April 13th was the date of this year's annual Rotary Peace Fellow Seminar. The theme this year was "Everyday Peace: Processes, Perspectives and Potential". 
Class XVI Peace Fellows in a celebratory mood after the 2019 Peace Symposium
 
The Peace Fellows Seminar is a vital component of the Fellow’s activities in the Rotary Centre – as it facilitates the building and maintenance of links between the Rotary Centre and Rotarians. The Seminar is a platform for our Fellows to share their experiences with Rotarians first hand, to hear about how their learning has progressed, and the journey they have embarked on both as scholars and practitioners. It is also the University’s way of thanking Rotary for its contributions, support and funding of the program and indeed for its enlightened decision some time ago to work towards world peace, justice and understanding. These values are jointly shared by the University of Queensland, and are reflected in our substantial commitment to the School’s teaching and research program in peace and conflict resolution.

It was heartening to see a full house at The Women's College auditorium again this year. About 140 Rotarians and other guests gathered to to hear the Class XVI Rotary Peace Fellows "Show and Tell" us about their focus in study and activities.
Donations in Kind is a program by which Rotary receives hospital and school equipment, books and much more that is being upgraded within our schools and hospitals and then sends them by container to our near neighbours in PNG, the Solomons and other Pacific Islands Timor L'este and sometimes as far as India. It is dependent on community-minded staff in schools, hospitals and other organisations who alert Rotarians to the fact that there is still-useful equipment that is to be sent to the dump. Rotarians then donate their time to collect and transport the material to the DIK warehouse in Kingston and later to pack it into containers to be sent to destinations that need it. Donations in Kind in Queensland was originally a project of the Rotary Club of Brisbane but has now expanded across the whole state and is managed under the umbrella of Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS).
 
The Rotary Club of Brisbane has appointed Rtn Paul Choy as their Donations In Kind convenor in recognition of the importance of the Donations In Kind Programme has in the activities of Rotary in Australia and the Rotary Club of Brisbane in particular. Paul has been in the job for barely 2 months and already we have been busy.
Paul Choy (far Right) and Keith Watts (back to camera) loading a container for PNG on 9th March.
 
 
Following on from the successful 2018 inaugural International Women's Day Breakfast, the Rotary Club of Brisbane held this year's International Women's Day Breakfast on the 6th of March at the United Service Club. This year we had a total of 67 attendees, up more than 50% on last year and the crowd filled the Glasgow room at the USC so maybe we will need to look for a larger venue next year. 
 
The success of the event was anchored on two excellent and high-profile speakers, Vice-Chancellor and President of QUT Professor Margaret Sheil AO and Brisbane Deputy Mayor Councillor Adrian Schrinner.
Event Coordinator, Daniel Vankov (centre) pictured with our two keynote speakers, Professor Margaret Shiel AO and Councillor Adrian Schrinner.
 
For the 18th year in a row, Brisbane Rotarian Denise Schellbach is operating Eddie's Van on weekdays during January. Eddie's Van is a project of St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace ( Eddies' Van - 17 years and still going strong ) and during the long school holidays Denise gives staff and students a break by operating the van with the help of members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane and other friends. 
An important principle of the governance of Rotary is an orderly and planned succession of Presidents. Being president of a Rotary club is a demanding and at times nearly full-time commitment. Secretaries and treasurers may serve for several years in a row, but it is not fair to expect presidents to do the same. At some point they need to step back to repair their social and professional lives. In addition to this, it is generally considered a good thing within Rotary to have a new club president each year if at all possible. On the other hand, a 1-year term is a short time for a President to bring their visions and plans to fruition through the operation of the club. They need to hit the ground running. Rotary governance provides for this through the succession of presidents. A President is ideally elected about 18 months before taking office, at which point they become President Nominee. One year before taking office they become President Elect, an officer and director of the club. At the end of their term of President, they become Immediate Past President and remain an officer and director of the club. This ensures that Presidents have adequate time as officers of the club to plan for their term of presidency and that the club can benefit from their experience and knowledge for some time after their term ends.
 
In Chinese culture it is considered particularly auspicious to have 5 generations of a family under one roof. In a Rotary club it is considered wonderful to have an elected President Nominee, a President Elect, a President, an Immediate Past President and one or more other past presidents all as active members of the club. With the election of Dan Adler as President Nominee at the December AGM, The Rotary Club of Brisbane once again finds itself in this fortunate position. 
 
Dan will now serve as President Nominee until 1 July 2019 and then serve as President-elect and an officer of the club for 2019-20 prior to serving as president in 2020-21, succeeding Michael Stephens, our current President Elect.  Dan was nominated by PP Keith watts and is Head Honcho at Next Thursday, a Brisbane-based advertising company.  Dan’s election was announced on FaceBook and already one of his clients wants to come and look us over.  Dan looks forward to his year with great enthusiasm.  Here’s what he said on being told the election results:
 
“I am thrilled. Thanks Keith. I will serve you, the fellow Rotarians and Rotary International and make everyone proud of our achievements during my time as President. That is my promise.”
 
Continuing officers and directors for 2019-20 are President PE Michael Stephens, Secretary Mark Williams, Ryan Muller and John Smerdon.  New officers and directors elected are Treasurer Warren Walker, directors PP Keith Watts, Jaqueline de Lacy, Denise Schellbach and Jillanne Myers and Sergeant-at-arms Tony Pilkington.
The Rotary Club of Brisbane is pleased to call for applications from people who will be aged between 18 and 27 in May 2019 to attend the 2019 Rotary District 9600 RYLA training seminar, fully sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brisbane. 
 
The 2019 Rotary District 9600 RYLA training camp will be held from May 4th to 10th 2019 at Luther Heights Youth Camp at Coolum Beach, an engaging venue with ocean views and friendly staff who are dedicated to creating the best opportunities and experiences for you. Transport to RYLA will be facilitated via bus, departing Brisbane Saturday morning and returning Friday evening. Interested candidates should get in touch with Mark Williams, Rotary Club of Brisbane secretary, before submitting a Motivation letter and a short CV to be considered. Applications to the Rotary Club of Brisbane should be lodged by Friday, 15th February, 2019.
 
Rhys Williams (photo above) was one of the RCoB's sponsored attendees at RYLA 2018 and he recently reported to the club on his experience. Rhys was very positive about the motivational atmosphere and content of the RYLA camp, and reported that after 6 months, several of the learnings had stuck with him and impacted his life.

Veteran's Care volunteers distribute kits 4 kids sponsored by the Rotary Club of Brisbane to students in Timor-Leste

A group of Australian veterans recently conducted an 11 day Veteran Health program distributing 2,000 Kits 4 Kids in remote rural areas of Timor Leste. The program also involved a range of physical activities involving daily walks, some cycling, stretching and discussions on a range of physical activity options suitable for veterans. It also included inputs on nutrition, nurture of the mind, the soul and relationships, as well as developing a future life purpose.

Kits 4 Kids is a collaboration between the Rotary Club of Townsville and the Veterans Care Association based in Brisbane. Old Army buddies Bruce Scott from Rotary in Townsville and Gary Stone from Veterans Care Association arranged for the participants in the Timor Awakening rehabilitation programme to pack and deliver, in person to each child, a small education kit . The kits themselves are organised by the Rotary Club of Townsville and the costs are covered by various sponsors. The Rotary Club of Brisbane is proud to be the sponsor of a delivery of 2000 kits in September 2018.
Shoppers at the MacArthur Central shopping centre in the Brisbane CBD might have been a little surprised to see people wearing Rotary aprons and carrying collection tins on the 3 days from the 17th to the 19th of October. These normally mild-mannered and retiring Rotarians from the Brisbane Club were moved by the scale and severity of the drought across Queensland and NSW to ask shoppers for donations for the Western Queensland Drought Appeal. 
John Smerdon and Cameron Gibson on the job at the booth.
 
Over the three days, in excess of $1150 was collected. This was added to cash donations from members and the total raised will be matched 2:1 from the Rotary Club of Brisbane's charitable foundation and donated to the Western Queensland Drought Appeal. Funds donated to the Western Queensland Drought Appeal are loaded onto pre-paid debit cards or vouchers and distributed directly to landholders in western Queensland, for them to spend on personal needs in their local communities. This keeps the money in the region, allows landholders to choose how they spend the money, and gives local businesses a boost with the extra trade. In this case funds will be distributed near Longreach, one of the many areas that has not had a break from the recent rains in eastern Queensland and NSW.
Dan Williams has been organising an annual charity golf day in Mundubbera since 2013. The initial motivation for this event was the disastrous flood of 2013 that devastated low-lying areas of Mundubbera and caused great hardship. The Burnett Cup charity golf day was a gesture of solidarity with the bush by some people from Brisbane and some money was raised for flood relief as well. The event proved so enjoyable that it has been held each year since, with different charities relevant to rural Queensland such as Care Flight and Sisters Inside being chosen each year. The Rotary Club of Brisbane has teamed up with Dan since 2017, with focus being placed on mental health issues in general and rural mental health in particular. 
 
It was with this background that 12 Brisbanites including 6 from the Rotary Club of Brisbane trekked to Mundubbera on the 22nd of September (or the day before) for the Burnett cup, this time to seek revenge for the loss they suffered last year, have some fun playing golf and raise some cash for the Royal Flying Doctor Service Mental Health Unit and Australian Rotary Health.
The City and Country teams Ready for some hard golfin'
The first Friday evening social meeting was held at the United Service Club on 7th September. In all, there were 20 people registered for the event. A late apology was received from Dan Adler who ran out of runway preparing for his imminent trip to LA. We were pleased to see some Rotary fellows who have been precluded from attending by work commitments recently and it was also pleasing to see so many Rotarians' partners attending. A special welcome was also extended to Andrew Lyon, President of the Fortitude Vally Club and his wife Margaret. 
President of the Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley, Andrew Lyon and wife Margaret with Paul Choy and President Chris Muir
 
The only item of business on the agenda was a presentation by President Chris showing some photographs from his recent fishing research expedition to the waters off the Northern Territory. The intrepid crew braved hot weather, crocs, fierce barramundi, mud and no doubt flies to bring us a report replete with beautiful scenery and a disturbing situation analysis of the amount of plastic waste washed up on the Wessel Islands.
President Chris presents on his trip north.
 
Before and after the presentation, members, partners and guests we able to enjoy fellowship in the salubrious surroundings of the United Service Club. We will return to the United Service Club on the 7th of December for the RCoB annual Christmas Party and on the Fridays following the first Mondays of October and November we will be holding social events in lieu of a Monday meeting. See You There!
Red Frogs is a support network for young people, aiming to provide safety responses, referrals to professional services, education and alternative event programming. Each year 24 tonne of ‘Allen’s Red Frogs’ (provided by Nestle), are used as an ice breaker to connect Red Frog volunteers with 1.43 million people (predominately youth & young adults) in environments such as Schoolies, Universities, Festivals, Schools, Skate Parks and Sports Events.
The Rotary Club Of Brisbane became a major partner of the Red Frogs program in September 2017 with a commitment of $50,000 across two Rotary years.
Endoscopy training of rural GPs at the Princess Alexandra Hospital is already starting to make a difference to rural Queenslanders. The project was initially the brainchild of RCoB's Professor Gerald Holtmann who also happens to be the Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
 
 Dr Jennifer Wharton from Thursday Island at the PAH Rural Endoscopy Training Centre observed by Prof Gerald Holtmann, Director of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, PAH and Dr Derek Holroyd from Proserpine.
 
Gerald was concerned about the amount of travel required of rural patients who generally need to travel hundreds of km to regional centres for endoscopic examinations. This is not a problem that can be solved simply by spending money to locate equipment in far-flung locations. Trained personnel need to be on-hand to perform the procedures, and they just are not available in rural areas. Gerald brought a proposal for the training of rural generalists in endoscopic procedures to his Rotary Club, who agreed to seed-fund a start-up project to the tune of $20,000 in collaboration with the Princess Alexandra Foundation and Queensland Health.
 
Life must be hard in the financial planning industry, because our very own Luke Marshall recently took a break from it to compete in the Canungra Challenge, a gruelling exercise based on the torture undergone by our service men and women in training to serve our country. It represented an opportunity for civilians to put the JPs on the other feet, so to speak, and serve the families of service personnel who have seen active service by supporting Legacy Australia.
Luke wore a tasteful floral number to the Canungra Challenge.
 
 
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For the 18th year in a row, Brisbane Rotarian Denise Schellbach is operating Eddie's Van on weekdays during January. Eddie's Van is a project of St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace ( Eddies' Van - 17 years and still going strong ) and during the long school holidays Denise gives staff and students a break by operating the van with the help of members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane and other friends. 
Our guest speaker on September 24th was Professor Ross Young, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health at Queensland University of Technology and his topic was a very interesting one - "The Epigenetics of PTSD"
 
Ross prefaced his talk with some discussion about the prevalence of PTSD among service personnel and first responders. We owe a great deal to these people, and we know that they pay for their service with their mental health. In fact, in modern wars it is likely that more personnel die from suicide than from battle trauma. Somewhere between 40% and 90% of these groups are exposed to situations that are known to provoke Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and about 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan vets have developed or will develop PTSD. Some people develop PTSD and some don't. Ross's team have been asking the question "why?" and they have been getting interesting results.
Professor Ross Young Presents on the epigenetics of PTSD
Our Guest Speaker on August 13 was Patrick Pickett, Music and Artistic Director of the Queensland Pops Orchestra.
Patrick Picket accepting a certificate of appreciation from President Chris Muir
Patrick took us through a rollicking journey tracing his creative life from humble beginnings as a member of his school pipe band through joining the army as an apprentice musician to becoming Director of Music - Army and organising a string of musical spectaculars in and out of Australia. During that time he saw overseas deployment in Bouganville, East Timor, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the celebrations for the Sultan of Brunei's 80th birthdays, the 90th anniversary of Gallipoli and elsewhere. He also talked about his life and goals outside the army, including a stint as CEO of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and current assignment as Artistic Director at the Queensland Pops Orchestra. He also talked about ongoing work to provide stable work for musicians at the Australian Musicians and Orchestral Services. Thank you, Patrick for a most entertaining insight into the things that go on behind the scenes in the production of musical spectaculars.
 
 
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