President's Message
14th March, 2019
Dear Fellow Rotarians and Friends of the Club,
We were treated to a very interesting and comprehensive coverage of the history, relevant legislation and current status of cooperatives in Queensland by Raymond White at our meeting on 24 February. Ray is a Principal Business Services Officer in the Office of Fair Trading and the information he provided is particularly pertinent to the cooperative housing project which our member, Phil Little, would like our club and the Rotary District to help bring to fruition.
There were 31 members and guests at the meeting on 11 March where U.Q. Professor Bernie Degnan both enlightened and entertained us on aspects of the Great Barrier Reef and especially on the major threat posed by Crown of Thorns Starfish. Among the many guests we were especially pleased to welcome David Slater, President of the Rotary Club of Mid-City, and Heather Lennie from the Rotary Club of Scarborough in Canada. It was also great to have Katrina Roetteler and Matt Christopher returning as regular guests, and we hope soon to be members. Matt contributed “spots” at both the February and March meetings and has obviously put considerable time and thought into Dan Adler’s evolving Rotaryship project. Katrina Roetteler and husband Michael were very hard working contributors, along with six Club members, to a pretty hot, tough morning at DIK on 9 March.
The International Women’s Day Breakfast, organized by Daniel Vankov, had 67 attending and was a great success, both as a social event and as a fundraiser. Daniel reported a profit which will cover the sponsorship for our two RYLA candidates.
Unfortunately I had left it too late to arrange a Club effort for “Clean up Australia Day” but will ask our President Elect, Michael Stephens, to put this early on the agenda for 2019-20. I will also ask our Board to consider a donation to this cause.
With the addition of Denise Schellbach we now have a team of five going to Taiwan to help celebrate our Sister Club, Taipei Tatung’s 35th anniversary. They have a very interesting program for us, a history of great hospitality, and there is still time to sign up.
There are about 250 attending next weekend’s District Conference and still time to register for all or part of it. The only cost is if you wish to take advantage of the catering and functions. The Club will reimburse $100 of this cost to encourage maximum attendance so please join us if you can.
It is sad to report that Dr, Max Brändle OAM, a much loved member of the club for around 23 years, died on 28 February. Max was a linguist, Director of the “Institute of Modern Languages”, and maintained his Swiss accented perfect English despite his many years in Australia.
The club has agreed to run a BBQ Breakfast for the RSPCA “Million Paws Walk” on Sunday 19 May and we will need volunteers for this.
Please save the dates for both the BBQ and the presentation by UQ Prof Alex Haslam on “Groups for Health” at a dinner on Wednesday 15 May, at the United Service Club.
Yours in Rotary
Chris Muir
Book NOW by clicking on the image above. Members may claim their rebate (up to $100 per member) by sending the receipt to Treasurer Warren


The Rotary Club of Brisbane's 2019 Charity Golf Day will be held on Friday June 14 at the Virginia Golf Club. Get your bookings in early with Graeme Whitmore or Michael Stephens or click on the image above.


We have two events that needs volunteers coming up:

Collection for NQ Flood Appeal

Dates - TBA

Rtn Cameron Gibson has once again volunteered to coordinate the collection, and the Macarthur Central Shopping Centre has once again kindly offered to allow us to conduct the collection on their premises. email Mark Williams or Cameron Gibson to indicate your availability for this.

Million Paws Walk

Sunday 19th May

The club has agreed to run a BBQ Breakfast for the RSPCA “Million Paws Walk” on Sunday 19 May and we will need volunteers for this.

Rotary Peace Fellows from the XVI and XVII cohorts held their "meet and greet" at the home of Sec. Mark Williams on 4th March. "Our" Peace Fellows, Morgan Marks (Cohort XVI) and Peter Lindsay (Cohort XVII) are in the middle of the back row.

Vol. 96 No. 20
14 March, 2019

Upcoming Speakers
Apr 29, 2019 12:30 PM
breakingFree - Living a mentally healthy lifestyle

James Peterson is the founder and CEO of breakingFree

breakingFree is an innovative mental health charity that educates and encourages people to live mentally healthy lifestyles, in order to prevent mental illness and improve mental health.  We focus on teaching people how to make mentally healthy choices, how to form mentally healthy habits and to how to develop a mentally healthy mindset; as well as breaking down the stigma often attached to mental illness and encouraging people to seek help early.

At breakingFree our primary activity is giving mental health presentations and running mental health programs at schools, universities and businesses, aimed at teaching people how to be more mentally healthy.  In essence, we are an educational platform, whose objective is to provide people with the knowledge, tools, techniques, ongoing resources and motivation, so that they can improve their mental health and happiness.  We strongly believe that prevention, by teaching people how to be mentally healthy, is the best approach to reducing the rates of mental illness within society.    

breakingFree is starting a movement by educating and encouraging people to base decisions and their lifestyle around what is best for their mental health.

May 15, 2019 6:00 PM
Groups for Health
View entire list
Meeting Responsibilities
18th March - Meeting
Myers, Jillanne
Minutes Secretary
25th March - Meeting
Minutes Secretary
8th April - Meeting
RYAN, Peter
Minutes Secretary
DE LACY, Jaqui
15th April - Meeting
Minutes Secretary
22nd April - Meeting
Minutes Secretary
DE LACY, Jaqui
29th April - Meeting
Minutes Secretary
Upcoming Events
Lunch Meeting - Brisbane Club -Board Meeting after
The Brisbane Club
Mar 18, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
District 9600 Annual Conference
Grand Chancellor Hotel & Events Centre
Mar 22, 2019 – Mar 24, 2019
Lunch Meeting - Brisbane Club
The Brisbane Club
Mar 25, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Lunch Meeting Cancelled - Cocktail Meeting Friday
The Brisbane Club
Apr 01, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Cocktail Meeting - United Service Club
United Service Club
Apr 05, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
UQ Peace Centre Peace Symposium
The University of Queensland
Apr 13, 2019
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Rotary Club of Taipei Tatung 35th Anniversary
Apr 16, 2019 – Apr 18, 2019
Lunch Meeting Cancelled - Labour Day Holiday
May 06, 2019
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Cocktail Meeting - United Service Club
United Service Club
May 10, 2019
5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Alex Haslam Dinner
United Service Club
May 15, 2019
6:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Meeting Notes 25th February, 2019
Chair for the day was Dymphna Muir who opened the meeting with toasts and grace before inviting President Chris Muir to address the meeting. The content of Chris's address can be found in the President's Message section above. Chris welcomed guests, including Katrina Roettler who has been to several of our meetings by now, Raymond White our Guest speaker, Manager of the MacArthur Centre which has helped us in the past with fundraising activities, Colleen Middlemass and Matthew Christopher, guest of Pres. Nominee Dan Adler.
After the President's address, Chair Dymphna called for spots:
  • Denise Schellbach thanked all the Rotarians who had helped her with running Eddie's Van through January until the 3rd of February.
  • PP Keith Watts asked all members to do their best to attend the district conference on 22-24 March, noting that the club will reimburse members up to $100 for their cost of attendance. He also reported that the membership application from Mark Scanlan had been approved by the board and that it would be circulated to members shortly. 
  • Pres. Nominee Dan Adler reported that he had spoken to DGE Darryl Iseppi about the Rotaryship scheme (we also had discussions with DG Wendy Protheroe late last year).
  • Meeting Guest Matt Christopher also spoke generally around the concept of Rotaryship and gave us some valuable insights as an outsider on how we might adapt the legacy of 100 years of Rotary to attract people for the next 100 years.
  • PP Daniel Vankov reported on progress on the Women's Day breakfast, saying that we already had 57 seats out of 80 booked and suggesting that members should register quickly before they miss out.
Prospective Member Matt Christopher talks about marketing aspects of Rotary Membership
After a short time for fellowship, Chair Dymphna invited guest speaker Raymond White from the Department of Justice to address the club on the topic of cooperatives, which is of special interest to the club because a subcommittee including Rtns Phil Little, Peter Ryan and PP Keith Watts is investigating the establishment of a new-age housing cooperative to provide affordable housing in the Marburg area. 
Guest speaker Raymond White
Next up was the sergeant's session where Sgt Pilko was in fine and expensive form. James Delahunty had the raffle ticket drawn from the bowl, but it did him no good.
President Chris closed the meeting with the singing of the national anthem.
Meeting Notes 11th March 2019
Chair for the day was Pres. Elect Michael Stephens who opened the meeting with a toast to Rotary International and an exhortation for victory by the Qld Reds before inviting Pres. Chris Muir to the podium for the President's message.
Pres. Chris welcomed Guest speaker Prof. Bernie Degnan, Soon-to-be members Katrina and Matt Roettler and Matt Christopher, visiting Rotarians Heather Devine and David Slater and Tony Marsland, Michael Duffy, Kerry and Celia Lanza, David Christy, John Cox, Ray Lancashire, Alistair Blanshard, Rob Hodge and Sonya McDonald. Total meeting attendance was 33, which is a high in recent months. The content of Pres. Chris' message is reproduced above.
Next item on the agenda was spots:
  • PP Daniel Vankov made his report on the Rotary International Women's Day Breakfast held on 6th March, which is reproduced in full below:
    "On the 6th of March, we held the 2019 Rotary International Women's Day Breakfast. We had two excellent speakers:
  • Professor Margaret Sheil AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of QUT; and
  • Councillor Adrian Schrinner, Deputy Mayor of Brisbane and Chairman of the Public and Active Transport Committee of Brisbane City Council.
  • Davidson kindly sponsored the event.
    This year we have faced very tough competition in Brisbane. The UN Women National Committee hosted their breakfast at the same time at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. Reportedly they had 1600 attendees. They also approached one of our guest speakers and our sponsor. Both told me that they refused because they have committed to Rotary in the first place. So getting in early paid dividends, especially in the face of that enormous competition.
    I am not sure how much they charged their guests. However, I have received some critical feedback on the price of our tickets. I do not agree the price was too high. On the 8th of March BHP in partnership with the Queensland Resources Council and Women in Mining and Resources Queensland carried out their breakfast. The price of a ticket was $161.15.
    My impression from the events I looked at is that neither their format nor their speakers were a match to ours. A total of 65 paying guests attended our breakfast and we raised just enough money to send 2 people to the RYLA camp in May.
Overall, I hope that we will continue the upward trend and next year we will have an even more successful event! Thank you for your attention!"
  • PP Graeme Whitmore kicked off our annual golf day and announced that the date and time is Friday 14th June with an 8AM shotgun start. Look for more publicity on this soon! Graeme also told members that we are lookng to do a DIK pickup soon and that Paul Choy as DIK convener will be coordinating this.
  • PN Dan Adler and Matt Christopher gave members an update on interactions with DGE Darryl Iseppi and other activities in connection with Rotaryship.
  • PP Keith Watts reminded members that the district conference will be held in less than 2 weeks on the 22,23 and 24 of March at the Hotel Grand Chancellor. The club will reimburse members that attend for up to $100 of their cost of attendance. Since the conference is being held in Brisbane this year, there is no excuse for us not to have a good rollup. Click on the date claimer at the to of this newsletter to get to the registration page.
After a short time for fellowship, it was time for our guest speaker, Professor Bernie Degnan who gave us a presentation on the crown of thorns starfish, and what it does to the Great Barrier Reef. It was interesting to hear that the top three threats to the reef in decreasing order of severity are: weather events such as cyclones, the crown of thorns starfish, and coral bleaching. The natural resilience of the reef is such that it can recover from destructive events, but it takes time for coral to recover and at some points the events become too frequent for the reef to recover. Prof. Degnan talked about efforts being undertaken by his and his wife Sandy's research team to discover ways to reduce the severity and frequency of crown of thorns outbreaks.
Prof. Bernie Degnan and Pres. Chris bask in the glow of Prof. Degnan's presentation.
Afterwards, Sgt at Arms Tony Pilkington extracted a bitter harvest from the members before the drawing of the raffle. The holder of the winning ticket once again failed to draw the joker and the minutes secretary failed to record their name, so they will not go down in history. Such is the tragedy of our existence.
President Chris closed the meeting with the singing of the national anthem.
Rotary International Women's Day Breakfast a Cracker
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.
Empowering women in Colombian prisons

By Charlie Ruth Castro, Rotary E-Club of Sogamoso Global, Colombia

I had to go to prison to understand how education for innovation is the path for empowering millions of Latin American and Caribbean women economically. I’ve never committed a crime; I belong to that group of people who believe education is the most sophisticated tool we have to opening any door.

Charlie Ruth Castro leads an exercise class for inmates.

In 2016, I founded with the idea of reminding society that all girls and all women are powerful. For this reason, I have dedicated myself to gathering the most influential leaders through summits, marches, and a television program. The attention and support I have received has been converted into generating innovative programs for girls and women most in need.

We had an amazing opportunity in October 2017 to put into practice the methodology of innovation I had created at Harvard University and that I had successfully tested with 1,500 youths living in rural areas of Mexico and Colombia. Now, I would be able to test my theories with 170 women in a medium-security prison in Sogamoso, within Boyacá.

The first day we visited them, the other women who went with me left terrified. A prison is a hell designed to disempower and mutilate human potential daily. However, I insisted we return and begin our program, “Nuevos Comienzos Innovando” (Innovative New Beginnings). The first two months, we dedicated ourselves to working with them on the concepts of confidence, forgiveness, strength, peace, and leadership.

It was incredible to see over a short period of time how these ladies went from being hermits and melancholy, to participating and hopeful with our process. By 22 December 2017, we were capable of laughing, crying, and hugging while we planned powerful goals for a better future.

A prison is a hell designed to disempower and mutilate human potential daily.

My methodology for digital empowerment bases itself on a very simple principle: we are all capable of seeing ourselves as superheroes through the use of innovation when we put our strength to resolving the more general and common problems affecting our community.

These ladies have come to understand that the three problems most affecting women in prison are their separation from their children, the lack of information regarding staying healthy in a highly unhealthy space, and interpersonal disputes about debts owed, that end in shocking punishments, such as the infamous “dungeon” – a dark, cold, and repugnant space where they could be held for up to 72 hours.

With these women, I’ve had the most profound discussions about justice, the economy of crime, liberty, and transcendence. The methodology we used has inspired them to plan their own brand and line of beauty products made from organic herbs. Those least interested in these persons having a decent job and re-entering society are the public servants of the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute of Columbia. The challenges, as well as humiliation, they have produced for the team and the women of our program are innumerable. But advocating for a more just society demands arming yourself with patience, and being creative in order to focus on the solutions and not the problems.

The majority of the women who took part in my program arrived at this prison due to crimes such as drug microtrafficking and theft; some landed here for homicide, kidnapping, or extortion. Almost all of them are mothers, and nearly a third of them are the second generation in their families to commit a crime. Most come from rural areas and bands of poverty within medium-sized cities. Almost all of them chased the fantasy of making money and becoming self-sufficient via the activities that led them to crime. A great many of them know their legal past will mark them and if they do not learn appropriate work skills or work on themselves from within, they are condemned to repeat the same mistake on the outside.

However there are two things that almost all these women share: they come from an impoverished Colombia and they face a culture that is violent against girls and women. My team and I feel grateful these women allowed us to research and work on a reality that affects so many. Despite how difficult it is to believe, we have concluded prisons are where we will find the potential to transform the country. Yes – impossible to believe, but they are.

The women in this prison made it possible for me to understand that the inequality and violence we see in the world today has its origins in gender inequality and lack of access to an empowering education for millions of girls and women.

It is time to invest in the education of innovation for our girls and young women. If we equip them with the tools that allow them to understand problems as opportunities for solution, or go as far as to teach them to use new technologies to create sources of employment, and to achieve excellence in the jobs of today and tomorrow, we can secure their economic empowerment, and we will be supporting the innovative and sustainable industrialization of our countries.

Charlie Ruth was one of six young innovators recognized during Rotary Day at the United Nations in Nairobi, Kenya, in November. Read more about the innovators. Follow Charlie Ruth Castro @CharlieRuth

Source: Rotary Voices

Rotary-supported story contest gives Tacoma youth a voice

By Rosemary Ponnekanti

At first, Hope was reluctant. She was on the verge of flunking school through poor attendance. But when Kathleen Figetakis, literacy chair at Tacoma Sunrise Rotary, Washington, USA, asked the Tacoma senior for one little favor – to put up posters in her school for the Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest – Hope agreed. Six months later, she had not only won second prize in the contest, but she also graduated from high school – and helped the inaugural contest to be a wave of success.

The first-ever Tacoma Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest invited youth to write about the ocean and what it means to them.

Tacoma Ocean Fest began on World Oceans Day, 2018. The brainchild of arts journalist Rosemary Ponnekanti, the festival celebrates arts, sciences and water fun. When Kathleen mentioned to Rosemary that her Rotary club was looking for youth literacy projects, an idea was born – to create a story contest around ocean awareness and conservation.

Local teachers jumped on board. Some folded it into class curriculum, others encouraged students to attend the free poetry and film workshops held at the local library. Local teens were invited to write a poem, make a short film or – new this year – create a data graph about the ocean, its importance to them and the threats it faces, such as plastic pollution, climate change, and endangered orcas.

And of course, there were incentives: prizes totaling $1,000 from Tacoma Sunrise Rotary, plus other donations and a free pizza coupon for every entrant, generously donated by Rotarian Lance Hungerford.

The reaction at the festival, when students summoned their courage to read their poem or watch their film in front of a public audience, was overwhelming.

“This was so powerful – that young people could speak their thoughts, passions and worries about our ocean’s future, and be heard by our community,” said city councilmember Ryan Mello, who presented the prizes. “I was blown away by their skill and commitment.”  Finalists were also invited to read their poems at a Sunrise Rotary meeting, to warm acclaim.

“Tacoma Sunrise Rotary was excited to support the first Ocean Fest Youth Story Contest this year,” said immediate past president Richard Corak. “The contest hit several of our club’s areas of focus, including literacy and youth education, and for good measure targets environmental concerns. We hope to have a long and mutually beneficial relationship in the years ahead.”

Now, the Tacoma Sunrise Rotarians are busy preparing for the 2019 contest. The most exciting change is three additional Rotary clubs are joining, including the Rotary Club of South Tacoma, Rotary 8, and Passport Club of Pierce County.  Thanks to a partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, each school in disadvantaged areas will get a Rotarian volunteer to support teachers to create more success stories like Grace’s.

“This is so powerful – it’s a gift,” said Hannah Gbenro, Tacoma  Public Schools Director of Innovation. “This is the kind of program that gives our kids a voice and inspires them to learn. It’s so exciting.”

Winners of the  2019 contest will be presented at Tacoma Ocean Fest on June 9.

Learn more about Rotary’s programs for young leaders, including Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange, and how you can get involved in developing the next generation of leaders.

Source: Rotary Voices

Club Officers

President                   Chris Muir
Vice President           Keith Watts
Secretary                   Mark Williams
Treasurer                   Warren Walker
Imm. Past President  Daniel Vankov
President Elect           Michael Stephens
Sergeant-at-arms       Luke Marshall
The Rotary Club of Brisbane Inc.
ABN 75 152 438 499
GPO BOX 2909 Brisbane Qld 4001
District               9600
Club Number   17787

Brisbane City Cluster Assistant Governor

Lisa Bateson

District Governor

Wendy Protheroe

Rotary International President

Barry Rassin