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Club Details

Visit Rotary Club of Hawthorn
Tuesday 12.30pm for 1.00pm
Enjoy a light lunch for $35
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
489 Glenferrie Road
Kooyong  Vic  3144
Melbourne Australia
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Meeting Speakers

Apr 29, 2014
Robinette Emonson, Chief Comm., Guides Australia
Burma and Beyond - a Girl Guides Australia/Rotary Partnership
May 06, 2014
Very Special Guest
May 13, 2014
Dr Pyae Phyo Aung
‘The Dream Comes True, The Journey Begins’
Jun 03, 2014
Fellowship Meeting
Informative And Relaxing
Jun 17, 2014
Don Cullen
Tibetan Village Project Australia Inc.
Jun 26, 2014
Aug 19, 2014
Mr Gerard Mansour, Cmmnr for Senior Victorians
The Changing Face Of Our Community - Valuing Our Seniors

Why Join Rotary?



New memberships now available Enjoy the friendship, and the opportunity to give meaningful service to local and international communities, all in the sociable company of other respected community, professional and business leaders. Learn more.

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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Hawthorn

District 9800 Governor  Elect Dr Murray Verso was introduced by PDG Dennis Shore.   Although Murray's renowned service to Rotary (from 1981) was recounted by Dennis it was the other recent passion of Murray which was the topic for the day.    Murray a life long medical practitioner ( from which he has retired  to take on the next year's rotary pursuits) told of how in 2006 as a member of a Dawn Service tour to Gallipoli with Rotary he "idled?" away the cold chilly hours at Anzac Cove  pre the service, contemplating "how would the medical profession have coped there in 1915?".  
Returning to Australia Murray  took to researching that question.  Such was the extent of his research into the Gallipoli campaign and especially the medical aspects of it, that he has become an expert historian on the matter and regularly invited to deliver lectures about it.   Timed to coincide with next week's Anzac day the meeting was fascinated to hear Murray's condensed version.
In 1915 at Anzac Cove and Gallipoli , time and geography dictated that there were no antibiotics, no intravenous treatments, no blood transfusions, limited anaesthetics, no X-rays machines (apart from was  one Australian machine) and certainly no instrumental diagnostic devices like ultra sound, CT scanners or MRI's!
The carnage on both sides was great.  By the first day there were over 500 seriously injured requiring attention on the landing beach.  Doctors were few and early on organisational deficiencies were rife.    In the course of his address Murray chose to highlight the exploits of three individuals.  
First there was John Simpson Fitzpatrick, and appropriately a member of the medical profession , he was an ambulance man.   Now immortalised in writing and statues "Simpson" was the Western Australian enlisted Englishman who as an ambulance bearer used a donkey (there were many like ambulance attendants but without the donkey)  to help him retrieve wounded from the battle field.   Credited with bringing back over 300 wounded (of both sides) in the short three weeks until his death by sniper fire Simpson and his donkey symbolise the chivalrous but brutal nature of the Anzac adventure.   
Highly decorated (knighted thrice) and Australia's first VC winner Sir Neville Howse,  a fully qualified medical practitioner man with service in that capacity in The Boer War and then Gallipoli, was key in first establishing some rational order to the provision of medical services at Anzac.   Ultimately promoted to Major General he became Medical Director for the Australian Imperial Forces in WW1, covering all areas of combat and medical rehabilitation and care in Europe  at the time.    With life before and after the WW1 service, as a federal member of the Parliament and Mayor of Orange  his town of residence, Howse's career and contribution to Australia is magnificent, yet  since his death in 1930 his name has lapsed from the public's attention. 
The third was Graham Butler, also a medical man who served at Anzac.  He was awarded the DSO (being the highest award to any medical officer there) for services at Anzac, where stories of his bravery and endless efforts were many.   He later established a reputation as a medical historian  and sought to document the medical services needed in war.   Set against the time space of WW1 he noted three obligations of the medical staff, namely support the military command, the nation and thirdly humanity.   His efforts culminated in a three volume work written over 25 years and although  comprehensive was essentially outdated beyond the key principles of good practice.   Again post the war period he contributed much to the community, first  in the AMA and medical profession and later  in service organisations.
In the course of his address Murray told of the problems the Gallopoli forces faced with disease,  the Turkish soldiers,  the strategic errors and the supply limitations imposed on the men and the leadership in the failed but now retrospectively perceived glorious campaign.
Thank you Murray for a wonderful  and timely presentation of the Anzac story and on a little thought about but new to us aspect of it.  See Murray's presentation, click here.

Noel Halford prefaced his introduction to the two speakers from "the World of Difference" on the interaction of Rotary and like organisations in cooperative projects with the disadvantaged regions in Asia, and of course Cambodia has special needs.
We heard that in Cambodia 85% of the population are uneducated farmers. During the 1975-1979 Pol Pot regime educated people were killed or starved.  In 2013 70% of the population is under 30 years of age, and still there is a lack of 40-60 year olds.  More than one third of Cambodians live below the poverty line, struggling to survive on less than $1 a day. Poverty is especially pervasive in rural areas and among children, who constitute more than half of the country’s population.
First, we were briefly introduced to Bronwyn Stevens (Project Chair for WOD) from Rotary District 9800.

World of Difference is a District 9800 endorsed project that powerfully portrays the work of Rotary in developing countries.  Organised by the Rotary Club of Melbourne South, participants are invited to join the group on an tour of regions within developing countries such as Cambodia that require support from Rotary and other volunteers that would like to join the program.

The tour visits well resourced and well run Rotary supported projects.  This contrasts with villages and schools in need of Rotary support. During visits it provides donations and volunteering.  Each tour builds on the last to provide on going dental hygiene checks, English, knitting and craft classes.

Bronwyn then handed over to the Cambodian national, and a guide for the World of Difference tours, Mr Rithy Ann.
Rithy highlighted the contrasts in his country, the beauty of ancient temples(over 1000) of which Angkor Watt is the most iconic, and the poverty in rural villages. Most impacted are the children of villages which have no clean water, little food and no services. Educational levels and missing generations of teachers means that learning and self help actions are difficult without external support.
Rithy gave us a bleak but yet hopeful story of village life and how small cost projects for example the World of Difference tours with their significant element of humanitarian effort and hands on aid complement the value of very modest donations in providing for example school implements, pieces of infrastructure (e.g.  bores, water filters, basic school halls) and food both consumable and regenerative in nature.

Noel McInnes chaired the address by Robin de Crespigny.  She spoke on the background to her research and development and the story of her book (framed in the first person) being a biography of Ali Al Jenabi an Iraqi.  He reached Australia via the classic asylum seeking boat journey  from Indonesia some years ago, however he became tagged as a "people smuggler" by the Australian authorities and eventually extradited from Thailand and charged and tried for the people smuggling offense in Darwin.  Perceived by many as a "show trial" it  went for 18 months at a time when the Australian community's interest in people smuggling and all that it involved was intense.   In the course of that trial the presiding Supreme Court Judge described him as "The Oskar Schindler of Asia".   Why?   As Robin explained there were many extenuating circumstances and drivers to Ali's life journey.
Robin's background as a film maker,writer director and her thorough  journalistic approach comes through in her book and her address.  The extensive research which she conducted over several years into Ali Al Jenabi's story provided Robin with a strong factual background for her to relate the pressures which framed his courses of action, not always strictly compliant with the law.   When one heard of secret police, torture and executions as everyday options for Ali in Iraq and then faced with the rhetorical question posed by Robin to the audience" What would I do in a like case" there was a thoughtful and sober silence.
Robin's passion for the plight of refugees and asylum seekers was clear and her book as demonstrated by the extracts which we were fortunate to hear  provide a wonderful example of how putting a "human face" on an issue can promote people to more deeply consider it.  The audience was enthralled.  Robin explained that she may seek to write a screenplay and hence film the story but noted that such a task can take years to fruition.


Geoff Dumayne introduced Associate Professor Geoff Sussman by outlining a wonderful and extensive CV of research, education and clinical activity in the area of wound management and skin health.  Presently linked to Auckland and Monash Universities plus some past stints at St Annes in Oxford, Geoff has had key roles in many medical societies across his areas of expertise and interest. He was awarded at OAM in 2006 for his efforts.  Despite a passionate and still highly active role in his work at 77 years, Geoff has found time to be a Rotarian, and be involved in gymnastics and  diving as personal pursuits!

His address at the meeting was on the care of the skin.   So we learnt of the basic structure of that organ, many facts about it and hints and his observations for maintaining skin health.  Perhaps simply catalogued under the following four captions this summary attempts to condense the full presentation which is available on our web link.

SKIN pH   In brief the skin has an intrinsic acidic state.  So Geoff's view is that it is essential to ensure as the skin ages that appropriate measures are taken such as not using soap or other alkaline pH products that will increase the drying and therefore cracking of the skin.  Contrary to conventional soaps which are alkaline, pH neutral cleaners  include Dove, Cetaphil Bar, QV Bar and Dermabeen.                      

SKIN MOISTURE   A dry skin is to be avoided. While stressing the need to keep the skin moist with appropriate creams etc, Geoff pointed out that one needs to understand the components within them and the marketing behind such lists of contents. Products from Ego, Hamilton, Dermatech and Nivea are examples of simple products with few preservatives and few ingredients but which offer beneficial  moisturising of the skin.   Common aqueous based items provide little.

SUN DAMAGE  UV protection creams (stronger is better) are important but care is needed to ensure that they are regularly reapplied as they wash off  and on all areas of exposed skin.

THE USE OF  SKIN ADHESIVES  was a particular focus in Geoff's analysis of simple wound care as may prompt one to access the '"First Aid Kit".   With updated knowledge of the damage which perceived old popular remedies such band-aids, and old-fashioned antiseptics can do especially to the skin of older people, Geoff recast the content of our "First Aid Kit" by introducing a range of modern products which posses the characteristics to encourage healing with little or no detrimental impact on the skin.                 

The audience was kept fascinated and interested by the magnificent blend of simply described medical technicalities and Geoff's skill in keeping the common touch to his address.  See Geoff's presentation, click here.






Under the chairmanship of Chris Hanson,  Jason Henderson an ex Queenslander who moved to Melbourne in 2006 shamed us all with his passion and enthusiasm for uncovering old images and facts about Melbourne.  As one who gains great enjoyment in researching local history, Jason explained that Lost Brisbane a reasonably established Facebook site which invites contributors to forward old photos and stories about Brisbane was the prompt in him setting up the Lost Melbourne Facebook site. 

Jason,a BMW motorcycle parts coordinators forgotten past. It started as a hobby, but Jason has been overwhelmed with the interest shown (over 34,000 people visiting his site).

Set up in late 2012 this new site coordinates the efforts of Jason and range of like minded colleagues each with relevant special skills but varied backgrounds (for example a retail store manager, historian/meteorologist, a photo researcher, social media player, librarian, emigrant focused contributor).  Already the site www.facebook.com/lostmelbourne has a fascinating collection of old photos and inputs from the public about these photos.

In the course of his address Jason showed a sample of material. It was more than shots of old buildings but images which provided a jog to memories of past citizens, events, and life style.

Alas a lot of the audience was able to relate to buildings long since demolished, dated practices,and old promotions (the Little Bourke-William streets corner,the corner grocer, biscuit labels).  Jason’s snapshot into the Lost Melbourne site was fascinating and we can understand the galloping interest and increasing contributions to it.




One of the great practices which the Rotary Club of Hawthorn employs is it's "member behind the badge series" where a newer member will address the meeting.   Cleverly aimed at members learning more about their new colleague one can reflect with amazement the range of skills, backgrounds and passions hiding behind our lot.  Always we learn of the individual in the recount of their story notwithstanding an often  chosen technical theme.    It was Sheridan Brown's turn after being introduced by the chairman.

With references to "before" and "after" and word of mouth stories of a restoration expert Sheridan quickly removed any ambiguity of thought by talking on the inanimate and the world of antiques.   The fascinating account of antique furniture and the means and fine care and detail  by which old pieces are rejuvenated was highly informative.   Complete with samples to demonstrate and by no means were these small pocket items (see photos below), the address promoted a lot of personal interest as evidenced by questions  and most significantly those after the meeting congregations.   No doubt this aspect will see Sheridan conducting many one-to-one casual conversations with members in the near future  {The Editor unashamedly admits to a hall clock of unknown character which may enter conversation across the table at future meetings}

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Why join the Rotary Club of Hawthorn? 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.


Club News



The Rotary Club of Hawthorn is proud to be a member of DIK Inc., the major sponsor of Donations In Kind (DIK) West Footscray.   The members of this group pay the rent and contribute the majority of the $50,000 pas great success stories.  It recycles quality donated goods and gives them to people in genuine need for free.

The results from 2000 – 2013 are spectacular:

  • $2,100,000  -  raised to pay for freight
  • $3,200,000  -  the value of the volunteering allocated as overseas aid
  • $34,300,000  -  of top quality material given to people overseas who deserve our help
  • $39,600,000  -  the combined total of overseas
  • 21,300 m3  -  of goods recycled, much of which would have ended up as landfill
  • 1,500%  -  return on investment $2.1 million in freight: $34.3 million shipped
  • 387  -  containers shipped to 21 countries.

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Upcoming Club Events

April 2014

Club Directors

Vice President
President Elect
Director - Rotary Cares
Director - Club Service
Director - Foundation & International Service
Past President

Club Reports

2012-13 Annual Plan


2011-12 President's Report


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