MEETING REPORT 26th APRIL 2016

 
Chair: Stella Avramopolous.
 
Present: 28 plus guest speaker Snr Sgt Kerrie Hicks.
 
Stella opened the meeting with a special toast to late member Richard Stone: “To the life, friendship and legacy of Richard Stone.”
 
Announcements:
  • Russell Rolls: Café Internationale’s “A Night on Broadway” annual dinner 6pm Saturday May 7 – book now!
  • Anne King: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner event May 21 – she’ll send out an email seeking participants.
  • Peter Duras: Contact him peter.duras@bigpond.com  if you have blankets to give to Melbourne’s disadvantaged for winter use. Through DIK, Pacific Brands and donors, the appeal for warm clothing is mostly met except for blankets.
  • President George announced the sad news of Richard Stone’s passing last Friday. He was a charter member of RCCMS, and highly active and engaged almost to the end. He inspired many to join the club, including Elias Lebbos and Neville John, our 2017 District Governor. Richard will leave an indelible mark on our club through his impacts and communication and enthusiasm for travel and meeting people from all walks of life. He was one of the three key architects of the club’s Police Leadership Mentoring, of which our speaker Snr Sgt Kerrie Hicks is an exemplar. “We all wish him well on his next great journey,” George said.
 
Presenter Session:
Tony Thomas gave a global overview of maternal and infant mortality trends, April being Rotary’s mother-and-child month. (See Breakout Story).
 
The Swindle:
To general amazement, club treasurer Doug Robertson carried away The Swindle pot of $1200-1400 (no-one knows exactly) less the token 50% handling fee to the club. He, Frank O’Brien and Elias Lebbos made the semi-final with Doug drawing first the highest card and then the Joker.  Previous pot-winner in spectacular circumstances was Roger Thornton. Next winner: to be arranged.
 
Guest Speaker Snr Sgt Kerrie Hicks 
“Walk and talk – The importance of mentoring.”
 
Kerrie outlined her happy and privileged childhood and thwarted ambition to be a jet fighter pilot or professional rower. She embarked on a BA in Criminology and Psychology but after a year decided psych’s were “all a little bit nuts:” and focused on criminology.
 
She was accepted into VicPol in 2001, becoming squad leader during training and awarded Best Student. Her first role was trainee constable at Fitzroy Police Station and then Footscray, working with many kids from unfortunate situations. “I remember going home one day to thank mum for not keeping me out of school so I could cut up and package heroin for sale,” she joked.
 
After five years she became a Detective on property crime, frauds and serious assaults. “My crew was recognised with a Divisional Commendation for the Bubble Nightclub investigation where 16 offenders violently attacked crowd controllers with machetes, knives and swords, almost severing one victim’s foot,” she said.
 
She became Sgt at Melbourne West in 2011 and in 2013 Snr. Sgt.  At 38, she is now Station Commander at Collingwood.
 
On mentoring, she says being matched with Stella Avramopolous was a godsend, as they shared instant rapport. Last July they decided to walk and talk, not sit and talk, during fortnightly sessions around Abbotsford, coffee in hand.  Walking improves creativity by an average 60% compared with sitting. It’s the act of walking, not the environment, that counts.
 
She spoke about VicPol management support and hopes a current independent review will fix various issues, to ensure an inclusive and respectful workplace for all.
 
“Stella has given me the focus on ‘dignity’ and ensuring I maintain it despite challenges. I am still learning to try not to overinvest in that which I cannot control. I am committed to developing quality and ethical police officers. The community is entitled to feel safe and confident in their police, and I want to be part of the organisation that delivers that service,” she said.
 
Other parts of her talk focused on family violence, and Oxfam TrailWalking with Stella (100km), her team name being “What the F--- Were We Thinking!”  The team raised $5130 for Oxfam. She presented Stella with a gift in gratitude for Stella’s help in her career.