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  Welcome to Surfers Sunrise Rotary!
Surfers Sunrise

A great way to start the day

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:15 AM
Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
Esplanade (Cnr Hanlan Street)
(Note: COVID restrictions permitting)
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Home Page Stories
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: www.rotary9640.org 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.
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...
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. 
“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!
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!

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!
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.

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
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.]
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.
At last week's meeting, Craig Parker and KJ Jewson outlined the progress of the new website for the Surfers Sunrise Wheelchair Trust.  Craig Parker is the owner of Digital Connections, a company specialising in website development for Not for Profit organisations.  Development has well and truly started. In addition to Craig, the volunteer team includes several members of the Burleigh Heads Rotaract Club. Multiple planning meetings have already been held. Watch this space for a more detailed update.  
Photo right: President Charles Thomasson, with some of the development team: KJ Jewson, Craig Parker and Matt Haywood.
In short: we'll have a dedicated website for the Wheelchair Trust, the Project Shed, the volunteers, seeking donations, and all the stuff we do. 
We are looking for photos relating to our Wheelchairs, various buildings we put up over the years etc etc. If you have any, please upload them directly to a shared Google Drive KJ has set up for this:  Click here - it's dead easy - simply drag the photos from your folder into the 'Drop files here' field.  Note: You need to log in with a Google (as in Gmail) account.
Alternatively, feel free to copy them to a USB stick or CD and give them to Franz Huber.
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!
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.
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…
What a superb morning last Saturday at our Project Shed, where we celebrated the 10,000th Wheelchair manufactured. For any of our readers who are not familiar with the concept: parts from recycled bicycles, marine plywood, solid rubber BMX wheels and... LOTS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS equal a wheelchair which can be manufactured for $100! Give yourself a pat on the back, but particular recognition must go to the principal movers and shakers who started and carried this project through: Des La Rance, Daryl Sanderson and the late Keith Lutz and Bob Harrison. Jan Lutz was there, but regrettably, Gloria Harrison was unable to join us, but for a good reason: her grandson debuted on that same day, playing Grade 1 Cricket in the Queensland Premier League. Howzat! Bob would be proud on both accounts.
We had the bulk of our members and volunteers present from an early hour, setting up the various marquees, putting the last touch to the refurbished bikes we had for sale, setting up the stage, the videos...  The Rotaractors from Burleigh Heads were there in force, the Rotary Club of Parkwood ran a sausage sizzle and the Rotary Club of Broadbeach ran a raffle, our soon to be inducted new corporate members Adam  and Tash from Invincable had a stand and so did the Pimpama State School with their version of the wheelchair design.  We were honoured by visits from District Governor Andy Rajapakse, State MPs Rob Molhoek and Sam O'Connor (he has done a nice write up on his Facebook page too) as well as Councillors Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden and Brooke Patterson.  
President Charles Thomasson opened the formal part of the celebrations welcoming our dignitaries, which was followed by a brief address by DG Andy Rajapakse, in which he referred to his own efforts of taking well over 500 wheelchairs for distribution in his country of origin, Sri Lanka. Following our DG, the inventor of the wheelchairs from bicycles, Des La Rance, outlined the project from early times in the mid 1990's, the breakthrough when Ray Martin's A Current Affair broadcast the delivery of the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji in 1997, the building of schools for the tsunami affected regions of Thailand and Samoa, the House of Hope in Apia, leading to the current project of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu. 
But of course, the culmination of the morning was the presentation of a commemorative collage to Des La Rance (see picture). This was designed and made by Neil Thurlow and his graphic wizards of Accent Print and Copy.
Photo shows (from left) Jan La Rance, Daryl Sanderson, Des La Rance, Jan Lutz. More photos are in the Photo Album, videos coming up shortly.
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!
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.
In "normal" times, the statement "we'll have more of the same we had in the last year" would not be the most inspiring articulation of a leader's vision. Unless one knows that the year just gone, under Immediate Past President Mario Fairlie, has been not "just good", it was "real good"! At our first 'formal' meeting for the new Rotary year, incoming President Charles Thomasson outlined his overall aims.  There isn't much purpose me listing them here; much easier if you download his PowerPoint (see Download Section on the right), where all his individual goals are outlined.
But the major segments certainly bear mentioning specifically: 
  • Rotary in Australia will this year celebrate its 100th Anniversary.  This in itself is a major milestone, but we are going to combine this with
  • Delivery of our 10,000th Wheelchair: in August 1997 we delivered the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji, which was filmed and broadcast on Channel Nine's 'A Current Affair'. Our aim is to get Ray Martin, who was that program's host at the time, to participate in a special event to celebrate this major achievement.
  • The 'Sleeping Sanctuary' (PODs) is a definite goer. The aim is to involve all the clubs in Cluster 7
  • The X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu, a joint project with the Rotary Clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast which commenced in the previous year, is destined to be delivered and installed in June 2021
  • Youth programs (RYDA, RYTS, RYPEN etc), including the 'Lutzy Award' will continue, and so will other programs such as the Excellence in Workmanship Award
  • Some old, some new ideas in relation to fundraising, membership retention and development will be employed
So, download the PowerPoint and look at the details. Be assured, there won't be any boredom for our members, certainly no such thing as "I don't have anything to do!". In other words: Be involved!
In view of the Wheelchair Trust Deed's fairly strict limitations (money donated can only be spent on materials for wheelchairs and nothing else, not even for the shipment to their destination), we have registered an alternative account for Containers for Change.  If you deposit your empties directly, and wish to donate the proceeds to the Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club - General Account, please use this account code: 
(The account for the Wheelchair Trust is also still active: use C10199443 instead).
So, keep your soft drink bottles, stubby bottles, aluminium cans, milk cartons etc.  As a general rule, most drink containers between 150ml and 3L can be returned for a refund under Queensland's container deposit scheme. Containers should be empty, unbroken, lid-free and display a 10-cent refund marking on the label. Something like the image (right), but many others are simply marked as suitable for recycling. Note: they must NOT be crushed. See image above what is and what is not accepted. For details of what can / cannot be returned for cash, and where the locations are, click on this link
Our super generous printer, Neil Thurlow and his very talented design artists at Accent Print & Copy have created a new flyer for our wheelchairs project.  He has also provided some 2000 printed copies, which will be sent out by Apple Marketing to their mailing list of previous donors.  It is uploaded to our Download Section (see right side), where you can download it and send it on to anyone whom you consider could be interested.
Thank you, Neil and your team!
I've uploaded a video which beautifully outlines what Rotary is all about. Go on, have a look at it. It's only a bit over 2 minutes, but very well done. Go to this link to view it:
August is Membership Development and Extentions Month. Can you remember when you were inducted into Rotary?  Have you considered why you were proposed by your sponsor? What made you to decide to join?  Did you feel a sense of pride, of achievement, to be invited to join an organization of the highest international repute?  Did you feel that your sponsor did “The right thing” by considering you to be potentially a good Rotarian ? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, sort of “am I really up to this?” You did? 
“The more hands Rotary has, the better and more effectively the ideal of service will be achieved.  Hence the importance of membership.”  These words, spoken by one of Japans foremost Rotarians, Kanejiro Matsumoto put the point very straight.   I put it even straighter: If we are to spread the workload of running this club, if we are to achieve our aims on the local scene (Youth Service, Vocational Service, Community Service), if we are to pull our weight on the International cart, we have an obligation to not only maintain, but increase membership. Whom have you asked lately to come along to one of our meetings?
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director - Public Relations
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Director - Youth Services
Coordinator-Vocational Services
YEP Club Protection Officer
Coordinator - International Service
Deputy Sergeant at Arms
Fellowship and Social Program
Vanuatu Program
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Coordinator - Community Service
Sergeant At Arms
Director - Corporate Membership
Coordinator Golf Day
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed