Venue: CWA Rooms Toallo St Pambula

Meeting commenced: 7.08pm

Opening – Acknowledge/Welcome to Country: Mick Brosnan.

Attending: Gavin Bell, Wendy Wait, Russell Jennings (Secretary/Minutes) Mick Brosnan, Mick Pryke, Lyn Passmore, David Passmore, Peter Reid, Ray Tynan, Christine Tynan.

Apologies: Ann Wykes, Peter Charlton, Zoe Pentin, Dianne Beckett, Ross Williams, Denise Perry, Dave Gallan. 

Previous Minutes: are available on SJA website,

Gavin Bell authorised minutes as a correct record of meeting.

  • **NOTE:These minutes should be read in conjunction with sub group reports (see below) and financial reports circulated prior to meeting via email. 


  • emails and online messages.

Treasurer’s Report: 

  • Peter Reid: summary of financial reports: see Jan/Feb financial report. Proposed: Peter Reid Seconded: signed off Mick Brosnan/Gavin Bell.


  • Gavin Clarified that with new (second hand) SJA vehicle 50 K was included in the money in and out of account.
  • Its up to us community raised $327K.A fantastic achievement!
  • ‘Sleep on it’ event raised $40K
  • Kate Liston raised $25K picking up rubbish January 2022/23
  • Discussion re Hugo D’arcy account and fundraising: 77K raised
  • Thanks Robyn Morillas Sapphire Coast Book keeping makes the Treasurers job easy.
  • Transportable Units be shown as assets in financials in favour of future funding applications.
  • Disaster relief Fund 112K+ BVSC. Report available on BVSC website.
  • Sub Groups: Reports were circulated via email prior to meeting
  • General Business
  • Mick Pryke explained the workings of Mumbulla Foundation: goals: build resilience, Raise funds to allow people to achieve their dreams.

 Kate Liston fundraising efforts to be recognised with certificate of appreciation. Also Heidi Sharples.

SJA have many other significant donors, some of whom wish to stay anonymous:

Kim Poso Properties Merimbula have offered to donate $100 per property sold to ‘Its up to us’ fundraising.

Progress report Unit 6 Pambula: Thanks to many voluteers, Roofing to go on Monday 14/2/2023.

SJA social media: continues to be a valuable way to connect with the portion of the community who engage in this form of media.

Stronger communities grants Round 8 to be explored.

Zoom Meetings option to be explored for the future.

Succession Planning update from Peter Reid.

Financial Expenditure protocol document update: Peter Reid

Wendy Wait proposed ‘who we are’ to update via email and circulate

Voice SJA be posted on Facebook with link to and from webpage. 

Thanks to Ray Temmerman who has been managing webpage from Winnipeg, Canada.

Meeting closed: 8.45pm

Next Meeting: Thu 13/4  

Committee Reports

Bega Valley Advocates for Timor Leste

The principal founder of BVATL, Jim Collins, died at the end of 2022. He was much loved in Timor and known widely as Avor Jim (“Grandfather Jim”). Jim achieved many things in his life and you can read a superb tribute to him here:

A mass for Jim was celebrated in Natarbora and flowers laid on the ocean.

BVATL transferred $6000 in January to fund 4 scholarships at Baucau Teachers Institute for 2023. These will be two new Year 1 scholarships, and two ongoing for our Year 2 and Year 3 students.

The new government regulations and account updates for our ANZ bank account in Dili, Timor-Leste are taking up a lot of time. It has involved much correspondence between the bank and BVATL, plus much time for our liaison officer to deal with the bank and open another account at a different bank. This started last year and will take weeks to complete.

Our thanks to Dominic Rideaux, public notary in Bega, for assisting us to certify our passport copies before these documents are sent to DFAT in Canberra and then to ANZ in Dili.

Plans are well underway with the preparation for the Timorese Choir to visit Australia. This visit has been postponed a number of times due to Covid.

Dave Crowden and his contacts at 4 Winds are finalising visas. We anticipate the group arriving in Sydney around 26th April with a visit to perform in the Blue Mountains and Canberra before arriving in Bega on 28th April. All SJA members are invited to a welcome dinner at Bega Uniting Church at 5:30 pm. Jo Fitzer has kindly agreed to organise the dinner and she will need helpers on the day so please keep this in mind.

There will be various public performances and collaborations with other choirs during the stay and we will keep SJA members informed once these dates firm up. The group will leave for Wollongong on 6th May.

David Gallan



SJA Environment SUB GROUP General meeting report: 9th February, 2023

  • The Environment group and SJA Youth Climate Action group supported Kate Liston on a weekly rubbish pick up in Merimbula. We also cleaned out several of the SWAMP drainage nets of rubbish along the foreshore.
  • Met and made contact with Garry Hunter from Clean Curalo group who we will support in future rubbish clean ups around Lake Curalo
  • Meeting to be arranged with Kate Liston and founder of the Wanderer festival to explore and discuss waste free festivals.
  • Fundraising Timor Leste coffee: Sue Mcgee and I have visited and restocked several of the shops and centres around Pambula, Merimbula and Bega with SJA coffee
  • Working bees at Potoroo Palace once a month: Pruned, whipper snipped and weeded the orchard last Saturday 4th February. We met with Terry from Black Duck Foods based south of Eden. We were lucky to meet and work with Terry who volunteers at Potoroo and works alongside Bruce Pascoe at Black duck foods. An Indigenous social enterprise committed to traditional food growing processes that care for Country and return economic benefits directly to Indigenous people. Check them out on Instagram. 

Our SJA environment group would love in the future to support Black Duck foods south of Eden…so maybe our next working bee could be there. Hope to see you at the next SJA Enviro working bee in a month?

  • Met with Karen Lakeside Electrical: Still awaiting Lakeside quote regarding solar panels on the 5 social housing units. We have 26 solar panel installed for Envision 2. Only 4 to go before we receive a free install for one of SJA units
  • Single use Plastics being driven more now by supermarkets and no real FOGO.. so SUP Merimbula on hold until legislation or FOGO changes!
  • Electric charging station in Pambula discussed and several grants being looked at in collaboration with Panboola. Peter Gorton, Gavin Bell, John Dawson, Michelle Richmond and I are currently looking at possibilities here. Initially this grant for 4 stations you are required to put in an expression of interest. 
  • Huge clothing wastes at Vinnies: Currently recycled clothing is cut up into rags to be sold. Possible working bees in the future to support Vinnies and reduce and reuse a resource.
  • Education: Screening on “The Franklin River” documentary at 7pm, Thursday16th February. All welcome. Spectacular scenery and footage of the river and the protests in the early 80s and how this river through people power were able to stop the river from being dammed… against all odds and a change of government. Hoping for some wonderful discussions prior to the March State election in March. Please spread the word. All welcome.. 
  • Election: March 2023… will seek to get candidates’ views and stance on Climate change, social housing and other environmental issues.
  • Climate change presentations to some schools in the BVS. Wendy is supporting and hosting Marji Puotinen from the Climate Reality Leaders organisation and a Marine Scientist from Adelaide by organising Climate info sessions at Eden PS, Lumen and Pambula Preschool from Monday 13th, leaving Thursday 16th Feb. 
    All welcome at these climate presentations and was hoping to see if any SJA folk would like to meet with Marji on Tuesday 14th to discuss her presentation, climate conversations and how individuals can make a difference. Meeting venue details to be confirmed once interest is determined. Please contact Wendy 0428450348 if you would like to meet with Marji Puotinen. She is only in the area for 3 days. Attaching info about climate presentations.

Housing / homelessness advocacies as of the 1st of February.

  • Last sub group meeting on January 19 th at CWA Pambula at 9:30 am.
  • ** Met with Michael Holland ( labor state candidate)  , Rose Jackson (Shadow state Housing minister) with Barb Jones and Ray Tynan to 
    • 1. Urge highlighting of the housing stock available and the current status of maintenance works with these properties. 
    • 2. Open the issue of the old Bega nursing home for temporary – in waiting use for crisis housing rather than rely on a negative,unseen report on asbestos that has for the past three years been used as the reason for this vacant building to sit unused.
  • ** Delivery of the sixth crisis transitional unit to the Pambula caravan park.
  • Thank you to ALL who volunteered and helped to land this unit . To be continued.
  • ** Caravans continue to be delivered and we are in the process of trying to purchase one more. One to Eden , one to Bermagui , one sold to Bemboka lady, one moved to and from Bega !!!!!
  • This need seems to continue unabated and we are close to buying another van.
  • ** Nullica lodge uncertainty continues . Meeting of access centre reps with RSL Life reps including the CEO . An agreement to liaise and communicate with the Eden community .
  • BUT at this meeting the lobbying of the Bega mayor and the Bega CEO by RSL Life to alter zone to enable more units was not mentioned. So much for transparency  ?!?!
  • ** We are talking with the Eden Uniting Church for the placement of two units on their Eden Church site.
  • Also talking with private property owner for the placement of a unit on their property.
  • To this end I met with a planner to look at requirements vis a vis DA or ……….
  • ** We await the outcome of our retrospective DA for the units on the Bega site.
  • This wait is the process of a fast tracked DA.
  • (Note – three main members of the council planning department are leaving in the coming two weeks).
  • ** Importantly I THANK all members of the crisis unit management committee who continue to ensure that the five existing units operate very efficiently and within the established protocols. 
  • ** thank you to a local teacher for offering a property to accept the temporary placement of a caravan for a homeless person. 
  • ** thanks to Kim Poso real estate in Pambula for adopting the SJA housing It’s Up To us campaign as a part of their sales promotion – a donation of $100 per sale.  Thank you Kim and staff – great community business initiative.
  • Cheers 
  • Mick Brosnan

Indigneous sub group report

Our major activity since the last general meeting has been finalising our position on the upcoming referendum on The Voice .  A copy of that position is published on the SJA website.  Note date – this is a volatile public issue.

We are planning to engage the general community in discussion of The Voice.  We are considering inviting speakers from outside the local community and are consulting with local indigenous persons about their views on how they see the campaign for Yes proceeding.

Ray Tynan, Convenor Indigenous Issues subgroup

6 February 2023

Refugees sub group: Gavin Bell

  • Received $50,000 grant monies and have now purchased the used Ford Ranger.
  • Getting calls for furniture donations,
  • Co-ordinating with Bega Rotary for delivery of 2 units in Merimbula in the next 2 weeks for the Skilled Labour Migrants working at the Sapphire Coast Aged Facilities,
  • In discussions with Bega Rotary regarding a Multicultural Day at Tathra,
  • A meeting Planned for the new Anglican Reverend regarding the Advocates work
  • A speaking engagement at Merimbula RSL, March 28th 2023, Rotary Golf week, over 100 Rotarians from around Australia,
  • In awe of Kate Liston’s Rubbish collection, Wendy’s organisation of the Potoroo working bee, the Comms team, Mick’s never ending energy and many other contributors