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Wine column offensive
on every level
I was taken aback by the article “Punch Drunk on Budget
Night” in your June issue of RDU and I think many of your
readers will be offended by it.
It violates the fundamental rule that Rotary is apolitical.
Whatever our personal views might be, a Rotary magazine
is no place for them.
It also shows an abysmal understanding of domestic
It perpetuates the myth that there is no hope for
domestic violence perpetrators, when this is untrue.
Violence Free Families, a Rotary initiative to prevent family
violence, endorsed by District 9800 and supported by many
clubs throughout Australia, has made significant progress
towards improving behaviour change programs for violent
men and making them more widely available.
The article advocates the use of alcohol “to dull
the pain”. The over-use of alcohol is a major factor in
the appalling prevalence of family violence, as well as
contributing to health and accident problems. Rotary should
never be associated with inappropriate use of alcohol, even
in a clumsy attempt at humour.
Rotary Club of Brighton, Vic
Rotary historian Paul Henningham wishes to express
his thanks to all those Rotary club presidents who
responded to his recent appeal for information. The
data gathered from the survey will be stored in Rotary
archives and made available to future researchers.
At the tender age of 93, Paul has undertaken
the task of collating information for the Rotary
historians selected to write our centenary history in
2021. He said that it is reasonable to assume he will
not be available to accept the assignment.
A Rotarian for 59 years, Paul is a member of the
Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains, NSW. He has
served as District Governor (1974-75) and was the
founding editor of Rotary Down Under. He is the
author of several Rotary histories, including Seventy
Five Years of Service (1996) and With Health in
Mind, the Australian Rotary Health story (2011). He
was the Australia-New Zealand member of the RI
Centenary History Committee.
His other published works cover a diverse range
of subjects from social and industrial history to the
novels of Jane Austen.
Paul says ‘thanks’ for
I was disappointed by a strange omission from
virtually all pre-Convention tour publicity. Until
just days before the convention, readers looking
for pre or post-convention touring options
would have searched in vain for any mention
of Canberra – Australia’s largest inland city just
three hour’s drive from Sydney and home to
300,000 Australians and to many of our iconic
cultural institutions. The ACT seemed to have
been consumed by a black hole – why?
The Convention website omitted any
attractions in the ACT from the list of
recommended destinations for overseas visitors
and the website’s maps repeated this astonishing
treatment. It listed the South Coast, the Snowy
Mountains and the Southern Highlands, all of
which ring our small hamlet of 300,000, but the
word “Canberra” was invisible!
Intrigued, I wondered if other government
jurisdictions were similarly omitted. I noted that
all the original six states were promoted, as was
the Northern Territory, so it wasn’t just a NSW
monopoly due to their generous sponsorship.
I also noted that the NSW drop-down strictly,
as you might expect, promoted only NSW
destinations. I saw that we even promoted
destinations outside Australia, with additional
drop-downs for NZ and Pacific destinations, but
still no links to our own national capital.
I can understand why some tourists might
spend their time in Australia snorkelling,
visiting big rocks and harassing little penguins,
but Rotarians are often keenly interested in
understanding what makes societies “tick” and
understanding our history and how the levers
of power and influence continue to operate.
Despite the efforts of our website, many have
chosen to visit Canberra, even visiting club
meetings, but we could have done a lot more
I am writing as a Rotarian and as a Canberran,
concerned about what this odd omission says
about Rotarians. Were we part of a deliberate
decision to sideline Canberra or was it an
oversight? Canberrans have become sadly
tolerant of the prejudices of many public figures
against their capital – but I had expected better
Rotary Club of Gungahlin, ACT
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