2016-17 president’s message2018-03-16T16:39:53+00:00



Dinner 29th June 2017


ROTARY INTERNATIONAL THEME  “Rotary Serving Humanity” 2016 – 2017


Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin

Board Members 2016 – 2017

                         President:                               Juris Jakovics

                         Secretary:                               Andrea Conti

                         Treasurer:                              Ross Brown

                         Incoming President:          Ross Brown

                         Immediate Past President:       Ron Rabey


                        30th Anniversary:               Ron Rabey

                         Public Relations  & Web Master:     Andrea Conti

                         Youth:                                     Stephen McMillan

                         Membership  & World Peace Bell:     Michael Rabey

                         Community Service (includes STOMP, Candle Festival):   Margaret Woodrow

                         International Service:           Bill Andrews

                         Indigenous & Club Program:  George Wilson

                         Club Bulletin:             John Little

                         Vocational Service:        Sharon Green

                         Foundation:                       Liz Scrivener


President’s Report 2016 – 2017

I have been lucky enough to preside over one of the most successful and productive years that this club has had.  And it’s all due to the highly talented, productive and imaginative members of our club – members whose collaboration results in much more than could be achieved as individuals alone. Members whose contributions I value highly and admire – members who are open-minded and accepting and welcoming of others, members who are from diverse backgrounds with diverse skills, and willing to work together helpfully and supportively.  Such synergy arising from talented and willing co-operation is the hallmark of our club.  This is what makes our club tick.

At the beginning of my term as president, I had no idea how things would turn out.  That the club surpassed all my expectations is the understatement of the year.

We have excelled at our major project for the year – the Canberra Peace Bell.  We have gained in membership, while many other clubs are struggling to maintain theirs.  We have developed new and exciting projects and proposals to pour our energy into, both in the Indigenous and environmental spheres.  We have developed new community projects to whet our appetite for local community service.  We have managed to raise funds during the year in unexpected ways.  We have continued to support our key international aid relationship with the Nusa Tenggara Association.  We have continued to send Shelterboxes abroad when calamaties have struck communities in need overseas.  We have secured a wonderful venue for our meetings, where the service is unfalteringly helpful and superb.  We have attracted a large number of visitors to our club meetings because our meetings are accessible, brief, welcoming, interesting and convivial.  We have celebrated  our 30th anniversay in style and with memorable participation by members of our sister club in Japan.


When we consider Rotary’s key areas of focus, we tick them all.   For example, by supporting the highly ethical and efficient work of the Nusa Tenggara Association in eastern Indonesia, we actively help to improve the lives of very poor subsistence farming communities with improved water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.  This also has an indirect but substantial impact in terms of disease prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, and even in promoting peace and preventing conflict.  We can say the same for our work with Indigenous communities, even if that work is often frustrated through culturally sensitive issues surrounding communication and efficiency.  We have had some successes in the past and we look forward to further successes in the future.

When we participate in community activities, such as improving community amentities or helping the less fortunate to improve their lives, their happiness, we add to the well-being of our society and the world as a whole.  Our impact may be indirect, but it is a social good which is valuable to all those we affect, with quite probable flow-on effects to their careres or their kin.  We can be proud of the fact that, even though we are all time poor, we find sufficient time and energy to band together for such impressive outcomes.

I therefore want to congratulate every member of my board on a highly successful year and to thank them profusely for their unfliching support throughout the past year.  I want to thank all those members who, although not on the board, beavered away behind the scenes to make our club a well organised and well functioning club.  I particularly want to thank our newer members for taking on various roles at various times in our club and contributing to its success.  And I want to pay tribute to those less active members who in the past were great contributors and very active but who have through various changes in their circumstances, been severely constrained in participating in club activities.

In closing I wish the incoming board members my heartiest congratulations.

To Incoming President Ross and wife Collete I extend my very best wishes for the year ahead.  I am sure that Ross’ organistaional and inter-personal skills, as well as a deep knowledge and understanding of Rotary, will translate into another excellent year.

To my wife Margita, my deep gratitude for your patience and support over the last year, and my gratitude to the Club for the honour it has been to serve as president.

May our club continue to do good, have fun and prosper, for the benefit of humanity!

President Juris

29 June 2017

My Personal Thanks to All the Following Members

Board Members:

Ross Brown: Treasurer, Incoming Presdient – keeping a handle on the finances, ensuring we meet all requirements, consultative, well-organised

Andrea Conti: Secretary, Website Manager, Peace Bell secretary, PR manager – always organised, jack-of-all-trades, back-stop for a miscellany of matters

Michael Rabey: Membership Director, Peace Bell Director – mover and shaker par extraordinaire, achieving the seemingly impossible in the last year, pursuing the Canberra Peace Bell project with an unmatched passion and commitment, fundraising, event organising, publicising – a huge credit to our club and to Rotary world-wide; as well as achieving 6 new members – a net membership growth of 5 members in the last year

Ron Rabey: IPP, chief organiser for our club’s 30th Anniversary – my extremely helpful and wise mentor during the past year – low profile, but an immense asset to the club

George Wilson: Director Indigenous Projects, Club Program – has made a huge contribution to the club, organising weekly speakers of the highest calibre, continually making efforts to engage various Indigenous communities for potential club projects, engaging the club in interesting, worthwhile projects, such as tracking the Japanese snipe, even organising a susbstantial recent fundraising event, the Wine and Oyster Evening

Margaret Woodrow: Director Community Service – ably and dependably organising community projects and their support, both in terms of labour and finances

Stephen McMillan: Youth Director, Club Protection Officer – reliable, proactive, dependable, fulfilling RI requirements, meeting club goals

Liz Scrivener: Foundation Director – hampered by health issues, but thoughtful contributor wherever possible

 John Little: Bulletin producer – pursuing a vision for bulletin improvement, providing substantial management input at fundraising events, contributing to the club’s financial probity requirements

Bill Andrews: Director International Projects – maintaining our lonstanding supportive association with the NTA; hosting Japanese visitors from Heijokyo Rotary Club, Nara, during our 30th anniversary; likes to keep a low profile, but makes an incredibly large contribution behind the scenes with legal issues and government negotiations on various fronts

Sharon Green: Director Vocational – initially reluctant, but wholeheartedly embracing the role, with ideas and well planned projects

Those with an Important Active Role Outside the Board:

Graeme Howieson: being the prime mover for our premier fundraising efforts, running the bar at dance events such as the STOMP, the club’s key representative on the STOMP committee – quite a heavy work-load and a credit to our club

Tony Brickwood: organising the weekly duties roster – reliable, thorough, self-starter

Eric Carmody: regular attendee and participator when not on a cruise, assisting with treasurer duties from time to time, a keen and able member of our club

John Grant: mentor and behind-the-scenes implementer and helping hand wherever needed

 Olek Gancarz: work constrained, but engaging in club issues wherever possible, becoming more active next financial year with a club Directorship

George Scott: attends our club meetings when not golfing overseas, but always willing and able to produce worthwhile outside-the-box ideas for adoption by our club

Our More Recent Members:

Craig Painter: busy work and family life, but willing to attend meetings and lend a hand with legal issues when able

Elza Gericke: playing an active supporting role in the Youth Committee, but unfortunately shortly moving to Melbourne, while hopefully not lost to Rotary!

Chris Moss and Richard Moss: both constrained by Richard’s recovering health issues, but active to the best of their capacities, lending a hand wherever possible, with Richard recently engaging in referee checks now required for working with vulnerable people.

Greg Gibbs: lending a practical hand at fundraisers, with catering trailer where needed – enthusiastic club member providing practical support

Peter McLachlan: helping out in practical ways and attending meetings when able

Peter Judge: supporting Membership Director with letter writing skills, adding pizzazz to the occasional meeting

Di Johnstone: very recent member, constrained by time, but wise counsel and contributing to club activities wherever possible

Wayne Duke: another very recent member, actively supporting organising of fundraising events

Not to forget our more recently less active, but formerly very active, productive members:

Bob Brading: now down the coast, sadly recently bereaved, but a constant support with the club’s financial services

Tony Waring: heavily constrained by carer duties

Vincent Mahoney: experiencing a sea-change, attending when possible

Tony McGloughlin: interstate due to changed family circumstances, but participating in our club meetings whenever possible

Keith Gray: an active supporter of the club, in mind if not always in body, as health issues have taken their toll in more recent months

Faye Powell: no longer a member of our club, but travelling constantly, still a Rotarian, and still following our club intently, attending when possible


President Juris



Treasurer’s Report 2016 – 2017


Another busy year for the club that will see us with a very healthy balance sheet at the end of the year, but don’t worry it is all going to evaporate shortly.


Great fundraising efforts again from the Stomp Team, raising around $12,200 from just the one stomp event and after the Stomp Committee’s donation to their chosen Charity, the other half remained in our Coffers for use on club projects.


The Candle Festival “Japanese Beer Stall” proved to be a winning formula and this year we raised around $3,500.


Through our strong association with The Canberra Dance schools we were asked to provide the bar and food for the Jumptown Christmas party, raising a further $610 for the club.


To cap off a busy year George Wilson organised our Inaugural Oyster Tasting Evening; as well as being a very enjoyable evening the night provided a further $1,731 towards our Snipe and Scout hall projects.


During the year the cheque book was open on many occasions; notable expenses for the year were:


$1,390 MUNA sponsoring a team from Boorowa Central School

$1,350 Rotary Foundation, for a Paul Harris Fellow

$2,572 payment of Latin Winter Wonderland  (July 2017) expenses (Hall Hire and Printing costs)

$2,000 for two shelter Boxes

$1,548.50 National Youth Science Forum


Our major fundraising activity this year was the Canberra Peace Bell; our target of $100,000 has been reached, much donated by the Local Business community, mums and dads, schools and a Ride for Peace push bike event held in March. The Peace Bell committee have lined up a builder to start construction of the Pavilion to house the bell and this is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.


Ross Brown






Youth and Club Protection Activities 2016 – 2017




Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA): The Club sponsored three students from Boorowa Central School to represent Fiji at the 2016 MUNA hed in August at the Museum of Australian Democracy.  Boorowa Central School remains committed to a long-term relationship with our Club and their contact teacher, Debra Eustace, always selects and prepares a team well.  In August 2017 it will represent Samoa at MUNA.


We sponsored an application by a student, Isabel Beuamont, in the 2017 National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) and she spoke to our Club about her experiences.  Members of our Club hosted NYSF students.  In 2018 we have prposed to sponsor Dimitri Efstathiadis as a candidate for NYSF.


Club Protection


The Club has adopted and implemented a Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin Working With Vulnerable People Policy and Declaration.


A good number of Rotary Youth Volunteer Declarations have been finalised and are being provided to the District Protection Officer.


for Stephen McMillan

Youth Director and Club Protection Officer



Community Service 2016 -2017


This year Community Service continued to work with L’Arche Canberra and, thanks to Bill’s organising, garden maintenance in Nara Park. During the second half of the year we worked with Scouts ACT to set up a Rotary Scout Hall Grant to help fix Scout halls.




Had a great success with our major fundraising event early in the year, manning the bar at a STOMP dancing event at Albert Hall.


Candle Festival


Made a substantial profit from our participation with a stall at the Candle Festival.




On 17 September 2016 under Ross’ expert direction, 10 amazing volunteers from the club removed rotting timber sleepers from a garden bed at the L’Arche James St home, replaced them with concrete sleepers and topped up the garden soil. It was hard work but very rewarding. According to the L’Arche Homes Coordinator we “transformed the back garden”.


Our project was helped by Binks concrete (Concrete sleepers at Hume), who gave us the nine concrete sleepers for half price.


Our relationship with L’Arche, which houses and assists people with disabilities, is now well established. We are planning our next L’Arche working bee for spring – have your paint brushes ready.


Nara Park Gardening


Working with the Nara Park gardening volunteers, Bill organised a number of working bees and barbeques. Most of the work parties were well supported by our club; although numbers dropped off for the most recent bee – perhaps because other club events competed for members’ time.


We will continue to work with the Nara Park gardeners next year. This is an important project given our long term association with Nara the city and the park and given the location of the new Peace Bell in the Park.


Scout Hall Project


Many of the Scout Halls in the ACT have become severely run down. So, our club offered Scouting ACT a $5,000 matching grant for Scout Hall repairs. In January, Scouting ACT received nine applications from Scout groups willing to match the $5,000 to do hall repairs. These nine were short listed to three equally deserving projects for our Club to consider.


We chose the 13th Canberra Scout Group O’Connor – a heritage listed ex workers cottage from 1920’s building of the then Parliament House. They urgently needed security doors replaced, roof repairs, painting and floor sealing and refurbishment of admin rooms.


Providing a better “working” environment, this project helps Scouting ACT provide young Canberrans the benefits that come from Scouting. And, much of the Scout Groups’ income comes from hiring their halls. By making the halls more desirable to hire, we are not only helping restore/maintain some of their run down Scout Hall assets, we are also helping them gain more hall hire funding and be more self sufficient in the future.


In May, our Club applied for a further $5,000 via a District Grant for Scout Hall repairs. If we are lucky enough to get this grant, it will help another scout group.


Over the coming months, the 13th Group Scout Leaders are keen to come and talk to our lunch meeting and for us to visit a scout meeting. We also expect to have a hands on contribution to ”fixing” the halls via a work party/s. This project also strengthens our relationship with the scouting community.


Margaret Woodrow

Community Service Director


Canberra Peace Bell and Membership 2016 2017


Peace Bell


Fundraising has been a major focus, achieved by approaching and winning over a variety of potential corporate and other sponsors, including schools, religious entities and Rotary Clubs.  It also included organising a very succesful LJHooker Rotary Ride for Peace.


Rams Constructions has prepared cost estimates and been authorised to begin construction of the Pavilion at a quote of a little over $92,000 excluding GST.  Appropriate funds are held in our Club’s Peace Bell Account.


Rams constructions are currently preparing the cost estimate and contract to allow construction of the Canberra Peace bell. Indesco Consulting Engineers prepared the construction drawings Fred Kasparek has consulted with ACPPLA to obtain the final building approval.


Meetings have been held with the ACT government regarding the Landscaping but is unlikely to be completed in time for the opening. They have agreed to do some work immediately around the Bell at the time of the construction. A letter has also been sent to the Chief Minister seeking his support for the Landscaping.


It is still hoped that construction can be completed in time for the World Peace Day in September 2017.




Many of our guest speakers have been invited to consider membership after speaking at the Club.  The Club has grown by 5 members in the past year.  A Membership Information Evening will now be held in August.


The Club also followed a Membership Plan.  Even though it hasn’t brought as much success as one might have hoped, it has raised our Club profile and resulted in a few bites at the cherry.  The plan has entailed a four step process and adaptations of the plan are still being applied.  Step 1 has been for Club members to invite people of a younger age group in their present or past vocation.  Step 2 was to list missing vocations, matching them to identified persons, sending them letters from the President, and following up by phone.  Step 3 is to contact embassies in the vicinity for potential members.  And step 4 should arise organically from the implementation of our Canberra Peace Bell project with specified ringing days for various communities during the year.


for Michael Rabey

Peace Bell & Membership Director





International Service 2016 – 2017


The International Committee had a quiet year and did not initiate any new projects.  Ongoing projects were maintained and in the case of the Candle Festival our re-jigged “tavern” was significantly more profitable for the Club.


Completed matters:


  1. Candle Festival – We have advised the committee we will in 2017 participate at the same level as last year. Only sell beers. Japanese tavern theme. Have told organizers that we don’t want last minute arguments about our site. Suggested site positions be released 2 months in advance so disputes can be resolved. Issue with Liquor licence fixed to a site. This is a successful project and made a good profit last year. Craig Painter has the “tavern” for last minute erection.


  1. Peace Bell involvement – Attended discussions re ongoing preparations for Peace Bell. Monthly meetings continue to be scheduled. Negotiations completed with the builder to construct the pavilion within budget. Discussions with ACT government led to limited assistance with the landscaping which we need to re-assess. Possibly more fund raising will be needed.


  1. Anniversary Dinner – Completed 30th anniversary dinner on 9 March. Overall it was quite successful, with some loose ends to address.


  1. Shelterboxes – 2 supplied for refugee assistance in Mosul and other camps in the Middle East.


Unfinished business:


  1. Japan visit – Probably expect an invitation to Japan in ‘17/’18 or the following year. Graeme Howieson keen to plan another trip.


  1. Shelterboxes – Maintain emergency fund to purchase Shelterboxes when the need arises, particularly after natural disasters.


  1. Nusa Tenggara Association (NTA) – Donation recommended to NTA for their small project work in West Timor. This is watched over by several members of the Club and remains an efficient and cost effective overseas aid project for some of the poorest people in our neighbourhood.


  1. Home hosting of International Exchange Students – Need to re-consider assistance by way of home hosting to District in relation to International Exchange students. Surely this is something we could tackle?


Bill Andrews

International Director


Indigenous & Environmental and Program 2016 – 2017


Indigenous & Environmental


Mawonga IPA (Indigenous Protected Area)


Efforts were made to liaise with the Mawonga IPA Board to discuss potential projects with them, but a propsed meeting with their collaborators did not take place on 30 March in Griffith for lack of quorum.  Bill Andrews, John Grant and George Wilson planed to go to an onsite meeting on 22 April.  The idea was to stay at Mt Hope on Friday and visit Yathong Nature Reserve adjacent to the Mawonga IPA. The Indigenous owners were to show us around Mawonga after the meeting which was tol be at 10am on the Saturday morning.  The outcome has been somewhat unproductive so far.


Japanese Snipe


Funding has been allocated to track the endangered Japanese Snipe, a small water bird that migrates annually between the Jerabomberra Wetlands and Japan (apart from some members of the species also flying further south and north respectively), covering the distance in just four days.  Funding for researcher travel and time is desperately needed.  Currently they virtually work as volunteers.  Lori Gould, who spoke to our Club about the Snipe project, liaises with Birgita Hansen who is the driver of the project from Federation University.  The preferred method of support is to simply pledge to the “Snipe project” rather than buy specific items.


The Stomp accepted the Snipe Project as its primary donor recipient.  The beneficiary are the Capital Woodlands and Wetlands Conservation Trust  for the Snipe Project.




Dinners and fund raising


A colleague who has formed a cooperative of south Coast oyster growers to develop the export market to Asia, volunteered to put on an oyster tasting for us, in particular to compare Sydney rocks, Pacific oysters and Angassi, which are the native sand oyster they are seeking to promote.


A very successful fund-raiding evening eventuated, with wine tasting, at the Commonwealth Club, (he is a member) in June.




We have a continuing list of speakers at the Google docs site.


for George Wilson

Indigenous & Environmental and Program Director