Last week we welcomed Leslie McKay from the Tasmanian branch of The Smith Family who gave us an overview of the work done by this wonderful organisation. Started in 1922 by three business friends to help families in need The Smith Family’s mission is to create opportunities for young Australians by providing long term support for their participation in education. This support enables disadvantaged children to complete school which will hopefully result in a better life with chance of work and better health outcomes. In 2015-16 they supported 127,424 children, young people, parents,carers and community professionals. Close to 5000 of these were in Tasmania including 166 from Aboriginal and Torres Island backgrounds. There are 33,000 Learning for Life scholarships (Australia wide) including 700 in Tasmania and the Smith Family partners with 18 schools. The results of the Learning for Life programs are constantly monitored and show a 90% success rate. Revenue comes from donations, corporate support and bequests, government funding and from recycling and second hand stores. With only 560 paid employers over 2000 volunteers enable The Smith Family to continue their valuable work. Muriel thanked Leslie and I am sure we will hear more about The Smith Family in Tasmania.
Once again a chilly morning didn’t deter members from showing up for duty at Cornelian Bay on Sunday morning in preparation for the 45th City to Casino Family Fun Run. It is the second oldest Fun Run in Australia staring in 1973 with 199 participants. Starting the 11kms at the Showgrounds, 7 kms at Cornelian Bay and 2.5 at Sandy Bay it is a great opportunity for the serious and not so serious runners/walkers and has evolved into a major annual event with hundreds of participants. Thanks to Muriel, Glenyse, Kate, Andrea, David, Michael, Barry, John and Warrick.
A big thank you to Senator Lisa Singh for giving her valuable time to share with us her experience as an Australian Representative to the United Nations. Along with the Liberal Representative Senator Corey Bernardi from South Australia, Lisa was the first Tasmanian and the first woman selected to spent three months in New York from September to December attending numerous official events and also presenting a statement on our resolve to confront the challenge of climate change. A visit to UNICEF provided her with the knowledge that the vast amounts of small foreign change donated on International Flights does indeed be put to good use. Lisa also commented on the support we receive from our Pacific neighbours at the U.N. particularly Fiji and resolves to get more support from the Australian Government for these countries and especially womens’ health issues. We enjoyed hearing of her numerous other experiences and members will be able to read the comprehensive report she has compiled and printed herself despite not being required as a government representative to report on her visit.
Last week we had an eye-opening presentation from a former R.A.F. navigator who flew during the Cold War. Joining the R.A.A.F in 1973 he later transferred to the R.A.F. and became part of the U.K. Air Defence watching the USSR flights from Northern parts of Russia on their flight paths to Spain and Cuba. The R.A.F. helicoptor pilots played a large and dangerous role in protecting the shipping lanes and in any of the war zones such as the Falklands War they would be used as targets to deflect the ICBN missiles. The detailed and often amusing presentation gave members an insight into the lives of theses heroes who still today continue to endanger their lives to keep our country safe. Thanks to Wally for inviting Greg to speak to us.
Another successful Rypen (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) was held again this year with twenty three Year 10 students participating in a programme aimed at developing teamwork, leadership, communication and social skills. Held at the Lea Scout Centre the students participated in a variety of group workshops and presentations. The outdoor challenges were led by Steve Dimsey from Life Be In It and Tony Coleman from the Scouts. This year ‘s camp was held over two nights at the suggestion of last year’s students and the Rypen Commitee are thrilled with the positive feedback from students. Thanks to the Rotary clubs who support and sponsor this worthwhile programme.
Last Saturday the Wobbly Boot Winery held another Wine and Woofs afternoon to raise funds for the Hobart Dogs Home. Over a hundred dog owners enjoyed an afternoon of wine and entertainment whilst their happy pooches were able to play and make new friends. There was even an opportunity for a Paw Portrait to take home. Moonah Rotary is always pleased to support the Dog’s Home and members enjoyed the sunshine and Canine activities whilst providing the BBQ.