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Ipswich North

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 5:30 PM
The Ipswich Club
Gray Street
Ipswich, Queensland  4305
Australia
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Aug 22, 2017
PDG Tony Williams & PP Terry Carter
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Oct 03, 2017
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Oct 17, 2017
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ROTARY LENDS A HAND TO BORDERTOWN’S FAMOUS WHITE KANGAROOSImage may contain: outdoor and nature

 

The Rotary Club of Bordertown has built much-needed shelters for their local sanctuary’s famous mob of white kangaroos.

Local Barry Smith caught a rare, large white buck in 1984 by jumping from his motorcycle and crash-tackling it to the ground after fears hunters would target him as an unusual trophy. Over 50 of his descendants have inherited his remarkable snowy fur over the following decades, an unusually strong expression of the white gene.

The council wished to build shelters to allow the kangaroos to better avoid the elements within their enclosures. However, their current budget did not allow for the requisite manpower - something the Rotary Club was happy to provide.

“There are trees and scrub in the pens but it wasn’t enough for the whole mob to fit under comfortably, so a tin shelter was installed – but the kangaroos wouldn’t go near it. It was too loud when it rained,” said Rotarian Trevor Butler.

It was decided this problem could be avoided by constructing the new shelters from thatching native plants. “A bunch of Rotarians went down to a property in Willalooka with lots broombush, cutting off a trailer load of big bundles. We then built a frame and had to learn how thatch properly. It was a learning curve as we hadn’t done that sort of thing before,” said Trevor.

After all this effort, it wasn’t certain the white kangaroos would take to their new ‘furniture’. However one freezing, rainy day not long after they went up Trevor took a look on his way to work. “Sure enough they were all huddled in the two thatched shelters – and none were in the tin shed.”

Rotary plans on building additional shelters for the two other paddocks the roos are rotated through, and is discussing further involvement in sanctuary maintenance and expanding the operation. Councilor and Rotarian Ken McInerney commented, “Bordertown’s white kangaroos are one of our largest tourist draw cards, making a big impact on our local economy. They are also wonderful ambassadors for native wildlife, drawing attention to its beauty and uniqueness.”

Australian Rotarians are busy assisting wildlife throughout the world. The Rotary Nest Box Project has provided over 5000 nest boxes for native birds and mammals to replace hollows destroyed through deforestation. The Rotarian Action Group for Endangered Species cares for orphaned pygmy elephants in Borneo and now heads up education programs in an effort to conserve the species – of which only 1500 individuals remain.

This year’s Rotary International President, Australian Ian Riseley, has placed emphasis on conservation. “The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern. It is, and must be, everyone’s concern,” he said.

 

ShelterBox sends team to Sri Lanka after worst monsoon flooding and mudslides since 2003  

Half a million people affected, around 85,000 made homeless. Disaster relief shelter experts, ShelterBox respond to Sri Lankan Government’s call for aid

International disaster relief charity, ShelterBox is sending a team to Sri Lanka today (1st June, 2017) to assess the need for the charity’s specialist aid – including sturdy weatherproof tents, emergency lighting, mosquito nets, and water filtration and carriers.

The team will be re-establishing partnerships with the Sri Lankan Government, colleague charities and local Rotary Clubs in response to the Sri Lankan government’s appeal to the United Nations for help with rescue and relief. The shelter experts responded to monsoon flooding and mudslides in Sri Lanka at this time last year, meaning they have developed the best possible experience in how to deal with flooding on the island and will be working with partners and the Sri Lanka government to share their expertise.

Sri Lankan residents walk through floodwaters in Kaduwela, Colombo. © Lakruwan Wanniarachchi: AFP

ShelterBox Operations Team Lead, James Luxton said, ‘This is déjà vu on a horrifying scale. I was with our team last year and I’m flying tomorrow again to meet up with our in-country contacts to carry out urgent assessments to help local families and communities.’

‘Last year’s response has given us solid experience of how best to level and drain sites so tents can be safely pitched. But the conditions are bad, monsoon rains are still falling, and many rivers are still overflowing. We know from monitoring our aid provision last year what will work best, and we’ll be offering that expertise to the Sri Lanka authorities, with whom we already have a good working relationship.’

In this latest monsoon tragedy the island’s emergency services are currently dealing with the rescue phase, and many people are housed in temporary shelters away from the flood zones. Sri Lanka’s Disaster Management Centre (DMC) warns that the death toll may rise as reports come in from outlying areas. But when the floodwaters recede there could be a need for temporary shelter of the kind provided by ShelterBox.

SRT volunteer, Derek Locke (USA) instructs Sri Lanakan soldiers on erecting a ShelterBox tent

SRT volunteer, Derek Locke (USA) instructs Sri Lanakan soldiers on erecting a ShelterBox tent during our deployment in 2016

Sri Lanka is particularly vulnerable to this ‘moving earth’ mudslide phenomenon, having cleared land over decades to grow export crops such as tea and rubber. When the rains fall this deforested landscape can quickly become a torrent of mud with collapsing hillsides.

In 2016, ShelterBox provided tents and other aid to hundreds of families across six different camps. The work was complex because land had to be levelled and drained before it could be used safely for pitches, ensuring occupants wouldn’t be at risk from further storms and flooding. ShelterBox teams worked in partnership with the Rotary Club of Capital City in Colombo, who provided invaluable in-country local knowledge from a network of Rotarians across the island, and with the International Organisation for Migration and World Vision.

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE

 
 
 
Tuesday October 10 2017 is Hat Day, an initiative of Australian Rotary Health, one of the largest not-for-profit funders of mental health research in Australia.

100% of the money raised during this year's Hat Day campaign goes directly to research helping the one in five Australians affected by depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and many other illnesses.

You can help by simply registering your Hat Day event here on our website. It could be for your company, club, sport team, friends, family – whatever!

Once your Hat Day event page is set up you can share the link and let everyone know how they can help by making an online donation.
 
You’ll be able to set a ‘Hat’s Off’ target to reach by October 10 2017 and keep track of the progress whilst you plan for a big celebration on the day.

Rotary recommits to ending polio in Nigeria

 

The World Health Organization has confirmed two cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in Nigeria, the first cases in the country since July 2014. After passing a year without a case of the wild poliovirus, Nigeria was removed from the list of polio-endemic countries in September 2015. These cases – from two local government areas of Borno state – occurred in July 2016.

The Government of Nigeria – in partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative – will take immediate steps to respond quickly to the outbreak to prevent further spread of the disease. This response will include emergency vaccination campaigns to boost immunity in impacted and at-risk areas, and reinforced surveillance activities to ensure we detect all strains of polio. Because polio knows no borders, steps will also be taken to protect surrounding countries, to ensure all children are vaccinated and to reduce the risk of the spread of the disease.

This news is disappointing for all Rotary members - and particularly those in Nigeria - who worked so hard to help the country stop polio. However, Rotary remains steadfast and fully committed to fighting polio anywhere children remain at risk, including Nigeria and Africa.

Rotary members remain resilient in the face of challenges. Today, we roll up our sleeves and redouble our effort to rid the world of this devastating disease. Rotary members in Nigeria are already hard at work to support the outbreak response, and our network will also be tapped to quickly protect children in surrounding countries.

The World Health Organization is confident Nigeria can end polio. The program has overcome outbreaks before, and we have the tools to do so again in Nigeria. Rotary will not stop its efforts to ensure that every child is born into a polio-free world where they are safe from this paralyzing disease.

Michael K. McGovern, International PolioPlus Chair

 
 
 
 
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