2020 Student of the Year Awards

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2020 Student of the Year Awards


CONGRATULATIONS to the 2020 School & Community Service Award recipients! Due to the COVID situation we finally got to meet these inspirational students who strive to make a difference not only in their schools but in the wider community!

This week we had three student speaking to us about their projects that they achieved in 2020. They are Trent Heaver from King’s Baptist Grammar,  Alana Armstrong from Golden Grove High School and Connor Brennan from Pedare Christian College. Unfortunately, Gleeson College didn’t have a candidate for this term.


Trent from King’s Baptist Grammar

Trent actually turned 18 years old on the day of the presentation (many happy returns!) and graduated from King’s Baptist last year. You also might remember him from last year when the club supported him to attend the National Youth Science Forum.
Trent was head prefect for King’s last year and alongside the rest of the prefect team ran various initiatives. While the larger projects were significantly disrupted by COVID, they were able to shift their focus to building community within our own Year 12 cohort.



Despite things certainly looking differently, and being significantly smaller, these events still had a profound effect in bringing about connection and cohesion between individuals. Which of course is something that was particularly important last year. I’d love to now share with you a taste of my favourite initiative, and I invite all of you to join in. While we initially designed and ran this activity for R – 5 students, I believe that it holds an important message for all of us to consider, no matter our age. This activity focusses on one of the schools principals, which is fairness and we designed it to challenge the traditional notion that fairness is everyone getting the same thing.
So, let’s begin. I’d like for all of you to please close your eyes and imagine that you have hurt yourself in some way. Think about how you hurt yourself, where you hurt yourself and how it feels…?
Ok now, I’d like for all of you to imagine that I’ve given each of you a band aid on your wrist.
Has that helped anyone with their injury? Their pain? Even though everyone received the same treatment, it didn’t really help any of you. What would have been more helpful is if each of you received the correct treatment for your own injuries…
So, really fairness may not be about everyone getting the same thing, but rather about everyone getting what they need to succeed and thrive for themselves. It was very inspiring to hear the responses of the younger students, some of whom even applied the ideas to topics of mental health and other broader applications. We also used this activity as an opportunity to discuss our schools connection with Cambodia, helping younger students to understand why we help students from another country. The notion of fairness even still challenges me, and is something that I regularly consider in my dayto-day life.
In fact, through my involvement with your club over the past couple of years I have come too see how Rotary achieves fairness in this way with their local and global projects, supporting those who are less advantaged in our communities.

In addition to his efforts within school, Trent volunteers with the City of Tea Tree Gully as a trainer with their youth leadership program; and the Ridgehaven Road and Cycle Safety centre, helping to teach children how to ride bikes safely. Trent’s strong character and passion for supporting his fellow person and community has led him to received many offers to study medicine in many Australian Universities- which we wish him the best of luck.


Alana from Golden Grove HS

Alana from Golden Grove High School, started a mentor and tutoring program during her final year. This program was created to help year 9 students not only with their studies but also to help those students whose studies are affected by other factors such as their home life.

The student I was matched with was a student whose studies were affected by the struggles she faced in her home life. My teacher asked if I could teach her resilience, organisation, confidence within herself and in her studies. During my time with the year 9 student I thoroughly enjoyed watching her grow and gain confidence within herself that she was able to learn and gain amazing results in her schooling, although tutoring schooling, was a big part of the program relating and talking to her about my personal experiences with resilience and gaining a bond that allowed her to open up to me was also a significant part of the program. We still continue this bond as I still provide support to her and her schooling after the program has finished.

This program not only helped the year 9 students to immensely improve in their schooling and their spirit but gave Alana the benefit of real world experience to aid in her future venture in the paramedicine industry. As the project gave her the opportunity to attain skills and knowledge of working with younger people and being able to help and relate to them in all aspects of their lives and not just in school. We hope Alana can continue with this program and connection with her community as it had a positive symbiotic effect.


Connor from Pedare Christian College

Connor is a year 12 student at Pedare Christian College, who has taken his enthusiasm for Lego construction to whole new level.
It began with his first commissions of building replicas of the newly upgraded Her Majesty’s Theatre and the Pedare Middle School that led to being noticed by Dr Sean Geoghegan (State Director of Radiation Oncology Medical Physics at the Royal Adelaide Hospital) at a technology show at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Connor was asked if there was a possibility of building a small lego model of a Radiotherapy machine for head & neck cancer (also known as a Linac) to be made for children who are going through the treatment, and another model for clinics to use so they can show their patients the treatment. There was about 100 hours of designing that was put in from the first prototype, to the final model which can be seen on his website Connor’s Bricks. The Lego model of the Linear Accelerator (Linac) are for children to build, play with, and to aid reducing any anxiety they have for their treatment. This project sparked major attention all around Australia: Channel 10 news did a story on it which was aired nationwide; he invited to speak on Channel 9 news live for the Project; ABC radio did a segment on the model; as well as the Advertiser wrote a feature article. In June 2019, he was invited to Sydney to speak at a health conference in front of 1000 doctors, nurses and scientists about the project. This was great exposure for the project, and with the help of Julie McCrossin (another major supporter of this project), the orders started coming in. From November 2019 to now, 51 sets have been sold to places all around the world, including England, USA, Mexico, Spain, Japan, Canada and many more. The young entrepreneur is about to buy more parts for more Linacs and is still learning about better processes to shipping these sets off to their customers, but this knowledge will help him in the future for a more efficient system. Connor will be attending a Rotary organised Lego Expo at Onkabrixs in Onkaparinga on the 27-28 March , and be proudly displaying the Linacs model to the community and hopefully gain more support for the project.

There was no overall winner this time (it would of been very difficult to choose anyway) but the club wishes to thank each student for their commitment to their community and we hope that the award will encourage them to continue with more inspiring projects. If you like to know more about this award please follow this LINK.

2020 Tilley Award

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Congratulations this year’s recipient- Greta Matthias!, who you see above with our President Dean Bartley. We love supporting the students at Modbury High School and this is our 35th year in presenting this award. This year is particularly special as Greta is the younger sister of our 2018 winner- Josephine.

See More information about the John Tilley Memorial Award HERE.

Dean Bartley with Greta


During our club meeting on 12th January, we were finally able to hear from Greta herself. It was a long awaited presentation, as COVID and scheduling conflicts prevented us to meeting her earlier. She is described as a real life “Superhero” who strives to take action to better the world and the people in it. Please read below a brief summary of her speech:

Good Evening Rotary members. Thank you so much for sponsoring the John Tilley Memorial Award!

(Origin Story) I was born in the United States. By the time I was 4, I had already lived in 3 houses. In Rockford Illinois I started school but by the time I was seven my family was getting ready to move across the Pacific Ocean to Queensland. My first year in Australia was terrible but upon reflection we remember this bible verse. Romans 3:5 We glory in our suffering because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope. And hope does not disappoint. I started high school in Queensland but then we moved down to South Australia where I started year 9 at Modbury High School. Last year I was in year 12 and I had a wonderful experience. I was involved in both school bands, the athletics program, Student Voice Council, STEM club and Peer Tutoring.

(Gratefulness) Through my years I’ve always had a fantastic support network from family and friends. But there are those mentors who just come in every now and then to add their help. Some of these mentors are my teachers. However, I recently received an award akin to a mentor’s helping hand. The Outstanding student award is worth so much more than the money. It tells me that I was good enough to warrant your attention and for that I’d like to thank you once again!

(In the Future) With your gift I’ll be starting a mechanical engineering degree in March. I hope to go into the biomedical field where I’d be designing medical tools such as surgical instruments, stints or even maintaining the hospital machines like X-rays or MRI machines.

Thank You.

Change-over 20/21

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20/21 MGG Club Board- Kevin, Rob, Otto, Peter & Dean.

On July 14th 2020 our club had its Annual 20-21 Change-over dinner at the Highbury Hotel to introduce the new year’s MGG’s club president –Dean Bartley and the club board members.

New board consists of Kevin-Immediate Past President, Otto- Vice President, Rob Carthew- Secretary, Peter Rundle- Treasurer, and John -Community Director (who was an apology for the dinner).

Jane Owens

We had a number of special guests on the night, including local politicians, but we would love to thank past District Governor Jane Owens. She gave a great presentation on Rotary International, this year’s Theme, and the recent merger of our Rotary District to 9510.

This new Rotary year sees us become a new District- District 9510. As you know this has been the making for the past 3 years. We will, undoubtedly have some challenges and opportunities with it. It may not all happen in the first year but as we have all seen in the year just gone we have perseverance and endurance and we will make sure we have a bigger and better district in 9510.


Jane introduced us to a new area of focus for the District- “Supporting our Environment”. This now makes 7 areas of focus for clubs to contribute to and support. The others causes follow: Peace & Conflict Resolution; Disease Prevention; Water & Sanitation; Maternal & Child Health; Basic Education & Literacy; Economic & Community Development. We also still and always engage in the GLOBAL eradication of Polio!

Rotary International’s Vision Statement:

Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

During the evening we unveiled this year’s Rotary Theme: “Rotary Opens Opportunities” with the iconic symbol of three open doors in red, yellow & blue. This was chosen by this year Rotary International President, Holger Knaack– in his opening address he said “Rotary isn’t just for people to join but rather an invitation to endless opportunities. We have many and interesting and diverse ways available to us. Each and every club has it’s own unique culture and context upon which to do so…our opportunities are endless”. Since 1949-50, each RI President has chosen a theme based on something that is important to them and its designed to inspire us to continue to make the world a better place! President Knaack is a CEO of a real estate company in Germany and I guess no stranger to charging through an “open door” when its presented.

President Dean introducing new RI Theme for 20/21

President Dean commented on a number of changes over the last 15 years, with less regular meetings; E-clubs; no vocational memberships; relaxing of attendance rules; and satellite clubs. But we must continue to evolve and we have to look to the future to grow and develop our membership. He proposed our next year’s focus should be supporting young people and local schools- to look for new projects, local and perhaps international.

We need to honor our past and embrace our future that way Rotary will not only remain relevant but thriving. -Jane Owens

Kevin presenting his report for 2019/20

Immediate past president Kevin, gave his annual report for 2019/20.

The Rotary Theme for 2019-2020 was “Rotary Connects The World”. In my introduction last year, I first noted that I intended to consolidate the beginnings of our new club that Otto has worked on. I am pleased to observe that the club now operates almost as if it has always existed as such. Thanks to the hard work of IPP Otto in bedding down the new entity the Rotary Club of Modbury Golden Grove has emerged as a stronger group, maintaining the ideals of Rotary.

Kevin was an energetic president who should be proud of his work and leadership of the club in past year. You can read his full report HERE.


A successful night of friendship, family, networking and fellowship. We look forward to the next year’s challenges and opportunities. Please see the gallery below of more pictures from the event. 





Change-over Dinner for 2019/20

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Annual Change-over Dinner 2019/20

Tonight we had our annual hand-over dinner and introduced the world to the new board. It was a great night of toasts, awards and fellowship. Please checkout more pictures from the event HERE.

Immediate Past President Otto’s Report for 2018/19

“Be The Inspiration”.

That was this year’s Theme.       Did we live up to it??

Otto receiving a Certificate of Service Award for 2018/19 as club president

After the two clubs merged, we quickly melded together as one club and went to work.

We supported 4 local schools by providing cash prizes for their top students.

We assisted with The Farming Relief for Drought Affected Farmers.

The Calperum Youth Camp, which is run by Modbury High School was again supported in conjunction of the Rotary Club of Onkaparinga.

With “The Rotary Youth Exchange Program” we had Isaac Awramenko return from Finland and Imogen Morris came back from a year in Denmark, both students had a great experience.
Currently we have Kirrilee Pendergast on a one year exchange to Germany.

Jessica Ostendorf attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Award program successfully, and currently we have a candidate in Brent Heaver for this year’s program.

The Good News Award is now in its third year, and it will continue to be part of our program.

The club supported two of our members raising funds by riding their bicycles, one was in aid of Childhood Cancer Research, the other was for research into Spinal Cord Injuries, through the Neil Sachse Foundation.

We continued our support of Food Bank SA, and delivered Christmas Hampers again this year.

There is a Food Bank project under way in July to donate cans of food at the Tea Tree Plaza.

We supported the CFS, The Christmas Tree Festival, Christmas Party for Special Children (held at the Adelaide Zoo each year), and supported Dance SA (which helps Children to just enjoy Dance without pressure of achievement).

The highlight of the year was our involvement with Scout Jamboree Catering —- Not—-.

It was a long hot windy and dusty day for 8 of our members and will probably never be repeated again in our lifetime.

After finally finishing our shift after 8pm we experienced problems with the car, the motor shut down just in front of the Tailem Bend Hotel, and we had to rehydrate ourselves.

The club provided a Defibrillator to U 3 A, luckily no one had to use it yet, as far as we know.

We gave Monetary Support to Rotary Shelter Box, Queensland Flood Relief, The Christchurch Mosque Appeal and Rwanda Cyclone Relief.

We also relend money through our KIVA Account, which assists Under privileged communities in Africa and South America.

Finally, we again like every year since 1982, supported the Rotary Foundation and Polio Plus.

The eradication of Polio has been a Rotary Project since 1982, we are nearly there, it has taken 37 years so far, but there are just a couple of countries where we still have the disease.

In closing I would like to thank all current members and the board for their support they gave throughout the year, it was really appreciated.


Colin Willington, “Thank You” for all the assistance you provided.

To President-Elect Kevin Smith, I wish you and your board all the success, and you will have mine and the clubs support in the coming year.


“Be the Inspiration” was the theme this year.

Were we the Inspiration??   I think we were!!!