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Our Chair for the day, Doug Robertson  opened the “ultimate” meeting for the Rotary year with a toast to Rotary International.

President Neville Taylor welcomed guest Roger Leask RC Essendon (Roger looks after the Royce Abbey award program for District), and our guest  speaker Stephen Carbone.   Neville also welcomed back members returning from trips/breaks.

Gerard Hogan wished a number of  members happy birthday on behalf of the club and also noted two LONG membership anniversaries, namely Tony Thomas at 20 years and Neville John at 24 years.



Neville John reminded us of the DIK working bee this coming Saturday from 8.30 to about 12.30.


President Neville’s Announcements

Neville advised us all of an opportunity for “NOT a sausage sizzle” at Bunnings at Collingwood for their community day, with a chance to promote Rotary, also on this coming Saturday.  The final Board meeting of the year helped set up the budget for next year.  The RACV will be doing renovations on 2nd floor which will require us to find alternate venues for a couple of our meetings before end of 2019.


SpeakerDr Stephen Carbone, Chair of Prevention United – "Preventing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions"

Stephen has a passion for promoting people’s mental wellbeing, having worked as a medical officer in Victoria’s specialist psychiatric services and as a general practitioner for over two decades, before moving into mental health policy and research. Stephen is now the Chairperson of Prevention United, that specializes in the promotion of mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental health conditions.

Prevention United is taking a new approach for a range of mental health conditions that are real, serious and potentially disabling, including their risk to physical health.  Stephen told us they were as important as other major health concerns (heart disease, etc). Whilst we are making some headway with new help now available, work is needed on reducing stigma, on finding better treatments and services and on prevention.  Prevention United’s mission is to help prevent people becoming ill in the first place, ie it is solely focussing on the prevention side.   This includes advocacy for increasing personal and social protective factors and reducing risk factors and developing integrated approaches.

Question and answer session included: noting that prevalence statistics are similar around the world to those in Australia; “Social Cohesion” models such as RU OK do work and do help build social cohesion; screening and monitoring for distress are useful, as are efforts aimed at prevention of relapse; getting an optimal balance of government funding remains challenging and one of Prevention United’s focus; collaboration with Life be in it campaigns will be helpful.

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Chairperson Doug thanked Stephen for a pertinent and informative talk, and he also thanked President Neville for the year just gone.


Before President Neville closed the meeting for the last time as President, he linked today’s talk to the journey our club has been taking in understanding health connections. He also thanked visitor Roger Leask for attending and expressed appreciation to Jess (RACV staff) for helping us with our meetings during the year.  

President Neville reported on an evening he and Suzette attended (with Anne King) to hear about a PLAN International (Australia) collaboration with an North East Arnhemland indigenous community and the Aton-Dal Aboriginal Corporation established in 2014 by Yolngu leaders - based around social enterprise and charity and the indigenous concept of "be in the warra", that is to enable all Yolngu clans and people living in the homelands to be going in the same direction. It will include incubator and adult learning centres, including emerging aboriginal artists and Rotary will be a partner in this.

President Neville then closed the meeting with reference to this year’s Rotary theme of “Be the Inspiration” to do good in the world.