Posted by Anne KING
Love thy Neighbour is a chance to stay in your own locality and catch up for dinner with fellow club members who also live in your area.
The zone captain in each area will organise the restaurant and liaise regarding booking confirmations etc.
DateSaturday 1st May 
Time7 pm
LocationTo be advised by zone captain
Stay tuned for email correspondence from your respective zone captains.
Note From Ed. @David Jones - Therese belongs to "East" zone; please include her in your planning correspondence 
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR Anne KING 2021-04-16 14:00:00Z 0

NEXT MEETING Tuesday 20th April

This is a face-to-face meeting at the RACV Club.  No Zoom option is available for the meeting.

If you would like to visit our meeting, please contact us by email on or phone 0455-858-996 and request log-in details.

The meeting will commence at 7:40am and conclude no later than 8:45.

Guest speaker:

Russell Rolls:  "Regenerative agriculture – dirt can save the world."

Degradation by human beings of the capacity of the landscape to absorb carbon dioxide is the major cause of the current climate change.  We must use nature’s own remedy - by drawing down carbon from the atmosphere back into our soils. Our future is governed by how well we manage to regenerate the Earth’s soil carbon sponge.

Regenerative agriculture is the solution.

Russell is a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), has an MBA and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia.  After an initial career in the aircraft industry, he has spent the past 35 years associated with the international resources engineering industry.

Russell joined Rotary Central Melbourne in 2008.  He was a charter member of the Rotary Club of South Yarra from 1996 to 2008.

NEXT MEETING Tuesday 20th April 2021-04-02 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Mary VOICE
Our Chair for the day, Stuart Ellis opened the meeting with the toast to Rotary International.
President Therese Robinson respectfully acknowledged the Traditional Owners of these lands and welcomed our guest speaker.
Guest Speaker: Bianca Friend, Development Executive, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC)
Chair Stuart Ellis introduced Bianca, who joined AWC in December 2018 as a Development Executive.  AWC is the largest private owner of land for conservation in Australia, protecting endangered wildlife across more than 6.5 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre and the Top End.   AWC focuses on feral animal control (including via extensive fencing) and fire management. They now manage a high proportion of unique terrestrial biodiversity (species types) in many ecosystem niches.
Bianca gave a delightful presentation packed with high quality imagery illustrating the work focus of the AWC.  She noted the founder of AWC was Michael Copley, a visionary conservationist, who was particularly concerned at the extinction of many small mammals in Australia following the introduction of feral cats, foxes and wild pigs.  She pointed out that traditional national parks are struggling (for a variety of reasons) to prevent species’ decline, particularly in small mammals.  With adequate funding, AWC has been able to take a more focussed approach that involves extensive fencing, feral herbivore control, feral carnivore control and partnership fire management with indigenous communities (note it is estimated there are 2-6 million feral cats in Australia).  AWC is also undertaking special projects after the disastrous Black Summer fires in eastern and south-eastern Australia.
There were many questions for Bianca and her responses included telling us about cane toad sausages; controlling camels; their specialized fencing costing $30-$50 thousand per km; acquiring new properties in more populated images is a challenge; volunteers are very welcome.
Bianca kindly sent the following additional information after the meeting:’
 Bianca Friend, DEVELOPMENT EXECUTIVE, P: 03 9910 6918
Chair Stuart Ellis thanked Bianca for a most informative talk.
1. David Laurie gave an update report on youth projects: Silk-Miller scholarships are progressing; NYSF will go ahead this year in a hybrid format; we are looking at extending our reach via the Lighthouse Foundation and Police Legatees.
2. Rohan Williams advised of Community Service team meeting later that day.
3. Anne King advised us to keep a look-out for social activities: Love Thy Neighbour 1 May; Christmas in June, 5 June, Duras abode; and please keep searching for Garden Design Fest sponsors.
4. Gerard Hogan suggested the District Conference on-line is a good opportunity to showcase Rotary amongst friends and youth.
5. Peter Duras reminded us again of the generosity of Caprice.
Announcements by President Therese:
  1. Next meeting is a face-to-face meeting at the RACV Club.
  2. Therese invited us all to think about the coming Rotary year and how we can contribute and help create success in a new environment.
Birthdays and things: --

Nicole Lebbos, Elias’ partner 15th April
David Duncan, Sarah Overton’s partner 17th April
In handing over to Therese to close the meeting, Stuart revealed a positive message he had received about our club – praise for the work we are doing with international students.
In closing the meeting, President Therese thanked our speaker and invited us to remember the Rotary theme Rotary Opens Opportunities.
FROM THE MEETING 13th April Mary VOICE 2021-04-02 13:00:00Z 0

Guest Speaker 6th April 2021

Guest Speaker: Ms Bron Williams: 6th April 2021
Title: Unconscious Bias: Finding Your Bias Baseline
Working with asylum seekers on the Pacific island of Nauru shook Bron Williams – then a Salvation Army Minister– to the core. With an inherent belief she did not carry personal bias, the alternately confronting and rich experiences created an incredible level of awareness of the significant impact individual and corporate stories have on how we perceive the world. 
Realising her own unconscious bias, which lay latent through growing up in a largely white Australia, Bron fused the insights from Nauru with her diverse career in education and not-for-profit to build an innate capacity to see beneath the surface to the behaviours we see, accept and often rally against every day. 
Bron is determined to make bias conscious in the corporate environment, to build awareness that we are a result of our environment, and better served making those biases conscious, and developing targeted strategies to drive successful growth and change.
Guest Speaker 6th April 2021 2021-04-02 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Mary VOICE
Continuing our Pocket Positive segment at our Rotary meetings – zoom and hybrid
Posted by Mary Voice
Particularly while we are not back fully all together at the RACV for meetings, this is one of the meeting segments that helps many to participate in/contribute to the meetings, as well as to give a little positive uplift for our members. 
Remember, we look for a very short segment -- 2 minutes recommended, with a positive item of your choosing  -- a good news item, a short video clip, a recent family or community story, etc, etc.  President Therese is keen to keep it continuing.
I am seeking volunteers over coming weeks from club members who have not yet had the opportunity to contribute to this segment.
I'd love to hear from you; please let me know if you would like to participate.
Thanks all
Mary Voice; mob 0419 949 952
PS it would be nice to have a mix of male and female contributors continuing forward.

Angus Mitchell Oration 7th April

Don’t miss this in-person event, the Centenary Angus Mitchell Oration: “The COVID-19 pandemic response in Australia and the region: vaccines, medicines and masks…where to from here ?”
Date: Wednesday 7th April 2021
Time: 12.40 for 12.50pm start till 2pm prompt
Venue: 1st Floor Dining Rooms, Sofitel Hotel on Collins Melbourne
Cost: $55pp two course lunch
Enquiries to Jo Mavros
T: 03 9654 7242
Angus Mitchell Oration 7th April 2021-03-27 13:00:00Z 0


Congratulations to Sarah Overton, David and Adelaide on the safe arrival of Henry on Monday 8th March 2021. We look forward to meeting you all sometime soon.
WELCOME, BABY HENRY! 2021-03-12 13:00:00Z 0


Possibly the greatest number of volunteers for our 'DIK' working bee on Saturday.  A huge amount of mate3rial was moved, much being medical supplies that, over several years, had not been required and regretfully had to be dumped.

Also at the DIK warehouse was a large team from the Rotary Passport Club of Melbourne with their President Jenny Foster and including 2 Year 11 Nepalese students.  


The pictures can tell the story:

    Bob explaining the job to be done

    Folding and packing underway

    Ujjeshaa,  Ujjwol,  Jenil from Nepal,
    Passport Rotary Cub of Melbourne
   Men at work. The  skip was so full
mechanical assistance was required to close the door.
WORKING BEE DONATIONS IN KIND 2021-03-12 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by David JONES

For our Picnic at Cruden Farm, Past President Warwick Cavell seconded PP John Ilott to present the last of the Awards from Warwick’s 2019/20 Presidential Year.  We must acknowledge Covid 19 conditions did make a face-to-face presentation difficult for the past eight months.


Frank O’Brien was the patient recipient of the Award “In recognition of many years of outstanding service”.


Congratulations Frank.




Posted by Lady Pastidio
Kevin Love (standing in for President Therese Robinson, who was held up due to delayed train service) welcomed all attending the meeting in person and by Zoom video conference and acknowledged the traditional owners of the land.
Chair Neil Salvano also welcomed everyone and proposed a toast to Rotary International.
Kevin Love welcomed guest: 
Maika Tran - Mentee of Des Benjamin
*Breakfast of everyone in person
Partner Birthdays 
Heather Fielden, Mal’s partner 26th March
Joining Rotary Anniversary
Elias Lebbos 23rd March 2015 - 6 years
Ariik 26th March 2019 - 2 years
Martin Langton 26th March 2019 - 2 years
Rohan Williams announced a new RCM initiative: collecting clothing and toiletry bags to be distributed by St Vincent De Paul with support from Caulfield Grammar and Rotary District 9800. The club will be looking for volunteers on Monday 19th April to collect bags from Caulfield Grammar and deliver them to Rohan's or Peter Duras’ home and volunteers for delivering those bags to charity (date TBD).
Peter Duras called out for help to fill in 2 spots at a Bunnings Sausage Sizzle on 28 March (this Sunday): 2 volunteers in the morning (8:30 am to 12:00 pm) and 2 in the afternoon (12:00p pm to 4:00 pm), and one extra volunteer on Easter Monday. Please contact Peter Duras.
Gerard Hogan Tabled a notice for a D9800 Multi-District Conference from May 1st to May 2nd. For details, please contact Gerard Hogan.
Des Benjamin - introduced Maika Tran who presented to the club her experience and reflection as a mentee in the club’s pilot International Students Mentoring Program. As an Accounting and Actuarial double-degree international student from Vietnam, studying at Monash University, Maika is in her 4th year. She was first involved with Rotary in 2015 and has participated in RCM’s pilot International Students Mentoring Program.
Maika is also an intern at Mentor Match gathering feedback and survey results from program participants. Mentor Match matches international students with experienced qualified mentors, aiming to connect international students with the Victorian community; RCM successfully partnered with Mentor Match to launch the mentoring program which recently finished and consisted of 11 mentor/mentee pairs.
International Students provide $13.7B of revenue and 79,000 Victorian jobs annually.  Recently finished pilot program of 11 pairs of mentors and mentees. As mentee - Maika experienced the program firsthand, meeting with Des fortnightly, and sometimes weekly for hour-long sessions.
Des helped Maika navigate career planning, job applications, career pathways, networking with other people, how to handle conflict, and how to reframe thinking to handle "failure". He also encouraged Maika to explore her creativity which resulted in Maika signing up for Latin dance classes! These are just a few things Maika gained from her mentee experience.
Chair Neil Salvano then formally introduced Chris Wang, OAM to members. 
Chris Wang has been a member of Rotary Melbourne since 1988, serving as President in 2007-08. He was a founding member of the Australia China Business Council and is Managing Director of CWI International specialist importers, wholesalers & retailers.
Chris is also Deputy Chair and Treasurer of Give Every Child a Future which is a collaborative zone project to immunise children throughout the Pacific. Rotary Melbourne initiated the program but it has certainly gone well beyond the club in terms of 
While there have been improvements in immunisation services, the poorest and hardest to reach children are still being left behind. Diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea remain the leading killers of children under five years and high rates of life-threatening cervical cancer continue to devastate Pacific Island families. Poor health systems, limited government resources, environmental challenges, and families living in difficult to reach areas mean children are missing out on life-saving vaccines. The project aims to introduce 3 new vaccines: cervical cancer vaccine for 9-12yo girls, vaccines against pathogens that cause diarrhoea and dehydration, and against pneumonia. UNICEF is currently working with a global freight company to prioritise the shipment of these vaccines, with education and training already underway.
The Asian Development Bank announced that it would provide financing to the governments of Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu to introduce the new vaccines. Independently Rotary will fund some regional and other supporting activities in those four countries. It will also fully fund a similar program in the other five Pacific Island countries independently of Asian Development Bank.
With support from the Rotary Foundation, approval for the first 9 global grants has seen total funds raised of $1.8mil USD - Rotarians are extremely generous, but to meet goals we are seeking corporate and philanthropic organisations’ support.
Neil: Is there a role necessary for rotary clubs in those countries
Chris: yes, where there are RCs in the local community, we are asking them to support us in social mobilisation, that is educating local communities about the project and why it is necessary
President Therese  - gave updates on the latest board meeting.
1. Returning to face-to-face meetings – The club has done well in keeping connected, but this doesn’t substitute what we achieve when we meet in person. We plan to hold face-to-face meetings once a month at least until the end of June, and in between, we will have zoom meetings. Moving forward we will no longer hold hybrid meetings: it will either be zoom or face to face. Allan Driver is negotiating the contract with RACV and as a club, we will need to maintain a certain number of attendees.
2. RCM Strategic plan - We will keep monitoring how we are going, what have we done in the past 90 days and what we need to do in the next 90 days. Keeping a close eye on our expenditure, and celebrating the return of the Sausage Sizzles.
3. Next week's guest speaker is Georgie Armstrong – founder of Gretel analytics in 2018. Added details on the RCM website.
President Therese thanked Chris Wang and members for attending.
Meeting closed.
FROM THE MEETING  23rd March Lady Pastidio 2021-03-03 13:00:00Z 0


Guest speaker Tuesday, 30th March 2021

Due to the necessity to minimise our attendance at events in public spaces where possible, we are continuing our Zoom breakfast meetings until a decision is made to return to face-to-face meetings.

If you would like to visit our meeting, please contact us by email on or phone 0455-858-996 and request log-in details.

The meeting will commence at 7:40am and conclude no later than 8:45.

Georgie Armstrong: Aged Care - Engaging technology to save a sector in crisis

Georgie Armstrong is the CEO of Gretel Analytics

In late 2018 Georgie founded the organisation, and as such the company is still new to the market. Gretel Analytics uses highly accurate location and interaction data in the aged care environment to provide real time alerts and spatio-temporal analytics. Gretel is enabling people providing aged care to take better care of people in their care.

Georgie has been practising as a designer for over a decade, working across many sectors, listening to and solving problems for her clients. “User eXperience” has been a focus, with human behaviour and the human experience at the centre of her curiosity. “I have always valued being connected to my community and am driven by impact over profit,” says Georgie.

Gretel Analytics is about ensuring safety and dignity driven c

NEXT MEETING TUESDAY 30th MARCH Ignacio INCHAUSTI 2021-03-03 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony THOMAS
Rotary Central Melbourne (‘RCM’), Rotary Echuca-Moama (‘REM’) and Bearbrass Probus had a great social day at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin on  Monday  March 1.
In all 73 attended, members, partners and friends. The outing to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s property was instigated by REM’s Teresa Carlson and implemented largely by sausage sizzle maestro, Frank O’Brien and TryBooking guru Rob Hines.
It was a real experience to see the gorgeous Lemon Scented Gumtree-lined drive and the white-colonnaded “Gone with the Wind” style homestead. Around the corner by the stables, sausages and hamburgers were flipped by Frank and Peter Duras, served by Pauline O’Brien and REM’s Mike Stansbury and we lunched under gracious shade-umbrellas.
Best treat was a talk by Dame Elisabeth’s former private secretary Hennie Lanting (Teresa’s cousin) who worked for Dame Elisabeth from 2003-2012. Hennie told how the fabulously wealthy Dame Elisabeth didn’t know the price of a litre of milk or a parking slot in the city, but would spend all day answering letters that were seeking donations for all sorts of causes. Hennie, on typewriter, would take dictation for 40 or so letters onto the finest quality paper plus cheques, while Dame E. would hand address the envelopes. Sometimes Hennie would ask, “Shall we give this charity $25?” and Dame E. might reply, “Yes, that’s right. $25,000.”
Dame Elisabeth had no idea that after ten years her pay rate for secretaries was a “bit obsolete” and Hennie eventually wangled her pay rise after her boss responded, “Well what’s the going rate?”. Dame Elisabeth was such a workaholic that morning and afternoon tea was always skipped, even during Bridge days with her friends. She would typically start her day at 5.30am with a briefing of the head gardener.
The only security in past years was that doors were locked. A security light system was installed but possums kept triggering it so it was abandoned. Today there is good security on the property.
Dame Elisabeth never expressed the slightest interest in new escorts after being married for 24 years to Sir Keith Murdoch. Sir Keith, as a 40-year-old, courted the mere schoolgirl at Clyde School Woodend. He married her at 19 when he was 42. She was widowed in 1952 and took the view for the next 50+ years that Sir Keith’s charms could never be surpassed.
Sometimes Hennie would answer the phone and Rupert was on the line. Dame Elisabeth would say to Hennie “lovely dear” and retire for a long chat. The Murdoch family units would often holiday on the property, with the younger generation enjoying the family accommodation units. But, being all strong-minded and confident, when it came to decisions the family could “never agree on anything”.
Thanks again to organisers for a perfect day!
PICNIC AT CRUDEN FARM  Tony THOMAS 2021-03-03 13:00:00Z 0

Roy Garrett's Trivia Triumph

Roy Garrett won last Thursday’s Trivia Night by a good margin, beating Bearbrass’s Julie Reid into second place and dual RCM/Bearbrass member Tony Thomas placed third. A transcript of Roy’s press conference afterwards reads:
  • What preparation did you make for the quiz? – I opened a bottle of red.
  • How confident were you during the quiz that you could make first place? – Didn’t give it a thought really.
  • How did you feel when you found you were the winner? – Very low-order pleased.
  • Do you have any words of comfort or advice for your opponents? – Hey we weren’t playing with a bunch of sooks. This involved  Rotary and Bearbrass elite. They know how to lose, and come back!
  • How did the quiz improve your understanding of world affairs? – Well I never knew that Wellington is the most southerly capital city but otherwise I have been left untouched.
When the microphone was passed to Julie Reid, she said she was happy to come second given she had not done much preparation.
The quiz was coordinated by the previous winner, IT guru Cliff Stinson of Bearbrass. Despite his guru status he reported a difficult time, with the automated system Kahoot temporarily losing his complete 40 questions, and then locking him out of his own file because he wouldn’t pay $30 a month (this demand originated from his expectation the quiz might involve more than the 20 players allowed free). A wealthier Good Samaritan stepped in with his credit card and ponied up $30 to save the day.
There was some muttering that Tony Thomas’s third place was illegitimate given that he had composed half the questions to help out Cliff, and had also seen all Cliff’s answers. Tony claimed he had no recollection of the answers, otherwise he obviously would have won the quiz.
The fourth-placed winner was somewhat irregular as she had technical issues and spoke her answers aloud, so other players had to work out whether to trust her knowledge each time.
Given Tony’s dubious status in the quiz, there were only two players Roy and Julie.  It looks like future quizzes are dead ducks from lack of interest, unless lockdowns recur and members are again desperate for distraction. #
Roy Garrett's Trivia Triumph Ignacio INCHAUSTI 2021-02-11 13:00:00Z 0

Promotion for Rotary Leadership Institute (FINAL Opportunity)

District 9800 Learning and Development

The Rotary Leadership Institute Program presents a wonderful opportunity for experienced Rotarians, new members and indeed people interested in finding out more about Rotary to take some time to experience the history, traditions, the Rotary Foundation, current and new initiatives related to this great organisation we call Rotary and its relevance in the world today.

This four-part program is now available online.

Parts 1 & 2: Growing and strengthening clubs through developing a plan for the future of your club.

Looking at Rotary leadership through examining the styles and characteristics of great leaders.

Becoming a confident club president or another club leader through understanding the roles and responsibilities and characteristics of effective and happy teams.

Part 3: Focusing and increasing humanitarian service whilst learning more about The Avenues of Service and The Rotary Foundation.

Part 4: Enhancing public image and awareness of Rotary and sharing and promoting what we do

The next Rotary Leadership Institute will be conducted on the following dates:

Parts 1 and 2 on Sunday the 28th of February at 11am and will run for one and a half hours.

Part 3 on Sunday the 14th of March at 11am for one hour

Part 4 on Sunday the 21st of March at 11am for one and a half hours

To register you need to email Jane Pennington your name, club name, email address and postal address. There is a limit of 25 people for each program.

Editor's Note: IMPORTANT - Parts 1 & 2 will be conducted this Sunday 28th February. IF any vacancies are available, and IF Jane Pennington can accommodate you, please contact her on the email address provided. This is no guarantee - your editor is simply trying to maximise this opportunity.

Promotion for Rotary Leadership Institute (FINAL Opportunity) Ignacio INCHAUSTI 2021-01-29 13:00:00Z 0

Docklands Probus Team Greets Antarctic

By Tony Thomas

A party of eight from Melbourne-based Bearbrass Probus saw in the New Year in spectacular fashion. They downed champagne as their Boeing 787 Dreamliner circled the smoking Mt Erebus crater in the Antarctic, brilliantly lit by the midnight sun.

The party was organised and led by retired IT executive Mike “Spike” Sparkes. Three other members of the one-year-old Bearbrass club booked in, plus two spouses and two friends. Despite the formidable expense of the Melbourne round trip from 5.30pm to 7.30am, they all say it was worth it. “We got four hours of low-level cruising along the iceberg-studded coast and into inland mountain ranges and white wilderness,” Spike says.

The Dreamliner, piloted by veteran Qantas pilot Lisa Norman, operated almost like a light plane, following paths of massive glaciers and traversing valleys and mountain ranges in the vastness of the continent – twice the size of Australia.

Says Bearbrass secretary Sue Hoyle: “As we circled the Erebus volcano, I was overawed by its size and beauty. It was completely covered in ice, yet pouring out steam and CO2.”

“The naked valleys of bare rocks were a landform standing out black and brown amid the whiteness. Those valleys have no ice or snow yet are surrounded by ice. The sea ice also comes in an amazing range of formations, each with its specific name and beauty.

“We actually flew over a very small part of the immense mass. I have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by early explorers and the Australians now working at the research stations.”

“Spike” Sparkes is himself a light-plane pilot and studied the Dreamliner’s elaborate flight plan. He says, “I tried to join a summer expedition as a kid finishing uni but they only wanted experienced scientists or builders, drivers and tradies. No room for freshman engineers!”

“Twenty years later, a friend joined a small group on a chartered sailing boat from Tierra del Fuego but I was too late to get a bed. So the New Year’s flight for me fulfilled my lifetime goal.”

Bearbrass, now with 60 members, welcomes inquiries to or website

“Bearbrass” was an early suggested name for Melbourne.

Docklands Probus Team Greets Antarctic Ignacio INCHAUSTI 2021-01-29 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Anne KING

Garden DesignFest is back in 2021.

The event will take place over two weekends in November

This is a major fundraising event for our club and calls on many of members to volunteer.

Closer to November details of our involvement will be decided, in conjunction with our fellow clubs. 

For more information please use this link:

Our contacts are Roger Thornton and Anne King.

Garden DesignFest 2021 - A Rotary event showcasing the work of professional garden designers.

Managed by the Rotary Clubs of Kew, Brighton North and Central Melbourne.

GARDEN DESIGNFEST 2021 Anne KING 2021-01-23 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Frank O'BRIEN
Hi Everyone
What a great day at Collingwood.......after the heatwave of 20 December 2019
With terrific support from Bunnings customers, we were able to take in $1312.70 plus a fantastic $239.65 in donations for Bushfire Relief (about 90% more than normal). After allowing for $230.70 in costs, $1321.65 will go to the Bairnsdale Rotary Club Bushfire Appeal.Thank you so much to you “diehards” for all your efforts, a really great team effort throughout the day. That means that between Peter’s Port Melbourne SS on 3 January and our Collingwood SS today, almost $ 2800 will go towards East Gippsland Fire Relief from our Club.
BBQ FUND RAISING SUCCESS Frank O'BRIEN 2020-01-05 13:00:00Z 0


Messages from District Governor Grant Hocking.
Over the past week, as the situation develops, D G Grant has issued two messages, via Facebook, for our clubs. Below are extracts from latest statement dated 7th Jan.
To read Grant's full statements please click on 'Read More' at the foot of this item.
7th January
Bushfire update No 2 - extracts:
"Our district Bushfire Response committee met yesterday and again tonight to establish the district response to the Bushfire crisis. Donation details below.

As mentioned previously the emergency phase is still in operation with lots of supporting agencies in place. Experience has shown us that Rotary efforts are best focused in the Recovery phase.

For those clubs that have asked already and those that will want to support our District efforts I can let you know that our District Disaster account is available to receive donations from clubs and individuals where a tax deduction is not required.

We have established an account with Bendigo Bank for receipt of funds where a tax deduction is required which will suit some individuals or businesses. Unlike other funds Bendigo Bank has waived all fees. Details will be published tomorrow.

In the immediate response arena we have definite knowledge that the following items are required. It would be great If you can support them.
  • Fodder donations and offers of agistment: Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), 1300 882 833 or
  • Food donations - contact Food Bank
  • Offers of free Accommodation; Find a Bed on 02 7202 6588
The committee is working on several projects to support communities and fundraising efforts. I know that Rotarians will rise to the challenge.
Thanks for your support so far.
We will make a difference.
DG Grant"
For full copies of DG Grant's statements please click on   Read More     -->   
DISTRICT 9800  BUSHFIRE ACTION 2020-01-05 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Roger THORNTON

The Christmas meeting:


Our specially selected choir,  Tom, Peter, Stuart and Kevin ably led by Gerard


Sixty-one members and family enjoying the festivities


Behind the scenes......Nev II and Alison assisted by two of Alison's neighbours 


Youngest family member attending was Nathanael ['Nate'] Soros, with help from his father Rob. 

Representatives of the recipients, Ann Mitchell from Steps Outreach [left] at her 18th annual meeting and  Andi Jones [right] from Lentara at her second annual meeting with Rohan and Alison


Leonie helping marshall the red bags.

Quiz person Mary with Chair for the day Herb.


Casual Santa Brett, with his elves Gerard and Therese.

GALLERY Roger THORNTON 2019-12-28 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony THOMAS
Our club is sponsoring and launching Melbourne Bearbrass Probus at the Dock Library, Docklands, at 10am on Wednesday February 12.
It’s the first Probus Club launched within District 9800 for four years, and the first new Probus Club for inner-Melbourne since RCM launched Melbourne Sunrise Probus in 2011. That club is now full with about 120 members.
We’ll shortly provide our members who live in city towers with flyers for the launch, in the hope they can arrange to get the flyers onto their tower noticeboard. Meanwhile could every member please pass the news about the new club to any active senior or retiree who may want to join?  [Not restricted to Docklands dwellers]
Please help spread the news to prospective seniors. Inquiries:
President Warwick and Tony Thomas will brief members on the Bearbrass project at our January 21 meeting. (In case you’re wondering, “Bearbrass” was a suggested name for the settlement that became “Melbourne”. There’s also a Bearbrass Restaurant in Southbank).
The venture is enthusiastically backed by Probus headquarters in Sydney, which coordinates more than 1500 Australasian clubs and 125,000 members.
Probus Headquarters is paying for display ads in local city newspapers, and providing other marketing. Robert Renshaw of District 9810 is giving us his substantial expertise and will manage the launch meeting. Robert has launched eight Probus clubs in the past three years and currently is helping five potential Probus Clubs get started.
Probus Clubs are for active retirees who want to extend their friendship networks and enjoy stimulating monthly speakers. Interest groups include dining, theatre, films, arts, sports, books, walks, and local and overseas expeditions.
More  - please click on Read More -->
RCM LAUNCHES NEW PROBUS CLUB  Tony THOMAS 2019-12-28 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Neville JOHN
"Three of us attended the Docklands Community Christmas event at Library At The Dock last night. It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with residents and other community organisations so we will be busy following up people who want to talk to us.
Cheers Nev1"


Posted by Peter DURAS
Sustainable fund raising activity -
Help to lighten the load on the regulars, become a Sausage Team Member.
If you have not yet volunteered for this highly successful fund raising activity you are especially welcome to get your name on the list.  
Two locations, to suit your domicile:
 Port Melbourne[call Peter Duras]
Collingwood, [call Frank O'Brien].
Peter's machine on advertising duty in the car park
"Not our smoke Sir" - false alarm in Bunnings brought 2 red machines
BBQ SAUSAGE SEASON Peter DURAS 2019-12-05 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Neville JOHN

Thirty members, partners and friends of Rotary Central Melbourne and the Docklands Branch enjoyed a social afternoon the home of Rebecca and Neville John.

The weather was wonderful, particularly given the forecast was not looking good, which made for a wonderful opportunity to catch up in a social setting, chatting about life, each other and of course a little about Rotary. Peter Duras even allowed us to share his birthday so we couldn’t let the occasion pass with a little reminder of cake and the happy birthday song.

DOCKLANDS BRANCH - JOINT BBQ REPORT Neville JOHN 2019-12-03 13:00:00Z 0


Rotary Club of Central Melbourne-Sunrise had a lot to do with six youngsters from Botswana and Malawi who came to Melbourne for the Global AIDS conference in July. All six, aged 16-21, acquired AIDS at birth.
Member Alan Seale took three to the zoo, and afterwards asked them what they liked best. One replied, “The kangaroos were nice but I liked your car best.”
Alan: “Why?”
Youngster: “Because it’s clean and there are no (he groped for the English word ‘insects’ but couldn’t recall it) beetles in it.”
Alan also took them to Healesville Sanctuary where they admired the open-for-viewing animal hospital there. “It’s a much better hospital than we have,” a youngster remarked.
Member George Mackey visited the group at the “Global Village” of about 100 AIDS display stalls at the Convention Centre. While there, he asked one lad, “What do you want to do in your life?” expecting to learn about their career goals.
The lad replied, “I want to live till I’m 40.” The lad then looked at George appraisingly and added, “Maybe older.”  George, who’s nearing 64, felt the lad was thinking, “But not as old as you, thanks!”
The club hosted the lads on request from Ed Pettitt, from Houston Skyline Rotary Club, Texas. Ed coordinates AIDS projects in Botswana. His club sponsored Global Scholar Michelle Heard to Melbourne, and RCCMS is hosting Michelle here.  Ed was our guest speaker two weeks ago.
WISDOM FROM YOUNG AFRICANS 2014-07-31 00:00:00Z 0


The Grand Garrett Gourmet Gastrofest was attended by Greg & Chantelle Cuthbert, Rob & Tess Hines, John & Raylee Ilott, Frank & Pauline O’Brien, Roger & Pippa Thornton. 
Hosts were Roy & Annie. 
The theme was Asian Fusion & Annie cooked up a storm!  Gravelax with green mango salad, beef fillet with sweet potato and  minted green vegetables,  black sticky rice with mango and ice cream.  The conversation flowed at high volume.  Much laughter, good wine (but some, like the host, getting on a bit).  A sufficient amount of Rotary business was done but not to excess. 
A total of $1,200 was donated for our Laos school projects.   It’s nice to raise money for a good cause in such a totally enjoyable way!


George wishes to publicly thank the members who responded to the call for help with visitors from Botswana, in Melbourne for the World AIDS Conference.  
The visiting group comprised six young people, each with HIV AIDS, and Ed Pettitt, who was our guest speaker last Tuesday.
Neville and Suzette Taylor and George and Julie Mackey offered accommodation and a team of Alan Seale, Doug Robertson.Richard Stone, Tony Thomas and David Jones made up the RCCMS Transport Corps, on standby for help around the city and of course a compulsory trip to Healesville.
Alongside the thanks from George it is appropriate for the club to give an even larger thank-you to George and Julie. The organisation and contact with the group pre conference, all undertaken by George, was 'not inconsiderable' and when coupled with visitors' missing connections, one leader not being able to make the trip [ = a further three young people in the equation], a visitor's mobile phone not working and one young person 'lost' in Melbourne you will gain an idea of how George and Julie spent last weekend. Basil Fawlty comes to mind.  Great to see you smiling and your usual unfazed self last Tuesday George. 
RCCMS TRANSPORT CORPS 2014-07-24 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Roger Thornton
Iftar Dinner in conjunction with the Australian Intercultural Society (AIS).
Instead of our regular Tuesday breakfast meeting, nearly 30 RCCMS members joined about 60 guests at 5:45pm to partake of Iftar, the breaking of the Muslim daily fast during Ramadan, in the office of the Australian Intercultural Society (AIS).
Guests included dignitaries, such as Dr Peter Hollingsworth, former Governor General of Australia, Kerem Birinci and Selahattin Tumer, from the Turkish Consulate, and Frank McGuire, State Member of Parliament for Broadmeadows.  Rotary was represented by D9800 District Governor, Dr Murray Verso and President Roy Garrett, while AIS was represented by Ahmet Polat, its Executive Director.
Andrew Crisp, Assistant Commissioner of Police for Northwest Metropolitan Region, was the MC for a very tightly timed and busy evening’s program, designed both to educate attendees about Ramadan and to share in a celebratory meal.
Guests started arriving at 4:45pm, sufficient time to enjoy some pre dinner fellowship. Andrew invited Roy Garrett and then Ahmet Polat to welcome their guests.  President Roy said this was a breakthrough evening for RCCMS, an essentially monocultural club but one that recognises the need to diversify its membership and better appreciate other cultures.  Ahmet Polat said that AIS has been arranging Iftars, both large and small, for the past 15 years with the aim of increasing community understanding, strengthening social cohesion and contributing to a better society.
At 5:25pm Andrew stated that in mosques around the world the call to the early evening prayer signals the end of the fast and the beginning of the Iftar dinner.  He called on Ali Gurdag, Sergeant at Melbourne East Police Station, to make the Arabic call to prayer or azan.  After the prayer dinner commenced with the traditional dates and water followed by a delicious Turkish meal, including a lamb stew hünkar beĝendi (“the Sultan’s delight”).
After dinner Mustafa Kadioglu, who teaches Religion and Values at Sirius College, recited from the Holy Quran, Chapter 55: Ar-Rahman, Verses 1-25, whilst a translation was projected onto a screen.
The first speaker of the evening was Omer Atilla Ergi, the General Coordinator of the Serenity Islamic Research Academy, whose topic was the significance of Ramadan.  He said that Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar when all Muslims, above the age of puberty, fast from sun up to sun down.  Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and an obligatory act of worship.  He explained there are three aspects to fasting: physical, spiritual and social.  Fasting is good physically because it leads to detoxification and spiritually because it curbs carnal desire and allows the worshipper to focus on spiritual matters.  Its social importance is that it leads to the tradition, initiated by Abraham, of sharing food which helps to build bridges and develop strong friendships.
Guests were then entertained with a performance by a whirling dervish.  His dance is an act of meditation done by Sufi Muslims.  By revolving from right to left around the heart the dancer, or semazen, embraces all humanity with love.  He was accompanied on the lute by Zakir Yildirim, President of the Istanbul Arts and Culture Centre, and Burak Kula on the guitar.
The second keynote speaker for the evening was Murray Verso, who gave a succinct explanation of Rotary, its origins, history, philosophy and major projects.  He said that right from the beginning Paul Harris identified friendship as the motive power of Rotary.  Murray explained that the Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service, based on four principles: development of friendships, high ethics, advancement of international understanding and service above self.
As a sign of appreciation, speakers and organisers of the evening’s event were then presented with gifts, because Prophet Muhammad once said “he who does not thank people does not thank God”.
Following the presentation of gifts Frank McGuire spoke and said that his electorate of Broadmeadows has the highest Muslim and Turkish population of any electorate in Victoria.  He recalled the words of Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Attatürk who in 1934 wrote a tribute to the Anzacs who died at Gallipoli and said “there is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now”.  Frank said the Johnnies and Mehmets live side by side in Broadmeadows today.
A vote of thanks was presented by Teresa de Fazio, Commissioner at the Victorian Multicultural Commission, who continued the theme of friendship and building bridges.  She thanked the speakers and said their talks provided a lens through which we could see how powerful such fellowship can be.
Concluding remarks were provided by Ergun Kirmaci, AIS President, before the meeting ended at 7:40pm.
NO 'IF' ABOUT IT - IFTAR MEETING A GREAT SUCCESS Roger Thornton 2014-07-18 00:00:00Z 0


A Message from District Governor.
We would like to let you know that the World Health Organisation has just declared the situation with the fight against polio an international public health emergency.  This reflects the dramatic increase in the number of cases of polio in the first quarter of 2014, compared to Q1 of 2013, particularly in Pakistan (up from 6 to 54 YTD). 
We hope and expect that the declaration of the international public health emergency will see the application of additional resources to the vaccination programs in these areas.  The situation underscores the importance of Rotary continuing our fundraising efforts and our advocacy.  Rotary has 1.2 million voices and it would make a real difference if members in your club were to continue to use their influence in your community and highlight this new and dangerous situation.


Registration for the 2015 District 9800 Conference is now open.  The conference will be held in Hobart, Tasmania at the Wrest Point Casino and Hotel.
Accommodation at discount rates is available, but in short supply.
Groups Tasmania has prepared pre and post Conference tours so that you may enjoy the company of other Rotarians before and after the conference. A great way to meet other like minded people from neighbouring Rotary Clubs and a wonderful opportunity to create some friendships that may blossom not only for your stay in Hobart, but continuing on when you return to Melbourne.
Day tours are also available for you and your partner.  Several surprise activities are planned and will be announced in future Conference Newsletters.
To book now please click HERE. 
DISTRICT CONFERENCE, MARCH 2015 2014-07-17 00:00:00Z 0
IFTAR DINNER - Photos 2014-07-16 00:00:00Z 0


Members were deeply saddened by the sudden passing of John this week.
John has been an active and valued member of our club since his induction in April 2013. He quickly became in involved in club activities, known for his incisive questioning of guest speakers and his enquiring mind. He will be much missed.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Cathy and family.
John's funeral will be held at the Jewish Memorial Gardens at the Springvale Botanical Cemetery on Sunday, 6th July at 1.30pm.  No flowers by request.
PASSING OF MEMBER JOHN PRICE 2014-07-04 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony THOMAS
Welcome to Palermo but don't mention the M.fia!
We, being laden-down and confused tourists, arrived at Palermo Central Station on a quiet Thursday evening. We found the taxi rank and a helpful concierge there directed us to a taxi in the middle, a small surprise. We showed our apartment address and the driver got under way while chatting on his mobile. The route seemed very circuitous and the bill came to 17 Euro. Giving the driver the benefit of the doubt, I tipped him one Euro. We found next day that the direct route was a mere 3km, in fact we walked it later. The taxi concierge had directed us to his pal as specially plump victims. The driver also turbocharged his meter.
It's small-scale stuff but part of the culture here: ‘if it's a tourist, fleece it’. On the grand scale, the local mafia has dominated the place for a century, except for a bloody interlude in the 1980s when intruders from Corleone killed 1000 city rivals.
The mafia's hey-day was 1950-80, when it literally ran the place, selling parklands, school sites, clinics etc to builders of shoddy apartments. There was the sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410AD and locals here refer to the mafia's  'sack of Palermo'.
Mussolini saw the mafiosi as rivals and imprisoned hordes of them. The arrestees persuaded the invading Americans that they were the cruelly-treated anti-Fascist resistance, and were rewarded with government posts and mayordoms.
Lately, the Mafia has been tapping funding from the European Commission. Robbing ratepayers is naughty but who is the victim if a few billion Euros of EC and World Bank funding vaguely dissolves in half-assed Palermo projects? The Italian Foreign Ministry estimated this year that total Italian mafia turnover is Euro 200bn p.a. compared with the EU budget of Euro 140bn. I have an image of the Mafia as Danae, naked and with legs akimbo, being impregnated with showers of gold from the EC, playing Zeus.
LETTER FROM PALERMO Tony THOMAS 2014-06-28 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony THOMAS
Yesterday I was returning to our nice flat in a very run-down part of Naples near Garibaldi Square, after half a day at the Naples National Archaeology Museum. I decided to detour to Montesanto on the subway line, because my map showed some nice palaces there. This detour was a damp squid because the palaces had disappeared centuries ago, although the names stayed there.
I eventually got to the right platform on Montesanto for the trip home, packed with waiting commuters as it was about 5pm and the subway trains are not at all frequent, e.g. every 20 minutes. The platforms both sides were in clean condition, but unusually, youths were using my platform edge as seating, dangling their legs above the tracks. After a while one of them, about 18-20 with red hair, pale skin, a New York University sweater and baggy pants, got up and joined two mates. One was thin but very tall, the other swarthy and clad in pseudo camouflage top.
They were all only a metre or two from me. The redhead was clutching some tubes, about half the size of a runner's baton. One tube was giving him trouble and he was trying to do something with the lid. I noticed a wad of cotton fall to the platform and he put it back in the tube (I had initially thought there was something edible in the tubes).
I was standing against the light green perspex/glassy wall of the station. There were dozens of others alongside me, some standing and others filling seats against the wall. Still struggling with the cap, the redhead moved to a rubbish bin 50cms from me and ground the top of the tube against it. He looked pleased when something blue came out of the tube onto the rail of the bin. He took two steps towards the wall, between the bin and the first row of seated men and women commuters.  This was a wall gap of only a metre.
With practised movements, he waved his arm at the wall (I couldn't quite see what he was doing), stepped back, admired the wall, and took a few steps left to rejoin his two friends.  They all seemed quite merry and animated.
Someone moved and I could see the wall. On it now -- it was previously pristine for the whole length of the platform -- was one of those mindless 'tags', the scribbled letters P, W and C, in a squiggly pattern about half a metre square.
I now saw that at least two of the three youths were carrying handfuls of these tubes, king-sized textas. The swarthy youth had a red, blue and empty tube, and the redhead had his own bunch. They were making no attempt to conceal them. I wondered what function these tubes had, other than for graffitists.
I looked at the commuters to see how they were reacting to the wall being defaced at peak-hour right next to them. They would all be fully aware of what had happened but they studiously minded their own business, and acted as though the trio of graffitists was invisible. Surely, I thought, some of those studying their smartphone's would tap out an alert to the station police? Obviously this wasn't happening.
The trio were clearly on their graffiti mission. I'd say they'd been active for an hour or two.
At that moment the train arrived and those still sitting on the platform edge pulled their legs up.
I found myself sandwiched among the three youths as we boarded. Thankfully they moved down-carriage a bit. From there they kept up a loud banter. I tried unsuccessfully to work out from their talk if they were native Napoli citizens or some outsider group. I did make out some variant on 'chi uccede' - croaker, killer, zaps or some other unpleasant jargon. 
When I stood up to get out at Central Station, once again I was sandwiched among the trio. They ignored me and formed a knot in the crowds heading for the stairs.
Even now, at Naples main train station, they flourished their graffiti tools of trade in their hands. They moved purposefully, I guessed to some other line where they would continue their evening's fun. Whatever police or officialdom was present, the trio obviously had no fear of them.
I wonder about it all. They did not seem particularly tough or threatening. That's not to say the other train-goers weren't intimidated by them: who knows what else besides giant textas they were armed with? Or were train-goers utterly indifferent to vandalism on their subway, in broad daylight among crowds?
Melbourne has its train graffiti vandals too, painting their horrid tags on platforms and carriages and rigorously scratching train windows into an opaque mess. I recall a case a year or two ago where three were caught and prosecuted -- they had come from Adelaide on a spree and in a week or two, had vandalised hundreds of places on our train system. They had operated late at night.
Let's hope Melbourne never gets to the pass where graffiti vandals do their work openly.
GRAFFITI FROM NAPLES Tony THOMAS 2014-06-22 00:00:00Z 0


Saturday morning,14 June 2014, saw 8 members from our Club make up half of a hard working contingent of Rotarians who collected and loaded 28 beds from a disused wing of the hospital into a 40 foot container. Those attending were Pres Doug, PE Roy, Bernie Gerlinger, Rob Hines, Bruce Heron, Russell Rolls, John Price and Frank O’Brien plus other Rotarians including former member Peter Lake, now with RC of Melbourne, and two who had travelled from Rochester. Two hours later and job done... followed by a well earned coffee break.

MANY HANDS MAKE [DIK] LIGHT WORK Frank O'BRIEN 2014-06-17 00:00:00Z 0


Last Saturday a team of  eight volunteers from our club, organised by Frank O'Brien, helped the Donations In Kind ['DIK'] scheme to take delivery of 28 hospital beds from The Alfred Hospital.  These beds will be added to others and  a full container will be shipped to the Philippines within a week.  
Our team of volunteers. Thanks guys.
      Definitely men's work Frank.
DONATIONS IN KIND - WORKING BEE 2014-06-15 00:00:00Z 0


Posted by Doug ROBERTSON
Nine members and partners from our club joined 18,000 rotarians from over 150 countries in attending the 105th  Rotary International Convention in Sydney.
The convention was officially opened on Sunday 1st June, closing Wednesday 4th at Olympic Park, Homebush.  Those attending did not have an issue in travelling out to Homebush.  Courtesy of the NSW Government participants were able to use their Convention badges to obtain free use of Sydney’s public transport system; indeed express trains from Central Station to  Homebush took only 20 minutes.  
On the Saturday evening prior to the opening, our Club hosted 6 members and partners from our sister club RC Osaka Midosuji-Hommachi, Japan.  We took them on a dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour, enjoying the annual  Vivid Sydney light festival as a bonus. We have been thanked by RC Osaka Midosuji-Hommachi for our hospitality and invited to join them as they celebrate their first anniversary as a combined club on 11th December.  Airfares at the moment to Osaka are extremely cheap!
The opening plenary session of the convention included a welcome from the Premier of NSW and a welcome address  from the Prime Minister, during which he advised that the Government will contribute $100,000,000 towards the End Polio Now Campaign.  This quite caught attendees by surprise.  Entertainment included a full concert by Human Nature followed by official speeches and presentation of flags from the 191 countries in which Rotary is represented.  All in all a very impressive and enjoyable opening to the convention.
Days 2, 3 and 4 all commenced with plenary sessions followed by breakout sessions.  The speakers from around the world were outstanding, inspiring and motivating. 
We should all be proud of the story of Professor Martin Silink AM Past President of the International Diabetes Federation located in Brussels and a member of the RC of Lane Cove NSW.  He related the story of how, with the support of the Rotary International Ambassador to the United Nations, he was able to lead the IDF to persuade the United Nations, against great inertia in the developed world,  to pass a resolution recognising type 2 diabetes as an epidemic to be addressed. 
Some of the other speakers included Mwila Chigaga, a Senior Regional Gender Specialist with the International Labour Organisation taking on the might of those in power on the African continent who do not see equality of woman as a priority.  Ade Adepitan MBE now a broadcaster and Paralympics medallist told the story of his survival as a child born in Nigeria, contracting polio at 18 months of age but sent to England where he was educated against the odds and became a paralympian.  At the Sydney Paralympics in 2000 he played basketball in the Allphones arena from where he was now addressing the plenary session.  One of his great achievements may have been leading a march, with none of the participants actually able to march, of polio sufferers from Nigeria on the palace of the President.  They demanded better treatment and for something to be done about vaccination.  As a broadcaster he was able to muster the presence of the media. Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General of the World Health Organisation spoke of the developments in polio eradication. In particular it seemed pertinent when he reported that for the first 5 months of the year only 3 cases of polio had been reported in Nigeria.  One could sense from his presentation that the strategies now being utilised and the tenaciousness with which they are being applied polio eradication from the world is ever so much closer.
Members from our club split up and attended different break-out sessions, all providing challenges, opportunities and inspiration.
Finally the closing plenary not only included the official matters but entertainment provided by Marina Prior and the Ten Tenors. 
Next year’s Convention is in Sao Paulo.  Is anyone planning a South American Holiday?
You never know who you might meet at a convention. President Doug, whilst queuing for lunch, turned to say hello to fellow Rotarians only to meet a member from the Kynton Rotary Club that he had not seen for 27 years. The previous time was a graduation dinner following completion of their MBA studies. 
An even more unlikely chance for acquaintance occurred on the opening day. Alan Seale was waiting for President Doug to emerge from the queue at the BBQ lunch when he was “accosted” by a young lady and her husband from the RC Esk Valley near Edinburgh in Scotland mentioning that her maiden name was Seale.  By the time President Doug joined the conversation, it was clear they had some common ancestry.  She then proceeded to take out her phone and bring up the family tree complete with photos.  They were able to identify some relatives and then Alan exclaimed: “That is my Grandfather and I have the original photo framed on the wall at home” and almost in the same breath, with his finger jabbing at the phone: “That’s my Father!”.
Spot the family likeness?  [Blue tops].
Our convention goers and Japanese sister club members.      


  • Do you [or spouse] have little free time between 17 July and 25 July 2014? 
  • Are you up for a little driving (a day or half day) around our beautiful city in support of a visiting Rotarian from Houston?
  • Would you like to contribute to the hospitality being offered to three young people visiting the 20th International Aids Conference being held in Melbourne?
If so, then please read on…..
The 20th International Aids Conference ( is being held in Melbourne from 20th to 25th July 2014. We’ve had a request for support from RC Houston Skyline, to help between 17th and 25th July 2014. This is Michelle Heard’s sponsoring RC - Michelle is the Global Peace Scholar we are currently hosting.   There are three young people from Botswana involved, and we’ve been asked if we could provide hoc transport and logistics support around the city.
If we can supply names to populate a roster for a day/half day each that would be good.
Who’s up for this one?  
Please contact George Mackey, asap.   
MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK George MACKEY 2014-05-31 00:00:00Z 0

RI Convention 2015 São Paulo

While preparing for the RI Convention 2014 in Sydney you might also want to think about the 2015 convention and register for São Paulo!

If you are going to Sydney then look for the 2015 Convention Promotion Booth at the Billabong House of Friendship, Sydney Showground, The Dome and Exhibition Halls or join the “On to São Paulo” luncheon, Wednesday 4 June at 12:30pm Sydney Showground, Exhibition Hall 6. Check for ticket availability at the RI Ticket Sales Booth in Exhibition Hall 5

Otherwise register via your ‘My Rotary account’ at

RI Convention 2015 São Paulo D Robertson 2014-05-25 00:00:00Z 0

Fabulous Fire Evening at East Melbourne

A dozen members gathered at Stuart Ellis’ Emergency Services office in East Melbourne last Monday 12/5/14 before their trip to the nearby No 1 Metropolitan Fire Brigade Station to see how our fire protection service works. Stuart had thoughtfully laid out a table full of marginally alcoholic beverages.
He explained that fire trucks worked to a 7.7 minute response time, which is about the time it takes for a kitchen fire to spread to the next room.  (Ambulances have a 15-minute response time). The city towers are well engineered against fires but the risk remains for homes. His office looks at fire issues on a national basis, including aerial assets and federal state coordination.
The MFB have been doing emergency medical work for ten years as they are often on the scene before an ambulance, as ambulances are often busy with routine patient transfers.
We learnt a lot about how the fire service operates and is administered, and any notions we had that fireys spent a lot of time in their bunks were dispelled.
At the station itself we watched the shift changeover with briefings and task allocation for the 6pm shift. There were about seven 10-20 tonne trucks ready to roll with a 90 second response time, usually with a second truck from another station routed in in case traffic snarls delayed one truck.  About 80% of calls are false alarms.
Fire trucks are increasingly automated for fire reactions, the officer was explaining, when a few minutes later an alarm call came in. With quiet efficiency, a truck filled up with firemen, stepping into boots and fire-suits and red braces. Our president Doug, carried away, slid dramatically down the traditional fireys' pole.
We had explained to us the judgement needed by drivers rushing to a fire – they can run red lights but woe betide them if they cause an accident. Fireys are also subject to worksafe rules. They are not allowed on top of trucks because it is higher than 2m, and a remote-controlled water cannon is used instead.
In most house fires fireys have to get on the roof to lift tiles and get access and this is another issue of worksafe practices. House fires are always potentially dangerous because you never know what a person has stored in his shed, for example, such as explosive chemicals. Drug cookers also cause a lot of fires.
We were excited to get inside the huge communications bus, and talk to its driver Frances, a diminutive female driver. The truck goes to large fires as a management centre and can expand to double its normal width as a conference centre. It is too high at 4.3m to go under various city bridges. Top officials in the bus run logistics such as meals and coordination.
The station gets 3600 calls a year – equal to 10 per shift. Australia is among the highest performers in the world in terms of containing fires to their point of origin, but good detection systems also create a high false-alarm rate.
As we were being briefed, there was an alarm callout of the big HQ bus to a chemical fire at Coolaroo, and it moved out smoothly festooned with alarm lights and warnings. Then we were shown equipment and procedures for heart attacks.
The service gets 10,000 calls a year for medical responses and the survival rate of patients  is very high.
We were finally shown around the “Brontosaurus” – the biggest truck, 24 tonnes, with ladders able to reach 12 floors high or 37m, and also capable of traversing 15m below ground level.
We all gave big thanks to the station and Stuart for such a great briefing, and wasted the rest of the evening drinking Merlot and eating gourmet pizzas etc at Duca restaurant on Wellington Parade. #
Fabulous Fire Evening at East Melbourne THO 2014-05-16 00:00:00Z 0


Bank boffin b----s off.
Veteran club member Frank O’Brien 69, finally bit the bullet and retired from Bendigo Bank in January.  He had been manager of trustee services there for 17 years and before then with National Australia Bank Trustees, which he helped set up in the early 1990s.
Frank says his main activity now is a ‘property developer’. He’s rebuilding a holiday place at Pt. Fairy and just completed a major renovation at his daughter and son-in-law’s place at North Balwyn. He plans a similar big renovation of his and Pauline’s own home later this year. Herb Greenwood is assisting with architectural flourishes.
Frank also continues his interest in share investments. He manages the charitable trust at his local church St Bede’s in North Balwyn, which despite its conservative bent, managed a 20% return in the strong market last year. Personally, his favourite stock has been ANZ which he has ridden up from under $3 in 1987 to about $33 today, plus dividends en route.
He keeps fit(ter) at the Kew YMCA thrice weekly where he often bumps into Roger Thornton.
He has two offspring and three grandchildren in Melbourne.
Frank says, “I went out from Bendigo Bank on my own terms, they were happy for me to stay there as long as I like. I can’t speak highly enough of their professionalism and considerateness.”
Pauline says of Frank’s retirement and omnipresence 24/7: “I’m just surviving. Dinner is OK but lunch is an issue.”
Club Reporter Thomas.
"WELL FRANKLY" Tony THOMAS 2014-02-20 00:00:00Z 0


Robbers hit a friend of the club.
Jeanette Lynch of Keilor Rotary Club, has been a stalwart on District level on Friendship Exchanges, and has facilitated some great exchanges for our own club’s members.
She now reports a rotten experience for herself and husband Michael in Barcelona on Saturday Feb. 15.
“At 10.30am we leave the hotel and walk up to the Hop On - Hop Off bus, this time it is a 15min walk.
Splat bird droppings on us...or so we thought...then in all the confusion a man appears, starts wiping it off and you would think that we would have been switched on and told him where to go, in no time we realize he has removed my bag from across my body and ran off...I yell "Police" a lady comes with her phone and rings the Police, they arrive within minutes. Luckily one spoke good English. We went back to the hotel to clean up. My hotel key was in my bag, so we quickly had new ones reissued.  Poor Michael had his never worn, Ralph Lauren shirt on, pale yellow, turns out the thief had thrown a mixture of chocolate over us.
So no photos today as my camera was in my new Hedgren bag, along with my brand new Sennheiser Head phones,  a couple of lipsticks, medicine etc  The mongrel tried to pull my ring off my finger, rings will now stay in the hotel safe.
We then walked to the Police station, 30 mins away. They told us there was a 90 min wait until we can lodge our report. They have asked us to come back at 10am in the morning...more wasted time.
We got on the bus and did a circuit and came back to the hotel.  We did not want to be out as evening was rapidly approaching. Michael’s brand new shirt back from cleaning, but the chocolate has set a permanent stain by the looks, all down the back.  Will see if they can have another go.  It was $15 to get it washed.  $45 to get 2 shirts and a pair of cargo pants washed.
We are so cross with ourselves for getting caught out, as we know that this is one of their ploys. I think that we were just so relaxed and maybe because we have never encountered anything like this before, we were lulled into a false sense of security. Apparently the crimes against tourists are extremely high here. Looking forward to leaving Barcelona in 3 days time.
It could have been worse as the guy did not use violence.   Also I did not have my wallet so he did not get any cash, cards or passports.  Mind you we had eyes in the back of our heads on the way back to the hotel.
Some people we were with in Barcelona 18 months ago were robbed of money, passports and credit cards from a small bag the guy had on his chest. Another friend who I worked with goes to Barcelona each year to a mobile engineering conference has been subjected to an attempted robbery by the same person two years in a row!
Apparently another scam is puncturing tyres of cars with foreign plates...keeping our fingers crossed as we have French plates on our lease car.   If you have a look at trip adviser warnings, you would never come to Spain...we cannot wait to get out of here on Tues...worst part is that apparently the warnings are also for Seville and Valencia and that is where we are heading.
We are both feeling rather nervous...and we are such seasoned travellers. Guess we have just been so lucky in the past....lulls you into a false sense of security
Keep your fingers crossed for us!”
Another Rotarian, commiserating with Jeanette, wrote to her:
“Barcelona is a beautiful place but dangerous. I friend of mine was on the up escalator from the subway when thieves tried to grab his camera. When he resisted they pushed him backwards and he broke his spine.” 
TRAVELLERS BE WARNED Tony THOMAS 2014-02-20 00:00:00Z 0


Taliban drive sees return of polio
THE first polio case in Kabul since the 2001 fall of the Taliban has been discovered in a three-year-old girl living with her nomadic family on the fringes of the Afghan capital, highlighting the devastating impact of Pakistani militants’ violent campaign against vaccinations across the border.
The virus strain, believed to be identical to that still ravaging the northwest border areas of Pakistan, where up to 300,000 children remain unvaccinated, was discovered after the girl became paralysed and her father sought help.
The discovery has triggered a public health alarm and vaccination drive across Kabul, with hundreds of volunteer vaccinators fanning out to its poorest extremities where many Kuchi (nomadic) families live in tents and temporary structures.
But Health Minister Soraya Dalil said yesterday the Pakistani Taliban’s violent opposition to polio vaccination was “undermining efforts” in Afghanistan to eradicate the childhood disease.
Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria are the last three countries where polio remains endemic, though last year the Pakistan strain was also discovered in 17 Syrian children, raising concerns over the potential for the disease to be carried by jihadists into trouble spots across Africa and the Middle East.
India was declared polio free this year and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was due last night to attend a ceremony in New Delhi to celebrate the significant achievement.
Afghanistan has made great strides towards eradicating polio since the Afghan Taliban leadership withdrew its objections several years ago to vaccinations. Only 80 new cases were detected in 2011, and just 14 last year.
The Afghan government also has polio vaccinators stationed at border posts between Pakistan and Afghanistan. As many as 1.5 million people cross between the two countries annually, though many do so outside formal border posts and so are not captured by the vaccination campaign.
But Taliban militants continue to target polio health workers in Pakistan, who they accuse of being part of a western plot to sterilise Muslims. More than 30 health volunteers have been killed since July 2012.
This week the Imran Khan-led provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province, an area bordering Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, boasted it had vaccinated half a million children in a two-week long polio eradication drive.
Aziz Memon, chairman of Rotary Pakistan’s Polio Program — a partner in the campaign — says vaccination clinics are held on Sundays when security forces are free to provide protection.
“We’re getting very positive results and if we can continue we should be able to halt transmission in KPK,” Mr Memon told The Australian yesterday.
“But the problem remains in FATA where 300,000 children are trapped (either by Pakistani militants or the army) without access to health services. 


Tony Thomas’s youngest daughter Sara, a horse lover, and her newly-wed husband Brad bought a property of about 10 hectares at Kilmore East six months ago with a big paddock out front where she could run her two nags.
For the past week she and her husband Brad have been close to the epicentre of the Kilmore bush fires. They evacuated early last week for a night, spending time in a car park before lodging with Brad’s parents. The horses refused to go in the float and they left the gates open instead.
Next morning they returned, only to find the fire alerts suddenly becoming more ominous. The horses had stayed put.
For every day since there has been a see-saw of alerts rising and falling as the fires stopped and advanced across a 40km front. However, the fires were virtually all west of the Kilmore road and would have consumed Kilmore itself before reaching the little East Kilmore settlement near the railway station a few kilometres east of the main town.
About 200 fire trucks and 19 aircraft were in the battle to protect Kilmore, a significant town stretching along a couple of kilometres of the main road.
The fires’ progress could be mapped throughout on the FireReady app, making all the Thomas’s feel they were virtually on the spot. Their phones and iPads kept up a constant pinging as new alerts came in. The stay-or-go decision for Sara and Brad was constantly a live one, with serious consequences.
Whereas Sara and Brad’s property is not thickly treed, her neighbours’ houses down in the valley were tucked amid thick bushland. Those homes would not have had a chance.
Fortunately the big fires never got closer than 4km (at time of writing) but it was touch and go.
One of Sara’s best horsey friends on the west side of Kilmore lost a lot of fencing in the fires. 
DADDY CAN I HAVE A PONY PLEASE? Tony THOMAS 2014-02-11 00:00:00Z 0

DISASTER AID AUSTRALIA Newsletter 26th January 2014

NEWS UPDATE 26 January 2014
Rebuilding communities in the Philippines goes on ... and on
Right on the heel of a horrendous October earthquake, the Philippines was ravaged the following month by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the "deadliest Philippines Typhoon on record" that killed over 6,000 with bodies still being found.
And, Disaster Aid Australia ('DAA'), a Rotary Club project and part of Disaster Aid International ('DAI') has been on the ground since, with volunteer DARTs (Disaster Aid Response Team members) working with respected local NGO, Balay Mindanaw Foundation ('BMF') in the Bohol Island region that was devastated by these unprecedented events.
Disaster Aid International chairman, PP David Langworthy (RC Endeavour Hills, D9820 Vic.) visited the Philippines earlier this month and brief extracts of his report are in this update.
It makes compelling reading and once again demonstrates the ongoing, direct and selfless involvement of so many Rotarian volunteers.

1 Latest report from the Philippines
1.1 DAI has now provided shelter and assisted more than 10,000 families, and is actively engaged in providing vital Home Repair Kits – more than 1,000 so far delivered, AND installed. That is in response to the question we asked at the outset, "please tell us, what do you need most?" The materials for those kits – lumber, tools, nails, tarps, galvanised iron and so on – are in the main sourced within the area.
And that is providing jobs and other local economic stimulus.
1.2 Along with our Home Repair Kits, Australian-designed SkyHydrant™ water filtration systems are being installed in Barangays (villages) and schools on Panay Island working with the Rotary Club of Metro Iloilo; and on Mindanao Island with BMF assisting in the installation and operation of SkyHydrants™.
1.3 Disaster Aid is in the Philippines "for the long haul" to assist local communities rebuild and provide clean water to those on Bohol, Panay and Mindanao. And in that connection, two Rotarians from the RC Metro Iloilo and three members of BMF might soon be trained in installation and operation of the water filtration system at the SkyJuice Foundation's facility in Queensland.
1.4 The responses to these disasters and our work with BMF, government and other agencies (and ongoing cooperation with Rotary clubs) has seen changes. We have learned much and adapted quickly to how we respond, work with the affected community, deliver our aid and, importantly, stay on to help rebuild and increasingly provide the equipment needed to ensure a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
And the latter is becoming an increasingly vital imperative. Disaster Aid's association with the SkyJuice Foundation ( provides strong and sustainable water solutions for us in disaster affected (or prone) regions.
Here are some more photographs taken in the Philippines earlier this month ...
2 DAI Chairman in a 'flying visit' to the Philippines
2.1 David Langworthy was met by DAA Deployment Manager and leader of the DART teams, Rotarian Ed Cox (who has been with DAI in the Philippines since October) and spent seven days in the affected areas this month, meeting with government officials, Rotarians, DARTs and BMF colleagues.
"We are assisting people on seven (of 7,000) islands and the logistics really are a nightmare. As Rotarians, we can all be proud of the work done by Disaster Aid. We are delivering to world's best practice, working with and meeting the needs of those affected by these calamitous events – unimaginable in the minds of most Australians."

2.2 David attended a meeting of the RC of Iloilo Metro whose members have been very supportive of DAI, including delivery of the Home Repair Kits and even providing drivers and cars for him and Ed at no cost.
Speaking at the club meeting, David not only thanked them for that vital assistance but also presented a challenge ... to bring clean potable water to the Barangays (villages) of Panay Island.
It has a population of 4 million, and children are dying because of no regular supply of clean drinking water.
He said it could be a long term project as a partnership between DAI and the RC of Metro Iloilo, perhaps involving other Rotary Clubs on the Island. This is where the possibility of flying two members to Australia for training and installation of SkyHydrants™ was first raised.

"If a child does not have potable water, that is more than an issue beyond natural disasters ... it is a disaster in itself." ... 
DISASTER AID AUSTRALIA Newsletter 26th January 2014 Bruce McBAIN 2014-02-05 00:00:00Z 0


Each week the Sergeant selects a member to add a further two lines to the poem.
The iambic metre wse are striving for is;
dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH
dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH dah DAH 
The story so far ..…
This berk is running away from something, and comes upon a highly emotional woman – who he realizes is the love of his life
She challenges him with an unspecified surprise
Then tries to calm him down
But the fair couple lurch off and are confronted by 6 medieval warriors with an out of control caravan – our hero gives them a right hiding but a wheel careers off the caravan and unfortunately kills the poor lass
Rendered impotent by her sad demise, and as he’s postulating about where to bury the poor girl, her ghost rises up and implores him to revenge her tragic departure
Now he finds himself in a tricky position – as he’s telling the good lady’s ghost that he can hardly take revenge on an errant wheel, it becomes painfully apparent that our hero not only permitted the 6 medieval warriors to loosen the caravan’s wheel ~ possibly with the sole objective of fatally injuring her, but also he allowed the tort-feasing warriors to make their getaway.
Anon, he spies a nearby tavern – time for sustenance and reflection, and for new female company? But the new wench he spies, strikingly similar to his deceased beloved, his none other than her jealous twin who has, in an act of vengeful jealousy, procured the tragic  death through the agency of the escaped warriors, of her good sister.
Our hero, confronted with an alluring twin, briefly considers, then ditches,  a spiritual dilemma, choosing in preference the carnal option. 
And here it is;
Members’ epic poem – 2013 / 2014
He rushed around the corner – like an Afghan hound
And saw it all before him, a sight so utterly profound                          [M Bromby]
He held her hand, she tried to speak
Her emotion was high, her voice was weak                                        [B Downie]
She looked him hard into his eyes
And said: “I hope you like surprise”.                                                   [R Garrett]
Enough! Enough! Soothed she; he rushed around again  
As wobbly wheels and caravan defeated six strong men                       [T Callander]
A wheel shot off, the girl expired, 
He said: "from love I have retired                                                       [G Cuthbert]
Despite his urge to leave her side,
her resting place he must decide.                                                       [P Barry}
But her ghost arose forthwith, and said with a frown
My murderers you must seek, and shoot them down!                            [A King]
His reply to her ghost, his beloved one, he uttered most forthright
Murdered you were not, my dear - the errant wheel was the culprit that caused your horrendous plight,             [M Bromby] 
Yet, in shading the truth, words espoused could not disguise his frightful gape
For his scared face approved the scoundrels who loosened the wheel and then made their escape                 [J Cavanagh]
“Hark, what’s that there? An inn! A drink!
New wench, may be? I need to think.”                            [J Ilott]
The wench she doth appear the same as lady now departed
Whose secret was a twin, who jealous and cold hearted               [R Stevens]
Tore apart their love as sisters through vengeful act of spite
To hire the warriors to loose the wheel that killed
her twin outright                                                          [K Stevens]
Is it face or form that does excite?
Or do two souls with love unite?
Our man with ne’re a thought for trust.
Decides instead to opt for lust                                             [K Love}
Her hot lips responded as bidden
Darcy she whispered no longer need our love be hidden
Sophia my love, you are mine
This thing we have done, let's celebrate with wine.                     [B McBain]
In the corner of the Inn was hidden
A witness to this kiss forbidden,
Their tainted love had been detected
With consequences unexpected                                             [N John]
The mean and nasty kitchen maid
Was taking a quick nap near the fire.
She thought: How dare that Sophia get laid
When everyone knows she’s such a liar?                                          [G Mackey]
So a plan the maid hatched, ’twas most heinous and nasty
A pox on Sophia and a blood curse on Darcy                                     [F O’Brien]     
The pox on Sophia was really quite easy for Darcy's past was very sleazy
Pursuit of pleasure was his mania, so next stop Transylvania, for a pleasey
                                                                                                            [H Greenwood]
Because documents and visas were needed to go
Taking Sophia would cause the journey to be too slow                               Bernie Gerlinger
He therefore took leave of the inn without a sound
To disappear into the night hoping never again to be found               Marjorie Gerlinger
Sophia though was more than his match and meant to stop him leaving this patch
She did not like being treated as crap instead she lured him into a trap  (D Jones)
Darcy thought he was in the clear never to be troubled again
But Sophia had other ideas and a passion that was truly insane        [R Mitchell]
For he would now rue the day on which against her he did mock
As he let them through the door, they introduced themselves as Watson and Sherlock                         [N Taylor]
A flustered Darcy scrambled for time to think, Aha! 'Good sirs, may I pour you a drink?'
Plotting more than to make them sick, the libations, gallantly proffered, contained arsenic                                          [K Harvey]
But before they drank, Sophia texted Darson
My ears are on fire, and I have thoughts of arson                                [Stuart Ellis]
Great Sherlock avoided both poison and flame
But with Darcy and Watson took the London bound train                    [J Price]
To Darcy’s dismay twas to Old Bailey to stay
As arsenic stained fingers gave him away”                                          [A Seale]
Tortured by sores and fever, in his prison cell does Darcy languish
Confinement with pederasts, murderers and thieves intensifies
 his anguish                                                                                         [N Salvano]
At last, salvation and dreams afoot, in bed prone on one hip,
Drifting to lands far away on an old wooden ship,
As a boy, he had stood on the burning deck,
After that he could not remember much more by heck.              [A Driver]
Time passes, thoughts wander, inner peace never comes.  But wait!!  Ronnie Biggs, Darcy’s hero
Planning, scheming, what chance of success?  Moonlight streaming, over the wall, Darcy go                                   [Russell Rolls]
He flees in the night, through London’s lane ways he hastens
And 2 months later, Darcy resurfaces - a security guard with Fortnum & Masons                           [Wolfgang Jacobs]
Darcy's a hit, the jobs a great fit, no more Sophia  to cause dismay
He gets a  choice of promotion, mens hand lotion, or lay bys in lingerie                   [Gerard Hogan]
SERGEANT': MEMBER'S EPIC POEM 2013-09-10 00:00:00Z 0


By Tom Callander

Mel Moorfield was one of our original 39 charter members on Charter night 1 May 1987 (although the actual Charter certificate is dated 3 April 1987). 

Mel’s first “official” Club position of office was as Director of the Club Service Committee (and President Elect) in our third year, under President Herb Greenwood. Under Mel’s directorship, Club Service Committee led the move to amend our constitution to allow for the admission of women.

Mel’s year as our fourth President commenced on 1 July 1990.  He was a dynamic Club leader with numerous achievements being accomplished. 
In the area of membership, the net membership increased from 39 to 51 (a record) and he inducted our first five female members.  Noteworthy is also that he inducted our current members, Bernie Gerlinger and Alan Seale as members.  

In Mel’s year, several new programs were initiated including our continuing relationship with Shirley Osborn and her “Steps Ministry” looking after street kids. The long running Vocational Service Program “Operation Livewire” commenced, which continued until 2005 (Mel was a judge in that first year).  Our first fundraising “Supper Auction” was held.   Mel’s spouse Elizabeth commenced occasional “Partners’ Lunches” as a means of increasing involvement and fellowship for partners of members, particularly new members. Another first was sending our first youth exchange student, Melissa Gilmore, to Brazil.   

In the following year (John Meehan’s presidency) our first Paul Harris Fellow Breakfast was held in November 1991. Establishing the very successfully running PHF Breakfast was Mel’s brainchild.

Mel’s engagement with Rotary went beyond the club level as he was very active at the 9800 District level.  He was appointed as a District Governor’s Representative for 1991-1992.  He was a member of Foundation-Promotion/Information 1992-1993, Director Community Service 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.  He received a District “Special Service Award” for his co-organising of the Repair and Painting Volunteers (including many from our Club) after the Benalla floods of 1993.  

During our eighth year Mel resigned from our Club, as he no longer worked in the city and he joined the Rotary Club of Croydon.  In that year, our Club presented Mel with a “Sapphire” additional Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.  

Our Club benefitted greatly from Mel’s membership during the Club’s first eight years.  Our sympathy is extended to Elizabeth and Mel’s family.

IN MEMORY OF MEL MOORFIELD Tom Callander 2013-07-17 00:00:00Z 0
MCAULEY HOUSE WORKING BEE 2013-07-06 00:00:00Z 0

RYPEN Camp a Hit in March

Posted by Tony THOMAS on Mar 27, 2013


It was a delight during March 22-24 to see 47 students aged between 14 and 17 from 23 secondary schools bonding and having their boundaries stretched at the RYPEN camp at Weekaway near Lancefield.

Our club had 13 members taking part, including Allan Driver, Tom Callander, Kevin Walklate, Michael Wells, George Mackey, Tony Thomas, Tom Boyle, Robin and Kay Stevens, Gerard Hogan, Marjorie and Bernie Gerlinger, and Neville John in his District capacity.

We sponsored four students from Mt Alexander College, Flemington. They were   Hiba Abdikadir, Fartun Ibrahim,  and Shi (“Samantha”) Ming Bong (females), and Maslah Gore (male).

The twice-yearly Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment camps have been running for more than 25 years. Our club previously handled a RYPEN camp a decade ago.

The March camp was run by a dozen youth leaders from Rotaract and RYLA with help during meals from RCCMS. Three District New Generations committee members also attended full-time.



RYPEN Camp a Hit in March Tony THOMAS 2013-03-27 00:00:00Z 0

First Class Treatment

Posted by Kevin LOVE on Nov 22, 2011
On Friday November 18th, approximately 20 members, partners and friends of the Club undertook a vocational visit to the Western Treatment Plant at Werribee. 
Run by Melbourne Water, the Western Treatment Plant treats about 60% of Melbourne's sewage, (about 160 billion litres a year). It serves about 1.6 million people in the central, northern and western suburbs.
The plant has evolved from a low tech land and pasture based treatment system to a highly sophisticated operation. At the same time. automation and contracting out has meant that only 6 staff are required to now operate the plant compared to the hundreds of earlier decades.
Melbourne has two important pieces of infrastructure put in place in the 19th century and still crucial today – our system of closed catchments for water supply in the mountains to its east and the sewerage system. The Western Treatment plant’s origins can be traced back to 1888 when a Royal Commission into Melbourne's public health led to a proposal for the development of a sewage farm to treat Melbourne’s waste. Previously, Melbourne's sewage was collected in open drains and discharged into the Yarra River and Hobsons Bay.
A major upgrade of the plant (completed in 2005) has significantly reduced the amount of nitrogen in the treated effluent that is discharged to Port Phillip Bay and significantly increased the amount of high quality recycled water available. It has also improved the ability to capture biogas to generate electricity, markedly reducing greenhouse gas and odour emissions in the process.  The tour group saw new works to enhance this system.
The plant is about 10,500 hectares in area and supports a thriving agricultural enterprise using recycled water from the plant. A large part of the area is now managed for conservation purposes – it is a haven for tens of thousands of birds many of whom migrate each year from the northern hemisphere – from as far away as Siberia. The plant is regarded as an internationally significant wetland.
The tour was able to see at first hand the range of bird life, including large groups of Pelicans as well as experiencing a spectacular lightning show from across Corio Bay and the You Yangs.
The visit was organized for the Vocational Committee by Frank O’Brien who was given a vote of thanks from all those attending for putting together a great day which enabled us to see parts of the plant not usually available to the public.
First Class Treatment Kevin LOVE 2011-11-22 00:00:00Z 0

STOP PRESS: RCCMS Knight in silver hair rescues Eritrean family

Posted by David JONES on Aug 26, 2011


Rescued from $300.00 bill.

The story so far:

A year or two ago our former member Roger Thornton kindly donated an HP laptop and printer to an Eritrean family living in immigrant flats at Ascot Vale, so they could talk on Skype to their family who are living in Khartoum.

This was all successful.

 But, as told to our reporter by our intrepid traveller and helper of people around Ascot Vale [also noted for helping Rhino helpers and listening to Ombudsman talks];

"A fortnight ago we got a call from Amira (the mother) to say they had got an excess usage charge from Optus of $300, because they had exceeded their 7 gig per month plan in July by 2 gigs. They couldn’t believe this bill was correct.

Their laptop by now was doubtless full of viruses as they had not kept up their anti-virus protection. For this or other reasons, the laptop was crushingly slow and took about 1 minute to load just one page of the internet, so we knew there was no way they could have used up 9 gigs (9000MB) in a month.

On checking their usage history, we found the whole 9 gigs had been run up in 3 days in early July. Their normal usage is about 1 gig or less per month (largely emailing).

We called Optus (Mumbai call-centre) and after prolonged negotiation, got their bill cut to $150 but no further.  We then aired the topic on-line with  our computer user group and were advised to push the fight further to the Telecom's Ombudsman, which we did.

Today we got the happy news from the Eritreans that Optus had called them to say the bill would now be cancelled altogether, ie zero excess usage charge.


 And that's not all;

 Meanwhile we had appealed to the user group to find someone with an unwanted iMac computer. In no time someone had offered one and we also got further offers of a wireless router and a printer. The iMac is now installed at their flat and is a 1000% improvement on the old laptop.

Despite much labour, we didn’t succeed in getting the wireless router set up correctly but the iMac is running happily on ADSL wiring.

We are delighted to have ‘made a difference’ in this way to two hard-working and ambitious Eritreans. All they need now is a 3-bedroom house if any RCCMS has one to donate"

 Editor's note. We have respected our bashful  'Knight in silver hair'  request for anonymity.

Photo. One happy Amira and son Yamen.  


STOP PRESS: RCCMS Knight in silver hair rescues Eritrean family David JONES 2011-08-26 00:00:00Z 0

Disaster Aid Australia - Update

Posted by Allan DRIVER on Aug 05, 2011
 "The United Nations now estimates that more than 12 million people desperately need housing, water and food in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nairobi, South Sudan, Mogadishu) – the mortality rate continues to rise to epidemic levels. 


Disaster Aid Australia and its international partners Canada, USA and UK & Ireland are proud to advise they have formed an alliance with Hope Without Borders, a not-for-profit charity working in the Kenya region since the early 80’s and founded by Rotarians Lance and Julie Parve of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 


“This alliance means once again, we as Rotarians are delivering the aid so desperately needed with fellow Rotarians – side by side,” Jenni Heenan, CEO of Disaster Aid Australia said." 


More - go to 

Disaster Aid Australia - Update Allan DRIVER 2011-08-05 00:00:00Z 0

Our speaker for July 26 was the world-famous ‘rhino girl’.

Posted by Tony THOMAS on Jul 12, 2011

Our club had an amazing speaker for our Tuesday July 26 morning meeting – Charlene “Charlie” Hewat, the world-leading activist for rhino conservation.

Rhino poaching (killing for their horns) is rampant and these (usually) gentle giants are in danger of rapid extinction in the wild. It is thanks to the dedication of individuals like Charlene Hewat who remain on the ‘front lines’ that these magnificent creatures can be saved.

Her early experiences of growing up on a farm in Zimbabwe instilled a deep love of nature and out of this was born her passion for the environment.  Whilst out on a walk in the bush some 27 years ago, she came across the carcass of a poached rhino and it was this traumatic experience that started her on the path to where she is today. She decided something needed to be done to raise awareness and to raise funds for rhino conservation in Zimbabwe. So in 1987, together with a friend, Julie Edwards, she completed a 22,000km bicycle ride which took them from the UK across Europe and Africa back to Zimbabwe. This journey was recorded and published in a book ‘Extinction is Forever’ and Charlene is still affectionately known and recognised today, as one of the ‘The Rhino Girls’.

She met many dignitaries during this time including the Pope, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Prince Phillip and had the rare privilege of spending a few months living in the bush with George Adamson (the Lion man).

She has won many awards over the years for her work, the most notable being in 1995 when she was awarded the Junior Chambers International Award for The Most Outstanding Young Persons of the World in the category of Environmental Leadership. Previous recipients of this prestigious internationally recognized award have been Orson Wells and the late John F Kennedy to name a few.

Charlene is touring Australasia to share her personal experiences of her conservation work in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as CEO of the organisation she founded in 2000, Environment Africa.  Donations welcome!

Our speaker for July 26 was the world-famous ‘rhino girl’. Tony THOMAS 2011-07-12 00:00:00Z 0

Zimbabwe’s Rotary Clubs have a tough struggle

Posted by Tony THOMAS on Jun 28, 2011

The ten-person outbound Rotary Friendship Exchange group from District 9800 to Africa’s D9210 has had some surprises during its three-day hosting in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
Victoria Falls is a relatively prosperous part of Zimbabwe, only a kilometre from the cataract and attracting hordes of hard-currency tourists.

The town is so closely linked to the surrounding national game park that elephants often wander into the suburbs knocking down walls to get at garden trees. Packs of warthogs, tails lifted at 90 degrees,  scurry down the sidestreets without attracting a second glance.

District 9210 covers Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Our team expected depressed conditions inside Zimbabwe. Instead, it discovered a thriving tourist town and a local Rotary Club kicking goals (with some difficulty) on significant charity projects.

A sign of the country’s previous crises is the souvenirs sold to tourists in Victoria Falls by street hawkers – 50 and 100 trillion (yes, trillion!) dollar ex-official banknotes.

One of our hosts was Barbara Murasiranwa, past Assistant Governor of D9210 and a stalwart of RC Victoria Falls. Barbara was until June 2011 managing director of a thriving tourist operator in Victoria Falls, Shearwater Adventures, which pioneered   white water rafting, helicopter rides, canoeing adventures, jet boating and bungy jumping from Livingstone Bridge by the falls (this is a joint and hair-raising Zimbabwe-Zambian business). Barbara now runs her own wholesale travel company and can afford  to devote more time to the Rotary club.

Zimbabwe’s recent economic turnaround – based partly on a switch to US dollar and Rand currency - has led to a revival in Rotary membership.

Zimbabwe’s Rotary Clubs have a tough struggle Tony THOMAS 2011-06-28 00:00:00Z 0

D9800 Friendship Exchange: Letter from Zambia

Posted by Tony THOMAS on Jun 12, 2011

The ten-member Friendship Exchange from District 9800 to Africa is now being overwhelmed by Zambian hospitality. While Zambian clubs are keen to show us their projects, they are also giving us unforgettable experiences, all involving this country’s magnificent animals and the “Smoke that Thunders” – the local name for Victoria Falls. 

Try this for a diary for one day:
7 am: Most of us pile into a mini bus for a short drive to the safari lodge of Livingstone Rotary Club members Sue and Mike Welch. This is on a hilltop overlooking a swathe of thorny scrub and savannah.

After wake-up coffee, we each climb aboard an African elephant for a high-level tour of the park. These beasts are nothing like the small Indian variety you see in Melbourne Zoo. My elephant, “First-Born”, was a huge male teenager, dwarfing the females who ranged from the matriarch to youngest daughters. They are so used to the company of their African guides, we are told, that they would panic if left on their own for longer than 20 minutes, day or night.
My guide Jonas explains that whereas Indian work-elephants are trained largely by negative feedback, this herd has known nothing but positive reinforcement.

Jonas speaks softly to First-Born who lurches down the path. First-Born loves the expedition because he is allowed to wander off the path whenever a nice tree is available. He grabs the top of the tree and with a snap of his trunk, and an almighty ‘crack’, he tears down a thick limb, strips the leaves and continues with the branch in his mouth, grinding off the bark. Jonas keeps up a brilliant running commentary  as an ‘elephant whisperer’.

The track narrows and begins a steep descent. We are all sitting at 45-degrees and can hardly believe it as our mounts with dainty steps descend their huge tonnage into the valley. We are told they are almost unerring with their steps – one exception being a wild elephant who was crossing the Zambesi recently at low water, from stone to stone. He slipped and was captured on video tumbling down the 100m Victoria Falls. In a thoroughly jolted state, I clumsily dismount and discover that my month-old ‘gammy right leg’, from a pinched nerve, is now miraculously cured.
D9800 Friendship Exchange: Letter from Zambia Tony THOMAS 2011-06-12 00:00:00Z 0

More from Tony - An exceptional recycling project in South Africa

Posted by Tony THOMAS on Jun 03, 2011

The “JBay Recycling Swop Shop” -  Innovation in aid
Black townships in South Africa:  crowded, stricken with AIDS and unemployment, and carpeted with rubbish.
All newcomers to South Africa are startled to find these townships are only a few kilometres from mostly white suburbs of big affluent homes.
In Jeffreys Bay, home to the Billabong Surfing Competition, 80km south of Port Elizabeth, a wave of goodwill, compassion and mindfulness is gathering momentum.
Here, a group of like-minded people are following a brilliantly simple plan in which children collect recyclables like plastic, glass, tins and cardboard;  deliver it to a central collection point, get paid in tokens (mulas) which they can spend at the ‘kids  only’  swop-shop on the same premises, offering anything from new bicycles (350 mulas) to  a bar of soap or marbles.
This project, co-ordinated by Carina de Flamingh and enthusiastically backed by the whole community, gives the kids a goal and a taste for ‘work’. Instead of hand-outs, they learn the idea of ‘value for value’.
The whole operation involves about nil working capital but needs 15-20 adult volunteers for each Monday. The stock for the shop is all donated by individuals, traders and institutions. The Jeffrey’s Bay Rotary Club keeps the accounts and members throw their weight behind the volunteering.
This low-cost style creates a remarkable package of benefits - cleaner towns, paid jobs for kids, educating kids about budgets and shopping, and material benefits for families.

More from Tony - An exceptional recycling project in South Africa Tony THOMAS 2011-06-03 00:00:00Z 0

Our intrepid travellers Tony and Margaret Thomas report on their Rotary Friendship Exchange

Posted by Tony THOMAS on May 27, 2011
Our 10-person Rotary Friendship Exchange party from District 9800 to District 9320 South Africa spent May 23 visiting operations of the Ready 4  Life charity group at Port Elizabeth on the south coast.
Outer suburbs include swathes of black townships, thousands of tiny houses with rudimentary sanitation and electricity, and populations bedevilled by a 40% unemployment rate. Most tragically, bare fields around are churned up from the roadside to far into the distance. By what? By new-dug graves for AIDS victims. We were told that one such field was barely 18 months old.
Our first visit was to a high school to see a class where about 30 unemployed  people aged from 18 to 40 were being given skills in elementary computer operations, personal development and administration-style English.  Our host was Ready 4 Life rep Jacco Wolters, a Dutch specialist in finance and IT.
The goal was to make these students ready to apply for clerical jobs. Without computer skills, they would be back of the queue.
The lesson that day was on word processing – how to cut, paste, save and lay out their work, add pictures, and insert bullet point lists. There was only one laptop in the class but it was connected to a projector so everyone could follow the lesson on-screen.
In fact, there are half a dozen laptops forthe class, which are taken home at the end of each day. The reason relates to another issue: this school is barricaded like a fortress against thieves. Doors  and windows incorporate heavy steel screens, and  there is a formidable perimeter fence. Nonetheless if any valuable gear such as desktop PCs were left in the school overnight, break-ins would occur.
We were impressed by the eagerness of the adult class to learn. Everyone was well-dressed for study and their faces shone with enthusiasm.  There seemed equal numbers of men and women, and average age looked like about 20-25.

Our intrepid travellers Tony and Margaret Thomas report on their Rotary Friendship Exchange Tony THOMAS 2011-05-27 00:00:00Z 0
A Thank You from the Loreto School in Vietnam Michael LAPINA 2011-01-20 00:00:00Z 0
Rotary - Humanity in motion Michael Lapina 2010-12-14 00:00:00Z 0
A team of Central Melbourne - Sunrise members painting the Ban Houai Yen school in Laos 0

How to get sworn at – and not mind – Steps Outreach Service

Posted by Tony THOMAS

Anne Mitchell is a charity worker who doesn’t mind being shouted and sworn at. For the past 15 years she’s made a weekly visit to the Flinders Street Station steps. She gets to know the homeless youngsters there so that she can help them.

Volunteers who go with her can find it a bit daunting. On her first night, one of them got heaps of abuse from a homeless girl. The volunteer backed away, scared. The next night, Anne told her to do the opposite. If the girl abused her, she said, move forward and give her a hug and say ‘Hi!’. This worked. “Kids have a hard shell and want to ‘test you out’ by making you angry,” Anne says.

“I say that every day is a new day. Look for something good in a kid, not judge them on what happened yesterday. We praise them for anything good they do. If a young person gets a job and gets fired after a week, it’s still a step forward. Maybe in their next job they’ll last a month.”

How to get sworn at – and not mind – Steps Outreach Service Tony THOMAS 0

Working bee at Camp Getaway

Posted by Roger THORNTON

Rotary Camp Getaway is an exciting project providing a camp/nature retreat for community based groups to use. Located in Axedale, near Bendigo, in Victoria, the camp provides a highly accessible, quality recreational facility that caters for those of all abilities and mobility, provides a meeting place for support groups, and offers those who need it most a sanctuary away from their daily struggles.


Camp Getaway is owned and maintained by the Rotary clubs in Rotary District 9800. Ten RCCMS volunteers, over the weekend of August 3rd to 5th,  participated in a working bee weekend at the camp. Various tasks were completed, ranging from gardening to painting and repairing water damaged walls.  The main task involved the complete re-painting and redecoration of the girls shower and toilet block. Years worth of grime had to be cleaned off before walls, ceiling and stalls were painted a pale cream colour. As a finishing touch, new bright blue shower curtains added a touch of colour.

When the team headed home on Sunday afternoon, they left with a sense of satisfaction that they had made a worthwhile contribution to Camp Getaway, whilst having lots of fun in the process. There’s always a long list of tasks to maintain a place like Camp Getaway in good stead. Hopefully, RCCMS volunteers will be back there in 2013 to continue the work.

Working bee at Camp Getaway Roger THORNTON 0

Garden re-development at McAuley House

Posted by Robin STEVENS
McAuley House, located in Flemington Road, North Melbourne provides accommodation and support to women aged between 25 and 55, unaccompanied by children, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and/or have a mental illness. The unique community and residential setting – including garden areas – offers women a safe environment in which to live that promotes respect and values the dignity and worth of each person.
Funding constraints have led to the McAuley House gardens becoming run down over the past few years.

Club activities have included:

• garden de-development in 2010 with work on the chapel garden.
• another working bee held in July 2012 when nine RCCMS volunteers, together with McAuley House personnel worked in the kitchen garden area; work included a general clean up, weeding, putting in garden edging, shifting and spreading granitic sand, (replacing unattractive thinly-grassed areas), pruning bushes and trees, and putting in supports for an espalier apple tree.  

Given the need for further garden re-development, an application was made for a Rotary Foundation District Grant to provide funding for materials – particularly timber for the making of garden furniture, but also garden mulch, soil and gravel, garden edging, plants. All this is aimed at improving the amenity of the gardens.

Now that the grant application has been approved by District 9800, members of the Community Service Committee will liaise with the Carlton Men’s Shed to build sturdy bespoke furniture for the chapel garden. Further garden re-development work will be undertaken with an additional working bee planned for early 2013 for additional work on establishing and re-developing garden areas at the rear and side of the property.  

Photo shows volunteers at the July 7th working bee
Garden re-development at McAuley House Robin STEVENS 0


The Rotary Community Village is a program led by the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Sunrise Inc with support from Victoria Police, the City of Melbourne, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The program addresses anti-social street behaviour in the Melbourne CBD late at night through the presence of Rotary volunteers and the provision of a welcoming place where visitors can take a break, get free refreshments, and maybe wait for transport home. The target demographic includes those groups typically found in the Swanston Street precinct in the early hours of the morning, often young and sometimes under the weather, backpackers and the homeless.  The response is almost always very thankful and surprised that Rotary does this sort of thing.

The hours are a bit tough but the Rotary volunteers who have participated have really enjoyed the spectacle of the CBD at night.

So far the Rotary Community Village has operated on Friday and Saturday nights from 11pm to 4am through December in the run up to Christmas and has been staffed by Central Melbourne Sunrise members.  Our ambition is to open up the program to other clubs and extend the operation to other peak times – the GrandPrix, AFL Grand Final week, and other major events.

Our club is a strong supporter of the Rotary Foundation.

Posted by Anne KING
The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

In 1985, Rotary International created PolioPlus – a program to immunize all the world’s children against polio. To date, Rotary has contributed more than US$1 billion and countless volunteer hours to the protection of more than two billion children in 122 countries. Over 25 years our club has contributed a significant amount to the Foundation through the organisation of our Annual Paul Harris Fellow Breakfast. This year was no exception.

In the first six months of this year the main function of the Foundation committee in our club was the organisation of the breakfast. This year’s breakfast was attended by just over 280 Rotarians and friends from our district and we raised a record amount of $8,479. The guest speaker was Professor Patrick McGorry AO and his talk was on a 21st Century Approach to Mental Health Care.

The foundation committee has also been active in the Group Study Exchange Program. This is a vocational and cultural exchange between countries. Young professionals between the ages of 25 and 42 participate in a visit to an overseas Rotary district to get to understand how their vocation is different in a different country and at the same time become ambassadors for their own country. This Rotary year our club hosted a team from district 5230 (Orange Country in California) and also sponsored a participant in an exchange back to that district.
Our club is a strong supporter of the Rotary Foundation. Anne KING 0


Posted by Kevin LOVE

Forget about "Underbelly" and "CSI"!

Come and hear real stories about criminal investigation from the Detectives that ran the cases.

Inside Story lets you hear first hand how the Detectives solved the crimes.

Funds raised from the evening will go to the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Silk Miller scholarship, its Community Village project and other projects.

Friday, 21st October 2011 at 6.15pm.

Cost $40 per head with light refreshments served during the event.

The venue, Melbourne City Conference Centre, is on the cnr of Swanston and Little Lonsdale Streets, opposite the State Library.

Download the flyer/booking form


Interested in Rotary?

Posted by Michael LAPINA
View the video to see what Rotary is all about.

This was the movie President Anne presented at the Club Forum meeting (13 Jul 2010)
Interested in Rotary? Michael LAPINA 0