President's Note - 27/9/19

Waltzing Matilda, such an important part of Australian folklore.  We were treated to a lively and highly engaging presentation by Benjamin Lindner today.  The history and background to such a well loved Australian song only became broader thanks to Benjamin's forensic investigation into Waltzing Matilda.  It was fascinating to hear the 'real' story which had been so expertly researched.  I am sure that we only received a small amount of Benjamin's comprehensive investigation so many of will be well occupied over the next little while as we read Benjamin's book which was a 'hit' with the members. 
Thanks also goes to Pamela for her assistance in delivering this presentation. It is noteworthy that the Club was in fine voice with our rendition of Waltzing Matilda at the end of the presentation!  (Pamela and Benjamin, right)
Many of us were able to go on the Nhill Rotary Weekend and to hear first hand about the Sky Water Pumps Project in Myanmar lead by Fleur Maidment. Thanks to Noel Halford, we were lucky enough to secure some of Fleur's time today as she is only in Australia from Singapore for a few days.   It is always good to see how a project is developing and Fleur was able in a very short amount of time to tell us how Sky Pumps are being used in Myanmar.  This assistance in providing clean water to the Karen community is lifesaving as their water is so often badly contaminated.  We wish Fleur every success in rolling out this project to more very needy families in the Karen community. 
Lemons, lemons, lemons.  Thank you Anne Scott (right) for making your delicious lemon butter from the lemons that were collected during the Servant's Housing gardening bee. All proceeds were given to the Miss Piggy collection!
Father's Day celebration is on next week. I look forward to celebrating this special occasion with members.  
Charlotte England
President & Membership Director 2019-2020

Waltzing Matilda: A Forensic History

Benjamin Lindner told us how he came to write Waltzing Matilda Australia’s Accidental Anthem, a forensic history of the events, the people and the places that led to the writing of Australia’s internationally famous song.  He filtered through the evidence to dispel many of the myths and historical inaccuracies that have become folklore.
Banjo Paterson visited Dagworth Station, north of Winton, Queensland, where he was fascinated by the scenery and the jargon of local tales and legends. His fiancée of seven years, Sarah Riley, introduced him to her friend Christina Macpherson, and in 1895 Paterson and Christina put the words about a swagman and a variation of the air “The Bonny Woods of Craigielea” together to produce “Waltzing Matilda”.
However Paterson thought so little about the song that he sold it to the Billy Tea Company for five pounds. Christina Macpherson later sued Paterson for half of that money, and his engagement with Sarah Riley was broken off.
Benjamin was only warming up with stories about his waistcoat and other tales behind the song, when the meeting ran out of time. 
Any questions? We encourage you to read the book!
Waltzing Matilda - Australia's Accidental Anthem
Published: 14th February 2019

W. Benjamin Lindner is a criminal barrister who has appeared for the defence of those charged with terrorism offences, murder, drugs, sex, those who play rock and roll and asylum seekers on Nauru. His practice has extended from working in Alice Springs for the Aboriginal Legal Service to teaching advocacy to lawyers in Samoa, New Guinea, Bangladesh and at the Victorian Bar Reader's Course.

SkyHydrant Pumps

Fleur Maidment is an environmental scientist who is involved in providing clean water for refugee camps in Myanmar. She was able to devote a few minutes to tell us of the Rohinga and Karen refugees, and their need for fresh drinking water.
SkyHydrant pumps are a lightweight (9Kg) and efficient means of water purification: however each pump costs around $2,000 and connecting water tanks another $2,000. This is one of the projects embraced by Nhill Rotary Club. 

News Flash!

The Board of Rotary Hawthorn has approved in principal support for the building and setting of a up a new trauma ward in Kampong Spue, Cambodia as well as the proposed Club tour of Cambodia in early 2020.
Expressions of Interest are now being sought for a proposed Rotary Hawthorn Club World of Difference tour to Cambodia in late January/early February 2020. I expect the tour will be around 10 days.
The itinerary is being put together and will include sights in and around the capital Phnom Penh, the provincial town of Kampong Spue with tour of the hospital as well as Bosala school and village and of course Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. It will be a mix of tourism, visiting projects (ours as well as other Club's projects) and some time volunteering in schools.
It will be a great way to truly understand why Cambodia needs our help and why Peter Lugg and others are so passionate about helping the people of Cambodia and the people of Kampong Speu particularly.
If you could let me know if you are considering joining us on this tour. Of course, partners are also welcome. -  Katrina Flinn 0417 475 415 or
My photos show the World Heritage site of Angkor Wat (above) and the proposed site of our Trauma wing within with the Kampong Spue Provincial Hospital, (left) with the hospital management: Dr Meng Sok (Peter Lugg’s colleague) on the right and Rithy An, World of Difference guide on the left . 

The Baloney Detection Kit

Carl Sagan (November 9, 1934–December 20, 1996) was many things — a cosmic sagevoracious readerhopeless romantic, and brilliant philosopher. But above all, he endures as our era’s greatest patron saint of reason and critical thinking, a master of the vital balance between skepticism and openness.
In “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”,  Sagan shared his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.
In a chapter titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,”  Sagan reflected on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.”
Rather than preaching from the ivory tower of self-righteousness, Sagan reflected on the all too human allure of promises of supernatural reunions in the afterlife, reminding us that falling for such fictions doesn’t make us stupid or bad people, but simply means that we need to equip ourselves with the right tools against them.
In addition to teaching us what to do when evaluating a claim to knowledge, any good baloney detection kit must also teach us what not to do. It helps us recognize the most common and perilous fallacies of logic and rhetoric. Many good examples can be found in religion and politics, because their practitioners are so often obliged to justify two contradictory propositions.
The Baloney Detection Kit, Sagan argued, isn’t merely a tool of science — rather, it contains invaluable tools of healthy skepticism that apply just as elegantly, and just as necessarily, to everyday life. By adopting the kit, we can all shield ourselves against clueless guile and deliberate manipulation.
Sagan shared nine of these tools:
  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
  2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.
  6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses.
  7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work, not just most of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
  9.  Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable and unfalsifiable are not worth much.
Read more: HERE
The Shadow Knows!
Katrina Flinn had so much fun on her last “World of Difference” trip to Cambodia, she just can’t wait to return. She sent us some lovely photos of her trip: who would like to see more?  How many will join her for the next trip in 2020?  Katrina and Peter Lugg will update us on events in Cambodia next week: bring your partner to hear about the proposed trip.
The Shadow was delighted at your response to Yarra Council’s advertisement for a “Climate Emergency Officer”. Surely a Rotarian with experience in applying for Global Grants will get the position.
But for those who didn’t quite get the joke, he adds a quote by Astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson: “We live in a time when people have lost the ability to tell what is true, and what is not.”
The Shadow commends for them Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit, and “The Demon-Haunted World”, which he published in 1995, shortly before his death. (Carl Sagan was an American cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist and author.)

Jest for a Laugh


Upcoming Speakers

Sep 03, 2019
Mr Peter C Lugg MBBS, FRACS, FAOrth.A 
Cambodia: The Latest

Peter will update us on his work at the Khmer-Cambodia Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh, and the need for a new trauma ward in Kampong Spue.

Sep 10, 2019
Daryl Steer  Cambodia Clean Water & Toilet Project

My introduction to Cambodia came with a family visit to Siem Reap in early 2015 to see the temples.  We were exposed to the plight of a people that have experienced so much tragedy in recent years and were literally re-building their country from scratch. The land mine victims were the obvious casualties, the less obvious were those in the villages in the rural areas. Clean water and sanitary toilets are essential for health. It is in this area of health and hygiene with clean water and sanitary toilets that I believe we can make a significant change in the lives of village families. To date, we have installed 234 Septic Tank Toilets and 86 Clean Water Bores.

Sep 24, 2019
Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Hess
The Forgotten Story of ... the Chinese Goldfields Aussie Rules leagues

Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Hess is an historian and a former staff member in the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University.  He has a long-standing interest in the social history of sport and his PhD was the first ever doctoral study of the history of Australian Rules football. 

Forthcoming Events

DIK Working Bee Sat 7th September.
If we are to help set of a up a new trauma ward in Kampong Spue, Cambodia, we will find that volunteering at DIK has a number of benefits, the best being the opportunity to use donated goods for our projects. Much of the medical goods we have been sorting out over the past months is being earmarked for our next container. 
Your next opportunity is Saturday 7th September, from 9.00 am onwards: there are several pallets of donated goods yet to be sorted. It is nice light work (we let the fork-lifts do the heavy stuff). We can order in for lunch if you wish, or just bring a biscuit or two for the tea-breaks. Come and join us on Saturday at Shed 39, 400 Somerville Road, West Footscray. 
Make-ups and Apologies

Kim D'Arcy always seeks to finalize numbers by Monday 8.30am by collating  responses about attendance at the next meeting.   So please try to email back to her by that time; and, at the same time, forewarn of any guests.   (Predicting our numbers as closely as possible helps to minimize our catering costs.)

Invitations to Tuesday Club meetings now look slightly different.  To indicate your attendance or apologies, you will not be required to write an email to Kim.  You will simply need to click on the link attached to your name and follow a couple of simple steps. You can pay for your meal on the site.

Geoff Wright collates the attendance information.  He needs to know of  "make up " events.

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