Helping people to achieve extraordinary things
Rotary Hawthorn Details
Visit Rotary Hawthorn
Tuesday 12.30pm for 1.00pm.
Enjoy a light lunch for $30.
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
489 Glenferrie Road
Kooyong  Vic  3144
Melbourne Australia.
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Meeting Speakers
May 31, 2016
Tom Burns
Young Achiever, Neuro-Scientist, Bio-ethics Fellow...and Grandson of Vic Burns!
Jun 07, 2016
Tim Lane
'A View From The Commentary Box'
Jun 14, 2016
Jun 23, 2016
Changeover Night
Dinner. *Note: No Lunch Meeting on Tuesday 21st June*
Jun 28, 2016
Dennis Shore
Nearly Everything You Wanted To Know About The Council On Legislation
Jul 12, 2016
Visit to Rotary Camberwell Art Show
Please Note: Lunchtime Meeting At Swinburne
Why Join Rotary?



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Rotary Hawthorn Bulletins
Latest Rotary International
Global movement needed to reverse water crisis
This year's World Water Summit on 27 May in Seoul highlighted the progress being made: Over the last 25 years, more than 2.5 billion people gained access to improved drinking water, and 2 billion who didn't have adequate sanitation now do. Child deaths from water-related diseases dropped from 1.5 million to just over 600,000. The UN Millennium Development Goals' target for clean drinking water was met five years ahead of schedule. But for the 1.8 billion people whose drinking water remains contaminated and the 2.4 billion without access to proper sanitation, progress is still too slow, said...
2016 Rotary Convention Photo Gallery
Browse exclusive photos of convention highlights from Korea.
Rotary shop on new platform
As of 1 May, the Rotary shop will be available on a new platform. We may experience some downtime during the transition and apologize for any inconvenience. If you have any questions, please contact us at or at 847-866-4600.
Rotary districts mobilize to support survivors of Ecuador, Japan quakes
After a series of three earthquakes -- two in Japan and one in Ecuador -- killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and caused billions of dollars in damage late last week, Rotary members in those regions have created disaster relief funds to help survivors. In Ecuador, the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Saturday night has killed more than 400 people, with 2,500 injured. Those figures are expected to rise. Rotary District 4400 established a service fund to raise money for relief efforts. Contact District Governor Manuel A. Nieto Jijon for information on how to donate. In Japan,...

Welcome to Rotary Hawthorn

That's Jamin Heppell and Kat Stevenson delivering an enthusiastic and refreshing address on the origins and drive of Game Changers Australia.
To the sporting minded the term "Game Changers Australia"  usually conjures up thoughts of critical moments in some sporting contest whereby the end result is critically determined by some minute action at a given moment on the sports field.
This concept is correct but Jamin Heppell from "Game Changers Australia" has taken it more broadly to that of a young individuals level of personal development.   Along with colleague Kat Stevenson (both pictured above) we were delighted by their  energetic and  passionate address embracing stories of both their personal journeys and how that lead to the Game Changers organization and its goals and processes.

Jamin comes from Leongatha.   As a youth (not long ago) he noted how central the local football club was to the social glue for the community and connected with all age groups.   More important was the observation that lack of wholesome and skilled leadership could be detrimental to the community and the young adults.   Certain behaviors of players, racist slurs,  homophobic and politically incorrect actions, heavy drinking all infected his football club and flowed through to the community.

So this important link between sport and community leadership and participation, was at the forefront of his ideas on how to help develop positive leadership skills, and these evolved further with his attendance at YMCA camps and RYLA (yes the Rotary Program). 

He decided to set up a leadership program for young leaders from many football clubs across the region and formed Captain’s Club. He visited 56 clubs, addressed the Boards and got them to nominate attendees for the camps.  Getting these sporting leaders on-board was seen as an entry to the broader community'.

From this start Game Changers was founded in 2012.  One question sums up its aim  "How do we engage young people?"

Combining sports psychology, physical conditioning, leadership studies, resilience training , nutrition and effective communication training Game Changers, a non-profit group supported by the YMCA and the Vic Government, provides the opportunity for potential sporting-community leaders to come together in camps and learn and share experiences.

Anne Scott (no stranger to the movement) chaired our last meeting and the address by Brendan Watson, Scouts Victoria Chief Commissioner.
Brendan also principal at the Catholic Regional College in Sydenham is a long term scout and educator.  Joining the Scouts as young lad he has contributed much to that organization in leadership and representational roles especially.
A very enthusiastic supporter of the organization and the life experience benefits and training which it can deliver to participants, his address told of initiatives in Victoria to combat the often observed stagnation and membership pressures in mature volunteer organizations like the Scouts.
An advocate for thinking differently and invoking change consistent with modern demographics, Brendan talked about the increasing membership of the past recent several years (now approaching 20,000 in Victoria) and how Victoria is being observed world-wide by the scouts movement as a model in which Scouting activity can lead to educational certification and accreditation for subjects in say the VCE.
Several stories about the scouts, complete with selected snap shots of the relevant individuals gave a wonderful idea of the extent of the impact of scouting in Victoria.   These ranged from the sad story of the death of Luke Batty and organized counseling for scouts (an ongoing service), of how the King of Sweden (and honorary worldwide leader) was chaperoned (without adult intervention) on a visit to Victoria by scouts (from young adults to "joeys"),  the Big Day Scout event central Melbourne, and the efforts/horrific yet uplifting stories of two ex Syrian brothers (scouts first in their home country) now firmly entrenched in the Victorian set.
Brendan reminded us of the community focus of scouting and that "scarf" worn by all members.  The scarf is symbolic of the geographic origin of a scout, and here in Victoria the new design is a wonderful combination of Victorian and scouting icons.
At the end, after a slight overrun in time (the audience did not notice) chairman Anne and President Lawrence thanked Brendan for a great address.

Appropriately our own medical club member Tilak Dissanayake introduced and chaired the address/discussion presented by Professor Clive May. 
Clive is a research professor at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and Head of the Neuro-cardiovascular laboratory.  Originally from the UK with a BSc and PhD from Southampton University, and a mix of medical research experience in industry and St Mary’s Hospital Medical School, London, about 20 years ago he joined the Howard Florey Institute.   Clive commented that he was attracted by that institutes reputation for being one of the world leaders in medical research (and he noted it still is) and opportunity to participate.
Nowadays his major research interest is how the brain and nervous system interacts with the cardiovascular system. 
We got a quick lesson and example in how the brain controls heart rhythms, and  where a damaged heart (after a heart attack say) can be over stimulated in response to the brains role to sustain blood flow to other organs and be further damaged.  Intervention at the brain level, be it by electrical means or creating impeding lesions on key nerves can reduce this over stimulation.
It opened the way to two other topics invoking  research linking instrumentation to the body.  Clive joked that many thought of him as a hybrid medico/electronic engineer.
Cleverly keeping the address at a high level to not lose the audience we learnt of research into establishing bio-markers (looking at oxygen levels in the kidneys)  to identify the early onset of septic shock (a major issue after surgery …at present 30% mortality) and then the use of electrodes in the brain by which paralyzed  individuals may control external aids.  A new advance here involved “stentrodes” a means of inserting electrodes into the blood vessels of the brain thus overcoming the brains usual  response to ultimately scar and block an electrode.
After answering the usual personal medical queries from the audience, Clive discussed how such research needs huge funding to go beyond  the conceptual stage and so often by necessity leads  to overseas relationships (mostly the USA) and  the devolution of Australian  property rights.   The audience was left pondering on the Australian attitude to research, and how its  research dollars are allocated.

Michael Redding our last guest speaker is a retired teacher who went to Vietnam-Cambodia  in 2010 as an independent traveler.  He was taken by the beautiful landscapes set in the backdrop of those ancient cultures and traditions, and by some of the friendliest people to be found anywhere.  Sadly he also saw significant poverty and a great number of physically disabled people.
Such disability often manifest as restricted mobility—perhaps from untreated infections, birth defects and/or the aftermath of past war activity. 
Michael, a recently inducted Rotarian at Werribee RC, told of a program (of Rotary) in which he is very active to provide wheelchairs to these disabled.  It was a revelation to hear about a workshop in Scarborough Perth, staffed by volunteer Rotarians making wheelchairs at the cost of about $200 per unit for use in Vietnam and Cambodia.
He emphasized a key point often overlooked, namely that the provision of welfare from Australia  to overseas communities needs a recipient/partner at the site to sustain delivery etc.  Rotary Australia often interacts with fellow overseas clubs but Vietnam does not yet approve of Rotary or like organizations.  
Cambodia does there is a Phnom Penh RC and so provides the logistical base for these wheelchairs (built for kids) to go and be distributed there.   As an aside Michael told of his experience at our own DIK  warehouse loading a container with these wheelchairs.
A link with NTCM (“ Nguoi Toi Cuu Mang”) and some wonderful local Vietnamese contacts whom Michael told of provides a basis for delivery of wheelchairs to disabled adults in Ho Chi Minh City.   Michael brought the context to a personal level by highlighting individual stories with pictures  of how wheelchairs had changed lives of specific people—the audience would  never forget the tale of Bah a woman immobilized by an accident.
The third location was Hoi An in Vietnam  where connection with a UK  supported foundation (with links to RMIT)   the Kianh Foundation Day Centre  provides a way to deliver wheelchairs to disabled children in that city.
Michael concluded by noting the ongoing nature of the program.   A $300 donation suffices to provide a wheelchair.  Often there is a small residue with which some food can be added for the benefit of the wheelchair recipient. 

Chair for the day Geoff Wright introduced guest speaker  Daniel  Wilksch.
Daniel Wilksch is Co-ordinator, Digital Projects at the Public Record Office of Victoria.  His recent focus has been to manage PROV's digitization program, i.e. to record in electronic many of those old paper records from archives.  Moreover he has been heavily involved in developing PROV's online exhibitions, including the recent “Battle to Farm” website (see later for explanation).
One area of record retrieval and analysis which Daniel told of was the history of Soldier Settlements. This the thrust of his address was a fascinating account of how returned service men first in WWI were able to lease small (typical 640 acres) from the State and how they fared in establishing and maintaining an existence as farmers.
The digitized records predominantly developed from old hand written lease documents dating from just after WWI were the prime source from which his modern computer routines have setup data bases which for example now allow one to get visual and statistical overviews.  His presented map of Victoria was extensively covered by icons of their presence, only national park areas were clean.   Daniel complemented the statistical overview with a few individual stories of farmers.  This personal material was often gained from ancestors who had contributed old photos and family history.
Sadly the stories of the farms and families told of a generally tough life, and worse a high level of long term failure arising from weather ( many farms were set up in regions where good seasons were limited 1 in 7 say),  the onset of the depression and poor prices for product.   Commonly the “farmer ex soldier” needed paid employment to exist.   
The scope can be understood from numbers.   Of 90,000 WWI participants about 60,000 returned and 12000 took out leases.  By 1929 many (20%) had relinquished their lease, albeit it was effectively a time payment purchase based on a perceived value set years before.   Values dropped and one can envisage it inefficient to keep paying---in 1935 a revaluation with lower figures alleviated this problem for those who persisted.
A like scheme for WWII veterans was better designed and had more enduring success.
Thanks Daniel for a great story.   Most of the audience’s knowledge had been limited to childhood memories of signs stating the presence of a Soldier Settlement.

That's Rod Iddles above having captured the audience's attention, and at right at the podium.
Ron Iddles as guest speaker drew a large number of guest attendees to hear his address.   Ron is the Secretary and CEO of the Victorian Police Association and a well known and respected contributor/commentator on topical law and order issues.  However with over 30 years service in the Police Forces with 25 years as a Senior Investigator in homicide cases Ron’s address concentrated on his observations and stories of such cases.
Reasons behind homicides are difficult to determine but Ron noted that in his time society and resultant human behaviour has changed and is still changing rapidly.  Concepts of family units are different, and especially modes and degrees of personal communication are far different.  An individual can be readily isolated and that fact alone can see him/her suffer and respond in an anti social and violent manner.
Ron demonstrated the investigator's basic approach to a suspicious death and demonstrated the three keys points of the approach by reference to examples and stories of his own experiences.   First step was to identify the deceased and catalogue all their connections, second establish the cause of death and finally consider the possible motives behind the death.
Against this framework Ron almost held the audience spellbound as he told of his experiences and cases.

Chairman Hans Calborg lead the way with an introduction to Peter Allen current  Executive Director  of the Boroondara Cares Foundation.
Hans outlined Peter’s CV .  It told of  past management and ownership of large firms in the advertising industry,  subsequent board roles on various philanthropic organisations,  academic institutes , and director bodies often with specialty application on Audit Committees.  Other roles ( where does he get the energy?) covered  business development features , e.g. as adjunct Professor in Business Development at Latrobe.   Notably to us locally he is a continuing Rotarian at Camberwell (being a PP) and was the local 2008 Citizen of the Year, and most relevant a major figure in the setup and ongoing evolution of the Boroondara Cares Foundation (formerly Foundation Boroondara).
The actual nature and structure  of  “Boroondara Cares”  is  sometimes vague to many of us.    Peter explained. 
It came out of a drought relief initiative in 2008 by local Rotary clubs in the Boroondara region when a nexus was established with Moira Shire in northern Victoria for the provision of support to residents of that drought stricken shire.   It was an informal aggregation for that purpose, which has now sustained itself to the broad and continuing aim “to change lives by supporting community based programs in our region”.
It fits somewhere albeit informally between District and individual Rotary clubs in a given close geography  where a common objective exists.   Its funding is sourced from those Rotary clubs (50% from Glenferrie RC’s farmer market) and other external avenues, but also enjoys  great contributions of in kind effort e.g. from Swinburne University and other friends (Council).   Directors are local Rotarians. 
Five captions cover its charter;   Homelessness, Family Violence, Drug Abuse, Social Isolation and Educational Disadvantage.    Superficially one does not imagine that such issues are big in the Boroondara suburbs but Peter outlined statistics to the contrary; two stand out:-  400+ homeless and 645 past year reported incidents of family violence. 
Programs aimed at alleviating all of the above are active or in development.   The scale can be large, for instance a planned accommodation unit for the homeless may provide lower rent options for up to 40.  Exploration of sophisticated financing options with banks are realistic and underway.

Chairman Stephen Bowtell introduced Daniel Kuzeff as guest speaker on the broad topic of youth suicide and Daniel's personal efforts to help ease the problem.
First, his address demonstrated his passionate and selfless activity over a wide range of initiatives aimed an improving the plight of the poor and the mentally troubled in our society.  We learned of his connection and long time support to the homeless in The Philippines, including successful fund raising (started by his contribution of wages from part time work while at university) and later from efforts canvassing donors.  Ongoing this now links into an Australian School Program (APS) whereby eligible senior school students spend time in the Philippines helping with the construction of homes in poor villages.

However now his other major focus is the social issue of youth depression and suicide.   He related alarming statistics about the prevalence of both, and considered some of the reasons why.

Summed up by the phrase "dysfunction and disengagement"  he listed a few more prominent causes as likely contributors, e.g. stress in the household, early year communication problems, even eating habits (too much refined sugar?), broken families, the onset of technology and its isolating impact, a lack of empathy  in children and a general "more please" mentality which has arisen in advanced well resourced countries. 

He noted the dominant cause of death amongst youth aged between 15-24 in Australia is suicide.   He has developed a speaking program and workshops for schools around the State to combat these underlying mental and social health issues of the youth.

The thrust of it is characterized in the group named "Our Connection",  founded in 2013.  They seek to empower students to discover more of whom they are, appreciate what they have and realize the difference they are able to make to others...a simple and perhaps self evident message that in "helping others one helps oneself".

Daniels enthusiasm and style came through in the address , as did his obvious choice to pursue a career apart from the conventional ambition and wealth path.   Doubtless it would touch and be relevant to many of the young and hence one suspects that his efforts are very positively received and effective in his sphere of influence.    One hopes that his example (and others like him) expands to broader policy outcomes in our society. 




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.

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May 2016
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Weeks, Jill
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Morrison, Charles