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
Oct 04, 2016
Sandy Jeffs
Mental Illness - the real story
Oct 11, 2016
Khurram Khan
Volunteering for Our Lives
Oct 18, 2016
Gabe Hau
Stop Violence in Families - Now!
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Latest Rotary International
Nigeria reclassified as polio endemic
Nigeria reported three cases of wild poliovirus in the northeastern state of Borno in August of this year. Following the World Health Organization's confirmation of these cases, the country returned to the list of polio-endemic countries. The other polio-endemic countries are Afghanistan and Pakistan. These are the first cases detected in the country since July 2014, and while this news is disappointing for all Rotary members, we are confident that Nigeria can defeat polio. Rotary provided $500,000 to assist immediately with the outbreak response, and an emergency response plan has been put...
Rotary recognized on public television's 'American Graduate Day'
Rotary was recognized on 17 September on public television's fifth annual American Graduate Day program for its work with San Diego-based Monarch School, a K-12 school for homeless youth. The Rotary Club of San Diego, California, USA, was applauded for its work mentoring Monarch's students, keeping them on track to graduate, and helping the school to continue thriving during tough economic times. Monarch School CEO Erin Spiewak appeared as one of the show's guests, along with Monarch Alumnus Cynthia Valenzuela, who attested to the positive, life-changing experience Monarch School gave her and...
Practicing peace
Nations around the world will observe the International Day of Peace on 21 September, a date designated by the United Nations in 2001 as "a day of global ceasefire and nonviolence." Rotary's commitment to building peace and resolving conflict is rooted in the Rotary Peace Centers program, formed in 2002. Each year, the program prepares up to 100 fellows to work for peace through a two-year master's degree program or a three-month professional certificate program at university partners worldwide. Today, nearly 1,000 peace centers alumni are applying their skills — negotiating peace in conflict...
Charity Navigator upgrades Rotary Foundation’s rating
The Rotary Foundation has received the highest possible score from Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of charities in the U.S. In the most recent ratings, released on 1 September, The Rotary Foundation earned the maximum 100 points for both financial health and accountability and transparency. The ratings reflect how efficiently Charity Navigator believes the Foundation will use donations, how well it has sustained programs and services, and its level of commitment to good governance and openness. In the previous rating, the Foundation had received 97 points.
Welcome to Rotary Hawthorn
Guest speaker was DG Neville John.  He joined Central Melbourne Sunrise in 1995 and since then has been a heavily involved Rotarian with many club and District roles.
He was first known to most in our club as AG some years ago and warmly welcomed back by some old friends.
When one thinks of how during the year the DG visits each club in the district, there are more than 70, sincerely enjoys each meeting and then delivers an inspirational 20 minute speech on the current messages and themes of Rotary, and the District, tempered with his own personal thoughts, and without any suggestion of staleness, it is remarkable.  Neville's fresh enthusiastic address was great, his messages and passion clear and cleverly tailored to our own club context.
Reminding all of RI's theme this year "Rotary Serving Humanity" Neville summarized his goal for each club this year as to be simply "stronger" at the end than the start.  The characteristic being contrasted could one of many, membership, community involvement, fellowship gatherings, project achievements but above all notwithstanding plans in place, "do", for only by acting will there be growth.
He told of several District drives this year:-
Three public showcase events
The club member/month campaign
Improved story publications with experienced journalist input
To engage all ages, Rotaract, Interact, Earlyact
Build partnerships with other stakeholders
To have fun and enjoy the Fellowship which Rotary offers
We were reminded of the several natural promotion opportunities this year, the centenary of Foundation, Australia Rotary Health, Polio Day (24/10) and Rotary Birthday ( 23/2).
Most poignant however was MC Trevor Jones observation on one point of Neville's story.
Faced with the invitation to join Rotary, Neville recalled his mentor's remark in response to his own reluctance to join for lack of time "Rotary will take whatever time you have".  How true, we all have different capacities and yet can still contribute and enjoy the fellowship of being a club member.

Jane Pennington from North Balwyn RC originally joined Rotary in 1997 in Puna India.  Jane a long time associate of the Girl Guide movement and a recent President at North Balwyn Rotary has been a serious contributor to the community.
As guest speaker she explained that that clubs membership is predominantly men (sounds familiar) and there was a drive by the partners to identify a special project in which they could be directly involved.
The Solomon Island is a country composed of 900+ islands just to our North but very undeveloped by any standards.  Honiara is the capital.  Its per-capita GDP is low, and more than 75% of its labour force is engaged in subsistence and fishing.  Civil conflicts since about 2000 has seen units of our Australian police force stationed there--Jane commented that the last units are due to leave soon.
Village life dominates and the young women/girls have limited educational and skill development opportunities.  Jane and her team noted that simple things like feminine hygiene goods/garments are rare and sought out to do something about it.
So they fabricated a range of such items, and set up a scheme by which the local girls could be taught to duplicate that with ongoing sewing workshops to make panties, pads and like.
Jane and the team made templates and samples in Australia, travelled to Honiara and stayed with the Salesian Sisters at Henderson, not far from the capital, Honiara, Guadalcanal.   There are four Sisters in the community who established a girls' hostel in 2010.  It accommodates up to 36 young women from all over the country and girls can complete their education, study and learn valuable employment and life skills.
There the team enjoyed the hospitality of the Sisters and company of the girls (singing concerts/sessions were especially enjoyed) and taught the girls how to use sewing machines and make the hygiene kits.  Word spread and girls from other communities now visit the hostel and partake in regular lessons to learn the fabrication technique.  Materials and sewing machines are limited of course and key to sustaining future production.
Photos of the Sisters, the North Balwyn RC team, the sewing machines and the smiling girls were a delight and a reminder of how a simple concept can prosper to an ongoing project of self help in a lesser developed region.

Politics unworkable?  Government dysfunctional?  People alienated from the political process?

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:
*  Someone who is unafraid to address this type of deep-seated question.
*  Someone who is keen to see our system of government move away from “whatever they propose, we’ll oppose”; and move towards a system where discussions across the party divide are seen as normal, sensible  and constructive.
It had taken John 20 years, and four unsuccessful bids for preselection, to achieve his goal of changing from being a solicitor to being an MP.  This journey, no doubt, has provided him with life experiences in the ‘real world’ that are making him a better politician.  He suggested to us three key attributes that he tries to nurture:
Resilience – 20 years of trying to enter parliament!
2  Forbearance – no rushing to the quick insult; resisting the temptation of seizing a trivial advantage.
3  Goodwill – Look first, jointly, at the problem to be solved, rather than just applying a knee-jerk solution.
Of course there may be conflict between the views and philosophies of individuals and of parties.  But rarely does the most prudent course lie at an end of a spectrum of options. 
Example: Crime and Punishment
Some people might say that jails are not working. So punishment should be by different means.
Other people might say that we should respond to all crime with draconian “lock ’em up for years, and for ever if the crime is bad enough”.
Neither end of the spectrum deserves to win the debate.  The legislative response should surely be somewhere in the middle, to be determined by rational debate drawing on statistics, anecdotes, research and the experiences of other jurisdictions.
Another example, suggested by John, is the debate about freedom of speech.
Thoughtful questions from the floor showed that our members are alive to the approach that John espouses.  Irrespective of our personal political loyalties, surely we can all hope that John’s rational, measured approach can make headway and thereby
*  return politics to being workable; and
*  provide us with governments that are not excessively doctrinaire, and therefore are more likely to be functional; and
*  encourage more people to engage in the political process.
John: we welcome you to our club!

It could have been boring.
But it wasn’t, thanks to the presentation by our very own Dennis Shore – with
  • pictures as well as words;
  • anecdotes as well as facts; and
  • insights into our club and District, rather than just generalities.
Dennis was telling us about the Rotary International Council on Legislation
  • 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
With terabytes of electronics, huge screens, coloured cards to show, and tons of paper (the paperwork – on top of the electronic stuff - was a fat lever arch file!), there was still a role for lots of old fashioned speaking. 
Indeed, Dennis (on behalf of our District 9800) proposed a seemingly minor proposal to adjust the punctuation to render a current rule intelligible.  That passed (even though 40 voted against it – but why?) and – along the way – sparked useful discussion on a wider topic.
Dennis highlighted two major changes that could affect any Club directly:
  • Can now meet fortnightly
  • Can now have rules to allow exotic types of membership.
Here was the huge backroom of Rotary at work. Thanks, Dennis, for showing us something of the process.

“Can an autobiography, or even a biography, be more than just vanity?”  This could have been a question lurking behind the fascinating talk by Gillian Ednie from the Your Biography enterprise.  And, through her examples, she says “Absolutely YES”.  She told stories of clients whom she had interviewed at length, as she wrote their biography. 
Sometimes a biography project can give an older person a renewed zest for living.  Sometimes, indeed, it was the biography project that gave them the reason to fight to stay alive. 
Gillian pointed out the many modern alternatives to simple print, like audio recordings, video recordings, picture books, websites, ebooks, legacy letters to offspring (in which one sets out the guidance that you wish to pass on).
Gillian assured us that the process of preparing whatever form of biography, for example,
  • 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.
Gillian drew us in with well-pitched relevant questions such as
  • What were the defining moments in our lives?
  • Who had already started research that could lead to some form of biography?
It seems that many of us are involved in some way already.
We all greatly enjoyed her talk.  Some of us may even join her biography-writing course!

Tony Atkinson is an older man with an extraordinary early life. Lyn Smailes has worked with Tony to jointly tell that story, and the result is the recently published book A Prescribed Life.
We were lucky to have them at lunch to tell us a selection of the stories from the book.  No brief article can do justice to this book or to the presentation that we enjoyed.
It was much travelled and multilingual new member Hans Carlborg who told of his work experiences and long term passions, for golf, snow skiing, and Rotary in his "Behind the Member" address. That old cliche is still correct..our home grown speakers have wonderful and interesting tales to tell.  
Our (Hawthorn Rotary’s) regular lunch time meeting on June 14 was one of the highlights of the year.
Firstly, it was exciting as it invoked the use of internet technology (Skype) to connect a speaker live in Adelaide with the audience in suburban Hawthorn, Melbourne.
It’s a great skill to be able to take the microphone and ....


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.



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