Rotary Club of South Launceston District D9830
2017-18 500
Club Meetings:
Thursday for fellowship at 6pm followed by Dinner at 6:30pm
Hotel Grand Chancellor, 29 Cameron Street, Launceston, Tasmania

Latest News | Guest Speaker


Migrant Resource Centre - Ella Dixon CEO

Wednesday, 09 Aug 2017

Ella Dixon spoke to us last Thursday about her role has the CEO of the Northern Branch of the Migrant Resource Centre.
She gave us a brief history of her life where she was born in the Philippines and came to Australia as a child migrant in 1981 from Manila to Smithton.
Obviously being such a small community they were noticed as a new family and there a lot of people who helped in their settling in even if they had some difficult times in the beginning.
Ella explained that she knows exactly what it feels like to be a migrant arriving in a new country - she went through the experience herself.
In her role with the Centre she now finds herself welcoming new families to Tasmania as her family was welcomed in the early 1980s and she feels a connection to them.
The Migrant Resource Centre Northern Tasmania (MRC North) is the leading organisation for the delivery of services and support to humanitarian entrants, migrants and culturally and linguistically diverse communities in northern Tasmania.
Its mission is to provide leadership, advocacy and resources, so that culturally and linguistically diverse people can contribute to the social, economic and cultural development of the community.
We wish her well in this role and thank her for giving us a brief insight to the work that is carried out at the Migrant Resource Centre.

Ella dixon

Medicinal Cannabis - PP Les Baxter

Friday, 04 Aug 2017

Past President Les Baxter gave a very informative talk on Thursday evening about a subject that has had much discussion in the community of late, namely medicinal cannabis.
He informed us that Tasmanian Alkaloids and AusCann have been granted a medicinal cannabis cultivation licence and a research and development licence.
He explained that the current limited evidence suggests that medicinal cannabis may be suitable to treat:
• severe muscular spasms and other symptoms of multiple sclerosis
• chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
• some types of epilepsy with severe seizures
Patients will be able to choose from many forms including oral drops, pills, capsules, topical applications and mouth sprays.
You will have to book an appointment with your doctor or a designated doctor and explain why you need it. The doctor will have to apply to the Tasmanian Health Department for approval to prescribe it to you.
Les said that the security around this product will be extremely robust with many tiers of security.
This topic received many questions from the members and definitely showed the interest it deserves with the possibility of helping many suffering patients in the community


Shekinah House Inc - Louise Cowan-

Sunday, 16 Jul 2017

Louise Cowan from Shekinah House spoke to us on Thursday evening about the blight in Launceston for the many homeless people in our city and around Australia. Her intention is to be able to self fund (without 'hoping' for Government assistance) a homeless shelter in Launceston.
Launceston does already have shelters, but the need is far greater than is currently being met.
She told us about their Charity Shop at 293 Wellington which is a way to raise funds for Shekinah House which should provide a portion of the funds to cover the basic ongoing costs of the shelter.
We wish her all the best with this venture.


Care for Africa -Diana Butler OAM

Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017

Care for Africa
Their Mission Statement is: Fostering growth and self-sufficiency in communities, through clean water, health, education and economic well-being.

We were fortunate last Thursday evening to have our club member Diana Butler OAM speak to us and give an update on her and the many volunteers and donors activities and show a video. Diana is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Care for Africa and we always look forward to these updates.

She told that on September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.
She also told us that The World Bank estimates that over 75 percent of Tanzanians do not have adequate sanitation, while nearly 50 percent don’t have water that is guaranteed to be clean.
She spoke about the eight Water Wells that CFA are working with the communities.
CFA have started a Breakfast Program that will ensure children at schools will have at least breakfast to supplement their daily food intake.
We are always amazed at the excellent work that Diana and her willing band of workers seemed to achieve and we wish them all the best in their endeavors


BlueLine Laundry-Grant Coker-Williams

Wednesday, 21 Jun 2017

Last week, Grant Coker-Williams from BlueLine Laundry Inc. spoke to us about this very important service which operates a commercial business laundry in Hobart and Launceston. They employ around 25 people with supported employment. The business owns 99.9% of the linen it supplies and could be fully automated but has chosen to support people with disability to work toward achieving a relevant industry certificate. Their employment falls under the Supported Service award. Wage assessment is ongoing as personal productivity, quality, learning and improvement occurs. overtime, at their own pace, building capacity at a safe level for individuals.  BlueLine employees become part of working community by integrating supported and unsupported workers. The work place is internationally diverse with 10 different nationalities represented and 15 different languages spoken.
BlueLine Laundry provides a quality commercial laundry service to the following industry groups:
• Hospital linen
• Nursing homes
• Manufacturing
• Hospitality


Beacon Foundation- Lynda McKay

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Beacon Foundation, established in 1988 in Tasmania, has grown to become a national not for profit organisation, operating in all Australian states and territories.

We believe every young person has the right to hope, a job, financial opportunity and the sense of personal success this provide them. Beacon focuses on disadvantaged communities and areas of high youth disengagement and unemployment, where the risk and the need are greatest. We work with schools, businesses and communities to help bring relevance to the curriculum, and inspire young people to think about careers and experience the workplace, long before they leave school. This helps school retention rates and teaches real-life skills, preparing them for the workplace.

Beacon will assist over 15,000 young Australians from just over 120 schools and communities in 2015.

Download Flyer


Games Night-  Ian Smith, Games Master Extraordinaire

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Last week was a really Fun Night. What with the game of quoits, throwing dice to make up a beetle, a game of mini basketball and dice scrabble, the room was awash with noise and laughter. Ian Smith, Games Master Extraordinaire, excelled at this event and he seemed to have control of all the competitors. Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves. Thanks Ian for a great evening.

Games 1

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service - Peta Daley

Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017

Peta Daley, Executive Officer of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service spoke to us last Thursday evening about this service in Tasmania. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is an integral part of Tasmania’s emergency services, and is available to anyone who finds themselves in a dangerous situation. Their highly skilled crew are called out daily for a variety of assignments - from bushwalker rescue missions in Tasmania’s rugged World Heritage Areas to motor vehicle accidents or extracting an injured fisherman from a trawler.
 This topic proved to be well received by our members by the amount and scope of questions asked and answered.

Westpac 2

Rotary Youth Exchange - Corrado Vitali

Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017

Our Club last Thursday evening was fortunate to host Corrado Vitali, an inbound Rotary Youth Exchange Student from Cremona, Italy District 2050. He has been in Tasmania since 14 July and gave a brief overview of his family and life in Italy. He was asked many questions about his time in Tasmania and was glowing about his time spent with host families and his travels.
 A very well spoken young man and our club wishes him all the best for the rest of his visit.

Rye 2

Ash Dunn, cinematographer

Wednesday, 19 Apr 2017

~Ash Dunn, cinematographer
Last Wednesday evening our Club attended the dinner meeting as guests of the Rotary Club of Kings Meadows at the Launceston Golf Club.
The guest speaker was Ash Dunn, cinematographer from WFD production who presented his incredible journey filming the Sea Shepherd Australia, Westpac Rescue and Outback Wrangler.
Ash has worked in the Television Industry since 1994 and has received recognition for his camera work on Animal Planet’s “Whale Wars” Season 1, Season 2, and Season 3 in the form of 3 Emmy Nominations for “Outstanding Cinematography in a non-fiction
What an interesting and exciting life style and we were privileged to share some of the highlights.


Science and Engineering Challenge

Sunday, 09 Apr 2017

Five Queechy High School students flew back to Tasmania with huge smiles on their faces and medals around their necks on Saturday, after coming second at the national F1 in Schools Technology Challenge in western Sydney.
Our guest speakers for Thursday evening were four of the all-female Golden Diversity team and they each took turns in explaining to the meeting what the Science and Engineering Challenge meant to them.
The Science and Engineering Challenge is an outreach program aimed at changing student's perceptions of science and engineering. Through the Challenge, students experience aspects of these disciplines which they would not usually see in their school environment. The Challenge aims to inspire students in year 10 (and below) to consider a future career in science and engineering by choosing to study subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry (the enabling sciences) in years 11 and 12.


Family Violence-  Detective Inspector Philippa Burk

Thursday, 06 Apr 2017

Family Violence-  Detective Inspector Philippa Burk

Detective Inspector Philippa Burk spoke to our Club last Thursday evening on the subject of Family Violence. DI Burk comes from a strong background of policing experience as her father John Kenny was on the force for thirty years. DI Burk has lived all over the State of Tasmania but has recently move from Hobart to Launceston. DI Burk started her new position in Launceston on the 12th December 2016 and shares the portfolio with DI John King.  Our Launceston model of operation is derived  from a multi-agency response unit deemed best for family violence and is  currently  operational in Adelaide. Statistics show one woman a week is killed in Australia due to family violence.

Stand up, stop Violence, stop silence!


Nick Andrewartha - ‘The Other Side’

Thursday, 30 Mar 2017

Our guest speaker last Thursday evening was Nick Andrewartha who is a Launceston man who overcame depression and anxiety and is now helping other young men do the same.

Nick explained how he set about founding The Other Side, an organisation seeking to help people increase their awareness of mental health and reach their goals.

He explained how he went through a rough time in his life silently battling with depression and anxiety and it wasn't until he reached out to get help himself that he was able to get through it and said that the big thing with masculinity these days, a lot of men find it hard to reach out and get help.

A very interesting talk in which he encouraged anybody who is struggling and was feeling down and frustrated to join one of his programs.  

For more information on workshops visit The Other Side  or


Care for Africa in 2016 - Diana Butler

Sunday, 05 Mar 2017

Diana has spoken many times about the not-for-profit Care for Africa which she co-founded in 2007 after hearing a co-worker talk about her childhood in Tanzania.
 Care for Africa now supports about 32,000 people in Tanzania’s Tarime district through a mobile medical clinic, water wells, classroom supplies and ¬social enterprise.
 She gave a presentation on work done with Care for Africa in 2016 including ..
 32 volunteers, 16 Kilimanjaro walkers, Kiboshere Water Well, Kiboshere School, Rural Health Clinic, Care for Children, Bisarwi Women’s Group, Ball, Care for Africa Soccer League, Surubu Toilets, Komosawa Well.
 She thanked the Rotary Club of South Launceston for being the sponsor club and all the help we afford.
 It is a pleasure to hear all about The Care for Africa project and wish her and her workers all the best for their future ventures.

Cfa 6

2016 Care for Africa -Walk 4 Water to Kilimanjaro- Nic Butler

Sunday, 05 Mar 2017

Last Thursday evening we were fortunate enough to have club members Rotarians Diana & Nicholas Butler as guest speakers.
 Nic firstly gave a very comprehensive presentation on his 2016 Care for Africa -Walk 4 Water to Kilimanjaro in September 2016.
 This venture was to raise monies for the construction of a hand pump water system in the United Republic of Tanzania Africa where ‘Water is Life’.
He told us about the training that was done for this hike to the crater camp which was 5,894 metres at the Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro. Some of the hikers suffered altitude illness and were completely exhausted.
 The venture included 51 porters, 8 guides and 16 hikers and many friends were made.
 It was a great success with the end result of sufficient monies raised and in the eventual construction of the water system.
 Congratulations to Nic and his hardy band of hikers and for their compassion for this much needed project.
“Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right. It is an affront to human dignity” (Kofi Anan).

Kili 4

DonateLife Tasmania - Jan Robinson

Friday, 24 Feb 2017

Jan Robinson is a Donation Specialist Nurse at DonateLife and last night she gave us a very informative talk on the facts about organ and tissue donation.
She spoke about her close association with this subject when her husband, who had an autoimmune disease that would ultimately claim his kidneys, got the call to say her husband's transplant could happen.
She told us that in 2016 a record 1,713 lives were saved and transformed through the generosity of 503 deceased organ donors and their families and 267 living donors.

Organ and tissue donation is a life-saving and life-transforming medical process where one organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of 10 or more people.

To find more information about donations go to the DonateLife website at

Our club held a BBQ at Sharman’s Vineyard in November and the proceeds ($3,000) from this successful event were officially handed over to Jan Robinson for DonateLife Tasmania by Director Sonia Morganti and President Glenda Iles.

Jan 1

Visit to QVMAG Planetarium

Sunday, 19 Feb 2017

Our club conducted a vocational visit last Thursday to the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery Planetarium.

  • The QVMAG Planetarium is where you will see astronomical concepts demonstrated in a way this is both dramatic and scientifically accurate.
  • The Planetarium opened in 1968, and its home since 2009 has been the QVMAG Museum at Inveresk.
  • The Planetarium operates a Zeiss ZKP3 star projector in conjunction with a fulldome digital system.

Each year, thousands of people gaze up onto its famous dome to watch exciting feature presentations and to experience the thrill of feeling that they are out under the stars.

We must again thank Martin George, who is the manager of the Planetarium at the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston for giving us an insight into our inspiring universe.

This visit was followed by a visit to the Inveresk Tavern for a great dinner.

A super vocational session for our club.


National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) - Nicola Potter

Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017

Last week Nicola Potter, our recently sponsored student to the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF), showed the value of this excellent rotary program by expressing her excitement about what she experienced in Canberra and explaining how the experience had opened her eyes to the miriad of career possibilities studying science provides.
We cannot underestimate the impact such experiences have on the lives of our youth. The Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA), the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) and the Rotary Youth Exchange program (RYE) are other examples of how we can support our talented younger generations.
It is the role of every Rotarian to be aware of these programs and promote them to our youth so they may have the same life changing experience as Nicola.
When was the last time you spoke to someone about these opportunities?
Roving reporter  Paul Billett


Martin George - Manager of the QVMAG Planetarium

Friday, 03 Feb 2017

Last night we were joined by Martin George, Director of the Launceston Planetarium and Curator of Physical Sciences at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston.
He is known by frequent appearances on radio and television, in particular ABC radio. He frequently speaks to community groups and the public to discuss astronomy and space research.

His passion of all things astronomical was very evident in his talk to us and his knowledge, without notes was amazing.
His most interesting and informative talk was really enjoyed by all and we look forward to the Club’s visit to the Launceston Planetarium to gaze up to the dome to watch a exciting feature presentation and to experience the thrill of feeling that they are out under the stars.

  • Martin is a Fellow and former President of the International Planetarium Society, and continues to serve as its Chair of International Relations.
  •  He is also a member of several other astronomy-related professional organisations, including the International Astronomical Union (the IAU). 

Zonta Club of Launceston- Sue Dyson

Saturday, 21 Jan 2017

Last Thursday evening,  Sue Dyson from the Zonta Club of Launceston spoke to us about an active Global Project that is very important to her local club and many other Zonta clubs around the world.
Zonta is a global organisation of professional women founded in 1919 with 30,000 members in 67 countries improving the lives of women and girls through service and advocacy.
The project she is very passionate about is the Birthing Kit Foundation.

She said in developing countries 300,000 women die annually in childbirth (WHO), 30x more mothers and babies develop subsequent infections. No woman should die giving birth, provision of clean

conditions reduces infection risk.
Birthing kits have been proved to reduce risk and for each 5 kits it is estimated 1 life is saved.
The kits are basic with 6 components, a plastic sheet, 2 gloves, sterile scalpel blade, soap, 3 cords, 5 gauze squares.
These items are assembled into a small bag at an Assembly Day.

Over  1.5 million kits are made by Australian volunteers and distributed to over 30 countries.
She said to find out more about these kits and how you can help visit


Rotary Club of South Launceston District D9830
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