Notes on the run
Ahh the joys of a long weekend. Except when the smoke alarm goes off at 3 am for no reason!
I attended most of the PETS session in Batemans bay on Saturday, also fitted in a parkrun by the shore too. It might have made me 10 minutes late but was worth it, I think!
PETS covered a bunch of different leadership topics including some thorny role plays on dealing with internal issues.
I didn’t win the parkrun, but I hope the club can get a few wins with what I have learned.
We have a zoom meeting this week, back in the Commonwealth club the week after.
See you around 
Last week’s meeting: Where there’s a will, there’s a way, just not yet
Member Juris (left) presenting a certificate of appreciation to guest speaker David.
Our speaker on Thursday 7 March 2024 was David Wright of the National Capital Authority (NCA), which is a small Commonwealth Government entity. David, an engineer, is Acting Director, Lake and Dam, at the NCA. That means that he is in charge of monitoring Lake Burley Griffin for water quality, enterococci bacteria and especially outbreaks of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. As we all know, the latter is a life-form responsible for the oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere some 2.4 billion years ago, and so several million times older than we are as a species at the other end of the spectrum. Dig back far enough and you’ll find your evolutionary forebears among them. Not sure will help though.
So now we’re trying to eliminate them from our waterways and dams. Brings to mind the saying, good luck with that! Anyway, we’re giving it a shot. When built in 1963, Scrivener Dam and Lake Burley Griffin were new capital works forming part of the National Estate. Lake Burley Griffin is unique in its design as a recreational and ornamental lake with Scrivener Dam forming its essential control of the outflow. Bacterial infestations were not envisaged as serious at the time, exacerbated now with climate change, nor was there the depth of scientific understanding of possible problems. Current research is helping to gain a better understanding of possible solutions. One significant realisation and impediment is that the borders of the ACT do not encompass the entire inflow of water into the ACT, although the setting of those borders was originally intended to do so. That means that the Commonwealth government lacks jurisdiction over some of the sources of bacterial inflow.
Heavy rain can double or even triple the problem. As more phosphate, a nutrient, enters the system, the severity of the blue-green algae bloom increases. Managing the water quality is very tricky. The enterococci and cyanobacteria lead to neurotoxins in the water which are dangerous to humans and other animals, for example killing birds and possibly being linked to motor-neurone disease. This has become such a serious problem partly because there is a lack of control over the sources of nutrients, which can be from sewerage treatment or farms and agriculture outside the ACT.
The NCA has looked at various possible solutions. In-lake management includes algicides, low doses of copper, phosphorous binding agents and hydrogen peroxide. But these are all short-term solutions. We can certainly see that catchment management is very important. We cannot necessarily see a way out of the conundrum without political will, but that’s just me, saying so.
Juris Jakovics
Next meeting
Our next Club meeting will be by Zoom on Thursday, 14 March. We’ll hear from Tim Miller of Lids for Kids on their extensive recycling program.
George Wilson will kindly open the meeting at 12:15 pm to allow informal chat before the formal start at 12:30 pm. The Zoom link for the meeting link is:
Meeting ID: 830 2880 0197
Forward Notice: Tesla Showroom visit on 28 March
On Thursday, 28 March our social meeting will start at 5.15pm in the Tesla Showroom, 114 Bunda Street, Civic (opposite the Canberra Centre – parking at Canberra Centre is most convenient).
Bring your friends and hear from Tesla technicians about the future of electric cars.
Nibbles and drinks will be provided. As usual, an invitation will be sent out in due course. Please respond and come along!
Bill Andrews
To see the program of future meetings, visit: Rotary activities Spreadsheet.
Duty Roster
14 March
21 March
28 March
4 April
Ross and Eric
Social Meeting
Ross and Eric
Open meeting; introduce President; and Toast to Rotary
Monica Garrett
Astrida Upitis
Social Meeting
George Wilson
Thank speaker and write up for Bulletin
Stephen McMillan
Liz Scrivener
Social Meeting
Bill Andrews
If you are not able to perform your allocated duty, please arrange a replacement and President Warrick. Please advise Stephen of any planned absences to avoid being rostered on while away.
Rotary Club of Canberra Sundowners Birthing Kit Packing
For the past five years, the Rotary Club of Canberra Sundowners has purchased supplies and packed birthing kits. A birthing kit is a simple and effective tool for basic infection prevention and first-line childbirth care. Each component has been selected to support the principles of cleanliness at birth for mothers, newborns, and birth attendants in high-risk and emergency settings. They are distributed to developing countries where childbirth often happens in unsterile environments.
In April 2023, the Club purchased and packed 2,000 kits ($10,000) and has set an ambitious target of raising $15,000 this year to purchase and pack 3,000 kits, with the packing day scheduled for Saturday, 4 May.
To raise funds, the Club will be holding a Trivia Night on Wednesday 13 March 2024 at the Hellenic Club in Woden, ACT. The evening will be emceed by former ACT Young Person of the Year and 2023 King’s Birthday honour awardee, Heidi Prowse OAM, and promises to be fun filled while raising funds for Birthing Kits. 
How we can help:
There are several ways to help to make this activity a bigger success than ever:
  1. Come to the Trivia Night: put a table together and come along to the Trivia night on Wednesday 13 March 2024 – secure your spot now ($35 per person) through the Trybooking site:
  2. Make a donation: If you or your members are not able to make the trivia night but would like to make a donation, please contact us at and let us know. We would love to hear from you!
  3. Come to the packing day: Save the date for Saturday 4 May to come along to the birthing kit packing day. More information will be available soon.
For more information, contact Tara Pullen, President of the Rotary Club of Canberra Sundowners, on 0411 950 118.
Nusa Tenggara Association (NTA) Fundraising Dinner, 13 April
Join the NTA community at the Southern Cross Club, Woden, on Saturday 13 April at 6:30 pm to enjoy a fabulous evening with great people, and fabulous Indonesian food and music. At the same time, you’ll help raise funds to tackle poverty and malnutrition in the poor farming communities of eastern Indonesia.
The guest presentation will be: Rising in the East? Meeting the challenges of gender equity and social justice in the face of climate changes and increasing resource exploitation in NTT. Emeritus Professor Kathryn Robinson will share her knowledge about gender relations, land use and economic anthropology in NTT. Kathryn is an anthropologist, academic researcher and development advocate (CAP-ANU) engaged with Indonesia since 1970
Tickets: $80 each, tables of 10 are very welcome! If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation, please click on the booking link and then select Donation.
Rotary not far away from us
This sign greets motorists leaving Jerrabomberra on Tompsitt Drive.
Stephen McMillan
The importance of proofreading
Illustration courtesy of Facebook
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