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As the end of the first quarter of my year as Club President approaches, I feel a great sense of pride in our Club. Last Monday's meeting was brilliant. So many people were responsible for that. This week, I review what makes us such a vibrant Rotary Club that is so much fun to attend.
Our program manager, Bill Granger, is making our weekly meetings something never to be missed. I have to admit, that my initial concerns that he would be able to sustain such a high quality run of speakers for a second year, were totally unfounded. I'm sure everyone agrees, it just gets better and better!!
Dr Rebecca Segrave, a clinical neuropsychologist who is at the forefront of research into mental health, gave us an incredible presentation on her work this week. Depression affects one in seven adult Australians. That is over a million of us and 350 million globally. Somebody suicides every 40 seconds!
Dr Rebecca Segrave
Rebecca’s interest in mental illness began as a teenager, when she watched a family friend struggle with biopolar disorder. The experience encouraged her to study psychology at university, and, after completing several degrees, she became a clinical neuropsychologist and a researcher. Rebecca has developed strategies that retrain the brain on how not to focus on negative thoughts as a possible treatment for depression.
Rebecca was able to explain this complex topic in ways we could all understand. Unfortunately, most of the standard treatments for depression don't work and the side effects of the medication can cause people to stop taking it. She showed us some of the equipment that is having some success in her research at the Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre. It appears that a combined treatment that is safe, economical and portable for delivery in remote and rural areas could be effective. She advised us that a holistic approach of good diet, sufficient exercise, decent sleep and some meditation was the best preventative action.
David Robinson contributed to the success of the evening as our Chairman. David’s superb management of the multitude of questions from our engaged audience, enabled Rebecca to add even more to her outstanding presentation. We all learnt so much.
Bill Nankervis presented his Member Behind the Badge talk. We learnt of his long partnership with Jenni and about their two great kids, Sam and Louise. Bill has had an interesting career, able to change vocations with his accounting and business management skills. We get to know one another so much better as a result of these presentations.
Bob Falconer gave us some fascinating background to the Police Blue Ribbon day, when we remember officers who have been killed in the line of duty. 157 have made this ultimate sacrifice while serving in Victoria. Bob explained how his son had experienced more dangerous situations as a police officer in 10 years than Bob had in his whole 36 years of police service. Our fundraising for the evening is to be donated to the Blue Ribbon appeal for 29th September.
Only in an Aussie Rotary Club would we see members handballing a footy through a dunny seat to raise money for a worthwhile cause. Val is back!!!
Doug narrowly defeated Lynn in winning a frozen chook for his fine handballing skills. Much fun and laughter was had by both participants and the audience.
It was particularly pleasing to see Peter Evans, Shirley Granger, Patrick Cunniffe, Gail Mastrowicz and Grace Chudasko attend our meeting. Our message that partners, family and friends are always welcome at our meetings must finally be getting through. It was nice to see people taking home the menus from the tables to make use of the ‘month ahead’ program on the back.
Our caterers are doing a fantastic job. The quality of meals has been particularly high this year. It makes a night out at Rotary really good value, when we get such nice food with the entertainment, fellowship and excellent speakers we have been having. Thanks must also go to Russell and Graeme for their efforts each week in all the behind the scenes work they do for us to setup, record attendance, run and pack up the meetings, then bank the cash.
Next Monday’s FareShare visit is being organised by Michael Chong with dinner being planned at the Ha Long Bay restaurant by Ross Merolli. Remember that there is no meeting in Canterbury next Monday and we need to be at 1-7 South Audley Street in Abbotsford for a 6:00pm start.
Jill Keeffe is our next guest speaker, just before we are off to the medical mission in the Philippines. Jill was instrumental in the start of our Club’s work in the Philippines, some twenty years ago. She has worked with Fred Hollows and became our first female Club President. Jill will outline the developments in ophthalmology during this period. We hope as many of those who are coming on this years trip will be able to join us on 6th October.
We have recently contributed funds to pay for a container of freight to the Philippines to support the outstanding contribution of Gerry Cross and his team of DIK volunteers. We have sponsored Jimmy Fan to attend the NYSF next January. Our ongoing sponsorship of a PhD candidate for research into Alzheimer’s disease has been made for this year. Not long ago, we were unable to spend our annual income. But now our Treasurer, Kay Gulenc, has a real challenge to manage our cash flow. She does it very well. But the good work our members do each Sunday morning at the Camberwell Market, under the leadership of Tony Simpson, continues to be the lifeblood of our busy service projects.
A potential new member saw our website and rang me to ask if he could join our Club. Please make Matt Miller welcome when he joins us at our meeting on 6th October.
Cyclists, lunch groups, morning walkers, social activities are all thriving under the efforts of those who put in so much effort to make them a success. We are so lucky to have all these active members to make things happen.
Despite all our achievements, there is still much work to be done. But I’ll leave that for the next edition. See you in Abbotsford.