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  Welcome to Surfers Sunrise Rotary!
Surfers Sunrise

A great way to start the day

We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:15 am
Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club
Esplanade (Cnr Hanlan Street)
Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217
Home Page Stories
Last month, you witnessed her induction to our club, now you'll get a brief insight into the work and passions of our newest member, Dr Elizabeth Celi. Elizabeth works as a psychologist, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) trauma clinician and author, with a focus on complex PTSD. She is an experienced Rotarian and is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Mt Martha, (Melbourne, VIC).

This year's District Conference is just one month away. It will be held at the Ballina RSL Club on the 18th May 2024. See full details on the District Website www.rotary9640.org.  

As usual, top keynote speakers. For example: Detective Sergeant Damian Loone (picture), who was in charge of the (in)famous Lynnette Dawson (ref The Teacher's Pet podcast). Click here for the list of speakers and the program.

You must register (separate registrations for the day program  (includes morning/afternoon tea, lunch and all day coffee/tea) and the Saturday night dinner. https://www.trybooking.com/CPAFU


We are looking for RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program for Enrichment) candidates, aged 14 - 16 years (year 8 - 10) to participate in the upcoming camp.  It will be held at Bornhoffen PCYC, from Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May 2024. The $350.00 fee is covered by our club (for successful applicants). This is a hugely successful annual program that focuses on the development of self-concept, and relationships. It is designed to develop skills that will assist them in the transition to adulthood.
Click on this link for details of the program, then contact our Youth Services Director Ashleigh Symes  to make the application via our club. (click on this link to send her an email)
If Real Estate were a religion (and some people might claim that indeed it is…), the Gold Coast would be its Holy Land, Surfers Paradise would be its citadel, and Lucy Cole would be its High Priestess.
This morning we had the pleasure to hear this consummate, multiple award-winning professional speaking to our club on the theme of ‘The Evolution of Surfers Paradise’. Lucy opened her presentation with the very early days, when Captain Cook “sailed past” and then John Oxley, who made the first European landing in 1823, met the local indigenous Yugumbeh language people.
Ongoing in the 1800’s, with its Hinterland timber cutters, 1875 when Southport was surveyed, 1899 when the first railway reached our region.
The real Gold Coast (at that time still called ‘South Coast’) evolved from about 1933 when the Surfers Paradise Hotel was built.
The transition to Australia’s high-rise capital commenced at the time when Sir Bruce Small also developed the canal estates, and when in 1971 Coolangatta Airport was opened. Major tourist attractions such as Seaworld, Dreamworld, and Movieworld followed. In 1994, the Gold Coast and Albert Shires amalgamated, resulting in the 6th largest city in Australia, currently with some 750,000 inhabitants, expected to grow to 820,000 by 2035.
Lucy has been given the nickname ‘Penthouse Queen’, a sobriquet she is quite happy to go along with. After all, so she proudly declares, “I sold a lot of the penthouses in Surfers”. That includes that of Q1, at the time the tallest apartment tower in the southern hemisphere.
And what about the eyewatering prices and increases of Real Estate? “Well, it’s a ‘Destination of Choice’” she said, “if you find a property that is less than $1 Million: buy it!”.
You can contact Lucy by email - click on this link. (Photo: Lucy with our meeting chairman for the day, Angus Miller)
Recently we received a heaped trailer load of kids' bikes, donated to us by one of the schools in the northern Gold Coast, where they had been abandoned over a period of a year or two. Our volunteers lovingly refurbished them to make them ready to be donated to worthy recipients. Some went to St Johns Crisis Centre in Surfers Paradise, and recently, some members from Donations in Kind - Northern Rivers, based in Lismore, picked up a trailer load of for distribution to disadvantaged families in the Northern Rivers region. 'On ya, fellow Rotarians!
Our club will assist the Rotary Club of Mermaid Beach when they hold a major Youth Expo on 4th May, the first Saturday of next month.  
Mermaid Beach Bowls Club
2418 Gold Coast Hwy,
Mermaid Beach QLD 4218
See full details in the flyer on the Downloads Section on the right
We'll run two shifts, so if you can assist, please put your name down by replying to this email address enquiries.surfers.sunrise@gmail.com 
Sergeant Cherie McLean is the Youth Club Program Manager of the PCYC. She runs a multitude of programs, including programs to assist youth, particularly disadvantaged youth. Other programs include RUBY (Rise Up Yourself), a free strength training program for women who experience Domestic Violence.
But this visit was dedicated to a new program on offer: ‘Boxing After Dark’. This is a FREE boxing program for young people aged 12-18 years and is delivered every Thursday from 7pm-8pm.  The program is delivered by Cherie personally at the Monaco Street campus, but will shortly also be available at Ashmore and Nerang.
Boxing? “There won’t be any fights in the ring, there won’t be any sparring”, Cherie clarified. The program is primarily designed to give young persons an opportunity to learn a sport, whilst they get an opportunity to channel their emotions towards a punching bag. This is a ‘back to basics’ early intervention youth program. The aim is for them to be physically active, socially connecting with the Police (and with each other) in a friendly and positive environment. And we provide some food… “Food is a powerful magnet for young people” Cherie assured us.
The PCYC runs various other programs designed towards Youth. Please download a copy of Cherie’s PowerPoint slides (see Download Section on the right), which also include contact details.
(Photo: Sgt Cherie with our meeting chairman, Ray Higgs)
“I am a product of Rotary” Angie stated, opening her talk. Why? In her teenage years, she was selected to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program, and sent off to Denmark for 12 months. In her considered opinion, this had a profound impact on her future life and career. Today, she is the Shadow Minister for Youth, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, and co-chairs delegations to foreign countries, including Malaysia and Taiwan. She recently was part of an international delegation to Indonesia to supervise their national elections. Imagine: a country of almost 205 Million voters, 800,000 polling booths, and the total time when people can vote is… just 6 hours!
Naturally, as a member of the Liberal Party, Angie touched on her party's policies, including the distinct difference of wanting to open the conversation to consider nuclear energy (note: energy, not weapons) to provide stable and secure electricity for our households and for industry. On the local scene, Angie formed the ‘Moncrief Community Cabinet’ and the ‘Gold Coast Youth Cabinet’. Both are designed for a simple and straight purpose: to hear the views of representatives, “real” representatives, of her community. Last March, she organised ‘Impact Gold Coast’, a Youth Summit, which brought together 200 young people, representing various demographics from across the Gold Coast.
For our club, Angie was instrumental in helping us to obtain several grants; the most recent one was to enable the purchase of a new electric forklift for our project shed. Thank you, Angie, for the work you do for our community and the nation at large.
(Photo: Angie Bell MP with the meeting chairman, Adrian Crowe. PS: When somebody quipped "are you dressed up for a job interview?" her answer was that "in my job, every day is a job interview!" ☺)
At last Wednesday's meeting, President Doug Lipp announced tremendous news: Our club's Fundraising Director Ross Augustine was successful in raising a grant from the Queensland Gambling Community Benefit Fund of over $28,000. This will allow us to purchase a desperately needed replacement for the old forklift at our project shed. Ross even negotiated with the supplier that they'll pay for the freight (around $350.00)!
Fabulous news; congratulations, Ross. Give yourself a pat on the back!
At the recent Annual General Meeting, Andy Bell was elected (by secret ballot) to the position of President Elect 2024-25.  Congratulations, Andy!
Andy brings some considerable experience in the job with him - in addition to numerous other senior roles and board positions, he was President in the 2017/18 year.
We need a few more regular volunteers at the project shed. Do you have a half day (or two) a week to spare? Or do you know somebody who would enjoy the fellowship of fellow volunteer workers at the shed, re-purposing discarded bicycles into wheelchairs? Well over 11,000 have been shipped so far, but the need is constant.
A number of formerly regular volunteers at the project shed have "retired", some due to ill health, some because they landed a job which prevents them from attending Wednesdays and/or Saturday mornings. The work is easy and not heavy. It can involve the dismantling of bikes, the cutting of plywood (using a template, called a "jig"), painting the wood and/or the frames, or assembling, checking and packing the finished product, just to name a few.
If you are interested, please contact Larry Murray or Franz Huber, or simply turn up on Wednesday and/or Saturday morning, from 07:30 am. 
Last Monday, 30th October, we held our annual Surfers Sunrise Golf Day, at the usual venue, the Surfers Paradise Golf Club. As pre-ordered for quite some time, we had perfect weather, a steady breeze keeping us cool. This is one of our major fundraising events of the year. This year's major beneficiaries were the Pancare Foundation, a charity dedicated to researching Pancreatic Cancer, and PCYC Gold Coast, specifically directed towards their youth programs. Pancare is scheduled to speak at our club sometime early in the new year; the PCYC is, of course, well known to most of our members. Sgt Cherie McLean, who is the manager of the local PCYC, brought two delightfully eloquent young people along (see photo album section). How refreshing to see an example of today's youth from the positive side.
And the winners...
The overall winners were (Picture above, from left): Jeremy Stevens, Daniel Bisiker, Daniel Pickering, Graham Lewin. Congratulations!
The Rotary Shield (best Rotary Club associated team) was won by... Surfers Sunrise! (No, before you shout "rigged!!": Wilsons Advisory (see photo on right, from left: Matt Crain, Todd Cole, Dan Howes and Charles Thomasson) is one of our club's Corporate Members, so fully within the rules!
A lot more photos can be accessed from the Photo Album
(from left): Matt Hayward, Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, John Groves (the master builder), Mitch Brown, Ava Pearson, Hudson Sirovs, Al Sirovs and (front) Dan Snart.
Not your average meeting last Wednesday: Not only did we welcome a new member (see separate article above), but the team that went to Pentecost Island, Vanuatu to erect the X-Ray Unit at Mauna Health Centre fronted the club.
This wasn’t a simple task by any means: Master Builder John Groves eloquently outlined the enormous task of getting the X-Ray and Pathology Lab Unit built. After a two day trip, by Air to Port Vila, then by ‘Rock Hopper’ plane to Lonorore and a three-hour boat trip to the Mauna Health Centre, the task was to unpack the “flat pack” building which was shipped in two containers from our project shed in Arundel in February this year. There isn't much flat space there! To get it up the hill and re-erect it was a massive task. “Without the huge work of locals, it would never have happened”, John said.

Hard work it might have been, but the team was unanimous in declaring the exercise as a “once in a lifetime experience”. Twelve days of basic accommodation in a guest house, no electrical power (except in the Medical Centre), locally cooked
Last week, the project shed sent off the 11,015th wheelchair. Just on 3 years since we celebrated the 10,000th wheelchair in September 2013. The Photo on the right is our regular project shed worker Al Sirovs pointing out the number on the world map. The photo above shows some of the regulars, taken this morning. The wheelchair displayed is not exactly the 11,000th (that one is already on the way), but nobody needs to know... Third from left is Des La Rance OAM, who invented the concept and delivered the first 10 to Fiji in August 1997, 20 years ago! - See report in the Download Section on the right.
Congratulations! Mia Watson is the Lutzy Award winner for 2023!
At yesterday's Surfers Sunrise breakfast meeting, we presented the 'Lutzy Award' to Mia., in the form of a specially inscribed surf ski. The award is in honour of our former member Keith Lutz, who was a true leader in both our club as well as in the Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club. A committee of the SLSC nominates the winner, selected not necessarily because of his/her surfing skills (but that is certainly no detriment!)
, but for their leadership qualities. This was the 8th year the award was presented. And just in case you are interested: of the eight winners, six were female!
Picture (from left): Jan Lutz, David Orchard, President Doug Lipp, the winner Mia Watson and her father Rob Watson. Second picture: Jan Lutz, Mia and last year's winner Pieta Jackson.
At Sunday's Changeover Luncheon (see brief article below), outgoing President Mitch Brown presented the club's awards. Starting with two recognitions awarded by District Governor Karen Thomas, who regrettably was unable to attend due to ill health, Mitch selected Rotaractor Matt Hayward as the representative of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu team, in recognition of the huge amount of work he contributed, not just physically at the shed, but also, in cooperation with Kristen 'KJ' Jewson, in developing the websites and Facebook pages. The second was for Best Club Communication, collected by yours truly.
Then followed the four premier club awards:
The Doug Waller Trophy 'for outstanding service to Rotary and our club' went to Mario Fairlie, in recognition of his ongoing commitment to our club, particularly the X-Ray Unit for Pentecost Island.
The Quiet Achiever Award went to our Youth Service Director Ashleigh Symes, in recognition of her very active promotion of our youth programs. Ashleigh was unable to attend, with an excellent reason: she had only very recently given birth to their daughter Ruby (see artricle below). Charles Thomasson collected the cup on her behalf.
The Fellowship Pokal went to Larry Murray, in recognition of his tireless work to re-shape our project shed and managing the volunteer workforce there.
Finally, the big moment: the Rotarian of the Year award, which is voted on by the members. This year, Ross Augustine was a clear winner, in recognition of his very successful efforts to get funds into our bank accounts. Ross also had substantial input into organising with Angie Bell MP a $20,000 Federal Government grant towards the purchase of a Ute for our project shed.
Congratulations to all!
As per President Mitch's message above, these photos were sent to to Bryan Tuesley, our wheelchair "foreman", from PNG, where they were deployed by Del Cole ('Someone Who Cares' Gold Coast based charity). Good to see that our work is doing good. Give yourselves a pat on the back!
"We were woken up at 4.30 am to the sound of our camp leaders screaming various commands, including to rush outside and do a wall sit... in our pyjamas! It then went on to challenge both our physical and mental strength for the next TWO HOURS." Uttered by a teenager, you might think that sounds like a complaint... You are sooo wrong!
Chelsea and Zahra had only 5 minutes before having to rush off to school, but they certainly made good use of the time to relate their experiences of attending the recent RYTS (Rotary Youth Transition Seminar) camp, sponsored by our club. This is the very essence of Rotary Youth Service. The girls have given me permission to upload their speech to our website - see Download Files on the right. 
Wow! Two ROSE (Recognition Of Significant Effort) awards were presented to our club at the District Conference. This is a new award designed (I assume) by District Governor Karen Thomas, presented this morning. I admit I wasn't even aware of the awards, not to mention their presentation.
One is for the monumental joint effort with the Rotary Clubs of Broadbeach and Gold Coast in building the Mauna Health Centre (recently packed up and on the way to Vanuatu), the other for 'Improving the Club Public Image' by frequent posts to our website and Facebook pages.
Well, fellow members, associates, Rotaractors and helpers and the project shed: give yourself a pat on the back! You are permitted an extra biscuit or piece of cake next Wednesday morning! 🙂
In view of the Wheelchair Trust Deed's fairly strict limitations (money donated can only be spent on materials for wheelchairs and nothing else, not even for the shipment to their destination), we have registered an alternative account for Containers for Change.  If you deposit your empties directly, and wish to donate the proceeds to the Surfers Sunrise Rotary Club - General Account, please use this account code: 
(The account for the Wheelchair Trust is also still active: use C10199443 instead).
So, keep your soft drink bottles, stubby bottles, aluminium cans, milk cartons etc.  As a general rule, most drink containers between 150ml and 3L can be returned for a refund under Queensland's container deposit scheme. Containers should be empty, unbroken, the lid removed and display a 10-cent refund marking on the label. Something like the image (right), but many others are simply marked as suitable for recycling. Note: they must NOT be crushed. See image above what is and what is not accepted. For details of what can / cannot be returned for cash, and where the locations are, click on this link
In the olden days, for a new member to join a Rotary club the unofficial rule was, expressed in simple terms, he should be "somebody who is in a position to hire and fire". Yes, 'he'. Thankfully, around 1987, the 'he' was expanded to also include the fairer sex. There were lots of other rules too, for example, weekly attendance at our meetings was considered to be just about essential.  
These days, the rules are very simple and straightforward.  Here is an extract from the Membership section of our Club Consitution of 2019 (1):
Section 1 — General Qualifications.
This club shall be composed of adult persons who demonstrate good character, integrity, and leadership; possess a good reputation within their business, profession, and/or community; and are willing to serve in their community and/or around the world.
That should be simple enough. In other words, the majority of people in your circle of friends, in business, your suppliers, your customers qualify. Rotary is absolutely non-denominational, absolutely gender-neutral. All we ask for is of good character, has integrity, and a good reputation.  Start making a list and invite them to come to one of our meetings.
(1) Members can download the Club Constitution from our website: (you need to login to the Member Area, top right of home page), then select Organisation, Documents and search for Constitution.
What a superb morning last Saturday at our Project Shed, where we celebrated the 10,000th Wheelchair manufactured. For any of our readers who are not familiar with the concept: parts from recycled bicycles, marine plywood, solid rubber BMX wheels and... LOTS OF VOLUNTEER HOURS equal a wheelchair which can be manufactured for $100! Give yourself a pat on the back, but particular recognition must go to the principal movers and shakers who started and carried this project through: Des La Rance, Daryl Sanderson and the late Keith Lutz and Bob Harrison. Jan Lutz was there, but regrettably, Gloria Harrison was unable to join us, but for a good reason: her grandson debuted on that same day, playing Grade 1 Cricket in the Queensland Premier League. Howzat! Bob would be proud on both accounts.
We had the bulk of our members and volunteers present from an early hour, setting up the various marquees, putting the last touch to the refurbished bikes we had for sale, setting up the stage, the videos...  The Rotaractors from Burleigh Heads were there in force, the Rotary Club of Parkwood ran a sausage sizzle and the Rotary Club of Broadbeach ran a raffle, our soon to be inducted new corporate members Adam  and Tash from Invincable had a stand and so did the Pimpama State School with their version of the wheelchair design.  We were honoured by visits from District Governor Andy Rajapakse, State MPs Rob Molhoek and Sam O'Connor (he has done a nice write up on his Facebook page too) as well as Councillors Ryan Bayldon-Lumsden and Brooke Patterson.  
President Charles Thomasson opened the formal part of the celebrations welcoming our dignitaries, which was followed by a brief address by DG Andy Rajapakse, in which he referred to his own efforts of taking well over 500 wheelchairs for distribution in his country of origin, Sri Lanka. Following our DG, the inventor of the wheelchairs from bicycles, Des La Rance, outlined the project from early times in the mid 1990's, the breakthrough when Ray Martin's A Current Affair broadcast the delivery of the first 10 wheelchairs to Fiji in 1997, the building of schools for the tsunami affected regions of Thailand and Samoa, the House of Hope in Apia, leading to the current project of the X-Ray Unit for Vanuatu. 
But of course, the culmination of the morning was the presentation of a commemorative collage to Des La Rance (see picture). This was designed and made by Neil Thurlow and his graphic wizards of Accent Print and Copy.
Photo shows (from left) Jan La Rance, Daryl Sanderson, Des La Rance, Jan Lutz. More photos are in the Photo Album, videos coming up shortly.
Our super generous printer, Neil Thurlow and his very talented design artists at Accent Print & Copy have created a new flyer for our wheelchairs project.  He has also provided some 2000 printed copies, which will be sent out by Apple Marketing to their mailing list of previous donors.  It is uploaded to our Download Section (see right side), where you can download it and send it on to anyone whom you consider could be interested.
Thank you, Neil and your team!
I've uploaded a video which beautifully outlines what Rotary is all about. Go on, have a look at it. It's only a bit over 2 minutes, but very well done. Go to this link to view it:
August is Membership Development and Extentions Month. Can you remember when you were inducted into Rotary?  Have you considered why you were proposed by your sponsor? What made you to decide to join?  Did you feel a sense of pride, of achievement, to be invited to join an organization of the highest international repute?  Did you feel that your sponsor did “The right thing” by considering you to be potentially a good Rotarian ? Did you feel a little bit overwhelmed, sort of “am I really up to this?” You did? 
“The more hands Rotary has, the better and more effectively the ideal of service will be achieved.  Hence the importance of membership.”  These words, spoken by one of Japans foremost Rotarians, Kanejiro Matsumoto put the point very straight.   I put it even straighter: If we are to spread the workload of running this club, if we are to achieve our aims on the local scene (Youth Service, Vocational Service, Community Service), if we are to pull our weight on the International cart, we have an obligation to not only maintain, but increase membership. Whom have you asked lately to come along to one of our meetings?
Club Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Vice President
Executive Secretary
Director - Club Administration
Director - Service Projects
Director - Membership
Director -The Rotary Foundation
Joint Director - Youth Services
Joint Director - Youth Services
Joint Director - Fundraising
Joint Director - Fundraising
Youth Protection Officer
Chair - Wheelchairs Trust
Coordinator Golf Day
Fellowship and Social Program
Liaison - Wheelchair Trust
Program Manager-Guest Speakers
Vanuatu Program
Webmaster & Bulletin Ed
Club Insurance Officer