Jane Prentice MP, Federal Member for Ryan - Coat of Arms
Federal Member for Ryan
Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services
JANE PRENTICE MP, Federal Member for Ryan

The amazing work of Rotary

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan—Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (10:45):  I rise today to speak on the important and selfless work of Rotary, not only in my community of Ryan but also in communities throughout the world. Rotarians—ordinary Australians like you and me—continue in their ever-persistent determination to support vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Whether it has been through sending medical and surgical specialists to the Asia-Pacific region to provide free surgical treatment or assisting with local homelessness initiatives, Rotarians have not only been present for major events in history; they have been a part of them.
I take this opportunity to highlight just some of the good works Rotary clubs near and far have achieved. Consider polio: a disease which saw devastating effects in children well into the last century, which will soon be eradicated by effective immunisation regimes. Rotary began their fight against polio in 1979, with a project to immunise six million children in the Philippines. As of 2016 there were reported only 37 cases of polio worldwide. Rotary has helped to reduce polio by 99 per cent. This means that the target of the complete eradication of polio by 2018 is actually within sight.
Education is the key to success and to providing opportunity for children living in impoverished countries. One of Rotary International's areas of focus is supporting education. The Teacher in a Box server initiative turns any wi-fi-enabled device into a browser. By turning a wi-fi-enabled device into a server, people living in developing countries can now access quality teaching software—all of this without the need to actually access the internet. The Teacher in a Box service supports individual learning as well as classroom teaching. This will have a massive impact in places where there are limited teaching resources and teachers with limited training or education themselves.
During a recent meeting I attended at the Rotary Club of Kenmore, I heard about their SolarBuddy program. Eighteen per cent of the world's population do not have access to electricity. In developing countries, school-aged children rely on kerosene lamps to provide their only light. However, the fumes emitted by kerosene lamps are harmful to children's health. The SolarBuddy program connects school communities with other children and families throughout the world who live with no electricity based lighting. This program teaches students how light can change lives, and teaches them the properties of solar based energy generation. Each light, assembled by students, costs $20. Once lights are assembled, students write a personal letter to their buddy, who will receive their light. After 13 months in Australia, the program has distributed more than 17,000 lights around the world. By the end of this year, it is estimated that 6,000 lights will be sent to Papua New Guinea alone.
Rotary continues to achieve so many positive outcomes. I'm confident that members of this House will encourage their communities to also join with this great organisation.


636 Moggill Road
Chapel Hill Q 4069

Ph: 07 3378 1599
Fax: 07 3378 1399

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