MEETING REPORT 22ND JULY 2014
President Roy Garrett invited Chair of the day, Anne King to give a toast to Rotary International. Roy then welcomed AG Ian Salek, Global Scholar Michelle Heard, guest of Tony Thomas, David Cray, guest speaker Ed Pettitt II, and club members to the meeting.
AG for the Batman Cluster, Ian Salek addressed the meeting and spoke of the clubs comprising the Batman cluster (Melbourne, Melbourne South, Southbank, North Melbourne and CMS), and in particular the excellent programs conducted by RCCMS, such as Community Village and Police Mentoring. Ian also outlined the need for clubs to continue their membership development and retention activities.
Vocational Service Director, David Jones outlined the plans for the year, including participation in the Shine On Awards, Member behind the badge, job talks and at least three onsite vocational visits during the year.
President Roy announced that the club has been invited to participate in the nomination of a Rotary International Director if they had someone in mind.
Bernie Gerlinger took members through a very testing knowledge tour of the Rotary Acronyms and collected plenty of fines in the process.
Guest Speaker – Ed Pettit II – Building a Brighter Future for Children & Adolescents with HIV/AIDS
George Mackey introduced Ed Pettitt II, a Rotarian with the Houston Skyline Rotary Club and a visiting Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Gaborone, in Botswana, where he is currently working as a Senior Project Coordinator for the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. Ed is attending the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, and began his presentation with a request for a period of silent reflection in honour of those delegates who had lost their lives in a plane mishap en-route to the conference.
Ed oversees the world's largest network of peer support programs for adolescents living with HIV and is also helping to launch a pediatric genomic research imitative in sub-Saharan Africa. Ed has also served as a HIV/AIDS technical expert for the World Health Organization and UNICEF and is co-founder of the Houston Global Health Collaborative.
Ed advised that BIPAI’s first African clinical centre of excellence (COE), in Botswana, now treats over 4,000 children, most of who are now surviving into adolescence. It is expected that the number of HIV positive adolescents enrolled in care will double by 2015. Despite this nationwide trend, there is a paucity of psychosocial support programs addressing adolescents’ specific issues, which led the Botswana-Baylor COE to partner with the Rotary Club of Gaborone, along with a network of Rotary Clubs in the U.S. and beyond via a Global Grant, to build and equip an adolescent HIV/AIDS centre. First of its kind in Botswana and the African continent, the Phatsimong Adolescent Center is a safe and welcoming place where adolescents receive life skills education and health counseling, leading to improved clinical and mental health outcomes as well as a healthy transition into adulthood.
Following questions, the Chair thanked Ed for his fascinating presentation. President Roy closed the meeting after thanking the visitors attending and reminded all members to 'Light Up Rotary’.
GUEST SPEAKER ED PETTIT II