President's Message

It was great for us to get together in person last week at the Mercure Hotel. We weren’t big in number but we had a good chat and organised whatever needed to be done for then in particular finalizing our commitment at the Rotary Australia Day event held at the Nossal High School in Berwick. As it turned out Rotary’s contact at the School was the District 9820 District Governor, Mark Humphries who is one of the Managers at the School.

The venue was very impressive and despite the exact details of the event being very hazy up to the actual day, it all went off very smoothly and at a very professional standard.

There was a sombre note to start the event when Mark Humpries advised us that a few days earlier one of the school's most dedicated teachers, Lisa Mandeltort drowned after she was approached whilst walking her dog in  Venus Bay by a distraught person pleading for her to assist a drowning 14-year-old girl. She immediately jumped into the water and saved the young girl but got caught up in the rip herself and could not be saved. I attach this photo of her to bring her image to you rather than leave her as just another drowning statistic. I did convey the condolences of our club to Mark Humphries

Back onto the event. It was jammed full of information about Rotary Projects and some amazing entertainment. The entertainment included Marina Prior, Mike Brady, and Josh Piterman.

As much as it was an Australia Day event under the banner of “Reflect, Respect and Celebrate” it was also very much a celebration of the Centenary of Rotary in Australia.  To mark that occasion we also had messages from the RI President Holgar Knack and the Governor-General of Australia, David Hurley.

Of the volunteers helping at the event, our club definitely pulled its weight again with Judy & I, James & Cheryl, and Andrew Georgiou all helping out.

At the end, we sat down to a very good lunch served up by our Rotary volunteers. There were Rotarians from most Victorian clusters so it was good to speak to people from all parts of Victoria. Among the guests was our own friend of the club Selba Gondoza Luka with her daughter Kwatcha and assistant Vivian.

It was great to speak with them there and generally just catch up in person again. A bit before most others started to leave I noticed the three of them leave a bit before the end and so couldn’t say goodbye but later that day on Facebook I noticed where they must have gone to. Selba posted a message and photo of her with the Mayor of Greater Dandenong where Selba had been awarded citizen of the year for her services to Afri-Aus Care. What great news and well deserved. If you attend our Zoom meeting I can give you more exciting news in relation to Afri-Aus Care and our involvement with them.

New Centre Director Ariel Valent has arranged a small celebration for tonight of our local Newspaper’s recent success in the statewide awards and I was present to represent our club.

Tomorrow, I am meeting with Ted and Peter Riordan, Principal of Simmons College to discuss the details of the proposed John Hanley Scholarship.

At tomorrow’s Zoom meeting and our Guest Speaker is Don McQueen.


Don is particularly keen to speak to our members about encouraging our club to get involved with the Haileybury College City Campus by getting them a Rotary Peace Pole.

Don is also known as the "Bush Balladeer" and has agreed to give us an example of his very entertaining skills.

This week zoom meeting link is

Meeting ID: 881 4641 4160


Next week on Thursday 4th February 2021 we have as our guest speaker Mr. Vijay Iyer who is the Bank Manager of our local branch of the Bendigo Bank to tell us about his bank branch. This meeting will be in person at the Mercure Hotel, North Melbourne at 6.30 pm for a 6.45 pm start.

Have a Great Rotary Week!