Stories

Cape Barren Goose - credit: Mikaela Egan

Local Rotary Clubs band together to provide fresh drinking water in Timor-Leste

Jun 2024

The community of Cailaco, Timor-Leste, has achieved a remarkable feat by successfully installing a crucial safe water system at the Salesian Sisters Orphanage and Primary School. This significant achievement, facilitated by Safe Water Timor-Leste, will deliver substantial benefits not only to the orphanage and school but also to the surrounding community.

Thanks to the generous support and collaboration of the South Coast Rotary Clubs, including the clubs of Phillip Island, San Remo, Wonthaggi, Inverloch, Leongatha, Korumburra, and Foster, over 18,000 individuals, including the residents of Cailaco, now have reliable access to clean water. This represents a significant improvement in access to safe water across the region, made possible through the dedicated efforts of the local South Coast Rotary Clubs.

The completion of this project stands as a testament to the transformative power of collective action in addressing critical humanitarian needs. The South Coast Rotary Clubs will continue to work to sustain and expand these life-changing initiatives in the years ahead.

Club 2024 Change Over Dinner

Jun 2024

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo held their annual Change Over Dinner on Monday night, celebrating a year of community service and welcoming new leadership at the Foreshore Bar and Restaurant in Rhyll. The outgoing President, Rob Robertson, highlighted the club's achievements, including the Rotary Rehabilitation Garden, support for Change For Sam, clean water projects in Timor-Leste, collaboration with St John's Church for Community Meals, and various local school projects.

Rob praised the revenue from the Cowes Op Shop, which supports local, national, and international projects, and thanked the volunteers, especially Diane Thomas, the shop manager. Incoming District Governor Colin Byron lauded the club's dedication and range of activities.

Awards were presented to Judy Lawrence and Peter Buitenhaus (Paul Harris Fellow) and Keith Gregory (Honorary Membership).

Guests enjoyed a locally sourced dinner and live music by Tom Green, a versatile singer and musician from Bass Coast.

The new president, Gea Lovell, shared her vision for expanding youth programs and enhancing environmental and community projects.

Bringing Community Spirit to Cowes Community Meals

Jun 2024

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo took a hands-on approach to supporting the Cowes Community Meal, planning, cooking, serving, and cleaning up the entire evening's activities. They served corned beef with a choice of sauces and fresh vegetables, followed by a lemon coconut custard pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. The club plans to continue supporting the Cowes Community Meal as part of its ongoing commitment to the community. The meal takes place every Monday night at St John's Uniting Church and is open to everyone.

Supporting St. Johns Unity Church Christmas Lunch

Jan 2024

St. John's Uniting Church Community Meal didn't just put on a Christmas feast; they orchestrated a symphony of joy, goodwill, and deliciousness that will resonate in the memories of all who attended.

The Christmas lunch was a symphony of flavours - a crescendo of nibbles, a harmony of charcuterie, a seafood sonata, and a roast meat rhapsody. The main course was a medley of vegetables and salads, a culinary orchestra that left taste buds singing. And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, the quintessential Christmas pudding took centre stage, joined by custard and chocolates for the bravest dessert enthusiasts.

Approximately 60 souls found a seat at this gastronomic gala, where friends and strangers blended into a cacophony of chatter and chomping. The feast was not just a feast; it was a celebration of togetherness, where each person felt a sense of belonging, warmth, and joy.

As the guests departed, their hearts and bellies full, their comments echoed the sentiment of a truly magical day. "Probably the best Christmas dinner I've ever had!" exclaimed one, while another expressed gratitude, saying, "Thank you to all who gave their time to make this special day wonderful!" A poignant note came from someone who found solace in the gathering, "You gave me somewhere good to share this day; it's not an easy time for me."

A special shout-out goes to the Phillip Island and San Rem Rotary Club, the unsung heroes behind the scenes, for helping weave the threads of generosity and community spirit into this extraordinary Christmas tapestry. May the echoes of this festive symphony linger and inspire the continuation of this heartwarming tradition in the years to come.

Rotary SkyHydrant projects across Timor Leste, an update from Duncan Hedditch.

Nov 2023

Our club President, Rob Robertson, alongside the club's International Chair, Stevie O'Reilly, expressed profound gratitude to Duncan Hedditch for his comprehensive update regarding the installations of SkyHydrants in Timor-Leste.

SkyHydrant, a revolutionary water filtration system, has transformed access to clean drinking water, particularly in underserved regions such as Timor-Leste.

In Timor-Leste, where clean water accessibility posed a significant challenge, the introduction of SkyHydrant installations has been a game-changer. These innovative devices utilise advanced membrane filtration technology to efficiently eliminate contaminants and pathogens from water without relying on electricity. They are cost-effective, low-maintenance, and capable of purifying thousands of litres of water per day, making them an invaluable asset in remote communities.

Duncan has spearheaded significant Rotary SkyHydrant Projects throughout Timor-Leste, catalyzing transformative changes. Communities grappling with waterborne diseases now enjoy access to safe, clean drinking water, significantly enhancing health outcomes, especially for children, and elevating overall living conditions.

This initiative has facilitated safe drinking water access for over 18,000 students, eliminated the use of 30-50,000 plastic bottles daily, and eradicated the need for 13 tonnes of firewood (previously used for boiling water) per day. The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo takes immense pride in supporting this impactful project.

Rotary Club helps Super Sunday Bike Count

Nov 2023

In a collaborative effort to promote sustainable transportation, the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo has assisted Bike Network Australia in collecting active travel data during the recent Super Sunday counts. This count occurred on Sunday 12/11/2023 across various locations across Australia. with our clubs' focus being in the Bass Coast area.

These counts are aimed at gathering comprehensive information at intersections, encompassing mode of travel, gender distribution, time metrics, and directional flow.

The initiative seeks to generate rich data, to become a vital resource empowering councils to track progress and pinpoint areas necessitating improvement. Such data analysis serves as a cornerstone for informed policymaking concerning active transport. By analysing trends and patterns, authorities aim to implement measures that make choosing active modes of transportation a more viable and preferable option for residents on a daily basis.

Understanding the dynamics of how people move is pivotal in fostering sustainable transport options, the data collected will aid councils in shaping policies and contribute to creating environments conducive to walking, cycling, and other forms of active travel.

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo were delighted to be able to assist the Bike Network in this valuable community-driven event.

Rotary Celebrates MUNA Students From Newhaven College

Oct 2023

On Monday, October 23, 2023, the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo attended a delightful afternoon tea hosted by Newhaven College to celebrate the achievements of two of their students who participated in the recent Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) at Nossal College.

Our club was proud to sponsor the two Newhaven College students in MUNA, an international youth program that the Rotary District wholeheartedly supports.

MUNA provides a stimulating experience for senior school students, deepening their understanding of the United Nations and the countries they represent in a simulated UN assembly. It is a unique opportunity for students to hone their public speaking skills while engaging in thought-provoking debates on pressing global issues.

Under the guidance of our club's dedicated Youth Director, Mr John Tennant, two dynamic students from Year 9 at Newhaven College, Phillip Island, embarked on an inspiring journey during their time at Nossal College.

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo is grateful to Newhaven College for the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of these outstanding students and to support MUNA, a program that empowers young people to become global citizens and advocates for change.

Parking cars , and checking tickets - Phillip Island Motorcycle GP 2023

Oct 2023

The Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix is an electrifying event that draws thousands of racing enthusiasts from across the globe.

Yet, orchestrating the logistics for such a colossal assembly can be an imposing endeavour, and this is precisely where our club plays a role in helping to ensure the seamless flow of the event.

Collaborating with Fred Reinking of Dome Security, a company founded and led by a fellow Rotarian from the Sunbury Club, the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo has taken an active part in assisting with the parking and ticket inspection arrangements at the Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix.

As spectators stream in to witness the high-octane races, our members expertly oversee not just the parking of vehicles, but also the task of ticket verification at the grandstand entrances. From guiding cars to their designated parking areas to ensuring that ticket checks run as smoothly as a well-oiled engine, our members' dedication is a small yet vital contribution to the overall success of the event.

What's even more noteworthy is that we undertake these responsibilities as volunteers, generously contributing our time and effort to raise funds for charitable projects, such as the Rehabilitation Courtyard at the new Cowes Hospital and other projects that support causes making a profound difference in our community.

Another two successful clean water installations in Timor Leste

Aug 2023

We are thrilled to announce the successful completion of another of our Club's projects. This journey was remarkable, allowing us to connect with kindred spirits who value the preciousness of clean water, a gift generously bestowed by our Club. Despite the expected challenges inherent in community development efforts, we persevered, resolving issues and achieving sparkling, pristine water.

Our achievement comes from the Gem SkyHydrant, a remarkable device capable of delivering 5,000 litres of clean water daily. Installed within the Venilale Girls' Orphanage kitchen, it promises to transform lives. The Dom Bosco Sisters, local staff, and 116 girls aged 5 to 15 can now savour health without worrying about contaminated water. This Hydrant will be a source of safe drinking and cooking water, significantly alleviating their daily lives.

A heartwarming photo captures the girls, dressed in their finest, expressing gratitude. Their endearing concert touched our souls deeply.

Two of our club members, John and Stevie O'Reilly undertook a Clean Water project for the remote mountain town of Quelicai. The local school will share this life-giving resource with the community, ensuring a steady supply of 10,000 litres daily. This act of love has brought immense satisfaction.

Once again the Rotary Club of Phillip Island are delighted to provide valuable assistance and support to these communities.

Skyhydrant Installation By Local Rotary Cluster

Jul 2023

The second SkyHydrant has finally now thankfully been installed and is operational in the Barangay (village) of Tapodoc, Philippines.

Our local Rotary Clusters' project was for the installation of 2 SkyHydrants, with the first being installed in the Barangay of New Eden (more than 1 year ago) The 2nd was for this village in the Muslim area but due to continuing violence, the installation has been delayed.

Peace will now hopefully be a continuing factor and our SkyHydrant delivering clean water will benefit all.

The photo was taken by our installation team of 'Balay Mindanaw' which shows the happy recipients. The Chairman of the village indicates the poor quality of the water that was available prior to the SkyHydrant . Though the sign, says thanks to RCs of PI&SR, Inverloch & Wonthaggi. The $10,000 donation was however raised by all Clubs in our cluster. This also includes Leongatha, Foster and Korumburra.

A great result for our Cowes Op. Shop

Jul 2023

We are pleased to share the tremendous success of the Cowes Op Shop over the past 12 months.

This achievement would not have been possible without the incredible dedication and support of our Shop Manager Dianne Thomas and her team of amazing volunteers.

One of the key factors contributing to our success was the introduction of extended trading hours during the summer months. This decision allowed us to better serve our community and attract more shoppers to our store, resulting in increased sales and positive outcomes for Rotary.

Our team of volunteers, comprising both Rotary members and other passionate island residents, deserves special recognition. Their hard work and enthusiasm have played a vital role in making our Op Shop flourish.

We believe in having fun while making a difference, and our volunteers exemplify this spirit perfectly. Beyond raising considerable funds for our club, the Cowes Op Shop has become an invaluable resource for the community. It provides access to a wide range of quality second-hand goods, benefiting countless individuals in need.

Rotary Rehabiliation Courtyard at Cowes Hospital

Jul 2023

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo is supporting the creation of a Rehabilitation Courtyard at Phillip Island Hospital, which will be named the Rotary Rehabilitation Courtyard.

This represents a significant investment by our club of $100,000 over 5 years in support of Bass Coast Health, Cowes.

The garden will have numerous features, including a walking path of differing materials and textures to assist in the patient's physical mobility. It will also have shaded seating areas, and other elements all designed to promote physical activity and aid in patient rehabilitation.

Patients can use the garden to relax, de-stress, and work on their physical rehabilitation in a safe and supportive environment.

The garden is also a great place for patients to socialise and connect with others. The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo is delighted to be sponsoring this valuable new asset to our community.

The soon-to-be Rotary Rehibiation Courtyard will be established in the are covered in the above photo.

The Ritz Dinner Dance a Major Success

Jul 2023

Rotary Phillip Island and San Remo proudly announce the success of their highly anticipated fundraising Dinner Dance, "The Ritz," held on Saturday, May 20, 2023.

This year's event surpassed all expectations, building upon the achievements of the previous year and raising an impressive amount of approximately $30,000 before expenses.

Despite the necessary expenses, which are yet to be accounted for, the event is projected to yield a substantial result of around $24,000 to $25,000.

This outcome will undoubtedly make a significant difference in the community and aid the various initiatives supported by the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo.

The success of "The Ritz" would not have been possible without the tremendous effort and commitment of the club members, whose hard work in planning and executing the event was truly commendable and exemplifies the core values of Rotary and its mission to create positive change in the world.

Rotary Phillip Island and San Remo would like to express their sincere appreciation to all attendees, sponsors, and contributors for their unwavering support.

The success of "The Ritz" has only been made possible through the collective efforts of everyone involved. Their contributions played a crucial role in the fundraising success and further exemplify the spirit of giving that the community embodies.

SkyHydrant

May 2023

Our club has been focusing on the delivery of clean water filtrations systems, called "SkyHydrant" to the people of Timor Leste.

This innovative technology addresses the country's water scarcity and contamination issues by providing safe drinking water to communities in need.

The SkyHydrant is a cost-effective solution as each unit installed is around $5000. Funds have been raised by the many volunteers within the Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo.

The system requires minimal infrastructure and maintenance, making it a sustainable option for remote and underserved areas. It operates without both chemicals and electricity, relying on gravity to filter and distribute water, reducing operational costs.

This project is delivering better health and greater school attendance to the communities and is supported by Rotary Phillip Island and San Remo. For more information on SkyHydrant visit: https://www.disasteraidaustralia.org.au/our-aid/skyhydrant/

Up-Cycled Playground Equipment Goes Overseas

Dec 2022

The Rotary Club of Phillip Island and San Remo, with assistance from Wonthaggi Rotary, undertook two days of work resulting in the removal of a large playground from Wonthaggi.

Two trailer loads of playground equipment are now destined for a new life under the Rotary Overseas Repurposed Playground program. Big thanks to Rotarian Wayne Jenkins from RORPs, his coordination skills ensured everything ran smoothly, with the work completed on schedule (thanks also to Stevie from PI&SR for her endeavours to complete the project).