Last guest speaker was Gabe Hau. That's him at left in a happy snap from his AG visit to us a little while back. He was always heavily involved in Rotary, working in, leading and promoting its projects and obviously still is.
Currently District Foundation Co-Coordinator among other things, he showed a much more sober and serious side in his address. No smiles here as he talked to us on the statistics, and efforts in Australia and Rotary to combat, Family Violence.
Gabe recently joined the Board of Violence Free Families (VFF) which was formed in 2009 to focus in more dedicated ways on the prevention of family violence. It stems from a Brighton Rotary project started in 1995 and has become an independent national charity since 2009. It is funded by Rotary clubs, and other donations and being staffed by volunteers has minimal overheads.
Its current prime positive impact is through an online men's behavior change program. A world first approach Gabe described how it worked. Essentially it is a group education session but on line (14 weeks at 2 hours each time) lead by two facilitators. It seemed to the author to derive its success from the mutual self realization of the unacceptable past behavior of attendees and techniques for modification.
Gabe stressed that it did not necessarily seek to retrieve a broken relationship, one outcome could be just a satisfactory and rational separation. He was pleased to report of some successful outcomes with individuals who had attended the program. Of course he remarked it is not a one course cure, but rather a precursor to ongoing efforts.
We touched on statistics and research. Some of the statistics on violence many sourced from police reports (and there are many aspects of bullying or violence, verbal, physical, psychological, economic, social, cyber and sexual) were astounding as to the prevalence of the problem in our society (references to 1 in 4 males, and 800,000 women / 1,500,000 children victims).
Essential to VFF's ongoing work is a longitudinal research project with Monash University, looking into the long term outcomes of men’s behavior change program and whether or not they do make a real difference to families and children’s lives.
Outcomes of this Monash research help direct scarce resources and helps VFF lobby governments, of all persuasions, and philanthropic funds to invest in family violence prevention.
Born in Pakistan, he enjoys volunteering and community service. Prior to his arrival in Australia in 2013 he had been active in progressing scholarships for girls with limited education options in that country.
Coming to Australia he has sustained that commitment to the community. He commented that by so being it has greatly assisted his integration into our society. That remark undersells a ready observation of an intrinsic drive and capacity to help people far beyond that stated purpose of integration.
We learnt that he was inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing at the Annual Changeover Dinner in June 2014 and already has initiated new programs in the Club’s Youth portfolio. The Neil Vick Youth Leadership Awards recognise youth people in the community in three categories – Inspirational Youth Leader of the Year; New Resident Leader of the Year; Young Indigenous Leader of the Year. Khurram’s most recent project is a Cluster program that seeks to provide mentors from within the Rotary community for young people in the local community to inspire and help them to achieve their career objectives.
Beyond all that Rotary involvement he also volunteers within the University of Melbourne community as well as sectors within his local community. He recently retired from the role of Co-ordinator of the Sail Program, teaching general and science subjects to newly arrived migrants or settled Sudanese students.
Khurram’s volunteering has earned him a number of awards including the New Resident Volunteer of the Year within the Victorian Premier’s Volunteer Awards in 2014 and Young Volunteer of the Year Award – Wyndham City Council in 2015.
After modestly and quickly relating his volunteering experiences Khurram told of his thoughts on Rotary and its capacity to attract young people. This was a challenging moment for the audience. Perceived myths, of being conspiracy driven, a rich man's business group and focused on personal "joy" were wrong, rather young people saw in Rotary a trusted resource, a non-threatening environment, and a source of a multitude of skilled experienced individuals with a capacity to mentor and provide project planning and goal setting objectives.
Bridging the generational barrier was critical, as was blending in the attributes which youth offers to various Rotary programs --diversity, simple physical muscle, new ways of thinking and resetting of "norms'" in line with present trends in the world.
In response to the obvious question re his thinking on how to attract youth into Rotary, Khurram would concentrate on connecting with groups of younger people instead on individual approaches. He talked of an idea for a youth driven meeting perhaps in the evening. This might flow from expanding connections with RYPEN and RYLA awardees and local youth organisations/universities. The aim would be to create an occasion to attract a young audience to discuss Rotary and its(and other) projects.
All in the meeting felt it was a great presentation from an impressive young man and we wished him well in his future endeavours and doubtless continuing community driven projects. Thanks Khurram.
John Pesutto is our new (2016) Rotary Hawthorn member, and newish (2014) Member for the State Electorate of Hawthorn, and newish (2014) Shadow Attorney General. And when he spoke to us at Tuesday lunch he revealed an unusual politician:
- pictures as well as words;
- anecdotes as well as facts; and
- insights into our club and District, rather than just generalities.
- Every 3 years
- Held in Chicago
- 10 – 15 April 2016
- 700 attendees from 535 Rotary Districts around the world
- RI top brass present, but not allowed to vote!
- 15 months in preparation
- 117 enactments (constitutional changes) and Resolutions (recommendations) submitted for consideration
- Can now meet fortnightly
- Can now have rules to allow exotic types of membership.
- is enjoyable;
- provides an opportunity to set down your views on your terms; and
- provides opportunities for (mainly pleasurable) reliving of joys and challenges from yesteryear.
- What were the defining moments in our lives?
- Who had already started research that could lead to some form of biography?
Why join the Hawthorn Rotary? Do you know about Rotary, what it does, how it works? Read on - there is nothing more fulfilling, more fun, and more relevant in today's world than contributing to your communities - local, national and international - by joining Rotary. Here are 10 of the most basic reasons.
Second Bite is a well established community service in Melbourne. Its mission is food recycling; that is, using food that would otherwise be wasted. It's about giving good, fresh ingredients new life in a commercial kitchen and, with a bit of creativity, turning them into healthy, hearty meals for people in need.