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Members - Current Member Profiles - 2

It is interesting to know and understand the backgrounds of our fellow Rotarians. To this end, current members have been asked to create a brief "This is my Life" profile of themselves that can be shared by all Club Fellows, other Rotarians and possible future Rotarians.

There are such a cross-diversity of backgrounds that we believe this is the best way to get to know our fellow members.


The content and nature of each profile is entirely the work of the respective Rotarian. All content remains the intellectual property of that profile member and cannot be used, either in its entirety or in part, without the express written permission of the author.


I was born in a Cottage Hospital in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, U.K. and was my parents' first born followed by my sister in 1947. My Dad was the Village Policeman or British Bobby and we moved frequently and always to villages. In my teenage years this became a problem as there was no public transport and nothing to do in the village so with the help of the local Vicar and Church Council, after much hard work, I was given permission to start a youth club in the village hall. Highlights of this time were travelling to Bristol to see the Beatles and Cliff Richard and The Shadows while both groups were working their way up the ladder of fame and fortune.

In 1958/9 I commenced work as a Junior receptionist with a Real Estate Agency in Swindon, Wiltshire. After my first winter holding the other end of a theodolite in the snow for the Boss (something I hadn't counted on) I changed jobs becoming a Bookkeeper/Receptionist/Teller with the Swindon Permanent Building Society.

In 1965 I did a course with Swindon education on Youth Leadership training and not liking Swindon (my opinion hasn't changed) I decided I would immigrate to Australia where I had distant relatives. I arrived in Sydney as a Ten Pound Pom exactly 1-month after the introduction of decimal currency in 1966. I've certainly had a variety of jobs since then first as a Public Servant in Sydney and after initial training I was transferred to The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (now the Powerhouse Museum) and my duties were varied and interesting.

After a couple of years I decided to try my luck in Queensland living and working in Mt. Gravat but I didn't settle too well and returned to Sydney after 8-months. I then worked for the University of NSW in their School of electrical engineering operating the School Library.

In 1970 I married and moved to Ashfield obtaining local employment. In November 1970 my parents arrived for a 12-month working holiday and they soon established a flat and found jobs deciding at the end of this time they wanted to make Australia their permanent home. They sold their home in the U.K. and were back in Sydney within 12-months with Dad returning to his old job.

We then built a house at Ruse in Campbelltown so another move and another job working for State Rail at Central Station. Whilst in this position the Women's Movement was in its early stages and I was asked to attend one of the first Education Programmes for Women Unionists, receiving my Certificate from Robert Carr, later to become NSW Premier.

At this time I became a member of the Quota Club of Campbelltown, this was before it was acceptable for women to join Rotary.

An avid reader of local papers I noticed Campbelltown City Council were calling for women interested in forming a branch of the Women's Electoral Lobby and I joined on the spot. We organized the first programme of events for Campbelltown in celebration of International Women's Year. During this time I became friends with some of the Library Staff and it was suggested I apply for a position as Librarian at a new branch at Glenfield, a first as it was a "Shop Front Library". The Library arranged for me to become a Justice of the Peace and I was called on many times in this capacity. After a couple of years I was asked to operate a newly developed area "Special Services Unit" and in order to do this I had to pass another driving test with the RTA by driving a 4 tonne council truck which I had to double de-clutch. The vehicle I then drove was a coaster bus fitted out as a mobile library.

Now divorced, I met Peter in 1989 and we were married in 1990 and living in Penrith. We then sold both our homes and built a new one at Glenmore Park. We eventually moved to the Central Coast and settled in our present home at Umina Beach in 1998.

In 1999, with Peter travelling so much, I decided to go into the Bed and Breakfast industry and joined the Boutique B&B Group of the Central Coast, completing the necessary training and granted a 4.5 star rating. In its short life I was very successful with many overseas visitors - the last came from the USA on their honeymoon and to attend some Olympic events. I still hear from them each Christmas. My B&B adventures were short as Peter was transferred to the UK and having let our house during that time we were able to return to Umina Beach in 2003.

I have been an Australian Citizen since 1981. My interests are community based. In Rotary I have held the position of Club Secretary and participated in many local community projects. I'm a member of the Umina Chamber of Commerce, Team Leader for our Community Fire Truck, volunteer with Peninsular Village and founding member of their "Shared Care Foundation". I keep an almost daily check on my Dad who is not far off his 96th birthday but first and foremost I'm Mr. Mote's better half and Director of Household Affairs.

(February, 2011)


I was born at Denman Hospital on 16th January 1939 and lived the next 10 years on a 360 acre dairy farm at Martindale on the banks of the Goulbourn River. During this time I attended a small school at Martindale Full attendance 20 pupils . I can still recall the day WW11 finished and we were given the rest of the day off from school. My father at this time was the Inspector of Meats for all Allied Forces with the rank of Sergeant, stationed at Greta Army Camp. Mum would milk 30 cows twice a day by hand, separate the cream from the milk by using a hand separator and the milk truck then took the cream to the factory in Muswellbrook each day. The only way Mum could get into town was on a horse and sulky where she would sell homemade butter to see us through the war. In those days we were on coupons for the purchase of anything.

In January 1949 we sold the farm and moved into Denman My father at this time was starting to suffer badly from gassing in both the trenches in France in the First World War and in the Second World War in a meat Freezer. I completed my primary schooling at Denman Public School and then attended Muswellbrook High. On completing my Intermediate Certificate in 1953 my father passed away two weeks later, so I left school and secured a Electrical Mechanic apprenticeship in Denman. During my high school years I enlisted in the School Army Cadets, and took up push bike racing. A lot of leisure time was spent fishing in the Hunter River, Scouting, and shooting in the hills at the rear of town and Photography. Our home in Denman was flooded by the Hunter River in the devastating floods of 1954. I still have many photo's taken on my box brownie of these floods and many of the rescues that took place, including a photo of a RAAF Dakota dropping flour into town as we were completely cut off from the outside world.

During 1956 I made enquiries with the RAAF and in November 1956 I was called up for enlistment and started a career that took me from Initial Training at Richmond, then Postings to Williamtown, Kingswood, Darwin. 2AD Richmond, Edinburgh, Canberra, Amberley, Malaysia and then Defence Regional Sydney. This last posting to Sydney involved me travelling between and overseeing 27 Defence Libraries throughout NSW. I was honourably discharged at Richmond after 23 years service and reaching the rank of Warrant Officer, on 29th February 1980. (I have an anniversary every four years) Some highlights from the RAAF (there are many) whilst at 2AD Richmond I met Jenny at a dance hall in Parramatta in 1962 and we married on the 27th June 1964. Whilst stationed at Canberra was granted leave of absence to be presented to Prince Phillip. It was in Canberra we purchased our first home at Latham. During my time at Amberley I was involved with the civilian evacuation of the suburb of Leichhardt during the devastating floods of 1974. Many memories come from our stay in Malaysia with travels to Thailand, Singapore and many parts of Malaysia itself. I was actively involved in many sports. We built our St Hubert's Island home on returning from Malaysia in 1979. During our RAAF years our four children were born. Julie 1966, Craig 1969, Jason 1972 and Troy 1973. We currently have six grand children with ages from 9 months to 18 years.

My motoring interests started at the age of nine when my father came home at weekends from the Army in a military blitz truck and he would let me drive this beast down to the shed. The following year after being discharged from the Army he taught me to drive the Dodge truck on the farm. After getting my licence my first vehicle was a 1928 Essex, then a 1952 Vanguard Spacemaster, 1954 Morris Oxford and so the list goes on. After I met Jenny in 1962, her father was a member of Thornleigh Car Club and it was not long before I joined and got involved in car trials, etc. We had many enjoyable outings with the Car Club and many of the members attended our wedding. They certainly knew how to sabotage a Mini when it was time to leave on our honeymoon. Great driving experience was gained and many wonderful memories still linger from those days.

On leaving the RAAF my father-in-law offered me a job with his Building Company in Parramatta and I later became Sales Manager. After 3 1/2 years of travelling to Sydney and surrounds each day I obtained a sales job at Kingstone Home at Erina. After another 3 years Long Homes made me an offer that was too good to refuse and I stayed with them for over 18 years becoming their Sales Manager on the Central Coast. After a very rewarding career with Long Homes (which became AV Jennings Ltd during this time) I decided that on the 23rd July 2005 I would set off on my 6th Job of my career, Retirement!!

I was invited to join the Rotary Club of Woy Woy Inc by PP Chris Nelson in late 1993 and was inducted along with PP Ross Pearse and Jim Bohle on 24th March 1994. I have served as a Director on the service committees of Vocational, Club and Community. Been Club Treasurer for many years, Club President 1998/99 also Vice President. I have also served on a number of District 9680 Committees and was an Assistant District Governor in 2005/06. My year as President was highlighted by the Apron Auction, put together by Jenny and myself. Jenny made 94 calico aprons each embroidered with "The Rotary Club of Woy Woy Inc" and then signed by famous Australian identities. Names included Pro Hart, Sir Donald Bradman, Ken Done, Rolf Harris, Greg Norman, Peter Brock, John Williamson, John Laws, Ian Thorpe, Dawn Frazer, are just a few that contributed to the list. Two celebrity auctions nights were held, raising $22,000 net. In keeping with the Rotary International theme of that year "Follow Your Rotary Dream" I fulfilled this when we were able to donate sizeable sums of money to four Woy Woy Community groups. At the changeover that year a further apron was presented to me which was signed by all the members of our club, and one that I will always treasure. My greatest moment in Rotary was the night of the Australia Day Dinner 1999 when I was presented with my Paul Harris Fellow by PDG Larry Jacker. A night I will never forget. I get a kick out of helping others in our community and enjoy being involved. My wife is an Honorary Member of this club and was also awarded a PHF.

In 1995 I represented our Rotary Club at a meeting of the Woy Woy Community Aged Care Ltd and was elected as Chairman of their Fund raising committee to help raise funds to build a $3.5 million 40 bed hostel. In 1999 I was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Nursing Home, carrying on the tradition of the Rotary Club of Woy Woy's involvement by having a representative on the Board since inception in the early 1980's. I held various positions and in 2007 was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 2006 I was asked to join the Woy Woy Australia Day Committee and was elected as Chairman to oversee the running of the Australia Day Celebrations at Woy Woy and I chaired this committee for four years.

My other active interests include a member of the Woy Woy, Ettalong & Hardy's Bay RSL. For the last two years I have been the Welfare Officer for Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers & Peacemakers Association.

We have always liked to travel, however the real travel bug started to bite back in 2005 when we took a short holiday to WA to see the wild flowers and the lower peninsula area and another to Lindeman Island. Then followed travel to UK, Europe, Hawaiian Islands, Canada & Alaska, Turkey up to Austria, Gallipoli and Greece. 42 day Sun Princess cruise to Japan and back, Malaysia, New Zealand, and May 2011 to Thailand and Malaysia.

Our latest purchase is a duel axle Newlands Caravan coupled to a Toyota Landcruiser 4.2L diesel. Yes we are now going to become Grey Nomads as my wife retired in October last year and now we are free to roam Australia.

(March, 2011)


I was born in Hornsby with a severe congenital vision impairment (Legally Blind) and then lived in Berowra with my parents and sister Carolyn and later attended Berowra Public School. I had a traumatic time with teasing about my eyesight but led a normal childhood with a Blind Society visit annually, a visualette and miniscope. During my primary years I was involved in my Mother's work with Community Health, helping with Meals on Wheels on Berowra Waters on a barge, the Senior Citizens Clubs and other activities plus community activities with my Father in Apex and Lions.

High school years were at Asquith Girls High School and as well as community work with my parents during the next 4 years or so I visited Leighton Lodge Nursing Home and Bernard Curran Unit (rehab unit) of Hornsby Hospital weekly to talk with residents. I became a Vacation Care Supervisor working with approximately 110 children between ages of 5 and 12 for 5 years, and also a few Nanny jobs. Study was difficult with a vision impairment but I studied hard.

In year 11 my parents decided we should move to Thornleigh and as I was doing my HSC I remained at Asquith. All community involvement continued, including completing a number of childcare courses to help with my aspiration to be a teacher. I joined St. Johns Ambulance Cadets and my parents pushed me to join a Youth group called Rotaract in Pennant Hills. I was very shy and not really confident in attending but did it for them. I'm not sure how but within a few weeks I was Membership Officer (giving new people a job really works!). Finishing High School with not enough marks to get into teaching, and although trying for 3 years to get into TAFE, was told not to try again as there was no room for disabled teachers.

After many months of unsuccessful job hunting and finding out my vision impairment was more obvious than I realised, the new Commonwealth Rehabilitation Unit took me on as a case study and put me through Secretarial School. On completion, after more unsuccessful job hunting, I was placed in the Department of Housing and Construction on probation and then employed as a secretary.

My time in Rotaract was getting busier and I applied for the Rotaract Exchange Team (RET) to D126 England and became the Team Leader, youngest to-date in D968. This was a great experience leading to RET Co-Ordinator the following year for D126 return team. At the end of both exchanges I was diagnosed with Immune Thrombocytopnia (ITP) an autoimmune blood disorder and given 3 days to live. After bone marrow testing and 5 days of blood transfusions it was hoped I would at least now have 3 months or go into remission. Alison, from the D126 Team, had asked me to be her Bridesmaid in England so I took 12 months off my job and went to England in order to force myself into remission. It was a great year of experiences, Rotaract and travel. Once again I experienced the difficulty of gaining employment with a disability but finally was offered a PA job in contact lens research to finish my 12 months off.

Whilst in England I felt very unwell and once back in Australia my symptoms worsened whereby I couldn't eat, talk, walk or really do much on my own and eventually a Neurologist diagnosed Thynoma and Myasthenia Gravis and a week later the Thynoma was removed via open heart surgery. It was one and a half stone in weight (a great way to lose weight!!). Whilst in Intensive Care I lost my life but was revived which was a blessing as I was sure I still had a lot to do! Still a little groggy from the anesthetic I attended Pennant Hills Rotaract changeover where I was inducted as President.

I had now furthered my career in Housing and Construction and become PA, Desk Top Publisher, Trainer and immediate IT. Whilst at lunch one day I was hit by a car which reawakened an apparent dormant salmonella virus in my sternum and as the blisters did not indicate the real problem I went to Africa for 6 weeks to attend Interota (Rotaract International conference) which was a little frightening but fantastic. On my return I was hospitalised to remove both my wires and salmonella. Due to the severity I was left open (2 50c sized holes) for approximately 7 months. Somewhere around here The Rotary Club of Pennant Hills awarded me a Paul Harris Fellow for my community contribution throughout my life.

I then found other PA employment but was diagnosed with Lupus SLE and Sjogrens Syndrome. With the help of medication and nutritional understanding my pain has been managable for many years now. I studied Reflexology, Aromatherapy and a few other natural therapies along with nutrition in order to have the best health I could manage with my illnesses.

I had the opportunity to travel to America for 9 weeks which I happily took and we visited 34 States, Mexico and the border of Canada which was lovely. Back to the other third of my life, not travel, not work but Rotaract. Over the years I held every position within the Club, President twice, District Secretary and Vice District Representative for 2 years each, from Russia with Love and then District Rotaract Representative (DRR). During this time I met Paul who was a member of Epping Rotaract Club and we bought a house, car, planned a wedding and were married. If you can't fit everything in, do more!!

Now being too old for Rotaract I joined Pennant Hills Rotary Club where I held the positions of Host, Membership, Sopkes Editor and Guest Speaker Chairman. During this time, against all the odds with my various health problems, Alicia was born and, as it took me 18 months to recover, I was for the second time offered medical retirement which we decided I should accept for both my life expectancy and Alicia, who was truly our miracle baby.

In 2002 my parents moved to Woy Woy and we decided to move here also at the same time. I joined the Rotary Club of Woy Woy where I already knew Sue and Don from my Rotaract days. Woy Woy is a wonderful Club to be a part of. Paul and I had a recording/sound business and vending machine business but sadly we have since gone our separate ways. In 2010, through the Rotary Club of Woy Woy, I was unexpectedly presented with a Gosford City Australia Day Award in the category of Volunteering, what a surprise and an honour.

Currently I divide my time between taking Alicia to all of her activities, President-Elect for the Rotary Club of Woy Woy, many roles within Woy Woy Public School and the P&C, Community Participation for Central Coast Health, Business Mentoring, studying Computer Maintenance and learning to say NO! (I still haven't learnt).

Rotary has been a huge part of all areas of my life for a very long time and I hope for a long time to come. I have learnt many skills, gained many lifelong friendships all while being able to do my part within not only my local community but also the worldwide community. The opportunities offered by Rotary and the worldwide connection between Rotarians is something that everyone should be able to experience. As with the Theme I chose for my DRR year, Rotary, through Promotion has given me the Understanding and Knowledge for my Growth over the last 25 years.

(April, 2011)