Graeme's message, 6 November 2014

Dear Rotarians and Friends,

This week we are joining with other clubs in the Gateway Cluster in a function that will celebrate the diversity of clubs within our area and the work being done by those clubs. It will be an opportunity to promote Rotary to the public and potential new members.

One of the speakers at this event will be Dr. Jonathan Kolieb. Jonathan was awarded the Rotary World Peace Fellow in 2004-2006. His Peace Scholarship took him to the US where he worked as a Research Associate and Special Assistant to Ambassador Morton Abramowitz at The Century Foundation in Washington DC from 2006–08, as Congressional Liaison Officer at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC from 2008–2011, and was a consultant for United Nation’s Secretary General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in 2010.

He now teaches politics at the University of Melbourne and recently completed a PhD addressing the role of corporations contributing to sustainable peace-building in conflict zones around the world.

As we mark Foundation month, it is very appropriate that we will hear from Jonathan and learn of the value of the work of Foundation in supporting scholars of his calibre.

Last Saturday November 1st was Rotary Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Rotary has had a relationship with the United Nations that dates back to 1945 when 49 Rotary members acted as delegates, advisors and consultants at the United Nations Charter Conference. This involvement “was a simple recognition of the practical part Rotary’s members have played and will continue to play in the development of understanding among nations”. The partnerships continue as most evident through Polio Plus and work through other UN agencies.

Today Rotary holds the highest consultative status possible with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which oversees many specialized UN agencies. Rotary maintains and furthers its relationship with a number of UN bodies, programs, commissions, and agencies through its representative network.

Of interest is that Prof Martin Silink who will be speaking at our dinner on November 20th, used his Rotary contacts at the UN to gain support for the creation of World Diabetes Day when he was President of the International Diabetes Federation. This is now celebrated on November 14th each year and recognises diabetes as “a chronic, debilitating and costly disease associated with major complications that pose severe risks for families, countries and the entire world.”

We are fortunate indeed to have a Rotarian of Martin Silink’s calibre as the speaker at our fundraising dinner on November 20th in support of Western Health’s “Young Adult Diabetes Service”.

I encourage you to attend the dinner, hear Martin speak and support this club project.