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Ipswich North

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 5:30 PM
The Ipswich Club
Gray Street
Ipswich, Queensland  4305
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Garth Llewellyn
Oct 24, 2017
Redex Trials & Mobil Economy Run
Rachelle Mulraney
Oct 31, 2017
Rock Point Mulching
October 2017
Home Page News

Guljar talks to ShelterBox – a Rohingya family’s dramatic story 

Guljar talks to ShelterBox – a Rohingya family’s scramble over mountains and rivers to reach a small plot of safety. Bamboo and black plastic, extreme heat and rain. ‘A ticking time bomb for disease.’

Jimmy Griffith, a ShelterBox response volunteer from New Zealand, talks through a translator to Guljar and her family about the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar. It has been an arduous journey, carrying a baby, and just boiled rice for food. They have fled violence, but are far from secure. 

Guljar is forty years old. A widow for five years, she is bringing up her two daughters aged 15 & 12, and her son aged 9, alone. Her 15 year old daughter has a baby, just 18 months old.

In Myanmar they had a home and a small farm with a few animals. Life was good for them. Until they became increasingly concerned for their own safety, and felt they should leave.


Guljar is talking to ShelterBox’s Jimmy Griffith, in the overcramped mud bowl that is now her family’s sanctuary in Bangladesh. She and her family are among half a million Rohingya who have fled in fear across the border to Bangladesh. ShelterBox,  experts in emergency shelter and international disaster relief, are working to help what has been described as a ‘monumental’ influx of desperate and exhausted people.

Guljar tells Jimmy, ‘We decided to leave. At midnight we cooked up all the rice we had along with some pickle. We left in the early hours of the morning under the cover of darkness.’

‘We headed for the mountains. We couldn’t take the roads as we knew this could lead to trouble.’ Guljar explained that travelling in large groups of 20,000 to 30,000 gave them safety in numbers. ‘If you were in a small group you would probably be attacked.’

It took them three days of trudging, carrying a small child, for this family of five to scale the mountain. This is open wild country, and there were no tracks to follow. Guljar notes the kindness of strangers. ‘As we were running out of food, other people supported us if they could, and as we passed houses some of these people would help as well. We found a place in the river where we could cross that wasn’t too deep.’


After spending days and nights out in the open they arrived at one of the Bangladesh camps that have sprung up in the Cox’s Bazar region. Guljar, her girls, son and grand-daughter were given a small 3m by 5m plot of land by the Bangladesh government. They were also given flimsy black plastic sheeting, bamboo poles and rope so they could make a shelter.

‘We are so grateful for everything we are given. Unfortunately there are no trees around which makes it very hot under the black plastic (it can be 33-36 degrees in the sun). Also when it rains they leak.’

Most of these plots are on terraces above rice paddy fields. When it rains the ground turns to ankle-deep mud, so families stay inside their shelters, cramped and very hot. Everyone is worried because the cyclone season is coming soon, which threatens both the flimsy shelters and the terraces they are pitched on.

ShelterBox is working with a cluster of other non-governmental organisations on a co-ordinated aid programme, but the numbers needing help are challenging, and at times overwhelming. We have an experienced team in Cox’s Bazar working hard with local Rotary contacts and partners to help as many vulnerable families as possible. These families left their homes with nothing and we know that they desperately need shelter, lighting, and water.

Tarpaulins and ropes will help shelter families from the heavy rain and harsh sun, blankets will bring comfort and warmth at night, solar lights will help families feel a little safer in the dark, and water carriers will help keep water clean. ShelterBox has just signed its first agreement to import sufficient of these to support 4,000 Rohingya households.

Jimmy Griffith says, ‘Our tarpaulins and fixings are heavy-duty, and have been used in the worst weather conditions in all climates. But our resources and manpower are stretched, with ShelterBox responses continuing elsewhere in Bangladesh after vast floods, in the Caribbean after the hurricanes, and in Africa, Syria and Iraq with continuing conflict. So I’m grateful to all our generous supporters worldwide.’

‘As I look around and I see thousands of shelters everywhere - just imagine, if I was to take my home town of Nelson in New Zealand, just 60,000 people, and times it by ten, and just put everybody together in a small space with no toilets or running water. Also add in extreme heat and rain which causes more hardship. Now you have a ticking time bomb for disease. Now you can imagine some of the challenges we face in the Rohingya camps.’

You can help families like Guljar's and other displaced by conflict and disaster 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.

Over 30 years ago, Rotary made a promise to the world to eradicate polio. When we get there, it will be only the second time that a disease affecting humans has been eradicated. Now we're on the brink of history, thanks to the support of partners like the Gates Foundation. Let's drop to zero Learn more at

Shelter Box, Rotary International partner with C&W Foundation

C&W Communications, a Liberty Global company, announced yesterday that ShelterBox and Rotary International will be partnering with the newly formed Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation to execute immediate relief and recovery activities in the countries affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity specialising in providing emergency shelter for vulnerable families who have lost everything after natural disasters and conflicts, and Rotary International, a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities across the globe, will use the foundation's funding to continue and accelerate efforts to improve conditions on the ground in impacted territories.

According to a release from the company, the partnerships follow the recent announcement of C&W to establish a regional foundation with initial funding of US$500,000 to focus on urgent humanitarian relief and eventually broader recovery efforts in Anguilla, Antigua, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Speaking on the new alliance, Chris Warham, chief executive of ShelterBox, said: “At ShelterBox, we are impatient to help the most vulnerable families who have lost everything in the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Our partnership with Cable & Wireless will play a vital role in ensuring that we can provide essential emergency shelter and tools to the worst-affected communities, giving families the hope and power to recover and begin the journey of rebuilding their lives.”

Among the specially sourced equipment packed into its distinctive green boxes, ShelterBox also provides tents tested in extreme weather, solar lighting for when power is down, water filtration to combat disease, and items to keep families warm and able to cook together. The charity also distributes kits to help people repair their damaged properties, clear ground, and to waterproof roofs.

Rotary International is no stranger to the region as it spans 29 countries and 37 islands in the Caribbean. Through community projects, the organisation has helped to solve real problems with commitment and vision.

According to the release, Rotary members use their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. In this instance, Rotary is bringing its members together from across the Caribbean to help roll out programmes to address both immediate relief efforts as well as longer-term recovery initiatives.

“We want to thank Cable & Wireless for its commitment and funding drive across the region,” said Jeremy Hurst, chairman of Rotary International District 7020's Hurricane Relief and Recovery Committee.

Cable & Wireless, meanwhile, said it will continue to expand its partner network as the region's rebuild and recovery needs are developed. Initial efforts will focus on support that gives people and communities that have lost homes, livelihoods and even family, the practical aid, hope, and support to help rebuild their lives. “Rebuilding and recovery from these devastating hurricanes are going to take a concerted and coordinated effort from all of those who can help,” said John Reid, CEO of Cable & Wireless. “We're thrilled that ShelterBox and Rotary, with their expertise and passion for relief deployment, have joined as inaugural partners of the Cable & Wireless Charitable Foundation. The aim of the foundation is to make an immediate difference in the lives of those affected by disaster, and with Shelter Box.

You can help by donating here: PLEASE DONATE


Rotary Bowelscan Program

This is a Rotary program developed in 1982 in New South Wales and now conducted by Rotary Clubs across Australia.
Bowelscan is primarily a public awareness program seeking to increase community knowledge of bowel cancer and its symptoms as well as making available to the public, faecal occult blood testing kits at an affordable price to facilitate early diagnosis.
Therefore, the aims of the Bowelscan program are to:
•Enhance public awareness through all available media channels of the need of bowel cancer screening for every adult every year, particularly those over the age of 40.
•Provide public access via over-the-counter pharmacy sales or on-line sales through dedicated websites, to affordable faecal occult blood testing kits, including the pathology testing of those kits, on an annual basis.
Bowelscan is a not-for-profit initiative which depends for its effectiveness and success on the voluntary support of a large number of pharmacies, pathology laboratories (in Queensland, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology) and the participating Rotary Club members.
To maximise the effectiveness of this program, all Rotary Clubs are encouraged to participate, and to find out how this can best be done in District 9630, contact the District 9630 Bowelscan Committee Chairman Elvin Robb at:
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