Welcome to the Rotary Club of Belconnen


We meet Wednesdays 6:00 PM for 6:30 PM meeting.


The venue is the Southern Cross Club Jamison, Cnr Catchpole and Bowman Streets

Macquarie, ACT 2614, Australia.

Please Email the attendance officer with  inquiries and apology notifications.

Home Page News
Do you know of any other Community projects that Rotary could help with?  We'd love to hear from you.  Drop an email to communityservice@belconnenrotary.org.au
Or, why not join us at Belconnen Rotary and help us improve our great community here in Belconnen.  Drop an email to membership@belconnenrotary.org.au   We'd love to meet you.
Home Page Stories

A longish story but well worth a read -

The “SouthCare” aeromedical helicopter service was inaugurated on 1 October 1998 - but D9710’s involvement began back in 1995 when, as DGN my attention was drawn to the need for a dedicated local chopper by Judith Ellem, whose husband was President of the Rotary Club of Belconnen. This followed her daughter’s Water Skiing accident on the Shoalhaven River. Suspected of a spine injury, she had to be supported in the water awaiting a helicopter all the way from Sydney for retrieval.

This coincided with the ACT Government trying to get a service based in Canberra - so I decided to recommend to my 1995/96 District Assembly that D9710 adopt, as a District Project, to raise $50,000 and to engender a community demand. The proposal was adopted unanimously and contributions began to flow in.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I lobbied hard with the NSW Government, using Rotary’s wide community standing around our region to help cut through some bureaucratic obstacles from NSW Health to the ACT government.

Midnight hand written, faxed letters to Premier Bob Carr and Health Minister Dr Andrew Refshauge helped to oil the wheels and both Governments agreed on a NSW 90% and ACT 10% funding - supported by ACT establishing a then “SouthCare Trust Fund”.

And so on 1 October 1998, “SouthCare” landed on the lawns in front of New Parliament House and we were off and running (oops flying!!).  Minister Gary Humphries appointment me Chairman of the Trust.

Our $50,000 target was met and augmented by a D9710 application to the NAB Community Service Awards in 1998 - based on in-kind contributions to the building of the Helicopter Base at Hume.  Our submission won the $2,000 ACT Award and went on to Melbourne to win the National for another $15,000.  This coincided with the Australian Rotary Institute for DG’s; PDG’s and incoming Officers, held at Rydges, London Circuit in November 1998.

So - “SouthCare” on the grass opposite , I presented Minister Gary Humphries with a cheque for over $69,000 - the first donation to the new Trust Fund.

D9710 clubs have continued magnificent support through 22 years - both in cash and kind.  The latter includes for the Base; Tumut, Bombala and Batemans Bay Helipads - and sponsorship of various pieces of specialised aeromedical equipment.

ALL UP - $500,000 IN CASH AND KIND! For nearly 10 years two Rotary LOGOS affixed on either side of the cowling beneath the Rotors recognised our key role - until I invited our Lions cousins to also support and we then shared Logos.

Having secured naming rights sponsorship- “SouthCare” became “SnowyScheme SouthCare” then “SnowyHydro SouthCare”.  More Logos appeared with the increased level of major sponsorships.

In 2016 after another NSW Government survey of state wide aeromedical services resulted in the calling for wider contracts to consolidate operation of the services.  This resulted in TOLL Industries successfully tendering for a fleet of eight new, State of the Art Choppers - including one permanently based in Canberra. For some time, our initial contractor, Lloyds Canadian Helicopter Company’s Bell 412EH was passing its 38 year “use by date” and a new one was needed.

While sad to see “Charlie”, as SHSC was affectionately known, retired - it has been a win, win for the ACT and SENSW communities.  We have the purpose built Italian platform equipped with the latest medical technology and equipment - flown by TOLL employed Pilot and Crew (including previous operatives) - but continuing to be manned by our ACT Emergency Service Authority Doctors and Paramedics and a continuing engineering and maintenance connection. 

PLUS - the service is now fully funded by both ACT and NSW Governments.  Consequently “the SHSC Trust Fund” is being wound up after raising nearly $10 million from sponsorships, local councils, community and personal donations

I stood down in October 2006 after 8 years as Chairman and was subsequently appointed a “Special Ambassador” - incl. liaison with Rotary and Lions. Through succession planning Rotarian Dr David Marshall AM (RCC) served as Chairman from October 2006 until this year.

Most sincere thanks to all D9710clubs and members for your now 22 years’ involvement. For your magnificent monetary contributions and that of members “in-kind support”. Also for spreading the SHSC word around your communities.

Being a bit of a softie, a nostalgic review of so many newspaper cuttings and photos, front cover of RDU, TV spots and Club bulletin articles brought tears to my eyes.  SHSC flew over 7000 mercy missions, saving lives and minimizing trauma - while carrying Rotary’s Logo. Magnificent crew men and women, often putting their lives on the line.  Multiply that by grateful parents and family.

Rotarians have been an integral part of this journey - in making a real difference.

When Chairman and subsequently as Ambassador, I used to end the many speeches over the years with: “We are working hard for a service that we hope and pray you will never need - but if you ever do - SHSC will be there for you 24/7”. In 2011 it was, for our family.

Thank you “Rotary Family” for $5000,000 worth of commitment - what could have been the normal short term support stretched to 22 years!

Vision achieved - “roger over and out!!

PDG Len Goodman AO
Governor D9710 1995-96
Rotary Club of Canberra City
The ABC reported - 

The head of a renal dialysis service in Central Australia has been named Australia's top nurse at a ceremony in Brisbane.

Chief executive of Western Desert Dialysis Sarah Brown was the only Northern Territory entrant in the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Awards.

She works at the Purple House, which provides dialysis services to remote patients in the NT and Western Australia.

"The services we provide mean that people can live in their remote communities and receive dialysis treatment on-country," Ms Brown told ABC Alice Springs local radio.


She did not prepare an acceptance speech ahead of winning the title, saying being the centre of attention at a national awards ceremony was her worst nightmare.

"I don't drink, I don't like fuss, I don't wear makeup or dress in high-heel shoes, I can't dance," Ms Brown said.

"But to win this award and bring it back to the Territory is fantastic."

Ms Brown is a qualified nurse but is not a trained dialysis nurse, but said she still loved working with patients.

"I do spend quite a bit of time in Alice at the Purple House and get to use my assessment skills and pop a few boils and cut some toenails and pluck some chins and generally be a nursey type," she said.

"I guess the role of nursing is pretty broad these days, isn't it?"

Our guest speaker this week was Ms Aoifa Berenger from the ACT Gambling Counseling & Support Service.

Service (AGCSS) exists to provide support and raise awareness to address gambling harm.  Gambling harm is defined as “any kind of harm or distress arising from, caused or exacerbated by, a person’s gambling”.  AGCSS was established in 2011 and is managed by Relationships Australia in partnership with Care Inc. and funded by the ACT Problem Gambling Assistance Fund.  The are not a gambling regulator or anti-gambling.  The AGCSS philosophy is to provide a public health framework, harm minimisation, education and to reduce stigma.  Services are FREE and available to those who have concerns either about their own gambling or that of a family member or friend. 

There definite correlations between gambling and other societal problems areas.  There is a 58% correlation with substance abuse, 38% correlation with mood and abuse disorders, 52% correlation with family violence, 37% correlation with anxiety disorders, and an 80% correlation with suicidal ideation.

Australians spend over $18 billion per annum on all forms of gambling or $1500 per capita. This amount is considerably higher compared to other countries such as New Zealand ($495 per capita), Canada ($393 per capita) and USA ($325 per capita).  People who engage in harmful gambling lose an average of $21,000 a year (that’s a third of the average annual salary).  5-10 people are significantly impacted by one person’s gambling meaning that up to 5 million Australians could be affected by gambling harm each year (including friends, family, employers).  The estimated social cost of problem gambling is around $4.7 billion.  In the ACT 14,998 people (5.4%) report symptoms of experiencing harm associated with their gambling.   People experiencing gambling typically do not seek help until the consequences of their gambling are serious.

AGCSS services are available 24/7 to people who have concerns about their own gambling OR their families and friends

Relationships Australia Canberra & Region - www.racr.relationships.org.au / 02 6122 7100
Care Financial Counselling Service - www.carefcs.org / 02 62571788
1800 858 858 – (Gambling Helpline)
1800 007 007 - (Financial Counselling Helpline)

Karinya House was initially the vision of a small group of people in the Canberra community, who wanted to do something practical to support pregnant and parenting women, especially those who were without appropriate accommodation and support.  With the help of the ACT Government Karinya House has operated from two houses in Belconnen and is now building a new purpose built facility, also in Belconnen. With the generous support of the ACT Government and many local businesses construction is well under way and the new Home for Karinya House will be completed mid 2016.

With funds raised by the Jamison Trash and Treasure Market the Rotary Club of Belconnen is “adopting” House D of the New Karinya.   House D is the largest residential accommodation building in the new Karinya. This is a two-storey building comprising four by two bedroom units, two Units on each floor.  Each Unit will house a woman and her baby, possibly with siblings (which we will be able to do in the new Facility).   These units are for independent living within the supported environment, whilst the women are waiting to transition to their new homes within the Community.

Belconnen Rotary will provide funding and practical assistance to fit out all the new block for the women and babies of Karinya! The Club will source some of the artwork and decorations through the Purple House project in Alice Springs that provides dialysis services in remote Aboriginal communities.  In addition, the Club will provide ongoing support for the requirements of House D over the next few years.  Karinya House has also been given significant support by Chadwick Designs, the Cloth and Paper Studio, and Sympatico Interiors.

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District 9710

Upcoming Events
Change over night
Jun 28, 2017
Len Glare
Jul 05, 2017
Book Launch
New Member John Mercer
Jul 12, 2017
Saudi Arabia
Wayne Jeffs
Jul 19, 2017
Friendship night and club assembly
RYPEN Attendees
Jul 26, 2017
Thank you for RYPEN students
Frienship night
Aug 09, 2017
Board meeting
Dinner at CIT resturant - $25 plus drinks
Aug 23, 2017
Students and teachers explain the program