As you visit towns, please send us your stories and photos to email@example.com.
We will then post these stories so other Rotary Clubs can get some ideas!
|Posted on September 15, 2020 at 5:55 AM|
In mid - July 2020 a group of Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise club members and their partners visited Molong.
The Past President of the club, Allan Coates and the current Club Secretary, Allen Colburt together with Janis Glasson & Margaret Dean of Molong Rotary Club attended a meeting of the Cabonne Shire Council on Tuesday afternoon to thank the council for their $5,000 Community Assistance Program Grant.
A further donation of $,3000 from Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise was added to the grant and the amount of $8,000 was matched by the Rotary Australia World Community Service to provide $16,000 to Molong’s two schools.
These funds will be used to cover the costs of excursions for the students of Molong Central School and St Joseph’s School when travel restrictions allow.
A Drought Support Celebration Evening was held at the Molong RSL Club on Wednesday night with approximately 50 attendees hearing speakers from both Rotary Clubs and Doug Kinlyside the Area Governor of the newly formed Rotary District 9705.
We also heard thank you addresses by Kevin Beatty , Cabonne Shire Mayor and from Jack Thomas , School Captain , Molong Central School representing the students of Molong.
The Rotary Club of North Sydney Sunrise would like to thank the Molong community for welcoming them and especially the Molong Rotary club for their assistance in obtaining the Council Grant and hosting a very enjoyable dinner.
Both clubs look forward to continuing their co-operation with future projects in the town.
|Posted on February 8, 2020 at 9:35 PM|
It started with a weekend visit to Gunnedah to share stories and show support for our farming communities.
Lane Cove Rotarian Lalitha Warren was so moved though that she organised her work colleagues at Fisher & Paykel to host a curry lunch, a raffle and a tree of joy to help. Rotarians Craig Brodey and Tania Mace returned to Gunnedah this weekend to deliver the gifts of financial support at a country-style Rotary Club Christmas party.
Thank you and well done Lalitha
|Posted on January 27, 2020 at 1:15 AM|
Our club has a long standing connection with Tottenham, providing work experience for students and more recently drought relief assistance.
You can help by purcahsing one of these cookbooks!
|Posted on January 27, 2020 at 1:05 AM|
When Geoff Smith travelled through the Tottenham district earlier this year, he was astounded by how dry the area was.
Having spent many years as a member of the Rotary Club of Narromine, Geoff contacted the Tottenham Central School’s Parent’s and Citizens Association president, Greg Radford and enquired on the state of the community before contacting his colleagues on the eastern seaboard to raise awareness of the extent and toll the drought was taking not only on farming families, but also on the small businesses reliant on the local agricultural industry.
With the support of the Rotary Club of Narromine President Chris Barnett, Geoff found that members from other Rotary clubs were only too eager to fundraise.
The team of Rotarians enquired if their contribution could assist the students and families of the Tottenham Central School and their resulting efforts was presented to Greg Radford and Amanda Thorpe, Principal, in the form of a cheque for $8,750 at a school assembly in November.
“The Rotary Club donation to our school has assisted us to subsidise every student for their major excursion last year, giving each of our families some relief from the strain of meeting all costs associated with schooling and helping us as parents, to provide extracurricular activities for our children. We are very grateful for their substantial contribution to our community,” Mr Radford said.
“Our kindergarten, year one and two students visited the Wambangalang Environmental Education Centre and years three to six stayed at the Dubbo Zoo and visited various Dubbo attractions.
“Our secondary students were also subsidised, with their excursion taking place at the end of the year to Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour.
“As a school community, we hope to keep things as normal as we possibly can for our students whilst reducing as much financial burden as we can for our families.
“We are looking forward to staying in touch with our donors, keeping them updated about the drought, our excursions and showing them how much we appreciate their support.”
“We keep reminding our students how important it is to remember that no one has to help us, these people aren't people who know us and we must always thank people for assisting us. One day, when we have an opportunity to assist others in need, we will take it,” Ms Thorpe said.
“Our thanks and gratitude extends to Geoff, Chris and their team at the Rotary Club of Narromine and to the Rotary Clubs of Nelson Bay, Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and East Maitland; to Brian Coffee, District Governor of Rotary International District 9670 and Saint Stephens Uniting Church of Sydney,” Mr Radford said.
“We hope that into the future, we can provide the same generosity to other communities needing support.”
|Posted on January 20, 2020 at 11:30 PM|
On Thursday the 12th and Friday the 13th of December Ian Salmon, Parry Monckton and Tim Shea visited Muswellbrook in the upper Hunter Valley.
We joined the Muswellbrook Club for dinner on Thursday night and met the President, John Hobden and other key members of the Club. The Club has about 25 members. We met about 10 members. They were very welcoming to all of us and also introduced us to members eg their member who is head of the Chamber of Commerce in the town. They are very keen for us to adopt them.
The Club has been involved in the distribution of hay for farmers in 2018/2019 and has raised $50,000 for this. This is especially in badly affected areas in a hundred kilometre or so radius. They distributed a lot of hay by club members personally, but had some issues with a few who were not worthy. In view of this and now a severe lack of actual stock on farms, having been sold, they have preferred to concentrate on giving out Voucher cards for spending only in local businesses as the preferred option to help. Those businesses are very much affected by the drought as well as farmers, as local farmers have no money to support those businesses. The distribution of these cards can also be tightly controlled by local members of the other surrounding Rotary clubs and other organisations who are themselves “in the know” who is most needy . This helps local businesses as well as the recipients.
There are many ways in which we can partner with the Muswellbrook Rotary Club in helping them do this in fund raising activities or events, hands on, and building fellowship. We explored some of their activities for the future such as just one example: a STEM camp run by the University of Newcastle for year 11 and 12 students from local area high schools in June running for 3 days. The cost is about $ 300 each but where we might help them on those days to help run the events. .
On Friday, John and Garry spent all day driving us to surrounding towns Merriwa and Murrurundi. It was an opportunity to see just first hand how pitifully dry and desolate the whole landscape of the Upper Hunter is. There is no grass, just dust and dirt, trees dying everywhere and no stock to be found in hundreds of kilometres. It is truly heart breaking! Very difficult to describe how awful it really is.
At Merriwa we had morning tea with members of the Rotary Club of Merriwa, and in particular John Sparrow, the President. These people were nearly all local farmers as well as members of Rotary Merriwa. Again the reception and friendliness was wonderful.
They distribute vouchers in conjunction with the Muswellbrook Rotary Club. These vouchers are often targeted at particular businesses. For example, chemists. In one case we were told of a husband and wife who were each requiring medication. Because of their circumstances, only one could afford the medication so the other had to go without. The Club managed to organise vouchers with the chemist so that both the husband and wife could afford the medication. They have also been involved in hay distribution. The feeling was, that at this stage of the drought hay distribution was wasn't really going to be of much benefit as most farmers would have run down their stock to low or zero levels.
Along the way, we discovered the Merriwa Club does a bicycle event similar to our Bobbo in the Merriwa hills. The next one will be on the 8th March 2020. Perhaps our club would help support that event and then they could support ours too!
We also met Maria Cameron. She works as a Land Services Officer - Regional Drought Support for the New South Wales Government but is an absolute gem! She not only lives on the land herself locally but visits every single property ( 4000!) in the area as part of her job. She knows first hand and keeps a very confidential list of those that can mostly be helped in the whole area. We discussed amongst other things mental health issues, suicides, and how the farmers women and men and school kids can best be helped. Maria has been organising trade courses for farmers ( who are not able to do much on their land at the moment with no stock and bare barren hillsides, to acquire skills eg welding etc and which also has a separate agenda in helping those farmers ( especially men) just getting together to have fun and learn providing psychological support at the same time in the form of courses and social get togethers. Our clubs could get together and go and help at one of these workshops and have dinner with all of them. ( there is a wonderful local venue for this Brindley Park!!!)
One possibility is for Turramurra Rotary to just go to Merriwa to support the community and businesses. Maybe on a weekend. Just get a bus together or go up and go shopping! And hand out the cards! Or just buy stuff to support the town businesses There is quite good accommodation available.
We then went to Murrurundi.
This town is on level 6 water restrictions and has been since July 2018.
We visited Justine Cooper and her team of volunteers. It is truly awe inspiring what they do!!
Justine runs an operation called the Pop-Up Pantry in a little local old weatherboard church ( part of the museum). Supplies and money are donated from all over NSW including individuals or charities or schools or small groups charities , scout groups and from everywhere including Sydney. The volunteers help sort those supplies and then stack and sort onto the shelves for the local Murrurundi farmers and most needy people to simply come and shop for free, two days a week. They come from far away flung locations in the Upper Hunter not just the local town. When they don’t have something donated ( they don’t keep perishables at all) they give cards or direct then to the one local supermarket. Justine simply buys from the local supermarket to stock items in short supply if they don’t have it and is bought for needy farm families. This can be a sensitive operation as farm families are often embarrassed about receiving help. Originally the family would come and collect groceries from the Pop-Up Pantry only at night. This is now a bit more relaxed and they can now feel comfortable to come during the day. Demand for groceries and supplies is ever increasing. Justine told us that farmers will feed 1 their stock, 2 their dogs, 3 their kids, and 4 themselves!
But the worst problem is literally no water! The Pop-Up Pantry also buys and supplies water to needy farmers who have literally no water and reliant only on their bone dry, water tanks and dams . They have no money to put down bores for each try ( about $10000 and not necessarily successful!) .
Justine and her volunteers just hand out 10 liter containers of drinking water on a Saturday morning to those needy who pull up and they put it in their vehicle. The next three weeks is earmarked for mostly doing just this.
Justine spends in each case, $400 for 30 kilolitres of potable water to be carted by a local business to put into rain water tanks. . There is no charge to families who are in need and these volunteers know who is needy. They don’t ask questions they just do it and Justine’s phone never stops ringing. She isn’t even eligible for government donated money! ( which can only be accessed for mental health programs!)
In the short term we could give money, write a cheque, go shopping for groceries put them in a trailer and drive up there. Or shop in the town and give it to the pantry. Or buy water!
|Posted on January 15, 2020 at 6:05 PM|
In December 2019, our Club visited Narromine and Trangie providing support for these communities - this will continue in 2020
Please visit the link below for more detail
https://www.rotaryliverpoolwest.com.au/Stories/narromine-trangie-drought-assistance-2019" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://www.rotaryliverpoolwest.com.au/Stories/narromine-trangie-drought-assistance-2019
|Posted on September 12, 2019 at 2:50 AM|
Rotary Club of Sydney Cove has been undertaking a support program for farmers in the Lightening Ridge area over the past three years. Initially it involved a team of RCSC members going to Lightening Ridge and assisting farmers who were 'doing it tough’ undertake renovations and providing amenities in their homes to allow them to live in better circumstances - there was also a social dimension to this activity beyond the physical home improvement activities.
As the drought has worsened, however, the RCSC has teamed with Rotary Club of Lightening Ridge to deliver relief to families in difficult circumstances. Over the past year the club has sent a total of $18,000 through RCLR, including a District Grant of $9,000. The funds were used to purchase food and other necessities in Lightening Ridge to distribute as care packages to needy families. The funds were matched by those of the Rotary Club of Lightening Ridge, who with the assistance of Michael and Gunilla Austin (who until recently was the Rural Champion on our Community Service Committee) distributed the packages to needy families in the area.
Michael Austin, who recently moved to the NSW North Coast was our Rural Champion on our Community Service Committee, and traveled to Lightening Ridge in May to assist the RCLR distribute relief to those who needed it.
|Posted on July 27, 2019 at 2:50 AM|
On Friday 16th November 2018 a few of the Darlings zipped down to Young to $pending an enjoyable weekend in Young NSW. We had a quick meeting with the principal of Young High School to plan a Work Experience week for some of the Year 10 students, in 2019. The we had dinner with a group of the Young Rotarians at a local pub. On Saturday we toured and were entertained with an historical tour led by Rtn John Hamblin. We did some retail thereapy in some of the shops in town and visted the Hilltops Winery and relieved them of some of their stock!
We had a delicious dinner on Saturday night with the troops at the Terracotta Restaurant in nearby Harden, which proved to be delicious!
On Sunday morning we helped out with BBQ at the Cherry Chase and Colour Run. We were also fortunate enough to have a personalised tour of the Chinese Tribute Garden where Rotary was a key player in its development. Rotary Darling Harbour managed to inject funds into the Young economy through accommodation, food and drink, clothing, wine and of course . We had a great time!
We had a wonderful weekend “adopting” Young. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Young NSW for their hospitality.
|Posted on July 27, 2019 at 2:35 AM|
|Posted on December 15, 2018 at 10:35 PM|
A group of Rotarians and their partners visited the central western town of Blayney recently as part of the Rotary Adopt-A-Town Project. The aim was threefold:
1. Spend money in small businesses within a country town
2. Make a connection with the local Rotary Club to identify future projects
3. Bring some cheer to local farmers and businesses and show that we care
What a successful visit we had! We stayed in hotels, we ate in restaurants and we shopped till we dropped!
On the Saturday afternoon we visited a local farm where we were taken on a tour to explain the current situation in the area. There had been some recent rain and the fields all looked quite green, but it was explained to us that this is quite deceptive, as it is just surface grass. The subsoil is still very dry and this grass (and weeds) will burn off very quickly. Unless they receive more substantial rain in the next two months the land will be dry and barren again very quickly.
We had a casual afternoon with many local Rotarians and then visited a beautiful local nursery that will be devastated if there is not further rain. We then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at one of the Rotarian’s home where 30 people enjoyed wonderful country hospitality.
On the Sunday morning we helped out at the local Blayney Farmer’s Market, providing bacon and egg rolls and sausage and onion rolls FREEE of charge to everyone! This was greatly appreciated! We also had kid’s care packs to hand out to the children that we had purchased through Care4Kids Sutherland Shire. The look on the faces of the children when they realised that we were giving them a gift and they didn’t need to pay for them was priceless!
Many locals also came up and spoke to us about how they were handling the drought. Typical of many country people, most of the people said that they were OK and that others were doing much worse than them! However, when you start talking to them a few things came out:
1. Many people are not able to access government and community funds that are available as they either have a small income that excludes them, or they find the paperwork too difficult!
2. A lot of breeding stock has been sold off so there are many more problems to come as it takes 3-5 years to rebuilt breeding stock
3. The cost of petrol, hay and other farming necessities has risen enormously
4. The recent rain has bought many weeds and they can’t afford the weed kill
5. If there is not more substantial rain before January things will be dire by June 2019
On the Monday morning we met with a local vet to see what help could be offered through the Sutherland Dog Club. Enquiries will be made further west through her contacts to see if either medical treatment or food would be best to be offered to farm dog owners.
Care packs were distributed via Blayney Rotary to small outlying schools with much delight from the children.
We have invited Blayney Rotary to visit our club and be home hosted in February so they can attend our market too!
We will return to Blayney in Easter 2019 to hand out easter eggs and FREE hot cross buns at their market! It will also be a great opportunity to review the current situation to see what other help we can provide.
This is just the beginning!