Club News

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Kiama Inc Website

For Information about Rotary and the Rotary Club of Kiama, click here

Upcoming Events

With Gerringong Rotary Club, we will co-host the Kiama Car and Bike Spectacular held at the Showground on Sunday 13 November from 9 am.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Car spec 01

Things we all should know about Dementia

Last week our guest speaker, Paddy, opened her talk by congratulating Kiama Council’s Dementia Friendly initiative, which has recently been recognised with both national and international awards. Paddy spoke about dementia, stating it is a word, not a sentence, and that people with dementia still have much to offer to our community. Her work centres around education, provision of services to those with dementia and their careers, and empower-ing those with dementia to live fulfilling lives.

Paddy spoke about dementia, stating it is a word, not a sentence, and that people with dementia still have much to offer to our community. Her work centres around education, provision of services to those with dementia and their careers, and empowering those with dementia to live fulfilling lives.

alz-02One of the services available is called “safely home” and provides a bracelet with a number on it to someone with dementia. If they are found wandering and do not know where they live, the police can be contacted with the number and they hold a register of their details, so they can be returned home.

One of the benefits of being involved with support groups is that others have been there before you and have advice about things that work and things that don’t work.

The brain is a very complicated organ with different parts for recognising, understanding, reasoning, planning, controlling automatic functions, short term and long term memory and more. There are normal changes that occur as we age, but dementia is not a normal change. People should not think they will get dementia because they are getting older. Some people get dementia in their thirties or even younger. There are factors which affect memory – tiredness, stress or anxiety, pain, grief, depression, nutrient deficiencies, dehydration and dementia. We should not presume a person has dementia because they are experiencing some memory loss. There is a very big difference between forgetting where you put your keys, and forgetting where you live or what a key is used for.
Dementia is the term we use for a range of symptoms that we see. Alzheimer’s’ is responsible for approx 2/3 of dementia. Dementia symptoms include general memory loss, but can be specific. For example someone might lose their memory in relation to counting and this would become obvious in their handling of money or their lack of relationship to time. Others might lose their memory in the area of language and this would be seen in their inability to recall the word for familiar items or the names of people they have known for a long time. Dementia could affect their special awareness which would be seen in the way they walk or drive. It could affect their personality , so someone who has always been quiet might become outgoing or someone who has always been gentle might become aggressive.
Dementia is the second leading cause of death and it is the leading cause of disability. There are over 350,000 people living with dementia in Australia at present and this number is expected to increase to one million by 2050. There are approx 8,000 new cases every week, so it has a huge impact on communities. There are changes in the brain a long time before there are symptoms of dementia in a person. There are five simple steps people can take to ward off dementia and these have been put together in a booklet alz-03
Step One – Look after your heart
Step Two – Be physically active
Step Three – Mentally challenge your brain
Step Four – Follow a healthy diet
Step Five – Enjoy social activity

More Information is available through the website:

Prestigious Rotary Award to  Ian Johnston – 2 July

IJ2At the Rotary District 9675 Changeover,  Ian  was presented with a Vocational Service Leadership Award by District Governor Graham Wilson for his years of work in co-founding and growing the Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards and heading up a team of Emergency Services workers to Vanuatu.

All members of Kiama Rotary Club are delighted that Ian’s work has been recognised. Well done, Ian.

Ian departed on Sunday morning for Vanuatu to undertake a scoping mission for a Rotary Vocational Training Team to assist in putting together a disaster preparedness plan for the islands.

Club of the Year Award to Kiama Rotary Club – 2 July

At the District Changeover DG Graham Wilson presented the Rotary Club of Kiama with the District 9675 Club of the Year Award.
DG Graham said the club has consistently had a well balanced program over all avenues of service and particularly commended the Club Bulletin, website and facebook.

Congratulations to all members of the Rotary Club of Kiama.

IJ 3

Photo PP Ian Johnston, DG Graham Wilson and Director of PR & Marketing Carole Johnston.



Kiama is one of many towns aiming to become Dementia Friendly through the Universtity of Wollongong  program. On Friday 24th June, PP Marilyn represented our Club at the Dementia Friendly Showcase held at the Kiama Anglican Church and presented a cheque from our members to Mayor, Brian Petschler.
Dementia 1

Marilyn with Steve Warrick from the Kiama Chamber, Brian and Toby Dawson from the IRT Foundation during the cheque presentations

Dementia 3

64th Changeover Night – 20 June

Gareth Ward MP talked about Rotary as an International Organisation with approx 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs in over 200 countries. He thanked our Club for the work we do locally, especially the recently begun path to the lookout and the lookout platform at Saddleback Mountain. He congratulated President Marilyn and wished the incoming Board well, looking forward to the new Rotary year.
President Elect (PE) David Chambers proposed a toast to Rotary International and his in reply, District Governor (DG) Graham Wilson spoke of the advances made in the battle against Polio, with only 17 cases this year, compared with over 35,000 when we first started that journey.

President Marilyn said one of the highlights of her year has been the friendships formed and working alongside some „seriously dedicated Rotarians‟. Marilyn thanked Graham Morphett for tireless work locally, at District level and Internationally, over 59 years in Rotary. She said that between us, members of our club have 720 yrs of service and have contributed nearly 8000 hours to our local community this year.
Marilyn went on to thank our BBQ Coordinator, Alan Waterworth and those who have been on “the Shed Team” as well as others who have contributed in the roles of Sergeant, Program Director, & Bulletin Editor.


Marilyn announced that the recipient of the Robert East award for the Club Member of the Year is Bobby East.


She awarded two Paul Harris Sapphire Pins. The first to Barry Wilson for his 1250 plus hours as Operations Manager in ROMAC, and the second to Trevor Phillis for his willing support and ongoing service to the Club, not just as Treasurer, but also in his role as Project Manager on the Saddleback work.

Marilyn introduced David Chambers, a retired Policeman from Tasmania who now works  with the SES. He is a Rotarian of nearly 30 yrs experience who was one of the youngest to be on a GSE team. Dave has been a volunteer with RAWCS to Fiji 5 times, and has been a President in his previous club.


Marilyn handed over the chain of office and officially ended her time as our President.


Dave thanked her for her work in that role, but then went on to talk about her contribution to Rotary over 19 years in 3 countries. He said Marilyn has been spent well over 50% of those years in executive roles in each club. He surprised her by awarding her a PHF (Paul Harris Fellow) for her many years of active service.


Dave and Bill

Dave went on to present certificates to the outgoing executives, and a Past President‟s pin to Bill Humphries who has not received it following his year in that office.


The Board for RY 16-17

Dave outlined some of his goals for the coming year, made in conjunction with the incoming Board who have already met twice to look at the risks, potential opportunities and priorities of 2016-2017.

He emphasized that every Rotarian‟s contribution is important and valued. He unfurled the new banner, and gave Marilyn the banner from her year as a memento. Marilyn & Dave joined together to cut the cake.

Click this link for the  KR2015-16 Annual Report


Congratulations on your AM

di pietro

In the 2016 Queen‟s Birthday Honours list, published this week, our recent guest speaker, Commodore Vincenzo Emilio Di Pietro received an AM for his exceptional service as the Commander of the RAN fleet Air Arm from Jan.2013 to Jan.2016 and as the Australian Naval Attaché to the US from June 2007 to June 2010. Congratulations, Vince.

Emerg Awards 01

Two Kiama Ambulance officers were selected as finalists for the 2016 Rotary NSW Emergency Services Community Awards at Parliament House last week. The announcement was made by the Minister for Emergency Services, The Hon. David Elliott MP. Rotarian Ian Johnston said “we received over 100 RESCA nominations from across the state with entries from as far afield as Lightning Ridge, Murwillumbah and such. 4 finalists were selected from each of the 6 NSW Emergency Service Agencies with 17 of the 24 finalists coming from outside of the Sydney metropolitan area – a wonderful result. It is a great achievement for Kiama to receive two finalists.”

Emerg Awards 02
Kelvin Milne – Station Officer – Kiama Kelvin Milne, an acting duty operations manager with the NSW Ambulance Service and a volunteer with the State Emergency Service, based at Kiama, started his career in 1994 and worked throughout the Sydney metropolitan area before arriving at the Illawarra in 1991. Among numerous management roles, he has been acting station officer and acting district inspector from Helensburgh to Eden. His tasks have included bus accidents at Jamberoo and Kangaroo Valley, the Canberra bushfires, floods in Dubbo and a racing yacht accident at Port Kembla. He has gone to great lengths to help fellow members in distress, and going public on television on a recent occasion obtained a $10,000 gift to an officer undergoing cancer treatment.

Emerg Awards 03

David Kay – Paramedic – Kiama David Kay has plenty of testimony to his more than 10 years of work as a paramedic, not the least from one man who found himself paralysed with a broken neck after a mountain bike accident at Kiama Downs. David’s quick and efficient response helped stabilise him and get him evacu-ated by helicopter to the Royal North Shore Hospital where extensive surgery restored the man almost to normality and averted quadriplegia. David, a Baptist churchgoer, who coaches junior soccer, raises thousands of dollars a year for charity, helps run a Christian surfers’ clinic and travels to Poland each year to help build a youth refugee camp, is described as “a real asset to the NSW Ambulance Service and the community”.

Rotary Meeting – 30 May

President Marilyn welcomed our speaker: Professor Andrew Miller, who was once a secondary Science teacher and is now a radiation oncologist and co-director of UOW’s Centre for Oncology Infomatics. He launched the Bowelscan program in the Illawarra last month and was very entertaining so Helen invited him to come and speak to us.

Professor Andrew entitled his talk:

Bowel Cancer—who gives a s**t?

We care about the statistics related to road deaths—1156 people died in 2014 and 34091 were hospitalized due to a road accident, so we SHOULD give a s**t about the statistics for bowel cancer—4120 people died and 17,070 were hospitalized.


With bowel cancer—if the disease is found early, in 90% of cases it is treatable and people go on to live long and fulfilling lives.

bowel cancer

The problem is people don’t want to talk about poo. It is a yucky subject which Andrew made completely hilarious. He proposed that the “police” become the “poolice” – complete with “stool pigeons” who can dob in their neighbor if they haven’t had their scan. Andrew asked “what is your plan P?” and encouraged us all to pick up a kit and be tested. He explained that the diet of most Western people does not contain enough organically grown vegetables. He said that the new scans detect human blood in the poo, the results go to your nominated GP and you are then referred to have a colonoscopy. That test checks for polyps which are pre-cancerous growths in the bowel. He explained that people can have those without symptoms such as bleeding they notice in the toilet bowl, and that the kit is the best early detection device available. Andrew said many people are grateful to Rotary for a kit which has potentially saved their life. He recommended that we all get tested regularly in this non-invasive way, especially if there is a history of bowel cancer in our family.


Rotary Meeting – 21 May

President Marilyn welcomed guests: Mark Honey and our speaker, Mark Burns. Mal introduced our speaker, Mark Burns, a local physiotherapist, who talked to us about the role of Physios in preventative treatment as well as the more widely known treatment of sports injuries. . He stated that physiotherapists are one of the core evidence-based treatment providers in Australia, and explained some of the specific therapies for conditions such as vertigo and asthma conducted through his clinics. Mark stressed the importance of building strength to maintain balance and improve capacity, especially as we age, so that we can continue to do ‘the fun stuff’. He outlined a weekly plan including flexibility training such as yoga or pilates, strength building such as using light therapy bands or weights, and endurance activities such as swimming or walking. He said that maintaining a good weight is simply a matter of burning more calories than you eat, and recommended that we be aware of our posture, keeping balance equally on both feet. When answering questions, Mark gave advice on quick things we can all do as we watch TV, and said he puts together 8-10 minute fitness circuits for people to do at home using items they already have or can readily attain. He told us we should all be proactive and seek to improve our level of fitness and build strength around our joints—use it or lose it. Mal vouched for his services following his ladder fall last year, as he thanked him.

Bracken Burns

Mal Bracken thanks Guest speaker Mark Burns

Marilyn recommended that we invite partners next week to listen to our speaker, who she said is very entertaining despite bowel cancer being a ‘dodgy’ subject.

Rotary Meeting – 16 May
President Marilyn welcomed our speakers, members: Peter Maitland and Barry Wilson, and guests of Brian & Sue Petschler: John & Kay from Moree. She announced that Dave Chambers has been in Rotary 30 years this week. Marilyn then read a letter from the CEO of the League‟s Club outlining possible rewards for our members who show their membership cards at the front desk upon entry. And another piece of information from Rotary International which allows Clubs to have more flexibility around meeting times and membership requirements from July 1st this year. Following the last meeting’s talk on social media, Marilyn reported that Carole posted photos of last week‟s Saddleback Working Bee on our Facebook page and she put them onto the Kiama Community page, and there have been a lot of very positive comments encouraging our Club for the work we do in the local community.


Peter & Barry gave us the latest information about ROMAC. This great Rotary initiative started in 1988 when an Australian doctor holidaying in Fiji, found out about a child who needed surgery that couldn’t be done in country. He approached Rotary when he returned and they helped to raise the funds and fly the child to Australia. In the early years ROMAC handled 4-5 cases a year, now some 40-50 children from the Oceania region go to hospitals in many states of Australia or to New Zealand for life-saving and dignity-restoring surgery. Peter outlined the governance of the organisation and explained the impor-tance of those who look after the child‟s guardian throughout the time the child is in hospital.


They often do not speak English and experience culture shock and anxiety during their stay. He stated that most of the funds given by Rotary Clubs come from one or two wealthy clubs, and that only 24.6% of Rotary Clubs support ROMAC. He expressed gratitude for the NZ chair who has successfully applied for a number of Global Grants in partnership with Clubs in South Korea. Peter is currently the Secretary and finishes up at the end of next year. He stressed that everyone in ROMAC is a volunteer, even Barry who is the Operations Manager, and often puts in 8 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. The ROMAC ambassador is Rosie, a young woman from Fiji who benefitted from the program when she was 9 years old, having surgery on her face, arm and hand.

Maitland Wilson

Barry gave us a very moving picture of the children and their families, recounting actual cases, includ-ing his heartache that a child in Bougainville PNG may not survive because the Rotarians who have tried to help did not turn to ROMAC quickly enough. He explained the process of acquiring passports and visas, organising hospitals and surgeons, coordinating flights and transfers, contacting local vol-unteers and completing the necessary paperwork.

Barry showed us before and after pictures of a number of children who have been assisted through ROMAC and shared stories of their journey. He expressed his gratitude for the doctors who work pro-bono, the hospitals that cap their fees and the many volunteers who make his role easier. He explained that the organisation is about to launch “friends of ROMAC” which will see people able to join via Facebook for $100 per year. It is hoped that each person will include that they are a friend of ROMAC in their status and that their „followers‟ will be encouraged to also join.
On behalf of our members, Marilyn thanked both Peter and Barry for their work in ROMAC as well as for their presentation to us.


Become a ‘Friend of ROMAC’ for only $100 per year
and help children such as these have a ‘before’ and ‘after’ story.

9675 Assy

On Saturday 14 May, the incoming Board all attended the Rotary District Training Assembly at Greystanes High School in Sydney. DG Graham Wilson welcomed us to a day of information and networking.
We watched an extract of the incoming RI President‟s address, introducing the logo: “Rotary Serving Humanity”. He said that nobody should ever have to ask „What is Rotary?‟ because all Clubs should be making their local communities aware of who we are and what we do.
Rotary gives us an opportunity to serve. He said the effects of our decisions and our work will ripple out to people we may never meet and impact their lives. He reminded us that no other organisation effectively brings people together in a way that serves humanity.
There were a number of keynote speakers. Tony Brenner talked about Public Image & Awareness, stressing the importance of ensuring Rotary is given credit for Rotary’s many outstanding achievements. Chris Evans outlined the ten principles of good governance including the importance of recognising and managing risk, especially in the areas of youth, finance and projects. Charles Mille spoke about the five avenues of service and following morning tea we went to two break out groups for the avenue of service of which we will be Director.
Thank you to all members of the incoming Board for setting aside the time to benefit our Club in this way.

Rotary Meeting – 9 May

Heather introduced our speakers: members Geoff, Ian & Carole who did a triple act talking about the methods we use in our Club for both internal and external communication.
Ian opened the session with an outline:
IJInternal communication is that used between members and a small group of Rotary friends and comprises of our Bulletin and emails. He said we could certainly make better use of group SMS texts in situations such as a BBQ being cancelled due to bad weather.
External communications are those that inform the wider communicate, attracting sponsorship to partnership and new members. The right kind of communication is vital to the health of the Club.
There are times when traditional print media is appropriate for example in creating posters to put up around the town for an event. We also place a weekly article into the Kiama Independent and Ian is the one to contact to place information into the paper. At times, we have a half page which is a joint Rotary venture of the clubs of the Illawarra. The RDU (Rotary Down Under) is our Australia wide Rotary magazine, and members are encouraged to place these into local doctors or hairdressers venues in order to increase the awareness of the local community about the wider work of Rotary. Digital media which reaches non-members includes the Bulletin, Websites, and Facebook.
GCWe have a Club website that is maintained by Geoff. He too needs interesting information and a steady supply of photos to keep this up to date. On the home page one can access Club news and events. We have the capability to have a private “members only‟ section as well. Our District has a website and every member can log in to update their own data. Rotary International also has a site and members can sign up to access “My Rotary‟ for data specific to them.

CJCarole organises our Facebook page and appreciates photos and little bits of information for this digital communication. There are over 1.09 billion users of Facebook daily and this is fast becoming the way to reach the younger generations. This form of digital media can be a public or private as the user wishes to make it. You can communicate with family and friends, or you can post information to all your contacts. Carole has also set up a Facebook site specifically for our Choirs event, and others can be set up for targeted audiences without it costing much money. The sites can be set up with an „action‟ button which allows people to make a booking or a donation. With Facebook there are ways to measure your reach, the number of people you engage. This happens when people “like‟ your site, post a “comment‟ or “share‟ your site with others. Carole is happy to help people set up a Facebook site if they would like to. Marilyn thanked them all for sharing their expertise.


Marilyn—”bag lady”