Thursday, November 30, 2006

Berry Rotary

We just had the most wonderful Rotary weekend! I'd been invited to speak at the Rotary club of Berry-Gerringong along with another scholar here, Dharini from the UK, and the club hosted us for three days of sightseeing. I expected the weekend to be fun but it surpassed all expectations!
We took the train to get there and were met by two Rotarians who spent the day showing us around the area. We went to a local park and saw Fitzroy Falls (below) and went on a walk and then on a drive through Kangaroo Valley, and had a stop for some shopping in the little town of Kangaroo Valley (where we visited a little pottery shop and acquired a new teapot and four teacups with leaves on them and treefrogs in relief climbing up the sides of the cups and sitting on the lid of the teapot - some of you will know of our love for handthrown teapots...) Then it was on to tea with more local Rotarians and a bit of down time before speaking at the club.

Fitzroy Falls

The meeting was great and again I was very pleased with the positive reaction to my research and the overall environmental awareness of the members. It seems that there is a real buildup across the country right now and Australians are identifying climate change and environmental threats as the most pressing issue facing the future of Australia. Appropriate given the Stern Report identifying Australia as the country that would be most seriously affected by climate change given the predominance of primary industry (agriculture and mining, both of which are heavily dependent on water in a country known for drought conditions). Climate change would further impact water supply, hence a sense of urgency (in citizens, NOT the Howard administration) to address climate change.

Brian and I stayed with the current club president, Noel Marshall, who lived for about 30 years in the US as an engineer in Silicone Valley. We all got along terrifically as he is very interested in sustainable housing design and has solar hot water heating and rain catchment for his entire water supply. Here's Dharini, Noel and I at the club meeting.

The next two days were just as jam packed as the first and we felt like royalty. On Friday we were treated to a private ocean cruise on a rescue boat, operated by who else but a local Rotarian. Then we went to a little town called Kiama on the coast where I spotted dolphins in the bay! My first sighting ever....

Captain Jenn

Then the next morning we were treated to nice long four hour bushwalk with another club member, Col, up to a place called the Drawing Room Rocks. They drove us to catch the bus absolutely exhausted which I'm sure was their goal from the beginning!


  1. Wow. Sounds like a terrific time. I'll bet you had not considered the social/sight-seeing aspects of your fellowship to this extent.

  2. Terrific! Thanks for sharing! :)