Newsletter 2022/12                                                             21 August 2022
President's Message
Unfortunately I have not been feeling the best over the last couple of weeks, and  had to miss last week's meeting.  I am very grateful for Aunty Barb for stepping up and chairing what I heard was a very interesting meeting, with the room again at near capacity. 
By all reports, the vocation talk by member Phillip Paraggio was very enlightening for all in attendance, with Phillip covering his 43 years of service with Customs.  I will never cease to be amazed at the background, skills and knowledge of the members of our Club.
At our meeting on 24 August another member, Richard, will talk on the amazing work of ROMAC in providing life saving medical treatment for children from our near neighbours in Timor Leste, PNG, Vanuatu, The Solomon's and other Pacific nations.
We are planning on a special social function for our meeting on 28 September, so please keep this date free.
Nominations are now invited for the next Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp scheduled from 3 to 8 January 2023.  If you know of any young adults 19 to 25, in our area, who would benefit from this exciting leadership development opportunity, please let us know.  Nominations close 30 November.
Aug 24, 2022 6:30 PM
ROMAC - Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children
Sep 14, 2022 6:30 PM
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Upcoming Events
Club Meeting
Graphics Arts Club
Aug 24, 2022
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Club Meeting
Graphic Arts Club
Sep 14, 2022
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Club Board Meeting (Board Members Only)
Sep 21, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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Club Information
Botany Randwick
Wednesdays at 6:00 PM
Graphic Arts Club
182 Coward Street
Mascot, NSW 2020
0417 297 632
2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at the Graphic Arts Club, 182 Coward Street, Mascot. 6pm for pre-meeting drinks and chat. The meeting, with dinner, starts at 6:30pm and normally concludes by 8:30pm.
District Site
Venue Map
We appreciate the support of the Graphic Arts Club for providing us with a great meeting venue.
Executives & Directors
New Generations
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Our last meeting
Phillip spoke to his roles in the Australian Customs Service from his commencement in 1961 – 2008 as seventeen-year-old, who prior that date was happy to be at the beach. Phillip joined as a probationary Customs officer in the then Department of Customs and Excise which, since Federation in 1901, had primarily been an economic arm of government collecting Commonwealth revenues. He said that Customs could claim to be the oldest government institution as it is believed Capt Arthur Phillip had a commission to raise customs duties when he arrived in 1788, although he did not seek to do so.

His first significant promotion was to Boarding Officer in 1964, a highly sought-after position. At the time, the Boarding Branch was the only uniformed area of Customs and its public face. It was responsible for the boarding and clearance of ships and their passengers and crew at the Boarding Station, which was an area between the entrance to Sydney Harbour and Bradley’s Head. 

Promotions ensued and in 1966 he became Senior Boarding Officer, followed by Aircraft Inspector (Shift Manager) at Sydney Airport in 1968, and Senior Inspector from 1970-74 (responsible of Customs operations at the then new International Terminal). This period marked a significant modernisation in Customs operations due to the advent of organised drug trafficking (the “Mr Asia” syndicate) and the introduction of computer systems to simplify and facilitate passenger and crew processing and risk assessment. This was followed by further promotion to Senior Investigation Officer in 1975, mainly involved in revenue fraud investigations, and Sub-Collector (Principal Officer) in charge of the Newcastle Customs House in 1980, which then was the busiest centre of Customs and related activities outside the Customs Houses at the major capital cities.

He returned to Sydney as Chief Investigation Officer where he managed the investigation program, consulted with legal advisors and prosecutors and made media appearances on newsworthy cases. In 1989, he was promoted to senior management as the first Director of the newly formed Import Audit Branch, which saw a major modernisation of traditional commercial cargo clearance systems to “post import” audits at importer premises, in much the same way as the ATO operates.

This was followed by a three-year secondment to Hong Kong Customs in 1992 where he managed the first Regional Intelligence Liaison Office established by the World Customs Organisation to enhance the exchange of drug-trafficking information and cooperation across the Asia-Pacific region. On his return in 1995, he commenced a 10-year stint as the Director Enforcement Operations responsible for the “Detection and interception of unlawful activity in the shipping, ports, coastal and cargo environments of NSW”. He provided a pictorial display of the resources available to him, including the Customs air and offshore marine fleet, the Container Examination Facility at Port Botany, and the Detector Dog Unit, as well as some of the major drug and people-smuggling operations he personally commanded.

His career was rounded off with 12-month secondment to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement working in the cyber crime and financial investigation units, and a two-year secondment with the Australian Crime Commission on his return, about which he is prohibited from discussing. He retired 47 years and 6 months from the day he commenced.

Q & A: How did you get promoted so frequently? He was fortunate in coming to the favourable attention of the then Comptroller-General of Customs, Sir Alan Carmody, early in his career and was involved in many of the significant reforms Sir Alan made to Customs processes and systems, particularly at Sydney Airport in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Standout achievements? Profiling major drug importations, in particular shipments by smallcraft across the Pacific.
Other information on the night:
  • Membership dues are currently due.
  • Last Friday, Christine and Greg toured Kendale College, a catering teaching facility in Randwick, off High Street, with view to using it as an alternative venue, especially for club function. It looks very promising.
  • Mark spoke to the success of the RYPEN weekend camp his daughter attended, and the benefits attained in self-confidence. Overall, the number of students was low, mainly due to COVID impacts. ‘Aunty’ Barb to investigate the upcoming RYPEN camp in September with a view to sponsoring more attendees.
  • Mark advised another airport coin collection, this time in the domestic terminal, next week and a Bi-Club strategic meeting next week with Sydney Airport CEO.
  • Richard advised a successful outcome for ROMAC baby Melenaite, from Tonga, with the very successful removal of a large teratoma tumour, the size of a rugby ball, on her lower back.  Melenaite, is reported doing very well and will be shortly returning home with her mother to be re-united with the family in Tonga.
News Items
RYLA - Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Nominations, from young adults in the Botany and Randwick areas, are being sought for the next Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program, scheduled for 3 to 8 January 2023.
RYLA is a life-changing program, providing an incredible opportunity to develop yourself as a leader alongside 75 participants. This will be a week of your life that you’ll never forget, and we’d love you to be involved!
RYLA is an amazing leadership program for young adults aged between 19 and 25. The  6 day program typically has 75 participants and focuses on leadership, personal development, teamwork and community awareness. RYLA features presentations from many experts who generously donate their time and experience to further the development of young leaders. The program combines workshops and presentations to fully explore the fundamentals of effective leadership.
Nominations close on 30 November 2022
RYPEN, The Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment, is for young people aged 14 to 16 years and caters for teenagers who have shown qualities and application in everyday life which deserve further development.

RYPEN uses the common bonds of learning, co-operation, and friendship to design activities which facilitate trust and self-esteem. RYPEN seeks to broaden each participant’s horizons culturally, socially, and academically, providing the inner foundations for a strong future.
The Rotary Club of Botany Randwick was pleased to sponsor Isabella to a recent RYPEN weekend.  Here is her report:
Hi my name is Isabella Daniels, I am 14 and went to RYPEN weekend 5th August at the Royal National Park. I would like to share my experience and what I got out of the camp. Getting there on Friday afternoon I was a little nervous. I didn't know anyone and didn't really know what to expect. I met others the same age as me from different schools.
We did activities over the three days, including talks about the land from elder Uncle Mark and on the Saturday night we had a campfire and told stories. By Sunday, I had a new amazing group of friends, I learned how to become more confident about myself and around others.
I learnt that not everyone is perfect and  everyone has their downfalls in life. Thank you to the members of Rotary Club of Botany Randwick for choosing me to experience this camp. I would recommend it to anyone.
For more information on RYPEN, visit
Project Support
The Rotary Club of Botany Randwick actively supports a wide range of very worthwhile projects locally and internationally.  
Since 1 July we have:
  • Supported The Timor Leste Consul-General Luciano Valentin da Conceicao in his fund raising to publish a book on the recent history of his country
  • Sponsored Teams from Sydney Children's and Prince of Wales Hospitals in the City to Surf, with their aim being to provide improved support for the families of indigenous patients
  • Support for the Honest Ocean Project, in their quest to combat plastic ocean waste in South East Asia
  • Sponsored 14 year old Isabella to a RYPEN Weekend
ROMAC Wine Offer August 2022
August 2022
Dear Friends and Supporters of ROMAC

We are delighted to be able to bring you another great wine offer from Tyrrell's Wines.  Once again, long-term generous supporter of ROMAC, Managing Director of Tyrrell's Wines, Bruce Tyrrell AM has released some more of his popular
DRINK NOW VATS wines especially for us.  As in the past, a generous percentage of all sales will be donated to ROMAC so, by purchasing these wines not only will you be able to enjoy a fabulous drink, but you will also be helping improve the lives of sick children from our neighbouring islands in the Oceania region.

These wines are currently available at a very attractive price of just $115 per dozen -
delivered direct to your door.

The offer closes on Friday, 26th August 2022 so we urge you to order now to avoid disappointment.


Many thanks for your ongoing support.

The ROMAC Team

Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children
ROMAC is a project of Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand.
It is an approved Rotary International project.
ROMAC provides medical treatment for children from developing countries in the Oceania region in the form of lifesaving and dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in their home country.
Read more about ROMAC at:
Fiji Holiday
  •  5 nights in an air-conditioned room overlooking the ocean.
  •  Full cooked breakfasts, lunches and two course dinners (drinks not included).
  •  Ground transfers to and from the airport.
  •  Rainbow Reef snorkelling experience.
  •  Tropical garden tour.
Plus USD$1000 cash toward travel or spend as you wish.
Plus bonus two nights at a 5 star hotel at Denarau Island.
The prize is valid for 18 months and is transferable to friends (receipt has a gift certificate). And good news! your holiday is carbon offset.
To purchase tickets and support the projects of the Rotary Club of Botany Randwick, see
Rotary Information 

Australian Rotary Health is one of the largest independent funders of mental health research within Australia.

Australian Rotary Health provides funding towards research grants, fellowships and PhD scholarships focussed on finding preventative and curative solutions for mental illness in young Australians. From 2022, the funding focus will narrow to the mental health of children aged 0-12.

It  also provides funding into a broad range of general health areas, provide scholarships for rural medical and nursing students, as well as Indigenous health students. Australian Rotary Health provides funding into areas of health that do not readily attract funding, and promotes findings to the community.

Australian Rotary Health is a project of the Rotary Districts of Australia and is supported by Rotary Clubs.  It has a broad vision to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Australian Rotary Health provides funding into four focus areas, and promotes findings to the community:

  • Mental Health Research
  • General Health Research
  • Indigenous Health Scholarships
  • Rural Medical and Nursing Scholarships

For more information see:

The Four Way Test
The Four-Way Test The Four-Way Test is a non-partisan and non-sectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.  
Of the things we think, say or do:
  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
To contact the Club, please email