Immediate Past President Phil Burgess called Geoff Breust to the podium to introduced the guest speaker, Isabel Baker.
Isabel started her speech with a bit of her background: nurse, midwife and in the ‘80’s started working with dementia patients. She said that there are one hundred different diseases that affect the mental wellbeing of patients. She used the term “therapeutic fibbing” to help stabilize the behavior of an agitated patient.
She talked about various examples:  why a female may get agitated at 3 pm ... she is used to picking up school kids, making dinner, etc. A gentleman wanted to get up at 4 am and he was a dairy farmer and it was time to milk the cows.  So, the staff found the name of a person who helped with the milking and through “therapeutic fibbing” would tell the gentleman that so and so was taking care of it. Isabel gave the example of a gentleman who fought having his shirt removed and found out that he was a former rodeo rider and had many injuries to his shoulders and clavicle.
She recommended that everyone in the audience write down their likes and dislikes in their care plan to help in their care in the later stages of their life.  Isabel has written a book  titled The A to Z of Dementia Care and it will be for sale in book stores at the end of the year.
After comments and questions from the audience, PP Phil presented Isabel with a bottle of Olive oil.
Our guest speaker on Tuesday the 23 of April, 2024 was Lisa Simpson from Ronald  McDonald House.  She gave the members a PowerPoint presentation of the details, services, costs and objectives of the organization.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Support extends well beyond the original home near the hospital.  The programs include Ronald McDonald Houses, Hospital Family Rooms (Wagga Base has one), relaxing Ronald McDonald Family Retreats and one-on-one tutoring through the Ronald McDonald Learning Program.
Ronald McDonald Houses are a warm and supportive home where families can stay together keeping families close to their child with a serious illness since 1981.  Ronald McDonald Houses are located within footsteps of major women’s and children’s hospitals across Australia. Our Houses provide a homely and inviting place to stay for parents, guardians, carers and their siblings while their child is undergoing treatment in a nearby hospital.

Part of what makes our Houses unique is that families are able to benefit from the compassionate support of our volunteers and staff, and the companionship of other families who are navigating a similar journey.

Ronald McDonald Family Rooms are located inside major hospitals (Wagga Base Hospital has one)  and are exclusively for the families of children undergoing treatment in a nearby ward. Run by friendly volunteers, the Family Rooms are welcoming spaces where families can take time out from the clinical environment of the wards, have a tea or coffee, freshen up with a shower or find a quiet space for a much-needed nap. The Family Rooms also have dedicated play areas so the siblings of seriously ill children can have a bit of fun.

Ronald McDonald Family Retreats.  With six Retreats in picturesque seaside locations across Australia, Ronald McDonald Family Retreats provide a peaceful getaway from the everyday, where families can simply be together in a tranquil setting. Families can enjoy up to a week of free accommodation, offering a welcome escape for those who might otherwise be unable to afford any time out due the pressures of caring for a seriously ill child.
Ronald McDonald Learning Program is a  tailored program to help seriously ill children catch-up on missed education.
After a brief question and answer period, President Darren thanked Lisa for her well prepared and presented talk and presenter her with a small gift from the club.
Wagga Wagga City Council has set sail on a new initiative with Wollundry Rotary, agreeing at this week’s Ordinary Council meeting to accept a generous $25,000 donation from the branch to fund the addition of a shade sail, signage, and new seating at the Victory Memorial Gardens playground.  (Reprinted from Council News)

The donation, a result of fundraising efforts by Wollundry Rotary through the Gears and Beers Festival, will significantly value-add to the Garden precinct, enhancing facilities on site just in time for this year's festival, while also providing long-term benefits for families and guests visiting this beautiful part of the city centre.

Manager City Growth & Regional Assets Ben Creighton noted he was pleased with the donation.
"Once completed, families visiting the Gardens can expect a more enjoyable play experience, with increased shade for playground users and carers,” Mr Creighton said.

A key feature of the proposed signage will be its acknowledgment of not only the donation and the Gears and Beers festival, but also the fruitful, engaging long-term partnership between the Council and Wollundry Rotary in bringing projects such as this, to life.
In turn, Council will contribute project management and ongoing maintenance services for the upgraded playground area, to ensure the infrastructure meets safety standards and is of high quality.

Director Regional Activation John Sidgwick echoed Mr Creighton’s sentiments, going on to state that “this initiative underscores the positive impact that collaboration between community organisations and local government can have on enhancing public spaces for the benefit of all.”

Past President of Wollundry Rotary Club and Chair of the Gears and Beers Festival Phillip McIntosh, noted that the Club was excited to once again partner with Council in giving back to the community via a project that will serve such an important purpose. “Core to our Rotary values has always been investing in projects that both serve the public good and promote the many wonderful things Wagga Wagga and the Riverina have to offer locals and visitors to the area,” Mr McIntosh said. “To that end, Wollundry Rotary has enjoyed a wonderful collaborative partnership with Council over the years, particularly over the last decade in bringing the Gears and Beers festival to life, and we look forward to more of the same in years to come.”
Indeed, although the Victory Memorial Playground was not initially earmarked for shade sail installation, its proximity to the festival grounds and popularity with residents and guests to the city alike, made it a prime location for such an upgrade.

Wollundry Rotary’s selection of this location also aligns with Council's long-term strategic goal to increase shade in playgrounds across the city.

The installation is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2024.
A feature of tonight's meeting was the presentation of a cheque to the Downside Rural Fire Service for their assistance at our annual cycle event, Gears and Beers.
Past President Paul Murray spoke about his long association with David Miekeljohn Captain of the Downside Rural Fire Service branch. They first met during the 1994 bushfires in the Blue Mountains where Paul drove a fire tanker and David was a crew member.
PP Phil McIntosh Chair of Gears and Beers speaks of the terrific assistance the RFS provides to Gears and Beers before presenting a cheque for $1000 to Downside RFS Captain Davd Miekeljohn.
David told us that the Downside RFS started in 1949. Max Miekeljohn and Jack Chamberlain were the initiators. David was a Rotary Group Study Exchange participant in 1993 and traveled to Maine and New Hampshire. He appreciates the work Rotary does and was happy to help with Gears and Beers. Firies love spraying water around don't they?
Today's speaker Tony Molyneux was introduced by Michael Knight who told us that Tony's and Michael's spouses were members of the Embroiderers Guild. Thus Michael became aware of Tony's involvement in Antarctic expeditions and invited him to come to our club as a guest speaker.
An employee of Antarctic Division Journeys, Tony took us through a series of spectacular slides helping us to get a good understanding of the terrain and freezing conditions on this great continent. Since 1983 Tony has been variously coordinating expeditions to Casey Station, resupplying stations including Davis and Mawson, working with logistics to establish the Blue Ice Runway.
Australia has two Icebreaker Ships, Polar Bird and Aurora Australis which was built in Newcastle NSW. These Icebreakers provide a very rough ride until they get to the ice when they literally ride onto the ice crushing it and therefore making for a much smoother transit. They don't have a keel, hence the extreme motion in the southern ocean.
One interesting point about Icebergs Tony told us is that they melt faster underwater than they do on top. Because most of the Iceberg is underwater they eventually become top heavy and flip over so you don't want to be too close when that occurs.
The trip from Hobart to Casey Station via Macquarie Island traverses the Roaring Fortys, "Filthy Fifties" and the "Screaming Sixties". It takes 6 days to reach Casey and 14 days to reach Mawson. Herd Island, like Antarctica itself, is claimed by Australia as its territory. A claim recognised by only four other nations. Herd Island is Australia's only active volcano. It is 55 metres higher than Mt Koziusko and last erupted in 2018.
Macquarie Island is an uplift of the ocean floor and so is an ideal place to do research. It is World Heritage listed and has been returned to a vermin free place after much effort.
The abundant wildlife includes Souther Right Whales, Penguins, Elephant Seals, Seals which all looked healthy and thriving in the pictures we were shown.
Staff are required to wear specialist gear in both Summer and winter. The outside temperature in Summer is as low as minus 18 and as high as minus 4. Blizzards can set in very quickly and so guide ropes are placed strategically to allow staff to find their way to shelter if there is a whiteout.
The Australian stations run their internal temperatures at a comfortable 18 degrees c. Sikorsky helicopters are used for quick transport between bases and to transport fuel and goods. The first female engineer has broken the ice and was responsible for the fleet of choppers. There are operating theatres on the hosts and stations but accidents can cause real dramas.
President Darren thanked Tony for his very informative talk and bringing to our realisation just how harsh and beautiful the Antarctic environment is. Members warmly applauded Tony in support of Darren.
A wonderful night at the Schirmers. Neil and Margaret hosted about 40 people to a Pizza and Sweet night at their home overlooking the city; a beautiful spot. Neil showed his cooking skills as lovely pizzas kept turning up on the table. The desserts that followed were just superb . A great night and our sincere thanks for the hospitality!
PP Geoff Breust very quickly pulled together an event, An Evening with Fiona McDonald.  Fiona was in the area launching her new book. Fiona is a much published author, and has herself been subjected to Domestic Violence This event was meant to highlight again the effects of Domestic Violence and she was supporting Leah Anderson who operates a help group known as STEPS. Leah has been guest speaker at the club
It was an eye-opening session. Geoff is to be congratulated on his efforts to bring this to the Club.
An auction at the end of the evening brought the total raised to some $1400. A great effort. 
David Post and Karen Walsh paid a visit to the Canmore Rotary club in Canmore Alberta Canada.  The club is the home club of the late Dr Brent Pickard who for many years made Wagga his home and was an adopted member of Wollundry. 
David and Karen were especially pleased with the welcome they received from the 75 members that were present for their Christmas meeting.   David told the members about the Canmore Festival of Trees in the halls of the beautiful Malcolm Hotel.  Local businesses or individuals purchase a tree for from 300 to 3000 dollars and decorate it according to their business theme.  The project brings in $100,000 a year for the club.
In the above photo they are on the deck of the Canmore Golf and Curling club, holding Rotary club exchange banners.
The Wollundry Saturday Markets have returned to the Wagga Wagga civic precinct with markets being held (as in the past), on the second Saturday of the month, started on 10th February 2024.
The trading times are 9am to 1pm.
Cost per site, including marquee, is $50. Power is an additional $10 per site.
We welcome stallholders selling all of the common markets sale items (produce, retail items, bric brac, etc).
Enjoy a social setting on the banks of the beautiful Wollundry Lagoon in the centre of the city.  Plenty of vehicle parking. Enjoy a cup of coffee or other drinks. Sausage rolls,
Bacon and Egg and sausage sandwiches available.  Jumping castle to entertain the kids. Music from local artists.
Entry is free, however a gold coin donation would be greatly appreciated.  All funds raised are distributed to worthy charitable organisation supporting the
disadvantaged within our local community.
For all additional information send an email to:
Our speakers at Tuesdays meeting were from STARTTS (NSW Services for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trama Survivors).  Specifically they were Ali Reid and Yazidi refugee Rasheed Shanibaqi.
Ali was the first speaker giving an overview her past work with refugees in the Riverina and the work of her organization.  STARTTS NSW Service for the treatment and rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors ... it is a part of the Rural and Regional services.  STARTTS provides assistance to refugees and other people from refugee like backgrounds living in NSW who have experienced torture and other traumatic events prior to arrival in Australia.  STARTTS mission is to facilitate the healing process of survivors or torture and refugee trauma and to assist and resource individuals in other agencies who work with them.  STARTTS services provide a holistic range which have evolved in response to client needs and incorporate the latest development in the treatment of trauma.
Rasheed arrived in Wagga from Iraq in 2017, however his involvement with STARTTS officially began just a few days ago. He spoke of personal experiences and experiences of other refugees.
Some of their services: culturally appropriate counselling and therapy, group work.  Activities for young people including camps and trips. Referral and Case Management.  Community liaison and consultation.
STARTTS is responsive to changing client's needs and uses a multi-disciplinary approach.
David Benn and David Pyke both related stories to the club in their involvement with refugees on a personal basis.
President Darren thanked them for giving the members a well prepared overview of the STARTTS organization and presented them with gifts of local olive oil.
President Darren introduced our guest speaker Garth Perkins. Garth has been President of Coolamon Rotary Club twice, is still an active member and has been involved in some amazing projects which he is going to speak about. He is a Rotary Assistant Governor. He has been to Nepal, Cambodia and India with Rotary and has recently walked the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia to raise $27,000 for Shelter Box In his spare time he is a Councillor on Coolamon Shire Council and sings with the Rugby Choir.
Garth began with the words: How good is Rotary! But then he posed the question: How relevant do you feel as a Rotarian? He then went on to tell us what has inspired him in his Rotary Vocation.
In 2013, after being declared legally blind, the result of years of dust and hay in his eyes from farming, he went to visit Alok Sharma, Rotarian and Eye Surgeon. Over lunch Alok advised him that he required cataract removal. Once he had the operation Garth was invited to go to India with Alok on one of his regular trips to his native country, where he did cataract operations for the poor. Prior to the Indian Trip, Garth helped to raise $72.000 in one night to fund the Rotary sponsored enterprise.
Garth was blown away by what he saw and witnessed in India. With his team, Garth included, Alok assessed 2,500 people for eye surgery and 370 people had operations to remove cataracts and insert a lense, enabling the recipient to see clearly for the first time in many years.
The surgery was done in conditions that would horrify us here in Australia, but the surgeries were successful. Garth was even asked to assist by inserting anaesthetic needles into the back of the eye. (Shudders around the room). He also had the task of removing eye patches after a day or two.
Toward the end Garth decided to go and say goodbye to a number of the patients who had come along with members of their families. Garth was alarmed when an old man dropped to his knees in front of Garth and then prostrated himself and began crawling toward Garth mumbling in his language. Garth asked one of the team what is he saying? To which they replied he thinks you are a god! This was an extremely emotional moment for Garth. How can it be, he asked, that for the sake of a $25 surgery cost he could be regarded as someone who had the power to restore sight!
This Garth told us, is the power of Rotary and an example of how much good that can be done with energy and organisation.
Our Club veteran Peter Crozier shared his story of going to India on another occasion with Alok and how rewarding it was to see the outcome of this wonderful Rotary Project.
Darren gave a vote of thanks to Garth and presented him with a bottle of Olive Oil as a token of appreciation for his very enlightening talk.
Sister Kaye Bryan and Sister Carmel Wallace were named Paul Harris Fellows for their outstanding work as creators of Erin Earth. They are pictured with President of Wollundry Rotary, Phil Burgess and Kathy Wallace.
President Phil said that a Paul Harris Fellow award is the highest honour that can be granted by the International Rotary Foundation. It is an honour reserved for those who have met the ideals of Rotary: Service to others; Promotion of Integrity and Advancement of World understanding, Goodwill and Peace.
The ideals of Erin earth are entirely consistent with Rotary Ideals and the work of Erin Earth, and the Sisters, is an outstanding example of these ideals in practice. An honour truly well deserved.

Darren Wallace

Welcome to Wollundry Rotary
We meet at lunchtime on the 2nd to the 5th Tuesdays at 12:30 at Romano's
On the 1st Tuesday, we meet in the evening from 6pm for 6:30 dinner meeting at Romano's
Cnr of Fitzmaurice St & Sturt St, Wagga Wagga

Postal Address:  PO Box 229 Wagga Wagga 2650

Email address:

Wollundry Rotary is home to the Saturday Markets (held from 9 to 1pm in the Civic Gardens next to the Civic Theatre),
 the Gears and Beers Festival,  the Wollundry Photo Competition  and 
the Wagga Food and Wine Festival (temporarily in recess)


Members: click below to download the club directory

Club Directory 


Club Executives & Directors
Service Projects
Public Image & Major Events
Public Image & Major Events
Immed PP
Protection Officer
June 2024

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