CWA Rooms, Toallo St., Pambula

Bi-monthly General Meeting (we meet every 2 months)
Thursday 10/11/2022 @ 7PM sharp,


  • Opening – Welcome to Country
  • Apologies
  • Previous Minutes
  • Correspondence
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Sub Groups
  • Feedback on Refugee Weekend Visit
  • Feedback on Oaklands Australian Made Concert
  • General Business
  • Next Meeting

Gavin Bell


The following item was up for discussion.

Dear Mick, Colin and Noel,
I am seeking support for a variety of students (30) from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Bega Valley to attend Stewart House in February and March next year.

Stewart House provides students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to get optometric, dental and medical treatment as well as emotional support at their Northern Beaches school (Curl Curl).  Students stay for two weeks as part of their respite from their family, community and school.

We receive a small subsidy to help transport the students to the school in Curl Curl but with the increasing costs of fuel and transport it is becoming harder to cover the costs. The most recent quote we received for the coach trip was $7500.

If the Social Justice Advocates or Rotary were able to provide any support towards the transport costs it would help enormously ($5000).  Additionally, we have received 70 applications at present and have only been offered 30 places.  If we can raise the funds needed, Stewart House may be able to open an additional 20 places, taking our tally to 50 students.
Please click the link for more information about Stewart House –
Thanks again for taking the time to review our proposal.
Daniel Roe
Quaama Public School
‘Small School, Big Heart’


Co-Chair Report – Nov 10, 2022

We have had a slight change to the Office Bearers since the last meeting with Beryl stepping down, finding our organisation bigger and busier that she expected and having difficulty hearing the conversations at the meeting. Thanks to Russell Jennings for stepping into the Secretary Role.

The MARSS Refugee weekend went off really well. Thanks to all of the host families and support crew in whichever way you helped. Theo from the Pambula Fruit Market really pitched in with a lamb on the spit as well as salads and fruit.

The guest families were overwhelmed with the love and generosity, the beaches , the smoking ceremony and BBQ games, etc etc.

The Australian Made Concert was spectacular, What a great day of talent and partying. Thanks to all of the advocates with the setting up, rubbish sorting and just being there to enjoy it.

The Multicultural festival is this coming Saturday at the Wolumla Hall from 10am to 4.00pm It promises to be a day of great joy and celebration and the making of new friends and networks.  Everything is in place. Please arrive early to give us a hand to set up some flags, buntings, the PA System, the kitchen and we’ll have a ball.

Ray Temmerman sends his regards. Jacqui and I spent time with Ray and Fenella recently. They are very special people. We had a blast with them both for a few days.

Thanks for all of your assistance, I’m sure there’s stuff I’ve missed.

Gavin Bell

Bega Valley Advocates for Timor-Leste November 2022 Report for SJA

BVATL are gearing up for activities in 2023 which will be a big one for our group.

Dave Crowden is busy organising visa, airline tickets and finalising performance venues for the Timorese Choir which we anticipate arriving April / May next year. We look forward to them meeting folk from the Bega Valley and particularly First Nations singers as the choirs combine for some activities. The choir continues to practise in two regional centres before they come back to the capital, Dili, to rehearse together and record their material.

Thanks to Dave for all his hard work on this and the immensely successful SJA fund raiser last Sunday.

Nikolas, our school liaison officer in Natarbora informs us that the sewing classes have stopped at the moment due to the sewing teacher returning to her home village. One of the women’s groups in the mountain village of Manehat continues to be active. Nikolas and some of our past teacher graduates are looking to revitalise our training and resource centre as the community transitions out of Covid.  The centre will be organising study groups and writing classes in 2023.

We have two trainee teacher progressing from first and second year at Baucau Institute. They say hello to their supporters and thank them for their scholarship funding.

Baucau Institute for Teachers is a vibrant and modern centre staffed by Timorese and Australian academics. It started in 2000 at the height of conflict to repair the education system with staff from the Australian Catholic University. The first student teachers graduated in 2006. We are proud to be associated with the Institute. It’s worthwhile to reflect on one of their recent press releases:

“During the Indonesian reign as many as 200,000 perished resisting the Indonesian occupation and seizure or as a result of famine and disease. However, the transfer of power was accompanied by violence committed by anti-independence militants leaving hundreds of people killed.

When the Indonesians retreated from Timor-Leste in 1999, they enacted a scorched earth policy’ which crippled the education sector as 80% of schools were destroyed completely and 90% of the remaining schools damaged. This has lingering implications for students and teachers of today as the majority schools remain badly damaged and in a derelict state. . . 

Today, the college empowers its students to become leaders in the field of primary education and leaders within their own local community as well. Trained in critical thinking, pedagogy and child development, the students are readily offered employment upon graduation.”

It was good to hear that two of our past graduates have recently been recruited.

Nikolas informs us that two more students have passed their entrance exam and are asking if it would be possible to support them with scholarships. We only anticipated one candidate and this places a fair bit of pressure on our funding with the loss of some financial supporters and the recent weakness in the US dollar exchange rate (which is the Timorese currency). We would like to support both new candidates if possible but will have to find new donors.

David Gallan
02 64944116

Indigenous Affairs Group Report for period ending 10/11/22

  • We continue to monitor and advocate for rise in Age of Criminal Responsibility
  • We gave funding assistance to the Eden Canoes project, $3000.
  • We auspiced a project run by the Bega LALC for youth engagement.
  • We are studying the six monthly repot by NSW FACS on Indigenous youth caught up in or on the fringes of the NSW welfare and justice system.
  • We are monitoring the Northern Territory’s Coronial inquiry into the death of Kumanji Walker.
  • We are drafting a letter to the Federal Govt re the the inclusion of accounts of frontier wars in the current expansion of the Australian War Memorial.
  • Our offer of funds to the Doomadgee community has not been taken up.
  • We have a meeting with BJ Cruse of the Eden LALC on Wednesday 9 November.

Ray Tynan
Convenor, Indigenous Affairs Group
8 November 2022

SJA Environment, Forces for Nature group report : meeting Thursday 10th November.

# SUPM (Single use Plastics Merimbula) 20 stickers have been given to Merimbula businesses. We have 10 stickers left to be given to out to Bega; Cafe Evolve, Red Door, Old Lebanese shop, Whole food shop. Due to EPA rules changing which greatly affected what you can put in FOGO, our SUPM will need to be reviewed!

# Solar: Lakeside Electrical. Mick and Wendy approached Karen Pilacio to discuss fitting Solar onto 6 social housing units 2Kw? Karen and Paul to quote and see if this can be achieved. Ideally we will get a discount and bring our Envision 2 solar installs to 30 and the free install will be a part of our 6 unit installs.

# Black Sorrows Fundraiser: A Waste free event? That’s our SJA Environmental’s groups aim: Mick and I attended the meeting prior to the festival. Wendy sourced 3 yellow bins and 6 green bins for the night. Thanks Pambula Surf club for 2 yellow bins. Signage was attached to each bin. Cans and bottles in yellow bin. Repurposed pizza boxes and cardboard in red bins which were loaded onto Dave Crowdens trailer and food scraps in green bins. On the night we had an eco crew of Martin McGee, Russ Jennings, Sue McGee, Celi Kennedy and I who ensured that each bin contained the correct item. Thanks to all for making this happen.

At the end of the night we packed up the bins sorting the correct items into each bin. We ended up with little to no food waste, 2 large orange bags of cans which were donated to a local in need, to cash in, 1 trailer load of cardboard and pizza boxes heading to Dave Crowdens as mulch and a way to control weeds, 1/2 yellow bin of glass bottles and plastic water containers and finally ONLY 1 full red bin of plastic cups, paper napkins, cigarette butts and general rubbish for over 400 people heading to landfill….

# SJA members also encouraged participants to take their plastic cups back to be refilled, reducing the plastic waste by at least half. This result would have been a very different scenario had SJA not taken the time to set up this system. It was not an onerous job, but hopefully will become the practice of all SJA events and all future festivals in the future.
Our aim is to run a waste free event, where there will be no single use plastic products present and where packaging is eliminated too. BYO cups and plates?, wash plates?…

Our next Potoroo working bee is on on Saturday 3rd December 9am to 11.30am. All welcome. Mick has arranged more matting and stones so we can continue working on establishing paths and any maintenance required on the day.

# Sue McGee to look into getting yellow bins at the Pambula rec ground.

# SJA Environment sub groups draft job description started:
Solar initiatives; solar group buy: Envision 1 and 2, Donated solar panels to Pambula Surf club and Panboola.
Single use plastic free Pambula and Merimbula. Promote FOGO
Grant writing: SUPP: For BVS grant for Stickers and water drinking station at Pambula. Bushfire recovery grant: unsuccessful but asked for support for fire affected families; solar on roofs, water tanks…
Educational screenings and talks: 2 x Bentley Effect screenings, Potoroo Bentley effect and Dave Gallan films, Totally Renewable Yackandandah talk.
Working bees with local community groups: Potoroo
Liaise other other local Climate action groups: CEFE, Climate Action Mobilisation, Bushfire Survivor group, Blockade Australia, 350 Eurobodalla
Support student climate action strikes
Helped establish and provide support to Youth climate action group

Wendy Wait