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Last Monday saw a continuation of the Victoria Police theme from the previous week with Detective Inspector Glenn Harriss as our Guest Speaker. Glenn is our Police Mentoree and was introduced by our excellent Chairman for the night and his club mentor, David Zrna. Glenn is one of 50 Police Officers nominated each year by the Chief Commissioner for mentoring by Rotary and the business community (Glenn’s business mentor is with KPMG).
Glenn is based in the St Kilda Road Police Headquarters which includes Crime Command, Covert Operations and the special divisions and task forces. He manages 70 staff in 24 locations across Crime Command supplying information and intelligence that drives the special divisions.
Born and raised in Ballarat, Glenn talked frankly about his days growing up in that city and his bush upbringing including sport (elite level sprinter), trap shooting, football, etc. He talked about the drinking culture and stupidity of young people during those years leading to the tragic loss of many young lives… one mother lost four sons in four separate accidents. He lost a number of mates the same way and is not surprisingly a huge supporter of the original “let’s declare war on 1034” and other road toll campaigns and initiatives.
From those early years when Glenn walked past a police station, saw a police recruitment sign and joined the force, Glenn has had a very impressive career covering numerous appointments in various precincts and his current position as one of Victoria’s leading and respected senior policemen. He talked about his early days stationed in Braybrook and the success achieved there in confronting crime, violence, drugs, burglary, armed robbery, etc. He modestly talked about what the police did best at that time and still do today… ”we are very good at catching crooks”.
Glenn’s career then progressed as Senior Detective at Box Hill and a period in Fraud Investigation. At that time, he noted that many in the Force went about their job without knowing each other and he was instrumental in driving the police involvement with Variety the children’s charity motoring event, the Variety Bash.
The annual Variety Bash is Australia’s most successful charity motoring event. Starting in 1996 and raising funds very successfully for many charity needs over the last 18 years, the Variety Bash has played a most significant role in helping to bring policing into the community…. Glenn has been on the Variety Club Committee for the last two years and been involved with apprentices and mechanics in building more than 50 cars. This is a key program in linking law enforcement to the community. It has also played a part in contributing to more cooperation between the different state police forces and impacts on community support to media releases and crime resolution.
This was another stimulating presentation by an absorbing speaker who is a very positive representative from the Victoria Police. We thank Glenn and also David for the wonderful benefits enjoyed by both parties through Rotary Police Mentoring.
Next Monday is another very special night with my good friend Helen Marston talking about the work of her organization, Humane Research Australia, in their speaking up for animals in many ways, particularly animal experimentation for cosmetics and unnecessary exploitation. She will provide a logical, well researched and very balanced argument for humane treatment of animals in many areas. I urge you to come along and bring family and friends…. particularly animal lovers… to hear what she has to say.
On Monday we will also have a group of young people from International House promoting their upcoming evening to raise funds for Polio Plus and other causes. The theme this year is the Orient Express and it will be a fabulous night of entertainment by very talented and creative young people.
Finally, I again plead with members and volunteers to attend the special Anzac Meeting next Wednesday at Greenacres Golf Course. Ross Bastiaan is a noted speaker and it will indeed be a most special evening. I have personally assured Camberwell President Graeme Hope that he can expect 30 from our Club including the Anzac Marshalls who will be late as we are attending a briefing at Anzac House earlier that night. Please let me or Michael Chong know that you are attending (and how many) or if we can help with transport arrangements. That evening will be in lieu of our meeting the following Easter Monday. Thank you to all of you who represent our Club and support this special event. The Rotary Club of Camberwell has demonstrated great support to our Club this year and I want to do the same.
See you all on Monday and hope you enjoy the rest of the week until then.