Gary C. K. Huang
My apologies for the spasmodic reporting of late but by night I have truly run out of energy. The days are so busy now with my new role and the opportunities that we are taking with growing the business and increasing our apprentice numbers really means 12 hour days every day.
We went to Birdsville, we cooked a few snags and we came home. Ok, that describes the time lapse between the 28th August and the 9th September.
I really cannot thank Tara enough, Tara was the face of Rotary selling our wares from the front of the marquee. Tara gave everything, she did such a great job and Team NextGen should be so lucky to have her on board. Tara filled in everywhere, as many others did but Tara just kept on going. Well Done Tara, we all love you so much.
To all our 20 helpers in total, thank you very much. To our Non Rotarians on the team we cannot express our thanks in words for your efforts. To my long-time friend Bernie and Joan driving the second truck, what a great 10 days you gave to the RFDS. To the 'Adventurers' who went all the long way around, some 6500kms to get to the Birdsville races, what an Adventure. To our friends who came from Bundaberg, Sydney, Mt Isa, New Zealand and the Northern Rivers Clubs thank you very much and to the team from the RFDS, well done!
We were privileged on both occasions passing through to view the RFDS Charleville Base new Headquarters, Information Centre and accommodation units where another Team of our "local" Rotarians were busy at work. This group did a magnificent job on that project, I am sure we will have reports on both the Tag Along Tour and the Charleville Project when Ian and Heather get the chance to do this.
Currently, Team Yarker have sped off to the Mossman Gorge to complete the second phase of the Mt Isa and e-Club Literacy Programme. The Tenant Creek Phase One effort was a huge success and many thousands of $$$ was donated to various RFDS groups from the Tag Along Team. I think Ian and Heather will be away for 10 days or so.
One thing we forget is after all these great marathons there is so much to do finalising the projects financially, cleaning all the equipment, returning borrowed items and writing reports. I will have a full Birdsville report this coming weekend.
I also wish to acknowledge Ella and Elliot who spent time at the Brisbane Exhibition on the RFDS stand selling show bags and Ice-cream & Strawberries, great work guys, thanks very much. This offer will be open again next year, so if any members like this for a steady volunteer role sampling Ice Cream then please let me know (just joking).
We will be having a Board meeting very soon and we do have many projects rolling on so please keep logging in and checking our progress.
I would like to just re-enforce to the team who keep the club going on Tuesday nights and who keep the correspondence flowing that I really appreciate the job you do. We have three new members who need to be supported initially and we need a few more to keep our club motoring along. Very soon like now, I will be calling for nominations to fill positions in the 2015/2016 year and we need a Treasurer and a YOUNG President.
Need I remind you that my goal is to have the next President at least half my age, to show the younger team we have faith that they can RUN this e-Club.
We will probably be having another Tag Along Tour and we will be going back to Birdsville next September, so we need members to look at helping out on these events too. A big thank you to all who knitted woolly jumpers for the Fish 'n' Chips kids and Team Umoja is looking for volunteers for their next tour to Kenya. Well done Team Umoja, you are amazing.
In closing, I must say it was so good to be a Rotarian when the locals from Birdsville came individually to our marquee and thanked us for doing so much for their Community. The BUSH is in drought and this is no more evident than Birdsville, 3 years on one property and not one drop of rain. We have now contact with a Local Council Run Childcare Centre manager who tells of the difficulties and hardships just keeping her centre going when the families are down to their last $10 and cannot afford to come into town from the outlying stations. One trip to Birdsville is all that it takes to show just how soft, spoilt and well off we are here in our comfort zones and pure indulgence.
Have a great week, I intend to.
Tag Along 2014 Member reflection excerpts
In the course of the trip we travelled near enough to 8500k's. We visited 8 Rotary Clubs. Touched base with another 6 or 8 clubs. Greetings and donations were tendered. We met some amazing Rotarians. In Alice Springs we attended as volunteers at the Rotary Henley On Todd Regatta. We attached ourselves to The Flying Doctor float. Truth is, float it did not do. The regatta takes place in the dry bed of The Todd. (Google Henley on Todd; you’ll see what I mean)Three rotaries work together in putting this on. If I heard correctly, club gains to the extent of $45,000. Plus an incalculable amount of goodwill and esteem in the community.
We had breakfast with Rotary Mbantua (Alice Springs) the Monday immediately following the event. This club won the final naval battle on regatta day. At the Monday breakfast meeting they were all still on a huge high. This is the biggest weekend of the year for Rotary at Alice. Betcha they had an outrageous debriefing before the week was out.
For me, the rotary highlight of the trip was at Tennant Creek. To be hosted for breakfast by the club was amazing, especially as they have only 6 members. But wait there's more, only two of these six were available to attend the breakfast. These two ladies, two mums, (I say that without apology.) It fast became apparent that not only were these two holding their families together, but these two lady Rotarians were virtually holding the town together. The mine has closed, and because there are no jobs in the town, the men have pretty well migrated to where there might be jobs. Many went to Mt Isa. The Rotary membership is quite fluid as a result. It seems that the only continuity in the town, and in Rotary of course, was provided by these inspirational ladies.
At Tennant Creek our group had a project to donate books to the school. Not surprisingly Tennant Creek School is suffering the same malaise as the town. There seems to be a problem in attracting long term senior staff. Little wonder, this really is way back in the outback. We were there at the behest of Flying Doctor, who has an ongoing project to improve indigenous literacy. As a group we presented the school with over 1000 books. The principal had all the school attend the presentation in the hall. Just like any kids the kids of Tennant Creek were so excited to be getting pressies. Many of them sat down on the floor to read their new books, and wouldn't be shifted. Wide grins were the order of the day. All of the pupils, regardless of their roots, together showing their appreciation, and their lovely white teeth...
Our most spectacular sight, putting aside the obvious, (Uluru, Devils Marbles, The Olgas) was the sight of the mine at Mt Isa. (Google Mt Isa) Along the way we had visited Bourke, the back of Bourke, Broken Hill, Cooper Pedy, Wilpena Pound, the list goes on. Mt Isa though as a spectacle beat the lot. Many k's before we entered the town we could see the headworks of the mine rearing its head. Once in town, the whole workings were mind blowing, dominating the town and the landscape, as if shouting to all, “look at me, I bring riches to the town.” At 2000 metres deep, over 19 levels, and hundreds of kilometers of tunnels. The deposit is apparently over 2k long, 1k wide, lord alone knows how deep, currently working at 2000 meters.
We were at Mt Isa to make a further presentation to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, to which the benefits of this trip were dedicated. Many cheques were presented; more fellowship and goodwill followed as we were escorted on a tour of the base. We visited RFDS bases in as widespread locations as, Broken Hill, Port Augusta in South Australia and Tennant Creek in Northern Territory, Mt Isa in Queensland, and Alice Springs in Northern Territory. I would hark back to those two ladies who are to all intents and purposes holding the Tennant Creek community together, and acknowledge, as all of Australia does that The Flying Doctor holds the outback community together…. Serving a client somewhere in Australia every 2 minutes.
We are truly grateful to the Rotarians of the Rotary e-Club and our new friends the fellow travelers on this Red Centre Tour for the manner in which they enabled us to see outback Australia in a light that we probably would never have discovered any other way. We sure have a much better appreciation of Australia and the problems the people are facing, and more importantly, we are now most appreciative of what Rotary in Australia is doing at grassroots level to ensure that all Australians may have a share in the recovery of Australia from the effects of the economic recession.
She’s a big country mate; and a great one.
Thank you so much for allowing us the pleasure to join you all on that wonderful journey. To spend so much time together in such a large group in perfect harmony is very special.
Ian and Heather are to be congratulated.
No doubt most of you are now settled back into your normal life style.
Our memories of the past couple of months will remain with us for ever.
Thank you good friends.
Back home and readjusting to normality, while talking and showing the results of our travels to friends they are amazed at the distance we travelled and the places we enjoyed.
The real and lasting highlight was the company, companionship and camaraderie of the travelling team. Be sure to make contact when visiting the ever changing always amazing Gold Coast. We look forward to catching up.
Please support these Member Projects!
Join Rotary e-Club of NextGen Qld, Australia Inc to improve Indigenous literacy across Australia and help these kids, one community at a time.
Please show your support by giving through Rotary e-Club NextGen Qld Inc's Supporter page, and share the link to spread the word about Soldier On
Umoja is a non-profit organisation based in Australia to give orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya a second chance at life.