Saturday the 20th of May the Murrumbidgee Rotary club hosted it’s inaugural Batlow ciderfest bus trip. The trip was an amazing success, raising around $600 for local charities.
Twenty eight guests left Wagga on two buses bound for the Batlow hills in fairly bleak and cold conditions. As both the weather and the witty banter warmed up we made our first stop in the historic gold rush town of Adelong for coffee and refreshments. The convoy then headed on to Batlow and the fantastic Cider Fest.
The event was run very well with plenty to keep us all entertained, There was a huge range of gourmet food on offer as well as beverages galore. Everything from beer to warm mulled cinnamon flavored apple cider there was something for everyone’s taste.
The event featured a number of local performers including solo acts, dancers, clowns and rock bands. There were also art and craft stalls to keep everyone entertained.
After the festival finished the tour carried on to Tumbarumba, a small town on the edge of the snowy mountains to inject some life into one of the rustic old local pubs.
The tour concluded in Wagga with a number of the tourists carrying on the festivities at the Thirsty Crow Brewery.
This adventure just goes to prove how amazing the NSW Riverina is with so many fantastic and diverse events right at our door step.
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Once again the Wagga Science and engineering challenge has been run and won. Eight local high schools battled it out for engineering excellence last Thursday with Mater Dei the eventual winners.
Teams of students worked together to solve complex every day engineering problems in a number of fields From construction and electrical, to robotics and civil engineering, students had a taste of what a career in the science and engineering fields could be like.
Once again Trevor Webb and his team of workers put on a fantastic event that all of the students (and helpers) loved. Many thanks to sponsors, Nixons Hydraulics, Riverina Water, CSU Wagga, Essential Energy and all of the Wagga Rotary Clubs.
Right now, a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is mobilizing a deployment to Haiti to conduct assessments to determine the appropriate level of response.
Hurricane Matthew is the most powerful storm to hit Haiti in generations, destroying homes and communities in it path.
The Category 4 hurricane struck Haiti on Tuesday causing massive destruction to the already vulnerable country. Initial reports show 12,000 are in need of shelter, and this number is expected to rise significantly. A United Nations official in Haiti, Mourad Wahba, described the storm as “the largest humanitarian event” in the country since the earthquake that struck the country in 2010. At least 11 people have been killed and this number is expected to rise as the extent of the damage becomes clear.
Even though the storm has passed in Haiti, the devastation and destruction is not yet over. Communities are experiencing flash-flooding and mudslides that continue to rip houses apart and put families at risk of waterborne diseases like cholera.
The storm is now moving north through Cuba and is heading to the Bahamas with wind speeds of 230 km/h, causing 3 metre tidal surges and more than one metre of rainfall in some communities.
ShelterBox already has some aid stored in Haiti and large stocks of aid in Panama, ready to assist during the hurricane season. With airports closed, some of this aid has already been dispatched from Curacao aboard the Dutch Navy vessel HMNS Holland. The aid includes water filtration equipment which will be vital given the flooding, solar lighting to assist during electricity black outs, blankets, special shelter kits of tools and tarpaulins to help weatherproof damaged buildings.
Rather than sponsor a ShelterBox, we ask you to donate to our flexible relief fund, ‘The ShelterBox Soltion’ so that we can tailor our response to the needs of those affected.
Gregory Fyfe was our fantastic guest speaker last week. He spoke about his time with the Burrumbuttock Hay runners and their mercy run to Ilfracombe just near Longreach in Queensland. The group organised hundreds of trucks and thousands of bales of hay to be delivered to the drought stricken area in northern Queensland. Based in Walbundrie, event organiser, Brenden Farrell has gained the support of the Australian public and completed 11 hay runs since 2014. Initially funded by the Rotary club of Sydney the project has seen many other clubs and organisations jump on board with huge fundraising efforts around the country. Events from concerts to head shaves have raised thousands of dollars and created huge public support for the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.
Greg explained that the run was not only a great financial help for the local drought stricken farmers, but it was a fantastic moral booster. The local towns were doing it tough and the run was as much about boosting and highlighting the mental health of the farmers as it was feeding their stock. To find out more about the Burrumbuttock hay runners check them out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/burrumbuttockhayrunners/
Our guest speaker for last weeks meeting, George Holt is Head of Department, Information Technology, TAFE NSW Riverina Institute.
In 2015 George won a 2015 Premier’s TAFE Scholarship, and in April/May 2016 he travelled to Europe for a five week study tour of Finland and Austria gaining many new insights into education. In his words “he had the best time”.
The study tour included introductions, campus tours and conversations that helped George to better understand the Finnish and Austrian vocational educational systems.
He found that both Finland and Austria have incredibly professional systems where students receive excellent support from their teachers to prepare them for their careers. He was also very impressed by the partnerships between the business sector and campuses to ensure that students have the skills and knowledge to be successful.
As George said ”Study tours and exchange programs are a brilliant opportunity to open your eyes and see your own organisations strengths and weaknesses. This provides an opportunity to focus on positive steps to move forward. As I reflect back on my own experiences I can see steps that could make a huge improvement in the Australian VET sector.”