RAWCS ROVER  -  October 2008 


Linking Eastern Region Clubs in Districts:    9650,  9670,  9680,  9690,  9700,  9710 and, 9750


Chairman                                John Glass                     District 9670

Deputy Chairman                   Harry Durey                  District 9650

Secretary                                Ted Lewis                     District 9670

Treasurer                                 Jack Elliott                    District 9690

DIK Co-Coordinator             Miriam Jacka                 District 9690

Project Registrations              Len Bolden                   District 9710

Volunteer Project Co-Ord.     John Roberson              District 9700

RAM Co-Ord.                        Bill Walker                    District 9670

Newsletter                              Barry McConville         District 9690



The sad loss of our devoted DIK Co-ordinator, Ken Nicholls, has given rise to the need for a review of the processes that have made this vital program of RAWCS such a success. The resulting decisions of the appointed sub committee are noted below.

It has been decided to appoint a committee to oversee the workings of DIK. This has been done to lessen the burden on any one person and spread the process across a number of responsibilities.

Miriam Jacka has taken on the overall role of DIK Coordinator linking all aspects together and ensuring a smooth return to the established routine.

To assist her in this role, Alan Grady and Ron Marcus have volunteered their support and will work in with Miriam as required.

The financial management will remain with Jack Elliott as previously with administrative work being undertaken by Barry McConville.  In addition to the team there will be two loadmasters, Peter Farrell and Ross Gilkerson, whose roles will be to organise the receipt of goods, check the warehousing and supervise the loading of containers.

It is anticipated that all services of DIK will be back in operation in October.

The phone contact previously used (0409717973) will remain intact with Miriam now taking your calls. Her home number of 96246592 is also available.

The depot will be run on a strict routine of Wednesdays and Saturdays only and the usual notifications will be required prior to forwarding consignments of equipment to the depot.

To assist the manager in the effective despatch of containers the committee decided to introduce a formal application to consign a container. These are available from Miriam and should be returned to her prior to undertaking any loading.

Clubs wishing to offer their services for depot duty can roster on with Miriam. Whilst there have been loadmasters appointed, they will need just as much help as was necessary before. A day at Minchinbury depot can be a most rewarding venture for members and a great boost to the International work of the club. 



Members are asked to respect the privacy of Bobbie Nicholls and refer all calls for Donations in Kind to be directed to Miriam Jacka.



Should it so happen that a major problem occurs during a project overseas, it should always be possible for the Team Leader to contact a RAWCS representative.

Team Leaders are advised to ensure that they have noted down phone numbers prior to departure preferably, at the team briefing.

It is recommended that there should be at least three contacts:

(a) the country coordinator

(b) the project coordinator

(c) RAWCS treasurer.



Do a good job and what do you get? Well for our Project Coordinator John Roberson, it means being kicked upstairs. John has just accepted the new responsibility of National Deputy Project Coordinator and will now view the broader scene just as enthusiastically. To assist John as our ER Projects Coordinator, Len Bolden has accepted the role of Projects Registration Coordinator and has already made his presence felt with updating listings and initiations.



We have been devastated by the sudden loss of Ken Nicholls as noted to you in a special Rover tribute recently. So mindful of the special significance of Ken’s work was the Management Committee that they decided to respect Ken’s memory through cash donations towards his funeral expenses.  Clubs may wish to follow this lead.

A review of our Volunteer and Insurance Forms is now necessary and under discussion.  This will be part of our review of training materials for leaders and volunteers.

Thanks go to Miriam Jacka and Ian Sayers as they step forward to take up new roles in the Region. They have our full support.



1. A subcommittee of Elaine Lytle, John Roberson and Ted Lewis was nominated to review recommendations for the Project Application and Volunteer Forms with regard to other groups using RAWCS resources in insurance and tax deductibility along with briefing exercises and the establishment of a register of volunteers.

2. Our approach to the Fed. Govt. for assistance for the Oro Province disaster has not eventuated.

3. In countries where the arrival of materials for a project is unreliable, the team will be briefed on other possible projects in the area. It will be the duty of a team leader to ensure that materials have arrived on site prior to departure and be prepared to cancel the trip if doubts occur.

4. Ian Sayers has been appointed as the ER Drought Relief Committee co-ordinator. He will prepare a case for a similar position to be established at the national level.

5. The payment of airfares by some individuals rather than through the accepted RAWCS channel was discussed. This can result in the non deductibility of tax considerations.

6. The need to introduce a Team Leaders Nomination Form was proposed. Its form and content will be the subject of a further Management Meeting. Any doubts as to the capacity of an individual to lead a team will be referred to the Management Committee with the ultimate responsibility going to the Project Coordinator.



Just how much do we know of the trying times being experienced by our colleagues in the bush? What impact is the drought having upon the landholders, small business owners and townsfolk across the state?

In a strongly worded and factual account, Ian Sayers addressed the Management Committee with his report of a public meeting he had attended in a country town on Drought Policy Review. This was a government initiative meant to seek out the opinions and suggestions of local people suffering from the extended debilitating drought covering most of the rural areas of the state.

Ian came away with disturbing images determined to offer assistance in the best way he could…involve Rotary!

He proposes two issues (a) educate Rotarians of the assistance that is needed and (b) co-ordinate assistance as provided in the most efficient manner.

Volunteering to head up a RAWCS subcommittee to promote the proposals as Drought Relief Coordinator, Ian will report back on possible ER initiatives.



Richmond Manyweathers has a contact for used spectacles. They can be forwarded to Ranfurley Library for storage prior to shipment.



John Roberson is still our Project Coordinator. 


Len Bolden is our Project Registration Coordinator. Please send all Project Initiation Forms to Len.



Approx. $30,000 was raised from the Kokoda Trek. Further walks are planned. The Admin Account now totals $330,000. Auditing of all Regional Accounts has been achieved.

It is anticipated that there will be a National website ready by October.

It is intended to set up a Promotional Committee for DIK.

ER Training Programs have been sent on to National as they are beginning to consider similar programs.

Chairman to discuss with ATO the possibility of gaining tax concessions for projects in needy Australian communities.

National RAWCS is considering projects for drought affected areas of Australia.

Police checks for volunteers are being considered as some states already require them.



Some Volunteer teams continue to submit their documentation later than one month prior to departure. This makes it extremely difficult for the Project Coordinator to complete all necessary details like insurance, shirts and badges. We are all volunteers and have other things in our lives that must be managed in the time that we have.

All team members should be well informed of their insurance covers before they depart. The Project Coordinator will return all details to the team leader whose responsibility it is to make sure that each member has received a copy of the policy.

There will some changes appearing in the Volunteer Agreement, The Medical Form and the Insurance letter. These will be available at the Goulburn meeting.



Eastern Region comprises seven Rotary Districts each of which is visited in turn by the committee for its regular meetings. The Saturday afternoon is set aside for RAWCS Training. The aim here is to open up the amazing world of RAWCS to as many Rotarians and friends as possible. District Chairmen have, as one of their responsibilities, the job of notifying all district clubs of the upcoming meeting and encouraging members to join in. Again, the District Chair should be in the best place to select items for training according to the District’s needs.



D.9650:      So far this year six teams have been sent to Tanna Is. in Vanuatu. Most work has been done with the Education Dept on schools but Health projects have also been considered. Two matching grants have been obtained for water projects and solar lighting.

Two nurses from The Solomons are being sponsored for 4 weeks training in Coffs Harbour and Armidale. The district is also sponsoring a visit of the GGN Panpipe Band for a cultural trip culminating at their District Conference at Narrabri.

There has been a temporary DIK base set up at Wauchope to store items for later shipment on to Minchinbury.

An outstanding success was the extension of solar lighting project in Timor Leste. Rotarians from Armidale and Inverell set up 95 lighting systems together repairs to other village projects. It was good to see the local people working with the team and using the skills that they have learned from previous teams.

Great emphasis is being placed upon water projects overseas.

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