Legislative Council: Wednesday, July 03, 2019


Rotary Club of Gawler

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (15:32): It was my great privilege to attend the 3,000th meeting of the Rotary Club of Gawler at the Nixon's Function Centre in Gawler on Monday 1 July. This dinner meeting also saw the induction of President Steve Barilla as the 66th president of the club by outgoing president Jacqui Atyeo.

A particular feature of the night was the toast to Rotary International and to Australia by the Hon. Bruce Eastick, who is now well into his 90s. He stood up and delivered that toast without a note. Dr Eastick, of course, was a charter member of that Rotary Club, so he has been a member of that Rotary Club longer than I have been alive.

Also present was the former Governor of South Australia, Sir Eric Neal, and Lady Joan Neal. Sir Eric Neal and Dr Bruce Eastick were both present at the first meeting of the Rotary Club of Gawler on 8 March 1954, and it was terrific to see all three of them there to enjoy the celebration of the 3,000th meeting.

The guest speaker of the night was the Hon. Neil Andrew, former member for Wakefield for more than two decades and former speaker of the House of Representatives. Neil, who was an honorary member of the Gawler Rotary Club, gave a terrific snapshot of the club's service right across the local community, national issues and the many aspects of international service, including Rotary's very strong commitment to end polio. Another particular program that I think is worthy of mention here—and I will quote extracts from the club's annual report—is the Indigenous Health Scholarship student:

…we have been privileged to sponsor Jasmin Taylor for the 2018 university year. Jasmin undertook an Intensive Care post graduate diploma, and achieved a High Distinction in her end of year exams in 2018. She now works in the Intensive Care unit of the Royal Adelaide Hospital and is loving it.

Past president Patsy Johnson was invited to the 20-year anniversary of the scholarship project and the graduation ceremony for last year's scholars at Government House and saw Jasmine and the other students receive their graduation certificate from His Excellency the Governor Hieu Van Le. Continuing to quote from the report:

This year we briefly sponsored Arleye Jongbloed, who was then awarded a higher scholarship, and moved on to that. We wish her well. We now have Montana Doudle, another great student, who is in her 3rd year of a 4 year Physiotherapy Degree.

I end the quote there but I think that is a wonderful example of the work the club has done over its many years of existence. At the dinner the Mayor of Gawler, Karen Redman, was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship for her community work. Indeed, Paul Harris Fellow awards were also presented to the editor of The Bunyip, Grady Hudd, and long-serving Rotarians, Brian Burt and Barry Stewart. I also acknowledge the presence that evening of the member for Light, the Hon. Tony Piccolo.

I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Gawler since October 1990. I was a full active member for two decades. Unfortunately, I felt the need to resign at one stage because I could not get to enough meetings but the club offered me honorary membership which I have been delighted to hold for much of the last decade.