Rotary Hawthorn Details
Visit Rotary Hawthorn
Tuesday 12.30pm for 1.00pm.
 $36 including lunch.
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
489 Glenferrie Road
Kooyong  Vic  3144
Melbourne Australia.
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Meeting Speakers
First Meeting Of 2018
Feb 06, 2018
Professor Mary Galea
Feb 13, 2018
Medical Breakthrough For Stroke Survivors
Mrs Amanda Elliott
Feb 20, 2018
Chairman Victorian Racing Club
Feb 27, 2018
Quo Vadis
BBQ on the Terrace @ Kooyong
Mar 06, 2018
note: evening meeting -joint with Glenferrie
Sam Coffa
Mar 13, 2018
The Commonwealth Games 2018
The Hon.Ted Ballieu...Note: Night Meeting
Apr 17, 2018
Chair of the Victorian Government's ANZAC Centenary Committee
Apr 24, 2018
100 Years Since The Battle Of Villers Bretonneux
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Many of our older members of Hawthorn Rotary remember the days when Neighborhood Watch kicked off in the 1980’s.  As guest speaker Suzanne Dunlop recounted we had many overt displays of its presence with little placards attached to fence posts in each house, regular drops of one or two-page bulletins of happenings and security concerns in our street and widespread volunteer involvement at meetings.

It worked well and created an awareness which holds today especially for the older generation for monitoring threatening activities in our street and neighbor’s home.

Suzanne described how Neighborhood Watch has changed.  She noted that the number of volunteers had dropped, external funding sources reduced, the means by which knowledge of local crime statistics could be spread changed, and the street by street unit concept expanded to a regional one.  For instance, current social concerns re privacy and harassment perhaps contradicted “Safe house” displays.    Some revitalization was needed. 

Suzanne is now chair of the Boroondara wide unit and with her small team described how Neighborhood Watch is now working.    She echoed many of the points raised by a recent police guest speaker on simple home security measures (i.e. lock doors/windows and keep keys hidden) and the importance of simply being aware and reporting concerns to the police.  Suzanne told of the unit’s ongoing good relationship with local police.   Publicity campaigns at local festivals and pamphlet drops by volunteers are being pursued to remind Boroondara residents of the still active program and attract or alert younger generations to it.

Don Farrands, commercial lawyer, accountant, trombone player and past and current holder of board style roles on various community driven groups was introduced by Chair of the day Geoff Dumayne.

His topic was driven by his own personal connection to World War 1 veteran and grandfather Nelson Ferguson.    This interest had invoked his research into old documents of Nelson and in particular his stretcher bearer role on the Western Front and aspects of battles such as the Somme, Bullecourt, Ypres and Villers-Bretonneux.

It has culminated in Don’s authorship of “The Glass Soldier” a fascinating and incisive book on WW1.  Don gave the audience an overview of the book complete with some outstanding pictorial aspects of the time and conflict.    Nelson, the essential focus of the book had been a well-educated young man employed as an Art Teacher in the Ballarat area before enlisting and several of his drawings of events were shown. 

The book extends beyond the conventional WW1 events to track Nelson’s life thereafter and consider themes on the British-Australian interaction, religion, mate-ship and the role of the broader community at the time.   On a philosophical note Don explained that concepts of “virtue” and “morality” at the time and subsequently during the times of Nelson’s long life are explored.

There was outstanding point of the book and a wonderful end.    In April 1918 at the third battle at Ypres, Nelson was exposed to enemy bombardments of mustard gas laced shells and like many soldiers suffered physically.   In particular he was sight impaired with eye/cornea damage and albeit later employable at RMIT (Workers College) as a disabled art teacher was severally handicapped throughout his life, eventually reaching the status of legally blind.   After a happy marriage and three children, in his twilight years, about 1960 Nelson “out of the blue” receives a simple letter from the Government informing him that because of his past war service he has access to one free cornea transplant!

Checking this out with an eye specialist at the time leads nowhere in view of his perceived frailty.  Several years later in 1969, a link to another eye specialist, a  Dr Hardy-Smith was explored.   Success!   A cornea transplant restored his vision.   Amazing after so many years.

Don explained that any royalties from his book go to the Fred Hollows Foundation that now well-known group which worldwide conducts operations to relieve cataracts and restore sight to individuals in underdeveloped countries. 

Back in July this year Robert MacGuirk - a lawyer by training -  gave us an administrative perspective of the Australia wide project  (involving many organisations including Rotary) seeking to eradicate the eye disease trachoma in indigenous and remote Australian communities.

Lien Trinh was our last guest speaker.  She holds a Bachelor of Optometry from the University of Melbourne, Master of Optometry from the University of NSW, and Master of Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  She has experience working in a variety of low-income settings internationally and throughout Australia, providing eye-care services as well as building local eye personnel capacity through teaching, research and evaluation.


There are quotes of her personal driver that she "wants to live in a world where avoidable forms of vision impairment don’t exist, where individuals are empowered, and human diversity is celebrated".  


Appropriately then Lien is currently engaged by the Rotary Club of Melbourne to coordinate their End Trachoma by 2020 campaign and provide that technical expertise necessary.  As such her address gave an account of that and some experiences and issues which have arisen.  This project is personally endorsed by RI President Ian Riseley.


She also works with the Welcome Dinner Project; an initiative connecting those newly arrived to Australia with established Australians.  In and around Melbourne, this  project  aims to improve social cohesion and strengthen the community by providing an opportunity for newly arrived people to Australia and established Australians to meet, understand and know each other.  Liens coordination role invokes  liaising with networks, and organising events within the community, with new migrant groups, city councils, community centres and the local media.  In some small way Hawthorn Rotary's annual Christmas Dinner for the socially isolated touches on this.     


Bryan Martin, well known race caller, was guest speaker appropriately just prior to the Melbourne Cup.  Neither he nor David Rush chairman/support speaker left us with any worthy tip for the race.  They did however give an entertaining and interesting insight into the “journey of a race commentator” and an unique perspective of past race horse greats.
Bryan could remember as a 6 year old listening to the Melbourne Cup on radio.  This was the catalyst to a wonderful career in radio racing calling which took him all over the world and an iconic presence on Melbourne radio for decades.   A cynic might say that this evolved because he had the winning horse “Evening Peel” in a sweep and won “two bob”, but not so.  His fascination with that call persisted to shape his life.   
First, he and his brother as youngsters would regularly conduct mock races complete with colours for the jockeys and call them.  At the age of 14 years Bryan took serious steps by attending Radio School in Melbourne.  This touched on aspects of voice production and projection and in his case practice  race calling.  Success on the radio show “Radio Editions” (three gongs! ) with a mock race call was noticed so began a career in radio first as a mail boy.   Always keen to learn Bryan sought and got from old hands comments on tape recordings he had made of his practice calls. 
A move to Adelaide led to his first professional race-call in 1970. He got twenty dollars for the day.  Bryan recalled fond memories as a young lad of this day at Mindarie-Halidon a remote SA town in the Murray-Mallee region.  This exposure lead to an offer as an understudy at a Melbourne Radio Station and natural progression to lead roles at that and other competitor stations.
The audience was then treated to a number of film clips with fascinating race calls of some memorable races.  The role of the commentator in providing an accurate description but an interesting and most entertaining occasion came through.
Bryan commented on some of the top horses which he had seen.  It was a list of past well known racehorse names.   When asked that deft question of how does one compare today’s best, say “Winx” , with past champions, Bryan reiterated a common view that one cannot as conditions and times change.   When however he did note that probably the four best Australian performed horses in the past twenty years were mares, audience conjecture discussed weight advantages and hormone generation capacity!
It was an entertaining and informative talk enjoyed by all, and a special delight to those with horse racing awareness.
Hawthorn born, and persistent resident Ian Bentley is president  elect despite being relatively new to the club.   Well done.   However there is a past Rotarian ethos there.   At the outset of his member behind the badge address he noted that this was the third occasion on which he has told his story and failing to retrieve those past two scripts warned of a fresh one.    The warning was unnecessary as the audience got a wonderful polished account of Ian's drivers and his experiences in, and thoughts of educational practice now and in the past few decades.
Ian's outlined a career as an educator but more than that.   The "teacher" element was only a small part of his work,  at various times he has eagerly embraced those extra circular and administrative roles which many teachers avoid.    Roles ranging from athletic master, sports coach to science teachers association leader are typical of the many related areas in which he has  been very heavily involved.  
In reliving his career Ian touched on a philosophical note about how key moments (akin to the "Sliding Door" concept) determined his path.   First as a bio-science graduate a choice was made to pursue a career in education rather than post graduate research.    Then a simple prompt from one of his colleagues at his first college appointment lead him to apply for a science master role at Carey Grammar.   
Ian spent 22 years at Carey in various roles , including an exchange year in the Cotswolds and gave us an insight into his personal development(learning as he put it) as a person and educator.   Ian's enthusiasm for education came through.   His connection with students did too---photos of past students triggered stories of their subsequent achievements .   One got the impression that there were very few that Ian could not personally recall.
Always keen to face new  challenges, there was a  senior role at Kingswood College for six years.   Retirement after that was short-lived.  A casual part time Science Education lectureship became permanent and even now similar activity at Deakin University is followed.
Ian and Jane (that's them above after 44 years married) have three adult children all successfully pursuing careers one in finance, one in law and the other is psychology.   There was an amusing contrast by Ian of the athletic iron-man son with the more sedate daughters.  Ian openly (tactfully?) attributed a lot of his happiness, and past achievements to support from Jane.    One feels that the club will be in good presidential hands next year with the Bentley team.
Senior Constable Jo Pokiri with Victoria Police is presently the Boorondara Crime Prevention Officer.  With a delightful Irish brogue, she kept the lunch meeting fully involved with her talk on policing practices in our district and some common-sense crime prevention tips.   The audience lapped it up and happily took advantage of her hospitality to go beyond time in answering many questions.
Joe’s outgoing and friendly style is well suited to her representation role.   One wonders how with 4 children how she maintains that outlook!   Still as she explained after joining the force in 2010 she has had a variety of assignments, starting with general duties and then a Family Violence focus.   Here her interaction with victims, and helping them understand their rights etc. gave her a lot of satisfaction.   It is understandable that there was a natural path flowing to her current representation role. Today she regularly makes presentations on home security and personal safety.
In the course of her talk some sobering facts were evidenced.    Family violence is widespread-elder abuse is one often disregarded but an important element of that---the majority of calls for police attendance in our district comes from family disturbance issues.
The major thrust of the address was about home security and here the audience attention was high.
Burglaries and their prevention was key.    Jo noted most could be prevented by application of simple common-sense practices by the home owner.   Open windows and unlocked doors and cars abound!  So, called Security doors are not made for purpose.  
The whole point of any burglar deterrent should be to slow the offender down.  Opportunistic thieves (which most cases involve) seeking ready cash generally for drug use, want easy targets and to be and out in a few minutes.   A good noisy dog and simple security devices which stall intruder entrance help.
On a different note Jo stressed the importance of community participation.   Hence one should not be  fearful of getting involved by reporting to police some unusual behaviour or alarm sounds---the police are far more sympathetic to a false call than no call at all.  
Jo summed it up  in two phrases.     “Slow them down"  and "Advise or Report”


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.

Rotary Hawthorn Pintrest
Upcoming Rotary Hawthorn Events
January 2018
Rotary Hawthorn Board
Vice President
President Elect
Club Services Director
Community Service Director
Youth & Vocational Director
International Service Director
Member Positions
Weeks, Jill
Front Desk
Morrison, Charles