Meet our President for 2023-24 (6 July 2023)

President John de Ridder

John joined the Rotary Club of Nelson Bay, D9670 in March 2013 and transferred to E-Club Serving Humanity in June 2021.

John de Ridder is recognized locally and internationally as an experienced telecommunications economist. Since leaving Telstra in 2002, he has worked locally for private corporations, regulators and governments. Sometimes, this work is performed as a sub-contractor to a larger consultant (eg GQI Consulting , NERA and LECG).

John’s eighteen year career at Telstra included stints as Chief Economist, Pricing Manager and Director Strategic Studies.

These roles put him at the cutting edge of developments such as universal service costing and the evolution of competition and regulation. John writes the “Economuse” column for the weekly on-line “CommsWire” newsletter and for the Telecommunications Journal of Australia.

Before joining Telstra, John held various positions in Australia and the UK. In Australia he worked as an economist for ICI and as the research manager for IBIS Consulting. In London he worked for Shell International as an economist and for DRI-McGraw Hill as a macro-economic forecaster and in sales.

PIMD partners with Sri Lankan Universities to deliver teacher training (17 April 2023)

PIMD has partnered with the University of Jaffna and the Eastern University of Sri Lanka to offer the PIMD teacher training as short courses through their online and distance learning centres. The first course to be offered is “Teaching Phonological Awareness and Phonics for English in Schools”. 700 primary English teachers applied for the first round in December 2022. The course will run multiple times in 2023 to allow all of these teachers to participate. Further collaboration with the Universities is planned.

Our support of KIVA (22 November 2022)

When we established our online Rotary E-Club Serving Humanity with members from different locations and backgrounds we thought it would benefit our members to build a relationship together assisting less fortunate people in countries other than where we live and work.

One of the Rotary avenues of service is International Service and KIVA allows us to contribute to small projects and entrepreneurs in many countries.

What is KIVA?

More than 1.7 billion people around the world do not have access to banks and cannot access the financial services they need. Kiva is an international non-profit organisation, founded in 2005 in San Francisco, with a mission to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive.

PIMD feeds the children in Sri Lanka (20 August 2022)

In June-July 2022 the Sri Lanka English Literacy project changed gears in response to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. The project provided funds to 15 schools to cover the cost of providing a nutritious meal per day for every student for a month. Teachers told us that students were coming to school hungry and in some cases starving. Because the funds went directly to schools and then into local communities, the cost was one-third of much larger donor-led programs channelled from overseas and through Colombo. Thank you to our supporters who donated to this appeal. 

Sharing new skills (30 July 2022)

Orkeeswa School in rural Tanzania encourages students to be curious, to learn new skills and to share new skills with others.

Form 4 (year 10) students Naini and Nang’idai learned how to play the trumpet from one of their teachers, then shared their skills with other students and members of their community church. When their teacher left, Naini and Nang’idai took over the running of the school trumpet club. They taught pre-form one students, and helped them to improve their English at the same time. Naini and Nang’idai are developing skills in leadership and teaching through running the club. Naini said that through teaching music, she has connected with many students and improved her relationships with them. Nang’idai has helped her church group to write a Maasai song using the skills she has passed on.

See more youth-produced and inspired stories at Orkeeswa Story Lab

Save the Kula Babies goes island hopping! (11 July 2022)

Watch this fantastic video of a recent expedition of the team on a 6 week medical outreach trip around the PNG islands delivering much needed medical supplies and equipment. Our own Wendy Stein will soon be heading to Port Moresby and Alotau to restock their vessel – Kula Spirit – in readiness to expand their much needed services. Wendy urges all Rotarians conducting projects to partner with others, so maximum benefit is given to the recipients and to save huge amounts of donated funds.

Healthy families build healthy nations.

Second research study for youth needs (9 July 2022)
Two jupiter ambassadors

Caring for Our Port Stephens Youth (COPSY Inc.) is seeking expressions of interest for an updated study of the mental health needs of youth in Port Stephens. This is a Rotary project (RABS 12-2021-22) which has been going three years.

We are looking not only for input on the terms of reference for such a study but also for organisations that would be interested in conducting the study.

DG 2022-23, Geraldine Rurenga (29 June 2022)

Rotary E‐Club of Brindabella

Geraldine joined Rotary in 2013 after completing an undergraduate degree in teaching and moving to Wagga Wagga. Since then, Geraldine has held a range of Rotary club and district executive board positions, including club president in 2016‐17 and 9705 district trainer 2017‐19. In addition, she has been involved with several other non‐profit organisations, including being a member of the management committee of the Wagga Women’s Health Centre in 2018 and 19. She has led a number of community events and fundraisers for local organisations.

Rotary helping communities vulnerable to Covid-19 (29 May 2022)

This article below is one of the reasons I am proud to be a Rotarian – PP John Roberson

Rotary’s strength in local communities and experience fighting polio can help get people who are still vulnerable vaccinated against COVID-19, Nigeria PolioPlus Chair Dr. Tunji Funsho said at a global summit about the pandemic that brought together heads of state, health officials, and philanthropic leaders.



Beryl and Astro

In February “Captain Beryl” compered a fund-raising launch to jupiter. Beryl is pictured above with Astro Alissi who is COPSY’s newest committee member and a jupiter Youth Ambassador (more on COPSY and jupiter below).

Over the last couple of years, it has been impossible to run public fund-raising events. After a few postponements, we decided to press ahead with a major fund-raising event on the 15thFebruary. It was enormously successful with over 140 people attending, raising pledges worth over $100,000 and educating local benefactors about what we are doing.