Not ALL wheelchairs at Surfers Sunrise are "Rough Terrain"...

Posted by Franz Huber on Jun 21, 2024
A couple of weeks ago, Wheelchair Trust Chairman Geoff Croad received an enquiry from CMS Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions, asking whether we would have a use for 5 conventional wheelchairs? Veolia is a huge, international company in the Water and Waste Industries. We believe they hosted a worldwide conference of their engineers, and after the conference wanted to donate them to a good cause... They found us via our website. The result: Associate Member Rick Parry (2nd from left) swiftly took our ute and trailer and picked up five practically brand new wheelchairs. They most likely will be part of a container shipment to Fiji, together with hospital beds, linen etc etc, and of course Rough Terrain wheelchairs. A big 'Thank You!' to Ashok Damodaran, Oceania Region Director of Veolia (far right) and the company for reaching out to us!
Not ALL wheelchairs at Surfers Sunrise are "Rough Terrain"... Franz Huber 2024-06-20 14:00:00Z 0

Bruce Howlett: Malaria Vaccine Project

Posted by Franz Huber on Jun 13, 2024
What do you think would be the most deadly animal in the world? Snakes? Sharks? Jellyfish? Spiders? OK, so if you include "animals" in human form, perhaps the biggest killer of humans is Homo Sapiens? Close, but no cigar: wrong on every count: Mosquitos kill about 1 Million humans every year, by spreading Malaria.

Bruce Howlett (a member of the RC of Burleigh Heads, is the Vice Chairman of one of Rotary's most audacious endeavours, the Malaria Vaccine Project. At our meeting last Wednesday, Bruce enriched us with how it It started, and what it's current status is. It's happening right here on the Gold Coast, at the local campus of Griffith University's Institute of Glycomics. The project commenced back in 2015 by PDG Sandra Doumany and her husband Sam Doumany, as well as PDG Prof Graham Jones.
Bruce gave us a very factual presentation on how the project started and where it is at present. To the uninitiated, having "commenced human trials" might not sound much, but let me tell you: this is a massive milestone! Next: human trials in a country that is severely affected, such as PNG or an African country. The ultimate target: the elimination of Malaria worldwide. Check Bruce's slide presentation in the Downloads section on the right. 
Photo: Bruce Howlett with our Meeting Chairman of the day, Geoff Croad.
Bruce Howlett: Malaria Vaccine Project Franz Huber 2024-06-12 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 12th June: Bruce Howlett

Posted by Franz Huber on Jun 08, 2024
Bruce Howlett, who is a member of the Burleigh Heads Rotary Club, will bring us up to date on one of the most daring Rotary projects ever undertaken in Australia: Developing a vaccine against Malaria. This project, which is undertaken at the local campus of Griffith University, is funded through a number of clubs throughout Australia and New Zealand.
This coming Wednesday 12th June: Bruce Howlett Franz Huber 2024-06-07 14:00:00Z 0

Last week’s speaker: Ralph Pownall

Posted by Franz Huber on May 31, 2024
A few of our members may have known Ralph for close to 40 years - after all, he is a Charter Member of Surfers Sunrise (January 1987) and was our club’s third President. (He also is a foundation member of the Surfers Paradise Golf Club). Then he decided to seek greener pastures… Greener? Well, if you think Lightning Ridge as a “greener” place, yes!

For decades, Ralph has been a registered valuer of gemstones, specialising in opals. He also has, for decades, taught opal gem cutting at TAFE. Did you know that, on a per carat basis, opals are more valuable than diamonds? “But diamonds are forever” I hear you say. Too true! Ralph recounted a story where he was called to value a Bank Deposit box full of opals, expected to fetch several 100,000 dollars. As they were kept for years in a rarified, dry environment, they all had… crumbled. There are specific ways to store them - best engage Ralph to give you advice. Want to buy an opal? Again, beware of the traps: whilst a true black opal might fetch $40,000 dollars per carat, a ‘Doublet’ (example, photo right) is only worth about $3,000. As to a ‘Triplet’… well, don’t bother!

Ralph had several humorous as well as instructional stories to share from his time in the opal fields out west. Sorry, you should have been there! Good to have you back at Surfers Sunrise, Ralph!
Last week’s speaker: Ralph Pownall Franz Huber 2024-05-30 14:00:00Z 0

You might say "Big deal, so, we "bought a brick"

Posted by Franz Huber on May 31, 2024
You might say "Big deal, so, we "bought a brick"... Yet, "it all adds up", as the saying goes. The $500 donation from us added to the realisation of a major project by the Rotary Club of Hervey Bay Sunrise. They built a school Shree Janasiddha Basic School, in a Nepalese village that was devastated in the 2015 earthquake.
Just as Surfers Sunrise, Broadbeach and Gold Coast Rotary clubs built an X-Ray Unit in remote Pentecost Island, Vanuatu, there was a desperate need in that Himalayan region. But it wasn't just the building: they also supplied desks, chairs, a smart TV (the school's first ever!) and facilities fo provide dental care for the village.
Our congratulations go to Hervey Bay Sunrise for the successful completion of this project. Rotary in its truest form!
You might say "Big deal, so, we "bought a brick" Franz Huber 2024-05-30 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchairs sent to Zambia 15 years ago still in service!

Posted by Franz Huber on May 24, 2024
Ho-hum... 5 of our wheelchairs, parked against a wall... So what?
Well, not so fast: Recently, incoming Wheelchair Trust Chairman Geoff Croad received a photo from Pastor Ken Wigglesworth from the Spirit of Life Church, of 5 of our wheelchairs they had  delivered to the Mahatma Ghandi Memorial Clinic in Zambia - back in May 2009, i.e. 15 years ago. And they are still very much in use! At that time, 64 of them were despatched, shortly to be followed by another 140! (see snippet of our club bulletin of 13/05/2009). Good to receive some feedback!
Wheelchairs sent to Zambia 15 years ago still in service! Franz Huber 2024-05-23 14:00:00Z 0

Surfers Sunrise was well represented at the District Conference

Posted by Franz Huber
Surfers Sunrise Rotary was well represented at Saturday's District Conference in Ballina. Picture includes the President of Mermaid Beach RC, Gillian Reeve (you recall, she spoke at our club recently about her experiences of administering the Polio vaccine in India) who came over to say hello...
Very good conference, top keynote speakers, good company, good fellowship, well organised.
Surfers Sunrise was well represented at the District Conference Franz Huber 2024-05-18 14:00:00Z 0

Top keynote speakers at the District Conference

Posted by Franz Huber on May 18, 2024
Ok, I admit that I’m not the most religious person you’ve ever met (unless you describe Rotary as a religion). So in recent years, the only time I heard a priest talk was at a funeral. And no, I never before made notes either.
But one of today's speakers, the Very Reverend Morgan Batt, is not your everyday priest. During his keynote address at the conference in Ballina he had the entire audience hanging on his every word. One moment we would be heartily laughing, then dreading what might follow. I give you an example: On one of his first postings in Guatemala in 1992 (yes, Guatemala, right in the middle of its major civil unrest), he politely enquired where the current ‘Padre’ was? “He was executed a couple of weeks ago” they said… It was not long after when he found himself with a gun pointed at his head… Well, since he spoke to us today, he obviously must have survived it.
Fr Morgan Batt claims to have performed the highest altitude mass ever, when he climbed Mt Everest. The North Face, not the main route. Bivouacking overnight near the summit at over 8000 metres, he found himself awakening next to his climbing mate who had passed away during the night. Then came the task of bringing the body back down.
Towards the end of his speech, I found myself somewhat flustered when I realised that I had, literally, forgotten to keep taking notes. I think the correct English descriptive word is ‘mesmerizing’. Or should it be ‘tantalising’? Invigorating, challenging, arresting? Stimulating? Perhaps all of these. And there were seven other major presentations today as well! A big ‘Thank You!’ goes to DG Dave Harmon & Robbii and his conference team. A very well organised and smoothly run conference indeed.
Top keynote speakers at the District Conference Franz Huber 2024-05-17 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's guest speaker: Susan Sheehan

Posted by Franz Huber on May 15, 2024
What's the difference between a truly professional speaker and a "non-professional"? Well, when you hear Susan Sheehan speak, fluently, clearly, without 'uuumms' and 'basically' etc, you'll know very quickly which category she belongs to. Last Wednesday we had the great pleasure of welcoming Susan and her business partner, Caroline Barton at Surfers Sunrise Rotary. Susan's principal theme was 'Resilience', but it was interspersed with numerous other useful tips on how to keep your mind (and that of your children) on track. Some very gentle ("yes, you CAN reconfigure your thinking!", some quite direct (with good reason, but definitely not offensive). Susan elaborated on how she copes with having a son with an 'intellectual disability'. And, and... ... and then, as is often the case with top speakers, we ran out of time...
If you need a speaker, particularly one who can address youth (or youth affairs), Susan is your woman. Navigate to her website:
(Photo: Susan Sheehan with our meeting Chairman of the day, Andy Bell)
Last Wednesday's guest speaker: Susan Sheehan Franz Huber 2024-05-14 14:00:00Z 0

IMHO U R ovreactng

Posted by Franz Huber on May 06, 2024
So u thnk 2ds youth has gone too far? Or is it bcs u dont want to undrstd it? SWYP? OMG not anotr boomer whng about 2ds youth? Got news: AFAIK txt is new nrml. In 2ds fast wrld, KISS!
OK, so we oldies have scratched our heads trying to decipher TXT abbreviations. (For those of you who are struggling with the above: IMHO = In My Humble Opinion, bcs = because, SWYP = So what’s your problem? OMG = Oh my god, AFAIK = As far as I know.  KISS has been used for decades. 
Of greater concern is the emerging bad habit of leaving out punctuation (and not just by young people!). The most popularly quoted case in point is ‘A woman without her man is nothing’. With punctuation: ‘A woman: without her, man is nothing.’ [Yes, Henrietta, you did tell me. Ad nauseam...] Or, as Shakespeare may have written:
‘Good Lementio, who calls at the gate?
‘My lord, a woman without; her man is nothing.
‘Bid her enter then, and show her man to the livery.
But I digress… May is Youth Service Month. Throughout the world, Rotary Clubs expend serious time, money and effort on Youth projects. Seeing that modern youth seems to mostly ignore convention on many fronts, are our hard raised funds really well spent?
OK, let me go back a little, say 20 years. Young people (and those young at heart) embraced email with gusto. But there were still an awful lot of people who refused to participate in this novel method of communication and continued… faxing. Yes, they did!
SWUP? Language and methods continually evolve, particularly as we move from the written to the spoken word - as in listening to podcasts or talking into our Smartphone “OK Google, what time is our Zoom meeting today?”.
But what has changed very little over the decades, indeed over centuries, millennia, is leadership. Leadership can be learned. Leadership can be coached.  Rotary’s Youth programs are just as important today as they have always been. According to the ABS, our target demographic (aged 14 – 24), make up 14% of our population. That’s roughly 3 ½ Million people. Without resorting to platitudes, it is our responsibility to help the generations following us to maximize their leadership potential. Yeah – u rely dont get how awesome an opp u provide to young ppl and u shud all b very proud of ur work!
(Get full details of our District's Youth Programs from - Top right side.)
IMHO U R ovreactng Franz Huber 2024-05-05 14:00:00Z 0

Conference Keynote speaker: Craig Foster AM - Socceroo

Posted by Franz Huber on May 06, 2024
OK, so I should say former Socceroo. Still, I'd say that still today, Craig Foster (they called him Fozzie) could dribble a ball around an opposing team. If you are lucky, he might talk a bit about his career with the round ball, but more likely he'll talk about another passion of his: Human Rights. (You might recall him playing a high-profile role in the campaign to free Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi from detention in Thailand in from late 2018 to early 2019,)
As Rotarians, Human Rights must play a major role in our lives and in our thinking and attitudes. Whatever your views are on refugees, here is a man that's worth listening to!
Conference Keynote speaker: Craig Foster AM - Socceroo Franz Huber 2024-05-05 14:00:00Z 0

Gillian Reeve - Administring Polio Vaccine in India

Posted by Franz Huber on May 01, 2024
An alternative title to this story might have been “Why you should attend a Rotary International Conference”. That is where Gillian, the current President of the Mermaid Beach Rotary Club and the Polio Plus Chair of our District, met fellow lady Rotarians from Sandringham, VIC. She was enthused to join a team to administer the Polio vaccine in Moradabad, an industrial town in Uttar Pradesh, some 170 Km east of New Delhi, India.
And the rest, as they say, is history? Far from it! The work Gillian and her co-travellers did, as with all the Polio Plus efforts, will have ongoing effect: the ultimate eradication of the Polio virus.  But, how do you round up the children, 5 years old or younger, in an Indian city, including those living in a slum? By telling them to be at such-and-such place by XX:00 hours? No! Together with the local Rotary Club and the town’s government, you organise a march through the town to advertise the event. You put a booth in a very busy main street. Then you apply the vaccine (orally, 2 drops), and paint their “pinky” fingernail purple. Other than the obvious reason, this is to ensure they don’t come back a second time to collect the soft toy each child gets as a present… 😊 Helped by local health workers, they would even stop motorbikes with small kid passengers, they applied some 295 doses on just the first day.  Then, onto the slum areas…
Gillian went there in 2015, 2016, 2018 and would have returned again in 2019, but “the Indian Government had run out of vaccine”.
Anti-vaxxers? “Of all people, only one refused” Gillian declared. Officially, India is Polio free since 2014, but as there are still cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan, eternal vigilance is the word.  By the way: how do you determine whether a child is 5 years old or younger? “You ask them to reach with their left arm over their head to touch the right ear. If they are younger, they can't do it” she said.  Come on! Next time you meet a toddler, find out yourself! 
Gillian’s PowerPoint pictorial (in PDF format) is available for download - see Download section on the right.  (Photo: Gillian with President Doug Lipp)
Gillian Reeve - Administring Polio Vaccine in India Franz Huber 2024-04-30 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our newest member: Dr Elizabeth Celi

Please meet our newest member of Surfers Sunrise: Dr Elizabeth Celi.
Elizabeth works as a psychologist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trauma clinician and author, with a focus on complex PTSD. She is an experienced Rotarian and is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Mt Martha, (Melbourne, VIC). In our club, she has requested to be assigned to the Rotary Foundation committee.
Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Dr Elizabeth!
(Photo with President Doug Lipp)
Welcome to our newest member: Dr Elizabeth Celi Franz Huber 2024-03-20 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday’s guest speaker: Angie Bell MP, Member for Moncrief

Posted by Franz Huber on Mar 08, 2024
“I am a product of Rotary” Angie stated, opening her talk. Why? In her teenage years, she was selected to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program, and sent off to Denmark for 12 months. In her considered opinion, this had a profound impact on her future life and career. Today, she is the Shadow Minister for Youth, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, and co-chairs delegations to foreign countries, including Malaysia and Taiwan. She recently was part of an international delegation to Indonesia to supervise their national elections. Imagine: a country of almost 205 Million voters, 800,000 polling booths, and the total time when people can vote is… just 6 hours!
Naturally, as a member of the Liberal Party, Angie touched on her party's policies, including the distinct difference of wanting to open the conversation to consider nuclear energy (note: energy, not weapons) to provide stable and secure electricity for our households and for industry. On the local scene, Angie formed the ‘Moncrief Community Cabinet’ and the ‘Gold Coast Youth Cabinet’. Both are designed for a simple and straight purpose: to hear the views of representatives, “real” representatives, of her community. Last March, she organised ‘Impact Gold Coast’, a Youth Summit, which brought together 200 young people, representing various demographics from across the Gold Coast.
For our club, Angie was instrumental in helping us to obtain several grants; the most recent one was to enable the purchase of a new electric forklift for our project shed. Thank you, Angie, for the work you do for our community and the nation at large.
(Photo: Angie Bell MP with the meeting chairman, Adrian Crowe. PS: When somebody quipped "are you dressed up for a job interview?" her answer was that "in my job, every day is a job interview!" ☺)
Last Wednesday’s guest speaker: Angie Bell MP, Member for Moncrief Franz Huber 2024-03-07 14:00:00Z 0

Fundraising Chief Ross Augustine lands a big one

Posted by Franz Huber on Feb 10, 2024
At last Wednesday's meeting, President Doug Lipp announced tremendous news: Our club's Fundraising Director Ross Augustine was successful in raising a grant from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund of over $28,000. This will allow us to purchase a desperately needed replacement for the old forklift at our project shed. Ross even negotiated with the supplier that they'll pay for the freight (around $350.00)!
Fabulous news; congratulations, Ross. Give yourself a pat on the back!
Fundraising Chief Ross Augustine lands a big one Franz Huber 2024-02-09 14:00:00Z 0

Charles Thomasson - 'Great Expectations'

Posted by Franz Huber on Feb 08, 2024
Charles' "The State of the Market" presentation has now not only become a regular event, but one of the most popular talks of the year. Last Wednesday was no exception, with a near-record number of attendees, and questions coming thick and fast. A consummate Financial Advice professional, Charles titled his talk ‘Great Expectations’. No referral to the novel by Charles Dickens of the same title; this time, the “expectations” relate to interest rates falling. Or not…
As always, Charles was at pains to emphasise that his talk was “general advice only”. Still, some very pertinent facts surfaced. For example, Charles elaborated on the “Weighting” of different cyclical sectors in his company’s (Wilson Advisory) standard portfolio, e.g. where he is “overweight” and where they are “underweight”.
Charles discussed various stocks, the weighting of different sectors in his company’s standard portfolios (see his Wilson Advisory report in the Download Section). Note: this file is not the same as he used in his presentation, which he suggested would “not be suitable for disclosure to the public”. Sorry peeps, you should have been there!
Photo: Charles (left) with meeting chairman of the day, Peter Morgan.
PS: Fans of Charles Dickens would know that ‘Great Expectations’ in 1860-61 was originally published in weekly episodes, and promoted as a "coming of age story", a comic novel, crime fiction, a Gothic novel, a silver fork novel, a historical novel". So, just where does the Stock Market differ then? Ed.
Charles Thomasson - 'Great Expectations' Franz Huber 2024-02-07 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's speaker: Thomas Robinson

Posted by Franz Huber on Jan 27, 2024
One of the characteristics of the “average” Australian (is there really such a thing?), is their tendency of self deprecation. So, when one of our new members, Thomas Robinson (photo left, with meeting chairman Andy Bell), opened his ‘Rotarian behind the Badge’ speech with “I’ve had a pretty average life”, it rather had the effect of him gaining respect and endearment than being relegated to “average”.
He spent 20 years in IT (“I stumbled into jobs”, he said) in web hosting, sales of services to business at Melbourne IT, one of the very original major IT enterprises (originally owned by Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull). “Average”, huh? Yeah. Right.
Anyway, some 5 years ago, he decided to switch tack and embark on a career in professional community services, with Mission Australia.  “Mission Australia has some 500 programs to choose from”, Thomas remarked. He selected Youth Support, counselling young people aged 15 - 24. His work involves the entire spectrum: finding them employment, housing, education, and providing life guidance. “Often, I support people who have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), Anxiety, complex trauma background, or generational unemployment”, he said. His tertiary qualifications include a Diploma of Community Services and a Diploma of Counselling.
And what does he do in his spare time? “I go and explore nature with my son, motorbiking, or magnet fishing”. Magnet fishing? That’s when you aim to catch anything that hangs on to a magnet, as in stuff people have thrown off a bridge. “You’d be amazed at some of the stuff that comes up!”, he jested. And very much worth mentioning: Thomas is also a member of the Reserve Army, a Reserve Rifleman.
Throughout the world, Rotarians aim to make the world a better place. It’s good to have members in our club who, including his mentor Evan Mita, also do so professionally.  Welcome to the club, Thomas!
Last Wednesday's speaker: Thomas Robinson Franz Huber 2024-01-26 14:00:00Z 0

Vale Bruce Pallesen

It is with great sadness that we need to report the recent passing away of Bruce Pallesen, one of our regular volunteers (Associate Members) at our project shed, at the age of 84. Our deepest condolences go to his wife Maureen and his family.
This picture was taken in September 2020 at the shed. We also have a write-up about him in the archives of our website - click here to access it.
A memorial service will be held on Wednesday 31st January,  9:55 am - 11:25 am (AEST), at Somerville Funerals, 44 Nind Street, Southport. 
Vale Bruce Pallesen Franz Huber 2024-01-20 14:00:00Z 0

January is Vocational Service Month

Posted by Franz Huber on Jan 07, 2024
“The best augury of a man’s success in his profession is that he thinks it the finest in the world” so wrote the renowned English novelist George Eliot in 1876…    So, what has changed? Today, 148 years later, her statement is still true. [No, Henrietta, George Eliot definitely was a lady… ☺]
The international monthly Rotary theme for January is what in the “good ol' days” used to be one of Rotary’s major Avenues of Service: Vocational Service. Since Eliot’s time, lots of changes relating to vocations have happened, and lots of prognoses have been made. 40 years ago it was the demise of the Industrial Age, which was replaced by the “Information Revolution”. Indeed, this has largely happened; in case you haven’t noticed:  We are right in it. Today’s plain vanilla mobile phone, with a measly 64 Gigabytes of memory, is roughly 250 times as powerful as the Commonwealth Bank’s mainframe computer of the mid-1970’s (it had 256 Megabytes of RAM). On top of this, it has access to unlimited information of the Internet. And now, the next major disruptor is the combination of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Biotechnology, which will have a far greater impact. AI has been around for decades - refer to the spell checker (ca 1984) through to Google Maps (ca 2005) and now Chat GPT and a whole swag of others, not so well published (2023).
Yet, whilst the method by which we do things may change, the ethical principles as depicted in the Objects of Rotary have not changed. Click on this link for the complete set of Rotary’s Guiding Principles. For this article, it's the second object that is relevant:
“High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.”
January is Vocational Service Month Franz Huber 2024-01-06 14:00:00Z 0

A Christmas Breakfast with a difference

Our social convenor Graeme Isaacson (with the possible assistance from Anne ☺) organised a Christmas breakfast with a difference: at the restaurant on the 77th floor of Q1! Great buffet, everyone enjoyed themselves.  Check out the Photo Album on the right!
A Christmas Breakfast with a difference Franz Huber 2024-01-05 14:00:00Z 0

Andy Bell is President Elect 2024-25

Posted by Franz Huber on Dec 14, 2023
At the recent Annual General Meeting, Andy Bell was elected (by secret ballot) to the position of President Elect 2024-25.  Congratulations, Andy!
Andy brings some considerable experience in the job with him - in addition to numerous other senior roles and board positions, he was President in the 2017/18 year.
Andy Bell is President Elect 2024-25 Franz Huber 2023-12-13 14:00:00Z 0

Sorry, we have been unable to deliver your parcel…

Posted by Franz Huber on Nov 30, 2023
Last Wednesday we received a professional presentation on how to AVOID crime, by three representatives of Crime Stoppers: Keith Knight, Tracey Chase and Julie Echin. I assume you already know what Crime Stoppers is all about (if you don’t: click here). In short: if you suspect a crime has been, or is about to be committed, or you have information which may lead to a prosecution, you can call 1800 333 000 anonymously. No names, no phone numbers, no personal details of any sort are collected. You are assigned an identity code, which you may refer to if, at a future date, you may be able to collect a reward. Yes, also anonymously! And, contrary to popular belief: Crime Stoppers is a charity, NOT a government agency! [There. You learned something new today! Yes, I shook my head too. Ed.]
“Put your mobile phone away for two days” Keith Knight from Crime Stoppers challenged us. Yes, I agree, we ARE addicted. We do everything with it: Call, text, google, play music and videos, make payments. Yet…
Sorry, we have been unable to deliver your parcel… Franz Huber 2023-11-29 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to two new Surfers Sunrise Rotarians!

(Well, almost new - both have decades of Rotary experience and now have joined our great organisation again… 😊) President Doug Lipp this morning inducted Ralph Pownall (picture left) and Rock O’Keefe (picture below right) as “returning” Rotarians. Both photos also include Lisa Else, who is a personal friend of Rock (and we hope we can convince her to become a member as well!).
But wait, there’s more! Ralph is not only a Charter Member of our club (chartered in January 1987), but in 1989/90 was our third President!
Welcome to two new Surfers Sunrise Rotarians! Franz Huber 2023-11-28 14:00:00Z 0

Damian Hussey - Cinematographer, Writer, Film Director

What does a young man do when he is not sure what career path he should follow? “You can do what you want” was the advice Damian got. “But that was not necessarily helpful” our guest speaker last week drily remarked…  Well, the Army was recruiting, and, provided one signed up for 6 years, one could learn a trade into the bargain. He ended up becoming an Avionics Technician, specialising in Helicopters, and was posted to Afghanistan.  But the work in the Army didn’t provide the job satisfaction he was after.
Today, Damian runs a Video Production company, Iron Forge Pictures, based on the Gold Coast. The path to success was not exactly a bed of roses: After the Army, he travelled Europe with his own camera. “I have always enjoyed shooting silly videos,” he said, which he edited himself and then published on streaming sites such as YouTube.
At age 28, Damian embarked on a career in Video editing. He enrolled at the local International Film College, hunkering down to serious study of the art, earning an Advanced Diploma. But it’s not as easy as… In 2012, when the Australian Dollar was on par with the US, it was cheaper to make movies in the US, so work was scarce. So he started making his own short films. But, 3 days before shooting was to start, his Director pulled out… No other option but to learn how to direct himself.
And the rest is history, so they say. His feature film ‘The Lost One’  debuted in 2020. During the COVID period in 2021, he wrote four feature length scripts and directed his second feature, ‘Girls Night Out’ in 2022. Today, Damian writes, directs, edits and even distributes his own work. ‘Gunpowder’ is destined to be published as a graphic novel.  In addition, he regularly lectures at TAFE college. “No flies on you”, I think, is the correct colloquial Australian expression…
(Photo: Damian Hussey (right) with meeting Chairman Gerald East)
Damian Hussey - Cinematographer, Writer, Film Director  Franz Huber 2023-11-15 14:00:00Z 0

Surfers Sunrise Golf Day is next Monday

Posted on Oct 22, 2023
This year's Surfers Sunrise Golf Day will be held on Monday, 30th October 2023, at the usual location, the Surfers Paradise Golf Club. It will be a 'Shotgun Start' at 12:00 pm (registration from 11:00 am). Several options:
  • Corporate Hole Sponsor (includes 4 players, signage and advertising)
  • 4-player Team
  • Single individual player
Chief organizers Doug Lipp and Charles Thomasson are looking both for players, helpers as well as Raffle Prizes. Invite your friends, associates, customers, suppliers and make up a 4-player team or two!  Tickets are strictly limited. Bookings close on 23rd October, or when all tickets have been sold.
Secure online booking site is now open. Click on this link, or scan the QR Code: 
Surfers Sunrise Golf Day is next Monday Franz Huber 2023-10-21 14:00:00Z 0

October is Economic and Community Development month

Posted by Franz Huber on Oct 05, 2023
“Economic and Community Development” sounds like some BIG thing, something that one would expect the Federal Treasurer or the UN to tackle. Lots of big speeches, platitudes, committees, enquiries. How could a little Rotary club like ours possibly get involved, not to mention make a difference? Or could we?
In the “good ol’ days”, Community Service was a directorship all of its own (see the old logo from the last millennium on the right - things were less complicated then...). Most of us would have travelled our great country and have stopped at a Rotary Park somewhere beyond the Black Stump, with a Bar-be-que area, ubiquitous in country towns. Look closer to home: when the Gold Coast Botanical Gardens was established, local Rotary clubs were very active in planting trees and shrubs. At Cascade Gardens, there is a Kokoda Memorial, established by the Broadwater-Southport club, and Hope Island has constructed an Armistice Memorial. In Coomera, they have a monthly book sale where the locals can obtain very inexpensive reading material, DVDs etc. Keep looking – there are a lot more.
Our club’s Wheelchairs project is as much a community service project as it is an international service project. Our volunteers enjoy the twice-weekly companionship of their fellow workers, whilst they are “doing good”. Our club supports a number of local projects, such as Angel Flight (last year’s District Governor’s personal project) and this year, the major beneficiaries of our Golf Day are Pancare Aid and the Police Citizen’s Youth Club.
Yes, a small club CAN make a difference. As a member of one of the most trusted organisations in the world, YOU and I can make a difference, by participating in events, by promoting Rotary.
October is Economic and Community Development month Franz Huber 2023-10-04 14:00:00Z 0

The team that re-erected the X-Ray Unit on Pentecost Island

Posted by Franz Huber on Sep 23, 2023
(from left): Matt Hayward, Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, John Groves (the master builder), Mitch Brown, Ava Pearson, Hudson Sirovs, Al Sirovs and (front) Dan Snart.
Not your average meeting last Wednesday: Not only did we welcome a new member (see separate article above), but the team that went to Pentecost Island, Vanuatu to erect the X-Ray Unit at Mauna Health Centre fronted the club.
This wasn’t a simple task by any means: Master Builder John Groves eloquently outlined the enormous task of getting the X-Ray and Pathology Lab Unit built. After a two day trip, by Air to Port Vila, then by ‘Rock Hopper’ plane to Lonorore and a three-hour boat trip to the Mauna Health Centre, the task was to unpack the “flat pack” building which was shipped in two containers from our project shed in Arundel in February this year. There isn't much flat space there! To get it up the hill and re-erect it was a massive task. “Without the huge work of locals, it would never have happened”, John said.

Hard work it might have been, but the team was unanimous in declaring the exercise as a “once in a lifetime experience”. Twelve days of basic accommodation in a guest house, no electrical power (except in the Medical Centre), locally cooked
The team that re-erected the X-Ray Unit on Pentecost Island Franz Huber 2023-09-22 14:00:00Z 0

Vanessa Jansen: Corporate Membership

Posted by Franz Huber on Sep 08, 2023
“We need to get a number of visitors together to form a Rotary Group” was the brief given by (then District Public Image coordinator) PDG Andy Rapajakse. The idea was to form a new Rotary Club based on corporate, rather than individual membership. That was in 2018 (incidentally, the same year our club, Surfers Sunrise, introduced corporate membership into our bylaws – we claim to have “invented” the concept… ☺). The result was a new club named Gold Coast Corporate Rotary, chartered in 2020.  Today, the club counts 38 members. At the District 2022 District Conference, her club received the award for the Highest Membership growth in District 9640).
“It started off with door knocking,” she said, in other words: the ages-old method of aiming for personal contact. But her club works differently to conventional Rotary clubs: they meet just once a month on the 3rd Wednesday at 5:30 pm. The meeting usually takes place at one of the members’ boardroom, or perhaps at a café, for cheese and crackers. “We are looking for businesses rather than just individuals (but, of course, individual members are most welcome too, just as any other club does). Corporate members can nominate up to 8 people who can attend meetings in rotation. An annual fee of $900 entitles a business to have up to 5 voting members. The club runs various projects, including a mentorship program. Interestingly, this also involves online courses available from Rotary’s very own Learning Centre, on the Rotary International website  For example, to visit the section of Personal Development, Click here (you'll need to login).  Thank you, Vanessa, for a very instructive presentation!
A copy of Vanessa’s PowerPoint presentation (in PDF format) has been uploaded to our Download Files section on the right. Photo: Vanessa Jansen with Paul Seymour, our meeting Chairman.
Vanessa Jansen: Corporate Membership Franz Huber 2023-09-07 14:00:00Z 0

Special recognition for two of our Associate Members

Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 24, 2023
A very special night yesterday Wednesday for two tireless workers of our project shed: John Hall (picture left) and Bryan Tuesley (picture right) were recognised by the Federal Member for Moncrieff, Angie Bell MP, for their work and dedication to our project.

Congratulations to both of you, and thank you and all your fellow volunteers for your ongoing work and dedication! Your efforts provide mobility to thousands of disabled children and adults in developing countries.
Special recognition for two of our Associate Members Franz Huber 2023-08-23 14:00:00Z 0

Lyssia Demeulenaere returns after 10 years

Posted by Franz Huber on Jul 05, 2023
What a lovely surprise this morning at Surfers Sunrise: visit by Lyssia Demeulenaere, our Youth Exchange Student from Belgium who arrived almost exactly 10 years ago in July 2013 (Picture left). And whilst we have all aged 10 years... NOT FAIR! Well, you be the judge! Must have had something to do with the air and her lifestyle: Upon returning to Belgium and completing her degree, she went off to Bolivia and all sorts of other places.
Welcome back to the Gold Coast, Lyssia! Great to see you!
Lyssia Demeulenaere returns after 10 years Franz Huber 2023-07-04 14:00:00Z 0

Last meeting's Guest Speaker: Angie Bell MP

Angie opened her discourse with the story of a young woman, living in her electorate: The massive cost of living increase causes her constituent acute stress. And the forecast is that over the next months inflation will get even worse. Families struggle, not only due to inflation, but also due to rise of interest rates. The Reserve Bank tries to get inflation back to a target band of 2 – 3%. “The average family, due to inflation, is $25,000 worse off” Angie said. There is nothing in the recent budget to help people who suffer from mortgage stress, nothing for retirees, nothing for local communities, nothing for small business. Angie also referred to bracket creep in taxation.

On job seeking, the opposition’s policy is to allow people who are on welfare to work more hours before their benefits get affected. She is the product of 3 generations of factory workers in South Australia. “The harder you work the luckier you get” is her motto. She also elaborated on the Superannuation changes and Early Learning. In relation to the latter, the major issue is not just money, it is getting access to it: in many regions, there isn’t sufficient staff.

In her capacity as the newly appointed Shadow Minister for Youth, Angie formed a ‘Youth Cabinet’ across the Gold Coast. She then organised and chaired a summit, the ‘Gold Coast Impact Youth Summit’ with the aim of giving young people opportunities, “the same opportunities I had as a young person”. Some 200 young people from public and private schools, and community groups attended.
Angie told us about a young, somewhat dejected man who came to her office seeking help. At the recent Youth Summit he was included in a break-out group where he could meet with people who went to university (or planned to go); let’s call them people he would consider privileged and opposite to his situation. Of course, the frank exchange of views proved beneficial for both sides.

Angie concluded by relating some information on workng with her colleagues and her leader, Peter Dutton. “Peter Dutton has the hardest job in Australia, but he has a great sense of humour” she said. [Yes, quite different to what the press, particularly our national broadcaster and the left-leaning press, loves to depict him…  But Rotary’s creed is to be above politics, so allow me to desist from further elaborating…  Ed.]
Last meeting's Guest Speaker: Angie Bell MP Franz Huber 2023-05-19 14:00:00Z 0

Official hand-over of X-Ray Unit for Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Posted by Franz Huber on Apr 05, 2023
Photo by Mark Urquhart (from left): Cr Darren Taylor, Greg Bowler, Assistant Governor Sheila Ponting, Mario Fairlie, District Governor Karen Thomas, Sam O'Connor MP, John Paul Langbroek MP, Des La Rance OAM,  Dr Graham Sivyer, Cr Ryan Baildon-Lumsden, President Burleigh Heads Rotaract Club Dan Snart, President Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club Mitch Brown.
Last Wednesday, the three Rotary clubs, Surfers Sunrise, Broadbeach and Gold Coast celebrated the official hand-over of the X-Ray and Pathology Unit, destined for Pentecost Island, Vanuatu. The building was constructed, then dismantled and flat-packed into a container at our project shed in Arundel. Mid-February, the containers were on the way to be shipped to their destination. Some 60 attendees enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Catalina Cafe on Broadwater Parklands, honoured by the presence of several dignitaries, including our District Governor Karen Thomas and Assistant Governor Sheila Ponting, local MPs John Paul Langbroek and Sam O'Connor, Councillors Ryan Baildon-Lumsden and Darren Taylor, the President of the Gold Coast Medical Association, Professor Philip Morris, just to name a few. Regrettably, the dignitaries expected from Vanuatu were unable to join us, due to the massive devastation that was caused by the two cyclones that recently struck their country.
Master of Ceremonies Trent Belling, a third generation Rotarian as he proudly introduced himself, led the proceedings with aplomb. Mario Fairlie and Dr Graham Sivyer, who together with Greg Bowler were the project's leaders, provided a brief outline of its history. They had visited Vanuatu twice, both the destination at Pentecost Island as well as for meetings with authorities in the capital Port Vila. This should ensure a smooth transfer once the containers have arrived at Port Vila. Well deserved, they also gave the "inventor" and leader of the building concept, Des La Rance OAM due credit. "There would have been a thousand people involved all up," Mario emphasised, "from the helpers on the ground to the individual donors of both finances and materials. Equally important is that we recognise the Global Grant from The Rotary Foundation and not least the young Rotaractors. Young people are essential to have around, not just for young ideas, but for physically demanding work". 
Local member for Surfers Paradise, John Paul Langbroek briefly outlined how important the ongoing work with South Pacific countries, at all levels of Government as well as at basic population basis is. "JPL", a diminutive he is fondly referred to by his friends and colleagues, has had extensive experience with Trade Missions into these countries, including PNG and Vanuatu. JPL also acknowledged our achievement of some 11,000 wheelchairs that have been despatched to all corners of the world.
District Governor Karen Thomas referred to the "ROSE" award (Recognition of Significant Effort) which she recently presented to the three clubs at the District Conference in Yamba. This was in recognition of our three clubs successfully working together on this massive project.
The two containers are now at sea. On-site re-erection of the building and the commissioning of the X-Ray and Pathology equipment is expected to take place in June. Watch this spot!
(Also, check the Download files on the right for a slideshow and press release. There is also a photo album by photographer Mark Urquhart online - click here)
Official hand-over of X-Ray Unit for Pentecost Island, Vanuatu Franz Huber 2023-04-04 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 22. Feb: breakfast AT THE PROJECT SHED

Posted by Franz Huber on Feb 20, 2023
This week our meeting will NOT be at the Surf Club, but at the project shed in Arundel, next to the Arundel Community Centre, 175 Napper Road, Arundel 4214.
Past District Governor Tony Heading is the District Chair for The Rotary Foundation (TRF). Most people, and even most Rotarians, are not aware of the size of influence TRF has in the world, nor that it is one of the most efficiently run large charities (a rare 4 stars on He will give us an outline of "our" foundation's multi-faceted programs.
Join us for the traditional Bacon & Eggs barbeque. We need to load a container (yes, another one), this one with wheelchairs bound for South Africa. The shed will open at 6:00 am, so if you can, please help.
This coming Wednesday 22. Feb: breakfast AT THE PROJECT SHED Franz Huber 2023-02-19 14:00:00Z 0

Dignitaries visit shed prior to send-off of X-Ray Unit

Last Saturday morning, Federal Member Hon. Angie Bell MP, State Member for Bonney Sam O'Connor MP and Councillor Ryan Baildon-Lumsden visited our project shed in Arundel this morning to inspect the X-Ray Unit, prior of its being dismantled, to be packed into a container and sent off to Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. 
Dignitaries visit shed prior to send-off of X-Ray Unit Franz Huber 2023-02-12 14:00:00Z 0

Mario Fairlie and Dr Graham Sivyer visited Vanuatu

Posted by Franz Huber
Last week, Mario Fairlie and Dr Graham Sivyer (RC of Broadbeach) visited Port Vila in preparation of the delivery and installation of the X-Ray Unit for Mauna Health Centre on Pentecost Island. There, they met with various officials from the Vanuatu authorities, including Dr Richard Leone, Head of Surgery (who originally instigated the project when on a visit to Australia). This was to ensure a smooth and incident-free transfer of our container from wharf, through Customs and on to a barge and ongoing transport to Pentecost Island.
Watch this space for a full report in next week's bulletinPhoto: Mario Fairlie (centre) with Dr Graham Sivyer (right) and Mr George Pakoa, pathology and development officer.
Mario Fairlie and Dr Graham Sivyer visited Vanuatu Franz Huber 2023-02-12 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchair Shed donates bike to Wesley Mission

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!
Wheelchair Shed donates bike to Wesley Mission Franz Huber 2022-12-16 14:00:00Z 0

Great Christmas Breakfast at Marina Mirage

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.
Great Christmas Breakfast at Marina Mirage Franz Huber 2022-12-16 14:00:00Z 0

District Governor Karen Thomas – Club visit 23 Nov 22

Posted by Franz Huber on Nov 24, 2022
Has anyone dug a bit deeper into the concept of this year’s Rotary International Theme logo ‘Imagine Rotary’ (see picture right)? Did you get an inkling too that it has an Aboriginal feel to it? Correct, that was certainly very deliberate. Designed by an Australian artist, Riki Salam, the design is reflecting Aboriginal culture: the circle signifies our connection to one another, and the dots around it represent people; seven because of Rotary’s areas of focus, the solid line underneath is a digging stick. The colours green, purple and white are not necessarily connected to aboriginal culture. You can read all about it – click on this link.
“I worked in the medical field since I was 17 years old”, Karen stated with justified pride. She is a registered intensive care nurse but has worked in several areas in her field. Hence, her personal projects are related: At the top is ‘Liveblood’, the campaign to donate blood. Did you know that people undergoing Chemo require blood products every two days? There is a distinct shortage, which can even result in the doctors needing to decide on a triage-type process.
Karen highlighted the upcoming District Conference at Yamba, from 10th – 12th March 2023. There will be several hugely interesting keynote speakers – watch this space in upcoming bulletins, or go to the District website www.rotary9640.orgRegistrations are now open.
But a major point of emphasis for this year is ‘DEI’ (yes, another Rotary acronym…): it stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion. Yes, we’ve all been pounded with the ‘flavour of the period’ [my remarks, not the District Governor’s. Ed.] But Karen highlighted a hugely important point: Not all disability is visible. Have you thought about people with hearing difficulties? Allergies (think gluten)? Chronic pain? Intellectual? [no, please don’t start. It’s not funny.] No, neither did it pop up in my mind first off.
Thank you, DG Karen. As our meeting chairman, Adrian remarked: “I’ve actually learned something at a DG’s club visit.”
District Governor Karen Thomas – Club visit 23 Nov 22 Franz Huber 2022-11-23 14:00:00Z 0

Maria Leebeck, Gold Coast Youth Service

“We supply them with tents because there is nowhere else to put them”, was one of the stark statements we heard from our guest speaker, Maria Leebeck, last Wednesday morning. She is the President of Gold Coast Youth Service, an organisation that primarily is set up to care for the homeless and destitute young people on the Gold Coast. And yet, they are not allowed to set up those tents in Council owned caravan parks…
“Currently, there are roughly 250 “rough sleepers” on the Gold Coast we know by name” she said. They come from all types of backgrounds, but most are young people who are ‘still at home’, but don’t want to live there, due to issues such as

Maria Leebeck, Gold Coast Youth Service Franz Huber 2022-11-09 14:00:00Z 0

Big working bee at the shed last Saturday

Posted by Franz Huber
Big working bee on Saturday to move completed wheelchairs from the shed into an outside container. Other than simply making more space inside the shed, this is required so a proper Workplace Health & Safety Audit can be carried out.
A big Thank You! to all the associates and members who attended (too many to mention individually - you know who you are, give yourself a pat on the back!) Photo: The inventor and driving force behind our wheelchairs project, Des La Rance wrestling the pallet lift up a very temporary ramp, capably assisted by some muscular associate members... 😊
Big working bee at the shed last Saturday Franz Huber 2022-11-05 14:00:00Z 0

Sunday Family Picnic at Evandale Park and HOTA

Angus Miller is organising a social picnic at Evandale Park, followed by a visit to the new Home of the Arts (HOTA). Everyone welcome, including Associate members and grandkids! If the weather is inclement, only HOTA!. Following this, you may want to join us for a coffee or lunch at the HOTA Cafe.  Bring your own everything, including camping chairs, sunscreen (here is hope! smiley)
Sunday Family Picnic at Evandale Park and HOTA Franz Huber 2022-10-16 14:00:00Z 0

Special visitors from South Africa

Last Wednesday, we had the pleasure of welcoming Clive and Kathy Hassell, from the Rotary Club of Uitenhage, South Africa. Welcome to Australia and particularly to the Gold Coast!
Hadn't it been due to having two guest speakers on the day, Clive would have had sufficient time to present one of his club's projects, that of improving the lives of the disadvantaged children in his region.  In essence: The region suffers from almost extreme unemployment, resulting in most families being unable to get their children enrolled in Early Learning classes. Clive has uploaded a short video to Youtube, which outlines the project.  Click here to view it; at the end you find a QR code which leads to his Crowd Funding page. A very worthwhile project; any small donation helps!
Special visitors from South Africa Franz Huber 2022-10-13 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our newest Corporate Members

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)
Meet our newest Corporate Members  Franz Huber 2022-10-12 14:00:00Z 0

A load of hospital beds and equipment for DIK

A load of hospital beds and other medical equipment goes to Donations in Kind. The equipment originally was donated by the Gold Coast Hospital (I think) and was temporarily stored at our Project Shed. Yesterday, it was picked up to go to their Brisbane warehouse. Picture shows Bren Milsom (DIK) with Geoff Croad - just one box left to load...!
A load of hospital beds and equipment for DIK Franz Huber 2022-10-12 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: Nicole Brickwell and Nick Cole

Our newest corporate members, Nicole Bricknell and Nick Cole of Cole Residential will give us a bit of an insight into their background and particularly their hobbies and passions.  Both have already been active in our club, assisting with the fundraisers and Nick has written up the Services Committee report from the recent Strategic Planning meeting.
Very much looking forward to it!
This coming Wednesday: Nicole Brickwell and Nick Cole Franz Huber 2022-10-06 14:00:00Z 0

Rapper Geoff?

So you always thought Geoff Croad to be the most collected, quietly spoken gentleman anyone could imagine, never a loud word... Then you see this rapper type at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club, wearing his hat the wrong way round, chatting with a guy wearing dark glasses who is reputed to have designed half the high rise buildings on the Gold Coast, and you think...
Yes, it's him. But no, he's not a rapper, he just put it that way because the sun became too hot...
Rapper Geoff? Franz Huber 2022-10-06 14:00:00Z 0

Separating the rubbish from recyclables

There is a lot of work out at our project shed which is not directly related to making wheelchairs or construction of buildings: Al Sirovs sent me this picture of one of our Associate Members, Ron Thompson, dismantling bikes. A fair portion of the components, such as the tyres, the pedals, etc are not suitable for either use on the wheelchairs nor for recycling. The aluminium components such as the wheels (without tyres) are separated as they fetch a higher price than iron or steel. The latter goes into a huge 10 m3 skippy bin, collected by Sims Metal on a regular basis. All proceeds go back into the wheelchairs account.
Separating the rubbish from recyclables Franz Huber 2022-10-01 14:00:00Z 0

Putting finishing touches on the X-Ray Unit

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)
Putting finishing touches on the X-Ray Unit Franz Huber 2022-09-24 14:00:00Z 0

Tash Price wins the "Champion of Sport" Award

Our hearty congratulations to our members Natasha Price and her business partner Adam Sheppard. Tash won the "Champion of Sport" section of the Gold Coast Bulletin Women of the Year awards. Picture shows Tash with at last night's celebrations.
Well done, Tash and Adam!
Tash Price wins the "Champion of Sport" Award Franz Huber 2022-09-23 14:00:00Z 0

Finally! Old bicycle tires sent to recycling plant

Posted by Franz Huber on Sep 18, 2022
For two years we had been looking for an alternative place that would accept our bicycle tyres, after the company that previously took them seemed to have gone AWOL... Last week, the trailer was loaded to the rim and the load went all the way to Ipswich, to Chip Tyre Pty LtdGood work, fellows!
Photo (by Al Sirovs), from left: Bryan Tuesley, Rick Parry and Ron Thompson.
Finally! Old bicycle tires sent to recycling plant Franz Huber 2022-09-17 14:00:00Z 0

DGN Lisa Hunt - Regionalisation

Posted by Franz Huber on Sep 17, 2022
Last Wednesday, DGN Lisa Hunt presented a concise outline of the proposed Regionalisation Pilot program for Zone 8 (Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific islands). Together with the UK, Zone 8 which includes our District 9640, has been chosen to participate in this program. Her presentation was strictly for the purpose of informing, not to influence. Some major points to mention:
  • The RI Board is asking us to vote on whether we approve participating in a pilot to develop, test, and evaluate a new regional approach to supporting and governing Rotary and Rotaract clubs and members in Zone 8 from July 2023 to July 2026.
  • If the pilot proceeds, it will occur whilst districts remain in place and in full consultation with districts and clubs.
  • Our members, clubs, projects and programs remain at the heart of what we do. 
Following discussion, a vote was taken and our club voted. The result of the vote is not for publication, however, any member who was unable to be present is welcome to enquire directly with one of the board members.  Over the next few weeks, all other clubs in the district are required to vote (one vote per club).
Photo: Lisa with our Chairman of the day, Peter Morgan.
DGN Lisa Hunt - Regionalisation Franz Huber 2022-09-16 14:00:00Z 0

Polio confined to some remote areas of Afghanistan? And New York.

You would be forgiven if, in view of some other matters taking precedence in the media over the last few days, you might have missed this.
The Governor of New York has declared a State of Emergency, in response to the Polio virus having been discovered in waste water, both in New York as well as in four neighboring counties.
In 1979, Rotary International launched the fight against Polio. In 1985, Polio Plus was launched, with the aim of eradicating this terrible disease, mostly affecting children. Since then, billions of dollars have been spent, and millions of volunteer hours have been expended to apply Polio vaccines throughout the world. The result: from a count of about 350,000 cases EVERY year, vaccination has largely eliminated Polio in almost all countries, with the exception of some remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, where access to the people distributing and applying the vaccines is, sadly, severely restricted. Until now.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Polio confined to some remote areas of Afghanistan? And New York. Franz Huber 2022-09-09 14:00:00Z 0

"Unofficial board meeting" at Benowa Tavern

"Unofficial board meeting" at Benowa Tavern last Thursday. And yes, thanks for asking: We DID make the world a better place. Don't know whether the world listened though... OK then, call it "Council of the Elders" instead. 😊  Now set to be regular, every second Thursday from 4:30 pm, on the days we don't have a 'formal' meeting in the morning.
"Unofficial board meeting" at Benowa Tavern Franz Huber 2022-09-08 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday: DGN Lisa Hunt - Regionalisation

Posted on Sep 08, 2022
This Wednesday DGN Lisa Hunt will visit our club to talk about the proposed Regionalisation Pilot program for Zone 8. This zone includes Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. Our District 9640 has been chosen for a pilot program, aimed to determine whether the proposed new governance scheme is feasible, workable and indeed whether the expected benefits will materialise.
If adopted, this would involve major changes. In essence, the current Districts would be abolished and replaced with regions (approximately 2 - 3 per District). Hence all members should inform themselves before all clubs in the district are asked to voteshortly after DGN Lisa’s presentation.
There is a major website (which largely outlines the proposed scheme, thus naturally leading to the ‘Pro’ side of the argument). It contains a very detailed outline, including an extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions. 
To learn more about the negative side, a PDF with two opinion pieces by PP Peter Truer (RC of Boonah) and PDG Jeff Egan (RC Mt Warning AM) has also been distributed to all members. It is important to note that both are stating their personal view, not the official view of the District. To save you finding it, I’ve uploaded it to the Download Section on the right.
This Wednesday: DGN Lisa Hunt - Regionalisation Franz Huber 2022-09-07 14:00:00Z 0

Very successful fundraiser last Friday

Posted by Franz Huber
Good fundraiser today at Bunnings Olsen Avenue Sausage Sizzle. Exact figures not available yet, but expected to be the best ever for a Friday event. The new pricing scheme (dictated by Bunnings) would certainly have made a difference. A big thank you to all the helpers (see President's message above). Photo shows the clean-up crew at the end of the day: (from left) Anne O'Connor, Angus Miller, Ray Drowley, Geoff Croad.
Very successful fundraiser last Friday Franz Huber 2022-09-04 14:00:00Z 0

The Lutzy Award goes to Pieta Jackman

Posted by Franz Huber
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
The Lutzy Award goes to Pieta Jackman Franz Huber 2022-08-30 14:00:00Z 0

The lift at the Surfers SLSC is now operating

Posted by Franz Huber
Good news for our members and guests with a disability or impairment! See you on Wednesday morning!
The lift at the Surfers SLSC is now operating Franz Huber 2022-08-25 14:00:00Z 0

Lutzy Award Presentation this coming Wednesday, 31st August 2022

Posted by Franz Huber

This year's winner of the Lutzy Award will be presented again at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club. You'll have a hearty, plate served breakfast of Bacon & Eggs (choice of fried or poached), Sausage & Fried Eggs or a bowl of Acai, for the same cost as last year's ($11.00 per person). Hey! Where else can you get a hearty meal for $11.00? Bookings have now closed. If you forgot, or if you have just emerged from an extended trip up the Amazon ☺, please contact Graeme Isaacson directly. 

By the way: the lift is now operating! (see separate note below)

(Image is from last year's presentation to Jet Milford - Ferguson)

Lutzy Award Presentation this coming Wednesday, 31st August 2022 Franz Huber 2022-08-24 14:00:00Z 0

Zoe Humphries – My Community Legal

Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 21, 2022
Last Wednesday we were introduced to an organisation the majority of us didn’t even know it existed: My Community Legal (MCL) provides “a free, responsive and accessible legal service to those who most need it”, Zoe outlined. The vast bulk of MCL’s services are provided pro bono publico [yes, Henrietta, my Latin might be a bit rusty, but I still remember that this means free of charge!].
But they are not only there to provide legal services, they are also engaging in legal education. This might be related to clients, but also provides emerging lawyers, such as Zoe, with an opportunity to practice under the supervision of experienced law professionals. Whilst MCL is giving advice, they do not go to court on behalf of clients. However, they can refer clients to the appropriate services.
Established in 2014, MCL has grown to service up to 45 clients every week, currently around 1000 annually. Whilst all areas of legal services are addressed, heavy emphasis is given to Domestic Violence – some 781 clients last year. Yes, it is a major problem: “1 in 4 women has experienced emotional abuse by a current or previous partner. Even more concerning: 1 in 6 have experienced physical or sexual violence” Zoe informed us.
You can check out Zoe’s PowerPoint slides – see Download section on the right, which include contact details. 
Zoe Humphries – My Community Legal  Franz Huber 2022-08-20 14:00:00Z 0

PDG Darrell Brown celebrates 50 years in Rotary

Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 18, 2022
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.
PDG Darrell Brown celebrates 50 years in Rotary Franz Huber 2022-08-17 14:00:00Z 0

Tash Price wins Sunshine Coast Half Marathon

Hot off the press: on the weekend, our member Tash Price, coached by Adam Sheppard, won the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon wheelchair race. Congratulations, Tash and Adam! Is Tash a little bit too modest? "Although I didn’t quite reach the course record I set a few years back, I was under 2 mins off it and considering how unwell I’ve been the last few months, I couldn’t be happier" she posts on her Facebook page.  Give yourself a big pat on the back, Tash and Adam!
Tash Price wins Sunshine Coast Half Marathon Franz Huber 2022-08-14 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 17th August: Zoe Humphries

Zoe Humphries is a lawyer with My Community Legal, who specialisies in Domestic Violence cases. With the ever occurring cases of DV (keep in mind, only the very serious ones make the news media), it is ever so important that we learn how we can contribute to its prevention. 

In addition, we also will have a very special event - see President's Message above - that morning! Well, you'll just have to be there!

This coming Wednesday 17th August: Zoe Humphries Franz Huber 2022-08-11 14:00:00Z 0

Sgt Cherie MacLean – PCYC

Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 05, 2022
“I have the best job in the Police Force” was Sgt Cherie Maclean’s opening. Cherie would easily qualify as the friendliest, yet very professional, Police Officer I’ve ever met. OK, the heavy 9 mm pistol, a taser and whatever other paraphernalia a police officer is required to carry around telegraph that she is ready to tackle whatever Police job might pop up at short notice. But there are no two ways: Her enthusiasm and her positive and outgoing manner leave little doubt that she indeed takes her vocation of managing the Gold Coast Police Youth Citizens Club (PCYC) very seriously.
The organisation has existed for over 70 years, with some 57 clubs in our state of Queensland. What does it do? Well, perhaps if you download her PowerPoint (see Download Files on the right), you get a good, broad picture: As the name would suggest, Youth and Community is the major thrust. Early intervention, Crime Prevention, a program named RUBY, designed to help people suffering Domestic and Family Violence…
A program ‘Braking the Cycle’ [no Henrietta, no spelling error – it’s braking as in slowing down, I did check! Ed. ☺]. They are looking for mentors. To do what? Mentoring young learner drivers, assisting them to reach the required 100 hours of driving to get their P-Plates. “Me?? Sitting in a car with a L-Plater??” I hear you ask. Yes, it is safe. Yes, you will receive training. No, not with your own car – they’ll supply the vehicle. Yes, you can get more info online: where you can also apply.
There is much, much more to Cherie’s story. Click on this link to learn more about this wonderful organisation: (Photo: Chairman of the day, Doug Lipp with Sgt Cherie McLean)
Sgt Cherie MacLean – PCYC Franz Huber 2022-08-04 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome Cole Residential - our newest Corporate Member

Posted by Franz Huber on Aug 03, 2022
At this morning's meeting we had the pleasure of witnessing the induction of our latest Corporate Member, Cole Residential Real Estate. Welcome! We much look forward to seeing you at our meetings.
Photo (from left) Ali Boccassino, Jane Starr, Ashleigh Baker, Nick Cole, Nicole Bricknell, with our President Mitch Brown. 
Welcome Cole Residential - our newest Corporate Member Franz Huber 2022-08-02 14:00:00Z 0

Hi! Would you like to marry me?

No, don't you start rumours... your Editor is quite happily married already. But I put in this headline to outline how silly it would be to ask somebody, full-on, "Would you like to join Rotary?" Yet, the adage that "if you don't ask, it is unlikely that they'll ask you" always applies.
So, you've met that person who is of good reputation. You may have briefly talked about what you do in our club. You know he/she may be interested in becoming involved.  How do you ask?
OK, there is the old hoary chestnut of the proverbial "alternative close" (as in "would this Wednesday be suitable or would you prefer Wednesday 17th?"). but this is unlikely to work as an opening. In good salesmanship, the so-called 'Elevator Pitch' is the best. This needs to be in your words, your style, highlighting a couple of important points.
Here is just one where Surfers Sunrise shines: We are big in Youth Services. Is your potential member a parent or grandparent? We sponsor young people, from high school through to early adulthood, to attend a variety of confidence and leadership development camps. Click here to get the whole list of them. We sponsor budding scientists to attend the National Youth Science Forum. We work with the local Surf Life Saving Club and present an annual award in the form of a $2,500 surf ski to an emerging leader in the Surf Life Saving movement. Coming to think of it: it's happening at the end of this month. Why not ask someone to come along on 31st August?
Hi! Would you like to marry me? Franz Huber 2022-07-29 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 3rd August: Sgt Cherie MacLean

Some of our members have already met Sgt Cherie MacLean when we visited the Gold Coast PCYC in June. She is the officer in charge of that organisation. In view of our club's ongoing involvement with Youth Services, she will introduce the activities of the PCYC and outline various ways where our members may want to participate.
This coming Wednesday 3rd August: Sgt Cherie MacLean Franz Huber 2022-07-29 14:00:00Z 0

July is Leadership Month

Posted by Franz Huber on Jul 22, 2022
When Rotary International refers to Leadership, the first thing that springs to mind is the change of Presidents and board members in most clubs, in the district and internationally.
In our club, the first board meeting under President Mitch Brown will take place this coming Wednesday 27th July (07:00 am at the Surfers Paradise SLSC). So, if you have any specific item you'd like to have dealt with, now is the time to mention it. Like RIGHT NOW (the draft agenda closes on Monday night). Naturally, you can ask for any item to be added to the agenda of any of our board meetings.
But leadership does not just apply to the club's or district's leadership team. Year after year, our club promotes youth programs, many of which specifically foster leadership: Click on this link to see the various events. Surfers Sunrise has sponsored - and will continue to sponsor - participants to almost all these events.  In addition, we promote leadership in the local Surf Club: the annual Lutzy Award. It is presented to an emerging young leader nominated by the Surf Life Saving Club. The winner is not necessarily a surfing champion but is selected on the basis of his/her efforts to lead and help others. The award comes complete with a $2,500 surf ski, donated by our club. This year's presentation will be at our breakfast meeting of 31st August. Mark it in your diary now.
July is Leadership Month Franz Huber 2022-07-21 14:00:00Z 0

Update on the big electric wheelchair to Honiara

Posted by Franz Huber on Jul 21, 2022
A couple of weeks ago we reported the story of a big electric wheelchair and hoist which was sent to Honiara, Solomon Islands. Organised by our former member Col Laurenson and the Medical Repurposing Network, it was transported out of Amberley Air Base by the Australian Royal Air Force. 
Col has sent us an update with pictures of the recipient, Joel Teheroha, a young lad who has suffered from severe cerebral palsy since birth. The story also featured prominently in the local press - click on this link to view the report in the Solomon Star, the island's daily newspaper.
Give yourself a pat on the back, Col! Good to see you are still very active in helping disadvantaged people in developing countries.
Update on the big electric wheelchair to Honiara Franz Huber 2022-07-20 14:00:00Z 0

One of the best kept secrets of Rotary

Posted by Franz Huber

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!
One of the best kept secrets of Rotary Franz Huber 2022-07-16 14:00:00Z 0

Jennifer Jones - first female President of Rotary International

Posted by Franz Huber

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.


Jennifer Jones - first female President of Rotary International Franz Huber 2022-07-02 14:00:00Z 0

Excellent start of the Rotary year with Changeover Luncheon

Posted by Franz Huber on Jul 02, 2022
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.
Excellent start of the Rotary year with Changeover Luncheon Franz Huber 2022-07-01 14:00:00Z 0

Best Long Term Project: and the winner is...

Posted by Franz Huber on Jun 26, 2022
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.
Best Long Term Project: and the winner is... Franz Huber 2022-06-25 14:00:00Z 0

Zahra Forbutt - RYPEN camp

Posted by Franz Huber
"Ah, today's youth...!" Haven't we all heard people whinging whenever they have forgotten what ratbags they themselves were at 15 years of age? Well, they haven't been at a Rotary meeting where a young person, freshly returned from one of our various youth camps, presents a clear and concise report of what they have experienced. Now, visualise yourself when you were 15 years old. You have honed your presentation with a PowerPoint [yes I know, but visualise anyway...] to drive the message home. Then... there is no computer to run it on! Panic? That's where one can determine the difference: Zahra was quite unfazed and delivered her speech flawlessly, clearly and without the "ummm's, aahh's" and "like" we so often hear. Obviously, she enjoyed the camp and benefited from the learning experiences and team-building exercises. Oh, by the way, she was appointed team captain too. Those kids coming from Surfers Sunrise are just special... Read her speech and watch the PowerPoint she was unable to display: it is on the Downloads section to the right.
Photo: Zahra with our meeting chairman of the day, Simon Brook.
Zahra Forbutt - RYPEN camp Franz Huber 2022-06-21 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 22nd June: Alycia Bird & Amber Clode

OK, so after Ros Byrne, who was originally scheduled to speak, suffered an accident, her replacement cancelled as well, due to COVID... Here are the definite speakers for this Wednesday: Alycia Bird and Amber Clode, from Wesley Mission. (Thank you, Mark Twyford!) They will speak on 'How to prevent burn-out and boost productivity. (I'll need that now... Ed. ☺)
Before that, we'll also have a brief presentation by our RYPEN awardee, Zahra Forbett, who participated in this event a few weeks ago.
This will be our last 'formal' meeting for the Rotary year, so let's have a big turnout! By the way: Have you booked yet for the Changeover Luncheon? Click on this link now.
This Wednesday 22nd June: Alycia Bird & Amber Clode Franz Huber 2022-06-19 14:00:00Z 0

Have you booked for the Changeover Luncheon this Saturday 2nd July?

This year we'll have a Luncheon Changeover. Incoming President Mitch Brown has selected Bambino's Italian Ristorante in Benowa. Very interesting menu of shared platters of various pizzas (including vegetarian) and pasta (Carbonara, Truffle Pappardelle... just to name a few. And dessert pizza, of course. Did you say Dessert Pizza? Yup. You'll have to be there. You must book: click on this link: 
Bookings close tomorrow Tuesday 28th June 2022
Have you booked for the Changeover Luncheon this Saturday 2nd July? Franz Huber 2022-06-16 14:00:00Z 0

Hugely interesting visit to the PCYC last Wednesday

Hugely interesting "social" meeting last Wednesday with Sgt Cherie McLean, who is in charge of the Gold Coast PCYC, off Monaco Street. (Test: which one of the group is dressed like the proverbial Accountant?) Until now, I always thought it to be a venue for young people, some of them who are possibly drifting towards the wrong side of the law... How wrong can one be? Massive venue, almost 1000 subscribers to various sports training courses, including their gym. Including - wait for this - a group of demure elderly ladies coming in for... a Boxing Lesson. I'd pay to watch when some hapless thug tries to snatch their handbag! 😊
Note: Cherie will be our guest speaker on 3rd August 2022. 
Hugely interesting visit to the PCYC last Wednesday Franz Huber 2022-06-16 14:00:00Z 0

Very successful fundraiser at the Small Bus Expo

Great fundraiser last Wednesday afternoon and Thursday at the Gold Coast Small Business Expo. First time at the new (massively larger) venue at Coomera. Photo shows the last shift who helped on the 'Bump-off', sorting and stacking up the tables and chairs and assisting the organisers. Many others of our members were engaging over the two days as well (too many to mention). Special thanks go to Darrell Brown who organised it all on our side and to Paula Brand, the principal organiser and owner of Small Business Expo, who offered us the opportunity.
Darrell has just advised that the funds we raised at this event covers our Youth Services budget for the coming 2022-23 year. That includes sponsoring candidates for RYTS, RYPEN, RYLA, National Youth Science Forum, just to name the regular ones. Give yourself a pat on the back! Now, put the next date into your calendars: the Brisbane Event will be on 5th and 6th October.
Very successful fundraiser at the Small Bus Expo Franz Huber 2022-06-16 14:00:00Z 0

Gold Coast Small Business Expo Fundraiser is this week

Posted on Jun 12, 2022

We have again been offered this very important fundraising opportunity. We get paid handsomely for our services.  Our organiser, Darrell Brown, advises that the miniumum number of people required on the roster has been filled, but if you feel like giving us a hand, particularly on the Bump-in and Bump-out sessions, you are welcome! 

NOTE: The venue is at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre 56 Beattie Road, Coomera, NOT where it was last year at Carrara.

DateTimeWhat job
Wednesday 15/06/20221:00 pm - 3:30 pmBump-in
Thursday 16/06/20226:30 am - 9:00 amTraffic control
Thursday 16/06/20226:30 am - 9:00 amAssist unloading
Thursday 16/06/20229:00 am - 11:30 amCoin collection
Thursday 16/06/202211:30 am - 1:00 pmCoin collection
Thursday 16/06/20221:00 pm - 2:30 pmCoin collection
Thursday 16/06/20223:30 pm - 5:30 pmBump-out

By the way: Thursday is also the day when some of our members have a quiet drink and a good chinwag. Good chance we'll do this this Thursday as well. 

Gold Coast Small Business Expo Fundraiser is this week Franz Huber 2022-06-11 14:00:00Z 0

A meeting with a difference at the project shed

A club meeting with a difference this morning at the project shed: Angus Miller had his barbeque out and cooked the bacon & eggs, Larry Murray briefly presented the status of our wheelchairs and X-Ray Annexe for Vanuatu projects. Good to see Councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden joining us as well, and a couple of special visitors: our Charter President Bill Moir was there and so was our Charter Member Col Johnston, who came all the way from Mackay! Come more often, Col! Then there are some really tough guys like our Chairman of the day, Trent Belling, who seems to be impervious to the cold temperature... Photo by Al Sirovs.
A meeting with a difference at the project shed Franz Huber 2022-06-07 14:00:00Z 0

June is Rotary Fellowship Month

The discussion revolved around the current monthly theme of International Rotary Fellowships. “Isn’t Rotary supposed to be non-political??” The discussion among the group of young Rotarians started to become, even for young Rotarians, uncommonly heated. “Why is there a LGBT Fellowship?”
“Why not?” retorted a former Peace Fellow . “Rotary means business; it is totally non-political, non-denominational and, since about 1987, certainly non-sexist!”
So how come there is a fellowship for Singles but not for Marrieds? Or for that matter Doll Lovers, or Birdwatchers?” “Maaate!!” his colleagues yelled out, “we are not talking about that kind of dolls and birds!” [Yes, quite right, Henrietta, there is no need say anything!]
One of the stouter members joined in: “Ah, I’m more into the epicurean stuff, like Wine, Whyskey, Rum, Beer, Gourmet Cooking, even Bathhouses. I like antique cars, and I like hitching up the caravan to my 4 x 4 truck, then travel into the blue yonder and in the evenings study my rare books. I listen to Jazz, actually any music. And I’m probably the only male in hundreds of miles who makes quilts. My wife is much more into Italian and Latin Culture. And in this context she joined the Magna Graecia fellowship. “The Magna what?” several shouted out. “Well, it is based in Southern Italy, but you can join. Just look it up.”
“Ah, ever since I swapped my caravan for a big fat Recreational Vehicle, I’ve given up the caravan. The total quality of my Winnebago is just superb” said a Doctor. I can hook our bicycles on the back, tie my canoe and surf board on the top and I even can play Table Tennis on a fold out table. When I’m out in the sticks, I can join the meeting of my e-Club and thus maintain my Social Network. Evenings we study European Philosophy, Ethics and Cultural Heritage. We have close contact with an Honorary Consul whom we met on a Cruise and with whom we recently did a Home Exchange. Naturally, being Swiss, he is far more into Railways, Hiking, Curling and Shooting sports. He is a Past District Governor, intimate with Rotary heritage and global history, and he has a massive collection of Rotary Stamps and Rotary Pins. Of course, he goes to all the conventions. I joined him at one of his club meetings. Did you know that former Swiss Tennis great Martina Hingis is a Paul Harris Fellow and is closely involved with Polio Plus?
“Well, I’m more into the fitness stuff” said a Military Veteran, who now is in Law Enforcement. I like Scuba Diving, Fishing, Rowing, blue water Yachting, Skiing, riding my Motorcycle. I’m a Scout Leader, I run Marathons and Triathlons and I play Cricket. I listen to Heavy Metal and if ever I have a quiet moment, I study Russian culture.”
“Too hard for me!” retorted a Lawyer, and his fellow professionals, a prominent Editor and Publisher and an Educator, joined in. “As principals of our firms, we are constantly looking for better Corporate Social Responsibility, Strategic Planning, Social Networks, the Environment, Public Health and… Golf. And if I need solitude, I fly my Cessna...”
“Geez… isn’t there any group I can join where it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?” I whimpered. “Most definitely!” came the answer. “There is Amateur Radio, Chess, Draughts, Photography, Esperanto or Genealogy. Even very general subjects as the Internet. But don’t be fooled: the group is very active in around 100 countries! And if you are into Eastern board games: Go.  Or you might want to become a Magician and if you need calming down, play Bowls or do some Yoga.”  So, with almost 90 different Rotary Fellowships worldwide, there truly is something for everyone!  Just click on the links!
June is Rotary Fellowship Month Franz Huber 2022-06-04 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 8th June: Breakfast at the Project Shed

Posted on Jun 02, 2022
Next Wednesday 8th June, we are NOT meeting at the Surf Club, but instead will enjoy a traditional BBQ Bacon & Eggs at our Project Shed. (Don't panic if you are into health foods, we'll have something for you as well!) Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray will bring us up to date on the current happenings there, and you'll get an opportunity to inspect the just about completed X-Ray unit for the Mauna Health Centre on Vanuatu.
This Wednesday 8th June: Breakfast at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2022-06-01 14:00:00Z 0

Lismore Library Book Appeal: Please hold off..!

Posted by Franz Huber on Jun 01, 2022
No photo description available.Thank you to all who have responded to the appeal for books to donate to the Lismore Regional Library. We have been asked to hold off for the moment, as they "have been totally overwhelmed by the response". They will still require more books, but wait till about October when they should have been able to sort the currently received donations and also the repairs of the library should have progressed.  Watch this space...
Lismore Library Book Appeal: Please hold off..! Franz Huber 2022-05-31 14:00:00Z 0

Flood Appeal: Lismore Library needs books

Posted by Franz Huber on May 29, 2022
Lismore Regional Library is seeking donations of new or near new books to replenish their supply that was destroyed in the March 2022 floods.
  • Adult Fiction
  • Large Print books
  • Junior & Young Adult books
  • Children’s Story books
  • Children’s DVDs
  • Jigsaws
  • Audio Books
  • Parenting Collection (non-fiction books on parenting topics)
  • Junior Non-Fiction books
Donations can be made at the Library at 6 Centenary Drive, Goonellabah NSW 2480, Monday to Thursday between 9:30 am and 3:00 pm, or
Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club will organise a collection on the Gold Coast for them to be shipped to Lismore in one consignment. If you have any to donate, please click on this link to send us an email so we can make arrangements.
Flood Appeal: Lismore Library needs books Franz Huber 2022-05-28 14:00:00Z 0

Peter McGuiness - You Choose Road Safety

Posted by Franz Huber on May 25, 2022
It would have to be a parent's worst nightmare: receiving the news that your 18 year old son was killed in a horror car smash. But it was worse, much worse than that: Jordan was speeding and under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he drove his car into a stationary vehicle. His choices not only caused his death but made him responsible for the death of four other human beings. "It not only affected us as parents, it affected Jordan's siblings as well as the families and friends of the other victims. 
Peter rejects the incident to be called an accident. "It was a direct consequence of Jordan choosing to drive while under the influence. "
At today's meeting, Peter McGuiness outlined his organisation, 'You Choose - Youth Road Safety', which he and his wife Melissa set up, following that horrendous event in 2012. The program is mostly presented at High Schools, to Year 11 students.. "The approach is novel and innovative," Peter said. "Not 'the poor kid had an accident, but instead of preaching and lecturing, the concept gives emphasis to the fact that the kid made the choice to drive at 120 Km/Hr. The students are actively engaged. "What would you do?" is the question asked. "Interestingly, on every occasion, we are the ones who are learning", Peter said.
Think about it: There has never been more money spent on road safety, car safety and stringent policing. Yet, road trauma, at best, remains static or is increasing. The thing that has not changed is the culture. You Choose Youth Road Safety addresses that. And perhaps, with the various Interact clubs Rotary is running in various High Schools, perhaps we might have an ideal vehicle to help Peter and Melissa to get the message across.
Photo: Peter McGuiness (centre), with his organisation's Chairman Todd Cole (4th from left), new corporate member Nick Cole (third from right) Visit their website:
Peter McGuiness - You Choose Road Safety Franz Huber 2022-05-24 14:00:00Z 0

Surfers Sunrise sponsors a RYPEN camp awardee

Posted on May 15, 2022
Our club sponsored Zahra Forbutt, a year 10 student from the Queensland Academy of Health Sciences. RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment) is a residential camp that takes place over 2.5 days. for school students aged between 14-16 (Year 8-10) that focuses on the development of self-concept, relationships, and is designed to develop skills that will assist them in the transition to adulthood. Participants participate in a range of activities that will challenge them on many different levels. It concluded yesterday (Sunday 15/05/22). Zahra will come to our meeting of 22nd June to give us some feedback on her experiences.


Surfers Sunrise sponsors a RYPEN camp awardee Franz Huber 2022-05-14 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchair shed donates bike to girl from Ukraine

Posted by Franz Huber on May 14, 2022
Last week, Rick Parry (picture right), one of our regular volunteers at our project shed, learned of a refugee family, mother and her children, a girl (6) and a boy (12), having come to the Gold Coast from Ukraine. The father remained behind to run a bomb shelter. They needed a bike for the girl to provide mobility. Enter the men at the wheelchair shed. Terry Donovan (picture left) refurbished a girl's bike (the blue one on the picture right), which was donated to the family. No need to mention that they were, of course, over the moon. Well done, fellows!
And whilst we are at it: Check out the interview of Des La Rance and John Hall with Don Glover of Radio 4CRB (89.3) in the Download Section on the right.
Wheelchair shed donates bike to girl from Ukraine Franz Huber 2022-05-13 14:00:00Z 0

Rotarian behind the Badge: Ross Augustine

Posted by Franz Huber on May 11, 2022
“It’s interesting to have KJ with us; we spent a lot of time with her grandparents in Melbourne, working in Pharmacy” Ross opened up.  Born in 1944, he was one of four kids. Regrettably, Ross’ mum died when he was just 9 years old. Dad remarried, and so the family expanded to six.  He elaborated on one of his family holidays to Alice Springs, followed by a trip across the Simpson Desert. “We drove to Broken Hill and then turned left. We shot our own food…” He attended Mordialloc High School, then graduated in Pharmacy in 1967. Ross and Coryn married in 1980. They have three children.
Growing up on the beach, it is natural that he is a keen sailor. “We towed a boat from Melbourne to Brisbane for a championship.” Otherwise though, free time was scarce, as it was compulsory to have a qualified Pharmacist present at all times, so they were totally tied to the business.
(there's much more: click on 'Read More' for the full story)
Rotarian behind the Badge: Ross Augustine Franz Huber 2022-05-10 14:00:00Z 0

Launch of City Council's Senior's Garden 

Past President Joanne Winwood and Paul O'neill launched the Community Bench at Cascade Gardens today. Paul promoted our wheelchairs project, complete with pull-up banner. The council had organised a "Senior's Garden Party" to launch "the first purpose built, safe and accessible garden space for seniors..." [note the handrails fitted to the climbing ropes in the play gym behind it 😊). Jo, who works for Feros Care, organised the installation of the bench, designed specifically for people not just to sit down at each end, but to also talk to each other. Visit her organisation
Launch of City Council's Senior's Garden  Franz Huber 2022-05-09 14:00:00Z 0
Rosie Rocco's team to run again at the Gold Coast Ramble Franz Huber 2022-04-30 14:00:00Z 0

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle starts early...

Posted by Franz Huber
Started real early last Friday at Bunnings, first cooking at their Trade event. Free bacon & egg roll for all tradies, capably fried and lovingly prepared and serviced (inside the marquee, from right) by Brian Pearson, Anne O'Connor, Uwe Seifert, Johnny Bueti, Geoff Croad and Andy Bell (not in picture). Geoff and I picked up the gear from the shed at 6:00 am - yawn...! Later in the morning, the equipment was shifted to the usual place, where Mario Fairlie, Adrian Crowe, Al Sirovs, Angus 'Onion King' Miller, Darrell Brown, Ray Drowley and Ross Augustine joined the ranks later in the day. Good work, everyone!
Bunnings Sausage Sizzle starts early... Franz Huber 2022-04-30 14:00:00Z 0

Last week's guest speaker: Angie Bell MP

Posted by Franz Huber
“They really are only in it for themselves” was the disparaging remark I overheard recently at a weekend brunch with friends. As it naturally would at this time, the conversation had turned to the elections. So I risked being shot down in flames by openly disagreeing. In various Rotary projects over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with members of parliament from both major parties. Really: it’s a 24/7 job. The ridiculous over-exposure of just the major parties’ leaders - particularly on the TV news as well as in the Facebook and Twitter scene - is not helpful.  How can so-called ‘Gotcha moments’ and the twisting of an innocent remark to make it sound demeaning help voters reach a sound judgment?
Last week, Angie outlined her engagement and leadership in her electorate of Moncrieff. “Rotary changed my life” she declared. Coming from a family of “three generations of factory workers”, the mere thought of international travel seemed impossible. That was until she was offered to spend a year on Rotary Exchange in Denmark. 
Eloquent and articulate, she outlined the various facets of her work since her election in 2019. Faced with the major issue of homelessness, she set up the Moncrieff Community Cabinet, comprising various community organisations such as St Johns Crisis Centre, representatives of various religious bodies, media, State Members of Parliament, Rotary and business. She also closely works with Soheil Abedian’s ‘Serving Our People’ charity.
“Do you know we build rockets and satellites on the Gold Coast?” she asked. Setting up the City Heart Taskforce, a cross-industry peak body has the aim of increasing the region’s manufacturing capacity. “Do you know that Griffith Uni has developed world-leading 3D-Printing to generate minuscule bone parts which can be used to restore a broken wrist?”
There is much more [sorry, you should have been there! Ed.] Just one more thing, specifically concerning Surfers Sunrise Rotary and our X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu project: After things had become almost hopelessly bogged down, Angie was instrumental to arrange for the Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by the Vanuatu authorities.  Thank you!
Last week's guest speaker: Angie Bell MP Franz Huber 2022-04-30 14:00:00Z 0

George Keily keeps bringing in spectacles by the car load

Posted by Franz Huber
Gerald East and I met up last Thursday with our Honorary Member George Keily, who tirelessly continues to collect spectacles from chemists and optometrists all over the Gold Coast. Here he is with a load of some 740-odd pairs of both prescription as well as sunglasses, which are on the way to Donations in Kind for re-deployment in developing countries. Great work, George! 😊
George Keily keeps bringing in spectacles by the car load Franz Huber 2022-04-22 14:00:00Z 0

Griffith Uni Malaria Vaccine Project update

Posted by Franz Huber
Last Wednesday, Dr Danielle Stanisic (photo left), one of the project’s team leaders, and PDG Graham Jones, the Committee Chair of Rotary Against Malaria provided us with an update.
Australia has been free of Malaria since 1981, but that doesn’t mean that there are no risks. Dr Danielle explained that we still have the “right” mosquitos in the Northern Territory. But world-wide, one of the major concerns is that case numbers are no longer decreasing. In short: this means that the virus may have become immune to the treatment drugs. Vaccination (which results in your body generating natural immunity) is the answer.
There are various methods that can be used. The Malaria Vaccine Project’s aim is to perfect a ‘Whole Parasite Vaccine’. In essence, Dr Danielle explained: “We take the parasite and treat it so they can’t grow anymore…” [sounds really simple, doesn’t it? If only... Ed.] A major contribution of $500,000 by the Federal Government helped to bring the project well and truly in the Human Trial stage.
Next challenge is how to get it to the areas in the world where it’s needed: Liquid format is too bulky and too expensive. So they are developing a method where it can be ‘powderized’ and at the destination, “just add water”… It’s when I listen to people like Dr Danielle Stanisic, when I realise how much the world, particularly the “developed” regions, owes to scientists such as her and her team.
(See the slides of Dr Danielle and PDF Graham Jones’s update on RAM in the Download Section on the right)
Griffith Uni Malaria Vaccine Project update Franz Huber 2022-04-16 14:00:00Z 0

A personal 'Thank you' visit from South Africa

Posted by Franz Huber
Last Wednesday, we welcomed a guest from South Africa, Neil McDonald. Neil is the CEO of Khanya Hospice, which is a recipient of some of the wheelchairs we despatched to South Africa last year (see report in the Download Section of our website), sent by the RC of Port Alfred, South Africa). Neil is also a member of the Rotary Club of Amanzimtoti which was one of the clubs involved in the distribution. Neil wanted a group photo (that's him, front, in pink shirt) and also visited our project shed where he met some of our volunteers.
Isn’t it great to receive some feedback from “the other side”. Thank you for visiting us, Neil!
A personal 'Thank you' visit from South Africa Franz Huber 2022-04-16 14:00:00Z 0

Fast response to our appeal for $1,009 to complete the electricals of the X-Ray Unit

On Good Friday, I posted an appeal on Facebook for donations to complete the electricals of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu. It was wonderful to see the responses - several "three-digit" donations saw the target of $1,009 reached by Saturday evening. A big 'Thank You!' to all who donated. A brief survey indicated that they wish to remain anonymous, hence no names need mentioning. You know who you are!
(That doesn't mean that the Wheelchair Trust can't do with more donations: the current supply chain problems dictate that we order and commit to purchasing components such as wheels, tyres, castors etc as much as six months in advance.) Click on this link:
PS: The project is far more advanced than is shown in the picture. Time I went out and got some updated photos! smiley
Fast response to our appeal for $1,009 to complete the electricals of the X-Ray Unit Franz Huber 2022-04-16 14:00:00Z 0

12 years ago: Matafaa Village School, Samoa

Posted by Franz Huber
Amazing what you find when cleaning out your computer!
Good Friday… the pubs aren’t open (OK, I never go to the pub before 11:30 am anyway 😊) so I decided to clean out some old stuff in my computer. I found a super large 650 MB file (at the time designed by Neil Thurlow's elves for hi-res printing) of a full report on our club’s major 2010 MATAFAA VILLAGE on Samoa, to build a school, toilet block and play gym.
The tsunami in 2009 devastated the village and its school. This building followed the same principal design by Des La Rance, as the school our club delivered to Phuket, Thailand, after the tsunami of 2004. This concept (designed to withstand cyclones) is also employed with our current project of an X-Ray unit for Mauna Health Centre, Vanuatu. It’s in our Downloads Section (converted to low-res).  Go on! Check it out!
12 years ago: Matafaa Village School, Samoa Franz Huber 2022-04-14 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchair Trust receives a $1,000 donation

Last Friday, our Wheelchair Trust received a donation of $1,000 from 'Living Choice Retirement Villages'. Photo shows Living Choice Directors Ian Tregoning and Graham Hobbs OAM presenting Des La Rance OAM and Charles Thomasson at the formal presentation of the cheque. The donors were made aware of our project by our Associate Member Gaye Miles (also fondly known as 'The Scones Lady' at the project shed ☺). Thank you!
Wheelchair Trust receives a $1,000 donation Franz Huber 2022-04-08 14:00:00Z 0

Record Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings

Posted by Franz Huber
Last Sunday's glorious weather no doubt contributed to reaching a record result at the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle. "We kept running out of sausages..." was the (pleasant) complaint. A big Thank You to all the helpers on the day: Brian Pearson, Uwe Seifert, Paul O'Neill, Charles Thomasson, Mario Fairlie, Gerald East, Ross Augustine, Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, Andy Bell, Doug Lipp (together with two of his grandsons), Al Sirovs, Ray Crowley, yours truly and, of course, organiser Geoff Croad. 
Geoff organised another date: Friday 29th April 2022. Same roster times. An email will be sent to all members and associates.
Record Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings Franz Huber 2022-04-07 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 13th April: GC Uni Malaria Vaccine Project

This coming Wednesday you'll get two for the price of one: Prof PDG Graham Jones (picture left from when he presented to us last year on the US Elections) will be joined by Dr Danielle Stanisic (The project's Associate Research Leader) to outline details of the Malaria Vaccine Project.  The project has reached another major milestone: Announced on the five-year anniversary (March 23), the Phase 1 clinical trial will test the vaccine, PlasProtecT, in human volunteers in Australia to confirm its safety and efficacy. This important project enjoys major support from Rotary clubs throughout Australia.
This Wednesday 13th April: GC Uni Malaria Vaccine Project Franz Huber 2022-04-05 14:00:00Z 0

Hard at work - Fundraising for the Flood Appeal

Posted by Franz Huber
Would you believe it, those guys are hard at work actively fundraising? So why are they not wearing the 'Rotarians at Work' hi-vis vests? Great Northern Brewing is donating the proceeds of beer sales at 222 participating pubs to the Rotary Flood Appeal for the NSW northern regions. Howzat! Picture (by Charles Thomasson) shows them at Benow Tavern - from left Darrell Brown, Mitch Brown, Charles Thomasson, Paul Graham Seymour, Paul O'neill, Andy Andrew Bell.
Hard at work - Fundraising for the Flood Appeal Franz Huber 2022-03-30 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's guest speaker: Sophia Seumahu - NYSF

Posted by Franz Huber
Fewer than half of the applicants are accepted into the annually held National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Sophia Seumahu, a student at Kings Christian College, certainly made the grade – indeed, hearing her enthuse about anything to do with science and research: no wonder!
Last Wednesday, Sophia gave us a well prepared speech on her experiences. “While I’m not sure about living on Mars one day, I would love to be one of the engineers that help us to land humans on another planet for the first time,” she said. Talking about having set a clear career path!
COVID prevented the usual physical gathering at the CSIRO in Canberra; it was all online. The program was packed: 73 live digital sessions with 195 speakers, including two Nobel Prize winners. The experience took them all over the world: From Antarctica to ANSTO (Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation) to a live cross to particle physicists at CERN laboratories (Hadron Collider) in Switzerland and back to Parkes and its huge radio telescope. There were also 15 in-person visits in Perth, with others scheduled in other states “when safe to do so”.
Sophia is one of the co-founders of a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) club at her school. “I feel more motivated to study and work hard, knowing that I’m not just doing it to get a good grade but because I love it” she summed up, expressing a sincere Thank You to our club for sponsoring her.
You are most welcome, Sophia. Enthusiastic emerging scientists like you are exactly what the NYSF has been designed for. We wish you every success in your future career.
Sophia’s full speech is in the Download section on the right.
Last Wednesday's guest speaker: Sophia Seumahu - NYSF Franz Huber 2022-03-30 14:00:00Z 0

Why I go to Rotary District Conferences

Posted by Franz Huber
Last weekend’s Tenterfield conference was the first ‘in person’ one since 2019 and it certainly was one with a difference! Not the glitzy 5-star hotel or big club ballroom, but a true country-style bar-be-que affair. It started off on Friday night at the local Railway Museum (the old Tenterfield Railway Station). Roughly 300 Rotarians, partners and guests lined up. Roughly half the participants were seated in rows of tables and chairs along the platform, the other half inside the historical railway carriages. A well organised ‘production line’ managed to get everyone’s plates filled to the rim with multiple choices of meat and veggies in a remarkably swift time.

Saturday’s program included a local farming couple speaking of the enormous hardship and heartbreak suffered due to the drought and fires. This was a farm which benefited from the ‘Fodder for the West’ program organised by the Rotary Club of Hope Island. I wish I had the writing skills of a Bryce Courtenay
Why I go to Rotary District Conferences Franz Huber 2022-03-27 14:00:00Z 0

District Expo is this week!

Posted on Mar 21, 2022
The District Expo starts this Friday 25th March. This year's event is going to be a real country affair, it's in Tenterfield! Go to the Expo Website and check out what's happening. There you find the program, a brief summary of all the Keynote Speakers, and of course, you can register. But of course, one of the big attractions of attending a conference is always the deep feeling of Rotary Fellowship. Being in the country, formalities will be kept to a minimum. There is a lot more to a District Conference than Keynote Speakers and Rotary business. There is lots of social interaction:
  • Friday morning is the District Governor's Golf Challenge
  • Friday night is the Welcome Dinner - held at the historical Tenterfield Railway Station
  • Saturday night is a Dinner Dance (and yes, you can drink; they have organised bus pick up to/from your accommodation place)
  • Sunday morning are two styles of breakfast: one the Champagne Breakfast up near Bald Rock (image right), the other at the Historic Walk with PDG Harry Bolton
The (almost) final program is now on the Downloads section. Go on, check it out!  A reminde tr: At this time of the year, Tenterfield can be quite balmy and/or quite chilly, particularly at night. So make sure you pack some warm clothing as well.  If you are booked on the Bald Rock breakfast tour on Sunday morning, you need good footwear as well as a torch or a headlamp.
District Expo is this week! Franz Huber 2022-03-20 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Ross Augustine!

Last Wednesday, President Paul Seymour inducted Ross Augustine formally as a member of our club. "Formally," you say? Yes, Ross (photo left, with President Paul Seymour) has been a regular visitor from Frankston Sunrise to our club for years, and for the past 6 months or so has been regularly attending our meetings. Due to Covid, the member's badge just took a while to arrive... Photo by Charles Thomasson.
Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Ross Augustine! Franz Huber 2022-03-18 14:00:00Z 0

Who says you are too old to learn a new skill?

Posted by Franz Huber
Who says you are too old to learn a new skill? Here's Brian Pearson who completed his training course and freshly graduated in ... BRIDGE!
Picture shows him receiving his certificate from Dot Piddington, a Director of the Gold Coast Bridge Club. Congrats, Brian!
Who says you are too old to learn a new skill? Franz Huber 2022-03-09 14:00:00Z 0

District has set up a flood donation account

Posted by Franz Huber on Mar 05, 2022
District Governor Jeff Egan recently wrote a letter (see Download section on the right) to all Rotarians in District 9640, advising that a dedicated Flood Appeal account has been set up for Rotarians (and anyone else, for that matter) to contribute to a flood appeal to benefit victims of the horrendous floods some regions experienced over the past two weeks. As is common for any Rotary-based appeals, there will be no administration fees, director's remunerations etc. All funds end up directly at the target, the people who were affected. 
If a donor does not require the donation to have tax deductibility status, it is preferable that donations should be deposited into the following account:
Rotary International District 9640 Ltd.
BSB: 084462, Account No: 816279059
This is the account to which Rotary clubs should donate.
If tax deductibility is required, please use this account: 
Keith Wilson Relief Trust Fund
BSB: 633000 Account No: 175308303
The name of the donor needs to be included on the deposit AND please send via email to PDG Sandra Doumany at (Note: the original post had a typo - this is the correct address): 1. the name of the donor 2. the amount of the deposit 3. any requirement for the donation to be spent on a specific area (if requested). 
District has set up a flood donation account Franz Huber 2022-03-04 14:00:00Z 0

March is Water and Sanitation Month

Posted by Franz Huber
For the last two years it was COVID. And here we are: the first serious armed conflict in Europe in well over 50 years [yes, Henrietta, Ukraine is indeed in Europe, and so was Czechoslovakia 😐] and – puff – all other concerns are swept from the front pages. What chances then that a bland, mundane theme such as Water and Sanitation would even come to our conscious mind? OK, exception: over the past two weeks, we’ve had quite a bit too much of the stuff falling out of the sky…
In our (relatively) civilized society we take water and sanitation for granted. Isn’t that what we pay Water Rates for? Yet, visualise for a moment: you have no (running) water. (Paradoxically, some regions in District 9640 are in that very position right now; let’s hope it is only temporary).
You can’t? Well then, walk out to the street and turn the mains water tap off and see how long you last before you crack. You will also discover that without water, there isn’t any sanitation either. Now, suddenly your problem is bigger than whatever leads the TV news.
Well, that is exactly what, in the third decade of the third millennium, an awfully large proportion of our planet’s population faces every day. And it’s not just “over in Africa” (forgive me if that sounds callous). As an individual, in concert with your Rotary club, you very much can make a difference. For example, about 2015, a team from Stanthorpe Rotary Club delivered and installed a massive system to provide secure water to Naiyala High School in Fiji. It didn’t make the evening news on TV, but then, that’s not what Rotary is all about. As Rotarians, we are proudly part of an organisation which boasts the most esteemed of charities, The Rotary Foundation and, on the local scene, the Rotary World Community Service (RAWCS). Click on this link, then apply a filter of ‘Water’ and you’ll find a list of 55 water related RAWCS programs currently running.
About 100 years ago, Austrian philosopher Karl Kraus wrote about war: “first, one hopes to win; then one expects the enemy to lose; then, one is satisfied that he too is suffering. In the end, one is surprised that everyone has lost.” As individuals, we can’t do much to change the course of a major conflict. But that doesn’t stop us from winning some battles which bring joy rather than misery. In contrast to an armed conflict, this is a battle that we can win.
March is Water and Sanitation Month Franz Huber 2022-03-04 14:00:00Z 0

Ashleigh Symes - Corporate Member

Posted by Franz Huber
“I’m now a ‘Full Advisor’!” Ashleigh Symes (photo right, with President Paul Seymour) proudly describes her vocation. (For the uninitiated: with the severe tightening of government rules and regulations relating to the licensing of financial advisors, this is not an easy goal to achieve!) Together with Charles Thomasson, Ashleigh is one of our Corporate Members with Wilsons Advisory, a nationwide organisation that spans the spectrum from Private Wealth to Corporate and Institutional financial advice.
Born on the Gold Coast, she is the proverbial go-getter: “Whilst I studied for a Bachelor of Commerce and Business, I worked full time in Merchandising with Proctor & Gamble, sold pot plants [no Henrietta, nothing to do with the pot you are thinking about, heavens forbid!], worked as a Mortgage Broker and taught Surf School.”  Then she decided to go traveling to Europe, “couch surfing” through France, Spain, Poland, Albania, Romania, just to name a few of the countries. Even hitch-hiking when Romania's public transport system left something to be desired....
In London, she found employment with a Fund Manager, and that is where her initiation to the world of finance started. “...though I started dabbling in shares at 13 years of age, so the subject always fascinated me” she quipped.
Upon return to the Gold Coast, Ashleigh was selected by a recruitment agency for Wilsons Advisory, whose local office is located in the Oracle complex in Broadbeach. Her specialisation is in Compliance and providing ‘Strategic Advice’ to private clients.
‘And when you are not providing financial advice?’ was one of the many questions: “Netball, Surf Life Saving (with the local Surfers Paradise SLSC).
‘Any good share buying tips?’ The expected “this is only general advice” popped up. Still, a couple of specific sectors and worthwhile ASX codes were mentioned. [Which ones? Sorry, you should have been there… Ed.]
Ashleigh Symes - Corporate Member Franz Huber 2022-03-02 14:00:00Z 0

Good Bunnings Sizzle despite the weather

Posted on Feb 27, 2022
Last Friday's Bunnings Sausage Sizzle was very successful, despite the rainy weather. (I wonder how many people, particularly men, go for a good ol' shopping therapy session when the weather is inclement? And those same people are, of course, our very target market! ☺) Picture shows the last shift of the day: Anne O'Connor (foreground), Neil Thurlow, Doug Lipp and Andy Bell. Other helpers on the rosters were Brian Pearson, Uwe Seifert (RC of Broadbeach), Mitch Brown, Paul O'Neill, former member Richard Smith and wife Sue, Al Sirovs, Ross Augustine. Special thanks to organisers Geoff Croad and Angus "Onion King" Miller who organised and delivered the sausages, bread and onions, chopped according to Angus' secret cutting method... ☺
Good Bunnings Sizzle despite the weather Franz Huber 2022-02-26 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 23rd: Social brekky at Espresso Bonsai

This coming Wednesday 23rd, we can't have our meeting at the Surf Club; they won't have electricity early morning due to construction work.
So, instead we'll have our social breakfast at Espresso Bonsai, 66 Thomas Drive, on Chevron Island. Plenty of parking off the road, at the rear of the building - entrance from Anembo Street. Now... 
Christian, the chief there, offered a free coffee to all of us on arrival! Howzat for a welcome! See you all there at 07:00 am. 
This coming Wednesday 23rd: Social brekky at Espresso Bonsai Franz Huber 2022-02-18 14:00:00Z 0

Nigel Fotheringham – Angel Flight

Posted by Franz Huber
Last Wednesday we met the proverbial ‘gentleman of an old sort’. Nigel is with an organisation that provides a massive free social service to the people of the bush. Yet – as far as I’m aware of – no modern Banjo Paterson has written a poem about Angel Flight.  Nigel, raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) is a volunteer pilot. He, and dozens of other pilots, donate their time AND their planes to fly non-urgent medical missions from outback places to either a regional airport or – more often – directly to the location of the hospital. Most of the time, these flights are of several hours’ duration, both ways. The flights do not carry medical staff, so they don’t engage in medical emergencies as does the Flying Doctor Service.
Nigel outlined a couple of examples: A woman requiring regular dialysis. A child requiring regular chemotherapy, or follow-up treatment after a serious accident. By road and/or train, the trip could take 8 hours each way, and outback roads are not exactly as smooth as the M1!
Angel Flight often also takes carers with the patient on the same flight. This is, of course, of huge importance, particularly for children.
“This must cost a fortune to run!” I hear you exclaim. Yes, it does indeed. Their 2020-21 Financial Statement shows expenses of over $1.5 Million. And how much financial support do they get from Government (State or Federal)? Zero. Zilch. Nada! [Don’t get me started. Ed.] So, they rely on donations. Their pilots provide not only their time but also their planes free of charge.
In the words of C J Dennis, the famous Australian Bush Poet: “I dips me lid.”  There is lots more information on their website: Angel Flight is a registered charity and donations are tax-deductible.
Nigel Fotheringham – Angel Flight Franz Huber 2022-02-16 14:00:00Z 0

Good to see project shed open again!

A hearty welcome back to our volunteer workers last Saturday!
Good turn up, despite the fairly stringent Covid prevention restrictions we put on. We are back to normal, opening every Wednesday and Saturday morning. But please do observe common sense Covid restrictions. Particularly, please stay away if you are feeling unwell, irrespective of whether you think (or have tested) to have Covid or you think it's just a common cold.  Thank you.
Good to see project shed open again! Franz Huber 2022-02-12 14:00:00Z 0

Pre-screening of The Duke cancelled

Posted by Gerald East

We much regret to advise that the pre-screening of The Duke movie on 16th March had to be cancelled.

We understand that any tickets that have already been booked and prepaid will be refunded directly.

Pre-screening of The Duke cancelled Gerald East 2022-02-06 14:00:00Z 0

New Bunnings Sausage Sizzle date

As you know, the end of January event had to be canceled due to the COVID situation. Now, the situation has settled down again, Geoff Croad has received the go-ahead from Bunnings Olsen Avenue for a new date for a Sausage Sizzle fundraiser on
Friday 25th February 2022
so we need manpower! Only 3 shifts - 4 people minimum required per shift to comply with Bunnings rules.
  • First Shift, 7.30am - 10.30am
  • Second Shift, 10.30am - 1.30pm
  • Third Shift, 1.30pm - 4pm
We require 4 people per shift. Please book your time slot with Geoff directly, by text message or send him an email.  NOTE: Several of our "regulars" are unable to participate. Please...
New Bunnings Sausage Sizzle date Franz Huber 2022-02-06 14:00:00Z 0

Project Shed to re-open this coming Saturday

Posted on Feb 07, 2022
Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray and our 'Shed Foreman' Bryan Tuesley have decided to open the Project Shed earlier than originally planned: they'll open this coming Saturday morning, 12th February, usual time.
Now... not too fast... We are very much concerned about all of our volunteers' wellbeing. So, please take note of the following rules which MUST be adhered to:
  • Do not come if you feel unwell - irrespective of whether you (suspect) it is COVID related or not
  • If you have any (non-COVID) medical conditions, you should ask your doctor whether it is wise to attend or not
  • You must have been double-vaxxed, and ideally have received your booter shot too
  • Sanitize your hands immediately upon arrival
  • Masks MUST be worn when in close proximity to other people and throughout the time at the shed if one feels it best to do so
  • Before taking morning tea, hand sanitizer must be used after washing hands. Disposable cups ONLY to be used and tongs might need to be used for food handling
  • Every second chair was turned around on the first open day after the Christmas break but possibly further room may be necessary
  • Members who are concerned about the morning tea arrangements are encouraged to bring their own morning tea food and drinks
  • For the time being, if you are not intending to work (e.g. want to come for social purposes only), perhaps stay away for another couple of weeks until the current COVID wave has abated
Feel free to contact me if I can provide you with further clarification.
Best wishes,
Franz Huber
Club Administration
Rotary Club of Surfers Sunrise Inc
0484 597 451
Project Shed to re-open this coming Saturday Franz Huber 2022-02-06 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday: Kate Worboys on RYTS

Posted by Franz Huber on Feb 05, 2022
We’ve all met people, of any age group, who’d rather jump into a shark tank than stand in front of a group of people (particularly “grumpy old men” ☺) and give a speech. Not so Kate, who had recently returned from her RYTS (Rotary Youth Transition Seminar) camp. OK, so RYTS might have enhanced her ability, but one can’t help the feeling that there was a good amount of natural talent already there!
RYTS is a program with the focus to assist the transition from school into the next phase of life. The program is delivered at a 6 day residential camp for students who are in the senior years of school (Year 11-12). Our club sponsors at least two young persons every year and we have had many “after the event” presentations, but few, if any of the calibre of Kate’s.
Meticulously prepared, including a PowerPoint display, she launched off with… a power dance. Hard to describe (ok, it includes the ‘Oh what a feeling!’ jump of a well known car manufacturer). It’s on our Download section for you to view and so is her PowerPoint presentation. Go on, get it! I wish I had the words to effectively describe the combination of the zest of youth, combined with unbridled enthusiasm and competence. Sorry, you should have been there!
Last Wednesday: Kate Worboys on RYTS Franz Huber 2022-02-04 14:00:00Z 0

And whaddya want me to do about it?

Posted by Franz Huber
February is Peace and Conflict Prevention Month.
The media is running hot: Russia musters tanks and ballistic missiles on the border of Ukraine. China is determined to bring Taiwan “back into the fold”, and.. and... Yup. And whaddya want me to do about it?
That is the obvious question the average ‘Mr & Ms Average’ ask themselves. [Is there such a thing as a Mr & Ms Average? After all, we are all individuals, aren’t we? Like everybody else.] One gets a feeling of helplessness and irrelevance; if one has relatives “over there”, even anxiety. Whenever the subject of Peace and Conflict Prevention is brought up, the first thing that pops into your mind is international conflict. We visualise war, in whatever form, from economic coercion all the way to… (shudder).
Our club has in recent years proudly sponsored multiple International Peace Fellowships. But Peace and Conflict is not limited to international, political boundaries. It is as much an issue in the work place and at home.  Just ask your local police officer how many Domestic Violence incidents they respond to every day. In Australia, the statistics are stark: according to the Federal Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), one in six women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a current or former partner, but men are not entirely safe either: there, the ratio is 1 in 16. (1) But it’s not just the immediate violence that concerns us. DV is one of the leading causes of homelessness. And, by the way, DV is not just happening in the so-called ‘lower socioeconomic classes’.
So where do we come in as Rotarians? Well, if it is that pervasive as one in six, perhaps it occurs right in your neighbourhood. Perhaps you could take an active role, at least advise the authorities, if not “give an ear” to a person whom you know (or suspect) is affected. If you don’t want to be directly involved, you can volunteer or donate. Pick your favourite charity, from Mission Australia, the Salvation Army, Lifeline, Vinnies; they are all battling this insidious disease.
And whaddya want me to do about it?  Franz Huber 2022-01-30 14:00:00Z 0

No "official" meeting this Wednesday (Australia Day)

This coming Wednesday 26th January is Australia Day, a public holiday and thus we won't have an "official" meeting. Anyone who wants to come over to the Surfers Paradise Surf Club anyway might still find a few fellow Rotarians there, in spite of the fact that two of three of our members (or their family members) are in isolation. As far as we are aware though, none of them are seriously ill; wishing you all a speedy recovery.
Next week (Wednesday 2nd February), however, we'll have a planned 'formal' meeting upstairs, with our wheelchair athletes and fellow members Adam Sheppard and Tash Price presenting.  Next Wednesday we'll also welcome Kate Worboys, freshly back from her RYTS camp experience.
No "official" meeting this Wednesday (Australia Day) Franz Huber 2022-01-23 14:00:00Z 0

Bunnings sausage sizzle cancelled

Regrettably, due to a number of our club members and/or their family members testing positive, we decided to cancel this Friday's fundraiser. Geoff Croad will communicate with Bunnings to arrange for an alternative date when hopefully the situation will have stabilised again.

Thank you to all the people who offered to help - we'll be in touch when a new date has been set.

Bunnings sausage sizzle cancelled Franz Huber 2022-01-23 14:00:00Z 0

Project Shed expected to reopen on 19th February

We regret to advise that our Project Shed at the Arundel Community Centre remains closed until further notice, due to a number of our regular key volunteers as well as members testing positive to COVID. At this stage, we hope to reopen again on Saturday 19th February. We'll advise as soon as we are able to confirm.
However, we expect our regular club meetings to take place as per schedule, every Wednesday morning.
Project Shed expected to reopen on 19th February Franz Huber 2022-01-19 14:00:00Z 0

Our project shed: Future direction

Posted by Larry Murray
I was happy to report that our wheelchair project at the shed essentially is in good order. The production of wheelchairs is running along nicely, though there is a need for two additional workers. However, if we are to maximize the facility and its resources, we need an ongoing program to make improvements wherever and whenever possible.
The report from 180 Degrees Consulting is very professional and informative, helping us to identify points of action, most of which we were aware of but had not been fully addressed. It did strongly advise that we take advantage of Social Media to raise our profile and raise funds. Whilst we frequently post to our club’s Facebook page, this is not happening with the Wheelchair Trust website; there are few or no social media posts. It is necessary to appoint an individual to this job, who would, in turn, need additional help as the job can be quite demanding.
It was agreed that Mark Twyford and Paul Seymour would talk to their companies’ Social Media specialists to see if they can help. It was suggested it may be a service, we will have to pay for, the matter is to be further developed at the next board meeting where a decision can be made if we do nothing it will be a lost opportunity.
The issue of additional shed utilization has so far been a disappointment. All avenues we had explored did not develop into a practical operation; the last attempt was an effort to copy some of the projects they run at Substation 33. I believe this still has potential but is lacking a leader with sufficient technical knowledge. In the meantime, we could consider additional projects utilizing existing facilities, including the manufacture of coffins! Perhaps dog kennels, general pet equipment, including pet coffins? That type of work, if successful, would be undertaken by a different group of people on different days, allowing us to increase the number of days the shed is in operation.
When the shed reopens (expected to be on 26th January) we intend to make a few pet products to test the market and will keep the club informed. The shed is open for everyone in the club. Any suggestions or help is very much appreciated. Please, whenever you can, join us for coffee on Saturday mornings.
To summarize: we are going to do something about Social Media and actively look at additional products. We encourage members to contact anyone they think could volunteer on Saturday mornings.
Larry Murray is Chairman of the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust, an Australian registered Charity organisation
Our project shed: Future direction Larry Murray 2022-01-13 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: The future of our Project Shed

Posted on Jan 07, 2022

We recently received a very comprehensive management report from 180 Degrees Consulting (Bond University branch), a worldwide organisation which provides free services to non-profit organsations such as our Wheelchair Trust. This report is our starting point to do a comprehensive forward projection of the direction our Project Shed can (will) take. Hint: It might not just involve wheelchairs!

Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray will outline his views, followed by open discussion of the various points.  This is an interactive session - you are invited to actively participate in the discussion!


This coming Wednesday: The future of our Project Shed Franz Huber 2022-01-06 14:00:00Z 0

So you are freshly out of NY Resolutions?

Posted by Franz Huber
As I write this, just one day out from New Year's Day, I just realise that I hadn't committed to one single personal New Year's Resolution. [Yes, a certain country song, starting with "It's hard to be humble..." springs to mind... ☺]. No, primarily I think this is a sign of old age. Particularly, there isn't much anymore I want to give up! 
But there is one resolution I have decided to really give a go: Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta's challenge of "Each One, Bring One". Membership is every Rotarian's responsibility. That includes not only finding new members but equal emphasis must be given to ensure that we keep current members engaged and comfortable within our club. Anyone joining me in the challenge?
So you are freshly out of NY Resolutions? Franz Huber 2022-01-01 14:00:00Z 0

Meet Kate Worboys - our RYTS awardee 

Posted by Franz Huber
In two weeks' time, on 17th January 2022, Kate will attend our District's Rotary Youth Transition Seminar (RYTS) at Bornhoffen PCYC. RYTS is a transition program with the focus to assist the transition from one area of study into the next phase of life. The program is delivered at a 6 day residential camp for students who are in the senior years of school (Year 11-12). Click on this link for more details. In the past, we have had numerous awardees for this excellent program, many of whom have gone on to International Youth Exchange as well as the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program, for example, one of our regular Rotaractors Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, Lucy Thorburn, as well as Lutzy Award Winner Jessica Webb, just to name a few.
Kate studies at St Hildas Girl's School in Southport, where she is a member of the school's debating team. She already has numerous achievements well worth mentioning, including the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award and the Reuben F. Scarf Memorial Foundation Award. She participated in the State Athletics Championship (Javelin is her forte) as well as in the BSRA Rowing Championships and many other sports. 
Congratulations! Looking forward to your presentation upon your return.  
Kate will join us on 2nd February for a brief outline of her experiences.
Meet Kate Worboys - our RYTS awardee  Franz Huber 2021-12-30 14:00:00Z 0

It's History now, but it was great!

Posted on Dec 30, 2021
Our last meeting for 2021 was our Christmas breakfast at Edgewater Dining. A big thank you to Charles Thomasson for organising this for us. Great attendance too - almost 40 people, including some of our "young un's" Rotaractors. Photo depicts President Paul Seymour giving a super short address - by the time people realised he had started, it was already finished... 😊
(There is also a brief video on our facebook page
It's History now, but it was great! Franz Huber 2021-12-29 14:00:00Z 0

Big weekend at Surfers Sunrise!

Posted by Franz Huber
Nobody needed to be bored or in search of something to do over the past few days: On Thursday night, we were invited to participate in a Bunnings Community Event. We "waved the flag" and exhibited our very special 10,000th wheelchair, sold a couple of bikes and one of the children's bikes was raffled off.  See photo left of the happy winner, flanked by President Paul Seymour and District Treasurer Mark Twyford.
Then on Friday, our "Minister for Everything" Geoff Croad organised another Bunnings Sausage Sizzle (amazing how many people buy a snag on a Friday! 😊). Many thanks to all who helped on the day: Brian Pearson, Uwe Seifert (RC of Broadbeach and one of our volunteers at the shed), Gaye Miles (the lady who brings scones to the volunteers on Saturday morning), Al Sirovs, Mario Fairlie, Franz Huber, Angus Miller, Andy Bell, Paul O'Neill, Adrian Crowe and special occasion: Doug Lipp brought along two of his grandchildren to help. Getting the next generation involved in serving the community. Good on ya!
This was followed on Saturday morning with the big Christmas Brunch, held at the Project Shed, organised by Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray, in appreciation of our volunteers' hard work during the year.
Big weekend at Surfers Sunrise! Franz Huber 2021-12-11 14:00:00Z 0

Meet Sophia Seumahu, our NYSF Awardee

Last Wednesday, Sophia Seumahu briefly introduced herself at our breakfast meeting. It is important to note that a place on the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is very hotly contested - it is considered one of the big prizes to be won if you are a fan of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Congratulations, Sophia!
Sophia will go into Year 12 next year at Kings Christian College. There is no doubt that she is VERY enthusiastic about STEM - almost bubbling with the joy of expectation, the anticipation of meeting or having direct online conversations with a STEM enthusiast's equivalent of a rock star...  Her speech was delivered fluently - not a single 'like...', 'uuhmmm...' one normally expects from a young person (as well as from some not very young either! ☺).
Read her well-structured and informative speech - it is in the Download Section on the right.  Sophia will be doing a full presentation on her experiences on 2nd March 2022.
(Photo: Sophia with her father Ben (left) and PDG Darrell Brown, our District's Chair of Youth Programs.)
Meet Sophia Seumahu, our NYSF Awardee Franz Huber 2021-12-08 14:00:00Z 0

December’s monthly theme is Disease Prevention and Treatment

Posted by Franz Huber
When we think of Rotary + Disease Prevention, our first thought goes to that humongous international project, Polio Plus, the eradication of Polio. It was started just a bit over a year before our club was chartered in February 1987, with a budget of – then – eyewatering  $US 120 Million. At the time, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of Polio in 125 countries. Since then, 2.5 Billion children have been immunised. Today, Polio cases have been reduced by 99.99%, with only very few cases remaining in regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, almost impossible to access.
But let’s look closer to home:
In our club, Surfers Sunrise, we have the almost completed X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu, and of course our ‘Rough Terrain’ wheelchairs our volunteers manufacture by repurposing unwanted bicycles. For the latter, one might argue that it cannot be classified into ‘preventing disease’. Think again.
At District Level, there is the huge Malaria Vaccine Appeal. So far, our district has raised some $1.1 Million towards project. It is conducted by Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, in 2020 reached human trial stage. Click here for more details. On a broader scale is the long running Rotary Against Malaria (RAM). The aim of this is not just elimination, but, meanwhile, prevention via reducing mosquito population and plain vanilla, but effective measures such as mosquito nets.
Nationally, in Australia and New Zealand we have Australian Rotary Health (formerly called the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund). This fund awards around $1 Million every year in grants to researchers in various disciplines, but primarily relating to mental health, as well as scholarships for training of indigenous nurses.
Another important District Project: the Human Brain Research Project. The program funds a 3 year program for a PHD student doing research into Parkinson’s Disease.
There are various other both local as well as international projects at both individual club as well as at our District level aimed at Disease Prevention and Treatment.  Check out our District Website.
December’s monthly theme is Disease Prevention and Treatment Franz Huber 2021-12-05 14:00:00Z 0

Many of our members are regulars at the Project Shed

Posted by Franz Huber
We have of course our volunteers regularly rolling up at the Project Shed to help with the wheelchairs and/or the Vanuatu project. But it is also worth mentioning that our Rotaractors as well as many of our members are out there frequently.  Last Saturday, for example, we saw the Rotaractors Catherine Kopp and Dan Snart (both all the way from NSW!), Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Matt Hayward, as well as Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray, Mario Fairlie, Al Sirovs, Geoff Croad and Paul O'Neill (pictured). Paul has "secured" himself the job of sanding and painting the plywood components. 
Many of our members are regulars at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-12-05 14:00:00Z 0

Ian Mayberry wins 2021 Queensland Sports Award for Motorsports

Posted by Franz Huber
This is the first time ever that Motorsport even figured among the awardees. Good to see Ian’s lifelong service as a Clerk of the Course on hundreds of Supercar races is recognised. Our hearty congratulations, Ian!
Photo shows Ian receiving the award from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Ian Mayberry wins 2021 Queensland Sports Award for Motorsports Franz Huber 2021-11-25 14:00:00Z 0

Not all our wheelchairs go to children

Posted by Franz Huber
Here are some photos sent to us by Charmaine Wheatley, our "go-between" with the South African Rotary clubs. We sent a container there a few months ago. The distribution is organised by some 12 different South African Rotary clubs there. These wheelchairs went to Lesotho, a high altitude, landlocked small country in southern Africa.  See also some relevant files to this project in our Download section on the right.
Not all our wheelchairs go to children Franz Huber 2021-11-24 14:00:00Z 0

Collecting Gold Coins at Horizon Boat Show

Paul O'Neill teamed up with the Northern Gold Coast Rotaractors to manage the parking at last weekend's Horizon Shores Boat Show in Jacobs Well.
Picture above shows Trent and Joe (President) setting up. Good work, fellows!
Collecting Gold Coins at Horizon Boat Show Franz Huber 2021-11-20 14:00:00Z 0

Thank you letter from Kilu'ufi Hospital, Solomon Islands

Posted by Col Laurenson
Whilst we have no doubt that all our wheelchairs arrive at their destination and are most appreciated by their recipients, it's always nice to receive formal acknowledgment.  Recently, a letter arrived from Richard Maegerea, Director Nursing at Kilu'ufi Hospital in Malaita Province, Solomon Islands. Richard confirms the very purpose of why we make these wheelchairs:
"... this donation will for sure touch the lives of some of our patients, which will enable them mobilised..." 
The full letter is in the download section on the right.
All of you who work on wheelchairs and/or are involved in getting them to the "end-user" and raise funds to make it possible: give yourself a pat on the back!
Thank you letter from Kilu'ufi Hospital, Solomon Islands Col Laurenson 2021-11-18 14:00:00Z 0

Remember all those chairs we cleaned up?

Posted by Franz Huber
Remember all those chairs we cleaned up and loaded onto a container for the Solomon Islands, on the last Saturday in August (photo right)? Well, they have arrived over there, and the local Rotaractors are involved in their distribution big time... In the Download section on the right is a pictorial of them receiving and distributing the goods, sent by our logistics specialist Col Laurenson who is arranging all the container traffic for us.
Give yourself a pat on the back, people!
Remember all those chairs we cleaned up? Franz Huber 2021-11-17 14:00:00Z 0

Yes, TWO fundraisers this coming weekend!

In addition to the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle on Sunday 21st November (organiser: Geoff Croad), our new member Paul O'Neill is arranging a roster to collect Parking Fee Gold Coins at the Horizon Shores Boat Show this coming weekend, from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November 2021.  It is at 80 Cabbage Tree Point Road Steiglitz 4207 (Jacob's Creek). This could, of course, result in an annual fundraiser.
Two people required for each time slot:

Friday 19th November, 3:45 pm to 7:30 pm
Saturday 20th November, 08:30 am to 12:00 pm
Saturday 20th November, 11:45 am to 4 pm
Sunday 21st November, 08:30 am to 12:00 pm
Sunday 21st November, 11:45 am to 4 pm
Paul has arranged all the gear (buckets, vests, Square terminals etc).
Of course, why not stay and check out the boats while you are there? Click here for tickets to the boat show
Yes, TWO fundraisers this coming weekend! Franz Huber 2021-11-14 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday: Bill Edgar – The Coffin Confessor

Posted by Franz Huber
It’d be unusual for guest speakers at Rotary meetings to have experienced living on the street or having seen the inside of Boggo Road Jail (and I don’t mean as a tourist). Nor would they professionally disrupt funerals. And be paid 10,000 dollars doing just that – compliments of the deceased.
But that, in 50 words, tells you the basics of this extraordinary man. Bill Edgar, last Wednesday’s guest speaker, briefly started by outlining his career: from living on the streets of Surfers Paradise, to gaining a full scholarship at a prestigious private school (and leaving it), to becoming a nightclub bouncer, to becoming a licensed Private Detective. But what is quite unique about Bill is his self-described business: ‘The Coffin Confessor’ started off when one of his clients, on his death bed, engaged him to – literally – “crash” his upcoming funeral and interrupt the service. His client, very unhappy to find out that his best mate was trying to have an affair with his wife, wanted it to be known to everyone.
They are not necessarily all as vindictive as that. Take another one of his clients, the Sergeant of one of the big bikie gangs: he desired to be buried together with his Harley. “Can’t be done!” they said. “Can be done indeed!” said Bill, and arranged it. Another wanted to be sure that his family wouldn’t find out about his very deep secret; all evidence was to be removed. The evidence? In his basement, he had a sex dungeon…
Bill makes sure that it is all proven and above board: everything is pre-investigated to ensure it is true, all interviews are recorded. Meanwhile, Penguin has published his book and he has secured a deal for the movie rights.  Like to get a more detailed account? Get Bill’s book The Coffin Confessor!
Last Wednesday: Bill Edgar – The Coffin Confessor Franz Huber 2021-11-10 14:00:00Z 0

Thank you, D'Arcy Arms, we appreciate your support

Posted by Franz Huber
Last week, Larry Murray presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Flossy Porter, General Managerof D'Arcy Arms, Larry's favorite Irish Pub. Over the years, we have received many very nice gift certificates from them in support of our various projects.  Thank you!  Much appreciated.
Thank you, D'Arcy Arms, we appreciate your support Franz Huber 2021-11-06 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: Bill Edgar - The Coffin Confessor

Bill Edgar is a licensed private detective, specialising in...  funerals. Funerals? Yes, if you would like somebody to reveal the truth at your funeral instead of somebody reading a eulogy full of lies, Bill is the man. He is also an internationally published author - his book 'The Coffin Confessor' is a bestseller, with a TV series to follow. 

This is a must attend event - I assure you, you won't be disappointed.

"Supporting Act": Ellen Wark, who is in charge of Administration of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award), will visit us to give us a brief outline of what RYLA is all about. Over the years, we have supported dozens of RYLA awardees. The most recent: Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Sasha Kimber back in January this year.

This coming Wednesday: Bill Edgar - The Coffin Confessor Franz Huber 2021-11-04 14:00:00Z 0

Excellent Surfers Sunrise annual Golf Day

Posted on Oct 27, 2021
Last Monday, we conducted the annual Surfers Sunrise Golf Day. Superb day, excellent organisation by Charles Thomasson, Doug Lipp and Paul Smith. Hey, even the rain held off on our patch of paradise on the Gold Coast! Well done everyone. Check out the full photo album on our club's website - right side of home page. Photos: (above) the overall team winners: Phillip Eddy, Aiden Pennell, Tim Crouch, Jack Curtis and (below) the winner of the Best Rotary Club team: Currumbin-Coolangatta-Tweed, from left: Eric Prosser, Bev Prosser, CCT President John Giuricin, Carol Outen
Excellent Surfers Sunrise annual Golf Day Franz Huber 2021-10-26 14:00:00Z 0

This year's Lutzy Award goes to Jett Milford-Ferguson

Posted on Oct 27, 2021
After two postponements, this morning we presented the coveted 'Lutzy Award' to Jett Milford - Ferguson. Congratulations! The award is in honour of Keith Lutz, who was not only a Charter Member of our club but also a highly respected leader of the Surfers Paradise SLSC. The exclusive surf ski is sponsored by our Rotary Club and is presented annually to a young person selected by the committee of the Surfers SLSC. The winner may not necessarily be the top surfing champion but is selected because he/she has demonstrated real leadership qualities. Often, the winner goes on to Rotary youth development programs. Go to our District 9640 website and check it out - top right of menu on the home page.
(Photo - from left: President Paul Seymour, Jan Lutz, Jett Milford - Ferguson, David Orchy, Charles Thomasson)
This year's Lutzy Award goes to Jett Milford-Ferguson Franz Huber 2021-10-26 14:00:00Z 0

Last Friday: Polio Plus Train and Tram Ride

Posted by Franz Huber on Oct 23, 2021
A large number of clubs participated in this PR exercise, riding the train from Varsity Lakes to Helensvale, then the tram via Southport to Broadbeach, and back again. Surfers Sunrise was represented by Rotaractors Matt Hayward and Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, Gerald East and Franz Huber. Next to KJ is the famous Karen Kolenko with her Polio Plus bear, who was fitted out with a specially tailored Polio Plus miniature T-Shirt and face mask...
Last Friday: Polio Plus Train and Tram Ride Franz Huber 2021-10-22 14:00:00Z 0

Anyone knows a concreter "with heart"?

We would like to put down a concrete slab at our Project Shed and are looking for a concreting company "with heart" who will give us a very special price. This drawing outlines details - a high-resolution version and more specific details are of course available.  Please contact Larry Murray directly if you can refer someone.
Anyone knows a concreter "with heart"? Franz Huber 2021-10-16 14:00:00Z 0

Polio Plus Train Ride this coming Friday

Posted by Franz Huber
A bit late notice, I know... This coming Friday 22nd October, the annual Polio Plus drive on the Gold Coast train and tram is on. Click on this link to get the time table from the Download section, you'll find the entire time table. Gerald East and yours truly will be on it from Helensvale Tram station at 07:43 am and Parkwood (Park & Ride) station at 07:47 am respectively, riding it down to Broadbeach and back again. Of course, you can join the train or tram at any of the stations indicated; you'll find plenty of other Rotarians on it. Will you join us? Wear your Polio Plus or Rotary T-shirt.
Going to the Italian Long Lunch? You'll have plenty of time to get there!
Polio Plus Train Ride this coming Friday Franz Huber 2021-10-16 14:00:00Z 0

New compressor has arrived at the Project Shed

A big THANK YOU to our member Brian Pearson, who donated the funds for the new industrial grade compressor. 😊👌👌 Photo shows Des La Rance navigating it into position, Larry Murray making sure that it fits into the space.  
Angus Miller arranged for the pickup and at the same time also picked up two massive new batteries for our motorised pallet lift.
Photo shows him contemplating whether to lift it off the ute by himself, but then thought the better of it... See above. (Photos by Paul Seymour)
New compressor has arrived at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-10-16 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday: AFL legend Simon Black

Posted by Franz Huber
It’s good to have members with connections. Even better, if members have AFL legends as business partners. Our Corporate Member, the Bank of Queensland, Southport branch, is co-owned by Paul Smith and Simon Black.  “Simon who?” one of our members asked. “What is AFL?” asked another.  Well, the latter I can easily answer: Aussie Rules is team sport’s “poetry in motion”, a mix of choreography on grass, ‘Fast & Furious’ (on foot rather than on wheels) and aerial combat (without aircrafts). But faster. As to the former:  Click on this link to view the video we screened to open the meeting. It eloquently displays what Aussie Rules Football is all about.
Paul Smith skilfully “interviewed” Simon on his background. You can obtain a lot of data from his Wikipedia page, so let’s concentrate on some personal stuff: In one of his first sessions with Brisbane Lions super-coach Leigh Matthews, he learned about how tough it is to reach the Senior team in an AFL club:“I’ll be here in 2 years’ time, but I don’t know how many of you will be.”
Naturally, the glory years were mentioned: three consecutive Premierships in 2001, 2002 and 2003, and almost a fourth one in 2004. If ever there was a lesson in team play: “Play your role” the coach would insist, “and accept your role. Your individual reputation entirely depends on your team’s reputation.”
Today, Simon is coaching the Brisbane Lion’s “forward line and attacking systems” (watch that video again to see what is meant by this). In addition, he runs the Simon Black Australian Rules Academy, teaching young men the skills of playing Aussie Rules whilst gaining a Diploma in Sports Development or even a Bachelor of Business – Sports Management. “In the morning, we wear them out, in the afternoon we get them to study” he said.
Oh, did I mention that, in 2019, Simon also competed in the ‘Australian Survivor’ series? Not enough space here to describe it, click here for more details.
Photo (from left): Charles Thomasson, President Paul Seymour, Simon Black, Paul Smith
Last Wednesday: AFL legend Simon Black Franz Huber 2021-10-13 14:00:00Z 0

Great Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings

Posted by Franz Huber
A glorious day for a good Bunnings Sausage Sizzle today. A big Thank You to all the helpers on the day: Paul, Brian, Uwe, Mark, Gerald, Andy, Colin, Al, Neil, Darrell, Charles, Gaye, Paul, Adrian, and yours truly.  I let you guess who is the person behind the mask... laugh
Great Sausage Sizzle at Bunnings Franz Huber 2021-10-09 14:00:00Z 0

Italian Long Lunch this Friday 22nd October

Due to the recent few COVID cases, we had to postpone it again... hopefully, this new date will stick: it will be Friday 22nd October 2021, from 12:00 pm. All people who have booked have been notified. All tickets have been sold out, but if any cancellations were to come in, Johnny has a waiting list.  If you want to be on that list, please contact him directly.
There will be plenty of Italian style Christmas dishes. Johnny has secured a major sponsor: My Carte, and a number of corporate tables have been sold as well. The price includes all food, unlimited wine and beer, entertainment.  All proceeds go towards the X-Ray Unit and Blood Analyser for Vanuatu.  Note: COVID restrictions impose an upper limit of just 120 attendees.
Italian Long Lunch this Friday 22nd October Franz Huber 2021-10-02 14:00:00Z 0

DG Jeff Egan had the congregation captivated

Posted by Franz Huber
Some people will accuse me of blasphemy, but...
I've heard people comparing Rotary to be a close substitute for church. [Don't shoot the piano player! I am well aware of Rotary's principle of being non-denominational etc. But guilty as charged. Ed]. But when Al Sirovs sent me this shot he took last Wednesday of "the congregation" paying close attention to District Governor Jeff Egan's address via Zoom, I couldn't help the comparison... The big monitor was placed quite high above, just as the pulpit would be in a cathedral. DG Jeff, you had them spellbound! 😊
DG Jeff Egan had the congregation captivated Franz Huber 2021-10-02 14:00:00Z 0

A BIG Thank You to Ball & Doggett

At this week’s meeting at our Project Shed President Paul Seymour (left) and Neil Thurlow (right) had the pleasure of presenting a Certificate of Appreciation. This was in recognition of a very substantial donation of cardboard packing boxes in which our wheelchair kits are packed prior to shipping to their destinations overseas.
Ernie Bargewell (centre), accepted the certificate on behalf of the donor, representing his company Ball & Doggett.  In the background on TV is our District Governor Jeff Egan, who joined our meeting via Zoom.
A BIG Thank You to Ball & Doggett Franz Huber 2021-09-29 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: Meeting at the Project Shed

This coming Wednesday 29th September, our meeting will be at the Project Shed, at the Arundel Community Centre, NOT at the Surf Club (yes, you'll get fed!). Unless lockdown restrictions with NSW have been lifted by then, or he can wrangle some special exemption, District Governor Jeff Egan will join us via Zoom. We will showcase our wheelchair and X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu projects not only to our DG, but also Neil Thurlow will introduce us to the very generous donors of some $6,000 worth of packing cartons for the wheelchairs.
A hearty Bacon & Eggs breakfast will be provided (yes, we'll have some food suitable for Health & Fitness adherents too). Chief Designer and Mover & Shaker, Des La Rance will showcase our wheelchairs as well as the Mauna Health Centre X-Ray project, which is now getting close to lock-up stage. 
See you there from 07:00 am!
This coming Wednesday: Meeting at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-09-24 14:00:00Z 0

"Our" Tash Price wins Myabetic Diabetes Award!

For those of you who know our wheelchair athlete Tash, it might not even come as a surprise. Here is one very determined woman, who keeps on not just winning races, but also keeps on winning over the challenges her disability presents her with. Last night, she was awarded the Myabetic Diabetes Award for inspiring determination within the Diabetes community.
Our hearty congratulations, we are so proud, Tash and Adam, to count you among our membership.
"Our" Tash Price wins Myabetic Diabetes Award! Franz Huber 2021-09-24 14:00:00Z 0

Finally, the Paul Harris Fellowship pins have arrived!

Finally, the Paul Harris Fellowship Award pins have arrived from locked down Sydney! On Wednesday morning, Immediate Past President Charles Thomasson was able to present the pins to the deserving winners. Pictures show CT with Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Matt Hayward, who were awarded their PHF for the huge amount of effort and time they spent in developing the new websites for our Wheelchair Trust and the Mauna Health Centre Neil Thurlow was awarded a PHF for the vast amount of printing he provided mostly at no charge, not just to our club but to the District too. Last but not least, Ray Higgs, Gerald East, Peter Morgan were given their pins which they earned for their regular annual donation to The Rotary Foundation. Congratulations to all, well done, well deserved.  See all photos in the Photo Album section on the right.
Finally, the Paul Harris Fellowship pins have arrived! Franz Huber 2021-09-16 14:00:00Z 0

Brian Pearson: Cooking, my passion

(Thank you, Mitch Brown, for taking the notes in my absence. Ed.)
At last Wednesday's meeting, our new Surfers Sunrise Rotary member Brian Pearson, who recently transferred to our club, gave us an insight into his background. As is customary at Surfers Sunrise, new members are encouraged to expand their 'Rotarian behind the Badge' talks to include one of their major hobbies or passions. 
Brian opened his talk about his culinary journey around the World. He invoked the memory of food rationing in post-World War Two Britain which continued into the early years of the 1950s. After briefly touching upon his early life in Grimsby and work as a sales manager in speciality chemicals, he regaled members with colourful stories of gastronomic explorations, first in Europe and northern Africa and then later, after relocating to East Asia and marrying, some of the more exotic dishes he savoured, including a Cobra Cocktail (of sorts) and various indecisive seafood dishes.
Brian shared his love for cooking and provided his recipe for the best Wagyu steak – ever. His mantra to eat the local cuisine rather than their attempts at replicating western dishes was perhaps, given some of the more bizarre dishes he had described earlier, lost on some members... 
(Photo, by Andy Bell: Brian (left) is presented a 'Thank you!' by meeting chairman of the day, Larry Murray.)
Brian Pearson: Cooking, my passion Mitch Brown 2021-09-16 14:00:00Z 0

September is Basic Education and Literacy month

Take a couple of minutes and seriously think about this month’s theme. What springs to mind? Do you have an image of children in “developing countries”? Sure, and our club’s very substantial efforts in providing schools for tsunami devastated Phuket (Thailand), Mataafa and Apia (Samoa) without a doubt made a difference.
But according to a report by the ABC, "Forty-seven percent of the Australian population are functionally illiterate," meaning that “they can't read the instructions on a medicine bottle, they can't read a map, they can't read a recipe." OK, the report is dated 2012, but it is unlikely that matters would have substantially improved. On a less critical view, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says that, as at 2020, about 4 out of 5 people have attained year 12 or Cert II. That still leaves about 20% of the adult population who are struggling.
Sounds like a task simply too enormous?   Well, if 25 years ago Rotarians had thought it impossible to achieve the inoculation of more than one billion children some 2 million children today would not be walking.   They would be sitting in a wheelchair (if they had one).
September is Basic Education and Literacy month  Franz Huber 2021-09-11 14:00:00Z 0

Surfers Sunrise Golf Day: Monday 25th October

Posted by Franz Huber on Sep 02, 2021
It's happening! On Monday, 25th October, we'll again host a Golf Day at the Surfers Paradise Golf Club. It will be a 'Shotgun Start' at 12:30 pm (registration from 11:30 am). Several options:
  • Corporate Hole Sponsor (includes 4 players, signage and advertising)
  • 4-player Team
  • Single individual player
Chief organizer Charles Thomasson is looking both for players as well as helpers. If you and/or your friends, associates, customers, suppliers want to play: Bookings have now opened - click on this link or click on this QR Code.
Bookings will close 6 pm this Wednesday 20th October!
Surfers Sunrise Golf Day: Monday 25th October Franz Huber 2021-09-01 14:00:00Z 0

A whole bunch of Paul Harris Fellows

In many clubs, the awarding of a Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF) is quite an unusual event. In short: the club donates US$ 1,000 in the name of the recipient to The Rotary Foundation (TRF), one of the largest and, according to Charity Navigator, certainly one of the most efficient international charities in the world. TRF then issues the PHF award to the individual. Generally, the club awards the PHF for outstanding efforts made by the individual. In many cases, this is not their first award: for each additional award, a sapphire is added to the pin (see picture right for a sample of the pin with 2 sapphires, depicted as PHF +2). This morning, Immediate Past President Charles Thomasson bestowed a PHF to a whole bunch of our members. The picture above shows those members who were present at this morning's breakfast meeting (from left): PP Charles Thomasson, Geoff Croad (PHF + 3), Doug Lipp (PHF +3), Graeme Isaacson (PHF +1), Angus Miller (PHF +2), Paul Seymour (PHF +1), Andy Bell (PHF + 1), Larry Murray (PHF +2).  Other awardees were Fred Hamblen (his first), Ray Higgs (PHF +1), Gerald East (PHF +1), Peter Morgan (PHF +1), Neil Thurlow (PHF +2). And how come they were not announced at the Changeover? (You may recall, Charles awarded PHFs to Neil Thurlow, Rotaractors KJ and Matt and your editor.) Well... our club has, for many years, registered all members for a yearly US$100 donation to TRF. The above members have reached the US$ 1,000 "maturity"! Sign of getting older? No! Recognition of continued loyalty to the club!
A whole bunch of Paul Harris Fellows Franz Huber 2021-08-31 14:00:00Z 0

Presentation of the Lutzy Award in two weeks

Confirmed: the new date is set for 15th September 2021 (let's hope we are not getting another lockdown!).    
All pre-booked tickets have been retained, but of course, you mightn't have been able to participate on the original date, or you may want to invite some friends to come along.  Here is the link to book: Choose from the menu when booking: Poached or fried eggs, bacon or sausages, and if you prefer a vegetarian meal: a bowl of Acai with toasted granola, shredded coconut and fruits. Bookings close on Sunday night, 12th September.
Please feel free to contact Franz if you require further information.
Presentation of the Lutzy Award in two weeks Franz Huber 2021-08-31 14:00:00Z 0

Big Saturday coming up at the Project Shed

Col Laurenson has arranged for an empty container to be delivered at the Project Shed this Friday, in readiness for it to be loaded on Saturday. We have a large trailer load of school desks and chairs coming in from Toowoomba. They might need some TLC to clean them up before we load them.  Col advises that loading desks and chairs is “a bit of a jigsaw puzzle” to optimize the space. Can you help on the morning?
While we are on the subject: a huge ‘Thank You!’ goes to Neil Thurlow who donated a massive compressor and associated accessories, worth several thousands of dollars (see photo right). ‘On ya, Neil!
Big Saturday coming up at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-08-22 14:00:00Z 0

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle in perfect weather

Last Saturday, the gods contributed to a very successful day with perfect weather. From 07:30 am till the late afternoon, our members and volunteers generated that irresistible scent of fried sausages and onions. Angus "Onion King" Miller, as has now almost become a tradition, organised bags full of chopped onions, a large Esky of sausages. Our "Minister for Everything" Geoff Croad had worked his fingers to the bone organising the volunteers and picking gear. Results aren't in yet, but no doubt it was a very successful fundraiser.  Our thanks go to all the organisers and helpers on the day (in no particular order) Andy Bell, Darrell Brown, Gerald East, Al Sirovs, Franz Huber, Johnny Bueti, Catherine Ayad (Johnny's partner), Paul Seymour, Kristen Jewson, Matt Hayward, Brian Pearson, Geoff Croad, Angus Miller, Ashleigh Symes, Mario Fairlie, Tash Price, Adam Sheppard, Adrian Crowe, Charles Thomasson, Mitch Brown, Ben Loots, Neil Thurlow. And of course a big Thank You to Bunnings, who provided all the Marquee and all the cooking equipment.
(Photo, from left: Charles, Johnny, Johnny's partner Catherine and a customer)
Bunnings Sausage Sizzle in perfect weather Franz Huber 2021-08-20 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our newest member: Brian Pearson

At this morning's meeting, President Paul Seymour inducted our newest Surfers Sunrise member, Brian Pearson. Brian had transferred from Broadbeach Rotary Club, as he prefers not to be driving by night and thus found it hard to attend his former club's regular meetings. A big loss for Broadbeach, a big win for us! Here is a brief outline - watch this spot for his 'Rotarian behind the Badge' presentation.
If you hear him speak, you'd know that he has a mild accent... [ok, I hear you, no need to shout! ☺ Ed.] His career involved Speciality Chemicals, culminating in 12 years in Hong Kong as Managing Director of the North Asian Subsidiary of a U.K. chemical company. Brian moved to Australia in 1999 and subsequently retired here, joining the Rotary Club of Broadbeach in 2008. He served as club Secretary, and 2 years later as President. He also held positions as Foundation Director and Bulletin Editor for several years.
In 2011/12 Brian was elected as District Secretary and served under DG Graham Jones and again the following year under Sandra Domany. He also served as District Polio Chair and District Chair of ROMAC.
Meet our newest member: Brian Pearson Franz Huber 2021-08-17 14:00:00Z 0

Thank you, Nicole Hickey!

Last Saturday, Wheelchair Trust Chairman Larry Murray (photo left) presented Des La Rance with a Certificate of Appreciation to give to his daughter, Nicole Hickey.  Nicole, who together with her husband runs a business "in the pharmaceutical industry", provided all the supplies necessary to re-fill our much depleted First Aid station at the Project Shed.  Thank you! Much appreciated!
[Old German Proverb: "Der Apfel fällt nicht weit vom Stamm.' Translated: 'The apple doesn't fall far from the trunk'. The English equivalent is 'A chip off the old block'. I think the German one is more precise... Ed.]
Thank you, Nicole Hickey! Franz Huber 2021-08-15 14:00:00Z 0

Who can be invited to join Surfers Sunrise Rotary?

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.
Who can be invited to join Surfers Sunrise Rotary? Franz Huber 2021-08-12 14:00:00Z 0

Why would one want to join Rotary?

There are many reasons. But the most obvious ones are often overlooked:
The Opportunity to Serve
Rotarians provide service at both the community and international levels. Our club, Surfers Sunrise is most prominent in International Service (our Project Shed) and Youth Services, where we support a broad spectrum of events. Being a member gives you the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.
Professional Networking
A founding principle of Rotary was to provide a forum for professional and business leaders. Members are leaders in business, industry, the professions, the arts, government, sports, the military, and religion. They make decisions and influence policy. Rotary is the oldest, most prestigious service club organization in the world. 
Personal Growth and Development
Membership in Rotary ensures continuing personal development. Leadership, public speaking and communication, organization and planning, team-building and fundraising are just a sampling of the skills that can be exercised and enhanced through Rotary.
Fellowship was a primary reason Rotary was started in 1905, and it remains a major attraction. Today, with more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries, Rotarians have friends wherever they go. Rotary helps to build community as well as enduring friendships. Did you know that you can join any Rotary club meeting in any country in the world? No need to be invited. You can simply turn up and say
"G'day!, I'm from the Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club, on the Gold Coast..." 
There is a person whom you thought to invite.  Do it now.!
Why would one want to join Rotary? Franz Huber 2021-08-08 14:00:00Z 0

Project Shed to open again this coming Saturday

If no new COVID restrictions come into effect, the Project Shed will open again this coming Saturday morning, 14th August.  Note: usual regulations apply (Masks, social distancing, check in etc).  See you there!
Project Shed to open again this coming Saturday Franz Huber 2021-08-08 14:00:00Z 0

Each one, bring one.

Rotary International President Shekar Mehta has a simple target. Really too easy for everyone to achieve: 'Each one, bring one'. If we all do that, we'll double our Membership. Double?? Now, it suddenly looks lofty, doesn't it? But why shouldn't it be achievable? Our Membership Chair Angus Miller wants you to generate a list of potential people you can take into closer consideration. Doctor, Dentist, Candlestick Maker [ok, they don't exist anymore...]. Accountant, Lawyer, where you get your car serviced, Real Estate Agent, your neighbor, the guy you play golf with...  you name it!  Then let's invite them to join us for breakfast.
Now, those of you who have been in business and/or in sales: To get one prospect you have to ask many more people than just one. To get one new customer, you need to have many prospects. Finding suitable Rotarians is really no different. And just as you would have determined the parameters for your ideal customer, you should do likewise when determining who is suitable to become a Rotarian. As President Paul outlined in his brief address at the changeover: we are looking for quality.
Need some ammunition? Refer your potential member to our website and our Facebook page Both are maintained constantly. On top of that, we have the new sites relating to our Project Shed: and www.maunahealthcentre.comrecently set up by KJ Jewson and Matt Hayward.
Each one, bring one. Franz Huber 2021-07-31 14:00:00Z 0

This thing weighs a ton! (Well, a quarter ton anyway!)

Last Saturday morning, volunteer Ben Loots, Rotaractor Blake Foster, Al Sirovs and yours truly towed our trailer to Tingalpa, South Brisbane. One of Ben's mates had a Chest X-Ray Unit to donate, destined for our Mauna Health Centre project in Vanuatu. Note: it is not the new, modern one (we'll get one of those as well), this one is just to take Chest X-Rays; you have probably been pressing your chest against one of those ice-cold plates yourself! Picture shows us wrestling that heavy monster out of the trailer. It is now safely stacked away in the Ladies’ toilet in the shed! [No, it's not connected to electricity. No need to take your top off. Ed.] 😊
This thing weighs a ton! (Well, a quarter ton anyway!) Franz Huber 2021-07-23 14:00:00Z 0

'You Beauty!' Changeover at Edgewater

Last Wednesday we had our Changeover Breakfast at Edgewater Dining on Isle of Capri. It had to be moved from the originally intended Luncheon at Hope Island, as COVID restrictions meant that they would not have been able to accommodate our numbers until late August. And it was good! As they did last year, Edgewater Dining came up with a yummy breakfast, plate served. Here are the major points:
After MC Andy Bell's welcome, Secretary Mitch Brown proposed a toast to Rotary International. "Our" resident Past District Governor Darrell Brown responded, highlighting (now Past) District Governor Andy Rajapakse's major goal of increasing the membership from 1210 at the beginning of the year to a "moonshot" total of 1400. Impossible! they said. Well, that number was indeed achieved, but as is not unusual, at the end of the year, numbers slightly dropped to an excellent 1376. District 9640 can now boast of having the largest membership in our Zone.
(Now Past) President Charles Thomasson outlined a summary of the past 12 months' major highlights: The continued re-organisation of the Project Shed, the Italian Long Lunchand the Golf Day major fundraisers, the induction of new members. Our commitment to the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu project, the new websites for the Wheelchair Trust and the Vanuatu projects. He foreshadowed that another Lutzy Award presentation coming up on 4th August.
Charles then moved on to present special recognitions:
'You Beauty!' Changeover at Edgewater Franz Huber 2021-07-21 14:00:00Z 0

Project Shed to re-open this Saturday

Unless new COVID rules appear before, our Project Shed at Arundel will re-open this coming Saturday 24th July 2021 and onwards every Wednesday and Saturday mornings. Note, you will need to check-in using the Qld Government Check-in App. All the usual COVID rules apply.
Project Shed to re-open this Saturday Franz Huber 2021-07-20 14:00:00Z 0

District 9640 Q&A Sessions

Do you want to hear about…
  • Planning effective projects?
  • Tips for Membership Retention? 
  • Being a diverse and inclusive Club?
Our District is holding a number of Q&A sessions, in lieu of the usual District Training Assembly. All sessions start at 09:00 for 09:30 am start and are expected to conclude by 2:00 pm, with social time afterward. 
The Gold Coast session is on 
Sunday 22nd August 
09:00 am for 09:30 am start.               
Mowbray Surf Club, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Bookings close -  Friday 13th August
Price of $20.00 includes a light lunch.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about effective project planning and creating a vibrant and inclusive Club through membership retention with members of the District Leadership team. There will also be plenty of opportunities to discuss matters raised by the on-line District Assembly presentations.
District 9640 Q&A Sessions Franz Huber 2021-07-18 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 21st July: Breakfast at Edgewater

With the ongoing COVID restrictions announced, we could not secure a date within a reasonable time period with The Links Resort to accommodate our numbers for a Luncheon.
Thus, the decision was made to instead have a Changeover Breakfast next Wednesday 21st July 2021 (from 07:00 am, for 07:30 am start) at
Edgewater Dining
Shop 3 G7, Capri on Via Roma
Isle of Capri 4217
         (same place as last year).
We'll have the entire restaurant to ourselves, and the menu will again be a delicious pre-selection of
“The Halloumi” (Vegetarian)
Classic Benedict”
Tea, Coffee or Juice
The cost per person is $30.00. Bookings have closed and we have advised the restaurant of numbers. If you haven't booked, but would like to attend, please call convener Graeme Isaacson directly.
See you there!
This coming Wednesday 21st July: Breakfast at Edgewater Franz Huber 2021-07-16 14:00:00Z 0

Last week's Guest Speaker: Malia McMahon

Most people, even of mature age, tend to simply freeze up if they are put in front of a group of people whom they don't know personally and are asked to give a speech. If they are of school age, well…
So it came as a quite refreshing change to see Malia McMahon, just 14 years old, quite confidently get up in front of a bunch of mostly elderly, mostly unsmiling gentlemen [OK, I said mostly, there were some young members as well as ladies there too! ☺ Ed.] and give us a presentation about herself and particularly about her experiences at the recent RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment) camp. RYPEN is for 14 – 16 year olds, ‘designed to develop skills that will assist them in transition to adulthood. She was nominated by the Surfers Paradise SLSC as an emerging leader and sponsored by our Rotary club.
You can download Malia’s full speech, well worth reading, from the Download Section on the right, so I won’t rehash it. But one of the outstanding moments was when she briefly struggled with her emotions. “The CODID-19 lockdown in 2020 was one of the hardest things I’ve probably ever experienced. I experienced frustration… anger… tears… and for the first time in my life… a form of depression.”  Malia described the typical symptoms of depression she experienced: lack of motivation to accomplish anything, wanting to do nothing but sleep all day… With a bit of ‘physical close standing by’ from her mum, she quickly recovered herself though. And that is the hallmark of a future leader: the ability to recover, to regain control.
Thank you Malia. That was impressive indeed.
Photo: Malia (right) with the meeting's Chairman, Ashleigh Symes
Last week's Guest Speaker: Malia McMahon Franz Huber 2021-07-07 14:00:00Z 0

Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club features in RDU

Just in case you were hiding under a rock for the past month (and who could blame you...): The Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club, which was chartered in early June, has its "Head Quarters" at our Project Shed. Charter President Blake Foster (picture right), who is one of the many Rotaractors who regularly assisted on our projects, such as the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu and our wheelchairs, managed to get a full page in this month's Rotary Down Under magazine (page 13). They meet on the first Wednesday of the month (ok, so last Wednesday they couldn't due to COVID restrictions). If you would like more details, click on this link to contact Blake by email.  They are also on Instagram.
Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club features in RDU Franz Huber 2021-07-01 14:00:00Z 0

Excellent fundraiser at the Gold Coast Small Business Expo

Excellent fundraising effort last Wednesday and Thursday at the Gold Coast Small Business Expo. A big thank you to the Expo organiser Paula Brand for giving us the opportunity to have a stand and run the Gold Coin collection. 'Bump-in' on Wednesday afternoon, controlling car park traffic and manning the Gold Coin collection stand at the entrance certainly made it worthwhile: Total collection was roughly double that of last year. A big thank you to Darrell Brown for rounding us all up and managing our side of the bargain, and thank you to all who helped (just about half of the club members, as well as 'Honorary Queenslander' Ann O'Connor and Rotaractor Matt Hayward). The new format of changing the Gold Coin collection from the entry to the car park to the entrance door, and deploying a facility for Credit Card payment, certainly made a difference too. 
Picture: front Matt Hayward and organiser Darrell Brown; at rear Franz Huber, Adrian Crowe, incoming President Paul Seymour, Al Sirovs). Another couple of pictures on our facebook page
Excellent fundraiser at the Gold Coast Small Business Expo Franz Huber 2021-06-26 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our volunteers: Jimmy Pearce

… “So you’re retired?” I asked him. Yeah, right! Jimmy is one of these people who will never be inactive!
He was born some 67 years ago in Invercargill, on the very southern end of the New Zealand South Island. (Yes, they breed them tough down there; there isn’t much between that town and Antarctica…) Jimmy's vocation - and passion - is Building Construction, and specifically, the management of major commercial projects. Jimmy is a citizen of the world: his career took him to places such as New Caledonia, Amsterdam, the UK. One of his major projects was with Jacobs Engineering Group in their Singapore branch, where he had a senior role in the construction of a major centre for a Pharmaceutical company. “That was not only one of the most remarkable projects I’d done, but I also learned a lot there about modern construction methods,” he said.
Today, he still keeps fully active, not just at our Project Shed, but he also is in charge of maintenance at the Tamborine Mountain College. But it’s not just large-scale construction: one of Jimmy’s hobbies is fine woodworking. He recently built his own guitar, and is now learning how to play it! To balance the physical work, he follows his other hobbies of Computer Assisted Design, listens to Rock: ”Uriah Heep, Jimmy Barnes (think Working Class Man… ☺) and the like”, and keeps fit. Very fit, working out at the Gym, Martial Arts, walking about 10 Km a day…
Unfortunately, some 5 years ago, Jimmy’s wife passed away quite suddenly, due to a severe Melanoma. “I’m still finding the transition to being single again quite difficult”, he said. His daughter lives in Invercargill, and he is the proud grandfather of four grandkids. 
Welcome to the Surfers Sunrise Project Shed, Jimmy!
Meet our volunteers: Jimmy Pearce Franz Huber 2021-06-26 14:00:00Z 0

Charles Thomasson: State of the Market

Last Wednesday, President Charles Thomasson (photo left, with meeting Chairman Johnny Bueti), wearing his hat as a Partner of Wilsons Advisory, gave us a brief run-down on how the stock market reacted after the 6-month reign of US President Joe Biden. As is customary, Charles opened up with Disclaimer – “not designed as specific investment advice”.
“Donald Who?” seems to be the expression not uncommon in his professional circles these days. “Historically, markets perform well under a Democrat President,” Charles said. Certainly, one cannot call it anything other than going strong (see graph on right). Had you invested 12 months ago (should that read: had you dared to invest), you would have had a return of 24% on the ASX, 33% on the S&P, or if you had just bought Iron Ore: 110%!  The reason? “There is no other alternative”, Charles quipped. Cash rates are so low (10-year Bond rates are at just 1.7%). Borrowing costs are low. Australians are spending their money locally (Harvey Norman, JB HiFi etc) or on online markets such as Amazon.  Charles elaborated somewhat on emerging markets, on the China situation (“the US and China owe each other a lot of money…”), the US Corporate Tax Policy (generally, they go up under a Democrat regime).
And what about our budget returning to Black? In Charles’ view, the handling of the Federal Government’s COVID crisis with ‘Jobkeeper’ made the big difference between massive unemployment, with the result of the economy crashing, vs employees retaining their jobs and businesses staying afloat. With the building and Real Estate industries going gangbusters, there are now substantial issues as a consequence: Building material prices have risen sharply, due to supply chain issues.
Some more detailed information can be downloaded from the Wilson Advisory website:  Click here and here.
Charles Thomasson: State of the Market  Franz Huber 2021-06-24 14:00:00Z 0

Wonderful feedback from South Africa

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
Wonderful feedback from South Africa Franz Huber 2021-06-20 14:00:00Z 0

New Wheelchair Trust website bears fruit

Had an interesting call this morning from Valerie at Apple Marketing. (For those of you who don't know: Apple Marketing, over the years, has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for our wheelchairs project. Thank you!) Anyway, she had a donor on the line who wanted to donate $500, but wanted to be absolutely sure that it was tax-deductible (it always was), but to make it easy, she simply processed it via our new website. Howzat!
The sites are already live. Still, the main developers, Craig Parker (Digital Connections), Rotaractors Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Matt Haywood continue to spend serious time on further enhancement. Click on these links:
A big THANK YOU! go to the dedicated development team, who all worked on a voluntary basis. Furthermore, Craig Parker arranged free Google Adwords advertising.  All going according to plan, this should assist us to raise much needed funds in support of our wheelchairs and building projects.
New Wheelchair Trust website bears fruit Franz Huber 2021-06-18 14:00:00Z 0

Inaugural Repair Café and Tool Library at our Project Shed

On Sunday, in conjunction with the newly formed Gold Coast Makers Rotaract Club and the Gold Coast Tool Library the inaugural Repair Café was staged at our Project Shed. In essence: volunteers from the Repair Café offer their services to repair your tool, or (once you have subscribed to be a member), you can borrow a tool, just as you can borrow a book from the library. Go to the Tool Library's website for full details, including contact details.
Group photo: President of the GC Makers Rotaract club, Blake Foster (third from right) and Harrison Howick (4th from right). Second photo: Our treasurer Doug Lipp gets his edge trimmer fixed.
Inaugural Repair Café and Tool Library at our Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-06-12 14:00:00Z 0

Repair Shop and Tool Library at our Project Shed

No photo description available.
Our Repair Shop is a free event where our volunteer menders and fixers invite the community to bring along their broken household items for repair. The owner of the item is encouraged to join in and together we endeavour to make a repair. This has many benefits including encouraging social connections in the community, as well as transferring the skills and knowledge of repair, which can often be an intergenerational sharing as frequently it is the older generation who has the experience in repairing items.
We will also have an extensive range of refurbished bicycles for sale.
We will also trial a Tool Library. For example: Need a drill for a weekend? We'll have a licensed electrician who volunteers and he is the only repairer who touches 240V items.
Why not drop by at the Project Shed (see map) on Sunday 13th June, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm?
Repair Shop and Tool Library at our Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-06-02 14:00:00Z 0

Neil Thurlow wants you to join him to ride 400 Km with him

Neil Thurlow wants to know if you'd like to ride 400 Km with him in his Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraiser? Do I hear replies along the line of "No, thanks. Too much action, too dangerous" or "Sorry, I sold my bicycle last week"? In that case, why not SUPPORT Neil Thurlow by donating to his goal of raising at least $1,000 (but the real goal is several times that!). Neil will ride 300 Km 'solitary cycling' over the period of a few days [I'm groaning just thinking about it... Ed.], then will ride in the 100 Km Brissie to Gold Coast You can "ride" with him from your lounge chair. This is the link to access his webpage directly: DO IT NOW.
Neil is our master printer who supports Rotary all year round by providing printing services either at no charge or at a ridiculously low price. Now it's your turn.
Neil Thurlow wants you to join him to ride 400 Km with him Franz Huber 2021-06-01 14:00:00Z 0

GC Business Expo 23 - 24. June: Helpers needed

We have again been offered to do the 'Bump-in' and 'Bump-out' at the Gold Coast Business Expo as well as for the Gold Coin collection post at the car park and at the door. Looking for helpers on both days:
Wednesday 23/06/21 at 2:00 pm Bump-in: some more people would be good
Thursday 24/05/21 at 3:30 pm Bump-out - need lots more
Thursday 24/06/21 Gold Coin Collection
08:00 am - 10:00 am - 3 people needed
10:00 am - 12:00 am - 3 people needed, tapering off to 2
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm - 2 people, tapering off to 1
Please email Darrell Brown directly the times you can be there, or call him on his mobile, thank you.
GC Business Expo 23 - 24. June: Helpers needed Franz Huber 2021-05-30 14:00:00Z 0

George Keily ongoing drive to collect spectacles

For the past couple of decades, our honorary member George Keily (picture right) has collected "superseded" spectacles from Optometrists all over town.  They are then collected to be despatched to recipients in developing countries, via  Donations in Kind, a division of the Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS). By now, the count would have to be in the ten thousands!  Main picture shows Shobha Srinivasan (Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads) collecting an entire car boot full. Good on ya, George and Shobha! Your good work will provide hundreds of people with clear sight. (Photo by George Keily)
George Keily ongoing drive to collect spectacles Franz Huber 2021-05-29 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 26th May: KJ Jewson and Sasha Kimber

This coming Wednesday, Kristen 'KJ' Jewson and Sasha Kimber will give us a presentation on their experiences at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp they attended in January. 
See you at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club, 07:00 am!  Grab your breakfast at the bistro downstairs and take it to the upstairs venue for some fellowship before the meeting starts at 07:30 am sharp.
This Wednesday 26th May: KJ Jewson and Sasha Kimber Franz Huber 2021-05-23 14:00:00Z 0

WHAT? Where is this leading to?

A young lady (yes, by Rotarian standards, being well below 40 definitely is young) will be District Governor in the oldest District in Australia (Melbourne). Yes, that is Amanda Wendt, a young business woman (“and I’m not about to retire”) who gave a hugely inspiring keynote presentation at last Saturday's District 9640 Conference. This was preceded by a Zoom presentation by Jason Browne (he looks a bit like Bob Marley, complete with dreadlocks - sorry, Gen Y and Millennials. Before your time!) from the US. This was followed by an interview of four young Rotarians, half my age, from newly chartered clubs (Gold Coast Passport, Gold Coast Corporate, Currumbin Beach, Lismore Networking). Then there was ROTEX, the Society of past Youth Exchange Alumni. Not meaning to whinge, but I'd have given my left arm for such opportunities when I was young... ☺
Over my last 34 odd years of Rotary membership, I’ve attended most of the annual conferences. This was the first time it was shortened to just one day, and thus some of the most enjoyable and important ingredients, such as the Friday and Saturday night events and their associated “deep” networking, were sadly missing.  But there was plenty of the conventional stuff too: The Entrance of the Flags, led by Angie Bell MP (she was an Exchange Student to Denmark), Dr Michael Pyne talking about the Koala Chlamydia epidemic, Prof Michael Good AO on the status of the Malaria Vaccine project which is massively supported by Rotary.
Attending a District Conference is somewhat akin to recharging the old “Rotary Enthusiasm” batteries. Or perhaps I could compare it to applying a good cut and polish: Presentations such as the interview by the District’s Youth Programs Chair, “our” PDG Darrell Brown, with four awardees of leadership development programs (picture above), reinforce one’s commitment “to the cause”. You should have been there!
WHAT? Where is this leading to? Franz Huber 2021-05-15 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's Guest Speaker: Vandy S Kamara

There are some 56,000 (!!) registered charities in Australia. Vandy Kamara's “private” charity, the Sonjor Community School, is not among them.  With “private”, I mean that Vandy finances this school, located in a remote region of Sierra Leone (West Africa), from his own and some of his friends’ savings. Extraordinary!
Located “about 3 – 4 hours’ drive from the nearest town”, the school provides education to underprivileged children. Since his presentation last year, the school has been expanded to cater for the increased enrolments. They have also invested in teacher training and provided learning materials and resources. Vandy is coordinating with the local village chiefs to source some building materials locally. But a lot of building materials such as cement and iron rods need to be imported.
Vandy, who works at Wesley Mission Queensland caring for homeless people in various areas all the way to Katherine in the Northern Territory, emigrated to Australia some 11 years ago. Talking about applying the proverbial Aussie "Have a go" principle! He holds numerous academic achievements, including a Master of Public Health and an Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management. Although last year his application to a World Peace & Conflict Resolution Scholarship was unsuccessful, our club nominated him again upon instigation by the Rotary Foundation to apply again this year.
Photo: Vandy’ (centre) with President Charles Thomasson, Rebecca and Tanya from Wesley Mission and Ray Higgs. Vandy's presentation is in the Download Section on the right.
Last Wednesday's Guest Speaker: Vandy S Kamara Franz Huber 2021-05-13 14:00:00Z 0

District 9640 Conference is this coming Saturday

On Saturday 15th May 2021, our District 9640 will hold its Conference at Twin Towns Conference Centre.  In view of the COVID situation, the format is a one day event. This brings the cost down to just $60.00 per head ($20 for Rotaractors and $10 for Interactors) which includes morning tea break and Lunch.  
Among the hugely interesting keynote speakers is Jason Browne (via Zoom), Public Image Co-Ordinator, Zone 28 & 29, Pennsylvania State University Rotary Club, on "Can we make M&M's in Rotary?"  Click here for more information and to book
Note: Officially, bookings closed on 1st May, but if you hurry, you might still be able to slip in...
District 9640 Conference is this coming Saturday Franz Huber 2021-05-08 14:00:00Z 0
This coming Wednesday, 12th May: Vandy S Kamara Franz Huber 2021-05-04 14:00:00Z 0

X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu will be "Completely Knocked Down"

Our Logistics Guru, Col Laurenson sent me this photo, with the comment that the 20' storage container will be used "to hold ckd building until ready..." Explain "ckd"? "Completely Knock Down".  Eventually, when we are able to travel on-site to erect it, we'll transfer it to the shipping container, together with all the other gear such as roof and wall panels, doors, hardware etc. 
X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu will be "Completely Knocked Down" Franz Huber 2021-04-30 14:00:00Z 0

May is 'Youth Services' month

OK, over the past 12 months, we haven't put a lot of emphasis on the Rotary International monthly themes, neither in our club media nor at District level. But Youth Service, the theme for May, is one of our very strengths: we support RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award, a leadership training seminar for 19 - 28 year olds - KJ Jewson and Sasha Kimber's presentation coming up in 4 weeks), RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment, for 14-16 year olds -3 candidates going into this month's camp), RYTS our club has numerous times in the past supported, International Youth Exchange (come off the boil in very recent times due to COVID though), but we had a successful candidate for the National Youth Science Forum with the CSIRO in Canberra (Briana Dorrough, in January), and of course we are always actively engaged in RYDA (Rotary Youth Driver Awareness) with multiple seminars held each year for senior students at local high schools. 
In addition, this year Youth Services Director Darrell Brown has budgeted to support a candidate for MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly, happening this weekend!). Of course, we have met our Rotaractors KJ Jewson, Matt Howard, Blake Foster, Chumani Brookhouse, Harrison Howick and many other Rotaractors who helped on the Vanuatu project at the shed and on our new website.  Is your head spinning yet? Yes, Rotary has so much to offer. [In my next life, I might join a less hyperactive organisation, such as a Quilting Club, instead. What?? Rotary has a Quilting Fellowship? Ok, then perhaps Whisky Appreciation? Yes, Rotary has that too... ☺ Ed. ] Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for potential candidates.  Our District Website has a complete rundown of all youth programs, including the dates, locations, qualifications required etc.  Click here: and select 'Youth Services' at the top menu.  Or ask Darrell Brown, there isn't much that he doesn't know about the subject!
This month's edition of Rotary Down Under magazine has a special feature on Youth Service.  Click here to access an online version of the magazine.
May is 'Youth Services' month Franz Huber 2021-04-29 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's Guest Speaker: Angie Bell MP

“You changed my world!” Angie enthused after outlining her early life experiences, being sent to Denmark as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. [OK, you can now slowly come down off your high, but it’s nice to know that Rotary had a major influence in her career… ☺] She was nominated by the Rotary Club of Gawler (a suburb of Adelaide). But visualise: You are aged 17, you arrive in a non-English speaking country, you are hosted by a family where no one spoke English… Does this qualify to be put into the category of ‘being thrown in at the deep end’ or what? Studying to play the Tenor Saxophone, Angie came to the attention of famous Jazz Musician Don Burrows and scored a scholarship to study music at the Conservatorium. The resulting grounding is most unusual indeed for any member of parliament: she became a Professional Musician! But learning never stops: some 25 years later, she went back to Uni to study for a Business Degree.
There would be so much material to talk about. Angie selected her travel to Bangladesh in January last year, on behalf of the ‘Save the Children’ fund, visiting refugee camps. “I witnessed a small girl chopping off the nails of chicken feet to supplement the food in her mum’s wok” she graphically outlined the experience. The problems faced are immense. The camps total around 1.1 million people, some 750,000 recent arrivals alone people who escaped persecution in Myanmar. To accommodate the camps, virgin jungle is torn up, in the process seriously threatening the survival of wildlife, such as the Indian Elephant.
On the local scene, Angie works closely with Ministers Stuart Roberts and Karen Andrews on the ‘Re-imagine Gold Coast’ project. Space does not permit us to elaborate, but find out all about it: click on this link to download it all from Angie’s website.
In summary: Isn't it refreshing indeed to listen to a Member of Parliament who can fluently put some words together, speak freshly and coherently “off the cuff” and, most importantly, who talks sense!
Last Wednesday's Guest Speaker: Angie Bell MP Franz Huber 2021-04-27 14:00:00Z 0

More feedback from South Africa

It's always a great pleasure to receive news from "end users" of our wheelchairs.  Here is an update from Heather Howard of the Rotary Club of Port Alfred, South Africa, one of the clubs which was allocated about 40 from a container we recently sent there (refer bulletin of 27th January 2021 for last update):
Just in case you were wondering about our progress, we write to confirm that we have distributed almost all our 20 wheelchairs and have been given two extra by Kenton because we have found such a need here.
We have sourced the recipients through the local health clinics which has proved very effective, and have been travelling round delivering the chairs to excited and grateful people, young and old, or their carers. 
As soon as we have completed the distribution, we’ll be reporting to you with signed forms and the relevant photograph on each form, and also with a report.
In the meantime, we attach a newspaper cutting featuring the story. [You can download it for full viewing - see Download Section on the right. Ed.]
There is a good chance that we'll hook up to have a Zoom meeting soon - watch this space!

More feedback from South Africa Franz Huber 2021-04-23 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 28th April: Angie Bell MP

This coming Wednesday, our Federal MP for Moncrieff, Angie Bell, will join us at our meeting at the Surfers Paradise SLSC. This is your once a year opportunity to meet with your Member of Parliament! As usual, order your meal at the downstairs bistro and take it to the upstairs venue for fellowship, with the meeting starting at 07:30 am sharp.
This coming Wednesday 28th April: Angie Bell MP Franz Huber 2021-04-23 14:00:00Z 0

Tash Price wins Bronze at National Championships

Howzat! Our member Tash Price wins the Bronze Medal at National Championships in 400 metres wheelchair race! This is special, when considering that just a few weeks ago, our fellow Surfers Sunrise Rotarian was in hospital. She put in a time of 1:30:35 in the final. Congratulations, Tash, and your coach, business partner and fellow Surfers Sunrise Rotarian Adam Sheppard (photo left) deserves a huge pat on the back!
Tash Price wins Bronze at National Championships Franz Huber 2021-04-18 14:00:00Z 0

Baton Relay - RC of Parkwood transfers to Surfers Sunrise

On Friday morning, members of the Rotary Club of Parkwood handed the baton to Surfers Sunrise.  Parkwood President Margaret Grummitt (picture left) paddled across the Broadwater by Canoe - Howzat! President Charles Thomasson was joined by a fair number of Surfers Sunrise members and associate members and paraded the baton with our 'Rough Terrain' wheelchairs along the Broadwater foreshore. The baton relay is organised in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first Rotary clubs being chartered in Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the theme of 'Rotary says NO to Domestic Violence' is depicted on purple coloured T-Shirts, worn by many members.

Baton Relay - RC of Parkwood transfers to Surfers Sunrise Franz Huber 2021-04-15 14:00:00Z 0

Great BBQ Breakfast at the Project Shed

Breakfast with a difference: instead of our regular venue at the Surf Club, this week we met at the Project Shed at the Arundel Community Centre.  We were joined by members of the Rotary Clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast, as well as our local Councillor, Ryan Bayldon. Thank you, Ryan, for taking the time, we appreciate your support.
For the benefit of our visitors, President Charles Thomasson briefly outlined our wheelchairs and building projects, in particular the current project to provide an X-Ray unit for the hospital on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. Project Services Director Larry Murray provided additional detail, and particularly highlighted the contribution of our member Ben Illes, who arranged the donation of all timber by Paradise Timber & Trusses.  Thank you!  
President Elect Paul Seymour foreshadowed our Changeover Luncheon to be on Sunday 4th July 2021. Details to follow, but put into your diary now. 
Mario Fairlie has organised a meeting for this coming Saturday 17th April at 08:00 am at the Community Centre adjacent to the shed. Its principal purpose is to elaborate on the Global Grant application to be submitted to raise the total of $100,000 required for the X-Ray equipment for Vanuatu.
Photo: Wheelchair Trustee Peter Morgan, Volunteer Brian Mitchell getting served by our BBQ Chef Angus Miller
Great BBQ Breakfast at the Project Shed Franz Huber 2021-04-13 14:00:00Z 0

Tash Price in 3 events at the National Athletics Championships

This coming weekend, Friday 16th to Sunday 17th April, our member Tash Price (that's her, training in full flight) will represent Queensland at the Australian National Athletics Championships in Sydney.  Our best wishes, Tash!  Go for it, Queenslander!
Tash Price in 3 events at the National Athletics Championships Franz Huber 2021-04-11 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 14th April: Breakfast at the Project Shed 

This coming Wednesday, 14th April, we'll meet at the Project Shed instead of the Surf Club, to receive an update on our X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu project (image on left).  Angus 'Onion King' Miller will have the Bar-be-que on full speed from 07:00 am onwards and cook a hearty breakfast for you! Guests and visitors welcome - why not invite a friend to come along?
But there is more!  See next story.
This coming Wednesday 14th April: Breakfast at the Project Shed  Franz Huber 2021-04-09 14:00:00Z 0

Nationwide Forklifts donates two Pallet Jacks

The Pallet Jack at our Project Shed has started to deteriorate. So, Geoff Croad and Ian Mayberry contacted Nationwide Forklifts. Managing Director Ron Layton quickly agreed to come to the rescue: the company donated not just one, but two almost new Pallet Jacks, valued at about $800.00, to our good cause, which were delivered last Wednesday. Thank you, Ron, thank you Nationwide Forklifts!  Photo (from left): Ian Mayberry, Bryan Tuesley, Robby (?) who delivered the goods and President Charles Thomasson, the two Pallet Jacks on the ute behind them ready to be unloaded. [Aren't they model citizens? Perfect social distancing, masks only taken off for the photo... ☺ Ed.]
Nationwide Forklifts donates two Pallet Jacks Franz Huber 2021-03-31 14:00:00Z 0

Tony Schaper delivers another load of... what??

Tony Schaper has been doing this for years. On Saturday, he dropped off another 4 bags of ring pulls he and his wife Sue have collected over the last 12 months. That's about  128 KG, estimated to be about 433,898  beer cans. (No, he didn't drink them all by himself! ☺☺) Tony has been collecting ring pulls for Wheelchairs for about 14 years. By now, he and his wife would have collected close to a ton. At current rates of recycled aluminium, this would amount to as much as $1,500 in total.  Thank you, Tony!
Tony Schaper delivers another load of... what?? Franz Huber 2021-03-27 14:00:00Z 0

Remember our "pocket rocket" from Italy?

Remember our "Pocket Rocket" Youth Exchange Student who returned to Italy in 2016?  Meanwhile, Martina Missarelli has graduated in Economics and Management - here is a photo of her, proudly displaying her Cartoon Well Done Stock Illustrations – 318 Cartoon Well Done Stock  Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstimegraduation certificate.  Congratulations, Martina, well done!
Remember our "pocket rocket" from Italy? Franz Huber 2021-03-27 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our newest member: Trent Belling

At last Wednesday's meeting, President Charles Thomasson inducted our newest member, Trent Belling, under the Vocational Classification of 'Information Technology'.  Proposed by Simon Brook, Trent holds both a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Commerce.  About 7 years ago, he joined Griffith University, where he works in an IT Management capacity. Before that, he worked in IT with UQ.  Watch this space - we'll advise when Trent will give us a deeper insight into his persona when he'll do his 'Rotarian behind the Badge' presentation.
Welcome to our newest member: Trent Belling Franz Huber 2021-03-17 14:00:00Z 0

Jeremy Bishop – The Realities of Rain

When I got up early on Wednesday morning and put on the kettle, my still foggy brain didn’t give the slightest thought on what makes it possible for me to simply turn on the tap. Nor dare I say did 99.99% of the 30-odd people present at our meeting, nor the 600,000 residents of the Gold Coast, nor the 3 Million people who are daily relying on SEQ Water to fully function. Turn on the tap and sweet water pours out. Yet, just visualise for a moment the consequences of the water not running, say, just for a couple of days. Not having your morning cuppa would be the least of your problems, particularly if you live in a high density area!
Jeremy Bishop, who describes himself as an ‘Engagement Advisor’, together with his co-worker Katrina Lambert, provided us with a very professional, concise presentation on the huge organisation which quietly ensures that such a nightmare scenario will not happen. In control of some $11 Billion worth of dams, water treatment plants and pipelines, SEQ Water doesn’t just provide drinking and bath water, but also irrigation water to 1200 farmers.
Remember the “Millennium Drought”? It wasn’t pretty. The Hinze Dam (at that time Stage 3 hadn’t been built yet), as well as overall dam levels in South East Queensland went on average to around the 20% mark.  Meanwhile, we have a Desalination Plant and Stage 3 of the Hinze Dam, built in 2011, doubled its capacity to over 310,000 Million Litres. Our ‘Water Grid’ boasts some 600 Km of bi-directional water pipeline.  Space does not permit to outline Jeremy’s seminar in detail, but on the Download Pages (right side) you will find a PDF of his PowerPoint which is very interesting reading indeed.
(Photo, from left: Chairman of the day, Peter Morgan, Katrina Lambert, SEQ Water, Jeremy Bishop) 
Jeremy Bishop – The Realities of Rain Franz Huber 2021-03-17 14:00:00Z 0

Neil Thurlow promotes Rotary in Ipswich

Neil Thurlow rode the 100kms Ipswich charity cycle event yesterday, organised by the Ipswich Lions club. He rode in his Rotary outfit to promote the Rotary brand!
'On ya, Neil!
Neil Thurlow promotes Rotary in Ipswich Franz Huber 2021-03-14 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 17th March: The Realities of Rain

Jeremy Bishop is an Engagement Advisor for Seqwater.  His presentation will cover various aspects of one of our most important resources:

  • Current dam levels and how Seqwater responds to drought         
  • Future challenges to our long-term water security
  • Climate-resilient water source options, like desalination and purified recycled water
Following Jeremy, Ben Loots, Mario Fairlie and Dr Graham Sivyer (RC Broadbeach) will give us a brief update on the status of our X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu project. Oh, plus our newest member Trent Belling will be inducted into the club!
Big morning coming up! Members & Associates: Please wear your Club T-Shirt.  (KJ wants to take a photo of us for the new Wheelchair Trust website.)
This coming Wednesday 17th March: The Realities of Rain Franz Huber 2021-03-13 14:00:00Z 0

From Major General (Rtd) Susil Chandrapala: Thank you for the wheelchairs

It's not every day one receives a letter signed by a Major General. You may recall a post some time ago where we reported a load of wheelchairs and hospital beds going to Battaramulla, Sri Lanka. The arrangements were made by Adjit Abeywardena of the Rotary Club of Jindalee. Last week, we received a personal letter from Major General (Rtd) Susil Chandrapala MD, who is the Chairman of his Rotary club's Wheelchair Project. the 11 wheelchairs were delivered to the Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Hospital (RRH) in Ragamana, Sri Lanka.  
Quoting from his letter: "On behalf of the President and members of RC Battaramulla of RID 3220 Sri Lanka and Maldives, I wish to sincerely thank you and Members of your club for your generous contribution. These wheelchairs will be used by the poor and needy children who are being treated at RRH."
Thank you for the feedback, General. Good to hear that together we are all making a difference!
From Major General (Rtd) Susil Chandrapala: Thank you for the wheelchairs Franz Huber 2021-02-27 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our volunteers: Ben Loots

Ben spent his early years in Holland (Eindhoven), where he became a qualified Electrical / Electronics Technician and worked for the first 10 years with Philips, the giant international electronics company. At our shed, you’ll mostly find him up a ladder - he is the one who does anything to do with electrical work, as he holds a ‘Sparkie’ license. [Please don’t ask him “what’s the weather up there?”… he has heard it many times before… ☺ Ed.]
In 1983, he moved with his family to New Zealand (“for two years” – haven’t we heard that before!), where he worked in Industrial Automation for 7 years, then started his own company, specialising in Voice – Data – Radio communications. In 2002 he sold his business and came across the ditch to Australia, where he specialised in Nuclear Medicine, before coming to the Gold Coast in 2013, continuing in his technical career in keeping medical electronics working.
Ben’s interests are very wide: Firstly, he reads “anything to do with technology” [some people might call him a ‘Nerd’… Ed.] Electronics is not just his profession, it is one of his hobbies too. He is an avid photographer – “I have about four cameras... or so” he commented. Add to that Alternative Energy, Environmental Science (in 2014 he won a federal award for his work in cleaning up a waterway in the estate where he lives), even small scale food production. So it’s all technology? Oh no! Ben also sings in a choir (contemporary), and for relaxation listens to 60’s and 70’s Rock n Roll (Beatles, Clearwater Revival), reads good novels (Jeffrey Archer is his favorite author) and (ahem) books, internet posts and magazine articles on Nuclear Fusion, Particle Physics…
Meet our volunteers: Ben Loots Franz Huber 2021-02-27 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchairs getting deployed in South Africa

You know that recently we despatched a container load of wheelchairs to South Africa, via the Rotary e-Club of South Africa. Here is some feedback: we received an email from the Rotary Club of Port Alfred, South Africa:
Dear “Surfers”
We have just taken delivery of 30 wheelchair kits, 20 for Port Alfred and 10 for Rotary Club of Kenton on Sea, (25kms from us along the Eastern Cape coast, halfway between Durban and Cape Town, both surfing centres).
We have so far made one prototype this week and were excited to see it taking shape;  very simple but clever design, sturdy and manoeuvrable when done.  It took us 50 minutes after a couple of false starts but we reckon 25 mins maximum now we know what we are doing!
We wanted to bring the story to our local press, our Rotary Africa Magazine and to Facebook so we have looked up the story on your webpage and would now like to attach a couple of photos taken during construction, just for you to see.  We plan to create a work party to do the others.  The men in the photos are PP David Hawkins and PP Martin Allison of Rotary Club of Port Alfred.
Distribution will be handled soon. There is such a need for this sort of robust conveyance that we shall have no difficulty in placing them. 
We thought of attaching safety belts, have you any ideas about this?
Thank you also for the knitted jerseys which we will distribute.  Do your Rotary Anns do these?
With congratulations on this great project, and best wishes
Heather Howard
for Rotary Club of Port Alfred.

Wheelchairs getting deployed in South Africa Franz Huber 2021-02-20 14:00:00Z 0

Tammy Richie: The Art of Limitless Living

When President Charles forwarded Tammy’s email offering to speak at our club, one part caught your Editor's attention: She became an aircraft maintenance engineer in the Australian Air Force – 27 years ago. Well, at that time, that would certainly have been unusual indeed. During her presentation she then also mentioned her training with the SAS, lugging 25 Kg packs around Kokoda. “A hard way to learn about yourself!” she claimed…  I’d say, there would be sufficient material in there for a book! 😊
Today, Tammy is an entrepreneur, a motivational speaker, a trainer. She created a training program with the theme of “How to jump over yourself”. She teaches teamwork, how to work together to achieve a better outcome than working individually, how to visualise their aims, how the choices you have made throughout your live affect your future. “But be careful what you ask for though!” Tammy cautioned [haven’t we learned that before - the hard way! Ed.] .
Another skill she trains is First Aid.  First Aid? “Well no, it’s not sexy” she laconically mentioned. But it is a skill she greatly benefited from when, some 16 years ago, she found her 16 month old toddler son floating face down in her swimming pool. Yes! He survived. 
Read more about the services Tammy offers on her websites: and or to contact her by email, click here 
Tammy Richie: The Art of Limitless Living Franz Huber 2021-02-17 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our Volunteers: Bryan Tuesley

‘A genie gives you a single wish. What is it?’ is one of my standard questions when I interview somebody. Bryan’s answer, given without hesitation, was  “To regain my health”, which underscores his valiant health battle. The permanent illness, which affects his nervous system, was caused from work exposure to poisonous chemicals during his 40 year career as a Compositor and Photo Typesetter and all pre-press large format film and photographic paper processors.  [For those of you younger than 50: before electronic publishing, newspaper type was first set in lead blocks made on so-called Lynotype and Ludlow machines. The Compositor was the tradesman doing that type of work. No Henrietta, he did not compose any symphonies, nor operas... ☺ Ed.]
Born in 1952, Bryan is a proud third generation Southport citizen. (Yes! In 1920, his grandfather ran the Ferry Service from Carrara to Benowa!) He joined the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1968 as an apprentice. Some 40 years later, when he was forced to retire early due to health issues, he had been the longest serving staff member there.
Bryan’s involvement with Rotary goes all the way back some 48 years, to when he met his wife Lesley at a Rotaract event in Brisbane.  After some travel through Europe, they became engaged in 1979 and married a year later. Their two daughters are both professionals in Marine Biology and Aged Care respectively.
We all know Bryan as a sort of “Volunteer Foreman” at our Project Shed. But what does he do when he is not toiling there every Wednesday and Saturday (and often on other days too)? “I go camping!” he said. “Or I read a good book (Sydney Sheldon and Wilbur Smith are two of his most liked writers), or I listen to “good ol Rock n Roll”, Glen Campbell or… wait for it… Michael Jackson…” [Michael Jackson?? Bad? No, it's Off the Wall, probably Dangerous! What a Thriller!  Try and visualise Bryan moonwalking...☺ Ed.] And there is a big goal ahead: to travel our wide brown land! The Caravan is ready to roll… 
Picture below (provided by Bryan): Tuesley's Broadwater to Tippler's Ferry.
Meet our Volunteers: Bryan Tuesley Franz Huber 2021-02-14 14:00:00Z 0

Surfers Sunrise had two Awardees at this year's RYLA

Surfers Sunrise sponsored not just one but two RYLA Awardees at this year's event! Photo (curtesy Rotaract Burleigh Heads) shows the Rotaract team at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award a couple of weeks ago (click on link for details of next year's). KJ Jewson (back row right, next to DG Andy Rajapakse) and Sasha Kimber (front right). Looking forward to JK and Sasha's presentation on 31st March.
Surfers Sunrise had two Awardees at this year's RYLA Franz Huber 2021-02-11 14:00:00Z 0

Briana Dorrough: National Youth Science Forum

Our guest speaker last Wednesday was astounding. If you ever have prepared to do a presentation yourself, you can appreciate the amount of time and energy Briana would have invested to deliver with perfection: fluently, clearly, precisely and with good diction. She made it look all so easy, she had her audience nailed!  And quite uncommon for a teenager: not a single ‘Uhmmm’, ‘like’, ‘basically’, ‘ya know’ ...!
Our club sponsored her to attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). Normally held in Canberra, this year COVID-19 forced it to go on-line. Still, so Briana enthused, it was very worthwhile indeed! “I found NYSF’s most valuable resource to be their range of STEM experts” she said. Among these were Professor Barry Marshall, Dr Carola Vinuesa and Professor Brian P Schmidt. Both Professors Marshall and Schmidt are Nobel Prize Laureates, Dr. Vinuesa is the co-director of personalised medicine at ANU.
Briana made it clear that attending the NYSF is not just about pure science but about live values, such as the value of perseverance. A point in case is Prof Barry Marshall, whose discovery of a cure for duodenal ulcers earned him the Nobel Prize. “There were over 20 years between his original discovery and his receiving of a Nobel Prize”, she said, then cited the Professor: “If you have the facts, you don’t have to worry if nobody believes you.”
Question Time, as expected, was boisterous. What are your future plans? she was asked. “I changed my initial intentions of a career in computer science or biomedicals to go for medicine” she said. Other than Science, Briana is involved in the Duke of Edenborough program, studies Literature, High Level Maths, Classical Singing (she participates in the choir), helps in Student Prep and Debating.
Briana’s PowerPoint presentation and her corresponding speech is available from the Download Section on the right. You should run the two concurrently, the text shows when to change slides. Photo, from left: President Charles Thomasson, Briana's father Michael Dorrough and Briana Dorrough.
Briana Dorrough: National Youth Science Forum Franz Huber 2021-02-03 14:00:00Z 0

Queuing up at the Australia Day Sizzle

They were queing up at the Botanical Gardens for a chance to get hold of a sizzling sausage cooked by the Surfers Sunrise Sizzle Team at the Australia Day event ! We were invited by David Baguley (RC of Gold Coast) who, with his better half Rana, organised the stand of the Friends of the Gold Coast Botanical Gardens. Thank you, David and Rana for offering this fundraising opportunity, and a big thank you to the sizzlers Adrian Crowe, "Onion King" Gus Miller, Geoff Croad and Andy Bell, as well as Shed Volunteer Ben Loots. Photo by David Baguley.  More photos on our Facebook page.
Queuing up at the Australia Day Sizzle Franz Huber 2021-01-30 14:00:00Z 0

Very special event last Saturday at the Shed

Very special event last Saturday morning at the Project Shed: President Charles Thomasson, Project Shed Chief Larry Murray and Des La Rance OAM (he designed the original concept of the Rough Terrain Wheelchair) presented Certificates of Appreciation to two highly deserving recipients. John Boucher (left image) has volunteered at the shed for years and years. Right image is with Albert Raffone, the artist who painted our "official" 10,000th Wheelchair. Congratulations! Photos by Al Sirovs.
Very special event last Saturday at the Shed Franz Huber 2021-01-30 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday 3rd Feb: Briana Dorrough

Our club sponsored Briana Dorrough to attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) course in Canberra - she has just returned.  The NYSF is a heavily contested with far more candidates applying than can be accepted. It is a 10 day course designed to give students with high STEM capabilities a broad understanding of their career choices.
This coming Wednesday 3rd Feb: Briana Dorrough Franz Huber 2021-01-27 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchairs have arrived in South Africa

We have received a message from Charlie Panday of the ROTARY CLUB of RESERVOIR HILLS (near Durban, South Africa) to advise that our container of wheelchairs and other paraphernalia have arrived and are "being distributed as we speak".  Thank you to all who were involved, particularly our volunteers who manufactured them, Charmaine Wheatley who was our go-between with the South African Rotary Clubs, and Col Laurenson who organised the shipping and communication with his logistics counterparts in South Africa.  Well done all!
Wheelchairs have arrived in South Africa Franz Huber 2021-01-22 14:00:00Z 0

Last Wednesday's speakers: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price

So you think you have got a problem, huh? Well, visualise for a moment: you were born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus (Adam). Or you are a professional dancer touring the UK and come down with a rare disease which, almost overnight, leaves you close to totally blind and paralysed (Tash). How do you proceed?
Last Wednesday, our new members Adam Sheppard and his business partner Tash Price gave us a good run down of what you can achieve, regardless of your disability. Let’s start with Adam: at 38, is happily married to Christy. They have a beautiful son Fletcher, aged 4. He was introduced to Rotary via RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment) and RYTS (Rotary Youth Transition Seminar) which he attended in 1998. Incidentally, that is where he met his wife… [OK, I've heard some enthusiastic reports from RYTS attendees before, but that takes the cake! ☺ Ed.] Adam has been involved in racing wheelchairs himself, as well as coaching both able bodied and disabled athletes for some 13 years now.  Tash is not only his business partner in InvincAble, but he is also her coach.
Tash Price not only had to overcome her paraplegia and blindness, but in addition had the challenges of diabetes, gastric paralysis, severe chronic pain and arthritis. That didn’t stop her from taking up wheelchair racing. She owned her racing wheelchair for just six weeks when she took out the Bronze Medal in her first competitive Marathon (yes, it’s 42 Km as well!) in July 2018. OK, go on..! in October 2019 she took out Gold in the Auckland Marathon!  Next target: representing Australia at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
I could go on, with heaps of inspirational anecdotes they recounted. But why not check out Adam and Tash’s PDF ‘Meet Team InvincAble’ in the Download Section on the Right. It’s a truly inspiring read and also has some great pictures! Needless to say, we are so stoked to have you both joining Surfers Sunrise Rotary!
Last Wednesday's speakers: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price Franz Huber 2021-01-21 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 20th: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price

This coming Wednesday 20th January, our new members Adam Sheppard and Tash Price (that's them at their induction in November last year) will present a 'Rotarian behind the Badge' about themselves. Very much looking forward to it: did you know that Tash is racing wheelchairs at world championship level? And guess who is coaching her... :)  Grab your meal at the bistro of the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club, and take it upstairs for a bit of fellowship. Starting at 07:00 am for 07:30 start!  Guests and visitors of course are welcome!
This Wednesday 20th: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price Franz Huber 2021-01-16 14:00:00Z 0

Rotaractors make up the numbers at Bunnings BBQ

How good is that! At last Saturday's Bunnings Sizzle, "our" Rotaractors came to help on the the final shift, and so did our regular visitor, Ann O'Connor. Photo (by KJ), from left: Blake Foster, "KJ" Jewson, Matt Howard. In background, our regular visitor Ann O'Connor. Thank you all! We much appreciate your help! 😊
Rotaractors make up the numbers at Bunnings BBQ Franz Huber 2021-01-16 14:00:00Z 0
Join on-line - Rotary Network on National Day Franz Huber 2021-01-11 14:00:00Z 0

Ever heard about Rotary Action Groups?

About half a year ago, I wrote about Rotary Fellowships (using a title which should have made you look… 😊) There are dozens of them – the forementioned document has the links to every one of them.
Now here I am, a reasonably dedicated and committed Rotarian with almost 34 years of membership under my belt, quietly browsing the January issue of Rotary International’s monthly magazine, now re-branded Rotary Magazine. (Go on, click on the link! It’s very well done, way better than the old fashioned layout of The Rotarian). I was never aware that
Rotary Action Groups
existed! From Addiction Prevention to Clubfoot [no Henrietta, nothing to do with clubs, nor with people who suffer from "foot in mouth" disease… Ed.], Food Plant Solutions, Hearing, Multiple Scleroris , just to name a few of the 25 groups all up.  Well worth your while to browse. And you learn far more than if you hang around Facebook or Twitter…
Ever heard about Rotary Action Groups? Franz Huber 2021-01-06 14:00:00Z 0

January is Vocational Service Month

January is designated by Rotary International as 'Vocational Service Month'. Last year, Richard Smith spent heaps of time and effort to organise our Excellence in Workmanship Award night. But COVID prevented us to actually run it. We still can't make a decision yet whether we can hold it this year. So, what else can we do to highlight Vocational Service in our club? Well, how about we have a brief 3 minute presentation of 'What's new?' in their profession? Any volunteers?
But, on an all encompassing level, the old Rotary Vocational Service Objective is still as relevant in 2021 as it was 20, 50 or 100 years ago:
  • Adherence to, and promotion of, the highest ethical standards in all occupations, including fair treatment of employers, employees, associates, competitors, and the public.
  • The recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, not just your own or those that are pursued by Rotarians.
  • The contribution of your vocational talents to solving the problems of society and meeting the needs of the community.
January is Vocational Service Month Franz Huber 2020-12-30 14:00:00Z 0

Vale Dr Frank Mouser PHF

It is with great sadness I report that on Sunday 20th December, our Honorary Member Dr Frank Mouser passed away, aged 97. Frank, who was a Surgeon, was a Charter Member of Surfers Sunrise, transferring from his original club Surfers Paradise when we were chartered in February 1987.
Our sincere condolences go to the Mouser Family. Today Monday 4th January, Charter Members Peter Morgan and your Editor attended a brief commemorative gathering at Alambie Gardens to celebrate the life of this proverbial Rotarian.
Vale Dr Frank Mouser PHF Franz Huber 2020-12-22 14:00:00Z 0

Great Christmas Breakfast at Edgewater Restaurant

Great, yummy Christmas Breakfast this morning at the Edgewater Restaurant on Isle of Capri this morning. Thank you, Graeme Isaacson and President Charles Thomasson for organising this. Above expectance 46 members, partners, Rotaractors and guests attended this function, and a good time was had by all. (OF COURSE!! What did you expect when a bunch of Surfers Sunrise Rotarians get together?!?) Sergeant Ian Mayberry explained how our "fines" money he extracted throughout the year is invested in Christmas presents for St John's Crisis Centre, going to children who otherwise would end up... ... with no presents. Thank you all whose misdemeanours (true or otherwise) contributed to the funds, and thank you to all who brought a present along as well.
Great Christmas Breakfast at Edgewater Restaurant Franz Huber 2020-12-16 14:00:00Z 0

... and there are the LONG Italian Lunches...

There are lunches. There are Italian Lunches, and there are the LONG Italian Lunches... What an event! Johnny Bueti (second from left in picture) and his team organised last Thursday's hugely successful event at Gemelli's Italian Restaurant at Broadbeach. Pizza, Pasta, Calamari, Gnocci, Vitello Saltimbocca, Gnoccetti for desert. And - ahem - unlimited beer and wine... Entertainment included an Italian Tenor who brought tears to the eyes of serious opera lovers! It was a fundraiser to help us finance "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs (yes, we still can make them for about $100 each, and let me assure you, there isn't a cent of wages included - all volunteer work!) Thank you Johnny, Paul and the team, thank you to the generous sponsors of Raffle prizes! More photos in the Photo Album on the right!
... and there are the LONG Italian Lunches... Franz Huber 2020-12-11 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: AGM and Planning Meeting

Posted by Franz Huber on Dec 09, 2020
This coming Wednesday 9th December at our usual location at the Surfers Paradise Surf Club, upstairs venue: AGM, President Elect Paul Seymour will be confirming the incoming Board and Committee positions for 2021/22 as well as forward planning. Secretary Mitch Brown sent out all the relevant documents to all members on 25/11/20.  If you don't have a copy: it's also on Clubrunner, in the Member's Area: Organisation, Documents, Secretary... (you need to log in). Or drop me a message l and I'll send you a copy. There are also a number of non-board positions to be filled too, so you need you to be there (or you might be "elected" in absentia! ☺).  There should also be some time to discuss other club business.
This coming Wednesday: AGM and Planning Meeting Franz Huber 2020-12-08 14:00:00Z 0

Meet Sasha Kimber, our second RYLA nominee

Youth Service Director PDG Darrell Brown has nominated Sasha Kimber to join Kristen "KJ" Jewson (see Bulletin of 25th November) at the upcoming RYLA camp in January 2021. Here is her brief Bio: "I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Emerald Central QLD. My first introduction to Rotary was in 2015 where I worked with The Rotary Club of Emerald Sunrise to establish the Central Highlands Interact Club. This gave me the amazing opportunity to be sponsored for a Rotary Youth Exchange which I completed in Taiwan for the duration of 2017. Now I am in the final year of my bachelor's degree studying Actuarial Science and majoring in Big Data. Following the completion of my degree, I hope to work in Data analytics and eventually transition into Crime Statistics. I am a member of the Burleigh heads Rotaract club and look forward to continuing to work with Rotary in the future."
Looking forward to meeting you soon at one of our meetings, Sasha! 
Meet Sasha Kimber, our second RYLA nominee Franz Huber 2020-12-01 14:00:00Z 0

Farley S Tolpen – Mediation

For most people, the need to consult a litigation lawyer brings up a feeling akin to the need to get a root canal on your front tooth. You know it will hurt (including at your hip pocket), it is unpleasant, time consuming, but… unavoidable. So it is most refreshing to hear a lawyer professing that his every effort is to keep you away from litigation.
Last Wednesday, Farley Tolpen presented on how to stay out of court. A lawyer for 36 years specialising in Mediation, his aim is to resolve a dispute amicably, rather than confrontationally. Why would Mediation work better? Well, for a start, it is faster than litigation, typically completed within 30 days. Therefore, it is less expensive – on average, about 9 hours of his time will sort it out. But most importantly, the outcome is agreed to by both parties, the conflict is resolved and thus there is a high chance that the relationship between the parties is retained and even improved. And all that contributes to you retaining your sanity.  There are other benefits: Staying out of court, confidentiality is retained, the process is not intimidating, and your chances of an agreed resolution are around 90%.
So how does it work? Initially, there are several serious telephone discussions, individually with both parties, so the Mediator can become totally familiar with each side’s position. All discussions are subject to confidentiality. The aim is to build rapport, to have a clear understanding of each side’s grievances. The Mediator will then arrange pre-mediation meetings, both private and jointly.  The aim is to obtain an agreement to mediate. Goals of what each party tries to achieve are set. In addition to the knowledge of the law, a Mediator must master various techniques and skills, particularly in relation to active listening, being non-judgmental, empathetic. As an example, Farley mentioned the 1970’s Detective Show ‘Columbo’: “I don’t quite understand… can you explain that again?” So, instead of saying “See you in court!!”, perhaps think “Let’s call Farley”. Click on this link to go to his website.  Photo: Farley accepts his "Speaker's Reward", a uniquely labelled bottle of red, from Gerald East.
Farley S Tolpen – Mediation Franz Huber 2020-11-25 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Adam and Tash!

Welcome to our newest members of Surfers Sunrise Rotary: Adam Sheppard and Tash Price.
This morning, President Charles Thomasson inducted two very special new members into our club: Well, this is real special: while we have, for some 25 years, been involved with "Rough Terrain" wheelchairs for underprivileged children in developing countries (10,000 of them - see below!), this is actually the first time we have members who... USE a wheelchair themselves!
Adam and Tash run a business named 'InvincAble Pty Ltd'. Well, the name says it all! We'll have more formal introductions later in the year or early next year, but let me spill some beans just a little bit: Tash Price won the 2019 Auckland Marathon (COVID prevented her from competing there this year) and is the 2020 Queensland State Champion in 100, 200 and 400 metres! And guess who is her trainer? ☺ Great to have you both in our club!
Photo: Adam and Tash, with Chairman of the meeting Gerald East and President Charles Thomasson.
Welcome to Surfers Sunrise, Adam and Tash! Franz Huber 2020-11-24 14:00:00Z 0

Final Update: Mark Twyford's ride for Misión México 

Today marks the end of Mark Twyford's fundraising challenge for Misión México, the charity which his daughter worked on last year? (That’s her on the right – click on this link to read the story again). Maggie continues to be involved with the Mission. This November will also mark the charity’s 20th anniversary. To celebrate, they are holding their biggest ever global event; the Move for Misión México - 20/20/20 Challenge: 20,000 kilometers on foot, bike, in the water, any way you can think of while working together to raise £20,000 for their education program. All money raised will go towards Mision Mexico's Education Program.
Mark has exceeded his aim of raising $AUD 1,000.00, committing to riding a minimum of 500Km in the month of November. As of today 30/11/20, he has cycled 520 Km and has raised $1,350.00! Well done, Mark, you deserve a big pat on the back! You can still support financially - just advise Mark on so he can provide you with direct deposit details. Send him an email and he'll send you details. A tax receipt will be issued once funds are received. 
Final Update: Mark Twyford's ride for Misión México  Franz Huber 2020-11-22 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our RYLA candidate: KJ Jewson

Many of you already know Kristen "KJ" Jewson (she prefers to be called "KJ"). Together with her fellow Rotaract members, she is a regular at the Project Shed, working on the Vanuatu project and she has joined our meetings on Wednesday mornings a number of times. KJ will hold the Surfers Sunrise flag at the upcoming Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp at the end of January 2021. This is the introduction she wrote:
I'm Kristen, better known to all as Kj. I'm 26, and am in my 7th semester studying Digital Media Production at the University of Applied Sciences in Bremerhaven, Germany. 
My days currently consist of Work, Uni (albeit at 2am), and Rotaract. I'm president of the Rotaract Club Nordwest in Germany, a new member of the Rotaract Club of Burleigh Heads, and am involved in helping the newest club in the district, the Rotaract Club Gold Coast Makers come to life. Through Rotaract I currently have the chance to work on an international project with the Rotary Club Surfers Sunrise to build a hospital annex for clinic on Pentacost Island, Vanuatu. 
Rotary has been a part of my life since I was 14, I've been to RYPEN, RYTS, Youth Exchange to Germany in 2012, and since then have become a member of Rotex and Rotaract. Due to unforseen circumstances (COVID) I am back in the country for the moment, and RYLA just seemed like the next step. 
As I'm almost finished Uni, and now need to make the decision as to where I want to work and live in the world; I find myself at a crossroads, and think RYLA could possibly give me some clarity for the future, so I can't wait to go! 
Meet our RYLA candidate: KJ Jewson Franz Huber 2020-11-22 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 25th Nov: Farley S Tolpen

Farley S. Tolpen is the founder and CEO of The Mediation Experts, a Brisbane based dispute resolution organization. Farley is an international mediator, arbitrator, trainer and lawyer with over 35 years experience mediating, arbitrating and litigating. His areas of expertise include Workplace, Employment, Family Law, Estates, Workplace, Commercial and Business Law, Real Estate and Construction. He is currently a mediator for QCAT and Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC) for retail shop and commercial leases and Covid19 issues.

He will speak on the topic of  "Mediation - How and Why it Works". Farley advised that he will "make it interactive, with humour and some stories". Looking forward to it!

This Wednesday 25th Nov: Farley S Tolpen Franz Huber 2020-11-21 14:00:00Z 0

Meet our volunteers: Ron Crook

“I’m legally blind…” Ron explained.  Well, until you see the small tag he wears, you’d hardly notice; his severe Macular Degeneration certainly doesn’t diminish him being effective in his work!  Born in England’s County of Kent, he joined the Merchant Navy and trained to become a Ship’s Electrician. Coming to New Zealand in 1965, he decided to remain and stayed there for some 28 years. Although he gained a New Zealand Certificate of Electrical Engineering, Ron also worked in Forestry Products, supervising a team of draftsmen designing and implementing two major plants, each employing some 50 electricians.  By 1982 he became Divisional Manager, and ultimately moved to Equipment Sales. In addition to his professional achievements, Ron also built two of his own homes, from the design drafting, specifications, “I did it all, except the plumbing because one needed a licence for that!”
Then, come 1995, on a holiday to Australia, he decided to stay. Moving over here with Lyn, his partner of now 35 years, he bought - - a Convenience Store! Well, just to be different!
But it’s not all work: in his spare time, Ron enjoys music: “just about all except rap” he said. Elton John, classical music, ballads... [Ballads? One guesses, as a former Merchant Navy man, he’d know a few of them! Aren't they called Shanties? ☺ Ed.] In his younger days, he was a member of a Church Choir. Obviously, with his disability, reading is out. Not really: Audio Books are the answer. Sports? Yes, he plays Indoor Bowls.  So here is proof: don’t let a disability stop you being productive and enjoying life!
Meet our volunteers: Ron Crook Franz Huber 2020-11-19 14:00:00Z 0

We'll have another Bike Sale on 12th December

Last week's 10,000th Wheelchair celebrations, combined with a Bike Sale, produced a good number of sales.  But our volunteers have worked so hard, not only building wheelchairs, but also re-furbishing bikes which are simply too good to be wrecked for parts.  We have about another 50 to go!  So we'll have another one two weeks before Christmas!  Put it into your diary now, and tell your friends:
Saturday, 12th December
Big Bike Sale
Surfers Sunrise Project Shed
Arundel Community Centre, off Napper Road
Arundel 4214
We'll have another Bike Sale on 12th December Franz Huber 2020-11-19 14:00:00Z 0

Order Rotary Christmas Cakes by Wednesday 

This Wednesday 18th Nov 2020 afternoon is deadline to order! Mario Fairlie will place the order directly on behalf of all members and friends of the club. Please order directly with Mario by email (not verbally) to We have had them in the past - they are real yummy! And the cakes come in a tin, so they stay moist. Why not order right now?
Note, this is also a bit of a fundraiser for The Rotary Foundation: for every fruitcake or steamed pudding, a donation of $2.00 is made; $1.00 for the baked pudding.
Order Rotary Christmas Cakes by Wednesday  Franz Huber 2020-11-15 14:00:00Z 0

Our newest members active at the Shed

Good to see our newest members Natasha Price and Adam Sheppard join us on Saturday at the Project Shed. Picture shows them with the hyperactive Rotaractors from Burleigh Heads who come and help us with the Vanuatu project every week, and in the back row President Charles Thomasson, Al Sirovs, Angus Miller (is he really wearing his cap "Lleyton Hewitt" style?? C'mooon!!☺) and Wheelchair Trust Director Larry Murray. Oh, by the way, for those of you who don't know: both Adam and Tash ARE wheelchair bound. None better to appreciate what we do!
Our newest members active at the Shed Franz Huber 2020-11-07 14:00:00Z 0

This Saturday 14 Nov: 10,000th wheelchair celebrations

This Saturday 14th November, we'll have a big celebration at the Project Shed: on display is the 10,000th Wheelchair. We expect quite a number of dignitaries to to join us - Councillors, State Members and possibly even Federal Members of Parliament!. The celebrations officially start at 10:00 am.  But we need all hands on deck at 07:30 am to get ready! The celebrations are held in conjunction with a Big Bike Sale! Bring a few dollars with you to buy a Raffle ticket and/or a Sausage.  Members: please park at the top (behind the Community Centre) so the usual car parks remain free for visitors, thank you.
Photo: Bryan Tuesley (centre) organised an artist to paint some historical pictures on it. With President Charles Thomasson (left) and Wheelchair Trust Director Larry Murray (right). More pictures in the Photo Album.
This Saturday 14 Nov: 10,000th wheelchair celebrations Franz Huber 2020-11-07 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday 11/11/20: PDG Michael Irving - Climate Change

PDG Prof Michael Irving will speak on one of the currently most contentious subjects: Climate Change. Michael, who was our District's Governor for 2016-17, has held professorial appointments in Universities in Canberra, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, New Zealand, Oman and the USA. He has been University Vice-Chancellor in Wellington and Sohar, Oman.  Prior to his retirement, his field of expertise was in Biochemistry and Cancer Research.  However, he also spent time at Scott Research Station in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica.  Would this put him into that much debated category of "the science is settled" Scientists? You'll have to be there to find out! 
This Wednesday 11/11/20: PDG Michael Irving - Climate Change Franz Huber 2020-11-05 14:00:00Z 0

Pimpama College new Wheelchair design

Some time ago we reported that Pimpama State Secondary College is working with their students to develop a new wheelchair design.  Recently, teacher Stephen Robinson sent us some photos of their progress, showing students at high levels of concentration welding, grinding and assembling their design. Note: they will have a display at next Saturday's 10,000th Wheelchair celebrations! See more photos in the Photo Album on the right! Good on ya, fellows!
Pimpama College new Wheelchair design Franz Huber 2020-11-05 14:00:00Z 0

Burleigh Rotaractors pick up Hospital beds for Vanuatu

Last Saturday, a bunch of mildly hyperactive Burleigh Heads Rotaractors, organised by Dr Graham Sivyer and Harold Bush (Broadbeach RC), picked up a trailer load of hospital beds, destined for Vanuatu. Well done, guys!
Photo (by Dr Graham) shows (from left) Harold Busch (Broabeach RC + Rotaracters. Blake, Harrison, KJ, Matt and James. More photos in the Photo Album - see right hand side.
Burleigh Rotaractors pick up Hospital beds for Vanuatu Franz Huber 2020-10-31 14:00:00Z 0

Congratulations: Mario Fairlie gets his 7th PHF

At last Wednesday's meeting, President Charles Thomasson presented Mario Fairlie with his updated 'Ruby' Paul Harris Fellowship pin. A pin with a ruby stone embedded indicates that Mario now holds a total of seven PHF's!  Congratulations, Mario!
Congratulations: Mario Fairlie gets his 7th PHF Franz Huber 2020-10-29 14:00:00Z 0

Jo Winwood: Loneliness

Last Wednesday, we enjoyed meeting our Past President Jo Winwood again (she and Tony now live in Byron Bay). Jo, now a member of the Rotary Club of Byron Bay, is heavily involved with her project ‘Be Someone for Someone’. “In the last 5 months, there has been an immense increase in loneliness” Jo declared. Her company Feros Care is a leading Aged Care provider, supporting over 60,000 each year in 5 states and territories. “According the carers, this is now the biggest problem they face”, she said. Jo cited the example of a man suffering the loss of his wife: “In many relationships, it is the woman who makes the social arrangements. So suddenly, after she has passed away, he finds himself without much of a social life. Not everyone has social skills which enable them to find new friends”.
Download the PDF in the Download section on the right and see the slide “The Shocking Truth”. Let me pick just one of the facts: according to a scientific report, published by the US National Library of Medicine (J Holt-Lundstad, Brigham Young University), Loneliness increases the risk of premature death by 26%. Or the equivalent of smoking 26 cigarettes a day. The problem is acute world wide; in the UK, they have appointed a Minister for Loneliness.
So how can we help? Well, engage with people whom you suspect of being lonely. Your neighbour might be in that category. An invitation to join you for a cuppa is a good start!  Would you like to support financially? Feros Care will again run a Christmas Brunch for lonely people - see Download section - 'Be Someone for Someone - Corporate Support'.
Jo’s presentation can be downloaded from the Download section – see right side. TPhoto: Jo with Chairman of the meeting, Mark Twyford
Jo Winwood: Loneliness Franz Huber 2020-10-28 14:00:00Z 0

Sunrise Golf Day a huge success!

OK, we can't take the credit for the superb weather... after some quite heavy rains on the weekend, the Gold Coast enjoyed the most perfect day imaginable.  Today's Rotary Surfers Sunrise Golf Day turned out in the very best way imaginable.  We had almost 100 players (see President Charles' message above), made up from some 13 Corporate Teams and 6 Rotary Teams from other clubs. At this stage, no results are available yet.  But we have the two major winners: Overall winners were the team of Steve Hamilton, Dave and Daniel Bisker and James Dayton (picture above), the winner of the Rotary Challenge (only open to Rotary Club teams) was the Rotary Club of Currumbin - Coolangatta - Tweed, with Bev & Eric Rosser, Jan Robertson and Ian Petherick. A photo album will be uploaded shortly. - more details in next week's bulletin.
A big thank you goes to President Charles Thomasson and Treasurer Doug Lipp who were the principal organisers, to all the sponsors and competitors, as well as the superb turnout of our members - too many to list - who helped on the day.  Well done all!
Sunrise Golf Day a huge success! Franz Huber 2020-10-25 14:00:00Z 0

Geoff Croad's Seaquester Quays raises $2,150

In a recent newsletter to their residents, Geoff Croad announced that their Containers for Change project has so far raised over $2,150.  Not only will this have prevented some 21,500 bottles going to landfill, but it also has bought the materials for some 21 wheelchairs.  Great effort, Geoff and your team Ged and Graeme Stanyer! (Photo  - June 2020 - shows them receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from (then) President Mario Fairlie)
Geoff Croad's Seaquester Quays raises $2,150 Franz Huber 2020-10-24 14:00:00Z 0

Good to see some new faces at Surfers Sunrise!

Good to see some new faces this morning at Surfers Sunrise! Photo shows two potential new members (no pressure...! ☺) Adam Sheppard and Natasha Price. With them are former Rotary Youth Transition Seminar chairman Simon Brook, President Charles Thomasson and current District Youth chairman PDG Darrell Brown. Adam and Natasha are old hands at Rotary Youth programs, contributing by teaching that suffering a disability doesn't mean disablement. You see, both Adam and Natasha are wheelchair bound...
Good to see some new faces at Surfers Sunrise! Franz Huber 2020-10-20 14:00:00Z 0

Golf Day 2020 tomorrow Monday!

We have record corporate team bookings for this year's Golf Day which will be held tomorrow Monday, 26th October 2020.  It will be held at the same location as last year, the  Surfers Paradise Golf Club on Fairway Drive, Carrara.  We'll need both volunteers to man the course, and of course we need participating teams.  Check out the flyer in the Download section on the right.  We need some more prizes. Can you spare a nice bottle of wine, or convince your favorite restaurateur to donate a free dinner? Volunteers: please be there no later than 11:00 am.
Bookings are now open - click on this link:
Golf Day 2020 tomorrow Monday! Franz Huber 2020-10-15 14:00:00Z 0

PDG Graham Jones: US Presidential Elections

PDG Prof Graham Jones worked for many years as a Professor of Mathematics in the USA, and has a deep understanding of their electoral system. He is also deeply involved in the fundraising for the Griffith University’s Malaria Vaccine Project, and provided us with a brief update on this. But on to the US Elections:
A graph of US States’ results in 2016 (see Graham's PowerPoint slides in the Download Section) showed a sea of red (for Trump) of 304 Electoral College votes, against 227 for Clinton. “It was not even close” Graham outlined… “But have a look at the Popular Vote, and you see that Trump was 3 Million votes behind Clinton, yet Trump won the Elections.”  Graham went on to explain the US system of House of Representatives and Senate, somewhat similar to Australia’s, with the former represented on the basis of population (435 members), whereas the Senate has just two Senators per state (100 members).  So, for every House of Representatives and Senate seat, there is one Electoral College (EC) vote, plus 3 votes for the District of Columbia (Washington). Thus, in total there are 538 EC votes.  
Graham briefly went back to historical times of the first Presidential Election in 1789 when there were just 10 states, when George Washington won with 69 out of 138 EC votes. John Adams, who came second, became Vice President. (It’s not within the scope of this article to elaborate).
Now to the crux of the matter: Where does the people’s vote come in? Well, in all but two states (Nebraska and Mayne), all the Electoral College votes go to the winner of the popular vote. Thus, for example, were Trump to win California by just one vote, all of the 55 EC votes of that state would go to Trump. To win the Presidency, the candidate thus needs to win a total of 270 (half + 1) of 538 EC votes. Votes are cast by Electors (delegates) on 14th December. The winner is formally declared on 6th January.  
“But what if no winner can be declared, due to disputes, legal wrangling?” was your Editor’s question. Well, in that case Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Reps will take over temporarily, and if she is not available, the next in line is Senator Chuck Grassley, aged 87…
The meeting was recorded on Zoom.  If you would like a link (members only), please let me know. Ed.
PDG Graham Jones: US Presidential Elections Franz Huber 2020-10-15 14:00:00Z 0

GC Business Expo a success despite COVID

On Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday, a large numbers of our members helped with the setting up, manning the Car Park "Gold Coin Donation" gate and again in taking all the tables and chairs down at the end of the day.  Final figures will become known once Treasurer Doug Lipp has arm wrestled his friends at Suncorp Bank to put the bucket of coins through a counting machine. A big thank-you goes to all the helpers: Organiser PDG Darrell Brown, President Charles Thomasson, Karen Holland, Ashleigh Symes, John Chirio, Paul Seymour, Geoff Croad, Andy Bell, Angus Miller, Larry Murray, Johnny Bueti, Neil Thurlow, Franz Huber, our newest member Ramez Salib, as well as our 'Honorary Queenslander' Ann O'Connor and Associate Member Tracy Zimmerman and her Lutzy Award winning daughter Jazmin.   Many who took multiple shifts, and some, including Darrell and Charles, were there for the full time from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday evening. And particular thanks must go to Paula Brand, whose business staged the Expo, for providing us the opportunity for this fundraiser. COVID-19 caused massive obstacles for her business, but Paula beat all the negatives and still made it happen, against all the odds! Well done all!
Photo (from left): John Chirio, Larry Murray and PDG Darrell Brown blinking into the sun on Thursday morning at the "Gate".
GC Business Expo a success despite COVID Franz Huber 2020-10-15 14:00:00Z 0

This coming Wednesday: PDG Graham Jones - US Elections

This coming Wednesday 14th October, PDG Prof Graham Jones, who worked in the USA for several years and is intimately familiar with the convoluted process of the Electoral College system, will present again on the US Presidential Elections. This year probably more unusual than any time before - COVID means no mass rallies, the incumbent is probably the most unpredictable candidate ever and the challenger... [Sorry, Rotary must stay out of politics...] And yes, he is happy to take questions! Not to be missed!
Usual location, at the Surfers Paradise SLSC upstairs. Grab your breakfast downstairs and take it up for some fellowship before the meeting starts at 07:30 sharp.
This coming Wednesday: PDG Graham Jones - US Elections Franz Huber 2020-10-10 14:00:00Z 0

Last week’s Guest Speaker: DG Andy Rajapakse

Well, over that past 33 years, I have heard many inspiring District Governor’s presentations. I have also sat through some truly numbing experiences. All of them, in essence, extolled the high values of our great organisation, the virtues, benefits and duties of being a Rotarian, and exhorted us to increase our membership. In other words, without meaning to be derogatory, preaching - to the converted.  Not so Andy…
Instead of starting off with a prepared speech, Andy simply asked the question “What would you like to hear from the District Governor?” The requests from the audience were largely of general nature: ‘Overall, how is our District going?’, ‘How can we obtain money from the District?’ etc. Impressively, Andy deftly eased from a Q&A style to a relaxed summary of our District’s notable achievements. Membership growth was specifically addressed: “The District is doing very well, both in terms of membership as well as financially”, Andy said. “Did you know that 9640 has the highest increase in membership in Zone 8 (14 countries): since 1st July, we have had a NET increase of 45 members!” This is not the result of just the last few months, Andy accentuated, this is the result of the last 5 years of steady building up. New clubs were formed, some of quite different style, such as Gold Coast Passport. “Do you know that District 9640 has the largest percentage of family membership in Australia (34%, compared to average of 26%), partially due to no District dues applying to partners? We have the largest percentage of Under 40’s? A new club, ‘Corporate Centre One’ is in the process of being established, its potential membership based on about 40 companies whose offices are in that large office building. But it’s not easy! To increase membership, “you have to hit the street”, Andy said. You have to ask people to join. The competition is high: there are some 152 networking organisations on the Gold Coast!
So, after 33 years, I continue to be grateful for having been invited to join Rotary, to witness every year the leadership dynamics of a new Club President, a new District Governor, new Rotary International President.
Last week’s Guest Speaker: DG Andy Rajapakse  Franz Huber 2020-10-07 14:00:00Z 0

Welcome to our newest member, Ramez Salib

Delighted this morning to welcome our newest member, Ramez Salib, to Surfers Sunrise. And to make it even more special: District Governor Andy Rajapakse was there to formally induct him! Ramez, originally from Egypt, transferred from the Rotary Club of Varsity Lakes. His classification is 'Pharmacy'. Watch this space for a date to see him give us a 'Man behind the Badge' presentation. Just trying to tie up a suitable date.
(Photo, from left: President Charles Thomasson, Ramez Salib, DG Andy Rajapakse).
Welcome to our newest member, Ramez Salib Franz Huber 2020-10-06 14:00:00Z 0

Burleigh Heads Rotaractors helping with Vanuatu project

On Saturday, we had Burleigh Rotaractors Harrison Howick and Chumani Brookhouse, coming to the Project Shed to help us with the Vanuatu project. Photo shows them (in pink T-Shirts) with Angus, Des La Rance and Dr Graham Sivyer of the Rotary Club of Broadbeach.  The floor area of the X-Ray unit is starting to take shape!
Burleigh Heads Rotaractors helping with Vanuatu project Franz Huber 2020-10-02 14:00:00Z 0

Burleigh Heads Rotaractors help with Vanuatu project

Good to see two Rotaractors from the Rotaract Club of Burleigh Heads coming to the Surfers Sunrise Project Shed this morning to help with the construction of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu! Thank you Harrison Howick and Chumani Brookhouse! 
Burleigh Heads Rotaractors help with Vanuatu project Franz Huber 2020-10-02 14:00:00Z 0

VIP visit to the Project Shed

On Saturday, Division 7 GCCC Councillor Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden visited the Project Shed to check out what we are up to. President Charles Thomasson (left) and Project Services Director Larry Murray (right) gave him a guided tour. Great to see you taking an interest in our projects, Councillor!
VIP visit to the Project Shed Franz Huber 2020-10-02 14:00:00Z 0

Jade McMahon is this year's Lutzy Award winner

JADE McMAHON is the winner of the Lutzy Award 2020! This morning, we had a very special meeting at the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club: we presented the Lutzy Award. This special recognition, in memory of our Charter Member Keith Lutz, is given to an upcoming young leader and mentor, selected by the SLSC. In the words of David Orchard, "it was unanimous": Jade McMahon was selected in recognition of her ongoing demonstration of leadership and nurturing of younger members, as well as her efforts and dedication to the Surf Life Saving movement. The award includes a very special Surf Rescue Board, which this year was sponsored by Immediate Past President Mario Fairlie and Justin Benney of Advent Security.  Congratulations, Jade!
Some of the previous winners, Jessica Webber and Lucy Thorburn, went on to participate in our District's Youth programs and, of course, you may be aware that Lucy also spent a year in the USA as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student. 
Photo (from left): Immediate Surfers Sunrise Past President Mario Fairlie (sponsor), David Orchard, Jade McMahon, SLSC President Trevor Hendy, Jan Lutz, Justin Benney from Advent Security (sponsor), Surfers Sunrise President Charles Thomasson, Andy Bell.  Some more photos in the Photo Album section.
Jade McMahon is this year's Lutzy Award winner Franz Huber 2020-09-29 14:00:00Z 0
This coming Wednesday 7th Oct: District Governor's visit Franz Huber 2020-09-27 14:00:00Z 0

Three On-Line Zoom meetings this week re Polio Plus Train

Phil Fairweather, the District Rotary Foundation Chair, this week will be hosting three 40 minute Zoom meetings to explain and exciting initiative:  Train Ride to End Polio, which will be held on Friday 23 October (see Download Section to download a flyer)
Our District and your club have the opportunity to participate in an exciting initiative that has 5 objectives:
  1. Create awareness of the End Polio program and Rotary (Public Image)
  2. Raise funds through Sponsorship (Fundraising)
  3. Rotarian Engagement (Fellowship)
  4. Create a new challenge (Inspire)
  5. End Polio (Transformation)
The Zoom meetings will be held at 6pm on each of Monday 28 September, Tuesday 29 September and Thursday 1 October.
Zoom meeting details for all 3 are as follows:
Topic: Train Ride to End Polio
Time: Sep 28, 2020 06:00 PM Brisbane
          Sep 29, 2020 06:00 PM
           Oct 1, 2020 06:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting
The meeting has a passcode. To obtain it, simply reply to this bulletin or contact the Bulletin Editor Franz Huber. (A separate invitation has been sent by direct email to all members).
Three On-Line Zoom meetings this week re Polio Plus Train Franz Huber 2020-09-27 14:00:00Z 0

Wheelchairs have arrived in PNG and Solomon Islands

Sometimes we might be a bit remote, a bit detached from the results of our work to manufacture the 'Rough Terrain Wheelchairs', raising the funds and the organisation of getting them shipped. So it is great to receive two separate messages, one from Papua New Guinea, one from the Solomon Islands, confirming that the goods have arrived and are being distributed. The photo on the left is from the Reverend Hoge Ramura from PNG, who wrote
"Good day to you all good Rotarians in Rotary club of Surfers Sunrise in Qld, Australia.
I am a retired Reverend, Hoge with my wife Vagahu Rabura of the Rotary Club of Port Moresby in Papua New.
We have great interest to volunteer in the Wheelchair Trust project in the your club...
I am 63 yrs old and my wife 58 yrs old.... We also do other social work like volunteering in the Prisoners Bible teaching, and are facilitators in HIV AIDS, TB, GBV, etc trainings.
But, our interest is in volunteering in the Wheelchair project..
Can we have a chat re the above request and please show me the correct form of communication...
Please see some of the wheelchair donations pictures, we did on behalf of Rotary club Port Moresby... within Port Moresby and outside...
There is great need for wheelchairs for all ages, we want thank your club again for such support.... Many thanks
Rev Hoge and Vagahu Rabura.
Shortly after, Col Laurenson forwarded a couple of photos from Honiara, Solomon Islands. They, as well as a lot more from PNG - see our Photo Album Section, together with a couple of photos sent from Honiara, Solomon Islands.  Fellows, give yourself a pat on the back!
Wheelchairs have arrived in PNG and Solomon Islands Franz Huber 2020-09-24 14:00:00Z 0

This Wednesday: Lutzy Award presentation

This Wednesday, on 30th September, our club will present the 'Lutzy' Award to a young emerging Surfing Club leader.  Ray Higgs and Graeme Isaacson have arranged for a VERY special deal with the caterers at the Surf Club: a plated meal for just $10.00!  But we need to advise your choice of 5 menu options: Acai Bowl (very healthy, gluten free, vegan), or either poached or fried eggs with either bacon or sausages and toast.  Of course, partners and friends are most welcome too. The online booking site has now closed. Any enquiries, please call Graeme Isaacson.
(Picture shows last year's winner, Jazmin Zimmerman)
This Wednesday: Lutzy Award presentation Franz Huber