Speaker Date Topic
Gary Morton Sep 27, 2022 7:40 AM
Toast and Honey
Toast and Honey

One in every three mouthfuls of human food is produced by bees. A honeybee can fly for up to eight kilometres from their colony, and as fast as 20 km per hour, but it would have to fly about three times around the globe to make half a kilogram of honey. Bees are highly productive insects!

The first recorded surviving introduction of European honeybees (Apis mellifera) into Australia occurred in 1822. Since that time, honeybees have established widely throughout Australia. In 2018–19, honey and beeswax production were valued at $162 million and the little recognised value of pollination is believed to be in the order of $14.2 billion. There are approximately 25,000 registered beekeepers in Australia operating an estimated 672,000 hives. Apiarists keep bees for their environmental, economic, and of course honey contributions.

The advent of the varroa mite in Australia has brought a new dimension to beekeeping that must be met head-on.

Father of two beautiful girls, husband, farmer and beekeeper for fifteen years, Gary lives on Phillip Island. A trained environmental scientist, he got into beekeeping by doing a course that taught him to build beehives, collect swarms and maintain bee colonies.

Gary expanded his traditional Langstroth apiary in 2015 with the introduction of both hybrid and full flow hive systems. Honey collection is now a far less invasive and time-consuming process. However, bee colonies still need to be thoroughly inspected and maintained for brood health and signs of disease such as varroa mites.

As a registered beekeeper, Gary plans to expand his apiary to become a major pollinator on Phillip Island, along with running beekeeping workshops and mentoring new beekeepers.

Rhys Williams Oct 11, 2022 7:40 AM
The transformative power of tertiary education, and how Rotarians can be involved
The transformative power of tertiary education, and how Rotarians can be involved

Rhys joined Rotary Central Melbourne in September 2020.  Since joining, he has been active in the International Service, Vocational Service and Youth Service Committees. In the current Rotary year, he took on responsibility as Director of Youth Service.

In the last two years, Rhys has been a mentor in the Ambulance Victoria Leadership Mentoring Program, and he has served on the International Student Mentoring Program Steering Committee.  In June 2022, Rhys was presented with the Royce Abbey Award for “demonstrated commitment, enthusiasm and outstanding commitment to the Ideals of Rotary”.

Professionally, Rhys has had significant involvement in international education, principally with Victoria University and RMIT University, mainly delivering their courses offshore in a variety of countries. He has also had extensive experience with not-for-profit organisations internationally and domestically with a focus on education and training.

Acting Inspector Melissa Blair Oct 18, 2022 7:40 AM
Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program
Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program

The Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program was established in 2007 by Rotary Central Melbourne in partnership with Victoria Police.

Over the 15 years, the program has been restructured to include senior officers (stream 1) and senior sergeants (stream 2) and it is regarded by Victoria Police as a highly valued leadership development program.

Acting Inspector Melissa Blair is a participant in stream 2 of the program and she will talk of her work in the Victoria Police Centre of Family Violence Foundation team at the Police Academy.

Melissa’s passion in supporting women commenced very early in her career. In 2015 she was recognised for her continued contribution to women in leadership and was nominated as an Australasian Council of Women and Policing nominee in policing excellence. Melissa created the Eastern Region and the Victoria Police Academy women’s leadership program developing and promoting over 100 women.

Family violence is another passion of Melissa’s (as a survivor of family violence) where she continues to drive positive change and attitudes towards family violence as well as training and enabling police to respond effectively to family violence incidents. She recently completed a Batchelor of Arts with Professional Honours (Specialisation).

Husband Mark and Melissa have eight children, two girls and six boys aged 29 to 15 years. She has two granddaughters and two golden Labradors.

Warwick Cavell is Melissa’s Rotary mentor.