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Rotary Club of Burnie News

Star STEM student – Ryan Jones

Burnie Rotary Club is impressed with the achievements of Ryan Jones, seen at right with our most distinguished member Past District Governor Ken Moore. 
         Ryan was a guest at our meeting on April 8th. He is 17 years old and currently at Hellyer College  in Year 12, after finishing his high school education at Burnie HS. He has been granted a place in the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF), a 15-day event held annually in London, England.

[LIYSF is an impartial, accredited not-for-profit social enterprise established in 1959 to provide students with a deeper insight into science (STEM) and how science can be applied for the benefit of all humankind. LIYSF brings 500 of the world’s leading young scientists aged 16-21 years old from more than 70 participating countries to learn about each other and our different cultures through a shared passion for science. LIYSF is held at Imperial College London and The Royal Geographical Society – with day visits out to other leading UK research centres, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities. See https://www.liysf.org.uk/about-us/about-liysf]

Ryan said the event itself costs $6,000 (this includes meals and accommodation). On top, of course, is the travel cost of around $2,000. Ryan has raised approx. $3,000 so far and is actively seeking financial support. He can be contacted by email ryan.jones.06@education.tas.edu.au 
         Ryan envisages attending Monash Uni, which seems to have very top-notch science facilities. At present, his interests lie in quantum maths, physics and chemistry.

Rotary Charities Golf Day

On March 2nd, Burnie Rotary Club held its annual Charities Golf Day event at Seabrook Golf Club in East Wynyard. Burnie Rotary has organised these events for over 30 years and this 2024 event proved very successful.
Thanks to our many generous sponsors (below) and also to the players, who gladly ‘chipped in’ when asked, the day raised around $9,000.

Major Sponsor    Ratho Farm, Bothwell

Top Movie – Must See

Burnie Rotary is supporting the Burnie Works organisation. Books in Homes provides books of choice to families and children. The program aims to inspire young people to develop a love of reading. It also prepares them for school and helps them develop reading skills for life. Books in Homes is available to children who attend a government primary school in Burnie or at the Burnie Child and Family Learning Centre.
Each term, children can choose three books and they will receive them in a personalised book bag.

The movie to be shown is The Boys in the Boat, about the 8-oared rowing crew from the University of Washington in America, who had struggled to survive the Depression years; they heard that the university would provide board and meals if they were good enough to get into a rowing crew. Eventually, they won the final at the 1936 Berlin Olympics [the first three crews finished that race within one second of each other!  Italy was second and Germany came third.]

Successful Rural Medical School student

Laura Sliskovic is the newly chosen recipient of Burnie Rotary Club’s two-year Rural Medical School scholarship.

Laura is seen at right with Club President Barrie and Club Secretary George. She hails from Bicheno and has found Burnie to be ‘just right’; a quiet town, with friendly, welcoming people and great beaches. She says she is glad to have escaped from Hobart. Laura has a very ‘bubbly’ personality and clearly she is absolutely no fool! 

Laura is welcome to attend any of our fortnightly meetings .

Yoo Hoo ALL Golfers

Attention please‼️

To all golf lovers, 🏆    
🎉We are back again🎊

    Burnie Rotary Club’s  Annual Golf day

When? Saturday 2nd March, 2023
Where? Seabrook Golf Club

The golf will be great – as always – with GREAT PRIZES!

For example: 

Ratho Farm is a boutique accommodation, golf course, wedding and function venue situated in the Central Highlands in Tasmania, Australia. www.rathofarm.com 
Ratho Farm is more than just Australia’s oldest golf course.

Burnie Rotary Club is pleased to announce that Ratho Farm has donated🎁 a package of one night’s accommodation and a round of golf for up to 6 people, valued at $1,200. This will be the subject of a raffle 🎖️ conducted by the Rotary Club of Burnie and drawn on Saturday 2nd March at our Annual Golf Day at Seabrook Golf Club.

Tickets, which cost 💰$5 each or 3 for $10 may be purchased from Rotarians George Austin 📞0438 450 801 or Paul Kearney ☎️0407 310 059

Mark the date – Sat. 2nd March – in your diary.🖊️

We’d love to see you👋🏻😃


It has been an annual tradition of our club for its last meeting prior to the Christmas break to be a breakfast meeting instead of an evening meeting.
With our President and Secretary at the head table (not shown), we had 16 members present. There were, though, 11 no-shows. [The Bulletin Editor took the photos.]

We take the first (small) step

Burnie Rotary Club was formed in 1942, thus it is now 81 years old. It has always been a ‘traditional’ club; however it has been abundantly clear for at least a decade now that such clubs will soon die out.

Burnie RC has been showing all the traits that will prove fatal, unless significant changes are made.

The first – small – step has now been taken: From Jan. 1, 2024 the club will meet every other Monday (ignoring those Mondays that are Public Holidays).

Thus our Jan. 2024 meetings will be on Jan. 8 and Jan. 22.

Dr. John Parker – From Cholera to Ebola

Dr Parker described his 20+ years of experience as a medical volunteer in war zones and other disaster zones around the world. He travelled as a team member of groups such as: International Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Aspen Medical.
Zones visited:
          Rwanda-Zaire. He helped the millions of refugees fleeing the genocide there in 1994. John returned home with signs of his having PTSD, though he ignored these. Eventually his marriage ended and he headed to a war zone.
            Afghanistan (northern provinces). In 2000, the Taliban was in a civil war with the Northern Alliance.

Back in Australia, John became an alcoholic, lost his medical practice and was desperately unhappy. He found that nobody ‘back home’ cared to hear of his experiences. They had not changed, but HE had!  He was very fortunate to secure a job mucking-out horse stables. The horses sensed his unhappiness and they would nuzzle his neck to show that they understood. He married again.
          Nigeria There was a meningococcal outbreak in the northern area in 2006. From there, John went to Uganda to help organise a medical clinic dealing with AIDS.
In 2008, John went to a major burns hospital in eastern Iraq near the Iran border, where he risked being abducted; foreign doctors were worth $500,000 each. Hence, security was extreme.

Back home again, his house burned down!

In North Sudan, he helped Christian groups in this Arabic country. The medical mission there was clandestine, but random bombing was always a threat. It was here that John had his two most devastating medical failures. Two children had epiglottis (a swelling of the valve between the gullet and the windpipe – caused by an infection). John could only look on as they died, helpless, because he lacked the necessary surgical instrument to save them.

It took two years before John recovered sufficiently to become a functioning doctor again.

In 2015, John’s team went to Sierra Leone to combat an Ebola epidemic. In the four months he was there not one staff member died.


John ended his talk by saying; ‘When you live on adrenaline, you know you are alive!’


Grant Youd: Life of a Train Driver

Grant talked to us on 24 July. He comes from a ‘railway family’ – in all, he and other family members worked on the Tasmanian rail system for a total of 136 years!
          Grant’s lengthy  railway service enabled him to experience the changes in management style, from the early days when ‘you could get away with anything’ to nowadays, where everything is laid down in great detail and woe betide you if you don’t follow the rules – which is how it must be to avoid litigation.
           Grant was asked if he had killed anyone. He replied “No”, but he had had several “messy” incidents, which clearly still trouble him today. He decided to voluntarily visit schools and talk to Year Ten classes about the dangers of rail crossings. Those students would soon have driving licences, he said, and he felt it was important to impress on them what to look out for near rail crossings.
           What about suicides? Grant described one incident where he managed to stop his engine just feet away from a man standing unflinchingly in the middle of the train track.
         For the last ten years Grant was TasRail’s chief trainer of new drivers, a position that gave him much satisfaction.
          Grant was thanked by acclimation.

[At right, Grant is shown with his book  A Train Driver’s Story. ]

Gabriella Conti – CEO of WxNW

Gabriella lives on a dairy farm at South Riana. West x North West (see https://www.wxnw.com.au/) is one of four regional tourism bodies that come under the State-wide body, Tourism Tasmania.
          Gabriella explained that the 2022-2025 plan for WxNW embraces:


Vision for 2025:

– Advocacy& Leadership

Our communities understand and appreciate the value of tourism

– Product Development

Our region is no longer ‘a long way from Hobart’; instead it is a destination that must be visited

– Industry Support

Operators are focused on delivering quality experiences aligned to the region’s strengths

– Marketing

Collaborative (focusing on the visitor journey – not on municipalities)

Gabriella mentioned these tourism opportunities:

  • Significant financial support to enable maintenance and upgrades of West Coast Wilderness Railway
  • Unconformity festival in October
  • Bay of Fires – view on ABC TV on Sunday, 16 July, at 8.30pm
  • ‘Tasting Trail’
  • ‘Permission to Trespass’ in Wynyard & Table Cape region
  • Dismal Swamp revitalisation
  • King Island Kelp Farming

When Gabriella drew attention to the ‘Second Iconic Walk’ proposed by Tas. Parks & Wildlife Service – a 3-day walk to be constructed in the Tyndall Ranges from the Anthony Road near Lake Plimsoll south to the Lake Margaret Power Station – our club’s resident wilderness expert, John Glen, expressed his vehement opposition to the concept. Gabriella acknowledged that WxNW was quite aware of widespread opposition by many people and groups.