Posted on Feb 19, 2018

NYSF SPEECH: ROTARY MEETING 06/02/2018

 

Good Evening Rotarians of the Pine Rivers Rotary Club,

 

As you may know, my name is Joshua D’Souza and I am now a Year 12 student at St Benedict’s College. I would like to share with you my exciting experience in the annual National Youth Science Forum for 2018. NYSF Session A was a highly extensive 12-day program in our nation’s capital, attended by over 200 high-achieving and well-rounded Year 12 students. This program made a platform designed to provide a broader understanding of career pathways and interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics or STEM, for interested students. NYSF has empowered students to explore the vast horizons of the scientific world through interactive workshops, meet and learn from renowned research academics and professionals, and become inspired by the current and future developments in internationally recognised research facilities.

 
NYSF Science
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Joshua D'Souza - NYSF student Ron Heitmann 2018-02-18 14:00:00Z 0 NYSF,Science
Posted on Jan 15, 2018
This morning I joined the Traralgon Central club for an informal 3 km walk followed by breakfast at a local restaurant.It was a lovely experience, despite the fine, light rain.Past President, Maree spoke about a couple of their projects as we walked:* “Give a Damn; Give a Can”, which collects non-perishable food for those experiencing difficulties during the harsh winter;* Hostel near hospital: the club raised the funds to build several small units to support the families of patients (often with cancer or other chronic / terminal illness).Club members continue to maintain the units and yard, with one of the members heading there from breakfast.A very interesting and pleasant bunch.Cheers Jo
Our Wandering Rotarian Ron Heitmann 2018-01-14 14:00:00Z 0
Ms Jo Ehrlich is our most recent club member, and she is on an 18 month tour of our great country in her camper van. Every now and again we hear from Jo as she travels around and meets up with Rotary clubs where she is visiting. Just recently she has spent some weeks in the Dapto area of southern New South Wales. The Rotary club there is similar to ours. They enjoy lots of fun and fellowship while doing good projects to assist the local community.
 
During this time she joined in a combined meeting of several Rotary clubs in the Woolongong and Shoalhaven area. On another occasion they visted Don's Farm, a rural hideaway for relaxation and fellowship. On another occasion the club met at a local retirement village.
 
Read her full report and see her photos...
Our Wandering Rotarian 2018-01-06 14:00:00Z 0
Geoff Wright, member of our club for 20 years, became ill almost two years ago. After a raging battle in which he was not prepared to surrender, he succumbed on 30 December 2017. Around 250 people assembled on the morning of Sunday 7 January 2018 at Shangri-La Gardens to say farewell to Geoff. All who could were wearing (loud) floral shirts in accordance with Geoff's wishes, and he was clapped into the room by those in attendance. Tributes were delivered from the SSSI (Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute), the CEO of the Clem Jones Group (which has a number of arms, including the Clem Jones Foundation and the Clem Jones Centre), the Brisbane Strikers, Pine Rivers Rotary, and members of his family.
At the end of the service our members were fortunate to have the opportunity to form a Guard of Honour as the pall-bearers moved the coffin to the front door of the complex. This was followed by a moving farewell as he was transported from the building. Farewell, Geoffrey Philip Wright.
Farewell to Geoff Ron Heitmann 2018-01-06 14:00:00Z 0
Joshua attends St Benedict's College, Mango Hill. He has been selected in Session A in Canberra in January. He loves to do research and is interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and their environmental and social factors.
 
He hopes that NYSF will give him guidance. He is currently aspiring to do Medicine, but his future is open to engineering and science. After hearing about NYSF from school, he understands it will provide resources, as he wants to work on a greener and healthier future for our world. He wants to expand his horizons in all aspects, and thanked the club for the opportunity to attend the course. [Editor - sorry didn't get more info from his talk - it was very fast, I don't do shorthand.]
NYSF Candidate Joshua D'Souza Ron Heitmann 2017-11-27 14:00:00Z 0
Caitlin thanked the club for the financial support. She is very excited, with only 34 days to go - Session A in Canberra. Her passions are Maths and Sciences. She has the same teacher for Maths A and B, and she credits the teacher for her enthusiasm for the subject. The teacher wanted her to turn down her excitement.
 
In Physics she is interested in waves, particularly sound waves. While most people her age are saving for a car, she was saving to buy her first full-sized violin. She just loves the sound and knows a lot about the structure of violins.
 
In maths and science, the classes are male dominated, with about 2/3 boys. She insists that the girls can hold their own in that sphere. She has found the journey to this point of NYSF very entertaining. She spoke to her Mum, as she had not done a job interview. She felt she can't do this, and can't do that, but she is here today, so that is good. At school, she is looking towards health and medical sciences, but is hoping that NYSF will give her some more ideas. She is looking forward to taking to the meeting again after her return. (Her violin is a 2012 model.)
NYSF Candidate Caitlin Svehla Ron Heitmann 2017-11-27 14:00:00Z 0
Background
Each year our club advertises for potential candidates to attend the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF). They are in Year 11 when they apply, and the Forum is held in January of the following year. Venues are the Australian National University, Canberra (where all our candidates will attend), and the University of Queensland, St Lucia. The applicants undergo an interview with their host club and, if successful, will undergo an interview with the Rotary District selection team. After that the successful candidates are informed about which forum they are to attend. Only highly motivated and qualified science students are selected, as the competition level is very high.
 
This year, our club was in the fortunate position of being able to select three potential candidates, all of whom passed the District selection process and were given positions in a Forum.
 
Our speaker for this meeting was Zoe Roetteler,
Zoe opened her remarks by thanking the club for the opportunity and for the fee support. She has a strong passion for science, and an obsession with the sky since she was young. She would lie on the driveway or on the trampoline and look at the sky - moon and stars. When he grandpa died and she was quite young, she was told that he had gone to live on the moon, so she watched the moon.
 
As time went on she started studying astronomy charts, and finding stars. She decided that she wanted to be an Astrophysicist, and attended everything she could. The World Science Festival was visited every year. She read Science Illustrated from cover to cover, and did research. In addition, she followed every science related social media outlet she could find. The ANU provided a free online course so she did that as well. It involved Cosmology, Hubble, and such topics.
 
In Grade 10 she started to do various branches of science, including Chemistry. She asked herself why should she shut herself off from other aspects of science? She put a chemical element chart on her wall beside the astronomy pictures. Then she did biology. She decided to extract DNA from strawberries and bananas in the kitchen. She tried to make a bananaberry.
 
Now she is here. She has done years of research and has a head full of useless facts. She doesn't know what to do. She is hoping that NYSF will help.
 
The club encouraged her, saying that she is on the right track by going to NYSF, and that she will see lots of things she has not even thought of before. The best thing is to go with an open mind and let the Forum talk to her. We congratulate Zoe on such an inspiring talk.
NYSF Science
NYSF Student Zoe Roetteler Ron Heitmann 2017-11-25 14:00:00Z 0 NYSF,Science

Brian Springer, from the Pine Rivers Daybreak club, is the District 9600 ShelterBox co-ordinator. He told us about the operations behind the deployment of ShelterBoxes.

In the first instance, Rotary is on the ground after a disaster. The local clubs provide the initial answers and supervision. The ShelterBox first response teams follow soon after. They receive three weeks of training in Cornwall, UK prior to being part of a team. Because the conditions at a disaster are rarely good, the teams get military type training. One essential prior to their deployment anywhere is to get the Government of the receiving country to grant them safe passage and protection. The environment can be quite unfriendly.

Around the world today, over 85 million people are homeless - so there is a huge need for the boxes. Each box can weigh up to 55kg. Teams have seen local women carry the boxes on their heads over mountains and through rivers. For example, in Haiti, over 30,000 boxes have been delivered.

The equipment in the boxes is changed as necessary to meet the local needs of the disaster survivors. Items like solar powered lights have been introduced, as well as thirst aid stations, capable of providing a family with drinking water. Another option is a ShelterKit - containing tarps, ropes, pegs, tools and all the fixings to make a covered area to live under.

When a ShelterBox is delivered to a family, they are given a Certificate of Ownership - they own the gear, and can look after it for their needs. Often this is the only thing they might own.

In the UK, Tom Henderson started the project. Teams of around 400 volunteers can be called upon to pack the boxes - about 400 per night. From the UK, they are transported by DHL. In Australia, the boxes are held in Bond, and they can be sent with the first aircraft into a zone, usually a RAAF aircraft. Being held in bond means that the boxes can not be sent to a location in Australia. If we need boxes, as has been the case at Bundaberg and the Victorian bushfires, the boxes need to be sent from another country - usually New Zealand.

ShelterBox has Ausaid recognition, and is a Designated Gift Recipient (DGR), which means that any donations are tax deductable. For additional information on the Australian operation, see ShelterBox Australia.

Rotary ShelterBox
ShelterBox Australia Ron Heitmann 2017-11-25 14:00:00Z 0 Rotary,ShelterBox

Meeting guest

At our meeting on 14 Nov we welcomed the Father-in-Law of one of our members. Pedro brought Mr. João Carlos da Silva, from the Rotary Club of Londrina-Sudeste, Brazil. Our President Stephen gave him one of our club's banners as a memento of his visit to our club.

Our club has recently been able to combine with the Rotary Club of Londrina-Sudeste in obtaining a grant to assist a hospital there.

Club Visitor 2017-11-13 14:00:00Z 0
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