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Rotary Club of Burnie News

A Men’s Table to START in Burnie

On April 12, Burnie Rotary Club posted a news story on this website about the introduction of Men’s Tables in Tasmania. The Rotary Club is now pleased to announce: a Men’s Table will start in Burnie on Tuesday 13th September at The Beach Hotel

The organiser, Ben Hughes, welcomes men to come along to this event and find out what happens at a Men’s Table and why. Ben says:         

“The Men’s Table is a national organisation to get men listening, talking, supporting and being supported. Come and have a proper chat over a meal. We have 66 Tables nationally, 4 in Launceston and now we are starting one in Burnie.”

Book here:  https://events.humanitix.com/burnie-men-s-table-entree-tues13thsept

The cost ($30) covers a meal and a drink. There are no ongoing fees or membership costs. 

For more information please contact Ben Hughes at ben.hughes@themenstable.org or call 0424 99 33 66

The Ellis Richmond Sustainability story

Jessica Richmond and Lindsay Ellis are partners in Ellis Richmond Management and Sustainability Consulting firm based in Burnie. Jessica explained that Sustainability affects all businesses.  “At ER, we follow the Greenhouse Gas Standards to calculate your emissions.”  Those standards divide emissions into Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.

Scope 1 emissions arise from sources that are directly  controlled by your company, e.g., from combustion of fuel in vehicles that your company owns.         

Scope 2 emissions arise indirectly from the generation of the energy you buy from a utility provider.

Scope 3 emissions are tricky! They cover all the emissions your company is responsible for outside of its own walls – from the goods you purchase to the disposal of the products you sell! These emissions often account for a huge amount of a company’s overall emissions!

“At ER, we assist companies to properly identify and track their Scope 3 emissions.”

Jessica also explained the concept of Carbon Offsets – a government incentive to encourage people to reduce emissions. For instance, if farmer A stops carbon going into the atmosphere by using a special method, farmer A can register that project and method and they will get a certain quantity of credits which farmer A can sell.

“ER can help you work out what method may be best.”

$2k donation to Burnie Life Saving Club

President Themba presented a cheque for $2,000 to Haydon Smith of the Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club, saying that this was the outcome of a presentation to the Rotary Club in March by Stuart Payne (President of Surf Life Saving Tasmania) and Shane Askew (President of Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club).

Haydon thanked the club and said this money would mean the Surf Club is close to being able to purchase a new IRB (Inflated Rescue Boat) to replace their very old boat. These days, an IRB costs around $19,000 – without the motor!

Nina Huang – New Member

Nina came to Western Australia from Taiwan* in 2010 for a working holiday. She was paid only $40 per day, but she enjoyed what Australia has to offer, so in 2013-14, she entered Wollongong University and specialised in pure mathematics.

*   Taiwan is “a small island – half the area of Tasmania, but with a population close to that of the whole of Australia.”

In 2016, Nina began working for Entura, a company owned by Hydro Tasmania [company sales pitch: “We own. We operate. We consult.”]

In 2017, Nina became a Project Analyst and since 2020 has been Entura’s Delivery Controller. “I’m one person and I want to keep a Team of One!” she said. In this job she oversees the work output of 200 employees – the hours they work and the outputs arising from those hours (to answer queries such as ‘is this work ‘billable’ to a customer or not’?)

To do this, Nina makes use of 1109 data tables with over 12,000 columns and 1.2 trillion cells of data.

Q: Are the Taiwanese worried that what is happening in Ukraine might also happen to them?  

A: “Life goes on as normal in Taiwan.” Two-year universal military service exists for 18-year old males and repeats of this training for 1~2 weeks each year are the norm.

A Men’s Table – Benefit toBurnie

In late February, our Guest Speaker was Mr Ben Hughes of Launceston, who is diligently working to set up Men’s Tables in Tasmania – the 55th table in Australia recently began meeting in George Town.

 (see https://burnierotary.org.au/a-mens-table-in-burnie/ )

A Men’s Table begins with two or more men wanting to meet. Membership of any Table is capped at twelve; there can be several Tables in any one town. There are only a few simple rules:

  • There is one meeting a month at whatever time suits the particular group
  • You only need to bring your ears
  • No man is forced/required to speak
  • When any one man speaks, everybody else remains silent and listens
  • The only cost is the price of a meal

Allan Jamieson contacted Ben Hughes last week to find out what Burnie Rotary club could do to help Ben start a Burnie Men’s Table. Ben replied as follows:

  • A Table in Burnie will happen; it is just a matter of time and resources from my end. We have detected interest in Burnie and there is some funding that we can use. I feel we can think about starting in early July.
  • The more connections I can make the better – Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, sports clubs, doctors surgeries, local media, local MP’s.
  • The other real help is identifying a local venue that is open on weekdays and has cheap eats and most importantly a private room to seat 12.
  • A good way to spread the word is by sharing our website:


The members of Burnie Rotary club were able to identify several ways in which they could assist Ben in his quest and these will be worked on during the next few weeks.

Chandra WIJEWARDHANE – Club Member

Chandra focused his talk on his experiences growing up in Sri Lanka.

He told the story behind the country’s flag: The four leaves refer to the four Buddhist virtues of loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity; the sword held by the lion reflects the sovereignty of the nation; the green stripe is support for Muslims and the orange for the Tamils (during the long war in Sri Lanka against the Tamil tigers, each tiger wore a cyanide capsule around his/her neck).

The National bird is the Rooster and the Water Lily is the National flower.

Chandra told of the age-old custom of preserving meat in honey; the meat is first dried and then immersed in honey.


The Cabinet of the governing party in Sri Lanka has been a “family affair”, he said.

[Just a few hours after Chandra told us this, the Sri Lanka cabinet resigned in recognition of escalating popular demonstrations against the government. “Only the president’s brother, Prime Minister Mahinda, stayed on as the government grapples with a major economic crisis. Earlier, the President, Mr Rajapaksa, invited opposition parties to join the cabinet.” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60975941 ]

At right, Chandra is seen in national dress, with Pres. Themba in his usual winter jacket

Chandra showed us a picture of a huge castle built in the 5th Century on top of a massive rock. “Nobody knows how it was done.”

To reach his secondary school, Chandra had to climb 145 steps each day.

Chandra showed us images of objects he created during his school years. One such object was a tower, similar to the Eiffel Tower, made from finely cut match-sticks – he would split one matchstick into 64 smaller sticks and the tower comprised 25,000 small sticks. If he sneezed, he would have to begin again!

Rotary aids Ukraine

At the Burnie Rotary club meeting on 4th April, Past President John Glen explained how Rotary is helping in Ukraine and adjoining countries.

  • There are 62 Rotary clubs in Ukraine, but with only around 1,100 members in all.
  • So far, most donations around the world have been sent to Rotary International’s Disaster Response Fund and 31 grants have been made totalling US$900,000.
  • To-date, 3.5 million Ukrainians have been displaced into neighbouring countries.
  • In Poland, Rotary is providing transport, accommodation, food and medical assistance.
  • In the Czech Republic, Rotary is providing sleeping bags, medicine, food, defibrillators and oxygen.
  • Similar efforts are being made via Rotary clubs in France, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Moldovia.
  • Germany is setting up a national taskforce to co-ordinate relief efforts.

In Australia, John said, the smart approach is to rely on RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service), which has set up a fund – “Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief Aid” for donations. The current goal is to raise AU$5 million. RAWCS is working in conjunction with the Australian Federation of Ukrainian organisations and Caritas Ukraine. This is the largest tax-deductible effort in Australia aiding Ukraine. 

          John urged our club, plus other Australians and Australian companies to donate into said fund. Go to <https://rotarydistrict9675.org/Stories/rawcs-ukraine-appeal>

THANKS to all our Golf Day Sponsors

Burnie Rotary Club is extremely appreciative of all the sponsors of our annual Charities Golf Day. Without these good souls, the club could not hope to organise this Day.


Rotary Charities GOLF DAY


On Sunday, Mar. 27, the Rotary Club of Burnie will put on its 2022 Golf Day. This fantastic day will be held at Wynyard Golf Club, but in all other respects, it will be the same great day of golf, fun and with prizes  for all, which the Rotary Club has run for over 30 years.  If you have not yet advised us of your intention to attend and play golf, PLEASE contact any of the following right now:

George Austin – 0438-450-801 or georgeeaustin@gmail.com

Paul Kearney – 0407-310-059 or pkearney@capitalcorpef.com.au

Doug Forrest – 0418-361-839 or douglasforrest@bigpond.com


The Power of Surf Lifesaving Clubs

On March 21, Burnie Rotary hosted two high-profile members of Tasmania’s Surf Lifesaving clubs.

Stuart Payne is president of SLST (Surf Life Saving Tasmania) and oversees the 14 Surf Clubs, 7 volunteer marine rescue services and 2 jet boat rescue services in Tasmania. As well, SLST supports Tas. Police on flood rescue operations (i.e., inland). Stuart said there are over 1,000 ‘nippers’ in Tasmanian surf clubs and, while they have fun, they also learn about proper beach conduct and smart swimming rules.

Shane Askew is president of Burnie Surf Lifesaving Club, which is over 100 years old. With close to 400 active members, the Burnie club is considered Tasmania’s foremost club. It also competes successfully in local, state and national competitions. Shane pointed out that from December to March each year, the Burnie club has about $60k worth of rescue equipment at the beach and this needs around $10k per year to maintain. The club receives no regular income, so this is a challenge. Given that the Burnie club must patrol both West Beach and also the beach to the east of the Yacht Club, their existing IRB (Inflated Rescue Boat) is indispensable, but unfortunately this boat is 15 years old now and the club is very keen to obtain a new IRB. Their efforts to this end have been very credible, but the club is short of the final $6,000 needed to buy a new boat.

In the photo below, Stuart and Shane are flanked by Pres. Themba and David McCarthy.