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Speakers and Club activities
What IS Rotary ??
Alex Rotary Fees
What does Rotary cost? Our full members pay $150 every 6 months to support Rotary International (RI) causes. The only other cost is club breakfast, which can cost between $5 - $12 at the Alex Surf Club. 
In return you get to hear great speakers, meet like minded good citizens, find out what's going on around the world and local communities. By being part of a Rotary club you get involved in community and youth projects, some of them fundraising. Proceeds from fundraising are donated to  community causes suggested by the members. Some years we have donated  >$25,000 to local community. 
Friends of Alex, who are basically folks who volunteer to help out or attend very occasional Rotary meetings, pay $20 pa.
On joining, there will be a one-off cost for a personalised club shirt and badge. 
Alex Rotary WorkLife Coaching Program 
Helping save lives in Uganda. See YouTube video
Rotary News Feed
Rotary honors six members as People of Action Champions of Impact

Members promoted mental health, protected mangrove forests, and helped Indigenous young people increase their economic opportunities

Rotary in Ukraine stronger two years after war began

District 2232 is working to identify needs, connect with Rotary clubs worldwide, and support those affected by the war

For the love of dogs

Members of a Korean Rotary Club help at a dog shelter

More than US$2 million collected for Turkey, Syria after earthquake

Rotary members continue to provide relief a year later to those affected

Rotary partners with Bahcesehir University to establish Peace Center in Turkey

Rotary partners with Bahçeşehir University to establish Peace Center in TurkeyNew center will train regional peacebuilders through a one-year Rotary Peace

Rotary helping you transition to work
Here is a link to the complete WorkLife booklet developed by Alex Rotary as a mentoring guide to anyone starting work for the first time. (Also not a bad read for anyone going back into the workforce who would like a bit of inspiration and advice. 
We've also found that local businesses use it as a friendly support for their employees to help discussions along on the importance of work, (and how to be happy at work while making the boss happy!!)
Club Executives & Directors

Welcome to the Alexandra Headland Rotary Club

We meet every Wednesday morning at 6.45 for 7 am breakfast meeting at Alex SLSC.
Guest speakers, catch up with what's happening in your community, amazing beach views, and kiosk breakfast. 
We're excited to bring you our 8th annual winter solstice swim with Alex SLSC lifesavers.
See links on left to find out more !!
Club News

Guest speaker delivers powerful message

On Wednesday an old friend of the club, Paul Morton gave the club a talk on one of the many areas where IFYS is working hard to improve our community. IFYS has been going now for 44 years, and has 950 employees, all working on various areas of community support.
But there's one program within IFYS that has no staff...but more about that later.
Paul received a Paul Harris medal from the club pre-covid for his work with community aid, and youth services. He consults to IFYS in the area of communications and marketing, and very active in getting community projects off the ground and providing practical help to folks from Noosa to Caboolture and out to Toowoomba. So the club invited him to come along and chat with us about how Alex Rotary could help in a practical and financial way with the work that they are doing. 
One such program caught the attention f the club. This program, which has been going for 13 years now is Inclusive Kids, is a independent fund under the IFYS umbrella that works quietly away in the background making a difference to folks everyday lives. It has no staff. But as Paul points out that means that folks just get Inclusive Kids work attached to their normal workload. And its not limited to IFYS programs. The fund helps all sort of worthy initiatives, many "filling the gap" from other suport programs.
Paul gave teh club a story or the purchase headstones, for a pair or orphans who would otherwise not have a place to grieve.
In that time the fund has delivered over $1M to kids programs such as Fostercare, Youth homelessness, Youth Development and Disability services. More recently the program is moving into food support at schools and Paul spoke about an exciting new program about be launched on the coast to put some fuel into kids who would. otherwise be running on empty. 
We were reminded that Urban Angels, another part of IFYS delivers 15,000 meals a month and even that does not satisfy the demand on the coast. So when you consider that, and the other folks such as meals on wheels, and The Shack etc. etc. you begin to get a picture of the coast that is not so rosy. 
See of Paul's slides below..some very concerning numbers
Following Paul's presentation, the club spoke to him about how Alex Rotary could help, and we'll have some exciting news on that in future newsletters. So stay tuned. 

Feedback from Lilly on her Scientific Journey to NYSF 

On Wednesday we also heard back from Lilly Thomas who we sponsored to go on the Rotary National Youth Science Forumin Brisbane. Lilly is a student and school captain at Mountain Creek High School and is set on a career in science, possible a chemical engineer, but it's fair to say that her time at the NYSF has given her a much broader outlook on what various science careers are available to her. 
Lilly was very appreciative of the assistance from Alex Rotary, and we are so pleased to be able to assist future leaders of the community. I am sure we will be hearing a lot more about Lilly as she progresses to Uni and whatever career she chooses. 
And we hadn't forgotten what a help Lilly was at our Xmas at Alex BBQ, so Graeme was pleased to provide Lilly with a voucher for JBHiFi which we believe is going towards a new laptop. 
This is the cohort that attended the NYSY in Brisbane. 
..and here's Lilly meeting one of the presenters at NYSF who demonstrate the latest in science / advanced manufacturing and how these developments are turned into commercial reality. 

This Week's speaker - change of plan

If you were expecting a talk on photography at our next meeting, you are going to be disappointed. However, if you wanted to hear about Youth Exchange and how Rotary develops the Youth of tomorrow, you are in for a treat. Check out the club calendar. 

Bunnings - but not as you know it 

Our mates at Bunnings have offered us a Wednesday 28th February slot. A certain scribe cannot recall the club ever doing 4 Bunnings BBQ's in such quick succession. So much so there is discussion about are we wearing volunteers put and what can we do to show our appreciation to volunteers. 
One thing that came up straight away was to quickly turn the proceeds of the BBQ to a good cause. Sometimes it takes a while between putting on the hours and seeing the funds go off to a beneficiary, which can lose its effect. 
So this time to make it interesting the club is going to quickly turn the proceeds into a donation, and we want to hear from the volunteers themselves where they want the funds to go to. 
We've already had 2 quite different areas suggested, so not sure who the beneficiary will be, but we can confidently say that they'll receive the financial support, and a thank you for their efforts in the community "toute de suite".

Clean Up  Australia Day

Alex Rotary has hosted the Clean Up Australia Day for the past 20+ years and we’re pleased to continue that tradition on 3rd March at Wilkes Park. This year we’re hosting a sausage sizzle for our volunteers, so please come along for bit to eat, a chat, and do our bit to clean up the beachfront area between Mooloolaba and Maroochydore. 

Truth to be told, there is never a lot to clean up, the foreshore and beach get a lot of attention from volunteers and the public generally are very supportive. 

But it wasn’t always that way. 

Not so long ago the club used to collect about 20 full bags of rubbish and some large pieces too. But nowadays folks are more conscious of littering, and in large part that is due to the folks at Clean Up Australia and their supporters. 


There is a saying that you accept what you walk past, and Rotary have a saying that we want “make a difference” …so for all those years Alex Rotary have been making a difference, not only by cleaning up the front, but also by influencing folks who see the volunteers wearing gloves and carrying the bright clean up bags walking the ground and picking up all sorts of rubbish. Folks are influenced by this, particularly the young, who see Rotarians (and others) taking a practical interest in their environment and this encourages them to do the same. So well done past and present Rotarians for setting an example and contributing to improving the environment and setting an example for the future. 

If you want to volunteer, and have a snag with club members and volunteers click on this link, or just turn up at Wilkes Park (kiddies play park area) BBBG on Sunday 3rd march between 7-8am.

Trivia Quiz Night in support of ROMAC 

For a while pre-covod Alex Headland were the champs at the big Rotary Trivia night at Caloundra. Can we regain that former glory?
Contact President Tony and let him know if you're interested. 

District News and dateclaimers...


Hi Folks,

Following a really, really busy Bunnings BBQ on Christmas Eve, we drew our raffle, or rather the Christmas elf (The amazing Nicola) drew the raffle ...see below


and you will note that our very own Rae turned out to help out despite only having one functioning arm. What a trooper. 

And it was especially pleasing to see where first and second prizes of the Christmas raffle went. The first prize of the pop up paddle board went to Phillip and his two little girls will make the most off that prize over the holidays !!


Then second prize, donated by Mooloolaba Cyclezone went to Amanda, who's son had just had his 7th birthday and would now have an extra surprise on Christmas Day...​​​​​​​



Last meeting of the year

Unfortunately John L was recovering from Covid and unable to attend his formal induction into the club, but good news, John is well and has volunteered for Sunday's BBQ at Bunnings Maroochydpre.
Fortunately Wendy had the foresight to create a Christmas quiz, which modesty forbids me from noting who won.
We did have the a few other formalities, with Tanya awarding the club,  and our very own Naomi, with certificates of appreciation for their work for the community.
Big thanks to Wendy for the Freddie frogs and mince pies. 

...and although we had a few missing members we managed to fill up the camera with our club Christmas photo. 

Bunnings and Raffle reminders

Big thanks to those who helped out at "Christmas at Alex" and Bunnings at Christmas Eve, and really BIG thanks to those who are turning up on the 14th for more "punishment" .

Many others would have helped had they not had other commitments.

For all members, you will have seen the devastation in Caiirns region, and the club has hurriedly sent off some funds to help, and President Tony has been in touch with Rotary Clubs in the region who are helping their community and has asked them directly what they need. 

More details below of what's needed below from our mate Charmaine who has been in touch with her friend Birtle from Bli Bli Castle who has  arranged a container of goods to be sent to Cairns with essential needs...


From Birtie...

FNQ and Cairns are in Crisis.

"Act now! 
We have a Container in the carpark at the Sunshine Castle - ready to fill and were working on getting it up there ASAP.
What is needed most? Because we want to only take the most crucial items!
We need help to logistically make this work!
Here is what we are accepting:
Bottled Water (a crate from Whites IGA confirmed)
Ready to eat non perishables - for pets too!
Toilet Paper
Basic toiletries
Basic Cleaning Products
Basic kitchen Equipment- no breakables or electricals
Basic first aid
Basic Tools 
We need to pack this container quickly and efficiently and it needs to be transportable.
Please pack everything you are donating in a box and have it ready to go with a label on the outside - stipulating exactly what's inside. 
Feel free to send a message of support with your donation ❤️
We cannot accept random - not easily packable items - this is a first response project - efficiency is key. Let's keep it simple and quick. No bulky, electrical or used stuff please...we are even saying no to clothing, toys and furniture! 
This can happen in another project and not here.
Castle gates are open from 10am to 4 pm for drop offs. 
We currently do not have volunteers or staff to process donations - therefore please help by doing exactly what we ask. We are looking for a few volunteers to help with this. Please private message admin.
We want the container packed by Thursday.
For larger donations in the form of crates etc - pls contact admin to organise.
Gather your troops and do a box together...that would help.
Share and care
Thank you to #Claytonstowing for the very quick help with a container...
This is a work in progress - please understand - as we grow into the process.
Let's get this done Sunny Coast ❤️

Folks say thanks Alex Rotary 

The club has had some welcome feedback from the community. 

This from Inclusive Kids...

I would like to express gratitude on behalf of the numerous children and youth who are aided by Inclusive Kids throughout the year, especially during the holiday season. Your support plays a crucial role in bringing joy to the disadvantaged kids and young individuals residing on the Sunshine coast. This year, they will experience a different Christmas, one that highlights your generosity and demonstrates the genuine concern of the Sunshine Coast community towards them. Your benevolence is immensely valued, and we extend our warm wishes for a secure and joyful Christmas and New Year to you and your loved ones.
Letitia Bowman ‑ Inclusive Kids

This from Chris Vorbach at Alex SLSC ....

The team are an inspiration to our community.
Wishing you and all at Rotary a very Merry Christmas and an enjoyable New Year.
I look forward to assisting again in 2024.
Kind regards
Chris Vorbach

and this from Urban Angels...

Hello everyone, 
Firstly, I must apologise to everyone for only getting to this email now. It’s been a huge couple of weeks for Urban Angels and for me personally.
I just wanted to thank everyone who helped create the wonderful event that was our Christmas Party…it all went very smoothly, like a well-oiled machine! A few of our visitors who didn’t know anyone, told me that our team engaged with them and made them feel very welcome. What a gift! I could commit an entire chapter to talking about every little and big thing that each of our staff and volunteers did to make it all come together.  However, I think I would still fail as there are so many contributions you all made that are difficult to quantify.   
Similarly, when I think about all we have achieved together collectively this year, what I see is that we are great together. There is immense power in a group of selfless, community minded people coming together for the greater good. We are all so different, and contribute in many different ways, yet there are many things that connect us to each other. We all know intuitively, that we can’t do it without accepting that each individual contributes at their own pace and level that works for them, that our differences are also what makes us strong. This is a great measure of our understanding of what is required to achieve what we do every day. The flexible, collaborative, inclusive way that we all work together in the kitchen; every small or large donation of product, time or money…we all seem to get that it takes all of us to do what we do.
I congratulate all of you once again on an extraordinary year of hard work, fun, laughter and generosity, the impact of which we can probably never really appreciate.
One thing is for certain, you are all doing very important work which creates a sense of community, connection and belonging for 1000’s of people.
We also know that our work is far from over. Who knows what challenges the new year will bring. Whatever they are, I am certain that with the foundations we have built together, we will meet any challenge.
I look forward to continuing this journey with you, with more enthusiasm than ever, in 2024.
I wish you and your loved ones, a very merry Christmas…may you get the opportunity to have a restful and restorative break and I look forward to seeing you again next year.
Yours in the kitchen

Our mates at MND have sent us a card...


Rotary Foundation says thanks too...for all those who helped



...and finally a Christmas message from our President

A great time of year to be with family, have fun, celebrate Christmas and holiday season …. And then drag in the new year too!!!
I am sure many of us will break the rules …. Don’t eat and drink too much!  That’s what it’s all about!
We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year and look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday 10thJanuary when it all starts again.
Safe travels,  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Tony & Marilyn Freeman

PS....RARE are looking for help on 27th Jan 


AGM all over for another year and we've a new board..

The club meeting room looked stunning on Wednesday as the good fairy had been up early decking the halls with Holly/ Rotary pennants. Well done Geoff.
Dave noted the Japanese influence and croquet demon ( Tanya)  noted that there was a pennant from her old school district in NSW.
There are hundreds of Rotary club pennants that your club has collected over the years from visitors and guests and on their travels.  So a big thanks to all past members who collected them. 
and who is in the new board?
Geoff East - our new President
Phillip Gordon - our new secretary
Wendy Gilson - not so new treasurersmiley
Tim Kelsey - our brand new President Elect 
Skye Miller - Director and Past President 
Ray Burton - Director and another newbie
Monique Kelsey - Director and Newbie
Tony Freeman - current President and long standing club mentorsmiley
John Malloy - Director,   oldie,  Past President, secretary, etc. etc.  and club fixture. smiley

Anita from Alex SLSC Community Education

Anita's been leading Alex SLSC community Ed for 20 years now, but for some of the Rotary members this was the first time that they discovered what an integral and important part of Community Ed is to Alex SLSC.
A certain scribe related how when he met Ashley Robinson for the first time when Rotary were moving their meetings to the Surf Club, Ashley spoke very strongly about how his goal was that Alex SLSC was to be seen as the heart of the community and not just a club on the beach. Well, Ashley and his staff have certainly achieved that. Anita spoke of the various programs and activities that the surf life savers do in the community, and how their strategy and activities are always inclusive and supportive of families from all over who come to Alex.  It was simply heartwarming to learn how the club wraps itself around the members and families  and bring back the young folks later in life to be mentors, volunteers, supporters and create an exceptional culture of inclusiveness.
Well, you'd have to say that Ashley had succeeded in creating something special. 
So  President Tony was delighted to donate $5,000 to community education at our meeting on Wednesday and especially pleased see that the funds are going towards life saving AED training equipment so that folks can learn how to resuscitate swimmers in trouble.
President Tony noted that the last time Anita was at the club she demonstrated resuscitation to a certain coast personality and "bon viveur" Gary Lynch, which brought back some amusing memories..... apparently. ?? 
President Tony (and jewellery) with the the clubs contribution to Anita manager of Community Education at Alex SLSC below

Fiona's year in Japan on Rotary Youth Exchange leads to amazing family heritage revelations

At Wednesday's breakfast meeting our honorary member, and  long serving MP, Fiona Simpson, spoke to the club about her life changing experience as a Rotary Exchange student in Japan.
Many Rotarians have witnessed the impact that this  amazing program has on students as they immerse themselves in their chosen country, living with Rotary families and experiencing life as a local.
Local examples of Rotary exchange students on the coast are many, including our Past President Skye and another chap called Mark Jamieson, aka The Mayor. 
But we had an extra bonus with Fiona's talk as she shared with us how she became aware of a her familial connection dating back to the early 1900's when Japan was pretty much a closed book to most of the world.
Little did the young Fiona know that as she set off to Japan for her youth exchange year just a few years ago while still at high school that it would lead to discoveries of family connections that endure to this day.
Can you spot Fiona at her first day in Japanese high school? Hint. Check out the hair.
Thank you Fiona for sharing your story with the club. 
Fiona's family has strong connections with Japan business leading back to the 1930's, and below photo of family member serving WW@ internment. 
...and more recent photo of the Fiona and sister and relations who recall the school (converted to internment camp. 
...and finally this photo of an (arranged? ) marriage with Fiona totally "dolled" up in a beautiful Kimono and head wear,  and rather a smug looking groom by her side. 
In a fascinating talk Fiona's immersion as a Rotary Youth Exchange student gave her an insight into how the Great Kanto Earthquake on 1923 caused such catastrophic damage to Tokyo and Yokohama.
: In less than one week, the 7.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent fires annihilated most of Tokyo and virtually all of Yokohama. Moreover, the earthquake caused nearly 6.5 billion yen of damage, a remarkable figure roughly four times larger than Japan’s national budget for 1922. The earthquake disaster was also a human calamity, resulting in the deaths of more than 110,000 individuals and leaving nearly 1.5 million homeless. The destruction, dislocation, and devastation caused by the quake, in the words of Tenrikyō relief worker Haruno Ki’ichi, not only defied description, it simply “surpassed imagination.”
Reflecting on how the earthquake also changed Japanese society and how the life shattering events led to the people looking for security and meaning in an authoritarian regime that eventually would lead to Japan's involvement in the Second World War.
Thank you Fiona, a remarkable story.
Our great helpers
Here's some of the folks who help us with community fundraising, and who we help in the community.....
Rotary / USC Community Fund
Make a difference - Donate 
Rotary is run by volunteers and Rotary is always in the top 5 most effective charities in the world.
You can be sure that your dollars go to where they are needed. 
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