The Illuminator for reading 29 August 2014

29 August 2014 – From District Secretary Annette Mackay email:
Please Circulate this information as widely in your club as is possible.
The archive of this communication is available on the District website

DG Jottings

During the last two weeks we have completed our visits to the coast having had a great night on the final coastal visit to the combined Great Lakes and Tuncurry/Forster Clubs at Forster. We then ventured home for three days to see what that was like and then on Saturday we set off again to the far west of the district.
On Saturday night we had a great night at Lightning Ridge with a combined club changeover, DG’s visit, member induction and showcase night. We thank the Lightning Ridge club for their hospitality and generosity with some beautiful opal jewellery donated for the partner’s project raffle.
After two days there during which we lounged in the hot-spring baths we motored on to Coonamble, then Boggabri and finally Narrabri/Wee Waa for a combined night. Each of these clubs have fantastic projects and work extremely hard for their local communities.
We will actually be home for the next week and a half but will be fitting in visits to Warialda/Barraba combined and Inverell/Inverell East combined, a 60th birthday, Father’s Day and a new grand-child!
We have been in constant contact with most of the DG’s from our 2014/15 class and they are all in the same boat as us madly visiting clubs, inspecting projects and attending meetings. However, Sue and I can honestly say we’ve enjoyed our travels, club visits and social occasions immensely as we have got to know people in the clubs, learn so much about their amazing projects and identify some special noteworthy jobs that each club seems to have. It is indeed a vibrant and diverse district with so many innovative people involved showing incredible initiative with their individual club projects. We hope we have been able to spread some of these ideas around to be shared amongst others within the district.
Upcoming visits and events.
31st August Public speaking – club nominations due
3rd September DG visit Warialda/Barraba
4th September DG visit Inverell/Inverell East
4th to 7th September YEP inbounders briefing
8th September DG visit Coonabarrabran
10th September DG visit Moree/Moree-on-Gwydir clubs
11th September DG visit Gunnedah/Gunnedah West
12th September morning DG visit Gunnedah 2380
12th September Rystars closing date
25th September Rymarine closing date.
We have now visited 29 clubs with 27 to go and we are really looking forward to meeting these clubs and their dynamic teams. It really has been a great ride to date.

Rotarians Against Malaria RAMping up!

RAM held it’s annual conference in Brisbane over the weekend of 23rd August where RAM representatives from all Australian Rotary Districts get together with malaria researchers and people working on malaria programs in Timor Leste, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to review progress and plan future activities. We are making great progress in the fight against malaria with most countries where bednets have been rolled out reporting a 70% reduction in the disease incidence. Of course our aim is to eliminate this difficult and costly disease and in some parts of the countries a reduction of more than 90% has been recorded and research is focussed on complete elimination in these areas. Great strides are also being made in the development of an effective vaccine which will be needed if we are to ultimately consign malaria to the same dustbin of history that we are so close to seeing polio dropped into. Two institutions with advanced vaccine programs in Australia are the Walter and Eliza Hall Medical research Institute and Griffith University both attended the conference to report on the latest progress whilst the Director of the Australian Army Malaria Institute, Prof Dennis Shanks presented a fascinating study on the history of Malaria epidemic out breaks. RAM representatives agreed to a number of new initiatives to take our programs forward. In addition to strengthening our current bed-net distribution programs, they include investigating what additional assistance we can offer in Vanuatu as well as areas of Indonesia adjacent to areas where we already have programs. W