Greetings All
I hadn’t realised what a busy month it has been until I put pen to paper.
I hope you’ve all been able to enjoy the warmer weather and those that have gardens have been able to tame the weeds!
Member reflection and Rotary Toast.
On the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Pacific war Sue Foley spoke of the 484 Rotary Clubs and 16,700 Rotarians wiped off the rolls of Rotary during this time. Even in the trenches Rotarians held meetings and continued the work of Rotary. Reminding us of the resilience and strength we gain from being connected to like minded people trying to make the world a better place as we face another challenge.
At the following meeting I reflected on Altruism or benevolence which is when we act or promote someone else’s welfare, even at a cost to ourselves.
In the past few weeks I personally experienced the generosity of kindness in Rotarians when my married son was suddenly taken to hospital for an extended stay. A difficult time made more distressing due to Covid restrictions around visiting. I missed a Rotary meeting and explained to our wonderful AG Lili Teichman the reason. Lili insisted on preparing some meals for my daughter-in-law and grandson. On delivering them, Master Fynn aged 5 asked why people were dropping off food to the house. His mum explained that when people are having a difficult time and especially now with Covid when we can’t hug each other it’s like somebody giving you a caring hug. “oh” he said, “so we’ve got a fridge full of hugs”. My dear fellow Rotarians have made sure his fridge stays full of hugs!
What happens at our meetings!
We were pleased to award Immediate Past President John Wall with a new Paul Harris 3 sapphires pin. Seeing John speechless at the unexpected surprise was unusual!
We also Inducted and welcomed new member Jo Colvin. Jo was introduced to Rotary through Club Member Bronwyn Maddock. Jo was a friend of RC Melbourne South visiting meetings and participating in activities for a few months before making the final decision to join. Jo won the raffle on the night and warned us she has a lucky streak when it comes to raffles!
Our speakers for the past month have given us an insight into how our club has been helping and can continue to help our community in and around Melbourne.
Empower Australia – Community Food Pantry
Nicole Werner Business Development and Business Relationship Manager for Empower Australia. Empower provide a Community Food Pantry on City Rd, Southbank. Nicole spoke of the increase in the number of visitors they have received over the past 8 months. Pre-Covid the numbers were around 350 per week at their Community Pantry. The number of visitors is now around 2,700 over 5 outlets, Geelong, Lower Plenty, Pakenham, Ringwood and Southbank. It is estimated that 22% of the recipients are children. The greatest number of visitors are received at Southbank, approximately 1300 per week. The project has been extended to Capetown, South Africa.
Star Health, Kamaya Crawford South Melbourne Community Capacity Building Initiative, working with Park Towers and Emerald Hill
Kamaya’s focus is exploring social housing issues and the expectations of DHHS as the Social housing landlords.
Two high rise housing blocks: Park Towers, 299 Apartments approximately 600 people.
Possibly an intimidating situation if you’ve never lived in multilevel housing. Many people arrive at the social housing estate in a state of trauma. Kamaya and her team have been working on how to de-escalate the stress. The simple act of providing Security Personnel at the complex had a calming influence at Park Towers.  The establishment of a Residents committee cultivating community by supporting community gardens, family fundays with BBQ’s with culturally diverse food stalls and vet days for residents pets. The community needs more garden beds and assistance with maintaining the garden beds. Care packs for new residents arriving with information in the language they speak as a family.
Emerald Hill is the oldest high rise public housing in Victoria with 500 plus residents. It has an established residents committee with longer term residents. The playgrounds at both sites are old and need replacing. There is a question mark over who is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the areas, the housing landlord DHHS or CoPP. Our member Joan Daniels recalled when RCMS first helped build the playground and shaded outdoor area.
A Fellowship evening was held at the end of August, a movie night via Zoom and suitable for all the family -The secret of Ronin Inish, was enjoyed by many club members and friends.
I am very excited to confirm that in addition to our Sister club RC Bendigo we now have an International sister club – The Rotary E Club of Hawaii. We will organise a ‘get to know each other meeting’ outside of our regular meetings in the very near future.

Next meeting:
21 September, Footy Colours dinner in support of Fight Cancer Foundation - not to be missed!
Our Guest Speaker for the evening will be Mr Eric Wright, Managing Director – Fight Cancer Foundation with a very special resident of Rotary House.
Donations from everybody wearing their colours and those wishing to donate the cost of their meal will be sent to Cancer Foundation. There will be a special raffle on the night.
The link for those that wish to contribute before the night or that might not be able to join us:
23 September, Port Philip Cluster meeting with DG Philip Archer.
This meeting will be hosted by RC Albert Park, Zoom details are different than our normal meeting:
Zoom link 951 5405 5597.
More details to follow.
5 October, Peter Duras from Central Melbourne Club… A funny thing happened on the way to the Olympics!
19 October, Darrel Steer, a member of World of Difference (WOD) Cambodian project started by RCMS. Daniel lived in Cambodia for 5 years before returning to Australia and supervising the project from Australia.
2 November, Fellowship
16 November, RYLA speaker Jessica Wheeler of the District Committee.
And on a happy note: a big thank you from the Seafarers receiving Care Packs in partnership with Stella Maris.
The crew modelling hand knitted beanies sent in from all around Australia in support of our often forgotten essential workers.