Speaker Date Topic
Snr Sgt Ben Morris Jul 16, 2024 7:40 AM
Increasing road safety awareness within the Victorian basketball community
Increasing road safety awareness within the Victorian basketball community

In 2023, Victoria tragically lost 295 lives on its roads. Alarmingly, young adults aged 16 to 24 make up a significant portion of these casualties. Despite basketball ranking among the top three sports played by Victorians in this age group, there's a noticeable absence of a road safety campaign associated with it.

I have been a member of Victoria Police for 28 years and worked across many different commands and locations. I am victim-focused and for the most part of the last 10 years, worked within the sex offences and child abuse investigations area. Now working in the Road Policing Command, the trauma aspect of road safety and the impact on community drives my enthusiasm to promote road safety messaging across the state.

I have two teenage sons, one currently learning to drive and the other a probationary driver, both of whom play basketball at association and representative level.

I am involved in my local community, driven by a passion to instil in my children the value of giving back to the community. Alongside my participation in multiple sporting committees, I took great pride in serving as the school council president for several years. I take great pleasure in collaborating closely with both local and state governments to secure grants in those areas. I founded a caravan manufacturing company in 2011, soon after extending to service and repair. The founding partners continue to run day-to-day operations in Lilydale, Victoria.

In my current capacity, I am regularly engaged with the Road Safety Partnership, which includes the Transport Accident Commission and believe I can leverage my networks, to pinpoint key road safety messaging that can be effectively disseminated across the Victorian basketball community.

Ben is participating in the 2024-25 VicPol Leadership Mentoring Program. Paul Fowler is Ben’s mentor.

Gary Goldsmith Jul 23, 2024 7:30 PM
The Rotary Regionalisation Project
The Rotary Regionalisation Project

The Rotary regionalisation project in Zone 8 including District 9800 is gradually unfolding, and the resources available to us next year will differ from those in previous years.

Central Melbourne has been designated as part of Community Group 9800-1 and Gary has been appointed by the Regional Council as lead for this group.

Gary will outline more about the Community Group, his role as Community Group Lead and how he hopes to help us and other clubs achieve our club goals.

Gary commenced practising Law in 1983. He undertook his Articles with the predecessor of Goldsmiths Lawyers and has remained with the firm ever since. Over this period, he has built a substantial level of expertise across a wide range of legal areas. Gary runs and supervises all the firm’s litigation. He has earned high repute in successfully resolving clients’ disputes and problems both commercially and personally.

Gary has extensive experience in all Courts throughout Victoria and frequently represents clients. With the assistance of the Victorian Bar of approximately 2,500 barristers, many of whom Gary has a strong professional relationship, enables consistent execution of success in achieving clients’ goals.

Outside of work hours, Gary has served on numerous community boards and committees. He has led community projects across a wide range of needs. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of Camberwell and has an ongoing membership of over 25 years.

In his spare time, he plays golf, keeps fit and enjoys overseas travel.

District Governor Michael Lapina Aug 06, 2024 7:40 AM
Unlocking the Magic: A Year of Transformation with Governor Michael
Unlocking the Magic: A Year of Transformation with Governor Michael

Dive deep into the goals for the coming year, focusing on creating an irresistible membership experience through understanding our "ikigai," healing divides within our communities and clubs, and embracing youth as the "Now". Learn about fostering trust in leadership, promoting mentorship, and playing the long game with strategic succession planning. Discover how sharing unique skills and vocations can create a sense of belonging and empowerment, ensuring a transformative and impactful year for Rotary. Don’t miss this chance to be part of the magic!

Governor of District 9800, operatic tenor Michael Lapiña began his professional career in 1988 performing in musicals, touring extensively in Australia and Asia, and being engaged with many of Australia’s leading opera houses to perform some of the most coveted tenor roles in the operatic repertoire.

His Rotary career began in 2005 joining the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne - Sunrise, a breakfast Club that suited Michael’s corporate role as an Executive Coach and Project Director at the National Australia Bank, situated across the road from where Rotary met.

Transferring his membership to the Rotary Club of Wyndham in 2018, he juggles his professional opera career with being a music tutor at the prestigious Haileybury College, as well as his Rotary commitments, which has seen him hold several district leadership roles, including assistant governor, team leader of the group vocational exchange, artistic director of several district conferences, and artistic consultant for the New Generations Service Exchange sending aspiring young opera professionals to Bayreuth, Germany annually.  Recently, he has was invited to sing at the closing ceremony of the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore.

Michael’s passion and success stems from the support of his wife, Niña, and his three adult children, Mikey, Alex and Brianna – all of whom are Rotarians.

Monique Riviere-Pendle Aug 13, 2024 7:40 AM
Presentation from Rotary Central Melbourne’s accomplished MUNA team
Presentation from Rotary Central Melbourne’s accomplished MUNA team

Monique Riviere-Pendle has worked at Casey Grammar since 2017.  She has proven herself as a lover of life-long learning. Her education includes teaching (Humanities and English) as well as a Masters in Theology, leading to her moving from classroom teaching to Chaplaincy.

Monique seeks to instil a passion for learning and for community in her students through running events such as Harmony Week and Reconciliation Week. She loves helping students connect with issues of justice, seeing how they can make a difference in the world.

Naheed Jafary is in year 12 at Casey Grammar, while Anushka Abbott is in year 11. They’ll tell us a little more about their interests, including why they were interested in, and motivated to participate in an extension activity like Rotary’s Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA).

Naheed and Anushka will describe the MUNA experience of representing Japan, preparing for and presenting at MUNA, what they learnt, and a key new perception of the UN or the world.

Monique will conclude with how MUNA fits into the mission and ethos of Casey Grammar.

Neil Cole Sep 03, 2024 7:40 AM
Trials and Tribulations – Living and Succeeding with Bipolar Mood Disorder
Trials and Tribulations – Living and Succeeding with Bipolar Mood Disorder

Former Victorian MP Neil Cole publicly revealed his bipolar mood disorder during his time in Parliament in the 1990s. He resolved to devote his post-Parliamentary years to mental health advocacy and counselling. Neil will share his experiences of bipolar disorder over several decades of his life.

Neil is living an incredibly colourful, successful and varied career so far. One might say that he is an overachiever. Starting as a lawyer in 1980, Neil helped set-up the Flemington Community Legal Service.

He was a Melbourne City Councillor, a State Member of Parliament in the 1990s and even Shadow Attorney General in the 90s.

He’s a playwright – penning and performing in his first, award-winning production, “Alive At Williamstown Pier” in 1995. His prolific writing has seen all 35 of his penned plays being produced, both here in Australia and in the US.

Neil is an academic researcher, culminating in his Associate Professorship at Monash University, working at the Alfred Psychiatric and Research Centre, which focuses on lived experience of mental illness.

Oh – and Neil has bipolar mood disorder – and has dedicated his life to speaking openly about mental health.

Tim Williams Sep 10, 2024 7:40 AM
The Life of The Working Screenwriter
The Life of The Working Screenwriter

Tim Williams takes you through the life of a working screenwriter in television – how he broke into the business, how he navigates different jobs and how he looks for new opportunities. Tim will share his experiences writing for shows such as The Heights and Spooky Files and take you into the ‘writer’s room’, talking about how shows go from the whiteboard to your TV screen.

Tim Williams is a Melbourne-based screenwriter who has written for series such as The Heights (ABC) and Spooky Files (ABC.) Tim began his career working in scripted development at Matchbox Pictures where he made contributions to series such as The Family Law (SBS), Wanted (Seven), Seven Types of Ambiguity (ABC), Mustangs F.C. (ABC) and Hungry Ghosts (SBS.)

Tim currently develops his own screen projects and works in a freelance capacity. He has worked with companies such as Fremantlemedia, Guesswork Television and Matchbox Pictures. He is also an external assessor for Screen Australia, VicScreen, Screen Queensland and Screen Tasmania. Tim is also a script tutor and lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts as part of the MA and BA Screenwriting courses.

Julia Melina OGAS GONZÁLEZ Sep 17, 2024 7:40 AM
Introducing Julia and New Generations Service Exchange
Introducing Julia and New Generations Service Exchange

I am immensely excited at the prospect of participating in a six-week music exchange program in Australia. As a dedicated musician currently pursuing studies in Germany, the opportunity to collaborate with diverse artists and immerse myself in Australia's vibrant music scene fills me with anticipation and enthusiasm.

Furthermore, I feel incredibly grateful for the chance to experience this enriching opportunity. Knowing that I have the support to embark on this journey and expand my musical horizons is truly amazing. I am eager to make the most of this experience and contribute positively to the cultural exchange between the two countries.

I look forward to sharing my music, exploring new genres, and experiencing the cultural richness of Australia. This exchange promises personal growth, creative inspiration, and invaluable connections within the global music community.

I am genuinely thrilled to explore Australia's lively music scene. I aim to connect with local musicians and share in their experiences and perspectives. Through conversations and collaborative sessions, I hope to gain a genuine understanding of what defines Australian music culture and life.

My education has primarily taken place in Germany. I completed my schooling in Spain before moving to Germany at the age of 17 to pursue music studies. In Leipzig I completed one year of pre-Bachelor and four years of Bachelor studies under the guidance of Ronen Shifron and Tatjana Masurenko. While there, I also explored contemporary music through various projects. After my Bachelor's, I continued my studies in Nürnberg with Andreas Willwohl for my Master's. Here, I've been delving deeper into viola performance and formed a quartet. Last year, I had the honour of securing first place in the Rotary Club Competition.

My professional journey began a couple of years ago, and I have yet to secure a stable position as a musician. However I have worked as a semi-freelance musician with my quartet, performing concerts across various regions in southern Germany. Additionally, I have been involved in different projects with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic Orchestra until December 2022.

Andreas Pohl Sep 24, 2024 7:30 PM
Radicalisation and Redemption - The Two Lives of F. W. Hymmen
Radicalisation and Redemption - The Two Lives of F. W. Hymmen

In 1937, the Nazi propaganda machine feted Friedrich Wilhelm Hymmen as a literary star. A decade later, he gave up writing fiction altogether as an act of self-punishment for his complicity in the crimes of the Nazi regime. Now his grandson, Melbourne writer Andreas Pohl, tries to find answers to the question of how a talented young man from an educated middle-class family was radicalised into joining the Nazi movement and whether redemption from a moral failure like this is at all possible. He will discuss what inspired him to write his book Opi - The Two Lives of My Grandfather (published by Arcadia, an imprint of Australian Scholarly Publishing) and share some key findings from his research.

Andreas Pohl is a writer, researcher and educator. Born in Germany, he migrated to Australia in the late 1980s. During the last two decades he lived for long periods of time in Vietnam working in education and foreign aid and co-authoring three Vietnamese cookbooks with his wife and chef, Tracey Lister: KOTO - A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam (2008), Vietnamese Street Food (2011), and Made in Vietnam (2017).