Welcome to Our Club
The Rotary Club of Murray Bridge meets at the Murray Bridge Golf Club
41 Ritter St, Murray Bridge on Tuesday evenings
With fellowship from 6.00pm and meeting starting at 6.15pm.
All guests and apologies must be confirmed with the Golf Club
by 1.00pm on the same day. 
Please call the Golf Club on 08 85311388

The Four-Way Test

 1.  Is it the TRUTH?
 2.  Is it FAIR to all concerned?
 4.  Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Upcoming Meetings
Jan 28, 2020 6:00 PM
Correctional Services Visit


Chairperson: Robin LeGallez

Fellowship & Invocation: John Whimpress

Reserve: Margaret Whitehead

Feb 04, 2020 6:00 PM
Rotary Foundation
Feb 11, 2020 6:00 PM
View entire list



Operation Flinders
A new direction for young people at risk
Thankyou for the invitation to come along and speak. The Murray Bridge Rotary Club played a huge part in getting me involved, with Operation Flinders.
Jonathon Robran came and spoke to the club approximately three years ago. I listened intently to what he said, and thought I could do that. It ticks a lot of boxes for me. Making a difference to young people, also hiking and camping.
In lots of ways Operation Flinders is similar to Going Bush with Rotary. The scale is different, but the ideals are pretty much the same. Operation Flinders offers programs for past participants through the Peer Group Mentors Program. Rotary does this through RYLA and RYPEN etc.
Pam Murray-White was the person  who started Operation Flinders. She had a couple of careers. One as a teacher, and another one as an Army Officer.
It was the combination of these two that led  to her forming the organisation. She could see the kids she saw at school, that had lost their way, could benefit from the structure, and outdoor programs that the military offered.
Unfortunately, she passed away in 1995 at the age of I think 42. Her legacy lives on through Operation Flinders, and a mighty fine legacy it is!
Yankaninna Station hosts Operation Flinders treks -Operation Flinders Foundation owns the pastoral lease-. Yankaninna is approximately 55 km from Copley, you go through Mt Serle Station to get there.
The Frome River runs through Yankaninna, it was bone dry when I was there in late July. I was in the Flinders in 1989, and I saw the Frome River in full flood -a sight to see-, a big contrast this time.
There are six exercises held each year, with appromixately 90 - 100 participants for each exercise. A huge logistical exercise. From what I could determine, it does run with military precision. It has to, in lots of ways. There is a lot going on at any one time. Most people involved are volunteers. The team and assistant team leaders, command staff back at base, and all the volunteers that help pre and post exercise.
Operation Flinders works in conjunction with schools to identify participants. From what I have been told, when Operation Flinders started they used to take some pretty hard core kids. Now, the participants are not as troubled, most of them have issues with truancy at school, or dysfunctional homes, or have been suspended for drug, or alcohol related issues. Or, they may have issues, with a combination of any of these.
We were told about one of our participants that had a criminal record. She was an absolute delight for the whole trip! We don't receive all details on the the participants, just the information that is relevant for us out in the bush.
The participants leave home (depending on where they are) about 4 am, and drive to Yankaninna Station. This trip may take  8-9 hours. Per capita, there are more Country than City schools involved.
There are normally  8-10 participants, plus two adults from the school. They are dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and find the Team Leader and Assistant Team Leader waiting for them, with their packs. A pretty quick introduction follows, then we hit the trail. Only a 2-3 hour walk the first day then we set up camp.
We trek for 8 days in  total. We have to get to designated camps each night. What route we take to get there, is our choice. We use maps and compasses, with GPS as backup. Everyone carries backpacks, the participants pack weigh approximately 16-18 kg. The team and assistant team leaders carry about 25-30 kg in their packs.
We walk about 15 km per day, about 100 km in total -day one and day eight are short walks-. At each camp are supplies for each team. It is all very structured. We sleep in sleeping bags under hutchies (plastic tarp strung between trees). Very basic, and not that comfortable!
The food was basic, but I thought it was quite good. Everything is cooked on the campfire, as you would expect. Each day we have to take provisions for the day, including smoko and lunch, as the next available food is at the next camp.
As you can imagine, a lot of participants are not used to breaking through their comfort zones. Walking 15 km a day for 8 days with a 20 kg pack on your back, will get you out of your comfort zone. The terrain is very challenging, but not extreme. Depends on your perspective of extreme I guess, having long legs is very useful!
We didn't have any issues in our group, but some groups do have participants that refuse to walk, or do a runner. We have two way radios, and are in touch with base during the day.
Base camp is amazing during exercise, the exercise commander delegates as they see fit, and there are another approximately 20 people with various roles. They track all the teams during the day (when they radio in) and take care of any issues that may arise.
Blisters are normally the main issue to contend with. I was the only one in our group that had no issues. It was great to see the resilience of the participants, they all pushed through. I thought our team leader was excellent on this subject. He said “I don't care how slow you walk, just keep on walking”  great advice for blister management, and for life generally.
That is the point of Operation Flinders in a nutshell. The eight days are quite challenging, and everyone has no choice but to keep going. It has to be an emergency for someone to be extracted out of the field.
Besides the day where we abseil. We don't see anyone else for the eight days in the field. For all intents and purposes we are on our own. The reality is not quite like this as  there are about 150 people on the station at the same time. We just don't see them, that's all.
On the last day the teams are “extracted”, there is lots of military jargon, that took me a while to get my head around. The exercise commander comes out and meets the group and does a presentation. They all get a set of dog tags. Then get on a bus and spend 8-9 hours to get home -they haven't had a shower since they left home-.  Most of the adults wear Army fatigues. This is for practical reasons, they have big pockets! We carry maps, compasses, radios, GPS etc.
During the trip if any of the participants show leadership skills they are invited to become a Peer Group Mentor. This is done in consultation with the adults from the school, as they know the participants backgrounds, and how they are at school etc.
I have chosen to be involved with PGM groups, and have attended a couple of training sessions with them. This was how I spent this weekend.
The PGM’s have specific leadership training. They can get Cert 3 in Outdoor Education, first aid training etc. They also have exposure to employers that are sponsors of Operation Flinders. Here they receive help with resumes and interview techniques etc. I believe there have been numerous PGM’s that have found employment through these introductions, and training provided. 
This is where the real power of Operation Flinders lies, in my view. It’s like the domino effect. One difficult eight day walk can have a flow on effects. The PGM’s also get to go on exercise as mentors. They are a similar age to the participants, and have similar back stories.
Operation Flinders attracts volunteers from all backgrounds and ages. The gender mix is pretty equal, from what I saw.
I believe initially, the bulk of volunteers came from the military and the police force. I think this reflected the type of participants they took up there in the early days. Some came straight out of youth detention centres, and were really hard core.
The participant profile has changed, and along with this, the profile of volunteers has broadened. There is still a strong cohort of people with a military or SAPOL background. These people are vital, as we need their systems and structure to make the whole show work.
There are now also, doctors, lawyers, other professionals, tradies, small business owners, white and blue collar employees, young people, retired people, and a whole heap of other like minded people.
They are all there for the right reasons, and it’s a very positive organisation to be involved with.
Upon reflection, I am very pleased I was at Rotary the night that Jonathon Robran came and spoke. 


The Rotary Club of Murray Bridge had a mammoth day on Friday 24th Jan from 7am till 4pm cooking in the Santos tent in Diamond Park for the Tour Down Under's finish in Murray Bridge today. Rotary Community Director Sue Foster had three teams of Rotarians in shifts organised for the day. Murray Bridge was in party mode with stalls in Sixth street, Adelaide Road, Diamond Park and Pine Park. Elen Trevorow and friends demonstrated Njanrindjeri Weaving skills in Sixth Street, a cycling theme was on display at the Regional Gallery, there was dancing and music in Diamond Park. Council and Tourism staff were out and about promoting the Region. A reported crowd of over 20,000 attended the event. The infrastucture associated with the event like the five Huge TV Screens mounted on semi trailers, cranes for the reporting tv cameras and the logistics was amazing. The public event prior to the professionals was extremely well supported with hundreds of participants. The media entertained and commentated on progress of the race as the large crowd watched on the screens waiting for the exciting. They were travelling at around 70 km per hour down the main street to the finish.





HAVE you registered?
HAVE you booked your accommodation?
Sandor Motel, Mildura  0499 901 382
HAVE you advised Trevor 0408 813 250 or
Phil 0417 827 848
DON'T miss out!

Calendar Winners 14th January

1st    $100           609       Micheal Potts  (L.Ck.)                        sold by R. Wickes
2nd    $30             65        Nerissa Luckett  (M.B.)                      sold by Mypo P.S.
3rd      $ 20            295       Peter Dabinet  (M. B.)                       sold by B. Frazer

Rotary Wine Sales

The latest wine has now been labelled and is selling fast!
Our Club is able to offer the exceptional Lake Breeze 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon for the unbelievably low investment of $120 per dozen.
To purchase simply pay in advance via EFTPOS or cash at a regular meeting and then arrange collection with Rotarian Ian Elston

Protocol Reminder

Just a couple of Protocol reminders -
If you are unable to attend a meeting please contact the Murray Bridge Golf Club before 1pm on 85311388.
If it is last minute please still contact the Golf Club and also contact either Gordon 85324563 or Gary 0418813474.
If your going to be away for any length of time please let either Gordon or Gary know plus Jenny Alexander-Walters.

  What's happening on our Facebook page
John Scarvelis has been posting up a storm with some great content.
Follow the link below to see more...

Put These Events in your Diaries
Murray Bridge Rotary Swap Meet
Murray Bridge Showgrounds
Feb 16, 2020 6:00 AM
End Polio Cabaret
Mar 07, 2020
PETS Seminar
Mar 14, 2020
PETS + Specialty Training
Mar 15, 2020
District 9520 Conference
Mar 27, 2020 - Mar 29, 2020
Rotary Art Show
Murray Bridge Regional Gallery
May 01, 2020 6:00 PM –
May 17, 2020 4:00 PM
District Assembly
May 03, 2020
Murray Bridge Changeover Dinner 2020
Jun 27, 2020 6:00 PM
No Rotary meeting tonight
Jun 30, 2020 6:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
John Scarvelis
January 28
Spouse Birthdays
Beverley Curtis
January 8
Peter Phillips
January 25
Rhonda LeGallez
January 27
Samuel Cozens
Elizabeth Cozens
January 5
Trevor Curtis
Beverley Curtis
January 8
Lesley Murray
Steve Murray
January 12
Garry Wilson
Dotti Wilson
January 15
Peter Seals
Suzann Seals
January 16
Darryl Webb
Kathy Webb
January 20
Join Date
Ron Lehmann
January 1, 1982
38 years
Don McLean
January 4, 2005
15 years
Lesley Murray
January 31, 2016
4 years
Lyn Sickerdick
January 31, 2016
4 years
Simon Sickerdick
January 31, 2016
4 years
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