Father of the Year 2020 Entries

Father of the Year 2020
Unfortunately, a return to Stage 3 restrictions put an end to our plans for the 2020 Father of the Year competition.  After lockdown version 1 we were hopeful of being able to hold our annual event, albeit in a somewhat reduced format.  All the local schools were eager to get involved and students completed a large number of entries.
With the Stage 3 restrictions in place, this year's format was changed and schools were given the opportunity to award their own prizes.
We are grateful for the school's getting on board, as well as to our sponsorts, 3YB, Bunnings and SouthWest Credit.
You can view the entries via our Photo Album here:  https://portal.clubrunner.ca/1969/PhotoAlbums/father-of-the-year-2020
Father of the Year 2020 Entries 2020-09-13 14:00:00Z 0

Father of the Year 2020

The Rotary Club of Warrnambool is excited to announce that our annual Father of the Year competition is going ahead this year.  For further information, please click on the "Father of the Year" link in the "Site Pages" section to the right.
Father of the Year 2020 Chris Stebbing 2020-06-20 14:00:00Z 0

Member Update 07 Apr 2020

Greetings Members,
I hope everyone is as well as can be in these challenging times.
Our daily routines have been disrupted on a scale most of us have not experienced in our lifetimes.
Whether it be the isolation or the impact on businesses and livelihoods for most of us the world as we knew it has changed very quickly.
I know that almost all of us will be significantly impacted by COVID-19 in one way or another either personally or through family and friends.
We are observing the best and worst of human behaviours in the community however I am sure the best will shine through and we will look back and smile about the toilet rolls.
At our Club level decisions to cancel or postpone our weekly meetings and major activities including the following:  
  • Dinner Auction
  • Fashion Parade
  • Ted King Park working bee
  • RYLA
Whilst at the time of making the above decisions there were concerns, in hindsight the Board made sound decisions.
Our Exchange Student, Joey, departed in haste to return to the safety of his family. A big thankyou to all the host families and to Steve and Louise who made it all happen.
Over the next week our Club will be increasing Club communications with the weekly Bulletin some structured networking using whatever channel suits individual members best including phone/Zoom/FaceTime/Face Book etc. More will follow on this.
The Board will be getting back to business this week using Zoom technology.
Whilst the normal way of operating our Club will not be possible for some time that does not mean we stop looking after our Members and supporting our communities any way we can.
Some good news in that PP Michael & Sharon were allowed to join family in Broome.
Please put forward any thoughts you may have to me by phone 0438 647 536 or email david @ swcredit.com.au
Look after yourselves and keep safe so that you can help those around you.
Yours in Rotary,
David Brown
Member Update 07 Apr 2020 Chris Stebbing 2020-04-06 14:00:00Z 0

Meetings Suspended

Dear Rotarians, Honourary & Friends of Rotary
Unfortunately due to the current state of alert with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Rotary Club of Warrnambool has made the difficult decision to suspend all Club meetings until further notice.
This is a precautionary measure to ensure members are not at an increased risk of contracting the virus through social gatherings in public spaces.  There is a lot of detail in the media on how to protect yourself from infection; regular handwashing, maintaining social distancing i.e.refraining from handshakes together with other usual forms of greeting and limiting travel plans.
We will be in touch as soon as there is news on how our Club will continue with scheduled activities.
We look forward to bringing good news in the near future.
Yours in Rotary
David Brown
Rotary Club of Warrnambool 
Meetings Suspended 2020-03-15 13:00:00Z 0
EULOGY - STEWART BELL George McLeod 2020-02-17 13:00:00Z 0
Rotary Peace Concert Chris Stebbing 2020-02-09 13:00:00Z 0

Club History Update

The Rotary Club of Warrnambool was chartered on 20 November, 1929.
In celebration of our 90th birthday we have released two documents for download.
Club History Update Chris Stebbing 2019-11-22 13:00:00Z 0
MEETING 20 AUGUST 2019 Svetlana Lineham 2019-08-22 14:00:00Z 0
ROTARY FOUNDATION Terrence O'Neill 2019-08-13 14:00:00Z 0


•Traditional Owner Acknowledgement
•Rotarians tree planting around city
•Role as open space planner in strategic planning area of council
-What do we mean by open space? Basically our public parks, gardens, sports fields, trails and nature reserves. There are many people that do work relating to our open spaces at council. My role deals mostly at the higher planning level so I am not involved in the day to day activities within our parks but more the long term strategic direction.
-Last year myself and other council staff met with Michael Boyd to talk about your interest in EJ King park and where it sits in Councils planning and priorities.
-Tonight I thought I’d talk about the big picture of open spaces and their value to Warrnambool, our open space strategy for Warrnambool and some of the achievements from that, our current open space planning project on the Merri River, and then the Hopkins River and EJ King Park, and where it sits in our planning framework.
I’m not sure if you have all heard this before, but Warrnambool has recently been identified as the most liveable city in Victoria by two separate assessments, the Deolite and Ipsos indexes of livability.
And one of the major contributors to our great liveability in Warrnambool are our open space areas around the foreshore and Lake Pertobe.
I recently read some new research that if you spend two or more hours in nature per week there are measureable benefits to your health and wellbeing.
But it has to be at least 2 hrs across the week to receive a measured benefit. So spending time in these areas is good for your mental and physical health.
I don’t know about everyone else, but when I see this view of Warrnambool, I know I always think how lucky am I to live here.
And the world agrees. In 2014 Lake Pertobe was listed as one of the top 10 parks in the south pacific region on the TripAdvisor website, which is based on visitor feedback.
Lake Pertobe consistent gets good reviews on the website, and has maintained a 5 star rating for several years. These are a few recent comments from visitors from around Australia and even overseas.
So I think we are punching above our weight here in Warrnambool, and I think it is something for us to be proud of.
And much of what we enjoy now came from the early vision for Lake Pertobe by a City Engineer called Ed Johnson back in the 1970s.
This statement here is a more recent vision for Warrnambool, which came directly from the Warrnambool Community.
At the end of last year Council adopted a Green Warrnambool Plan. It aspires to Warrnambool being the most sustainable regional city in Australia by 2040.
So we are still reaching. We are an aspirational lot here in Warrnambool.
It is obviously a very ambitious goal, but our sustainability team at council are already taking significant steps towards this goal.
I believe our open spaces also have a big role to play in achieving this long term goal, through supporting walking and cycling for transport, and restoring our natural environment.
So I’m going to test your local open space knowledge for the next few slides and see if you can identify where some of these photos have been taken.
Port Fairy to Wbool rail trail along the Merri near Pertobe Road.
Japanese friendship garden off Grafton Rd.
For me this is the best playground in Warrnambool outside of Lake Pertobe and one of the nicest parklands.
Jubilee Park Woodford or Wurrumbit Birrng Yaar (which means ‘long waterhole’ in the traditional Peek Whurrong language).
If you haven’t been out there for a few years, it is worth going back for a look.
Pedestrian bridge to Jellie Reserve walking track on other side of river in Woodford.
Our 63rd and newest playground in Warrnambool, at the corner of White and Aberline Roads.
Playgrounds are actually very expensive to replace and maintain nowadays. So this is a challenge for council as costs rise.
Botanic gardens and the historic bridge which is part of the state heritage listing of the gardens.
Maam wetland reserve off spring flat road in east Warrnambool.
A fauna survey was recently done here. One was a colony of tiny white footed dunnart, which are a small native mammal.
So we have a fantastic and diverse network of open spaces and parklands in Warrnambool, the ones I have shown are just a small sample.
Can any one take a guess how many individual parks and open spaces we have in Warrnambool? It is 209.
When compared to other Victorian councils, we benchmark fairly well for our population size.
But this is something we need to continue to plan for and manage in order to maintain our liveable status, support tourism and recreation, and reach our ambitious sustainability goals.
To help manage and plan for the future of our open space network, in 2014 Council adopted the Warrnambool Open Space Strategy. At that time we did a community consultation and heard that open spaces are really important to Warrnambool residents.
The biggest issues related to improving access to and connections between parks.
A common criticism of any government agency is we like writing plans but do we implement them?
In 2014 we adopted 75 recommendations. As of this month, of the 75 recommendations, 79% are either completed or underway.
These are just a few of the highlights from the past 5 years.
•We’ve adopted a new Master Plan for Lake Pertobe, and you may have heard that we received federal funding to implement the first stage, which is $2.9 million worth of works. So you may ask why we need to put more money in to Lake Pertobe when it is already good. Yes it is already good and we don’t want to change it too much, but it is part of our premier open space precinct in Warrnambool. It is important in terms of our lifestyle, tourism, events, and our natural environment.
•It has massive flow-on benefits to the City, so we need to make sure it stays this way by continuing to invest in it. So that is LP.
•We’ve also completed the Russell’s Creek trail at Garden street. This has resulted in nearly 4000 people gaining access to a continuous 5km of off-road trails
•We’ve also added pedestrian connections at a number of locations where there was a barrier to accesssing open space, whether it be a river, or busy road. In many parts of Warrnambool, it wasn’t that tehre weren’t enough parklands, but that people could get to them. So we've added pedestrian crossings at Dalton’s Bridge, Wellington Bridge, Younger St over the Merri, the Mortlake Rd/ Wollaston Rd intersection, and over the Merri at Jubilee Park in Woodford
•We’ve upgraded a number of parks in that time. Barton Court park in west Warrnambool has been upgraded to a neighbourhood park using developer funds – this improved open space access to over 300 properties, plus more as development occurs.
•We have also been planning for a number of open spaces in areas to be developed, including a new 7ha coastal reserve east of Logan’s Beach as development occurs out that way.
•We have some design work underway for wayfinding signs and some signs already funded to go in at Lake Pertobe and the Foreshore. Wayfinding signs are..
There are still a few projects from the strategy yet to be completed. These are a few of them, I won’t read them all out as I want to focus on two.
-The South of Merri Open Space Precinct Plan, which is a currently funded project in the strategic planning team.
-And the EJ King to Scoborio Reserve precinct plan as I know this is of interest to the group.
So we all know the foreshore and Lake Pertobe are great, but we also have this emerging potential in our two rivers – the Hopkins and the Merri.
[Just on the weekend, I popped in to watch part of the Bream Classic held on the Hopkins with Merv Hughs attending, and all of the expensive boats brought to town. And I thought, what a great thing to bring to Warrnambool for our economy.]
I think as we grow, the rivers are going to become more important as recreation corridors than they have been previously.
Our rivers are closer to where most people live in Warrnambool compared to the foreshore. There are currently nearly 5,500 properties within a 10 min walk of the Merri.
This is around 1/3 of residential properties or 13000 residents, and this will continue to grow by several thousand as Warrnambool grows.
The problem is, at the moment, there are limited opportunities to access the river for recreation purposes and our riverside parklands are not well connected.
But there is a growing interest in the two rivers, particularly the Merri. The state government though the Glenelg Hopkins CMA currently sees it as a priority, and last year a Merri Alliance made up of 9 groups and agencies was formed.
I’m also aware that the local Rotary groups have been active in revegetation works along the Merri recently.
This is the tree planting at Cassidy’s bridge I mentioned at the start of the presentation run by OzFish and the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, where I met a number of Rotarians on the day.
This area is to become public open space, so the trees planted will become part of a new trail and open space corridor for Warrnambool as development occurs along here.
So our current priority project in open space planning is an open space precinct plan along a stretch of the south side of the Merri River.
The precinct includes Manuka Dr Reserve, public land at the end of Woodend and Tarhood roads, Platypus Park, Bromfield St Weir, Queens Rd Reserve and St James Park.
The purpose of the precinct plan is to look at how we can better connect and activate this space as a whole for people to better access the river.
So the parks in the precinct don’t make up a huge part of Warrnambool’s open space network in terms of area, but strategically they are really important.
It is probably the best opportunity for the most current residents to access the Merri river.
It provides the opportunity to improve equity of access to open space in west Warrnambool. West Warrnambool has our highest population, but the poorest access to open space and off road trails. It also has pockets of disadvantage.
There is also a large open space corridor planned for the north side of the river, which will open up access to the river. When this happens people are going to want to access both sides of the river and now is the time to plan for that.
The precinct also represents the last piece in the puzzle to connect the current Russell’s Creek walking trail that ends at Daltons Road with a future north of Merri walking trail. If we connect the trails at this point, it has the potential to connect over 25km of current and future trails in warrnambool.
This shows where walking trails and pedestrian crossing points are in the North of Merri Structure Plan, and where Russells Creek trail currently ends.
So these are some of the parklands in the precinct.
We are about to commence a public consultation on this precinct to look at what the issues and opportunities are. It is mostly floodprone, so there are some limitations, but there are also good opportunities to improve access along and to the river.
It would be fantastic to get your feedback for this project.
We are about to commence the public consultation in the next few weeks, which includes a survey. They are going out the next week, so I encourage you to look out for it.
Or, I have brought in a few surveys if anyone wanted to fill one out early and give it to me tonight, particularly if you live near the area. The only disadvantage if you fill it out tonight is that you don’t get the issues and opportunities paper that will go out with the online survey.
So we are focusing on the Merri parklands at moment, but the Hopkins is also a major asset in the Warrnambool open space network.
It has very high cultural significance for the people of the Maar nation.
It is a premier fishing river for Victoria.
The Hopkins is a long term focus of the GHCMA, and the lower Hopkins estuary a priority estuary.
It also has growing tourism value, especially with the recent research done at Moyjil that proposes that humans have been here longer than any other place in Australia.
When we did the open space strategy in 2014, we looked at different planning precincts in Warrnambool. We looked at the current and future population of the precinct, and access to open space.
This one is the south hopkins precinct. It has some amazing parklands including parts of the foreshore, Moyil, Logans beach and of course EJ King. However it has some of the worst accessibility to open space due to barriers such as the railway line and river, and a lack of footpaths in some areas.
-Compared to Merri, the opportunities to access the Hopkins are more limited in the short term.
-When I was doing the open space strategy, what stood out to me was how important the EJ King to Scoborio reserve precinct was.
-When I was doing the open space strategy, what stood out to me was how important the EJ King to Scoborio reserve precinct was.
-For me, doing long term planning for the EJ King to Scoborio precinct.
And this is why the precinct that includes EJ king park is so valuable to Warrnambool. It is these views, and this access to the river.
So the recommendation in the OSS is to do a precinct plan similar to the one we are doing on the Merri at the moment.
We don’t have a nominated time frame for the EJ King to Scoborio plan. It isn’t necessarily urgent, but it is very important strategically. So we want to do it at the right time.
We’ve just got a new Chief, and we already have a number of recent plans that need to be funded, so that may influence when we do it.
But rest assured, any work you are doing at EJ King will one day be part of a significant long term asset to Warrnambool.
I hope the message I’ve gotten across is that our open spaces are a bit asset to Warrnambool, and play a major role in our lifestyle, economy and the protection of our local environment.
Whilst we all recognise the value of the coast, our waterways are going to become more important.
Our current focus in City Strategy at present is on the south of Merri Precinct, which will play an important role
We certainly do recognise the strategic value of the EJ King site, and I think you should keep that conversation going with council.
It is great the work you are doing there already.
I’m sorry I can’t give a timeframe on when that might happen. It definitely won’t be before we finish and maybe even fund the South of Merri plan.
Thank you.
OPEN SPACE STRATEGY 2019-06-28 14:00:00Z 0
SAVE THE DATE 2019-06-15 14:00:00Z 0
SELLING ROTARY Brian Trenery 2019-06-15 14:00:00Z 0


Posted by John Beks
by John Beks
Presentation to Rotary Club of Warrnambool – 29/1/2019
Goeden avonddames en heren, Welkom tot een historische vertelling van de aankomst en successvolle streven van de duizenden Hollandse immigranten, veel van hun die kozen om in deze part van Australie to wonen.
Are you with me???  After 65 years in Australia, it took me more than 20 minutes to translate that short greeting from my well-worn Dutch dictionnairy. At least that will give you some idea about just one of the problems facing migrants to a foreign country.
(An advance apology: this will take a little longer than our weekly presentations.
But no longer if you take into account your travelling time to get here!)
About 11 years ago, in The Standard, Warrnambool physiotherapist, Dutchman Bore Hoekstra, expressed the sentiment, that there was a need for recording the local history of the early Dutch immigrants some 60 or so years ago : and to do it, before the original settlers fall off their respective perches, without leaving a record of their life-changing stories, recalling their arrivals, their hardships and their distinct experiences in this foreign part of the world.
Overcoming language and cultural barriers and, in some cases, prejudice, they worked diligently to build new lives and forge a place in their local communities, for themselves and their offspring.
This could not have been done without the ready acceptance and co-operation of well-meaning Aussies. Bore's publication is entitled : "CLOG WOGS"- STORIES OF THE DUTCH IN SOUTH-WEST VICTORIA.
Southern European immigrants, by appearance, used to be readily recognized, and quickly tagged as dagoes or wogs.  The Dutch, however, were less readily identified as such, and tended to be more easily merged and blended into their newly chosen Aussie society.
As such, they got involved in their community, be it socially, or in sport or church groups, with most marrying Aussie partners.  
The CLOG WOGS pays tribute to a selection of  7 Dutch settlers, willing to proudly tell their stories, having made their mark and achieved success in a range of endeavours , from business, sport and even politics.  All of their names are still familiar today in their respective local business pursuits.
More than half a century after making the courageous decision to start a new life in south-west Victoria, these 7 families and subsequent generations have become an intrinsic and familiar part of the fabric of our region.
CLOG WOGS John Beks 2019-01-31 13:00:00Z 0

Annual General Meeting and Election of Office-Bearers

In accordance with the provisions of the Club’s Rules, notice is given that the Annual
General Meeting and election of office bearers will be held during the Club’s meeting
scheduled for Tuesday 13 November, 2018. Prior to the AGM the Club will be seeking
nominations to fill vacancies of President-Elect 2020-2021; Vice-President 2019-2020;
Secretary 2019-2020; Treasurer 2019-2020, and 8 vacancies of Director 2019-2020.
Nomination Forms are available from President Michael Boyd, President Elect David
Brown, and Acting Secretary Gerry Delaney.
Gerry Delaney
Annual General Meeting and Election of Office-Bearers Gerry Delaney 2018-10-19 13:00:00Z 0


Proud to be a dad

After being nominated by my daughter (and subsequently winning the P-2 category) I had the honour of attending the fabulous Father of the Year awards breakfast hosted and supported by Brophy, Rotary, South West Credit, Bunnings, The Standard and many other prominent Warrnambool organisations. The event was also very well supported by the many involved schools, upstanding political figures and local councillors. There is no doubt that every dad in the room was beaming with pride. It is a very special experience to be involved in something like this, knowing you are there because of your child’s submission. For me, it was a very humbling moment and I was incredibly proud to be part of it. From the initial discussions with Ian Cairns at Brophy and the friendly Brophy crew through to the event itself, it has been a remarkable and memorable process. I do very much hope the region continues to support this valuable program because I think as dads we really do wonder sometimes if what we are doing is ‘right’ and it was comforting to sit and listen to other dads and see that we all share very similar experiences and doubts undertaking this fatherhood gig. I think it is fair to say that the dad role has seen plenty of change particularly over the past 30 years and maybe even more so in the last 15 or so. Being a dad is a complex role as we balance work, society’s ever-changing expectations, emerging family structures and parenting trends and through it all our constant desire as dads to navigate it all and be the best we can for our children. I always find it somewhat amusing that dads seem to have this inherent non-verbal language that all other dads relate to. It is evident particularly at school pick up or school-related events (in my profession as a teacher I get to see this perhaps a little more often).  It’s the knowing smile, the dip of the hat, the wink or roll of the eyes that all dads quickly relate to and empathise with. It’s the loving awkwardness and at times semi-embarrassment fused with the over-riding pride in our children that we all adhere to, all while maintaining, or trying to, some semblance of parent composure. It’s a language we all speak, no matter what our backgrounds are or vocations and it is a common thread that binds us.

This had never been more evident to me than recently when the Principal Daniel Watson at Woodford (a fabulous school we are privileged to have our children attend) organised a dads social gathering in response to the highly successful and consistently well attended mum get togethers. On paper, it looked like an unlikely group with an incredibly diverse range of people coming together that suggested this may be a somewhat short lived event. But it was a fantastic evening for all who could attend, and the common bond? Dads. Yes, we are all on common ground through our aspiring endeavours as fathers and turns out it makes for a pretty impressive basis for a social gathering.

As a proud Dad, I feel like we have won the lottery after moving to Warrnambool. In the three short years we have lived here, I am constantly reminded of just how great the community spirit is and how it embraces all who call it home. My wife Lucy and our two children Hamish and Heidi are a close-knit family and we have had to be as our immediate family are all overseas or in Tasmania. But the community really does feel like our family. We are blessed to be raising our children here, have them attend a fantastic primary school and we are truly blessed to call this part of the world home.

Father’s Day this year has been a particularly proud moment for me as a result of the Warrnambool regions Father of the Year Awards. Because of the work of Brophy, Rotary and all the supporting organisations involved we have a program and community that recognises and values all the remarkable and unremarkable achievements that us dads do. We make mistakes, we no doubt embarrass our kids on a daily basis, but we love and cherish our children in a way that only a dad can truly understand.  

Ian Leonard, Warrnambool



On Wednesday 30th August the Rotary Club of Warrnambool held the annual Father of the Year Awards Breakfast. In conjunction with Brophy Family Services and sponsored by Southwest Credit and Bunning's Warehouse the awards aim to celebrate fathers and father-figures who inspire young people to be their best, and to encourage men to be good role-models for young people.
Awards are given to fathers and father-figures in a number of categories based on the age-group of the child nominator, with an over-all winner named "Father of the Year". This year's winner was Daniel McKenna, nominated by his daughter, Amarli. In her submission Amarli wrote of writing a letter to her dad when she was little asking him to play a sport with her. The duo chose BMX and have been actively participating in BMX racing ever since with the whole family now involved.
We are delighted to congratulate Daniel, and all the other nominated fathers and father-figures. 
A great article by The Standard can be found at: http://www.standard.net.au/story/4889431/years-best-dads-named/#slide=3
FATHER OF THE YEAR 2017 kjw 2017-09-04 14:00:00Z 0


Last year Tony contacted several hospital services in the area requesting DIK items that could be sent to developing countries. As a result of this he collected approximately 2 tonnes of donations last year and on Friday picked up another load. Friday's donations were from the Timboon & District Healthcare Service. They will shortly be taken to the Geelong DIK depot for sorting. It is likely that these goods will go to the Popondetta hospital in PNG in a few months.



Wannon Water has donated hay to support a Rotary International relief project supplying clean water to a remote village in Papua New Guinea. 
More than 30 round bales of hay were harvested from Wannon Water land near Port Fairy and donated to the Rotary Club of Warrnambool for the second successive year. 

The club will use the funds from the sale of the bales to support the Sariri Village Project which is helping to rebuild a community devastated by a cyclone in 2007 and severe flooding in 2009.

Branch corporate services manager Les Johnson said the long-term project linked to Wannon Water's corporate vision of going "beyond water for strong communities". 
"Wannon Water is once again proud to support Rotary in its work to help the Sarari village re-establish and become self-sustaining with projects including timber milling, construction of safer housing and a school and the installation of a running water supply," Mr Johnson said. "Watching a video of village children playing in running water for the first time was heartwarming."

Wannon Water's social committee has also supported the project, providing money raised from last year's employee Christmas quiz towards a solar water pump.

The Rotary Club of Warrnambool's international services director Tony Austin said Sarari was a Rotary Australia World Community Service project first initiated by the Rotary Club of Geelong and later supported by the Warrnambool Rotary clubs. 
"Much has been achieved and the lives of the villagers have significantly improved as a consequence," Mr Austin said. "It is an example of the convergence of traditional ways and modern technologies making life better in an extremely harsh and primitive environment." 

He said villages such as Sariri received little or no financial support. "Most villages have absolutely nothing except what they grow and cut from the jungle and everything has to be carried by hand."
"In the past, women and children had to walk three kilometres to the river each day to fetch and carry all their water needs. With Rotary's support, they've dug a well, sunk a bore and set a solar powered submersible pump on it, set up a solar battery array to provide a limited electricity supply and installed water tanks, pipes and taps to service much of the village."

Mr Austin said it was hoped the Sariri project could become a model replicated by other communities in the Oro Province, which is on PNG's north eastern coast.
HAY DONATION BOOSTS ROTARY WATER PROJECT The Standard 2017-01-11 00:00:00Z 0


Congratulations to our 2015 Rotary Club of Warrnambool/Brophy Father of the Year Jai Russell, nominated by his 14 year old daughter, Shearna from Warrnambool College.

Warrnambool's Jai Russell with daughters Nikayla, 11, and Shearna, 14, after being named South West Victoria Father of the Year. Picture: Jono Pech

JAI Russell’s effort to spend time with his daughters is the key to their strong bond. The Murray Goulburn shift worker was named South West Victoria Father of the Year at the Rotary Club of Warrnambool’s annual breakfast on Wednesday. Mr Russell said work sometimes made it difficult to see his children, especially on night duties, but he always made an effort.
“I just like to be there for them and help them out when they’re not sure of things, and build their confidence,” he said.
His daughter Shearna Russell, 14, said she nominated her father to let him know how much she loved and appreciated him.
“He cheers me up when I’m sad and manages to make me laugh when I’m grumpy,” she said.

FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS - 2 SEPTEMBER 2015 Sharon Stark 2015-09-02 00:00:00Z 0


Local students from Brauer College and Timboon P-12 School competed against Ballarat Grammar, Oberon High School Geelong, Westbourne Grammar School Geelong, Geelong Baptist College, Whitefriars College, and Bendigo South East College in the Rotary sponsored Telstra Science and Engineering Super Challenge at Deakin University's Warrnambool campus on Thursday Aug 11.
The winning team from Bendigo will now advance to Newcastle for a national final in October.
The contest brought the top schools together after each team had won regional events held earlier this year in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong and Warrnambool.
The Rotary Club of Warrnambool joined Deakin University and the University of Newcastle in organising the event, with Past President Anne Adams chairing the co-ordinating committee.
Super Challenge tasks included designing fingers on a bionic hand, constructing a model house to withstand water and wind damage and load bearing properties, and building a bridge to carry increasing weights loaded on to a small trolley.
The program targets Year 10 students, aiming to encourage an interest in science, engineering and info- tech careers. It was the second successive year the Superchallenge was hosted at Warrnambool’s Deakin University campus. The Science and Engineering Challenge is a national program, with participation last year reaching almost 20,000 students from over 600 schools. (photo and article from the Warrnambool Standard Newspaper)



ROTARY clubs have called on the community to throw support behind a south-west project to help a rebuilding Papua New Guinea village.

Since 2011, Warrnambool’s clubs have joined a Geelong Rotary Club effort to support the Sariri village’s relocation, after the community was forced to rebuild due to several natural disasters.

A recent visit has prompted several Warrnambool members to put together a campaign aimed at helping the disadvantaged villagers become self-sustaining in forestry harvesting and agriculture.

Allansford resident Graeme Ross, a Rotary Club of Warrnambool past president, has donated a working Massey Ferguson tractor to the cause.

“After 55 years it’s never given me an ounce of trouble,” Mr Ross said.

But Rotary Club of Warrnambool member Tony Austin believes more help is needed to truly change living conditions at the battling village.

He said working tools, farming equipment and financial contributions would aid their effort to make a difference in Sariri.

It will cost about $10,000 just to transport the tractor after any required restoration work.

“We need to send the tractor in as reliable condition as we can,” Mr Austin said.

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“The last thing we need is for it to break down under a tree somewhere.

“They have no tools or equipment.

“The Rotary clubs can’t resource this work on our own.”

He said the impact of sending a working tractor and tools to the village would be immeasurable.

“This will be life-changing but it’s part of a bigger picture,” Mr Austin said.

“At the moment they live on a day-to-day basis of what they can grow and eat, but they want to go beyond that.

“They’re a bunch of people who have nothing and if no one helps them, that’s all they’re going to have.

“This has come from what we’ve seen on the last trip to the village.”

Sariri is a coastal area village on the north side of Papua New Guinea, comprised of about seven tribes and 2000 inhabitants.

Anyone who wants to donate money or equipment can contact the Rotary Club of Warrnambool or Warrnambool Daybreak.

(Article from the Warrambool Standard Newspaper 24 July 2015)

SARIRI VILLAGE PROJECT Sharon Stark 2015-07-28 00:00:00Z 0
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU Sharon Stark 2015-07-22 00:00:00Z 0


SCIENCE CHALLENGE: Rotary Club of Warrnambool volunteer Astrid Sorenson, 17, helps King's College student Chloe Gale, 16, with a Stringways board exercise at Deakin University. Picture: VICKY HUGHSON

THE region’s brightest young minds faced off in the Great South Coast Science and Engineering Challenge regional finals on Tuesday. 
About 100 students from 10 schools between Colac and Portland put their skills to the test at Deakin University in Warrnambool.
Rotary Club of Warrnambool volunteer Astrid Sorenson, 17, said teams took part in multiple science exercises.
“The idea is to get students interested in science and thinking about subjects they want to study in year 11 and year 12,” she said.
King’s College student Chloe Gale, 16, said she enjoyed the friendly competition much more than expected.
“It was really fun and challenging,” she said. 
“You had to definitely use your brain.”
(Article from the Warrnambool Standard Newspaper)
2015 GREAT SOUTH COAST SCIENCE & ENGINEERING CHALLENGE Sharon Stark 2015-06-23 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony Austin

Background to the project

In November 2007 Oro Province in Papua New Guinea suffered extensive flooding, loss of life and property damage during Cyclone Guba. One of the many villages in Oro Province that were devastated by the cyclone was Sariri. Subsequent to the disaster Elijah Sarigari, a former teacher and one of the community leaders of Oro Province, made contact with his former PNG school Principal, Reverend Donald Johnstone, who was living in Geelong at the time of the disaster, seeking help.  Reverend Johnstone in turn contacted Anton Van  Doornik of the Rotary Club of Geelong.  Both Reverend Johnstone and Anton went to Sariri and it was agreed that assistance in rebuilding could be provided. Since then there have been Rotary teams working at Sariri Village in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
The 2015 Sariri Project
On March 28 a container of materials, equipment and donations for the 2015 Sariri project left Australia for Oro Province, PNG.
The 2015 project team was scheduled to leave Australia on 11 May however due to the container arriving late this had to be postponed; the container arrived at Oro Bay late May.
The 2015 project team was finally able to depart Australia on 31 May and returned 13 June.
The Team
From left:
Tony Austin (Warrnambool Rotary Club)
Anton Van Doornik, Team leader (Geelong Rotary Club)
David Greaves (Barwon Water)
Ian Watson (Warrnambool Daybreak Rotary Club)
Chris Preston (Warrnambool Daybreak Rotary Club)
Isobel Van Doornik
Completed Scheduled Projects
  • Extend the underground water system by 1.5 kms
  • Fit 10 risers and taps to the water pipe extension
  • Extend the existing solar array from 4 to 6 panels
  • Upgrade the solar array control equipment
  • Clean the solar array panels
  • Install playground equipment
  • Set up toilets provided by Barwon Water
  • Replace front wheel hubs to the Village’s Toyota Landcruiser (the vehicle cannot cross the river hence it’s left on the opposite bank of river, 3kms away)
Completed Unscheduled Projects
  • Replace failed tank stand bearers (As a consequence of this failure there was no water storage in the village for 18 months forcing the villagers to walk 3 kms to a river for their water needs)
  • Replace a previously installed water tank (previous tank had failed)
  • Rebuild the tank stand deck for the replaced tank
  • Clean out and redesign the village well
  • Build and install bookshelves previously pre-fabricated
  • Repair the village chainsaw
  • Dismantle a village water hand pump and bring its parts back to Australia for repair
  • Showed villagers how to set up a house base (how to set up hurdles, basic geometry to ensure squareness, setting up string lines etc)

Preparing for the water pipe extension

First flow of the water

Stand pipes and taps fitted

Setting up the playground


Dismantling the water pump - now in Warrnambool for repairs

Cleaning the solar panel array

Where to from here
What is desperately needed by the Sariri people and other village communities and work that remains to be done will be included in a more comprehensive future presentation and report.
SARIRI VILLAGE PROJECT 2015 - PRELIMINARY REPORT Tony Austin 2015-06-16 00:00:00Z 0


Saturday night's Annual Dinner Auction  (23 May) was a great success with around 140 people enjoying a night out with friends, great food, entertaining auctioneers, an array of over 250 items for auction, plus spot prizes and a wheelbarrow raffle.

A huge thank you to the 213 businesses and Club members who donated to the auction. Special thanks to South West Credit for the ongoing support as major sponsor, BBQs Galore, Elders for auctioning, and Richard Ziegeler for his assistance with the auction. Thanks also to the organising committee for all their hard work in making this such a successful night, and in particular the Chair, Michael Boyd whose preparations made work for the committee so much easier. Mary Bouwman was our photographer for the night and produced some great photos - thank you Mary!

Proceeds from the night will be in the vicinity of $24,000 and will enable a significant donation to the Warrnambool and District Hospice and the balance of funds will support activities of the Rotary Club of Warrnambool throughout 2015/16.

ANOTHER GREAT DINNER AUCTION NIGHT Sharon Stark 2015-05-26 00:00:00Z 0


Last night, over 150 representatives from 36 sporting and community groups in and around Warrnambool Vic were given a defibrillator for their club, funded by local philanthropic trusts, the Gwen & Edna Jones, & Ray & Joyce Uebergang Foundations, Project partners included South West Credit Union, as part of their 50 Year Celebration and the Rotary Club of Warrnambool. The defibrillators were provided by Defib Your Club for Life, an organisation established by Sue Buckman and Andrew White. Sue’s son Stephen collapsed and died from a cardiac arrest during a football training session at Rupertswood, Sunbury in 2010. Paramedic Andrew White was at the club and assisted with CPR as ambulance and defib equipment did not arrive for 20 minutes. Prior to last night's presentation, Sue had met with the sponsors in Warrnambool and provided a demonstration of the defibrillator. An advertising campaign was launched on local Radio 3YB and the Warrnambool Standard newspaper seeking applications from interested community groups. The response was overwhelmingly positive. At the presentation, Sue and Andrew outlined the equipment's operating procedure and answered many questions from those present. A huge thank you to the Gwen & Edna Jones, Ray & Joyce Uebergang Foundations, South West Credit Union and the Rotary Club of Warrnambool for this fantastic initiative in providing life-saving equipment throughout the Warrnambool region. And of course to the amazing Sue and Andrew. Your community could do it too.
(Sue Buckman with a photo of her son Stephen who died after he had a heart attack during training. Photo: Pamela Mirghani)
DEFIB YOUR CLUB FOR LIFE Sharon Stark 2015-05-19 00:00:00Z 0


Our guest speakers last night were Scott Gall and Gemma Gibbons (both 18 years old) who took part in "Alternative Schoolies in 2014" a project in the Philippines. Scott and Gemma together with 14 other young people (4 boys and 10 girls) from across Moyne, Warrnambool. Corangamite Shires spent 23 days at a village on the outskirts of Davau as well as in Saboo and Manilla. Their project was to refurbish 12 dilapidated classrooms at TV Fernandez Elementary School in Indangan Village. The buildings had been badly damaged by a super typhoon which hit the Philippines in 2013.
The aim was to refurbish 12 classrooms which were so damaged and required so much hard physical labour they only managed 9 buildings (8 classrooms and one teachers room). They had a local carpenter / builder to help them but other than that they did the remainder of the restoration work. Gemma commented that OH&S was non existent. The group enjoyed the interaction with the local children, many of whom had not seen white people before. The school day started with a dance to pop music and this doubled as the morning exercise program for the children. The Australian students were surprised at how nationalistic the local children were with a pledge to their country and by singing the national anthem daily.
The Visitors also noted how respectful the children and young people are to their elders. No one was permitted to leave any food on their plates and they spoke of eating rice several times a day. They also ate a local delicacy - chickens which were within two days of hatching. Some members of the group spent time at Paradise Island; they were fascinated by the children's agility at climbing coconut palms and they witnessed great poverty when they visited the Smoking Mountain ­ which is nothing more than a huge pile of rubbish. Some of the group visited Manila. In Sabu they visited an orphanage for children under three years of age who had been orphaned by the 2013 typhoon.
The group bagged about 200 tons of Rice and donated this to about 500 local families, but still people missed out. People are very poor and they were very grateful for the donation of rice. Because of changes in the exchange rate the group were about $3,000 short and did not have the funds to meet their desired targets so they got onto Facebook and asked friends and family to donate money. This was so successful they raised an extra $5000 which allowed them to purchase more rice and give it away to extra poor families. It was an eye opener for the group to see how the local people live in simple crude dwellings with dirt floors and Gemma said how grateful and lucky it made them feel to come from such an affluent country.
Gemma and Scott said it was a life changing experience and both plan to return to do more work. The students who attended Alternative Schoolies all raised their own funds to go away.
Geraldine Edgar Ralph the program Coordinator spoke of her pride and gratitude in the students, their hard work, the initiative they showed raising the extra funds and of Scott’s generosity when he donated money from his savings. In addition to the rebuilding of several classrooms the group helped provide food for 670 families. A wonderful effort from a small group of students who chose to do some good rather than head for Queensland to get drunk and party.
See some fantastic photos of their experiences on www.alternative2schoolies.com
ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLIES PROGRAM Sharon Stark 2015-05-13 00:00:00Z 0
DG 2017-18 DISTRICT 9780 - RAY HERBERT Sharon Stark 2015-05-04 00:00:00Z 0
DETECT BOWEL CANCER EARLY Sharon Stark 2015-04-28 00:00:00Z 0


John Stuckey introduced our guest speaker Dr Eric Fairbank and provided some background information. Dr Eric Fairbank graduated from Melbourne University in 1968.  Following two years residency in Warrnambool, another two in Papua New Guinea and one at Box Hill, he returned to Warrnambool to become one of a two-doctor GP practice.  At that time, GPs in Warrnambool did all of their own anaesthetics, delivered babies and were on call almost 24/7.  Things changed in the 80s when an influx of specialists saw GPs less involved in the hospital scene. That’s when Dr Fairbank decided to pursue his interest in palliative care and gain more qualifications through Flinders University.  In 1986 he was instrumental in establishing the Warrnambool Base Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit – of which he was the Director until retiring in 2013. In 2012 Dr Fairbank received a Victorian Rural Doctor Award for the profound impact he has had on the health and wellbeing of local communities.  In 2013 Dr Fairbank was honoured with the Victorian Public Healthcare Award recognising more than 35 years work providing exceptional healthcare for hundreds of people facing the biggest fight of their life.
His work has had a profound effect on his colleagues, students, nurses, palliative care staff, volunteers, and most importantly on patients and their families.He has helped shape the way palliative care is delivered in Warrnambool, and his influence is now felt nationwide and internationally.
According to Dr Fairbank those of us who prepare for death do it better than those who don’t.  85% of people die from a chronic illness - rather than an accident of some kind.  Those with chronic illness such as cancer patients tend the have a reasonable quality of life during a prolonged lead up followed by a shorter end stage death. Other people die from some sort of organ failure such as heart, kidneys and lungs etc and they tend to have a more drawn out end of life with critical health incidents followed by periods of some degree of recovery, before they finally die. Yet another group die as a result of old age frailty and dementia. The Base Hospital SWH has 6 palliative care beds, SJOG hospital has 2 palliative beds and Lyndoch also has some beds.
In the next 25 years deaths will double as the baby boomers reach the ages of 75 to 95 years.
70% of the population say they want to die at home but in reality Australia-wide the percentage of people who die at home is less than 15%.  People don’t prepare well for death and death is seen as a medical event when it is in fact a normal stage of the life span.  Dying is not a medical event and if you want a good quality of life and a good death you are better off at home.
It costs three times as much money to die in a hospital - $19,000 and around $6,000 to die at home. In the terminal phase to die in a hospital costs around $800 per day. A patient dying at home supported by Hospice in the Home costs around $125 per day.
The Hospice in the Home program is still very new and although initially they wanted a purpose built building, this was decided against because of the cost ($1,000 a day to keep a hospice open and running). Hospice in the Home has been very fortunate to have been offered a building at Deakin for $10 per annum rent. This building is furnished like a home and is a teaching facility to teach family members and friends how to use various bits of equipment and how to care for dying friends and family members.  They are in the process of training non-medical volunteers to work with families caring for a dying person. The volunteers will assist with aspects of patient care to ease the burden on family members and they will also provide overnight and weekend respite. The first group will finish their training on 13 July 2015.
Hospice in the Home trained volunteers working in the homes of terminally ill people are supported by comprehensive assessments carried out by the Palliative Care team,  District Nurses, on call Doctors and Ambulance staff. 
Dr  Fairbanks explained that so far the Hospice has raised around $250,000 and they need to double this figure in the next year or so. They hope to get some larger donations from various trusts and also from the Government once they have some facts and figures to justify why they need funding.
Rotarian’s were also introduced briefly to Kerry Robertson who is in charge of fund raising at Hospice in the Home. Kerry has some sort of fund raising activity happening most of the time and in early 2016 they are planning a Marigold Ball (Bollywood style) at Deakin.
Dr Fairbanks thanked the Club very much for nominating Hospice in the Home as the charity to be the main recipient of funds raised by the Dinner Auction in May 2015.
2015 ROTARY DINNER AUCTION FLYER Sharon Stark 2015-04-14 00:00:00Z 0
ROTARY LIGHTS PROJECT Sharon Stark 2015-02-12 00:00:00Z 0
AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM TUESDAY'S (28 OCT) MEETING Sharon Stark 2014-10-28 00:00:00Z 0


RCW recently received a letter from Ritu Akter who the Club sponsors through the Salvation Army. Ritu attends the Hearing Impaired School in Vakutia, Jessore, Bangladesh. Ritu writes:
Dear Sponsor,
Accept my heartiest love. Hope you are well. I am also fine. I have stood 2nd in 1st tereminal examination. In summer vacation I went to my maternal uncle's house. I ate mango, jackfruit, litch guava etc and enjoyed them. My 2nd tereminal examination will be held on last week of August. It is raining season now in Bangladesh. Sometimes its rains and sometimes its heats. Pray for me. God bless you. Thanks.
Ritu Akter
RCW'S SPONSOR CHILD IN BANGLADESH - RITU AKTER Sharon Stark 2014-10-21 00:00:00Z 0


We take clean water for granted every day. In the midst of devastation and disasters, there are few gifts more valuable than the gift of clean safe water.

Aquabox is essentially a lifesaving water tank with water filters and water treatment tablets that can convert up to 2,000 litres of polluted water, making it safe and pleasant to drink. The boxes are also filled with emergency aid to reduce the suffering during the aftermath of a disaster.

Estimates suggest 25,000 children die every day from the effects of drinking polluted water. With your help Aquabox can play a vital part in minimising the after effects of disaster.

This local initiative is powered by the voluntary members of the Rotary Club of Eltham, Victoria, Australia.       

AQUABOX Sharon Stark 2014-10-01 00:00:00Z 0


Chair Isobel Siebel introduced Exchange Student Astrid Sorensen as a charming 16 year old Danish girl, whose motto is “smile at the world and the world will smile at you”.
At home in Denmark Astrid lives on a farm in a rural area 3km from the small village where she attends school. She lives with her mum and dad and younger brother and the family’s Labrador dog.
At home Astrid rides her bike to and from school, she enjoys riding horses and is actively involved with a youth organisation called 4H at a local level and also at a national level in the Zealand 4H Youth Board. She likes Zumba and yoga, music and hanging out with her friends. Both of Astrid’s parents work some distance away and leave for work very early and return home late. She gets herself up and off to school without any parental supervision and home again in the afternoon.
In the past Astrid has done some holiday travel with her family to Iceland, Austria, Seychelles, Philippines, Norway and Sweden. A cousin came to Australia as an exchange student and that influenced Astrid to select Australia, rather than America as a destination.  Astrid is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Gorlev, population 2,433.
Astrid provided the meeting with a very interesting account of her life and family back at home in Denmark, and illustrated her presentation with lots of great photos. Astrid lives in a small village with just fifteen households near the town of Hoeng, population 4,500. Hoeng is about 100 km from Copenhagen.
Denmark is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, located southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. At 43,094 square kilometres (16,639 sq miles), with a population of around 5.6 million people, Denmark consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and 407 islands, of which only about 70 have people living there.
Denmark shares strong cultural and historic ties with neighbours Sweden and Norway. The national language, Danish, is very closely related to Swedish and Norwegian and all three can pretty much understand each other.
Denmark has a very old history with some monuments still there from Viking days and earlier.
Denmark, like Australia, is a constitutional monarchy, and the current head is Queen Margrethe II. Her son Prince Frederik is married to Australian Prince Mary from Tasmania, but Astrid does not follow politics very much.
Danes enjoy a high standard of living and rank well in many comparisons, including educational achievement, health care, protection of civil liberties, democracy and human development. The currency is the Danish Krone and $1A buys 5.17 KR, so Astrid needs 5 KR for each Australian dollar.
Danish winters can be as cold as Australia’s with plenty of snow but the summers are not as hot, averaging 16C in August. Astrid said she doesn’t know how she would cope with 40C in an Australian summer.
Astrid lives with her father and mother, both aged 48 years, and younger brother Carl Johan 12 years, and their brown Labrador dog. They also have their neighbour’s horses and rabbits. Her father Hans is a district sales manager with an agricultural machinery company and part-time farmer and her mother is Britta, a market and business development manager, with a large agriculture, energy and telecommunications company in Copenhagen.
Astrid attends Hoeng Private School and is in Grade 9. She cycles to school each day from the family’s farm about 3km away in Herslev, population 360. She could take the bus, but prefers to cycle. Her school is very small with just 250 students, and Brauer College, Warrnambool seems so big compared. She leaves home at 7:45 am to begin classes at 8:05 and studies Danish, German, English, physics, biology, history, math, religion, geography, social science, and sports. After school she may spend time with friends or visit her grandmother. Astrid also enjoys shopping, television, movies, computers (especially Facebook), being creative and cooking. She loves art, fantasy books and music and hopes to try Yoga one day. Her other favourite sports are Zumba, badminton and gymnastics.
Astrid has been riding horses, large and small now for about seven years. She has been involved in a rural organisation like our Young Farmers called 4H for eight years and participated in many agricultural fairs. As mentioned earlier she is a member of the 4H National Youth Council and the Regional Zealand Youth Board.
Astrid likes meeting new people and especially working with young people. She has many friends who talk about their problems, especially with boys and parents. She doesn’t like people who are unkind to others and she dreads big spiders!
Despite Astrid  stating  that she was not so good at English as she wanted to be, which is why she wanted to go to an English speaking country, her presentation was excellent and was understood and well received by everyone.  Chair Isobel thanked Astrid for a great presentation so early in her stay with us.
EXCHANGE STUDENT, ASTRD SORENSEN Sharon Stark 2014-08-07 00:00:00Z 0
2014 ROTARY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION, SYDNEY Sharon Stark 2014-06-02 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Lee Emberton

Camp Quality’s purpose is to create a better life for every child living with cancer in Australia. The services we provide for children (0-13 years) living with cancer and their families help create a better life by building optimism and resilience throughout each stage of their cancer journey.


Camp Quality in Victoria has grown immensely in the past 3 years, we now service over 600 families and provide 30 Recreation Programs; Kids Camps, Family Camps and Family Fun Days each Financial year.


To complement our service delivery through Recreation Programs our Family and Hospital Support team are very pleased to be able to offer our families the unique opportunity to stay at the Camp Quality Cabin in Warrnambool that is kindly provided by the generous Rotary Club of Warrnambool.


The redevelopment of this cabin is an exciting opportunity to be able to continue to offer this service to Camp Quality families who are at various stages of their cancer journey. For many years the stories that have travelled back to the office from the quality time families have been able to spend together at the cabin “away from it all” has cemented the importance of the cabin for the future and we are very happy to see it shall remain this way for years to come.


We look forward to unveiling the new cabin and providing this opportunity to families with the support of the Rotary Club of Warrnambool into the future.


For more information about Camp Quality and the services we provide please do not hesitate to contact Lee Emberton, Program Delivery Manager at Camp Quality Victoria: Lee.emberton@campquality.org.au; 03 9329 8660 



Posted by Alan Bowes

John Melville Reid was delivered by a midwife at home in Prestwick Scotland on 1 January 1922, the son of John and Isabella Reid. His siblings were Andy, Jim, Ella, Jean and David. Another brother Alexander died aged 18 months from whooping cough. It is of interest that at 5 kilos or 12 lb, John was the smallest of the Reid children despite both parents being of small build.
His father had been in Australia for six months, working as an engineer for Nestles, when his mother brought the family to Australia on the T.S.S. Euripides on 1 April 1928. An interesting anecdote of the six week voyage concerns John being thought to be lost at sea. Apparently 6 year old John wandered off to watch some passengers playing pool in another part of the ship. Young John fell asleep and un-noticed by the pool players, was locked in the room. John’s mother noticed one chick was missing at bedtime and the alarm was raised. The ship stopped and prepared to backtrack when John, who daughter Judy has advised, could ‘sleep on a barbed wire fence’ was discovered.
The day the family arrived in Australia was the day the very ornate and grand Hotel Mansions, formerly on the site of the current Hotel Warrnambool, was burned to the ground. John initially attended Jamieson Street Primary School. The family moved into one of the now demolished quaint Swiss style cottages adjacent to the Nestles factory, supplied for general foremen and engineers. John at that time attended Dennington State School and later the Warrnambool Technical School on the site of the current Institute of TAFE.
wheel rubber tyred trailers for farmers from T-model Ford chasses. He was also involved in the making of caravans, a new innovation at the time. Current tradies.
In 1944 he went to Melbourne to work for Wilkins’ Electrical at Williamstown, involved in marine electrical works. Later he went to Ballarat to rewire the Inland Meat Authority plant. He returned to Warrnambool in 1946 to work for the late Jim Leahy as foreman. Out of a weekly wage of six pounds seventeen shillings, two pounds was deducted for tax. His duties with Leahy’s included domestic wiring and also dairies.
In 1949 he started an electrical contracting business from his home in Skene Street with the firm vehicle being a baby Austin converted into a utility. In 1950, a shop was built in Lava Street called ‘The Warrnambool Lighthouse’. All manner of electrical goods were sold including white goods and appliances. This was the first light-fitting shop in Warrnambool. At one stage there were 8 staff and 10 electrical apprentices were trained.
In 1968 John and wife Gladys moved to a new business in Timor Street where they diversified into sound systems, musical instruments, sheet music, Lowery organs and Lowery and Kawai pianos. The business was also the Tattersalls agency and saw the inauguration of Tattslotto. In 1987 the business added bookings for the Performing Arts Centre as well as for the Port Fairy Folk Festival and visiting circuses.
It should be noted that as well as retailing new musical instruments, John was also engaged in refurbishing and restoring older instruments such as organs, pianos and pianolas. In his ‘rear of shop’ workshop, John also repaired different types of wind and string instruments. It was not uncommon for John to completely dismantle pianos and pianolas and then rebuild them for sale.
John retired in 1990 but many will know of his finely fitted out workshop under his Skene Street home. Equipment included woodworking machinery, wood lathe, steel turning lathe, electric and oxy welders and spray painting equipment. His woodworking skills have become legendary. He has made about 125 clocks, plus a gavel and base for outgoing Rotarian Presidents. In earlier years John could turn his hand to a variety of building projects. These included a 15 foot or 5 metre bondwood ski-boat fittingly called ”. He built a large family/sun room on the house, go-carts for his children, now being driven by his great grandchildren. Incredibly, he excavated by hand 24 tons of sandstone to build a hydrotherapy pool for wife Gladys, to help soothe arthritis, the pool being heated to 38 degrees.
Regressing to John’s time at Nestles. In 1946 John was invited to participate in the Nestles Social Club Christmas Treat at the then Base Hospital, singing Christmas carols and distributing gifts to patients. Dancing and supper later followed in the nurses dining room. It was there that John met one nurse, Gladys Hartley, the youngest charge sister ever on the male ward. From this first meeting matters progressed to marriage to Gladys on 4 September, 1948.
Subsequently Gladys and John had two daughters Judy, who is married to Phillip Ross, and Robbie who married John Blackmore (d). Judy and Phillip have two children; Debbie and Geoff, of whom John was extremely proud, and four great grandchildren; William, Samuel, Emily and Chelsea.
Despite being extremely busy operating his business, John had an impressive record of community service. Although not exhaustive he became involved in a wide range of organisations including membership of a mouth organ band. He was a committed member of the former Congregational Church, later to become part of the Uniting church. There he was a member of the tennis club. He was also a member of the choir at this church, possessing a lovely tenor voice and performed exerpts from Handel’s “Messiah” during which John sang solo parts. At this time John was responsible for setting up a youth choir for young people in the church. In later years after union, John was also a dedicated member of the Uniting Church choir. In the later 1950’s John was an active member of the Warrnambool Ski Club which operated on Lake Pertobe, long before it became the scenic area it is today. His daughter Judy recalls being splattered with mud from such activities on what then was little better than a swamp. Later the Club operated on the Hopkins River. John was a member of the Hopkins Masonic Lodge. After open heart surgery he became a member of the “zipper” club.
Perhaps John is best remembered for his long association and outstanding contribution to the Warrnambool Theatre Group. Not only did he participate as a member of the cast, but also made many of the spectacular props either for the backdrop or for participants in the stage shows. He even made spotlights using milk cans. The shows in which he was involved included all of the Gilbert & Sullivan operettas together with such famous productions as Salad Days, South Pacific, Merry Widow, Oklahoma and many more. He was at one stage the President of the Group and was later made an Honorary member.
Of significance to many Rotarians was John’s 57 years membership of the Rotary Club of Warrnambool, a record unlikely to be achieved by many members of this worldwide movement dedicated to service above self and the improvement of both local, national and international communities. In 2006 he joined a select few in the Club to attain 50 years of membership and was presented with a 50 Year Certificate signed by the World President.
He joined Rotary in 1956 and as a 35 year old, felt somewhat over-awed by being in company with business and civic leaders, regarding himself as merely a humble electrician. One can appreciate his feelings when then members of Rotary included Fletcher Jones, later Sir Fletcher, not to mention the current and past City Town Clerk, Manager of the Base Hospital and other business leaders. Be this as it may John went on to serve Rotary in many fields. He was Acting President for 6 months in 1973-74 and President of the Club in 1974-75.
Rotary is comprised of a number of Service Committees, each dedicated to a particular area of Community, Vocational, Club, Youth, now New Generation and International Service each presided over by a Director. John was Director of Club Service and, over his many ears of membership, was a member or senior member of every avenue of Rotary Service. He was involved with Group Study Exchange, the Annual Senior Citizens Treat in the Town Hall attended by up to 300 senior citizens, and where he often acted a compere and led community singing. His late wife Gladys was also a tower of strength for the wife of the then President when catering was required for the large numbers at supper after the Senior Citizens Treat.
John was also involved with young people in Rotaract. He acted as projectionist when slides were screened by guest speakers. Other Rotary activities involved Membership Development, Vocational Service Awards, District Conference Executive, FAIM, which assisted overseas projects, Finance & Fundraising, and Attendance. He was also active in sponsoring ‘On to Conference’ to ensure the Club was well represented at the Annual District Conference. He was associated with the Club Bulletin, the then Florado Festival which was supported by Rotary, handicapped children, apprenticeship week, new projects, classifications, welfare and special projects. More recently he has been a member of Probus, an off-shoot of Rotary, and supplied a large display board with names of Past Presidents. He was also involved in the relocation to Flagstaff Hill, of an expensive diorama, financed by the Club and formerly located in the Tourist Information Centre when based on Raglan Parade.
The Club was particularly indebted to John for his contribution to music and entertainment. In earlier years of his membership, there was always a song at weekly meetings and John believed the Rotary Club of Warrnambool had the best singers in the District. Until recent times, he led the singing of the National Anthem to end meetings and due to his absence, the practice has had to be abandoned due to the appalling rendition by the rest of us. He was in earlier years, always involved in community singing at District Conference. A measure of the Rotary interest by John and Gladys was their attendance at District Conferences at Adelaide, Mt Gambier, Ballarat, Broken Hill, Melbourne, plus those held in Warrnambool. Little wonder that John was honoured with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 1990-91.
John Reid exemplified the concept of community service, not only through his many skills whilst in the workforce, but also by his association with voluntary community organisations, his exemplary character when dealing with his fellows and his devotion to family and friends. A wise yet anonymous person has written:
“greatness is not found in possessions, position, power or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service and character.”
We shall not soon see the likes of John Melville Reid again.
TRIBUTE TO JOHN REID 1922 - 2014 Alan Bowes 2014-04-29 00:00:00Z 0


Hello, I’m Fabio and for the second time I’ll talk about my life in Australia.
I already have been here for 4 months and the time is just going too fast!
For me looks like I’m still in my first month.
I’m living with the Keoghs until Christmas and I really enjoy it.
The best thing in my exchange life is that I’m learning something new every day. I’m always making new friends and I’ve never felt homesick.
Australia is a beautiful country but I’m looking for the summer weather to get better.
I’ve been in Swan Hill two weeks ago which I met the others exchange students and it was so funny. Probably everybody heard about the “hot brother”.
I’ve been fishing crayfish but just when the weather helps and certainly the best part is to eat them.
I have just one more week at school which is good but I’ll miss some friends during the holidays.
My holidays should be awesome! In January the exchange students of our district and the district 9800 are going to do a Mini Safari. I’m looking for it especially because I’ll meet new friends from district 9800 which 14 are girls. (sorry Terry, I’m just kidding).
I’m very happy here.
Thank you all Rotarians and also my friends for everything!
And sorry for any English mistake.
“Exchange is not a year in your life it is a life in a year”




South West Health Care (SWHC) Warrnambool Auxiliary is holding a special morning tea, with speaker, on Tuesday 15 October, 2013 at the Hammond Fellowship Centre, Christ Church, Warrnambool. The visiting guest speaker is Lorraine Meehan, OAM, a registered nurse who has worked in Indonesian Borneo with voluntary surgical teams specialising in plastic and reconstructive surgery. This is a fund raising event for South West Health Care Warrnambool and all are welcome. The function will run from 10:00 am until 12 noon and tickets are available at $15 each.
Lorraine Meehan has been involved in nursing since leaving school. From a young age she had always wanted to be a nurse. She did her General Nursing and Staffing year at the former Prince Henry’s Hospital in Melbourne and then studied Midwifery at St Georges Hospital, Kew. After working in London for some time, Lorraine returned to St Georges as the Operating Theatre Sister. She undertook further theatre work at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane before completing her training at the Canterbury Presbyterian Babies’ Home in Melbourne, studying Infant Welfare.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery has been an integral part of Lorraine’s working life for the last 30 years. She has worked as the Practice and Theatre Nurse for many eminent plastic surgeons in Melbourne. It was as a result of this work experience that Lorraine qualified to join four consecutive Interplast teams on their initial voluntary visits to Borneo.
Interplast is a not-for-profit organisation which was founded in 1983 as an association between the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand.  Interplast works to improve the quality of life for people with disability who are disabled as a result of congenital or acquired medical conditions such as cleft lip and palate, burn scars and other acquired abnormalities. It is staffed by volunteer Fellows from the RACS, volunteer anaesthetists and registered nurses, and also Rotary volunteers who assist with various administrative tasks. Every year about 20 programs are conducted in developing countries in the Pacific Region and also in some areas of the Indian Ocean.
Interplast aims to provide free surgical treatment for patients who would otherwise not be able to afford access to such services. In addition to the surgical work they undertake to repair bodies, the visiting teams also focus heavily on facilitating medical training and mentoring for in-country medical personnel by supporting and building the capacity of local health services. Their aim is to provide life-changing surgery for the people now and develop sustainable health systems for the future.
People who would like to attend this important fund raising event for SWHC to hear Lorraine Meehan speak about her experiences with Interplast in Indonesian Borneo are asked to contact Laurel Myers on 5561 7571 or 0411 136 850, or send an email message to laureld@hotkey.net.au.
INTERPLAST - MEDICAL AID IN THE THIRD WORLD Sharon Stark 2013-09-26 00:00:00Z 0


Hi, My name is Fabio Gomes, I am 17 years old and I’m from Brazil. I arrived in Australia on 25 July after a long flight.
Before I came here, I was a little afraid because I don’t know speak English very well..(You can see by this report) but I was sure I that I can give my best. So when you really want to do something, it is easier.
UPDATE FROM EXCHANGE STUDENT, FABIO GOMES Sharon Stark 2013-09-18 00:00:00Z 0


Doug Maclean has provided a comprehensive article on Rotary House as well as some photos which will be of great interest. The article can be found on our web site, or click on the link below. Thank you Doug for a very informative article.
ROTARY HOUSE Sharon Stark 2013-09-12 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doug Maclean

At the end of a Working Bee

The Rotary Club of Warrnambool believed there was a need for respite style accommodation to support families of inpatients being treated by the various hospitals in Warrnambool. Given the magnitude of the project the club enlisted the support of the other three Rotary Clubs in Warrnambool. The three clubs being East, Daybreak and Central.
In 2005 South West Healthcare, the major public Hospital for the district located in Warrnambool, provided in principle support for a Rotary House. The hospital also agreed to provide land for the project preferably, within the hospital precinct. The responsibility of Rotary was to fund and build the facility. On completion of the building the facility would be transferred to South West Healthcare to manage the facility.
ROTARY HOUSE Doug Maclean 2013-09-09 00:00:00Z 0


The Rotary Club of Warrnambool and Brophy Family and Youth Services have jointly identified an opportunity to better celebrate Father’s Day and recognize local fathers and father figures who are positive role models for their children and community, by again staging the “Father of the Year” promotion in Warrnambool and Moyne.

The “competition”, now in its fifth year, will again be promoted throughout all primary and secondary schools in the Warrnambool and Moyne district. Brophy’s “School Focused Youth Services” (SFYS) team and Rotarians will distribute all details, including entry forms and will also make sure that the competition is promoted heavily throughout the schools. Notification of the competition will first go out to schools in early June asking for the project to be included in the school's program/curriculum during term 3.
The competition will be divided into three age/year level groups: Prep to Grade 3 (approx 5-8 years old), Grade 4 to Year 8 (9-14) and Years 9 to 12 (14-18) with students asked to nominate their father/father figure and provide supportive drawings or words. Entries close August 10 and judging will be completed by August 24.
FATHER OF THE YEAR 2013 Sharon Stark 2013-07-23 00:00:00Z 0