1998 District Conference

Twentieth Annual Changeover of Executive Officers

 The 1998 Changeover of Executive Officers, on Tuesday the 16th of June was a most enjoyable evening. Wollundry Rotary Club had a near full house at the Wagga
Wagga Commercial Club with members and their partners and a number of guests, former members and exchange students. Special guests included District Governor Bill and Babs Donaldson and Paul Harris Fellow and Wagga Councillor Kay Hull.
President David Benn gave a sincere and well prepared presentation of the accomplishments of the year and handed over the Presidency to Alan Larcombe. Alan accepted the challenges of the new year and introduced his officers for 1998/99.
John Flockton and Geoff McGilvray gave a fine performance, trying desperately to break the record for fines. As per normal, they picked on every member for a gold coin donation, but they still failed to break the $140 barrier, only $109 collected. The Sergeants then selected the "Footy Team". A group of Club members who had gone beyond the normal "call of duty". Well done!
The evening included
Without a doubt, to serve as your President has been an honour and I thank you all for giving me this opportunity. The support given to me throughout the year has made my term so very enjoyable.
It has been such a rewarding year and full of highlights. My trip to the World Rotary Conference in Glasgow; meeting and sitting with Glen Kinross our world president at the opening ceremony; representing Australian Rotary on the cricket tour of England in June and July; and playing in the first ever Rotary Cricket Test match got things off to a pretty good start.
November saw the club reach a proud milestone by raising $1,000,000, all of which has gone to the good of our community, predominantly locally but also further afield.
To be the Club’s 20th president, and the 20 year birthday celebrations has been another highlight.
The work of the Sunday Market and Relocation Committee and the announcement that the markets will move from the Showground to the Grace Bros. car park is another milestone for our club. I believe the decision of the Board and Club to relocate will prove to consolidate and strengthen our Club over the next few years, after the downturn and uncertainty experienced recently. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the showground authorities for allowing us to use their facilities over the last three years. During this time we have raised in excess of $200,000 and some of that money has gone into improvements of that site, and for the benefit of the whole community. We have made every effort to leave the area better than we found it.
I introduced the "Youth Off the Streets" Committee this year to our club, it has made steady progress and is just about ready to make quite an impact in our city as long as we are prepared to take the bit between our teeth and support it with some dollars. There are some risks involved but I believe they are worth taking and it is now up to the next and future boards, and the whole club, to really make it work and really do something for homeless kids instead of just talking about it. There are kids out there that need us. I know we can help. Do we want to?
This year has had its very sad periods, in particular the death of Marion Cook, Phil and Nada Hordern and Georgie Knight. In addition to this we have the continuing ill health of a number of members or their family. These have and continue to be sobering reminders of our own mortality but has also helped to bring us closer together. To those who have lost loved ones and to those who continue to suffer ill health, may you be strengthened in the knowledge that our love and thoughts are with you at all times, even if sometimes we find it difficult to express our feelings into words.
I would like to acknowledge and congratulate the recipients of Paul Harris Fellowships in the last 12 months, namely Colin Butt, Rick Priest, Michael Knight, Kay Hull and Val Miller. It was particularly rewarding for the club to be able to present PHF’s to two members of the community outside Rotary. The fact that they happened to be women was, for me a great privilege to be part of. The awarding of these PHF’s is testament to the super effort all five recipients have given to their community.
How can I thank enough, my board this year. I have now served on six of the last seven boards and I can honestly say I could not have asked one more thing of them. They have done everything expected of them and more without any hesitation. I have not spoken to one past president who has not said "I would like to have done more but I ran out of time". I am no different but to be realistic we are a voluntary organisation giving our time freely and when I look back on our board minutes and notes, I am reminded of what a busy year it has been and how much has been done. WELL DONE.
Behind every good President and Board t goes without saying that there must be a good Secretary and without wishing to single anyone out, I think I would have the support of every member of the board in congratulating Paul Milde for an outstanding job. Paul told me at the beginning of the year that his main aim was to make the President look good. Well, I feel as though I’ve had a good year, I’ve certainly enjoyed every minute of it and it’s been due to the fact that Paul and every member of the board and their committees have done their job.
Special thanks also to Margot and Paul for the tray of savouries delivered to each Board Meeting. They were very much appreciated by us all.
Alan, Peter, Paul, Andrew, Greg, James, Paul and George, thank you so much and also to all members and wives for your support. What would we do without our better halves?
Board Attendance No. of Meetings to 18.5.98 No. attended
David Benn
Alan Larcombe
Peter Davies
Paul Milde
Andrew Irvine
Greg Conkey
James Hamilton
Paul Murray
George Thomas
I would like to wish Alan Larcombe and his team all the very best for the ensuing year. I know I am leaving the club in very capable hands.
This is a year I will never forget THANK YOU.
It gives me great pleasure to present the 1997/98 Club Service Report.
Bulletin: We were once again lucky to have the services of Craig Couzens as Bulletin Editor, assisted by Tim Gleeson. Our Bulletin judged the best produced in District 9700. It carries a comprehensive range of club activities as well as reports on previous meetings. Craig has also managed to find the time (and the room) to include snippets of information from other Clubs in our District. The position of Bulletin Editor is one of the most demanding tasks of any club member and my congratulations and thanks are extended to Craig and Tim.
Programme: Members attended Club meetings to be both entertained and informed. This year featured a number of guest speakers ranging from an ambassador to our Club President giving us a run down on his cricket trip to England. Once again several club members were called upon to give a This Is My Life segment which were well received. This year’s programmes were in the capable hands of John Ireland and Graham Hornibrook.
Rotary Information: Peter Kennard was well prepared at each meeting. Not only did he give us a run down of Rotary affairs but also managed to keep us informed on the whereabouts of past exchange students.
Publicity: It has been a big year for Wollundry Rotary. We not only celebrated our $1m Market, but also our 20th birthday. The public of Wagga Wagga and district were kept well informed of these and other activities by Neil Stubbs, Michael Georgiou and Colin Mercer.
Sergeant-at-Arms: One of the highlights of all club meetings is the Sergeant’s section. This year the position was capably handled by John Flockton and Geoff McGilvray. One record established was the collection of only 10 cents at one meeting. The Sergeants certainly made amends at other meetings returning a healthy "profit".
Social and Sporting: Once again the highlight of the year was the Christmas Party held at the home of Mark and Juliann Hillis. It was the second year Mark and Juliann haveopened their home for such an event. During the year Club members played competitive tennis as well as contributing the majority of cricket players for the annual Rotary/Riverine Club match. Several members also enjoyed a father and child weekend in the mountains.
Wollundry Rotary was also well represented at the Griffith District Conference and my thanks are extended to Rick Priest, John Gray and Peter Crozier for not only organising our delegation to that conference but also organising tonight’s change-over. To all members of the Club Service portfolio my thanks for making my task an easy one indeed. I would also like to congratulate President David on a successful term of office and wish incoming President, Alan, every success for the next 12 months.
I would like to thank all the Committee members within the Community Services Portfolio for their time and energy expended over the past 12 months and support they have provided to me as Director. I especially thank the Sunday Market Committee for their efforts because of the uncertainty in relation to location of Sunday Markets.
Sunday Market / Alternate Site
The big event of the 12 months was the one Million Dollar Market celebrations held on the 9 November 1997 at the Wagga Wagga Show Grounds. It was a proud moment for the Club that one million dollars was raised from Sunday Market activities over the past 18.5 years and those funds distributed to many local and regional charitable organisations. A sign detailing the organisations which had received substantial contributions was unveiled by the Mayor at the celebrations. The Mayor John Harding addressed the gathering at the Markets and launched the Community Health Van at the same time. The collections from Sunday Markets operations has declined further due to a number of factors. The main factors which are considered to have an adverse impact on collections from the Sunday Markets operations over the past three to four years have been tighter generally due to economic conditions, commencement of the Marketplace in October 1996, introduction of the Secondhand Dealers and Pawn Brokers Act of 1996/97, the commencement of operations of Clint’s and the $2 Shop, relocation of various regional offices to other locations and venue of markets. The markets moved to the Wagga Wagga Show Ground in October 1995 because it was the best option at the time. The Show Ground area provides a number of advantages such as Undercover areas, large sites for Stallholders, spacious parking areas for Stallholders and patrons of the market and a pleasant area in which to hold market operations. The disadvantages of the Showground site are that it is not located in the CBD area and slightly higher maintenance costs than incurred at the old Woolworth’s site. The Alternate Site Committee had conducted some research into other possible locations for Sunday Market operations. The only site available in the CBD area was the Grace Bros Carpark. Sturt Mall site was not available until Christmas time 1999 and the netball courts located near the marketplace probably not available until late 1999. Grace Bros Management was very receptive to the idea of relocating the market operations to their Carpark and they offered to provide most of the infrastructure at no cost to Sunday Market operations. In February, the Club made the decision to relocate the Market Operations to Grace Bros Carpark subject to approval by the Wagga Wagga City Council. The approval was given on the 7 May 1998 and the Club has set Sunday 28 June 1998 as the date of the first market that will take place at the new site. It is anticipated that the greater number of patrons will be attracted to the market site because of its location in the CBD. It is anticipated that Sunday Market will generate income of $70,000 for the 12 months ending 30 June 1998.
Penny the Pig
Penny has been touring District 9700 with the purpose of collecting one and two cen coins to raise funds for the Rotary wing of the Children’s Ward of Westmead Hospital. Penny has been received in a positive light in most towns. On Easter Saturday, Penny was part of the Rice Bowl Festival Procession in Leeton. Other Rotary Clubs have been maintaining Penny in good operational condition. It is estimated that Penny has raised in excess of $30,000 at this juncture.
Senior Citizens and Welfare
The main activity for Senior Citizens was Senior Citizens Week held the week commencing 15 March 1998. This activity is becoming increasingly important as the average age of Australians is increasing because of greater life expectancy and lower population growth. The Club financially supported a number of activities for the week. Welfare activities included visiting people and forwarding of flowers and cards to members and their families in the time of crisis.
Community Health Awareness
The main activity for the year was the completion and the launching of the Community Health Van which is managed by the Wagga Wagga City Council. The Mayor John Harding officially launched the Van on the 9 November 1997 at our One Million Dollar Market celebrations. The Van will be mainly used for immunisation of children within the local region. The Club donated a substantial amount towards the construction of the Van.
Literacy, Numeracy and Environment
One of the main initiatives of our District Governor Bill Donaldson was to improve the Literacy and Numeracy levels of Adolescents and Adults. The Club invited Adult Literacy Officers Dianne Williams from Riverina Adult Education College and Bernadette Kennedy from Wagga Wagga TAFE as guest speakers to enlighten Club members on the extent of the problem in the local area. The Club has contributed some funds to Riverina Adult Education College for the purpose of tutoring a number of Adults in the required areas for a semester. At this juncture no environmental projects were presented to the Club for support.
The number of submissions received requesting financial support has been about half the number received compared with two or three years ago. There is a comprehensive list of all projects and activities supported from Services Account in the last section of this booklet. Some of the major projects supported over the past 12 months are Ventilator ($4000) for WWBH, tent repairs ($1000) for Sixth Wagga Wagga Scout Group, Baby Grace Appeal ($1650), Refrigerator Unit ($2020) for Abbeyfield House, and Trainer and Assistant fees ($2700) for Lifeline.
Director of Community Services
It is with pleasure that I submit the Vocational Service Report for 1997-98. This year was the first year of the new Directorship for Youth and as such the committees and responsibilities of the Vocational Service Director were somewhat reorganized. The support and success of all the projects and committees was commendable and I would like to thank all the committee chairman and members for all the excellent work that has been accomplished.
Career Training and Employment
The Career Training and Employment committee under Noel Bottrell was involved in a number of worthwhile projects throughout the year. One of the key projects was the Rotary Clubs of Wagga Careers Day at Wagga Technology High School in September. The day is centred on careers interviews. Students with a selected career path are interviewed by Rotarians in that specific vocation. The day is a valuable learning experience for the students and a rewarding vocational experience for the interviewer.
Wollundry Rotary also participates in the Annual Rotary Peace City Awards. Kooringal Rotary originally organised this project and this year it was expanded to being a city wide Rotary project. The Wollundry Rotary Community, Youth and Vocational Service Directors submitted candidates for peace city awards. The awards ceremony was held on Sunday February 22 and was a very successful event.
Paul Harris Fellow Awards
Paul Harris Fellow awards were presented to Val Millar and Kay Hull.
Val Millar is head of the Wagga Wagga Base Volunteers. Val has dedicated her life to the health services in Wagga and the Riverina. The Hospital volunteers work in the library, do the lolly trolley 7 days a week, work in Accident and Emergency room during the busy hours of the evening shift, visit patients on the ward, do personal laundry, run the BINGO on the Rehab ward, play the role of grannies to lonely kids on Paediatric Wards, run raffles, and most anything else that the hospital requests.
Kay Hull is a distinguished and well known Wagga Wagga city councillor and has been active in the Tourism promotion of the city throughout the district and state. Kay was presented her Paul Harris Fellow Award at the Sunday Markets anniversary day when the one millionth dollar was collected for charity.
Youth off the Streets
Tony Elphick and the Youth off the Streets committee were very active this year in bringing to the clubs attention this serious problem. Extensive research was done by Tony on the depth of the problem of homeless youth here in Wagga Wagga. Also a number of excellent speakers addressed the club on the problem. The speakers included Mrs Barbera Bakey from Remand Centre, Paul Moulds from Salvation Army in Sydney and Father Chris Riley who has extensive experience in working with youth in Sydney. Oz Lattourf has assumed leadership of the committee and is continuing the excellent work of Tony.
Pride of Workmanship
Noel Bottrell, Gordon Braid, Peter Kennard, John Waring and a number of other members have had initial meetings on the establishment of a pride of Workmanship program. We are hopeful and confident that in the 1998-99 year we will have a completed program.
I am very pleased to submit the International Service Report for 1997-98. This year was the first year of the new Directorship for Youth and as such the committees and responsibilities of the International Service Director was somewhat recognized. The support and success of all the projects and committees was commendable and I would like to thank all the committee chairman and members for all the excellent work that has been accomplished.
International Projects
The international projects committee under Ken Cook was involved in a number of worthwhile projects throughout the year. The Rotahome Project in Fiji was one of the key joint project of the District Governor Bill Donaldson with the objective being to provide shelter for needy families. The Project was originally directed to the homeless of Fiji, however due to legal title complications the project was relocated to India where matching grants from Rotary International were to assist in the construction of similar shelters.
Group Study Exchange
We were pleased to be hosts to a visiting GSE team from England in April. The various Wagga Clubs escorted and entertained the team showing them the sites of the city and district.
Rotary Foundation Scholarships
The visit of an Ambassadorial scholar Leticia Ortiz Rocha was one of the main Foundation projects this year. Leticia was a 3 month scholar from Aguacalientes in central Mexico. Neil and Jenny McMullen hosted her. She was a delightful student and attended CSU to improve her English skills. Norm Mowser was her councellor.
John Waring and the FAIM committee were instrumental in a number of meetings regarding the Rotahome projects in Fiji. The original plan was to purchase a Rotahome and then send a team to Fiji to construct the dwelling. It was subsequently discovered that there were sufficient teams onsite to construct the homes and that the key was for funds to purchase the materials.
Internet Home Page
Wollundry Rotary is one of the first clubs in the district to have Internet Home Page. The address is: http://www.wagga.net.au/~wollundryrotary/. The home page has attracted a significant number of inernational responses in the form of e-mail. The page include major projects like Penny the Pig and the Sunday Markets, the Clubs officers for the current year and 98/99, Koy and Karri Ann have their own home pages, past Presidents and photos, current events and news, links to Australian and International Rotary sites and much more. Our District Governor, Bill Donaldson has led the way with an exceptional District 9700 home page and District Governor Nominee Peter Walsh is also a strong supporter of the Internet.
This year President David led a decision to form a separate Youth Service portfolio which has provided a great focus on youth matters. A wide range of programs have been undertaken during the year with some great outcomes.
The club has continued with the support of three scholarships of $2000 each year for three years for students at Charles Sturt University. This year our latest scholarship has been awarded to Chantelle Dixon with Sandra Oliver (1997), Kym Baker (1996) continuing and Brett Haddon (1995) completing his third year. The scholarship fosters a strong on going relationship between the club, our University, and special young people.
Through the Noel Barnes Scholarships the club is involved with each of the Wagga Wagga Senior High Schools. The scholarship of $500 is awarded to a year 11 and a year 12 student at each of these schools thereby supporting youth education with $5000 each year.
We sponsored four students from Wagga Wagga High School, including our long term exchange students to attend the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) at Grenfell in August. The event again provided a great extension opportunity with the young people attending the Assembly, establishing new friendships, increasing understanding of international issues from different national viewpoints while developing their ability to debate various positions. Wagga Wagga will be the next venue for MUNA and three members of Wollundry have been included on the District Committee. To better fit the activities of MUNA into the academic year the date of the next MUNA event has been set for June.
The Rotary Youth Enrichment (RYPEN) program was conducted to San Isidore in November 1997 and Wollundry had five nominees attended. The weekend program aimed at developing confidence and co-operation skills and the program included team building at Kapooka army training area. The final meal was a BBQ prepared by Wollundry members, and during this it was clear that the participants had achieved the goals the program aims for.
The big brother of RYPEN, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) were held at Kinross Wolaroi in Orange in April 1998. Four awardees attended, and the program, as usual, drew on an excellent range of speakers who exposed the participants to inspirational ideas on how they may contribute to their community and society in general.
The Rio Tinto National Youth Science Forum attracted a large number of excellent applicants. While Wollundry was not successful in placing our applicants on the program, we did support the attendance of local students at the London and Moscow International Science events. The Siemens Science Experience, for year 10 science students was attended by two nominees at the CSU Riverina session and the extension opportunity was seen as most worthwhile.
The International Youth Exchange program has remained a major part of the clubs activities. The year ended with a review of the direction of the program with excellent support offered in support activities but care necessary to ensure adequate hosting resources and scope for better communication among and between club members, families and other agencies. The decision to proceed with two short term exchanges in 1999 allows opportunity to focus on the areas needing development and put better systems in place.
The activities over the past year in long term International Youth Exchange are outstanding. During the Year Kari-Anne Horton (Oregon USA) and Koy Rodthong (Thailand) arrivedto spend the year with us, Lisa Duboski (Brazil) and Naomi Thomas (Finland) returned home, Brenda Nash went out to Sweden As did Natasha Anderson to Prince Edward Island Canada.
On the short term exchange Philip Pool came in from Illinois USA in August 1997 and Molly McClintock arrives from Monmouth Illinois on 28th June 1998. Our outbound short term Kirsty Lovell returned in January this year from Halifax USA.
We have two students, Laura Smith and Jennifer Brooker in New Zealand on the final stage of New Zealand twin exchange. This will be the last NZ Twin program for some time.
The efforts of the six committees within Youth Service and the commitment of the Student Councellors has been of great assistance in completing this very full Rotary program.
Willans Hill School, Projector
Willans Hill Project
Life Education Centre
Smith Family
Wagga Family Support Service
P.D.G. Terry Blair, Buy Brick
First Aid Kits
Training Course
Alzheimers Wagga
Wagga Scouts
Thredbo Appeal
Abbeyfield House
Wagga Base Hospital
Gumleigh Chauncy House
High Dependancy Unit
Life Line
Kooringal Childcare
Wagga Scout Group
Smith Family
Salvation Army
St. Vincents
St. Johns
Red Cross
Seniors Week
Volunteers Donation
Turvey Park Softball
Forrest Centre
Matthew Frances
Kooringal Peace Day
Grace Willis Appeal
Noel Barnes
2WG Donation
Literacy & Environment
Rot. Aust. World Commun. Service
Career Training
Penny the Pig MTCE
Youth Exchange
Siemens Summer Science School
Wollundry Scholarship
Crime Stoppers (2WG)
Crime Stoppers Signage