Upcoming Events
Lunch Meeting with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart
United Services Club
May 14, 2018
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Lunch Meeting
The Brisbane Club
May 21, 2018
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
95th Anniversary Celebratory Event
Queen Street Mall Stage Area
May 28, 2018
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Rotary Club of Brisbane Golf Day
Virginia Golf Course
Jun 15, 2018
7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Rotary International Convention 2018
Jun 23, 2018 – Jun 27, 2018
Club Changeover Meeting
Brisbane Club
Jun 25, 2018
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Burnett Cup - City vs Country in Mundubbera
Mundubbera Golf Club
Aug 18, 2018
12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Meeting Roster

7 May 2018

Labour Day Holiday

14 May 2018

Meeting held at United Services Club

21 May 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    L Marshall Minutes                M Williams
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

28 May 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    C Muir Minutes                M Williams
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

4 June 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    R Muller Minutes                C Shepherd
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon
Upcoming Speakers
May 14, 2018 12:45 PM
Security and the Commonwealth Games
Jun 04, 2018 12:30 PM
View entire list
President's Message
member photo
Dear Fellow Rotarians & Friends of the Club,
Did you secure your place for the 14th of May lunch at the United Services Club? We are having the Commissioner of the Queensland Police Service, Ian Stewart, visiting us as a guest speakers and he will be casting light on what you can't see on the news in regards to Security and the Commonwealth Games. Please, liaise with Denise for instructions on how to invest your $65 for the purpose!
It is nice to be back in Brisbane. I am still struggling to get back on track but it seems that I don't have much time to mess around. I was sucked into Rotary events very soon after landing.
On the 28th of April I took part in the District 9600 "Target 1414" Tree-Planting Project. It was great fun and I personally think that Rotary should focus more on those rather than on formal dining. ... But that could just be me. I was really happy to lead the Rotary Club of Brisbane small but highly efficient team in this endeavour. Thank you Dan Adler, Georgina Bishop and Jonathan Frew for representing our Club so well! If interested you can read more in the respective article put together by our Editor.
On the 29th of April I had the "difficult" task to induct Dr Jim Drum as a Paul Harris Fellow during the James Delahunty Testimonial Lunch. Well done, Dr Jim! The Dela's roast was a huge success and is heading straight towards its fundraising target of $10,000 for Rotary Donations in Kind. The event gathered 134 people with that noble aim to support and it is not too late to further contribute to the cause through the Dela online auction. Some great items being on sale at Same as above, if interested you can read more in the respective article put together by our Editor.
If you are interested in supporting DIK by other means, our Club has been scheduled to provide volunteers on the 23rd of June. Please, get in touch if more information is required!
Jayani, our strategy advisor for the new Club Strategic Plan, also reported some great achievements. She obtained viewpoints from 22 members (out of 35) as well as from 4 former members. That should form a very solid basis for analysis.
As far as my work abroad is concerned, I had a very productive visit to the Rotary Club of Shanghai. As a proof I will be bringing to the next regular meeting the banner I received from President Motohiro Yamane. I also got to know other Rotarians from Shanghai Rotary. To name a few: Michel De Vriendt, David Smith, Frank Yih, Frank Mulligan, Michelle Li and Andrew Hill. Rotary makeups are a great opportunity to share and learn from experience. The idea I bring home is related to the Sergeant sessions. At the Rotary Club of Shanghai fining was abolished. Instead a bucket goes around with people contributing funds against the right to share with members what makes them happy in this particular moment. What a great way to wrap-up a meeting!
Outside the Rotary Club of Shanghai I was representing our Club as a keynote speaker at the "International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship" that I attended. I was honoured to give the conference official start together with the (other) high-profile guest - Mr. Wang Kun, Deputy Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Youth League. For a day I was working on inspiring more than a hundred young Chinese entrepreneurs. Some great photos and a video can be found in my LinkedIn profile - I will also be bringing some conference souvenirs to share at our next regular meeting.
As a conclusion, we have put in 445 volunteer hours in April, a new record. Well done everyone who contributed! I am looking towards a similar figure for May given the three major events coming soon – the Police Commissioner visit, the Club anniversary and the 2018 Golf Day.
See you on the 14th and stay tuned for action!
President Daniel
Dela's Roast a "Burning" Success - Raises $10,000 for Donations in Kind
Sunday 29th April saw 134 guests including about 50 members, past members, family and friends of the Rotary Club of Brisbane converge on the Victoria Park Golf Club Ballroom to celebrate 46 years of hard Rotary-ing by one James "Dela" Delahunty in a testimonial "roast" luncheon.
James "Dela" Delahunty (centre) with master roaster Phil Gresham (left) and President Daniel Vankov (right)
The event was held to support the Donations in Kind programme of Rotary in Australia which ships serviceable furniture, equipment and supplies that are no longer needed in Australia to destinations such as Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands that have need of them. To date, thousands of containers of goods worth an estimated $52M have been shipped.
RCoB Takes Part in "Target 1414" Tree-Planting Project
When he took office in July, 2017, Rotary's global leader, Rotary International President Ian Riseley challenged all Rotary Clubs across the world to plant one tree per Rotarian as a sign that Rotary is committed to sustaining and improving the environment. Rotary District 9600, to which the Rotary Club of Brisbane belongs, took up the challenge with project "Target 1414" to plant at least one tree for each of the 1414 Rotarians in the 65 clubs throughout the district.
Rotarians from District 9600 present and ready for action in project "Target 1414".
The opportunity that changed my life

By Jireh Mabamba

Jireh Mabamba, second from left, with members of Rotaract in Minnesota.

Sometimes, all you need is a chance – that one opportunity of a lifetime. Rotary gave me that chance.

I grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where human life has little value. Children are taken from their families and forced into the army, women are raped daily, and men are killed in front of their loved ones. Massacre is the norm. The only way to survive this brutal environment is to flee the country, and when I was nine, that’s what my family and I did.

We moved to South Africa, a country that was foreign to us on so many levels. The language and the currency were different. We knew no one. Of the few people that showed us kindness, most were Rotarians. They came forward and helped us when we needed it most. At that time, I knew nothing about Rotary. In 2007, Rotary Youth Exchange students from Australia, France, Germany, and the U.S. came to my school for their year abroad and it was through them that I truly became interested in Rotary. 

I learned about fellowship, the value of friendship, and what it means to serve. The more I learned of the work of the Rotary Club of Durban Berea, the more my interest grew. When I completed high school, Rotary International gave me the opportunity to be an exchange student in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. 

My life changed in so many ways during my exchange. I grew as a leader by surrounding myself with Rotarians who were leaders of action in their professional field and their community. I contributed to hands-on projects that made immediate impact in the community. When I met other youth exchange students, I was exposed to new cultures, traditions, and languages. My experience built my self-confidence, allowed me to be more globally competent, and it gave me an opportunity to make lifelong friends. 

When I returned to Durban, South Africa, after my exchange, I joined the Rotaract Club of Durban Berea to be with people my age who knew the value of serving others. This allowed me to further develop my leadership skills, to network, and to continue having fun with like-minded people. 

I was accepted at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, allowing me to return to the U.S. in 2013. I built upon the relationships that I had developed during my exchange year with host families and Rotarians to found the Twin Ports Rotaract Club in Duluth. I started this club because I felt empowered by Rotarians from Durban and Duluth. My goal was to form a group of vibrant and dynamic individuals who enjoy serving their community, a group that does not discriminate based on gender, race, or nationality. 

Twin Ports Rotaract has done several service projects in Minnesota, South Africa, and recently in Guatemalan communities. When I look back, I can see how my life has been completely transformed by the generosity of the people I met through the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Today, I am more passionate about empowering others and making a significant impact in the lives of the people I meet because of the Rotarians who took the time and believed in me.

About the author: Jireh Mabamba lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with his wife, Kayla, who is finishing her doctorate degree in physical therapy at the University of Minnesota. He works for the University as an Associate Development Officer for the College of Education and Human Development. His primary responsibilities are to connect and reconnect with alumni of the college – to assist and advise them with their philanthropic goals and priorities regarding the college.

Rotary alum turns trash into treasure

By Binish Desai, a member of the Rotary Club of Bulsar, India, and a former Rotary Youth Exchange student 

Binish Desai’s company makes bricks from industrial waste otherwise destined for the landfill.

I started my journey in Rotary as a Youth Exchange Student in 2009-10, hosted by the Rotary Club of Waukegan, Illinois, USA. I’m now a member of the Rotary Club of Bulsar, India, and Rotary helps me live out my dream, a dream I have had since age 11 – giving back to my community in service.

In 2005, I created my first brick using industrial paper waste and chewing gum. Similar bricks of recycled materials would go on to make thousands of stand-alone toilets for rural communities by 2015. The company I founded, Eco Eclectic Technologies, continues to research and invent new products in pursuit of a clean India. It is a vision captured in one of my mantras:

“Nothing is useless in this world. What might be a waste to you is someone else’s assets.”

I like to tell people that Eco Eclectic Technologies is a transformation parlor for industrial waste. Neglected and unwanted waste comes to us instead of the landfill, and we transform it into useful items that people can use in their everyday lives.

Light fixtures made from recycled materials.

EcoLights Studio: a micro social enterprise that is connected to Eco Eclectic Technologies, aims to employ non-skilled women and rural artisans. We teach them how to create light fixtures, made entirely of waste, by hand. Every light that is purchased recycles 7 kilograms of waste, helping reduce carbon emission and electronic waste. The lights themselves are 90 percent recyclable.

Bin-Nish means “without darkness, spreading light.” To fulfill the meaning of my name, I teach a waste management course for college and high school students. Students experiment with waste to find innovative solutions. When you start experimenting with waste, you will never end up empty handed. These students represent the hope of finding even more solutions, toward the goal of constantly improving our country.

And throughout this process, Rotary and Rotarians have supported my innovations and have been able to contribute to many of our unique projects. One way we show our dedication to the environment is plant one tree in an industrial area for every light fixture we sell, and ensure they are maintained. It thrills me to know that Rotary shares my concern for the planet, a fact demonstrated by President Ian H.S. Riseley’s challenge this year to clubs to plant a tree for every member of their club. It’s yet another way I find my own values aligning with Rotary.

Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self has always inspired its members to contribute to society. To me, Rotary is family. And I look forward to continuing to make a difference in the world with innovations for a cleaner and more sustainable world, inspired and supported by my Rotary family.

About the author: Binish Desai runs Eco Eclectic Technologies, a lab that recycles and reuses more than 50 different types of industrial waste and converts it into more than 150 products. In 2017, Desai received the RI Alumni Global Service award for zone 6A. Desai was recently listed by Forbes Asia in their list of 30 Under 30 social entrepreneurs.

Taiwan Charity Bike Ride
Rotary District 3490 (Taiwan) is organising a charity bike ride and photography tour around Taiwan.
The ride is from 19th through 28th October, 2018 and participants need to be in Taipei by the 18th October. Peter Russo, the state member for Toohey and several other business people from Brisbane will be taking part.
Official closing date for enrolment is 28th April, 2018, but if you contact Terry at or 0413 588 168 he should be able to get you in even after this date. Please contact Terry as soon as you can if you are interested and he'll help you with completing the registration.
Some more details below:
  • 4 main focuses: 

  1. Bike ride and photography tour;
  2. Bespoke 9 days and 8 nights around the island tour;
  3. Professional support team and tour-guide provided;
  4. Hiring or buying Merida bikes
  • Tour interests:

  1. Fun, safe touring through cycling
  2. Experience local culture with stay-overs in high value landmarks across major cities of Taiwan
  3. Safe roads selected
  4. This tour is safe enough for families and teenagers 
  5. High level accommodation selected
  6. Certificate and trophy on completion of the course
  •  Tour Cost:

  1. Single room NTD $41500 ($1805AUD) pp, twin share: NTD $31500 ($1370AUD) pp, trip share: NTD $29500 ($1283AUD), quad share:  NTD $26800 ($1165AUD).
  2. Will include one bike shirt, one polo shirt, one towel each rider
  3. 4 support cars including drivers, 1 coach including driver, 14 support guides, altogether a team of 19 personnels to run the event.
  4. Includes accomodation, lunch and dinner, train tickets, helmet hire.
  5. Insurance for medical and public liability
  6. Drink bottle, certificate, trophy, travel guide, photography, drone videos, DVD video of the trip.
  7. Pre-event cycling training
  • Does not include:

  1. Bike
  2. Bike accessories if bringing own bike
  •  Bike hire:
  1.  Merida Speed 93, to buy $12000NTD ($522 AUD), to hire $1000NTD ($43.50AUD)for 9 days
  2. Rikulau Audax Hercules flat-bar road bike, to buy $38000 ($1652 AUD), to hire ($196AUD) for 9 days
  • Tour guide qualification:

  1. Professional riders
  2. CPR & AED qualified
  3. Proficient in English and Mandarin
  4. Tour guide qualified
  5. Photography and videography proficient.
Whisky Tango Hotel......

Club Officers

President                   Daniel Vankov
Secretary                   Michael Stephens
Treasurer                   Warren Walker
President Elect          Chris Muir
Imm. Past President  Graeme Whitmore
Sergeant-at-arms       Luke Marshall
The Rotary Club of Brisbane Inc.
ABN 75 152 438 499
GPO BOX 2909 Brisbane Qld 4001
District               9600
Club Number   17787

Brisbane City Cluster Assistant Governor

Lisa Bateson

District Governor

John Lane

Rotary International President

Ian Riseley