From the President's Desk

From the President's Desk

Good Morning Fellow Rotarians and Friends of the e-Club,

Having spent six days of the last fortnight in briefings, conferences and awards functions from Melbourne to the North Coast with speakers from the US, Japan, Europe and NZ, my head really is spinning on what is going in the World's financial and political arena.  The knock out thing that hits me every time is how disconnected this world is from the world of poverty, corruption, crime and disease we see in many of the third world countries. Then I compare that back to my home country, the same divide appears between the Country versus the City or the plight of the bush versus the corporate world of business.

This brings me back to my Birdsville Races Report.  This year we did much better than last year but let's not talk about the dollar value, yes that helps but what we really did achieve as part of a team of volunteers.

We were very fortunate to blend together 20 individuals who worked as OUR team in a very remote part of Australia for some 10 days, for most of them for around 12 hours, per day in the name of Community Service.   There is a huge opportunity presented for next year with the running of the first Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Rotary Birdsville Fun Run which raised somewhere around $3 to $4k but is tipped to really be a Winner next year with Runners obtaining sponsorship before the event.

The Cocktail Party or Black-Tie Ball, whatever you want to call it, running for only the second time had a 50 % increase in participation.  Next Year this could go to 500 persons if the manpower would permit.  This year 350 tickets were sold and our Team under the direction of Helen decorated and set up the Community Centre to a very high standard for the great event.  That night we supplied 16 waiters all superbly dressed who had a great time delivering food and drinks to a very gracious audience.

Then there is the opportunity to man the portable showers. This is a hired facility set up just down the road where you can shower for $5, very, very popular as campers arrive covered in dust and flies and the flies don't go into the shower.  A Lions Club currently run this, they have spoken to me about assistance next year and these funds go to the RFDS.

Money Tins; Perspex Cubes; Long Barrels made of Perspex; tins you carry and rattle all hold money, Gold Coin donations, $50 donations, every second person has a story of gratitude to the RFDS. So these tins will fill quickly but much faster if we have keen volunteers to carry them around that's what we are missing, 20 volunteers only go so far.

The Race Club donate to the RFDS; Fred Brophys Boxing Troupe supports the RFDS; The Birdsville Hotel is a huge supporter of the RFDS and many others. The Diamantina Shire Council is now a huge supporter of this Rotary Club; we got favours we could not believe.

We had site position, we had unlimited power, we have a cut price site fee and we have their support.  We also have the support of the whole town and the whole town came to thank us.  We cannot let them down going forward, we learnt a lot more this year about our operation Steak Burger and next year we need to really get into top gear.  Our set up worked a treat, Our Team was excellent but there were only four there this year who did last year and next year I expect the same result.  Whilst our e-Club had four Members present this year and two very close Rotarians from Ashmore who never let us down, we do need to start ramping up the involvement barometer for next year.

We sold 1000 steak burgers; 1100 bacon and egg burgers; 600 sausages on bread all with accessories, plus tea, coffee, water and soft drinks. Apples, oranges, eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and bread rolls.  Next year we will be selling RFDS produce and this year we had several volunteers at the Race Track selling water and collecting gold coin donations.

Next year we must sell into Sunday and we need more team members.  We also need to roster team members off, 6am to 11pm gets too much by Friday and the Team Manager really needs to do nothing else.

During this week we are really the face of the RFDS and as such we need to be very professional, very well organised and support the community as much as we can.  I can tell you if anyone had a question, complaint or enquiry for the RFDS they were sent to find me.

How much did we raise you ask? How much value do you think we give the RFDS is my answer? We can never measure this and it does not come in $$, it comes in Community Service to keep a great iconic organisation air born servicing the people of the bush.