 14:00:00Z 0

    Berrima Market Place 

    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.
    Berrima Market Place 2018-05-27 14:00:00Z 0

    This week's meeting

    There will be no meeting of the Rotary Club of Berrima District this Wednesday as it is the 5th Wednesday of the month.  Look forward to seeing you all on the 6th June.
    This week's meeting 2018-05-27 14:00:00Z 0

    BREAKFAST MEETING - Wednesday 23rd May 2018

    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.


    BREAKFAST MEETING - Wednesday 23rd May 2018 2018-05-19 14:00:00Z 0

    Macpherson family donates Lone Pine to Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens

    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.” 


    Macpherson family donates Lone Pine to Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens 2018-03-08 13:00:00Z 0

    Welcome to 2018

    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
    Welcome to 2018 2018-02-05 13:00:00Z 0

    RC of Berrima - Berrima Market Place Playground Work

    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.
    RC of Berrima - Berrima Market Place Playground Work 2017-12-19 13:00:00Z 0
    Berrima Rotary Club Fundraiser - WONDER 2017-11-06 13:00:00Z 0
    17 DAY ROTARY TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND 2017-11-06 13:00:00Z 0

    4 Way Speaking Test

    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.
    4 Way Speaking Test 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0

    This Month ...

    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 build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
    • 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:
    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
    So what are our plans for 2018?
    JANUARY 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 …
    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:
    This Month ... 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0

    From The President

    The year is racing on and we are now into the 2nd month of trialling the changes to our meeting schedule.  The extra time has given us all the chance to catch up on our other projects.  Derek White, Richard Krohn and Chris Webb have been working on the Berrima Market Place proposal.  Barry Barry Barford is continuing his hard work with MAfO, John Macpherson with RAWCS and RAM, John Smythe and Richard Krohn with Dream Cricket, Bridget Cosyn is easing into her role as Youth Director, and Allen Cupitt is heading the committee for the 2018 District Conference.  Frank Rodriguez has been working on the completion of Yesterday’s Stories and I have been gathering my team and putting together the programme for RYLA 2018.  There are only 7 meetings left in the year and we are busy completing our schedule of activities and speakers.  October is a busy month and we are looking for volunteers for the following activities;
    Bowling Challenge
    The annual Southern Highlands Rotary Bowling Challenge is coming up in Friday the 13th October at Highlands Tenpin, Mittagong.  Last year the Rotary Club of Berrima District fielded two teams.  We held our ground last year but were not strong enough to defeat the Rotary Club of Moss Vale.   Please contact President Lyndall McGrath ASAP to become part of the team.  This is how much fun we had last year ... 
    Lift the Lid on Mental Illness
    Australian Rotary Health and Bunnings have joined together to assist in fundraising for and the promotion of awareness of mental health issues.  We will be sharing a Lift The Lid Awareness table with the Rotary Club of Moss Vale on Saturday and Sunday the 7th and 8th October 2017 at Bunnings, Corner Old Hume Highway & Tyree Place, Mittagong.  Our shifts are from 12 to 3pm on the Saturday and from 9am to 12 on the Sunday.  Please contact Lyndall McGrath if you are available to help out during either of these periods.  You don’t need to be there for the whole three hours … but if you can that would be great.  For more information on Lift The Lid please visit the following site:
    Dream Cricket
    Friday 27th October 2017 is the annual Dream Cricket day at Bradman Oval.  Richard Krohn and John Smythe are on the Board and are requesting volunteers to help out on the day.  There are a variety of different jobs and shift one can do.  It is a wonderful experience and the more people we can get to help the smoother the day runs.  For more information please contact Richard Krohn on 0450695009 or
    Lyndall McGrath
    From The President 2017-09-20 14:00:00Z 0

    DISTRICT 9710 Conference - March 2018

    Here is the first look at the programme and line up for the 2018 District 9710 Conference to be held in the beautiful Southern Highlands from the 23rd to the 25th March 2018.  Registrations open on the 1st November 2017.  Stay tuned for updates ... 
    DISTRICT 9710 Conference - March 2018 2017-09-19 14:00:00Z 0
    AUSTRALIAN ROTARY HEALTH - Lift the Lid on Mental Health 2017-05-23 14:00:00Z 0

    THE ROTARY FOUNDATION - Making A Difference

    The Rotary Foundation celebrates 100 years of Doing Good in the World.  Gifts to the Foundation empower Rotarians to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people in need.  Here's how the Foundation makes a difference ... 
    THE ROTARY FOUNDATION - Making A Difference 2017-05-17 14:00:00Z 0
    Visions Newsletter 2017-04-17 14:00:00Z 0

    MAFO lends shipping expertise to other clubs

    PROJECT REPORT – Medical Aid for Oceania and Worldwide (MAFO) RAWCS Project 48/2012-13
    Since it first began operation in 2010 as Beds for Fiji, MAFO has gradually added value to the scope of the project. First came the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Ramsay Health Care in 2012 and then the gradual expansion not only of the range of equipment supplied, but also the diversity of destinations. As well as beds MAFO now supplies anaesthetic and x-ray machines, ECG monitors, defibrillators, operating theatre equipment and a full range of hospital consumables. We serve hospitals and other medical facilities in numerous Pacific islands, the Asia-Pacific region and the African continent. Along the way suppliers other than Ramsay heard about the project and we now receive donated equipment from a variety of medical and pharmaceutical sources.
    Today MAFO’s reputation as a source of shipping and logistical expertise has spread to other clubs, which sometimes “hire” us to organise container shipping on their behalf. One such club is the Rotary Club of West Wollongong, for which MAFO has recently delivered a 20ft container for packing by the Club with mixed medical and educational supplies, as well as 170 litres of paint for the refurbishment of medical clinics in the Cook Islands.
    In its early days seven years ago, MAFO conveniently shipped its beds for Fiji out of Port Kembla. Unfortunately the shipping lines serving the Pacific Islands rarely use that port these days so we have to incur the additional cost of having the packed container delivered to Port Botany. We then arrange for the container to be weighed – a new maritime law introduced last July – and prepare the necessary shipping documents. The container is now en route to Auckland where it will be transhipped to another vessel for delivery to Rarotonga (pictured below) in early May.
    Barry Barford
    Deputy Project Manager
    MAFO lends shipping expertise to other clubs Barry Barford 2017-04-11 14:00:00Z 0
    2017 DISTRICT TRAINING ASSEMBLY 2017-04-10 14:00:00Z 0

    District Training Assembly 2017-18

    Special Guest Rotary International President Elect Ian Riseley.  District Assembly this year will be a little different to other years.  We would like to encourage all Rotarians to attend, not just incoming Board members.  Make it an opportunity for a Club weekend away.

    There will be a showcase of many of the Rotary programs on display over the weekend, with the opportunity to discuss one on one with committee members.  Breakout sessions will still be held with an opportunity to learn and ask questions.

    • DATES: 12 noon 29th - 30th April

    • VENUE ASSEMBLY: Kingsford Smith School, 100 Starke Street, HOLT ACT (view map)

    • DINNER: Raiders Belconnen, Hardwick Cres, HOLT ACT

    • COST: $40pp

    Registrations close 23rd April, 2017 at 6pm



    District Training Assembly 2017-18 2017-04-03 14:00:00Z 0


    To take advantage of the last few days of daylight saving we decided to undertake the Berrima River Walk and then head to Feast @ Berimma for a brief evening meeting and social event.  The weather was far from kind to us with hail and thunderstorms passing through Berrima for the precise time we had planned our walk.  We have postponed it and plan to revisit the idea when daylight saving returns in spring.
    We wish to send out a big thank you to Ann and Phillip at Feast @ Berrima for hosting our social evening.  We had a delicious meal and lots of wonderful conversation. Such a great atmosphere
    SOCIAL EVENING 2017-03-18 13:00:00Z 0

    YOUTH PROJECTS 2017/18

    MUNA - Model United Nations Assembly
    MUNA for 2017 will be on Saturday the 13th May at the Wingecarribee Shire Council Chambers.  Applications opened on the 1st March.  Our Club is responsible for teams from Frensham and Oxley College.  Last years event was something special and I urge you to come along.  
    NYSF - National Youth Science Forum
    Applications for the 2018 NYSF open in March and close on the 31st May 2017.
    4 Way Test Public Speaking Competition
    Round 1 is scheduled for July 2017
    Round 2 is scheduled for July 2017
    Semi Final Scheduled for September 2017
    Final at the District Conference in October 2017
    Applications for 2018 close in November 2017
    For further information on Youth Projects please contact our Youth Director, Chris Young.  Your help with any of the Youth Projects would be greatly appreciated.
    YOUTH PROJECTS 2017/18 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0

    GET AROUND IT - Local Youth Mental Health Initiative 

    Our guest speaker at our meeting on the 8th February 2017 was Dylan Whitelaw.  Dylan is a Year 10 student at Oxley College, Burradoo.  Get Around It is a small not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and services about Youth Mental Health within the Wingecarribee Shire. Established to assist young people during difficult times, Get Around It is an innovative organisation that strives to help every young person within the Wingecarribee Shire. Mental health conditions often start early in life and can have significant implications for success in education, future careers, and personal relationships. One in four young people experience a mental health condition and suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 24, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Research has shown that half all mental health conditions emerge by the age of 14, and three-quarters by age 24. However, identifying issues early and getting a young person into the right support and treatment can change lives. Adolescence is a critical time for mental health and around 550,000 young people aged 12–18 years live with depression or anxiety.
    Get Around It was established in late 2015 after a less than desirable experience with the mental health system in the Wingecarribee Shire. After this experience, the founder became very interested in adolescent mental health.  Get Around It is a non-government organisation that raises awareness and promotes the wellbeing of young people.

    Ultimately Get Around It is a group of people who are passionate about mental health and helping other people.  Guided by our vision and mission, values and behaviours, we endeavour to help young people improve their lives and therefore reduce the risk of suicide.  For more information please visit
    8th February 2017
    GET AROUND IT - Local Youth Mental Health Initiative  2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0


    Our Candidate for the 2017 NYSF was James Walker.  James has provided us with a comprehensive report on his experience.
    This may come as a surprise to hear but, after arriving at Burgmann College at the Australian National University with a new year freshness and being greeted by the sight of young adults in blue shirts skipping, running and screaming in uncanny unison, I honestly thought I was about to embark on the most confronting twelve days of my life! In fact, I called my parents that evening after driving down to Canberra from our Berrima home and vividly recall exclaiming my trepidation and, to an extent, initial apprehension about the whole National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) experience. However, I can safely say I have never been more wrong in my life! On returning to my friends and family at home and boarding school in late January, I have found it extremely difficult to express just how life-changing, fun, and utterly amazing the NYSF was. I realise that this report, rather words in general, will never fully encompass the NYSF experience, but I hope I can do it some justice by relating my unbelievable experience to the best of my ability.
    Firstly, the hundreds of remarkable young men and women on the NYSF are what distinguishes it from other youth experiences. My initial uneasiness was quelled upon meeting my floor group, the Homer Heroes, on the first night. Never in my had I met such a like-minded, humour-driven, and intelligent group of adolescents and from all over the oceanic region: New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand just to name a few. The 15 minutes of nightly floor time was always a highlight of my day and they have forged unforgettable memories which will last with me forever (especially a spilt Milo dilemma).

    No more than 12 hours later, I was introduced to a group as engaging, humorous, and gifted but with whom I developed an even deeper personal connection: my interest group. Hill, whose focus was upon food, agriculture, and plant and animal biology, was composed of the loveliest people you could imagine. In fact, I have become so close to them (we all still speak to this day) that it feels proper to name them all. From top left clockwise: Sharon (NSW); Erin (NZ); Nia (QLD); Mark (QLD), who was the best buddy I could ask for; Emily (QLD); Jeremy (NSW); Jaslin (ACT); myself; Aleina (VIC); Leon (VIC); Jade (NSW); Izzy (WA); Poppy (VIC); and Connie (VIC).

    It was with this group that I visited some of the most scientifically stimulating sites in Australia including the Mulloon Creek Chicken Farms, the National Botanic Gardens, the Canberra Reptile Zoo, CSIRO, and the Jerrabomberra Wetlands.
    Yet, I think the real magic of the NYSF lies within its ability to alter life courses. Entering the forum, I was uncertain about my future career path but veterinary science had always fascinated me. However, during our visit to the CSIRO, we were privileged enough to receive a talk about genetically modified cotton and mace wheat crops, which, through selective genetic breeding, increased resistance to common pestilences and increased overall yield. This field just felt ‘right’ from the start and now that I have conducted research into the university degrees available to enter the bioengineering field, I am more uncertain than ever about what I want to do in the future! All I know is that it will involve science.
    We were also fortunate enough to receive lectures from some of Australia’s leading scientists such as Sally-Ann Paulsen, Dr Grant Wilson (Physiotherapy), and last but not least, Nobel Prize winner, Professor Brian Schmidt (Astrophysics). These men and women were extraordinary and I felt so lucky to have the chance to listen to their lectures and ask pressing questions. On top of this, I also received invaluable information about coping with Year 12, universities, scholarships, and other potential future scientific workplaces such as Lockheed Martin and IP Australia during the Partners Presentation and Expo.
    Although I’ve outlined the scientific aspects of the forum (as would be expected), it would be careless not to mention all the activities which bonded my session and forged long-lasting friendships which I will cherish forever. Whether this involved the science relay quiz, the swing dance, the disco, visits to the National Museum of Australia and the National Art Gallery, Questacon, or the concert, I experienced some of the best moments of my life.
    In no way does this report summate the greatness of NYSF; it really is indescribable. I hope I can explain the experience to a greater justice during my speech at my local Rotary club next month. My gratitude and appreciation for the Berrima District Rotary Club, especially for their amazing monetary support, is unparalleled. You really have changed my life. Thank you. Furthermore, I’d like to extend my thanks to District 9710 for my selection. The intellectual network I have established through the NYSF is priceless and I know they will shape my future. Thank you so much!
    James Walker
    NATIONAL YOUTH SCIENCE FORUM 2017 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0


    Our candidate for RYLA 2017 was Jade Rein and here is her report on her experience:
    We all arrived bright and early on Sunday the 15th January where we were welcomed by the Mentors and the Committee. Our first order of business was to get settled into our bunks and start to get acquainted with our fellow RYLArians. We started by having the mentors run a few ice-breaking activities and then we got straight into the program. Our days ran from 7am until approximately 9pm and they were all packed full of speakers, presentations, activities, workshops and exercises.
    We quickly moved straight onto our first speaker Tony Tucker who is an associate professor at the University of Canberra, he spoke with us about Leadership theory and the fundamentals and concepts of Leadership. Working in teams we were instructed to build a straw tower and we would be judged on three things height, strength and how creative we can make a story about the structure. This challenge helped us to develop an understanding of how the different styles of leadership work.
    Another task we completed involved us getting dressed up as if we were to attend an interview for a job of our choice. Once we were all dressed up we headed to the main building where we learnt about how to present yourself in an interview, general questions you might be asked and how to best prepare for an interview. One of the key points I will never forget is that is only takes someone seven seconds to form a first impression of you, so the way you dress to the way you conduct yourself through your body language is very important.
    Another great activity we conducted was an online questionnaire called the HBDI framework, this was done before we attended RYLA. The HBDI is brain framework model that helps understand the different mental processes and how different types of people prefer different kinds of thinking.  While we were at RYLA we received our results we were split between the four categories in the model. We were then given the task to write a newspaper article being the opposite of what we are. So for example I was in the Blue area meaning; the way I think is logical, analytical and factual. So the opposite of myself was the red category being people who think more emotionally and expressively. This helped us develop an understanding that people do think in different ways and there is no right way of how people think and the way they process and express information is different between people and you if you can work out the ways different people think it will help you get along away if you’re in a leadership role. 
    The whole RYLA experience from arriving until departing was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The speakers, presentations and activities we completed helped us in many ways to gain confidence, learn to what makes a great leader and that you will fail and you need to just keep your head high and push though the challenges that may come your way. The RYLA program is a very personal growth experience and I am certainly grateful to the Berrima District Rotary Club for sponsoring me to attend RYLA in January 2017.
    Jade Rein
    February 2017
    ROTARY YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARDS 2017-03-07 13:00:00Z 0


    The Rotoract Club of the Southern Highlands has presented us with a certificate of appreciation for our support of their fundraising efforts for The Burrumbuttock Hay Runners on 2016.
    SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS ROTORACT 2017-03-06 13:00:00Z 0


    Posted on Mar 01, 2017
    Rod Asterope spoke to us about THE NINTH SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CHALLENGE which is a project of the Rotary Club of Bowral/Mittagong.  The Challenge is an outreach programme aimed at changing student's perceptions of science and engineering through projects not normally undertaken in their school environments.  The Challenge is on the 20th and 21st March at the Mittagong RSL and will be attended by over 500 students from schools within the Highlands.  There will be teams of students undertaking electrical engineering projects, building catapults, building bridges and many more. 
    Our Member, Richard Krohn, spoke about RAGES - Rotarian Action group for Endangered Species.  Richard was drawn to the group as when he was working and holidaying in South Africa he saw the effects of poaching first hand.  He also visited the RAGES supported Orangutan Sanctuary in Malaysia.  Rotary action groups receive RI funding and RAGES is run out of the Coolamon Rotary Club in District 9710.  For ore information please visit
    Susan Sheward M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire), Director for Orangutans and Primates, RAGES 
    112 Years of Rotary  2017-02-23 13:00:00Z 0


    Following the extensive bushfires which have occurred in central western NSW recently, the Rotary Club of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise have jointly sponsored and established a fund to assist individuals and families suffering significant loss and distress caused by the fires.   The fund has been established through the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society – an arm of Rotary Australia World Community Service - and has been listed as a charitable fund.  This means it has Deductible Gift Recipient status so that donations made to it are tax deductible.
    “Moneys donated to the fund will be used to assist those who have exhausted any assistance available from Government and Insurance resources following the Sir Ivan, Kains Flat and other fires in the Mid-Western Regional, Upper Hunter and Warrumbungle regions” the Project Manager, Margaret Barnes of the Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, said today.  “At last count 31 houses had been lost, as had 104 outbuildings and an unknown but significant number of livestock.  The village of Uarbry, decimated by the Sir Ivan fire, lost 9 of its 12 houses and its church” she added. 
    Mudgee Guardian
    District Governor of Rotary District 9670 Stephen Jackson drove through the area the day after the Golden Highway was re-opened and said “This is an area well known to me.  I had driven through it only 3 days before and it was well-grassed but obviously dry.  When I returned the country around the Golden Highway was just black, kilometre after kilometre of fencing was damaged or missing, and there was almost no fodder available for the livestock which had survived.  There is a huge need for support”. 
    The Rural Financial Counselling Service has agreed to work with the sponsoring clubs and will make recommendations as to the people most in need of benevolent relief.  The Service is a not for profit organisation which is already working with people impacted by the fires and will be a valuable and impartial resource in assisting the project deliver to those most in need.
    Individuals, Rotary and other clubs and similar organisations, and corporate entities are urged to contribute to this tax deductible and charitable benevolent fund to assist in relieving the suffering of those who have and are continuing to experience personal trauma and property loss.
    Donations can be made through an online process.  To donate, go to  The Project Sponsors thank donors for their support.
    The release of this statement is authorised by Margaret Barnes, Project Manager, Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise, the Rotary Clubs of Mudgee and Mudgee Sunrise,  and by Stephen Jackson, District Governor of Rotary International District 9670 Inc.

    Tara Ed RAWCS Report

    From India, the project leader in India and founding chairman of Tara.Ed, Hon Rtn Jennifer Star has reported:
    ‘In January 2017 we hosted an Alumni Tour to Ajra as part of Rosary School's Golden Jubilee celebrations. Three Alumni joined the tour and had the opportunity to visit Ajra and Watangi to see the changes that have taken place in the school. Despite the challenges of demonitization, the Alumni Tour was a resounding success, with the team being welcomed very warmly by Father Anthony, the school staff and students. This tour marked the eighth and final tour to Rosary School, Ajra, and was the culmination of a multi-faceted and highly successful partnership lasting nine years. 
    The tour was also coupled with a Sponsor visit, with Raechel's (2014) husband and children accompanying the tour to meet their Star Kids Scholarship student. If you would like to read more/see photos please see the Tour Blog and Sponsorship Visit posts on the Tara.Ed website.’ 
    Tara Ed RAWCS Report 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0

    Meeting - 1st February 2017

    Jade Rein (nee Chapman) returned from RYLA and gave us a most impressive account of her time there.  Jade's report will be on line shortly and will also be included in the next edition of The Banter.  
    The Outbound Youth Exchange Students departed Canberra on the 14th January 2017
    The collage shows all the Swiss inbounders at the Rhinefall,  Georgia's host family on my arrival in Zurich. L-R: Céline, Fabienne, Me, Stefan and Philippe Schmidt, Georgia at the Rhinefall, Swiss inbounders ice skating on a break from our language camp. These are only the Southern Hemisphere inbounds, from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Columbia, Georgia in a castle in Brig, where my school is and the view from from house in Salgesch.  
    Georgia reports that so far, her experience has been amazing.  Her host family is so wonderful and it's so beautiful where she will be living, and even though the language barrier can be a bit difficult.  She was at language camp until the 4th February and then off to school on the 6th.  Georgia is so excited for the rest of her year that's yet to come.
    We look forward to further reports from Georgia throughout the year. 
    Meeting - 1st February 2017 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
    RAWCS ROVER February 2017 2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0

    MaFO News 

    The loading of the latest container of surplus medical and associated equipment bound for Malawi.
    MaFO News  2017-02-06 13:00:00Z 0
    Rotary Youth Exchange Programme (YEP) 2017-01-31 13:00:00Z 0

    The Berrima Fleet - Australia Day 2017

    The Rotary Club of Berrima District once again took to Sydney Harbour to take part in the Yacht Ballet as part of the official Australia Day celebrations.  This year we hired three Yachts.  We had a total of 53 members and guests with representatives of Berrima, Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale Rotary Clubs.  We had a wonderful day and extend our sincere thanks to Allen Cupit and Ace Internet Services for their generous sponsorship and Bridget Cosyn for her marvelous catering of the event.  A thank you also to Berrima Buslines for transport to and from Rushcutters Bay.  
    The Berrima Fleet - Australia Day 2017 2017-01-25 13:00:00Z 0


     DAISI means Doctors Assisting in Soloman Islands.  Due to lack of theatre gowns and surgical scrubs National Referral Hospital (NRH) operating theatres in the capital Honiara almost came to a complete stand-still last month, with only life or limb-threatening surgery being performed.Thanks to Alvin Zheng from (Cabrini Linen, Melbourne), and logistics provided by Barry Barford (Berrima District Rotary), a 20 foot shipping container with 10 pallets of surgical scrubs and 250 new theatre gowns has been successfully packed and sent to Honiara (see photo below).


    In addition to over 8 pallets of surgical scrubs, the container also included linen, overalls, warming jackets, and theatre dresses. It is hoped that this large volume of scrubs and linen will be circulated to each of the hospitals in the Solomon Islands.

    Dr Rooney Jagilly is the medical superintendent at National Referral Hospital (NRH), Honiara (above photo second from left) who made the urgent request to DAISI earlier this month for gowns & scrubs, who believes that “surgery will now be allowed to resume at full pace”. “Previously people would bring their own scrubs to hospital which was not ideal because the OR did not have enough. Now we have enough for all so that all the scrubs are managed by the hospital”.

    The cost for freighting the container was paid by DAISI and made possible due to a number of generous donations to DAISI.

    Gareth Iremonger - DAISI (Doctors Assisting in the Soloman Islands)



    DAISI 2017-01-06 13:00:00Z 0

    Latest From Shelterbox

    On 17th April 2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Ecuador. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity and Fundacion Progad (a locally registered agency) ShelterBox assisted 2,588 earthquake affected families in the province of Manabi in areas surrounding the city of Puerto Viejo.  The earthquake led to a total of 35,198 buildings being classified as “unsafe” or “for limited use”. Even families with a house considered suitable for limited use were afraid that aftershocks would cause further damage, or worse, lead to fatalities. Families worried their possessions would be stolen, and staying on or nearby home sites became imperative. Some households stayed with other families who were lucky enough to have a stable structure to live in, but most people had little choice but to sleep outside their home. Although families built shelters with salvaged items, these only offered minimal protection from the rain or the intense heat of the sun. There were also problems associated with a lack of privacy with some households only washing at night when passers-by could not see them. ShelterBox’s provision of shelter items and technical training enabled families to improve structures, making them watertight, better ventilated and more private.
    More information and donations to ShelterBox may be made through the following link :
    Latest From Shelterbox 2016-12-16 13:00:00Z 0

    Triple Care Farm - Rotary House Maintenance Work

    On the 24th November & 13th December Richard Krohn and Derek White, with a little help from Lyndall and Aiden McGrath, cleaned and re-stained the deck at Rotary House, Triple Care Farm, Robertson. The hot weather on the 13th made for perfect drying weather and two coats of stain were applied in record time.  Around 400 people turned up for the Graduation Day at Triple Care Farm on the 15th December.  There were approximately 30 "graduates" (those who had achieved agreed goals during their stay at the Farm) in attendance out of the 52 who had achieved this status over the past year.  These included a very talented young girl who sang a couple of self composed songs for the assembled masses.
    It was a very wet day so they did well to get through the proceedings (including a BBQ lunch) without mishap.  The planned tours of the new rehab centre and the Farm facilities were cancelled on OH&S grounds however.
    Triple Care Farm - Rotary House Maintenance Work 2016-12-14 13:00:00Z 0

    Christmas Party

    Wednesday the 14th December was our last meeting of the year and was celebrated at the Fitzroy Inn, Mittagong.  We had a delicious lunch and the meeting was well attended by members and their families. 
    Christmas Party 2016-12-13 13:00:00Z 0

    Georgia Saeck & AGM

    On the 7th December we were given a presentation by Georgia Saeck, out outbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student.  Georgia, who is a keen skier, is off to Switzerland in early January 2017.  Her first host family are in Salgesch, Leuk-Leukerbad.  They have three children and Georgia will be going to school with the youngest son.  We presented Georgia with her "jacket" and some Berrima Rotary banners which she will add to her collection of gifts for her host families and the Rotary Clubs she visits whilst on exchange.  We wish Georgia a safe trip look forward to regular updates throughout 2017.
    We also heard from Jade Barr who spoke to us about the Highlands Community Christmas Eve Dinner.  Members of Berrima Rotary traditionally help out with transport and the donation of hams.  The Hams can be taken to the BDCU Alliance office in Bowral prior to Christmas Eve.
    Thank you to David Cummings who officiated our AGM. 
    Georgia Saeck & AGM 2016-12-06 13:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Community Oxley Hill Lookout - Some History

    The centenary of Rotary International was celebrated in 2005, and to mark the celebration every Rotary Club was asked to develop a community project.  The Rotary Club of Berrima District identified the creation of a lookout on Oxley Hill as their project, with this lookout providing not only a place of quiet reflection but also a substantial community asset and tourist attraction.
    Rotary Community Oxley Hill Lookout - Some History 2016-12-01 13:00:00Z 0

    District RAWCS Projects Awarda - Pink Umbrella Foundation Grants

    The RAWCS Eastern Region quarterly meeting held in Orange on 12 November 2016.  The Rotary Club of Berrima District received the grant for their “Tara Ed. Teacher Training and Rural Schools Assistance” project in India. This project was designed to increase the quality of education in rural schools in Maharashtra State, India through teacher training and by providing basic teacher and classroom resources, sponsorship of school fees, equipment and uniforms for 50 underprivileged girls.
    District RAWCS Projects Awarda - Pink Umbrella Foundation Grants 2016-11-28 13:00:00Z 0

    Triple Care Farm - Hope after an addiction to ice

    Hope after an addiction to ice

    Hearing young people’s stories from Triple Care Farm brings home the important role we all play in helping youth in crisis.  Rotary has has had a long association with Triple Care Farm through the construction  and maintenance of Rotary House on the property.  This facility is used for short-stay accommodation when friends and family visit the farm.

    Levi, who's story is in this newsletter, has overcome ice addiction, reconnected with his family and is now working full time - all because your support enabled him to go to Triple Care Farm.  Ice ravages young lives. Below you will find a link to a short video which will help you to learn how Triple Care Farm has addressed the ice epidemic. I encourage you to take a few moments to view the clip.


    And find out how your support saved Levi's life. To make a gift today to support of the 31 young people waiting for a place at Triple Care Farm in 2017, simply email me at

    Alex Green
    General Manager of Sir David Martin Foundation


    Triple Care Farm - Hope after an addiction to ice 2016-11-24 13:00:00Z 0

    Rotary Youth Exchange - Rens Traets (Inbound)  - 16th November 2016

    Thank you to Rens Traets, the current inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student in the Southern Highlands, who was our meeting guest on the 16th November.  Rens has just turned 16 is comes from a small harbouside town in the Netherlands.  He is finding the Highlands very beautiful though a little quiet.  He is looking forward to heading to the beach with his current host family over Christmas.  Eric Priebee presented the Rotary banner to Rens after a short speech in Dutch.
    Rens Traets and Eric Priebee
    Also present at our meeting were Linda Knight (President Bowral/Mittagong), Simon Knight and Rob Uhl.  It is always a pleasure to have visiting member from other Rotary clubs.
    Rotary Youth Exchange - Rens Traets (Inbound)  - 16th November 2016 2016-11-15 13:00:00Z 0

    2017 RYLA Candidate - Jade Chapman - 9th November 2016

    What is RYLA?  RYLA is an acronym for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.  It is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people participate in this program. Young people ages 18 to 25 are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee. Participants are chosen for their leadership potential. Rotary Clubs and the Rotary District cover all expenses for the participants. The format of the event vary from district to district, but commonly take the form of a seminar, camp, or workshop to discuss leadership skills and to learn those skills through practice. Rotary clubs and districts select participants and facilitate the event in conjunction with past attendees of RYLA to create a peer guided experience. The District 9710 RYLA experience consists of a 6 day residential programme held in the ACT every January.  On the 9th November we had the pleasure of listening to our club's candidate Jade Chapman express her excitement about the upcoming programme and tell us a little bit about herself. Jade is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Accounting, at the University of Wollongong.  She hopes one day to become a partner in an accounting firm.  We look forward to hearing the impact that RYLA has had on Jade when she return in 2017 to tell us all about her experience.
    Jade Chapman and Melissa Meredith 
    If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending RYLA please guide them to the following Facebook page :
    2017 RYLA Candidate - Jade Chapman - 9th November 2016 2016-11-08 13:00:00Z 0

    Shelterbox Race Day - 2nd November 2016

    Friend and fundraising is what Berrima's annual Shelterbox Race Day is all about.  We don a hat and welcome the Horse Racing season with virtual horse racing.  It's a great day and all proceeds go to Shelter Box.
    For more information, or donations to, ShelterBox please visit the following website
    Shelterbox Race Day - 2nd November 2016 2016-11-01 13:00:00Z 0

    Dream Cricket - Bradman Oval - 28th October 2016

    DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg of the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim was to provide primary school students with special needs an opportunity to play cricket activities on Bradman Oval. The DreamCricket program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally  October the 28th saw Dream Cricket come to Bradman Oval.  The Rotary Clubs of Berrima, Bowral/Mittagong and Moss Vale assisted in the set up and take down, providing the sausage sizzle lunch and helping out with the games.  A fantastic day was had by all volunteers and participants - even the rain couldn't wash the smiles of all the kids faces! 
    Dream Cricket - Bradman Oval - 28th October 2016 2016-10-27 13:00:00Z 0

    Mental Health Month

    Posted by Lyndall McGrath
    Our annual Hat Day Meeting was held on the 12th October (which is during Mental Health Month).  Our guest Speaker was Kim Millard who is employed as a registered nurse for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Liaison at Bowral and District Hospital.  She is based in the children's ward and her target age group is 12 to 17-year-olds.  Kim was employed thanks to nearly 12 months of fundraising from the BDCU Children's Foundation.  The foundation pledged an ongoing financial commitment to keep her position at the hospital.
    Kim spoke to us of the positive impact that her work has in keeping young people in the area for treatment.  Rather than being quickly transported to Campbeltown Hospital, many children and adolescents with mental health issues can now be triaged, assessed and treated at Bowral Hospital.  This assists in targetting treatment and reduces the strain that travel distances can cause families.
    It was great to have fresh feedback from Kim and to hear her experiences and insights into the mental health of our local youth.
    Rotary Hat Day is an initiative of Australian Rotary Health which is one of the largest not-for-profit funders of mental health research in Australia.  100% of the money raised during this year's Hat Day campaign goes directly to research helping the one in five Australians affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many other illnesses.  More information of what Rotary Health does is available by following this link
    Mental Health Month Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0

    Picnic @ Oxley Hill Road Lookout

    Posted by Lyndall McGrath
    We left the confines of the Bowling Club this Wednesday (19th October) to revisit the Oxley Hill Road Lookout that was constructed by the RCBD in 2006.  We were blessed with a stunning day, although it was still a tad cool.  We were treated to an array of home made sandwiches, muffins and brownies from the sensational kitchen of Melissa Meredith- who went above and beyond to match drinks, straws and serviettes to the blue and gold colours of Rotary.  
    John Macpherson, Allen Cupitt and Chris Webb posed for a wonderful then and now photo which shows that very little has changed in the past 10 years except for the weather.
     In the next edition of The Berrima Banter we plan to provide the history of the Lookout construction!!  
    Picnic @ Oxley Hill Road Lookout Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0

    Next Wednesday ... No Scheduled Meeting 

    The Rotary Club of Berrima District will NOT be having it's regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday the 26th October.  We are instead convening at Bradman Oval on Friday the 28th to be part of the Dream Cricket Event.  Why not come along and join in the volunteering! 
    DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg of the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim was to provide primary school students with special needs an opportunity to play cricket activities on Bradman Oval. The DreamCricket program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally.
    Next Wednesday ... No Scheduled Meeting  2016-10-18 13:00:00Z 0
    World Polio Day Event Lyndall McGrath 2016-10-12 13:00:00Z 0

    Optometry students - Nepal

    Posted by Grant Hannaford

    I've spoken to the head of the School of Optometry at UNSW and she has given me the go ahead to start exploring an Optometry student exchange program with Dr Sagunj in Nepal. The students from this year’s trip, seen in and around the eye hospital in the following photos, are planning a visit to our club once semester finishes (in November/December).  I have also started moving the optical equipment to a storage unit in Minto so that I can commence cataloguing and packing for Nepal so we should see everything ready by Christmas.



    Students at the lodge waiting for the transport to take them to the hospital and the room in which we will be installing the lens equipment


    Students consulting at the Banepa Eye Hospital

    The remote eye clinic we did at Chirbasi.



    Optometry students - Nepal Grant Hannaford 2016-10-05 13:00:00Z 0

    Local Business Excursions 

    Posted by Lyndall McGrath
    Over the last two weeks our usual meeting place, The Bowral Bowling Club, has been unavailable due to Tulip Time bookings.  We had originally planned to have a picnic and revist our lookout on Oxley Hill Road but were hampered by wet weather.   

    On Wednesday the 14th September we held our meeting at The Mill, 210-224 Bong Bong Street, Bowral.  We were treated to a delicious lunch and a tour of the premises.  "The Mill Bowral" has been so named, as the site is a restored timber mill, originally built at the turn of the century, with character features such as, exposed beams, original brickwork and industrial finishes.  Apart from the restaurant area there are a number of mixed use spaces intended to attract a range of different traders, from local food and produce, to artisans, homewares, furniture, designers and more.  Provision has been made for a conference and workshop area, hot desks and a meeting room, catering to those that have made the tree change to Bowral, whilst still maintaining a foothold in Sydney. Collaboration and local creative business development will also be a focus of this area.

    The Mill - Bowral

    Wednesday the 21st September was once again too wet for a picnic at lookout so this time we ventured to the historic Fitzroy Inn at Mittagong.  After a stunning lunch from Teena and Stephen from Phatt Duck Teena took us on a tour of the "cellars".  The Fitzroy Inn was opened in 1836 as a ‘Traveller’s Inn’ and remains operational after almost 170 years providing  a unique window into Australia’s colonial past.  The original kitchen in the cellars has been described by some historians as ‘the finest example’ of a convict-era built kitchen remaining in Australia. The ‘water-well’ in the middle of the floor, hand-cut into the shale below the building, is a truly remarkable work of convict masonry and craftsmanship. The convict cell, used to hold prisoners on their way to Berrima Gaol, retains the original iron shackles and hand-turned bars which securely restrained its hapless guests.  The venue provided a lively atmosphere and great plans for an exciting event in the near future were hatched ... stay tuned!
    The Fitzroy Inn
    Local Business Excursions  Lyndall McGrath 2016-09-25 14:00:00Z 0


    Posted by Barry Barford
    The latest photos from RC Bairiki in Kiribati, recipient of one of our containers of medical and schools equipment (including a visit to St Leo School Butaritari for book handover)
    MAfO NEWS Barry Barford 2016-09-25 14:00:00Z 0

    MUNA 2016

    Posted by Lyndall McGrath on Jun 02, 2016

    Southern Highlands Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) 2016

    The 2016 Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) was held at Wingecarribee Shire Council Chambers on Saturday 7th May 2016 and was a hugely successful event with many of the High Schools in our community taking part – some schools with more than one team.  The students got into the event with some national dress to provide some colour and showcased their ability to think globally. Issues were debated from the perspective of different countries and included the equal rights of women, the eradication of poverty and the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
    First prize was awarded to Southern Highlands Christian School who represented Russia.  In second place was Bowral High School who represented South Africa and third place was Oxley College who represented Nigeria.  Southern Highlands Christian School will go on to compete at the national MUNA at Parliament House in Canberra.

    Students represented several UN member countries including Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Russia, Iran, Nigeria and Canada.

    The event was hosted by members of the Rotary Club of Berrima, Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong, Rotary Club of Moss Vale and the Southern Highlands Rotaract.  MUNA aims to give participants an international understanding and the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the workings of the United Nations and its member nations.


    Photographs courtesy of Ian Langford, Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong

    MUNA 2016 Lyndall McGrath 2016-06-01 14:00:00Z 0

    Our Club Supporting Youth Mental health

    In the week of the 10th-14th August 2015 The Butterfly Foundation visited The Southern highlands community presenting to schools , parents, educators and councillors and  presenting at a youth day.
    The Butterfly Foundation visited 3 high schools and 3 primary schools providing the students with workshops and presentations regarding body esteem.
    These presentations were empowering, evidence based, positive and focused on prevention and health.
    The feedback from the students was that they found the workshops enjoyable and informative. Responses from students included ` It taught us a lot about body image and it was in a very understandable way` and `It made me feel better about myself` The feedback from the students indicated they learn`t a lot about photo shopping and how this changes people. The feedback from a high school was that 3 students presented after the session with concerns about friends, allowing the school to follow up on the wellbeing of these students and intervene earlier to help them as necessary. The teachers thought the presenter was excellent and reported that 200 students in the session were totally absorbed in the presentation.
    24 people attended The Dove Body Think Educator training, including both teachers and youth workers. The Dove Body Think Educator training is a self esteem, body image and media literacy programme, training teachers and youth workers about health promotion and prevention.
    The feedback was that attendees found the information was very interesting and relevant to the student/client population and that the programme will be very likely to help assist these young people to improve their body image and self esteem. The attendees enjoyed interacting and sharing information with others in the group and learning new thought provoking ideas and information..
    19 parents attended the Body Confident Children and teens information evening. This presentation was designed to equip parents with the knowledge, information and tips to better support their child `s body confidence.
    The feedback  was that the parents learn`t information about body image, disordered eating and new ideas about raising body confident children and teens.
    The Champions For Change Youth Day was attended by 29 students from 5 different high schools. These students shared views and ideas on how they can promote positive body confidence within their school. The feedback was that the students found the workshop very engaging and felt the activities were extremely relevant to their school and had helped them develop strategies to aid the wellbeing of their school community.
    Comments from students included `I enjoyed socializing with other schools and seeing how different it is there` , ` A great day that raised lots of good questions `and `Such a great opportunity to talk openly about body esteem`
    Overall the feedback from the Butterfly Foundation Community Initiative was that it was highly informative, engaging and interesting. It enabled students , teachers and parents to come together to discuss the important youth issue of body esteem  and leave with information and ideas.
    Our Club Supporting Youth Mental health Christopher Young 2015-10-31 13:00:00Z 0

    Silly Hats for Mental Health

    A "serious" meeting at Berrima Rotary today. We had fun fundraising for Rotary health and wore hats (some sillier than others) in support of Mental Health Month. Rotary actually contributes a significant amount to mental health research so a very appropriate cause for us.
    Silly Hats for Mental Health Sue Sainsbury 2015-10-13 13:00:00Z 0
    Quote of the Week - Who Said It? John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
    Thought for the Week - Who Said It? John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
    Mark Your Calendars! John Macpherson 2011-06-23 00:00:00Z 0
    Integrated eBulletin for Easier Communication John Macpherson 0
    Welcome to our new website! John Macpherson 0