Upcoming Events
The Brisbane Club
Apr 09, 2018
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Lunch Meeting
The Brisbane Club
Apr 16, 2018
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
District 9600 District Conference
Maroochy RSL Events Centre
Apr 20, 2018 6:00 PM –
Apr 22, 2018 12:00 PM
Testimonial Luncheon for James Delahunty
Victoria Park Golf Course
Apr 29, 2018
11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Rotaract Rivercity Prof. Development Workshop
May 02, 2018
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Lunch Meeting with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart
United Services Club
May 14, 2018
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Rotary Club of Brisbane Golf Day
Virginia Golf Course
Jun 15, 2018
6:00 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

2 April 2018
Easter Monday - No Meeting

9 April 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    P Gresham
Minutes                M Williams
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                           J Smerdon

16 April 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                   G Holtmann
Minutes                C Shepherd
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                           J Smerdon

23 April 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    T Kung
Minutes                M Williams
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

30 April 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    L Marshall
Minutes                C Shepherd
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon
Upcoming Speakers
May 14, 2018 12:45 PM
Security and the Commonwealth Games
View entire list
President's Message
member photo
Dear Fellow Rotarians & Friends of the Club
We were missing our designated Chair on the 26th but nevertheless Secretary Michael was in a very good shape and made a superb intervention as the ad-hoc Chair. I am still trying to figure out the exact source of his excess of good mood. I have my suspicions but they won't go public yet. I have to make some tests by assigning him to different ad-hoc challenges to test the hypothesis. In all cases, thank you, Michael, for stepping in on a short notice and for the excellent job done!
As has been happening lately, the meeting was well attended and the flow on the 26th can be described as follows:
  1. A lot of paper flying and people trying to lead numerous conversations simultaneously. There is a lot currently going on in the Club.
  2. The bell rings, the Chair puts a serious face expression and slowly people try to settle in for the ceremony.
  3. At certain point I cannot refuse to stand up and describe what most people already know. In relation to that I shared printouts of our current Rotary International President Citation dashboard on the tables as well as a report toward our goals as of Q1 2018 end. The last also included for comparison the values from H2 2017 so it was easier to see the progress.
  4. Spots take place for quite some time (see point 1).
  5. We get a designated member to push away the more serious topics and bring back the smiles on our faces. In this case it was Phil Gresham who introduced us to his personal story of trying to fit into the turbulant market of "personal memories".
  6. Full and happy, we exercise our singing skills that hopefully no one will ever record.
As I am sure people are interested very much in p.3 above. Here is a short recap:


After inducting Robyn Burridge at our previous meeting we are looking towards inducting two more people: Jillanne Myers and Jaqui De Lacy. Well done to our Membership Committee!

Club projects

On the 26th we welcomed amongst us Jayani Amarasinghe, our designated strategy consultant. Jayani will be working with all of us during the forthcoming months to crave the Club Strategy plan for the next years. Please, do not feel shy and talk to her openly when the time comes!

News from the District and beyond

I was contacted by a coordinator of a program called "Gift of Music" and I thought that this one is worth underlining for you. "Gift of Music" helps enable disadvantaged children in rural and remote areas gain access to musical instruments through the donation of preloved/no longer used (and new) band and orchestral instruments. If you have such and would like to donate them, please, let me know so that I can provide you with the contact details!
Red Frogs sent us an invitation for their 2018 Brisbane Gala Dinner. It will happen on Tuesday, 19th of June, at 6.30pm and costs $140 pp for the early birds. Given the number of our own initiatives asking people to go will be a stretch but if anyone is interested, please, let me know!
We received our Voting Delegate Card for the 2018 Rotary International Convention. I am not aware of any member planning to attend. If there is one, please, let me know! If there is not maybe we can consider delegating our voting right to someone from the District.
As it was our last meeting for the month it was time for me to give away the President's Bottle of Wine Award for March. I might be wrong but sometimes I feel there is noble envy amongst Rotarians that are not members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane. The envy is rooted in the fact that our Club is well positioned financially to follow its mission. But what would that position be worth without proper day-to-day management? This is also relevant for any money that goes into the Club, i.e. the ones people leave at the Front Desk. There is a person that masters money management at any level - John Smerdon. It was my greatest pleasure to humbly recognise his efforts and contribution with a fine bottle of red wine. Well done, John, and keep up the good work!
There will be no meeting on the 2nd of April as it is a public holiday. Next meeting is on the 9th of April and we will have Denise Schellbach as a "Member in the spot light". I look forward to seeing you there. Meanwhile, please, book your seat for the Testimonial lunch for James Delahunty! This will make the life of the organisers much easier and can be done quickly at
I wish you all a great Easter holiday!
President Daniel
Editor's Note
Dear Readers,
This is the Easter edition of the RCoB Bulletin, so your editor wishes you a safe and refreshing Easter break whether you are enjoying a family lollapalooza or a quiet chill-out away from the madding crowd.
You also may have noticed that the club website ( has taken on a new look. This is because the display of the home page has migrated to the Clubrunner platform. In effect we have relinquished some control over the aesthetic look and feel of the website in order to take advantage of the ease of displaying content such as the club event calendar, speaker lists, club stories and the like across multiple web representations and the bulletins whilst only having to edit them in one place. The website is also integrated with an event manager, committee and volunteer management app, member profile management system, club communication system and a club membership development system which will give us the ability to create event booking websites with e-commerce integration, project sign-on sheets and committee sections in the site if we so choose. The bulletin has already been assembled and broadcast using Clubrunner for several weeks now and this week for the first time I will be trying out the functionality to send subtly different bulletins to members and friends and to people who have inquired about club membership.
We will be bringing club content across from the previous Wordpress website such as our club history and archived bulletins, and you will notice that some of the links point to generic Rotary content that we will be customised for the Rotary Club of Brisbane over time. Like all websites, it is a work in progress. Help from more members is welcomed!
If you look up in the top right-hand corner of the website, you will see a link called "Member Login". Accounts have been created for all members and I will be shortly sending each member a username and instructions about how to "get on".  When you are logged in, you can edit your profile details, which (except for date of birth which is not shared with anyone outside the club) will also be reflected in your Rotary International database profile after a short time. You can also access "members-only" pages and files (when we have some) and write stories and articles for the website or the bulletin.
Many thanks to Phil Gresham for his support and help in this transition.
Meeting Notes 26 March 2018
Chair for the day was Michael Stephens. He opened the meeting with Rotary Grace, the Loyal Toast and toasts to Rotary International, our club, and the South African schoolboy wag who approached a member of the Australian Cricket Team in the outfield asking for his autograph on a sheet of sandpaper.
Michael then invited President Daniel to deliver his President's message which is given in full above. Pres. Daniel also noted that apologies had been received from Chris Muir and Keith Watts and welcomed club guest Jayani Amarasinghe who is helping us to prepare our new strategic plan and membership plan. Dan also welcomed, possibly for for the last time as guests, Jillanne Myers and Jaqui De Lacy who have now completed every formality except induction before being full members of the Rotary Club of Brisbane.

Daniel also showed us the third in a series of short videos giving the findings of one of the groups from the QUT Ideas Factory who investigated the challenge for the RCoB in attracting and retaining more members from the ranks of CBD professionals in future. Then it was time for the monthly Botle of Wine Award which this month was presented to John Smerdon whose stewardship of both the foundation fund and the front desk keeps the club solvent and in a position to do good in the world.
John Smerdon accepts this month's Bottle of Wine Award from President Daniel.
Then it was time for spots. Lots of spots this week!
  1. John Smerdon reported that we already have a strong applicant for sponsorship for the National Youth Science Fellowship which this year will be held in Brisbane this year.
  2. Denise Schellbach reminded members that the meeting at which Police Commissioner Ian Stewart will speak is likely to be a sell-out, so could people let her know in advance they wish to attend so everyone from RCoB who can attend will have a seat.
  3. Jacqui Page reported that tickets for "Dela's Roast" have been selling well, but that if we book early enough, space can be made for 60 more. Please book at Trybooking now! HERE IS THE BOOKING LINK.
  4. PP Graeme Whitmore gave a short sports report that didn't mention the cricket and also reminded members that the RCoB Golf Day is approaching fast. Reservations and donations so far have been good. Please contact Graeme for an entry form or click on this link if you don't have one already.
  5. Robyn Burridge delivered a report on the UQ Rotary Peace Centre Peace Seminar held the previous Saturday which she had attended. The seminar, delivered by the outgoing Cohort XV Peace Fellows was very interesting. Robyn has written a short article which is published later in this bulletin.
  6. PP Phil Gresham reported on the combined districts 9600, 9630 and 9640 dinner held in honour of Rotary International President Ian Riseley and his wife PDG Juliet at Fitzy's in Loganholme on Monday the 19th. RCoB attendees Phil Gresham, Robyn Burridge, Jillanne Myers, Rick Tamaschke and Mark Williams were all seated on different tables around the hall and had great opportunities to meet and get to know Rotarians from other clubs. RIP Riseley delivered an informative and entertaining speech and a good time was had by all. In short, if you weren't there, then you missed something!
Then it was time for "Member in the Spotlight". This week the spotlighted member was PP Phil Gresham who took us on a magical tour of his career which started in the armed forces, had a stage as a motorcycle photographer and salesman, a tour of duty as general manager of a statewide retail chain, a stint as world President of the Digital Image Marketing Association  and currently has him running one of the last photo labs in South-East Queensland as well as a print shop and purveyor of almost anything that has a photographic image on it. Members were interested to discover that film photography is now definitely back "in". The Fotofast lab now processes over 350 rolls of film a week and is the only lab left that delivers 1-hour turnaround. The presentation was a treat, showing the technological innovation, marketing nous and business acumen that it has required to stay relevant in a market that has been subject to almost continuous disruption over the past 3 decades.
Phil is also appealing for any old VHS players or unused video cameras that readers may have taking up space and would like to get rid of.
Phil Gresham in the Spotlight
There was no sergeant-at-arms, but chair Michael did manage to separate members from a certain amount of readies for misdemeanours as diverse as wearing sunglasses and not wearing sunglasses. Then it was time for the raffle. Mark Williams had the ticket that got drawn from the bucket, but it did him no good at all and the joker is still at large.
Pres. Daniel closed the meeting with the singing of the national anthem at 13:50.
Rotary Peace Fellow Seminar 2018
The Class of cohort XV presented their studies and Applied Fieldwork at The Rotary Peace Fellows Seminar on Saturday 24 March, 2018 at The University of Queensland. 
Peace Fellows of cohort XV who presented their research on March 24. Photo: Norihiro Fujimoto
Topics ranged from Building inclusive communities, Columbia national and local peace, Modern slavery in the 21st century, The current and future of humanitarian action, Deconstructing bias in international development and how to apply to become a peace scholar. 
Perla Padella in her research on Columbia concluded that all parties, including the criminals, must be engaged in dialogue in order to secure peace.  
Ashuein Alor mentioned his desire to give back to communities in Southern Sudan after fleeing there as a refugee. 
At Right: Robyn Burridge (R) with "our" Peace Fellow from cohort XVI, Morgan Marks (L)
The seminar is the University’s way of thanking Rotary for its support and funding. The ongoing work at the centre can be viewed on Facebook: UQRotary Peace Centre and  Twitter: @UQRotaryPeace#
President-Elect Training
On the weekend of 24-25 March at the Surfair conference centre in Marcoola, Rotary District 9600 held its annual training seminar for Presidents Elect. Because our President Elect could not be at the training, I, as secretary elect was drafted to attend for the Rotary Club of Brisbane.
The program over one and a half days was packed, with topics covered including club development, district organisation structure, the district strategic plan and briefings on many of Rotary's programmes including Polio Plus, Australian Rotary Health, youth programmes such as youth exchange, RYLA, RYDA, NYSF etc. and RAA (Rotarians Against Acronyms.) This year, a particular focus was made on the "Business of Rotary" which included detailed study of the district budget and strategic plan and how Rotary captures and delivers value for the good of the world. As a result, I have a lot to share with PE Chris when he gets back from chasing Barramundi.
PETS was also a great networking opportunity to meet committed Rotarians from all over the district. In particular, it was a pleasure to share a table with Kym McCluskey, Denise Buckby and David Slater who will be presidents in our Brisbane Central cluster and Lisa Bateson our Assistant Governor.
Rotaract Runs in the Family

By Jumana Amiruddeen, Rotaract Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Spelling out Rotaract with visiting Rotaractors in Sri Lanka.

Whenever I meet my mother’s close friends, whom we affectionately call aunties and uncles, their stories always begin with “during our time in Rotaract … ”

I didn’t fully understand and appreciate what Rotaract was all about until I found myself attending my first meeting of the Rotaract Club of Colombo, Sri Lanka, at age 23 to support the club president, my cousin Hussain Akbarally (my mother’s sister’s son), with an annual fundraiser. As the meeting progressed, I learned about the club’s long, proud heritage, and my family’s intertwined role in it.


Just a year after the first Rotaract club was chartered in North Carolina, Ruzly Hussain brought Rotaract to our paradise island of Sri Lanka in 1969. My mother, Nafeesa Amiruddeen became president of this club. And 30 years to the day later, I became a proud member. It turns out it was my Nana (mum’s dad), who was a founding member of the Rotary Club of Colombo-Midtown, and the one who passed down this tradition.

Fellowship has been the prevailing force that has kept my family glued to Rotaract (and Rotary) through all the years. The club creates opportunities to meet, interact, and work with like-minded people both in our own country and internationally. I experienced this first-hand when I served on the board as International Service Director for another of my cousins, Shiraz Akbarally, Hussain’s brother, during his year as club president.

As a young professional working in the Ceylon Tea Trade, Rotaract gives me the opportunity to meet, work with, and form friendships with diverse individuals from a variety of professions, backgrounds, and cultures, widening both my scope and horizon.

Jumana Amiruddeen, middle, with Rotaractors taking part in the Escape to Paradise roundtrip.

My role in the club not only helped further develop my organisational and event-planning skills, but also made the world seem a lot smaller through the connections I made in what I like to call the “Rotaract Global Network.”

One of our flagship service projects for the year is Escape To Paradise, a trip we sponsor to our island for Rotaractors from other places. This is how I began to meet Rotractors from all over the world. Despite our different cultures and languages, we all shared the same values which instantly connected us. In 2015, my cousin Shiraz, then club secretary Minal Cabraal, and I met up with Rotaractors from Amman West during a visit to Jordan and created an amazing chain of events that produced a ripple effect. I met Sandy Odeh, who took part in our Escape to Paradise trip in 2016. She was joined by Ania Grzywacz of Poland, who encouraged me to take part in the Poland Rotaract Round Trip that same year. There I met fellow tripper Julie Chu, who was promoting Interota 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. And in Taipei, I met Cosmin Pitu from Germany, who is now taking part in the Escape to Paradise tour in 2018!

Jumana at the Escape to Paradise information table.

These friendships have given the Rotaract Club of Colombo and I the opportunity to be a part of many international projects, from fundraising for education, to donating books to a children’s school in the Ukraine, to exchanging culture boxes with Rotaractors from Jordan, Germany, and Poland.

I eventually passed on the reins of International Service director to yet another cousin, Amaar Adamaly, (mum’s brother’s son). For us, Rotaract truly is a family affair!

I thought I was making a decision to join. But in truth, the club is so intertwined with my family, it is like the path had already been chosen for me. Joining Rotaract is one of the best things that has happened to me!

What I love about Rotaract

By Elyse Lin, a member of the Rotaract Club of Taipei Tin Harbour, Taiwan

Rotaractors from all over the world gather at Interota 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan.

I can never forget the most life-changing dinner I ever attended. It was June 2013, and members of the Rotary Club of Taipei Tin Harbour invited me to a special reunion. The  Rotarians, who sponsored the student service club I belonged to on campus, wanted to start a new Rotaract club with all the college students they helped. My experience since I joined that new club almost five years ago has far exceeded my expectations. 

The two things I love about Rotaract are the mentorship and the friendship. Every journey I have ever taken in Rotaract started with challenges, and members of my host club have always been there to help me. One time, I remember having difficulty with a document. When I reached out to Tina Kao, a past president of our host club, she said “Don’t worry. I have finished it for you. Just wanted to make your life easier.”

Rotarians guide us by example, showing us how to lead, deal with conflict, and serve our community. What I learned from them I apply to my daily life every time I face a new challenge.

Rotaract’s global network amazes me. When I attended my first international convention in Sydney in 2014, I was blown away by meeting friends in Rotaract from all over the world. We all spoke the same language of service and fellowship. Ever since, I can’t help joining international events for the chance to meet new friends, exchange ideas, and discuss possibilities of doing good together.

Elyse Lin speaks during the 2017 Interota.

Last September, I served as chair of the host organizing committee for the Interota in Taipei, Taiwan, hosting 750 Rotary and Rotaract guests from 35 countries. It was special to finally have a chance to host Rotaract friends worldwide in our hometown. We celebrated 50 years of Rotaract, learned from inspiring leaders, shared things from our different cultures and experiences, and did a service project together. I was so rewarded to receive feedback from Rotaractors about what a wonderful time they had. The most precious thing to me was that Interota truly provided a platform for global friendships that will last a lifetime and create opportunities for international partnership.

In Rotaract, we learn, we serve, and we lead. There are so many great values that Rotaract has taught me. And I can’t wait to explore more opportunities ahead!

World Rotaract Week is 12-18 March. Join the 50th anniversary celebration and read about Rotaract through the decades.

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