14 May 2024
  • Next Meeting 

  • Guest Speaker - 14 May 2024

  • From the Last Meeting

  • President's Announcements

  • Drive for Life L2P Program

  • South Sudan Health Matters Fundraiser Event

  • RI President Visit

  • Invitation - Guest Speaker RIPE Stephanie Urchik

  • Gallery

Meeting Responsibilities

CHAMBERS, Campbell
FIELDEN, Malcolm
Bulletin Editor
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Our next meeting is a morning meeting online on Zoom on Tuesday, 14 May 2024 at 7.30am.
Please see the Zoom link here:
The Zoom link can also be found via the Club Calendar. If members have guests or know of attending visitors, please share this meeting invite and Zoom link with them to join the meeting.
Access to the meeting room will be available from 7:30am with the official meeting starting at 7:40am.

If you would like a more general discussion about attending a Rotary meeting, please contact the club secretary at

Puja Ganguli - Reflections of a Young Academic
Puja Ganguli is a Lecturer at Monash University. Prior to this, she has worked in a range of industries, both in Australia and abroad, starting from Food, Hospitality, Media, and Journalism and more recently, Sustainability Technology and Innovation. Her professional experience has made her an expert in working with interdisciplinary and diverse teams. 
Puja has joined the Monash Innovation Guarantee team to help create and deliver a unit that prepares young people to take on complex challenges and adopt an innovation mindset. 
Having been through the start-up founder experience herself, Puja understands the challenges that young people face in the innovation space. She is passionate about creating a strong support system, both through education and industry partnerships, to help the next generation of innovators achieve their goals and create a positive impact. 
Beyond her role at Monash University, Puja also works as an innovation and sustainability technology consultant, helping build software solutions for a range of organisations from different industries.
Posted by Rebecca John
Vice President and Chair Elias Lebbos gave the acknowledgement to Country before welcoming our guests, Professor Mezin Qumsiyeh (Guest speaker), his wife Jessie, their friend Brother Denis Loft and Mia Fornasaro our Next Generation Service Exchange participant.
After acknowledging the work of Rotary International Elias noted the following milestones:
Member’s Birthdays - May 2024
Therese Robinson, Terry Cocks OAM, Yanpu Zhang, Justine Murphy, Neville Taylor.
Partner Birthdays - May 2024
Ruth Eggelton-Ganguli (partner of Suvam), Karen Clydesdale (partner of Martin Langton)
Wedding Anniversaries - May 2024
Liz and Rhys Williams - 42 years
Years in Rotary - May 2024
Terry Cocks OAM - 37, Herb Greenwood - 37, Frank O’Brien - 37, Tom Callander - 37, Russell Rolls - 28, Kevin Love – 25, Des Benjamin – 7, Suvam Ganguli - 7, Malcolm Fielden - 6, Luke Allen – 5, Steve Turner - 2 years.
Our club 37th year anniversary was acknowledged with a cake to share at the club social dinner on 30th April at the Emerald Hotel, South Melbourne.
Guest speaker – Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh - Rotary Club Bethlehem
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh is a member of the Rotary Club of Bethlehem (RCB) since its Charter in 2014. He previously served at various Universities in USA including Tennessee, Duke and Yale and is founder and volunteer director of the Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University. He has published hundreds of articles, and several books on topics ranging from environmental impact of colonisation on environmental and climate justice; cultural heritage; human rights; biodiversity conservation and environmental health. Mazin’s presentation focused on the positive work being undertaken in environment and health while situated in an unstable region.
He noted several projects that he and RCB have been involved in ranging from formulating the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to environmental and climate justice and empowerment projects with farmers, women, and children that benefited tens of thousands of people. Other projects noted were:
  • Delivering school bags to the SOS Children’s Village.
  • Involvement with Caritas Baby Hospital.
  • Hosting a House of Hope Iftar event.
  • Support in Gaza in 2015-2016 arising from a gas shortage.
  • Providing a healthy environment for mothers and children by training 30 community health activators. These activators went on to support over 4,500 women and 1,400 children under age 5.
  • Development of a community garden in which children from refugee camps are involved; and
  • Providing water coolers to schools; and
Mazin spoke of the challenges that come with mega projects such as clean water, food production and reforestation. His club is applying for a Rotary Foundation Global Grant to support this work. The latest project is tree planting which provides hope for the local people. In closing, Mazin noted the motto at the Institute: ‘Respect for ourselves; Respect for other human beings regardless of their background or religion; Respect for nature and animals’. Following several questions, Elias and Mazin exchanged Rotary Banners. Elias thanked Professor Mazin for his presentation and also Jessie and Brother Denis for attending.
Member Announcements
  • Tom Callander thanked all members who have assisted in the sleeping bag drive and announced that members have raised $1,748 which, together with bags donated will be sufficient to distribute 87 bags between Youth Projects and St Mary’s House of Welcome. Tom also acknowledged Bunnings Port Melbourne and Collingwood for their donation of bags and offering some at discounted prices.
  • Tom reported on the appeal to donate unused mobile phones for Domestic Violence Safe Phones, which will be used to assist women and children affected by domestic violence. Tom announced that approximately 10 phones have been donated so far and to let him know if there are more, as we will continue this as an ongoing project every three months or so.
  • Rob Hines reminded us that he is still seeking items for the Changeover Dinner raffle. If anyone has items to donate, please let him know.
  • Rhys Williams reminded members that Sunday 19th May is the District Assembly and to let him know if you are attending so he can register your name. He also noted that we’ve been able to sponsor a Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) team who will represent Japan. The event will be held at University of Melbourne over Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May if anyone would like to attend a session.
In closing the meeting Elias thanked members and guests for attending and reminded us that the work we do in Rotary ‘Creates Hope In The World’.
Chair Elias Lebbos made the following announcements on behalf of President Michelle Crawford.
  • The recent Board meeting noted the ongoing fundraising by the BBQs, currently looking to be ahead of the past year’s results.
  • The value of the BBQ fundraising events is well acknowledged by the Board members and all members volunteering are thanked, with special mention of the organisers who established this activity some years ago and the current organisers. 
  • District Assembly is set for 19 May, contact Rhys Williams for information.
  • Elias announced that he will be taking the baton from Alan Seale to organise the music student exchange program. A viola student has been accepted, to be due here later this year. More later.
  • Members:
    • Rob Soros has resigned from the club.
    • Trevor Dymond’s membership has ended.
  • Elias noted, with appreciation, the firefighting capabilities of Rohan Williams working behind the scenes in many aspects of managing the smooth running of the club.
This excellent Salvos program may interest some members. It will certainly assist young people.
Several years ago, one of our members, Mawien Ariik created South Sudanese Health Matters to help with health, hygiene and education in his native South Sudanese village of Lou Ariik,  RCM recently supported South Sudanese Health Matters Inc (SSHMI) with their menstrual hygiene project that provided 1,200 school girls with access to related education and materials which has helped improve their ability to attend school. SSHMI are conducting a fundraising event to highlight the work done so far and planned in the near future. There will be plenty of entertainment as well as Eastern African-inspired cuisine. Special items will be auctioned on the night and all funds will be used to support an isolated community that is water locked due to floods during the wet season. Details are in the flyer below.
The combined Rotary Districts in Victoria are honoured to be hosting Rotary International President Gordon McInally at two different events in June.
RI President Gordon has been a strident advocate in promoting Mental Health initiatives that help communities and individuals rebuild their resilience.
We are also delighted to advise that Professor Pat McGorry AO a psychiatrist known worldwide for his development and scaling up of early intervention and youth mental health services, will be joining us to compliment RI President Gordon.
The first event is on Sunday 2 June, at the RACV in Cape Schanck, 12.00 noon for a 12.30pm start, tickets are: $95 pp (plus booking fee) incl GST for 2 course lunch, $1,200 for Rotary or Corporate Tables of 8 with naming rights.
This is an amazing opportunity to meet the RI President in person and to hear of his passion in helping our youth, individuals, and communities.  
Please book using the following link:
The second event is a Community and Leaders Breakfast on Monday 3 June at the Frankston Arts Centre with tickets costing $38 per person.  The keynote speaker will be Professor Pat McGorry AO. 
Please book using the following link:
We'd like to extend our invitation to each of your clubs to join the Rotary E-Club of Melbourne for a very special guest speaker, RI President-Elect Stephanie Urchik, who will be joining us on Wednesday 12th June at 9PM AEST.
Our meeting will be held on Zoom, with the details below, and also in the attached image.
Date & Time: Wednesday 12th June 2024 at 9PM AEST (Find Your Timezone) 
Zoom URL:
Meeting ID: 313 497 0027
Passcode: 970027
With the Rotary E-Club of Melbourne transitioning to the new E-Clubs Community Group made up of clubs across Zone 8, we especially wanted to emphasise both links to our new collaborators across the Zone, and our close and continuing friendship with the clubs of the Batman Cluster, which has been our home for many years, and with whom we look forward to continuing to serve.
Rotary E-Club of Melbourne (D9800)
Chair & A.Pres. Elias exchanging banners with Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh
RC Bethlehem banner
Jessie & Mazin Qumsiyeh with Elias Lebbos
Denis Loft & Jessie Qumsiyeh
Tom Callander - Discussing about Sleeping Bags