Recent Club Meetings

Guest Speaker  was Bob Aitken, the roving ambassador for Australian Rotary Health

In an enthusiastic talk he outlined the amazing work that ARH has done since its inception some 30 years ago by Ian Scott, who decided that we needed to have more access to medical research funds. He was particularly touched by the high incidence of Cot Death and proceeded to raise funds. Australian Rotary Health was born.

In that thirty years we have raised and spent more than 33 million dollars, all of which has gone into Australian medical research .

The current area of focus is Mental Health, and Bob mentioned two frightening statistics, the first being that one person in five will suffer some mental problem in their lives; the second that suicide outnumbers road fatalities. We need to find out the factors so that we can reduce the incidence of self harm. Another amazing statistic is that 17000 people were badly enough affected by mental torture that they attempted suicide!!

Bob urged us to keep up our support, and suggested that some may like to become private donors. The work is important, very important.



Guest Speaker  Richard Loyd - CEO of Assistance Dogs Australia
Richard gave an entertaining and interesting talk on the role assistance dogs play in many areas.
From helping autistic children,  assisting disabled people, as companions and in the Gaol system.
The dogs are trained and raised in the community and after 12 months are taken for to a national training base for
intensive work training.
Originally for working with autistic children the scope of work for the dogs now covers PTSD sufferers, Early onset Dementia and
at schools.
The dogs provide not only manual assistance for door opening or retrieving dropped items etc, but
are also a calming influence for families and school rooms.
There is no government funding for assistance dogs.
Each dog costs $30,000 and has a working life of ten years, then they retire.
The changeover from an old dog to a new dog has to be carefully managed!

Travis Downey gave an update on the progress of the Defib for Life project in wagga.
He noted there are 30,000 cardiac related deaths per year, with 1 in 500 undiagnosed.
The main objectives of the project were to
1. Raise awareness of the problem and what Defibrillators can do to save lives.
2. To increase the number of defibrillators in the community.
A media kit was created with brochures, website, facebook page and media release to promote the use
of defibrillators in the community.
Letters were sent to all sporting clubs in Wagga and an Email campaign was targeted at all local businesses.
From the promotional activity there where 13 requestes throught the Star FM radio competition and an additional 28 rquestes for
funding support to purchase a defib unit.
In total at the end of the project there are now 14 Defibrillators in the community and the local area.
Whats Next?
The committee is looking at accessing extra funding support for the purchase of additional units to help unsuccessful applicants
acquire a Defib unit., both from Sponsors support such as Beyond Bank and Government grants.
Travis Thanked his committee for completing a successful launch of Defib for Life in Wagga

District Govenor Michael Milston addressed the club and presented the themes of Rotary for this
year, and his goals for the his coming year as leader of the District.
Michael paid his respect to the local Wiradjuri people and then gave us a brief history of his career
and life in Orange. He joined Rotary in 1995 and his partner Anne joined in 2015.
Michael presented the current Rotary International theme "Serving Humanity" and discussed the aim of
helping people in need and assisting them to develop to their full potential.
Michael report how close we to ending polio worldwide, but their is still work to be done.
Michael was keen to highlight the "Wiradjuri" connection of all the clubs in our district, and showed the new
district logo with the Wiradjuri totem goannas in a circle of community.
He noted we are failing to close the gap of disadvantage for aboriginal people and challenged us to do something
- to reach out to our local indigenous community
- to listen to aboriginal people and their stories.
- he showed the Four Way Test translated into Wiradjuri.
Michael stated his aim is to help clubs engage with the community and declared Poverty is man made and
can be fixed.
Michael reminded us the District Conference will be on in March 2017 in Orange.
Assistant District Governor Brian Short thanked Michael for his address.

End Polio
I acknowledge that I am here on Wiradjuri Land and I pay respects to their elders both past and present.
Thank you for your hospitality and welcoming Michael and me at your club!
I am here to ask you to help End Polio!
Rotarians like ourselves, are here because we care. We have common goals that we strive to reach personally as well with our club. Your goals may be similar to other clubs, may be vastly different but we work together to achieve better outcomes locally and further afield.
I was born in 1951 and I was brought into a world that had first world medicine and vaccines. My father as a 5 year old in the 1920s survived the Diphtheria epidemic in NYC because he had a hospital to go to with staff that could keep his airway open.
I remember some kids at school in callipers and I remember hearing those whispers of my mother and the other mums in the neighbourhood speaking about such and such a child in an ‘iron lung’, I remember so vividly! Also I have a cousin here in Australia who always walked with a limp because she contracted polio out in a regional area, not getting vaccinated in time; the vaccine was a relatively new medicine. I remember the taste of the sweet pink-stained sugar cube....yes I can say, like others, I do re-member polio. I am so thankful that it is for my children’s sake and my grandchildren’s sake, it’s just a memory.
In 1979 under the Rotary Foundation Health, Hunger and Humanity program, Rotary immunised more than 6,000,000 Pilipino children. The International President John Germ, (whose own dad contracted Polio and was unable to support his family) plans to finish the work that Rotary, the primary fundraiser, along with the WHO and UNICEF began in 1988. This was when Rotary Foundation made a commitment to the goal of eradicating Polio worldwide.
Rotary’s End Polio campaign is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation so we can get rid of this disease in the last remaining pockets in the world once and for all.
Some more current info on the infection in the world so far-
Four countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria up till just a few years ago all were infected and now:
India is now Polio free since 2014-No recorded cases
Nigeria had 6 cases in 2014 and now polio free since the start of 2016
May 2016
Afghanistan went from 28 (2014) and now has only 5 recorded cases
Pakistan went from 306 (2014) to 11 this year
To date this year there have only been 16 recorded cases in the world.
A country or region is not declared polio free until 3 years have passed without any recorded cases. Once that occurs then vaccinations must continue for every new child born, as it is here in our own Australia until it is totally gone, much like the small pox vax that we had been given but now it is eradicated, no one has those little circular marks on  upper arm or thigh.
I am not here to tell you what to do with your hard earned money and where it should go, I am here to ask you to contribute to the success of the End Polio campaign. I am asking you to contribute $26.50, why this amount? Well it is the amount; (in US dollars) that was the first donation to the Rotary Foundation 100 years ago!
If you could all take a moment to think about what $26.50 can do for you...a lunch out, or a few groceries, for you blokes maybe a hair cut... what $26.50 can do for the End Polio is this....
Every $ that we donate, is matched by $2.00 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Your $26.50 donation with the Gates Foundation $53 will provide $79.50
We have estimated that one dose of the vaccine is about $2...then there are all the other supporting items- vests, carrier bags for vaccines, vaccines and the purple markers to mark each child’s finger to show that they have been vaccinated.
So now I put to your club: if you can donate $2,650 which is 26.50 x 100 years of Foundation, just think how much that could do with the matching $2 for every $ from the Gates Foundation
Thank you for considering putting an end to this preventable disease.... and making it just a memory for all.

Michael Knight introduced Jan Roberts and Lauren Darly Bentley from Women's Health Centre. Lauren spoke about the money that the Women's Health Centre received from Wollundry and the partnership with Wollundry and Kapooka Army Base to target Domestic Violence in the Wagga Community. The project was kick started in July 2015.  With the funds that were provided, a position of Project Manager was created which Lauren currently occupies.
After contacting agencies that deal with Domestic Violence, the conclusion was that Wagga sits somewhere between denial and resistance and vague idea of what is going on. The study has surveyed 700 community members of their knowledge of Domestic Violence. They hope to have 3,000 completed surveys by the end of the year. Once the survey's results are analyzed then strategic action will be taken.  Lauren thanked  the Committee representative John Ferguson for his contribution.
Jan Roberts came to the podium and thanked Wollundry for the proceeds of the 2015 Food and Wine Festival.  She then noted that there had been no progress in the last 40 years in diminishing domestic violence.  She said that traditionally dealing with Domestic Violence has been seen as “women's business”.  She is asking Wollundry to partner with the Women's Health Centre.  She noted that in one weekend the police had 30 callouts for Domestic Violence. Men are the best people to talk to other men about Domestic Violence. Jan is not asking for more money. She is asking for long term help from Wollundry and Kapooka. 
She mentioned White Ribbon Program of men against Domestic Violence and Rosie Batty coming to Wagga early next year for possibly two days to launch the Strategic plan. She would like Wollundry to be involved. She noted Colonel Steve Jobson's strong support for their work with Domestic Violence. She noted the White Ribbon Ball which will be held November 25th sponsored by Kapooka, RAAF, police and fire brigade. Possibly in the future, White Ribbon could give a workshop to help educate community men in dealing with a situation they see in public. Jan noted a thinking in the Community (held by both men and some women) that when a certain line is crossed, violence is acceptable. Domestic violence does not limit itself to physical violence … it can be financial, isolation from support groups. Women often stay in Domestic situations to protect their children. The emphasis has switched in the last couple of years … women still are taught to get to a safe place, but that is only half of the problem. The perpetrator needs help, too. John Ferguson will continue to report back to Wollundry.

Geoff Hamilton introduced our guest speaker of the day, his cousin Andrew Hamilton. He noted that they grew up together on neighbouring farms and while Geoff could build a few things … Andrew went on to build himself an airplane. Geoff said that Andrew was here to speak to the club about an outback air race that he and Fiona participated in as a fundraiser for the Flying Doctor's Service.
Andrew started his talk noting that the club was pretty hard up for speakers, but he would be glad to help out his cousin. Andrew told members that listening to Exchange students brought back memories of his time as a Rotary GSE team member with Simon Terry and Michael McCormack in 1992.
He gave members a history of how he built a kit plane. He noted at the time, sales of kits planes were out numbering manufactured planes by a factor of 15 to 1. It took Andrew five years to complete the construction of the plane.
After building the plane, he found he was not using it as much as he hoped and came across a Outback Air Race to raise money for the Flying Doctor's Service. The minimum amount required for participants to raise was $2000 per person so he and his wife had to raise $4000.  On the first trip he and his wife raised $20,000 and there were 18 planes entered. The total amount raised  was three hundred thousand dollars. The race is held every three years due to the amount of planning involved. 
In his second trip, Andrew was exploring places he could visit between the starting point in Esperance  and the finish at Hamilton Island.  He found Davenport Downs Station … the largest cattle property in Queensland and it was owned by Paraway.  He was familiar with Paraway since he had been using their breed stock on his own farm.
He contacted the local Paraway manager in the Riverina and asked if he could stop in at Davenport Downs during the race for a visit.  The manager agreed to arranged the visit.  It turned out that all of the entrants of the race visited the site and Paraway and their owners, Maquirie Bank came to become sponsors of the the tune of $50,000,  which grew to a total of  $165,000 in donations from affiliated companies. In total, the last race brought in over six hundred thousand dollars ($600,000) for the Flying Doctor's Service. 
Pat Ingram gave a vote of Thanks.

Welcome to Wollundry Rotary

President: Geoff Breust
We meet Tuesdays at 12:30 at the Commercial Club at 77 Gurwood St. Wagga Wagga. 

Postal Address:  PO Box 229 Wagga Wagga 2650

Wollundry Rotary is home to the Sprout & About (Farmers Markets), the Wagga Food and Wine Festival and the Gears and Beers Festival.


Club Directory 


Oct 11, 2016
Oct 18, 2016
Oct 25, 2016
Nov 01, 2016
Nov 08, 2016
Nov 22, 2016
Nov 29, 2016
Dec 04, 2016
Club Christmas Party
Hosted by Paul and Carolyn Murray
Dec 06, 2016
Dec 13, 2016
Dec 20, 2016
Dec 27, 2016
Jan 03, 2017
Jan 10, 2017
Jan 17, 2017
Jan 24, 2017
Jan 31, 2017
September 2016

2015-16 Donations

 Everywhere Welfare service 

 $     210

 Exchange student 

 $  6,700

 Spring Street Festival 

 $     300

 Nat Science Forum 

 $  2,950

 Rotary Men’s Health 

 $     520

 Anglican Parish of wagga 

 $ 3,000

 Immune deficiences Foundation 

 $      550

 Regional Oxygen Bank 

 $   1,600

 St Vincents de Paul 

 $   3,000

 Wagga Picnic races- Country Hope 

 $   2,700

 Kurrajong Early Intervention 

 $   2,500

 Coolamon Rotary 

 $   2,000

 Sth Wagga Rotary 

 $   1,100

 Sth wagga Apex 

 $   1,000

 Ashmont Public School 

 $      360

 Riverina Summer school of strings 

 $     500


 $   2,310

 Sunrise Rotary 

 $   1,125

 Wagga Wagga City Council 

 $   1,275

 Childrens Medical Research 

 $   1,350

 Sydney Rotary Club 

 $   2,500

 Kooringal Rotary Club 

 $   1,000

 Ashmont pre school 

 $   1,739

 Murrumbidgee Rotary 

 $      500

 Ashmont Combined Church’s 

 $   1,500


 $   3,510

 Asmont Public School 

 $      360

 Seniors week 

 $   1,000

 Wagga Eisteddford 

 $  1,000

 Ashmont School 

 $     250

 Kurrajong Waratah 

 $      240

 Rotary Club Of Sth Wagga 

 $      600

 District 9700 

 $      100

 Noel Barnes Scolarship 

 $   1,000

 RAWCS- Fiji Disaster Appeal 

 $ 10,000

 Wagga Rescue Club 

 $ 40,000

 Pistis Academy- Kenya 

 $      750

 CSU Scholarships 

 $   7,000

 Rotaract training 

 $      500

Defib for Life Project  1 

 $   2,494

 Help Cambodia  

 $   6,000

 Bimbi Pre School 

 $      500

 Jane Leywood  

 $      550

 C4 Wagga 

 $      200

 ARH Indigenous Health Scholarship 

 $   2,500


 $   3,000

 Ronald McDonald House 

 $   3,000

 Fort McMurray 

 $   2,000

 Country Hope 

 $   3,000

 Wagga Men’s shed 

 $   2,470

 Defib for Life Project  2 

 $   3,751



Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Club Service
Public Relations
Rotary Foundation
Youth Services
Immed PP
Executive Secretary

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Wollundry Leads the Way at the District Conference