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Rotary Club of Burnie News

Ian Jones: Burnie’s latest Citizen of the Year

Ian Jones (seen at right of Club President Themba Bulle) was born in Burnie and attended the local State School and High School (during which he was named Junior Citizen of the Year in 1970). He then moved to Hobart and found work in an office equipment firm, before moving to Sydney and a job with NCR (National Cash Register).

The world beckoned and Ian went to Hong Kong, where he was offered a job in Shenzhen designated in 1980 as the first Special Economic Zone in China. Ian’s job involved managing a hotel and restaurant.

He returned to Tasmania and was introduced to the Burnie Chamber of Commerce ten years ago by a former Burnie Rotarian, John Packham. Ian is now President of the Chamber. This position has put him in close contact with politicians of every stripe, as well as with the Burnie City Council. That the seat of Braddon in the Fed. Parliament is currently held by a Liberal member, he said, has been a great help to our community.

Ian can be found working in the RSL. “My father fought on the Kokoda Track and became a Life Member of the RSL, but – while I am not a member, I spend every Monday, Wednesday, Friday here plus many Saturdays and Sundays!         

“The Citizen of the Year Award gave me a nice feeling – I think it is in my blood – but I am only one person: where are the other volunteers from among the younger generations?” Ian said we must sell the concept of volunteering to those generations.

 Ian is encouraged that funding of over $2 million has been obtained to take health services to veterans living in the North West, instead of sitting back and waiting for veterans to ask for help.

RAWCS – What is it?

Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) was set up by the Australian Rotary District Governors in order to attract tax deductible donations to Rotary projects that benefit society. It funds both overseas aid projects (e.g., Rotarians Against Malaria) and also projects within Australia (directed towards disaster aid). Funds exceed $30 million and have come from three sources; Government, Philanthropists and Public Appeals. At present, RAWCS has 531 active projects; 375 overseas and 156 within Australia.    

           Ken Moore (at right), is a Past President of our club and a Past District Governor of Tasmania’s Rotary District (comprising 47 Rotary clubs). Ken is currently serving as Regional Coordinator-Southern Region RAWCS, encompassing Victoria, Tasmania and a handful of clubs in Southern NSW and Eastern South Australia: it is the second largest of the five RAWCS regions, in terms of number of districts/clubs and volume of activity.

          At our club meeting Feb. 7th, Ken described some RAWCS service projects, such as:

          Bushfire relief: RAWCS recently received a generous donation from an overseas organisation to assist the many individuals and areas affected by the bushfires along South-Eastern Australia (including 2019-2020) and recently in Western Australia. Expressions of interest are invited from Rotary Districts or Rotary Clubs for bushfire relief and recovery projects within their localities. Projects must provide relief to either people in need or to the local community; demonstrate a timely response and specifically who will be the target for the aid. Furthermore, the proposal needs to be realistic, demonstrate sustainability and show how it will be achievable within the requested budget (max. $100,000) and timeframe (max. six months).

          Applications close on 31st March 2022.

Our newest Medical Student

Ten years ago, Burnie Rotary Club decided to offer a two-year scholarship to a student commencing their final two years of study at the UTas Rural Medical School in Burnie – now known as the Rural Clinical School. Yesterday, our newest scholarship winner, Olivia Eade, was at our club to receive her award, together with a plaque to record her induction as an Honorary Rotarian in Burnie RC.

Olivia, seen at right with Secretary George Austin, then  told us a little about herself:

“Though born in Burnie, I’ve subsequently lived in Ulverstone and then Hobart, where I eventually started my medical degree course. Now, I’m back where I began – and I’m enjoying it!

“I love surfing and I’ve discovered how great the surf beaches are along the coast; the water’s much warmer than down south too. Oh, and I also play the piano. 

“I’m now starting my two years at the Rural Clinical School, which has a very good reputation. This can lead to me ending up as a Rural Generalist doctor – a GP who has broad knowledge, skills and attributes in primary, secondary and emergency care in rural and remote areas. Burnie’s school ensures that the students will be exposed to a lot of practical training.

“I believe rural areas end up providing doctors with strong ties to their patients, something that excites me.”

Dr “Mandy” Lau from Hong Kong

Dr Wing Szu “Mandy” LAU is from Hong Kong, where an average family of (say) 6 people are constrained to live in an apartment of just 45 m2. Her surname (Lau) derives from the early Han Dynasty, 2,000 years ago. As a young girl, Mandy had a ‘crush’ on a famous Chinese actor; strangely, this persuaded her to consider studying medicine. In Hong Kong, as a GP, she worked mainly with children.

Her elder sister lives in Western Australia and she still has two younger sisters and one brother living in Hong Kong – by choice!  Mandy says “I consider Tasmania will be my final destination!”

Mandy joined Burnie Rotary Club “because I think the Rotary movement is dedicated to bringing help and peace to Society.”

Mandy (third from left) is seen here with Past President John Glen, visiting Rotarian Wendy Wang from Taiwan and Vice President of Burnie RC – and newest Australian Citizen – Roopa Mulik.


Aid to Tonga

Breaking News: Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) is seeking donations to provide funds for humanitarian programs to assist the people in Tonga recover from the Jan. 15 volcano and tsunami disaster. All donations made are issued a tax deductible receipt by email as soon as the funds are confirmed in the RAWCS account. For more information and to donate see <https://directory.rawcs.com.au/42-2021-22>  or see the Contacts page of our website.

First Meeting in 2022

Jan. 10 BBQ in Oakleigh Park, Burnie


   The Eaters



  The Drinkers



  The Workers

AGM & Breakfast Meeting

Burnie Rotary’s AGM for year ending June 30, 2021 was held on
Dec. 20 during a Breakfast Meeting at Food & Brew in Burnie. 

The AGM was uneventful. 

Two club members, Dilani (mother) and Nethmini (daughter) are both very pleased. “Net” had just received a very high ATAR score after her Year-12 exams and is certain to receive offers of placements in medical schools at several Australian universities.

Pui Ling Lau – Club Member

Dr Pui Ling Lau was introduced by PP Paul Kearney, who noted that Pui Ling is a very caring doctor who is liked by all and sundry.

Pui Ling comes from the very populous Hong Kong. There are about 7,000 persons per square kilometre in Hong Kong, compared to Tasmania’s population of 8 persons per sq. km.

Hong Kong’s standard school system is 12 years: Primary 6 yrs, Junior Sec. 3 yrs, Senior Sec. 3 yrs. Almost forty per cent of students who graduate from secondary school go on to enter University. 

In Pui Ling’s case, her medical studies extended for six years; two years of intense study at university, three years of clinical studies (working at four different hospitals), and one year as an intern (with very long hours and intense exposure to patients). She also underwent vocational training to become a GP; in all a further six years of study. With her Hong Kong qualifications, she was able to move to Australia as a doctor.

The changing political environment in Hong Kong was a key reason why Pui Ling and her husband chose to leave and come to Tasmania. Her husband was a paediatrician in Hong Kong. They have three children, aged 13, 10 and 8 years. In Hong Kong, Pui Ling still has her parents and two brothers.

Pui Ling is very happy to be living on the NW Coast and we are pleased to have her as a member of our club.

Mark Viner – a new BAFC

This week, the club welcomed Mark Viner (seen here, centre, with Secretary George Austin and President Themba Bulle) as Guest Speaker. Mark is the Executive Manager of Burnie Arts & Function Centre (BAFC) and he talked about the Burnie Arts Live Performance Season 2022 and the reimaging of BAFC.

Mark graduated M.A. in History and History of Art at Cambridge University in 1987. He has extensive experience and achievements in the Art & Cultural industry. 

He talked about the “Human Nature – People Get Ready Again 2022 Reboot”, “Leonard’s Beautiful Pictures” and the classic musical – “Mamma Mia” by the Burnie Musical Society.

He said that since the 1970s, BAFC has served the local community as an event and performance space, as well as an annual performing arts centre for the state, national and international artists. Despite the high utilizing rate of 5,000 visitors per week, there is still an inadequate cultural attraction at Burnie. Renovation of BAFC is to start in late 2022, the aim being to create a multifunction area for the local community; a regional gallery, museum, café, retail stores and possible indoor markets may be incorporated alongside vibrant live performances and a wide variety of community events.

Mark said his team is currently focusing on the visitor’s experiences, but he welcomes open discussion.

Heather Chong – Tas. Rotary District Governor



DG Heather visited Burnie Rotary Club on November 15. She is seen here with Senzeni Bulle, wife of President Themba Bulle.  

Heather said:

Our district, D-9830 has just over 1,100 members. If the number drops below 1,100 we can be required to amalgamate with a Victorian Rotary District. Thus, I am trying to ensure we end up with a net two new members per club. Then, having got new members, we must realise the need is to ensure that they want to stay in the club.

The District Conference will be in Hobart in April 2022. We will be offering ‘Home Hosting’ in an effort to reduce costs for members who don’t live in Hobart.

Finally, let’s focus on the Homeless: Think what your club can do.