Graeme's message, 3 July 2014

Fellow Rotarians and friends,

Happy New Rotarian Year!

After attending changeover dinners for Flemington, West Footscray and the District changeover luncheon I was honoured to become the 80th President of our club at our changeover dinner last Thursday evening (July 3rd).

Leading up to my period as President, District has provided tho rough training at a series of weekend programs. As well I attended the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) course so I feel well prepared for the task ahead. However, I am sure I will, from time to time seek advice and support from you all throughout the year and tap into the vast corporate knowledge of Rotary within our club. 

The changeover function was a great night of celebration, entertainment and the opportunity to network with fellow members, Rotarians from other clubs and friends of Rotary. We were honoured to have DGE Julie Mason, IPDG Ross Butterworth and Annette along with AG Austen Burleigh and Sue join us for the evening. Leaders from the community Hon Marsha Thomson and Deputy Mayor Nam Quach also attended. Joy and I were pleased to have a number of friends and family attending and they were duly impressed with the work the club.

The Tanjil River Band provided great music during the evening adding to the atmosphere. What a pity Des Stayches was unwell and unable to take his usual role in the band. During the evening, President Ejanul assisted by DGE Julie Mason presented a number of awards to members, recognising service and commitment to Rotary.

  • Lauch Wright – (sapphire 2) over 60 years active membership
  • Robert Newman – (sapphire) contribution to program and Foundation
  • Emanuel Tumino – (sapphire) contribution to Youth Service
  • George Kerry Snr (dec) – (sapphire) contribution to Rotary Club fellowship, Welcome committee.
  • We were delighted that Sika Kerry was present to receive this award. 

Club Service Awards recognized the work of PP Ron Hunt, PP Darcy Brennan, Elizabeth Drozd and Elia Andriotis for the club. An International Service award recognized the visit to Ethiopia by Jamie Robertson OAM assessing oral health for school children in Ethiopia. Recognising his 40 years of membership Frank Trimboli was acknowledged as a Legend of Rotary.

The Royce Abbey Award which recognizes “enthusiasm and commitment” to Rotary by reasonably new members, and I was honoured to be presented with this award. Over my Rotary life I trust that I will be able to continue to display these qualities.

Following installation it was my first, and very pleasant, duty as President to present to Ejanul Haque a Paul Harris Fellow award. PDG Ross Butterworth highlighted the work of Ejanul both in Rotary and the community.

In the 2014-15 year we will continue with all the current projects. As well we will take on a new project in association with Western Health. A “Young Adult Diabetes Service” has commenced and we will support the work of a Nurse Educator attached to the service. A fundraising dinner on November 20th will support this project along with other donations.

Our club provided funds to support the Footscray Police with their “Interagency Family Violence Forum” held on Monday 7th July. I was able to attend for part of the program and learn of the complexities in managing families involved in such difficult circumstances. The Rotary Club of Brighton has been active in this area and were instrumental in creating “Violence Free Families” a District endorsed program. Rotarian David Smyth from this group attended the forum and he volunteered to come and talk to us.

Gary Huang the new President of Rotary International has chosen the theme for 2014-15 “Light up Rotary” so it is my hope that the Rotary Club of Footscray will be “ignited” with enthusiasm and “illuminate” our presence in the community. On behalf of the club I extend to Ejanul our thanks for his leadership throughout 2013-14 and congratulate him on a job well done. We also thank Anar and Ryan for their support to Ejanul during his year as President.

I look forward to working with you all over the next year as we demonstrate “service above self”.