Shine On Awards 2016

(L-R) Sue, Christopher and President Des

The annual Rotary Southern Districts Shine On Awards recognise outstanding community service by people with disabilities who, by their actions, serve as ’Shining Examples’ to the community. They contribute under demanding and difficult conditions to their local and wider communities. The Rotary Club of Mount Martha hosted this year’s ceremony on Sunday 30 April 2017 at Balcombe Grammar School.

The Awards were first presented in Brisbane in 1993. Through corporate funding since 1999, the Rotary Southern Districts Committee has administered the Awards in Victoria, with recognition of two separate age groups, Youth (15 to 25 years) and Adults (over 25 years), with common selection criteria.

This year our District (District 9800) was fortunate to have four people nominated for the Awards. The Rotary Clubs of Hoppers Crossing (2), Woodend (1), and Melbourne (1) all sponsored nominees.

The Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing is proud to have been able to sponsor Sue Wild (in the adult category) and Christopher Hansen (in the youth category).

Sue Wild
Sue was a volunteer at Riding for Disabled and undertook trainer instruction. While working Sue undertook studies in Cert IV and then Diploma in Disability Work. Sue was also a driving force behind the development and management of BaseCamp 3030. Sue is also heavily involved in activities with her church.

Sue is passionate about support her local community and is actively involved in: Werribee Special Links, Werribee Baptist Church & Wyndham Community Benevolent Foundation Inc, and Wyndham Disability Action Group Inc (WYNDAG. Sue is a long serving member of WYNDAG and has only recently stepped down as an official committee member.

Sue was the recipient of Wyndham City Council’s ‘Disability Access Award 2006’ for voluntary services to people with disabilities, their families and carers.

Christopher Hansen
Christopher is a vibrant young man who lives as independently as possible, he travels independently and takes care of his own personal need. Chris is working on developing his independent living skills. Christopher is extremely considerate of other people, helpful and generous. Christopher works every day at Mambourin Enterprises, and he has a girlfriend who he meets in the city and hangs out with, and he is also a sporting fan of AFL, soccer and cricket. Christopher also is a participating member of his local church where he volunteers at all church functions, working in the kitchen at dinners, and at Fetes.

Christopher is a member of Special Olympics Melbourne North. He participates in regular Tenpin Bowling, Bocce and Basketball. Christopher is also a member of the Athletes Leadership Program, participating in Run With The Law Torch Runs and various PR functions.

Christopher has represented Special Olympics Australia in the 2013 Asia Pacific Games, winning a Silver Medal in Bocce. He has represented Special Olympics Victoria at two National Games; Adelaide in 2010, winning a Bronze medal in Tenpin Bowling, and Melbourne in 2014, winning 2 Silver Medals in Bocce. Christopher represented Australia at the Dream Ride in Connecticut USA in 2016.He takes part in any public functions to promote Special Olympics in particular and Disability Services in general.

Christopher won the Pierre De Coubertin Award in 2011 and the Graduating Student Achievement Award at Croxton Special School in 2011.

Our club congratulates both Sue and Christopher on their outstanding achievements and contributions to the local community of Wyndham, and wishes them both continued success in all their future endeavours.

(L-r) Sue, Christopher, President Des, and Shine On Committee Member Louise

Mercy Hospital Critical Care Unit Donation

Our Club was happy to be able to make a significant donation tonight to the Werribee District Hospital Charitable Foundation and it was received by Chair Nik Tsardakis (Foundation Committee member and a charter member of our club) to be directed to the much-needed Critical Care Unit planned for Werribee Mercy Hospital.

Nik (left) receiving the donation from President Des.

Nik acknowledged the continuing support from our club for this public hospital which goes back to the early 1990’s when the hospital was first built and our club, at the time, pledged $30k from profits of our first three Antique fairs.

We look forward to being able to continue our support to the Hospital and the vital role it plays within our community.

New Member Inducted – Fiona Bolton

One of the main events from this week’s meeting was the long-awaited induction of Fiona Bolton who is destined to become a fine contributor to our Club and its major projects.

Fiona has already been involved in club activities and President Elect David was thrilled to announce that new members Fiona and Mary Sfameni will jointly manage our Wedding  Expo (which is one of the club’s major fundraising projects) for 2018.

It is fantastic to see new members step up and take on key roles in our club.

Welcome to our Club again Fiona and to the Social and Fundraising Committee. We look forward to the continued contributions you make to our club and the wider community.

(L-R) Mary (who introduced Fiona to the Club), Tim (who chair’s the Social and Fundraising Committee which fiona is officially joining and is already actively participating in), Gifty (will be Fiona’s mentor) and our newest member herself, Fiona.

East Timor Hearts Fund – Guest Speaker Dr Louise Creati

(Written by Gifty Dade)

This week was a very special meeting where we welcomed Dr Louise Creati who gave us a most informative address regarding the East Timor Heart Fund followed by a donation from the club.

Dr Louise Creati – volunteer Cardiologist for East Timor Hearts Fund

Dr. Louise Creati spoke on East Timor Hearts Fund and the incredible work it does.
Louise is a Cardiologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Mercy Hospital Werribee.
Louise was also a Rotary Exchange Student at 17 years old travelling to Malaysia.

History: East Timor Hearts Fund Established in 2010 by Dr. Noel Bayley (Cardiologist Warrnambool) Noel has been travelling to East Timor since 2002 for aid work. Patrons are the governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and His Excellency Xanana Gusmão – Former Prime Minister of East Timor.

Louise stated that, in the setting of poverty and lack of access to healthcare, there are ‘lots’ of rheumatic heart diseases with no known actual prevalence:
• Combination of rheumatic heart disease
• Congenital heart disease
• Grown up congenital heart disease.

Below are some of the achievements by Louise and her team during a trip last year to East Timor:
• 130 patients seen, all with echo-cardiograms done in 4 days!!!!
• Biggest trip done to date
• Able to review patients’ post-procedure, medical therapy reviews, and had about 80 brand-new referrals.
• Currently 9 young people needing relatively urgent intervention.
• 26 on waitlist.
• Younger children are usually referred to and taken care of by ROMAC.

Dr louise Creati receiving cheque from Community Committee member Louise

Louise was very gracious when receiving a donation of $500.00 from our Community Committee on behalf of Club for the East Timor Heart Fund.

Donations can be made to through their website at East Timor Hearts Fund

We wish Louise and the amazing group of volunteers at the East Timor Hearts Fund continued success at saving lives.

Potential New Members talk about their Passions

This week we had two potential new members talk to us about their life and their passion and why they were interested in joining Rotary. It seemed the common consensus amongst most people want to join is that they want to do something meaningful and help the local community. Here is what Aziz and Tufah had to say this week.

Aziz Arshad talking to the club about his work history.

Aziz Arshad

Aziz is from Pakistan and has spent most of his life between there and Australia. Aziz is now permanently residing in Australia and has been now for some years. Aziz was introduced to you club through his nephew Khurram.

Aziz has spent many years working in the welfare sector in Pakistan assisting in education programs for Orphans and the homeless, in both city and rural areas. He was trustee for many children, which mean he would manage the funds to ensure they were being distributed appropriately. . He encouraged his family, friends, and local businesses to sponsor children to entitle them to the basic education the deserved. It would cost $150 to cover their education (books, bag, uniform, etc) or $350 to cover their education and living expenses.

Khurram (left) and Aziz (right). Khurram is Aziz’s nephew and introduced him to our club.

In Australia he has worked for organisations such as Brotherhood of St Laurence, Vinnies, etc. Although officially retired, Aziz is now looking at setting up his own business. Aziz likes to remain active in the community, which is what motivated him to join our club.

We look forward to Aziz being inducted into our club in the new future.


Tufah Garad

Tufah talks about her passion of empowering women.

Tufah found out about our club through Women of Wyndham. The chair of the group introduced her to Des and the rest they say is history. With Des’ passion for Rotary and improving the gender balance it is no wonder we have the pleasure of having Tufah becoming a member of our club in the near future.

Tufah is from Somalia. Tufah is very passionate about the rights of equality of women in the community. Tufah has worked in local community centres and many organisations that focus on empowering women in the community. A lot of the work Tufah has done over the years has been in a voluntary capacity.

Frances, Tufah and President Des

Tufah enjoys working with women (especially from a culturally and linguistically diverse background) and educating them about living in Australia. This includes understanding the language, the culture, the rights of women, resources available to assist them when needed, etc. Tufah has also educated women in health related matters such as breast self-examinations, accessing our health system, etc. Knowledge is power and being empowered helps people feel in control of their lives and a valued member of society.

Tufah summed up her beliefs very nicely by saying “Work as a community. Work with each other and support each other”.

Divisional Commander Stuart Bateson

On Wednesday 12 April 2017 our club had the pleasure of being address by Divisional Commender Stuart Bateson. Stuart gave our members and guests a great insight into the challenges of the local police and what is currently happening in Wyndham> Here is a summary of what Stuart had to say.

  • Stuart is the Divisional Commander for the Wyndham, Hobsons bay and marigyrnong Local Government Areas.
  • Stuart says that the crime rate per 100,000 residents is quite low for the Wyndham area compare to other local government areas.
  • Victoria Police will be employing 3100 new personnel marked for front line duties and being deployed to growth areas in and around Melbourne.
  • A multi-disciplinary facility is being built next door to the Mercy Werribee Hospital which will house: police, Department of Health and Human Services, Child Protection Services, CASA, and medical personnel.
  • A new Police Station is also being built right next to the existing facility on Princes Highway which will house approximately 500 police, including: front line staff, detectives, taskforce groups, highway patrol, prosecutors, etc. This facility will also have meeting rooms that community groups will be able to use so that it encourages better community liaison with local police.
  • Altona North will also be having a new police station built as it is beyond repairing now, very old, and not able to meet the needs of the local community and the policing staff..
  • Family violence is one of the biggest issues taking approximately 50% of police resources in Wyndham.
  • Women usually experience domestic violence about six times before they contact the Police for assistance.
  • The major challenges the police face are:
    • Mental health of police officers – an example of the impact of policing was given.
    • Youth issues – aggravated robbery and car hacking the major issues.
    • Drugs – Ice is a major issue now and the impact of the drugs is a concern. Many people taking Ice experience Psychosis and increased strength which does make it hard for police to contain.
  • Wyndham City Council is very support to the police in the area and work with the police to address community issues.
  • Police are trying to improve their image to the public by getting out into the community and engaging with the locals. Examples of this includes:
    • Soccer games today with the Sudanese community where over 200 people turned up to play and support the activity.
    • 32 local officers participated in the Oxfam 100km walk on the weekend completing the course in just over 23 hours. Stuart is sporting the blisters and uneasy walk to prove this.
    • The Kokoda trail for teens at risk training and completing the trails. This has been done in previous years (every second year) and is due to occur this year. The youth involved are required to attend regular training sessions, help fundraise to pay for the experience, etc.

President Elect, David thanked Stuart for his insightful presentation and reiterated our club;s commitment to support our local police in whatever capacity possible. The future is looking bright with the resources being invested in Wyndham and the dedication of our local police. Thank you to all our local police officer who work hard to ensure our community is a safer place.

Youth Homelessness Matters Day

On Wednesday 5 April was ‘Youth Homelessness Matters Day’.

Our Club supported Werribee Support and Housing activities in Station Place by hosting a BBQ for all attendees.

Homelessness in Wyndham is a major issue in our community. Local MP Tim Pallas talks about the day on his Facebook page saying: “Werribee is a community that looks after one another. On Youth Homelessness Matters Day we raise awareness of young people facing difficult and uncertain times. Come down to Station Place in Werribee for UnitingCare Werribee Support and Housing’s annual event, with live entertainment, food, and an opportunity to make a donation. Along with community groups such as Whitelion and the Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing, they make a profound difference in the local community. Today, the Andrews Labor Government has announced access to $35m in accommodation services for Victorians experiencing homelessness, as part of our $109m homelessness response – because this issue matters.”

VCOSS CEO Emma King says in their latest newsletter: “Nearly 40,000 Victorians under the age of 25 sought assistance from homelessness services last financial year, over 600 more than the previous year. That’s almost 40 per cent of Victorian’s known homeless population. These numbers paint a bleak picture and scarily they are only conservative estimates due to the high likelihood of young people living in hidden forms of homelessness such as couch-surfing.”

Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing has been supporting Werribee Support and Housing for some time and intend to continue our ongoing support to this very important service in the local community.

Werribee Support and Housing relies on the generous support from the local community. F you are able to support them with any donations of funds or resources, please contact them directly.

Phone: (03) 9742 6452




Women In Rotary Night – A Great Success

Wednesday 8th March was the International Women’s Day but for the women of the Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing, the celebration was graced in a historical way on the night of 22nd March 2017 with big presence of the audience being women, highlighted by the remarkable woman (Past DG), Julie Mason, as a guest speaker, talking about the Impact of Rotary. I am glad to have witnessed all unfold. Pleasantly and genuinely clearing the clouds around women and rotary.

Past District Governor Julie Mason

Julie demonstrated, with a stirring address, her passion for Rotary (and what Rotary can do for its members) – The audience was enthralled, as Julie’s presentation was outstanding.

(L-R) Mentor Shaz, Unductee Shemsiya, ADG Nicole, and President Des

Following the presentation of Julie, we were delighted to induct another female member, Shemsiya. Our Assistant District Governor, Nicole, assisted me in inducting Shemsiya to our club on this very special night. Shemsiya helps balance the scale in our club of women to men ratio. Go Ladies. I am very pleased with the progress being made to achieving one of my rotary year goals as President.

Perhaps the surprising highlight of the night was the impromptu address by our newest member Shemsiya who spoke from her heart about what becoming a member of Rotary means for her prior to her induction as a Rotarian. Shem has been supported by her family in joining Rotary and had a great support team last night. Unfortunately, her husband Adam is overseas for the next few months and was therefore unable to be here on her special night. As Shemsiya’s confidence grows she will undoubtedly be a great asset for our club.

Our Women in Rotary Night was an outstanding success with around forty ladies attending as visitors to learn more about the wonderful work done in Rotary. They were supported by a great majority of our own members attending this unique event compared to our regular weekly meetings. Thank you to everyone for your support in making this night a successful one.

President Nominee Shaz

I would also like to add my gratitude and appreciation for our Women IN Rotary Night Committee, so ably led by Shaz who accepted my offer of management of this project in her first leadership role in our club. A job that was extremely well managed and executed.

We welcomed a very familiar face, in Assistant Governor Nicole Lake who has quickly made herself a valued friend of many of our members in her first year in that role. Nicole has looked forward to this event and she was warmly welcomed by members. We look forward to any future occasion when Nicole can visit us.

Guests were shown evidence of the many Rotary projects in our Showcase and Linda chaired an excellent Q and A Panel session featuring Shaz, Maria and Frances, all with varying lengths of service to Rotary.

It is hoped that several of our female guests who later expressed their wish to join Rotary will attend upcoming meetings to check out whether Rotary is for them. I know our members will make them feel very welcome when they come along to experience one of our regular meetings.

Wheelchairs for Vietnam

(Written by President Des)

On Wednesday 8 March, Our guest speaker was Michael Redding, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Werribee. He came to address the Club on a project about which he is very passionate – Wheelchairs for Vietnam. 

Michael’s first visit to Vietnam was in 2010 and this was to be the start of a life changing journey for him. While he was there Michael made friends with Nguyen Cuu Dung, a remarkable man who taught himself English from a dictionary and also speaks Dutch, French and a little German. His 5 children have all been university educated. During his visit in 2010 Michael became aware of the need for wheelchairs for adults and young people with disabilities. His friend, Cuu Dung, introduced Michael to Nguyen Hong Anh who has a role within a Vietnamese web based NGO Charity which has become the vehicle for identifying recipients and purchasing wheelchairs.

The wheelchairs for kids are made in Scarborough, WA by volunteer retirees mostly using recycled parts and costing $200. The distribution of wheelchairs to children is managed by the Kianh Foundation in Hoi An. The tricycle style wheelchairs for adults are made in Ho Chi Minh City. The cost of an adult wheelchair is $300.

Members of the Rotary Club of Wyndham were thrilled to see film footage of a young Vietnamese boy, Coi, actually using the wheelchair that they had purchased for him.

Wedding Expo Exhibitors Wanted

Our Wedding Expo is being held on Sunday 30th April 2017 at Encore Events Centre, Derrimut Road, Hoppers Crossing.

We still have some spots available for Exhibitors.

If you have a business in the Wedding industry or know somebody who does and would like good exposure the the residents of Wyndham, then don’t miss this great opportunity.

Email us now at

We look forward to hearing from you soon.