(Extracts taken from the Bulletin dated 19 October 2016)
Thank you to those members, partners and friends who attended this week’s combined Rotary meeting, where we enjoyed the opportunity of meeting members of all four cluster clubs, being Laverton Point Cook, Werribee and Wyndham. Particularly pleasing was the large turnout of members from Hoppers, which continues our recent trend of very high meeting attendances. Well done everyone!
We must thank President Sue Selleck and her fellow members from Wyndham Club who hosted the evening. This was a great opportunity for lifting the profile on our fundraising efforts for the “Lift the Lid on Mental Illness” campaign and also to meet some of the members from other clubs with whom we will be working shortly on our joint cluster Public Awareness/Rotary Showcase at selected locations. This combined fundraiser, supported by all four cluster clubs on Wednesday, is a prime example of the type of Fundraising which can be done whilst enjoying fun evening- Well done Wyndham!
We were also pleased to welcome our AG Nicole who was given the arduous task of judging the “craziest hat” competition. Whilst her selections were excellent, it could be argued that she “missed the mark” by overlooking the extraordinary creation of Louise’s elephant hat which was outrageous – bad luck Louise!
(Written by President Des)
Steve Payne was the MC for the evening and did a fabulous job in this role. He introduced President Sue Selleck from the Rotary Club of Wyndham to make the first presentation of the evening. Antoinette Spiteri from Bunnings Hoppers Crossing and her husband were invited along not knowing what to expect. President Sue totally surprised Antoinette by naming her a Paul Harris Fellow for all of her dedicated work at Bunnings working with the volunteers who gain valuable fundraising dollars for their organisations through sausage sizzles. Antoinette is only the second non-Rotarian to receive this recognition in the Club’s history, the last one being presented in 2002. Very well deserved Antoinette – congratulations!
The second presenter of the evening was James Smith from the Victorian Maori Wardens, a group of volunteers who for the past four years have patrolled trains, buses, shopping centres and other locations and have been a sounding board and confidantes for sometimes troubled young people of Islander background. Their work has been recognised by Victoria police who have embraced the good work this group is doing, without any external funding. President Sue Selleck presented James with a donation from RC Wyndham. They would love to have their own van so perhaps this funding will be put towards that project.
Finally it was hats on and hats off to PDG Murray Verso who “lifted the lid off mental illness” with a presentation on the outstanding work of Australian Rotary Health (ARH), 35 years in existence and one of the largest independent funders of mental health in Victoria.
Rotarian, Ian Scott of RC Mornington in 1981, founded ARH. The first funding support was raised for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The incidence of SIDS death rate has dropped from 140 babies per annum to 70 babies.
The incidence of mental illness is very common and also very disabling. ARH fill the gap in research funding. Two examples of major ARH funded projects are:
- Screening test for ovarian cancer 2006-2008 with Associate Professor Gregory Rice
- Organ transplants 2004-2006 with Associate Professor Gregory Snell
Since 2000 ARH has funded $3.4 million of work in the area of mental health including grants and fellowships. Significant evidence of ARH support have been:
- Media reporting of suicide
- Proving an association between diet and depression
- RC Carlton members Betty Kitchener and Associate Professor Anthony Jorm have developed guidelines for first aid for mental health problems that are widely used both in Australia and overseas.
The Cluster’s “Lift the Lid on Mental Illness” raffle raised $446.95 and a number of our members went home with goodies, including Norm who actually won 3 prizes!! Hoppers Rotarian Shaz bid in the silent auction and her son, Jake, is to be the happy recipient of a framed 2016 Geelong Football Club Team photograph. The evening’s fundraising is the richer by $130 – thank you Shaz!
(Written by Secretary Linda)