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  Welcome to Surfers Sunrise Rotary!
Surfers Sunrise

A great way to start the day

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:15 AM
Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
Esplanade (Cnr Hanlan Street)
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Home Page Stories
Remember Dianne Kozik, the GM of the St Johns Crisis Centre, from two weeks ago? She sent me a list of volunteer positions she needs to fill:
  • Cook
  • Kitchen hand
  • Morning Tea Hosts
  • Driver
  • Marketing
The job descriptions, as well as direct contact details, are on in the Download Folder on the right. Can you spare a few hours?
Last Saturday, workers from Vespa Holdings, a concrete specialist firm in Coomera, laid down the concrete slab at the front of our project shed in Arundel. And the workers provided their labour pro bono!  Thank you to the men, who wanted to remain unphotographed and unnamed... 
This work was one of the conditions laid down by the Gold Coast City Council to allow us to renew the lease on the shed for a further 5 years. Many people may not be aware of the fact that, although the rental charge is a so-called "peppercorn" lease, contrary to a commercial lease, the upkeep, as well as the enhancement of the property is the lessee's responsibility. So it is great to learn that Vespa Holdings has substantially contributed to keeping those costs low. (Photo by Bryan Tuesley)
I was searching for a superlative. “Mother Teresa”? Too corny. Others were too religious, too… whatever. Then I recalled a statement by Sir Clem Renouf, the first Australian to be elected Rotary International President (1978/79) and one of the giants of Rotary. He coined the phrase that “Rotary takes ordinary men and gives them extraordinary opportunities to do more with their lives than they ever dreamed possible”. There were still no women Rotarians in those days. Today, of course, his statement would include women.
After well over 3 decades in Rotary, I still marvel at the opportunities I get to meet those “ordinary” people doing extraordinary things. Dianne Kozik is the General Manager of St Johns Crisis Centre in Surfers Paradise. After meeting her and witnessing her presentation, I warrant that she is one of that band of “ordinary” people doing extraordinary things which Sir Clem referred to.
Visualise: on the Gold Coast, there are some 4,000 people homeless, 800 of them youth. They are not necessarily what we look upon as the ‘proverbial beach bum’. They include victims of domestic violence, ordinary people in crisis not necessarily of their own making. Every day, St Johns Crisis Centre provides food, Chemist script vouchers, fuel vouchers, counselling on all sorts of aspects. Where possible, they provide assistance with accommodation (there is never enough). Do you think that’s all? Not by a mile. Check out Dianne’s PowerPoint Presentation (saved as a PDF) in the Download section on the right.
Obviously, St Johns needs not just funding and donations, but needs volunteer personnel, from drivers to cooks to consultants in whatever field you are strong in. Got a couple of hours to spare? You’ll be in good company: our member Mario Fairlie volunteers there, in the capacity of a Director of the organisation.
No flies on these guys... On Sunday, volunteers from our project shed manned [is one permitted to use this term these days, particularly as a lady was part of the team too? Ed.] the bulk of the shifts at the Sausage Sizzle tent at Bunnings Olsen Avenue. Well done guys! Paul O'Neill took this photo, from left: Don Ferguson, Ron Thomson, Bryan Tuesley and Ann O'Connor (who is a regular at just about all our sizzles). In addition to the aforementioned, there also were Uwe Seifert, Brian Pearson, Geoff Croad, Adrian Crowe, Ross Augustine, Ben Loots and Matt Hayward
Occasionally, we receive a bike at the Wheelchair Shed which is in good condition and can be restored perfectly. It is then donated to a worthy cause. Such an opportunity arose when Tanya Twyford, who heads a division within Wesley Mission, needed a lucky door prize for a Christmas Barbeque recently held at Macintosh Island in Surfers Paradise. Our "Wheelchair Foreman" Brian Tuesley and Dom Chant, who regularly volunteers at our shed, presented the bike. Well done, fellows!
Last Wednesday, our members and partners enjoyed a delicious Christmas breakfast at the Sunset Bar of the Marina Mirage in Main Beach. Organised, meticulously planned and executed by Graeme Isaacson, we had excellent fellowship in most congenial surroundings. Thank you Graeme Isaacson, give yourself a pat on the back! See the photo album section on the right for more photos.
Most of you would remember the Rotary Friendship Exchange group from Seattle and Vancouver Island visiting us in late 2019? One of their members, John Topolniski (centre in photo, in blue t-shirt) from the Rotary Club of Sooke, British Columbia, was part of that group. John is still following our club regularly. A few short months ago, we put out a call for help in financing the shipping costs of our wheelchairs, as we have the goods to despatch, but find it increasingly hard t find a partner at the receiving end with finances to pay for the container.
John, who with his group visited our wheelchair shed, arranged for his club to donate CA$ 500.00 for this very purpose. Well, what can we say, other than A BIG THANK YOU!
Last Saturday 26th November, we enjoyed a visit by members of the Kasaoka Rotary Club from Japan at our shed. This club is one of the donors who financially support our X-Ray Unit for the Mauna Health Centre Hospital on Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. Welcome, Rotarians President Akira Matsuo, Secretary Yoshikazu Yamamoto, Kyokei Edaki, Hasanori Kuga and Nao Hiirano. Our visitors are hosted by the Rotary Club of Broadbeach, which, together with the Rotary Club of Gold Coast, is one of the major partners in this project.
Photo by Geoff Croad, with Des La Rance (centre, in yellow Tshirt) and members of the Broadbeach Rotary Club.  See more photos in the Photo Album on the right as well as on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/rcsurferssunrise 
At last Wednesday’s meeting, we had the pleasure of the key people of Cole Residential, Nick Cole and Nicole Bricknell, giving us a deeper insight into their personalities, their work and their families.
First up: Nicole Bricknell.
Real Estate is her chosen vocation (and very professional too: men of the calibre of our Mario Fairlie don’t do business with amateurs). But Nicole’s major passion is Horses, particularly Horse Racing. No wonder, she literally grew up on the race track: she is the daughter of the Gold Coast’s famous bookmaker, Laurie Bricknell!
After her schooling at the local Girl’s School St Hilda’s, she qualified in Beauty Therapy. But racing is her passion. With great enthusiasm, Nicole recalled some memorable events, including one of her horses running in the Melbourne Cup, winning the Monster Cup, and – not to be sneezed at – being given a lift to the race track by nonother than… Prime Minister Bob Hawke. “He used to call dad for tips” she quipped…
Following the breakup of her marriage, Nicole studied to obtain a Real Estate Agent’s license. “I have become a very strong, resilient woman,” she said. She joined Cole Residential in 2018 and was introduced to our club by Mario Fairlie when she sold his former home on Paradise Waters and found him his new home. Mario introduced her to the fundraising committee of St John’s Crisis Centre, and she soon was immersed there in a major and very successful fundraiser.
Following on was Nick Cole, (Director of Cole Residential): Nick went to school at the local TSS, the prominent Boy’s School (PDG Darrell Brown’s son Lochlin was in his class as well). Even though his mother was well established in the local Real Estate industry, his choice was to complete a Bachelor of IT. On completion – off to London, then Sydney, where he worked with Rabobank and UBS.  Upon his marriage in 2008, he joined the family business (Lucy Cole Prestige Properties). His qualifications enabled Nick to establish a major upgrade of the company’s IT systems. Eventually, he decided to “step out of mum’s shadow” and founded Cole Residential, with offices on the Isle of Capri.
Nick is very active and an avid supporter of various local community groups, including the Mermaid Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
(Photo, from left: Meeting Chairman Ian Mayberry, Nicole Bricknell and Nick Cole)
For all intents and purposes, it looks like it's largely finished, but there is still some work left to do on our X-Ray Unit for Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. This photo shows our "resident builder" volunteers Roger Browne (left) and Jimmy Pearce at work on the outside trim.  Al Sirovs, Des La Rance and Laurie Roberts are working on the inside - hopefully I'll get a picture in the near future too. ☺
(Photo by Al Sirovs)
In view of the Wheelchair Trust Deed's fairly strict limitations (money donated can only be spent on materials for wheelchairs and nothing else, not even for the shipment to their destination), we have registered an alternative account for Containers for Change.  If you deposit your empties directly, and wish to donate the proceeds to the Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club - General Account, please use this account code: 
(The account for the Wheelchair Trust is also still active: use C10199443 instead).
So, keep your soft drink bottles, stubby bottles, aluminium cans, milk cartons etc.  As a general rule, most drink containers between 150ml and 3L can be returned for a refund under Queensland's container deposit scheme. Containers should be empty, unbroken, the lid removed and display a 10-cent refund marking on the label. Something like the image (right), but many others are simply marked as suitable for recycling. Note: they must NOT be crushed. See image above what is and what is not accepted. For details of what can / cannot be returned for cash, and where the locations are, click on this link
Congratulations to Pieta Jackman who at this morning's meeting was presented with the Lutzy Award - including a flash new paddle board. The award is in memory of our Charter Member Keith Lutz who passed away in 2013. It is presented to a young emerging leader, selected by a committee of the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club. As David Orchy from the SLSC pointed out: the selection of Pieta was unanimous.
Jan Lutz, who this morning presented the award for the 7th time in honour of her late husband, said "They do a magnificent job in all areas and the vibe between them and our wonderful Surfers Paradise Surf Club just keeps going. I am very pleased to still be part of it, although today was more difficult due to the recent loss of Jason [their son - Ed.].  So maybe I can be excused for not ramping up on the speech. Good luck Rotarians, with all your future dealings."

 Photo (from left) President Mitch Brown, Jan Lutz, Pieta Jackman, David Orchy, Scott Andrews
This is somewhat equivalent to receiving a telegram from the Queen… At yesterday morning’s meeting, PDG Darrell Brown was presented with a framed letter from our current Rotary International President, Jennifer Jones, congratulating him on his 50th year of Service Above Self.
And well deserved too: Not only is this a rare occurrence, but in those years Darrell has held just about every officer’s job, including multiple runs as Club President, and numerous District Committee Chairmanships, culminating in his appointment to District Governor in 2017-18.
In the words of C.J. Dennis: ‘I lift me lid’. Congratulations!
Photo: Darrell with Assistant Governor Sheila Ponting and fellow Architect, PP Simon Brook, whom he sponsored to join Surfers Sunrise in 2014.
In accordance with our District Governor’s theme of ‘Respecting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’, Mitch started off with an Acknowledgment of Country, paying due respect to the original inhabitants. (He promised that he’ll work to get the greeting in the Yugambeh language perfect. [Though he didn't stipulate in which one of the four dialects (Mananjahli (Wangerriburra), Minyangbal, Ngahnduwal or Nerang Creek... ☺ Ed.]
Commencing with a brief outline of Rotary’s first female International President, Jennifer Jones (see a full outline in the recently published District Governor’s Newsletter), he emphasised his determination to achieve our club’s stated goals. “You can’t save the entire world, you can’t do everything,” he said, “so what can we realistically do?”
Briefly outlining our Weaknesses and Strengths. Our weakness: our members are, in effect, a ‘WASP’ (White, Anglo Saxon Protestant). But we have the strength of security, knowledge and contacts, motivation, and personal and business success. Surfers Sunrise Rotary has lots of potential.
What can we do? We have always been strong in Youth Service. We intend to continue this, with at least one participant in the major programs. Further, our major asset, the Project Shed could be utilised more extensively. We could associate with an external organisation and make the venue available for their purposes. Membership must be strengthened to broaden our demographic with more younger - and particularly female - members. Let’s look for female leaders!
There are much more details, including a full list of our goals, in Mitch’s PowerPoint presentation (which, unfortunately, at the meeting could not be displayed due to technical issues). It is uploaded to the Download Section on the right.

I've been away for a couple of weeks, culminating in accompanying my better half to the Innerwheel District A77 Changeover in Bundaberg. Who? What is Innerwheel? Well, it is one of the best kept secrets in Rotary.

Think about it for a moment. Note: The presumption to this story:  You are a man and your partner is a woman. Hold it! Don't shoot just yet! Yes, I acknowledge, in these enlightened days it may well be illegal for me to even mention - sorry, I mean ignore to mention all the other possible relationship options. But I'll persist.  And let me state it clearly: the opinions of the editor do not necessarily represent those of the management.☺  So, onwards...

Let us assume that you pass away before your wife does. Statistically proven to be a distinct possibility, and no snide jokes please! Would your wife still enjoy a regular circle of friendship? A circle of friendship that is still there some 3 or 6 months after your funeral?  If so, that's great!  If in doubt (or if you are indeed female and this has sort of triggered your interest), keep reading.
In the 'olden days' (not sure if I'd want to call them 'good' olden days though), Rotary clubs were the exclusive domain of the male of the species and they had Ladies' Auxiliaries, commonly called 'Rotaryannes'. With the advent of (a) Rotary clubs inviting women to join and (b) women more and more engaging in business, the traditional Rotaryannes just about vanished.

Enter Innerwheel. This organization is, as far as I know, exclusively for women. And no, you don’t need to be a widow to join, of course.  The sole requirement is to be of good character, a desire to enjoy friendship and good companionship and to serve the community. Their men are quite welcome to tag along to their social functions. Usually, there is a "Men's Tour" whilst the ladies have their conference. This year, we were hosted by Ohana Winery, a Bundaberg business that brews innovative alcoholic fruit wines, ciders, ginger ale and liqueurs. Yes, complete tour with samples... 
The Innerwheel organization is not new: it was founded way back in 1924 in Manchester, England and first appeared in Australia in 1931, in Ballarat VIC of all places. Today, they boast over 100,000 members in 108 countries. In our region, we have two clubs on the Gold Coast.  They generally meet once a month and support a major research project.  At present, their primary support goes to Cordblood (Stem Cell) research, carried out by Prof Michael Doran (QUT).
Friendship? Over the past 20 years or so, I have accompanied my wife to dozens of Innerwheel conferences. Friendship is the very item that pervades the atmosphere. And if you think these generally elderly ladies are just taking it easy: wait till you see them dancing the jig!
For more information, click here and here, or contact the editor who will gladly forward your enquiry to the nearest club!
At many Rotary events (actually the majority) the meal consists of an alternative drop of fish/chicken and steak/roast. Not at Surfers Sunrise! We had an excellent start of the new Rotary year with our Changeover Luncheon at Bambino's Italian Ristorante, eating a variety of different pizzas and pasta. As is the rule with Surfers Sunrise Rotary, speeches were very short and fellowship very big. Welcome new President Mitch Brown! Some highlights:
Simon Brook was Master of Ceremonies and kept the formal procedures to the brevity Surfers Sunrise Rotary has been known for the past 3 decades... We were honoured by (now Past) District Governor Jeff Egan, representing Rotary International who gave us an equally brief reply to the Toast to Rotary International. Outgoing President Paul Seymour briefly outlined our club's activities and achievements for the past 12 months, then presented the club's recognitions and awards:
Paul Harris Fellowships to Angus Miller, Paul O'Neill, Adrian Crowe, Ian Mayberry and Mario Fairlie.
The major awards were received by
  • Doug Waller Trophy: Mitch Brown
  • Fellowship Cup: Darrell Brown (accepted by Andy Bell on his behalf)
  • Quiet Achiever: Doug Lipp
  • And the "big one" - Rotarian of the Year (determined by silent poll by the members): Geoff Croad
Congratulations to all!
Following the presentation, Paul handed the President's collar to Mitch Brown, who after a brief address introduced his new board (see photo above). For more photos see the Photo Album section on the right.
The Changeover Report has been uploaded - see Download Section on the right. It includes the President's, Treasurer's as well as the individual chairmen's reports, as well as a summary of the past year's speakers and events.

Rotary International’s incoming President for 2022-23, Jennifer E Jones took office on the 1st July, making history as the first female president in Rotary history. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland, Ontario, Canada, and founder and president of Media Street Productions, an award-winning media company in Windsor. Having previously served Rotary in a variety of roles including vice president, director, and Rotary Foundation trustee, her talents have strengthened Rotary’s reach and impact. Learn more about Jones in a profile in the July issue of Rotary magazine. Watch the presidential changeover ceremony on Facebook.

During her year, she will focus on four presidential initiatives that Imagine Rotary:

  • · advancing our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI);
  • · creating a welcoming club experience;
  • · empowering girls; and
  • · expanding our reach.

Read the entire story of the Presidential Initiatives. The site is very comprehensive. It also includes video messages.


Surfers Sunrise wins the Best Long Term Project Award for 2021-22. At today's District Changeover, District Governor 2021-22 Jeff Egan presented our club with this award in recognition of our long term Wheelchair Trust project. Give yourself a pat on the back! Photo shows District Treasurer Mark Twyford who accepted the award certificate on behalf of our club.
In the olden days, for a new member to join a Rotary club the unofficial rule was, expressed in simple terms, he should be "somebody who is in a position to hire and fire". Yes, 'he'. Thankfully, around 1987, the 'he' was expanded to also include the fairer sex. There were lots of other rules too, for example, weekly attendance at our meetings was considered to be just about essential.  
These days, the rules are very simple and straightforward.  Here is an extract from the Membership section of our Club Consitution of 2019 (1):
Section 1 — General Qualifications.
This club shall be composed of adult persons who demonstrate good character, integrity, and leadership; possess a good reputation within their business, profession, and/or community; and are willing to serve in their community and/or around the world.
That should be simple enough. In other words, the majority of people in your circle of friends, in business, your suppliers, your customers qualify. Rotary is absolutely non-denominational, absolutely gender-neutral. All we ask for is of good character, has integrity, and a good reputation.  Start making a list and invite them to come to one of our meetings.
(1) Members can download the Club Constitution from our website: (you need to login to the Member Area, top right of home page), then select Organisation, Documents and search for Constitution.
Last week we received some wonderful feedback from the Rotary Club of Port Alfred, South Africa.  This club has been in charge of distributing 20 of our "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs to worthy recipients. And they would have many more who are in need of them.
A copy of their report, as well as some photo compilations, can be accessed from the Download Page on the right. How good is that!
Photo above: Do we have an African model of our 'Happy' boy who is displayed on our promo material? smiley
What a superb morning last Saturday at our Project Shed, where we celebrated the 10,000th Wheelchair manufactured. For any of our readers who are not familiar with the concept: parts from recycled bicycles, marine plywood, solid rubber BMX wheels and... LOTS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS equal a wheelchair which can be manufactured for $100! Give yourself a pat on the back, but particular recognition must go to the principal movers and shakers who started and carried this project through: Des La Rance, Daryl Sanderson and the late Keith Lutz and Bob Harrison. Jan Lutz was there, but regrettably, Gloria Harrison was unable to join us, but for a good reason: her grandson debuted on that same day, playing Grade 1 Cricket in the Queensland Premier League. Howzat! Bob would be proud on both accounts.
We had the bulk of our members and volunteers present from an early hour, setting up the various marquees, putting the last touch to the refurbished bikes we had for sale, setting up the stage, the videos...  The Rotaractors from Burleigh Heads were there in force, the Rotary Club of Parkwood ran a sausage sizzle and the Rotary Club of Broadbeach ran a raffle, our soon to be inducted new corporate members Adam  and Tash from Invincable had a stand and so did the Pimpama State School with their version of the wheelchair design.  We were honoured by visits from District Governor Andy Rajapakse, State MPs Rob Molhoek and Sam O'Connor (he has done a nice write up on his Facebook page too) as well as Councillors Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden and Brooke Patterson.  
President Charles Thomasson opened the formal part of the celebrations welcoming our dignitaries, which was followed by a brief address by DG Andy Rajapakse, in which he referred to his own efforts of taking well over 500 wheelchairs for distribution in his country of origin, Sri Lanka. Following our DG, the inventor of the wheelchairs from bicycles, Des La Rance, outlined the project from early times in the mid 1990's, the breakthrough when Ray Martin's A Current Affair broadcast the delivery of the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji in 1997, the building of schools for the tsunami affected regions of Thailand and Samoa, the House of Hope in Apia, leading to the current project of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu. 
But of course, the culmination of the morning was the presentation of a commemorative collage to Des La Rance (see picture). This was designed and made by Neil Thurlow and his graphic wizards of Accent Print and Copy.
Photo shows (from left) Jan La Rance, Daryl Sanderson, Des La Rance, Jan Lutz. More photos are in the Photo Album, videos coming up shortly.
Our super generous printer, Neil Thurlow and his very talented design artists at Accent Print & Copy have created a new flyer for our wheelchairs project.  He has also provided some 2000 printed copies, which will be sent out by Apple Marketing to their mailing list of previous donors.  It is uploaded to our Download Section (see right side), where you can download it and send it on to anyone whom you consider could be interested.
Thank you, Neil and your team!
I've uploaded a video which beautifully outlines what Rotary is all about. Go on, have a look at it. It's only a bit over 2 minutes, but very well done. Go to this link to view it:
August is Membership Development and Extentions Month. Can you remember when you were inducted into Rotary?  Have you considered why you were proposed by your sponsor? What made you to decide to join?  Did you feel a sense of pride, of achievement, to be invited to join an organization of the highest international repute?  Did you feel that your sponsor did “The right thing” by considering you to be potentially a good Rotarian ? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, sort of “am I really up to this?” You did? 
“The more hands Rotary has, the better and more effectively the ideal of service will be achieved.  Hence the importance of membership.”  These words, spoken by one of Japans foremost Rotarians, Kanejiro Matsumoto put the point very straight.   I put it even straighter: If we are to spread the workload of running this club, if we are to achieve our aims on the local scene (Youth Service, Vocational Service, Community Service), if we are to pull our weight on the International cart, we have an obligation to not only maintain, but increase membership. Whom have you asked lately to come along to one of our meetings?
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Joint Director - Service Projects
Joint Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director - Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Joint Director - Youth Services
Joint Director - Youth Services
Joint Director - Fundraising
Joint Director - Fundraising
YEP Club Protection Officer
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Coordinator Golf Day
Fellowship and Social Program
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Program Manager-Guest Speakers
Vanuatu Program
YEP Counsellor
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed