As President Kay rose to formally summon to order the last meeting of her Rotary year, the backdrop of slides depicting police mentoring activities, a sea of blue Uniforms and a buzzing atmosphere of engaged conversation of over 130 people, signified  that this was no ordinary meeting but one which formally concluded another successful year of  the joint Rotary and Victoria Police Mentoring Program which was conceived out of a an earlier CMS Club program with Police Command Leadership Development College, Airlie in South Yarra. The program now in its sixth year and with over 100 graduates is managed by a steering group chaired by Victoria Police, and which includes members of our club, representatives from other clubs and Victoria Police. The aim of the program is to engage senior Police Mentorees including unsworn staff with Rotary and business Mentors to assist developing Police leadership.
President Kay formally opened the meeting with a toast to Rotary International and welcomed members and guests including:
  • Police Command - Assistant Commissioners Kevin Scott, Andrew Crisp, Robert Hill, Steve Fontana, Luke Cornelius, Wendy Steendam, Emmet Dunn and Chris O’Neill
  • Rotary District 9800 - District Governor Dennis Shore, District Governor Elect, Ross Butterworth, District Governor Nominee, Murray Verso, District Governor Designate Julie Mason, and Assistant District Governor Batman Cluster, Tony Wells
  • Rotary District 9820 - District Governor Tony Spring
  • Police Mentoress, Business Mentors, Rotary Mentors (from 18 clubs), members of the Steering Group Syndicate Leaders Visiting Rotarians, Members and Guests.
An aside discussion was whether the Police graduates were Mentorees or Mentees. Consensus was that Mentee may be correct term but Mentorees was the preferred term. Perhaps one day Macquarie or Oxford University may add to their dictionary a word that originated in the Police Mentoring  program!
Guests then tucked into breakfast over animated conversation, Alan Driver busily taking table photographs and stalwarts Brian Downier, Barry Tassell and David Jones mentoring Greg Cuthbert and Patrick Barry into the art of conducting breakfast raffles … all of this activity set the scene for what would prove a fitting graduation of police membersfrom the 2012-13 program.
President Kay commenced the formal proceedings by reflecting on the excellent partnership that had developed between Victoria Police, the Business Community and Rotary Districts 9800 and 9820 as a result of RCCMS conceiving the need for the leadership program six years earlier, she then invited District Governor, District 9800, Dennis Shore to speak.
DG Dennis. said that the Victorian Police Mentoring Program had resulted in a greater awareness of the challenges facing modern policing and that continual enhancement over that time had made it an enriching program, he then congratulated the Steering Group for ensuring diversity including unsworn staff in the program and that the program through District 9820 participation had been expanded to include rural police officers in Warragul, Mitchell River and Irymple with plans to extend the program through other Districts in Victoria. In congratulating Police Senior Command and Central Melbourne Sunrise Club for their enthusiastic commitment to the program, DG Dennis noted John Meehan was retiring from the Steering Committee and acknowledge his dedication to the program since its inception.
President Kay introduced Assistant Commissioner, North West Region Victoria Police, Andrew Crisp. Andrew opened his comments by acknowledging the personal benefits of having participated in the  program previously and recognized Alan Seale, his Rotary Mentor. He then went on to thank the Club for its commitment to the program and the opportunities that it had provided to develop current and future police leaders through interaction with Rotary and the opportunity to work with Business leaders and understand the challenges facing both and approaches to dealing with those challenges that were transferrable, it also provided an opportunity against which police could validate their own thinking and showcase policing.
The Assistant Commissioner then mentioned key highlights of the 2012-13 year:
  • The Thought Leadership Series which had as its theme “People in uncertain times” and the valuable views expressed by Andrew Tongue from the Department of Premier and Cabinet and Nick Green CEO of Major Events Victoria
  • Working Lunches which took the theme to a micro level and had been provided by Clayton Utz, ANZ, Ernst and Young and BUPA.
In summarizing the legacy of the 2012/13 program, Andrew described it as to value people, develop passion and partnerships and that his expectation was that mentorees have that as a takeaway message. He referred to a former business mentor and former club member Dr Michael Dixon who had said, drive your career but don’t forget people who helped you along the way. Andrew then acknowledged AC Kevin Scott as an important mentor in his life and concluded by thanking the mentors for their professionalism and dedication, the mentorees (for their commitment and making the program their own), the Steering Group and Syndicate Leaders.
President Kay then invited Chris Leptos, Partner KPMG to summarise the program from the Business Community perspective. Chris thanked  Rotary for ” the crazy idea of business people mentoring coppers”  and described the experience as being a lot better than he had hoped for, that he was sorry that it was over and that he expected that he would remain good friends with his mentoree.
Acting Inspector Chris Corbell, speaking on behalf of fellow mentorees, said that he enjoyed the humour and fellowship of his Rotary mentor, Arnold Vandenham from East Keilor Club and spoke of his Rotary experiences at Camp Getaway working bees and at a fundraising event conducted by the East Keilor Club. John Salvaris, his business mentor, had challenged him, provided valuable tips, encouraged a plan to fill knowledge gaps and given him an opportunity to attend a high powered board meeting. The breadth and depth of the experience gained through the programs organization, mentor support and focus on development would encourage transfer of the knowledge gained to his cohorts. Chris concluded by again acknowledging the support provided by his mentors and the steering group.
President Kay then called on Richard Stone to express appreciation to three foundation members of the Steering Group who were retiring, AC Kevin Scott, AC Andrew Crisp and Rotarian John Meehan. Richard briefly referred to the composition of the Steering Group as providing senior Rotary, Business and Police experience to drive the program and ensure its alignment with the Victoria Police Strategic program. Richard then went on to acknowledge Kevin Scott who had ensured the Steering Committee was focused on a shared propose and commitment to continual improvement, Andrew Crisp had bought leadership and good communication whilst” Mr. Rotary, Rotarian extraordinaire, John Meehan was the program’s “heart and soul”.
AC’s Scott and Crisp also acknowledged the support given by Lorraine Meehan and presented John with a carved polished wood outline of Victoria with the Police emblem and engraved acknowledgement of John’s contribution. John thanked everyone for the wonderful opportunity that membership of the Steering Group had provided and that he was excited that the program would expand to all Rotary Districts in Victoria in 2012-14.
Police and Rotary "heavyweights" with President Kay
AC Crisp then called graduation mentoree, business and rotary mentors forward to receive their certicate of participation from AC Scott and DG Shore
  • Graduates included: David Griffin, Stephen Mutton, Stephen O’Donnell, Frank Sells, Paul Margetts, Karen Nyholm, Graham Banks, Drew Morgan, Mick Hermans, David Watt, David Jones, Chris Corbell, Darren Harris, Amy Gledden, Paul Breen, Bob Simpson, Craig Peel, Kylie Callander, and Wayne McLean
  • Rotary Mentors: Chris Hanson, Jonathan Shepherd, Kevin Field, Don Jago PDG, Andrew Hunter, Barbara Wyatt, Peter Frueh, Gavin Schwartz, David Efron, Arnold Vandenham, David Robinson, Tim Lennie, Trevor Mackey, Max Robinson, Russ Simpson, Werner Schmidt, John Rafter and Paul Lom
  • Business Mentors: Ryan McQueen, Glenn Bartlett, Rodney Taylor, Steve Collier, Simon Van Hammond, Penny Lovett, Shaun Cox, David Fisher, Richard Malysiak, Tony Walter, Chris Leptos, John Salvaris, Stephen Hoey, Michael Stillwell, Jeff Pentney, Suzan McDaniel and Lauren Pemberton.
President Kay then announced that the raffle had raised $880 which would be shared jointly to support Community Village and Police Legacy and invited AC Scott to draw the raffle. President Kay then closed the meeting by reminding everybody of the 2012-13 Rotary theme, “ Peace through Service”.