Posted by Frank O'BRIEN

Chair for the day - Cecily Neil.

  • Bernie & Marjorie Gerlinger – Returning after 7 weeks in Europe & UK. If you get a chance and you have pleeenty of time, ask Bernie how good the robots were during the inspection of the BMW factory!!
  • Visiting Rotarian – Richard Bowen – Former member and now RC Casterton
  • Guests – Julie Mackey (She who needs no introduction) & Det.Snr.Sgt Stewart Bailey.
  • Alan Seale – Proudly announced the formal opening of the Melbourne Men’s Shed (MMS) by the Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle. The MMS counts among its members 5 from RCCMS – Alan, Roger Thornton (Incoming President of MMS), Doug Robertson, Yanpu Zhang and Peter Duras. Alan also mentioned that last Saturday, members of the MMS conducted a BBQ outside the local Bunnings store and raised $2000. Food for thought?
  • Roger Thornton – Mentioned that following last week’s speaker presentation, 2 books  (including “Walks in Port Phillip”) were provided for viewing and borrowing by members.
  • Roy Garrett – Congratulated Greg Cuthbert on his persistence in having the fortnightly Gourmet Farmer’s Market, Goldsborough Lane, commence last Thursday (4.30 to 7.30pm) with 22 Stallholders . Patronage was excellent and regular assistance from Members was sought to ensure success.
  • Kevin Walklate – Sought member’s attention and attendance to next year’s On To Conference in Bendigo over the Labour Day weekend, March 2016. Accommodation bookings should be made via Kevin. Rooms are selling fast!
  • Pres George – Sought member support for the Rotary Club we sponsored, Rotary Docklands, which was holding the launch of the Festival of Giving 2015 on 8 September at the Library at the Dock.
Pres George also announced that a Club Forum would be held on Tuesday 29 September at which we would turn our recently drawn up plans into reality. He added that a good turn up was necessary for the future of the Club.
Job Talk
In a very timely talk, one of our recently inducted members, Elias Lebbos, commenced by saying that he and his family arrived from Syria in 1972. Elias has a twin sister and is one of 6 children. They grew up in Moonee Ponds and attended the local Primary School whose sporting colours were brown and gold. Hence Elias had no hesitation in following Hawthorn in the VFL/AFL, perhaps one of his better decisions, and concurred with by David Jones!! 
Elias took up a cadetship with Safeway after finishing school and went on to become their youngest Manager. At the same time, he was always interested in humanitarian issues and was drawn towards the Red Cross where he subsequently worked for 18 years, improving their underperforming areas. Some 2 years ago, he took up a position with Travellers Aid (TA) and shortly thereafter was appointed as CEO. Under Elias’s direction, TA is once again operating profitably.
Elias then briefly touched on the history of TA – it commenced in wartime Victoria in 1916 – its continuing activities around Southern Cross and Flinders Streets Stations in assisting people who are transitioning through Melbourne and in assisting women and children who are escaping family violence.
Director’s Report – Youth Committee
Prior to Elias’s talk, he “stood in” for Koren Harvey who was unavailable and gave a brief update on the Committee’s activities, concentrating on identifying ways to fund our commitment ($4000) to the Silk Miller Scholarship and forthcoming opportunities for youth attending the RYLA and RYPEN camps.
Guest Speakers
We were fortunate to have Natalie Anderson and Simon Gray talk to us on the topic of “How Employers can benefit from Working with the National Disability Resource Coordinator (NDRC)”. Both speakers have a history of working in the field of delivering employment assistance for people with disability and subsequently have both been with the NDRC for some years. The NDRC is part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme which is due to commence in 2018.
The NDRC programme is designed to support employers with over 100 employees to increase employment opportunities for disabled persons. According to Natalie and Simon, 1 in 5 people have a disability yet 88 % of disabilities are invisible. They illustrated this by mentioning 5 well known people – Michael J fox (Parkinson’s), Catherine Zeta Jones (Bipolar), Tom Cruise (Dyslexia), Hugo Weaving (Epilepsy) and probably the most famous, Stephen Hawking who has motor neurone disease.
The specific programme is known as Job Access. It is a free service for employers and includes a review of their recruitment service, disability training, links to the local employment service and provides tools and resources for the employer. They mentioned that some of their achievements have been particularly with the ATO and Masters. One of the keys to success, not surprisingly, is for the employer to have a “champion” in their midst, someone at the top level who is willing to develop workplace culture and make it welcoming and accommodating. Once that is achieved, there will be positive responses but it is important thereafter to continue the programme when management changes.
Natalie and Simon concluded their very interesting talk by indicating that the Job Access programme has many runs on the board in terms of assisting both employers and thus employees, disabled and not, but that at the end of the day, it was a Federal Government funded programme reviewed each 3 years and resources were slim, only 7 employees to work with 35 employees per annum. Well done.
Where’s The Joker
In the continuing saga of the Jackpot Jamboree, even in Tony Thomas’s absence, nothing changed. Roger Thornton was simply out of luck!!
President George closed the meeting.