Graeme's Message, 31 July 2014

Rotarians and friends

With official visits completed, our meeting last week was a regular lunchtime meeting. We welcomed speakers Katie McMahon and Amy Mar from the Maribrynong City Council and heard of the “Footscray Structure Plan” that will have a significant impact on Footscray over the coming years . Approximately 2000 new dwellings will be constructed in the Moreland St, Hopkins St and Josephs Road precinct. These developments have been approved by the Planning Minister rather than by the Council resulting in concerns at a local level.

Later on Thursday I attended a farewell function to honour the work of the Hon. Ralph Willis on his retirement as Chairperson of the Board of Western Health. The invitation was in my capacity as President of the Rotary Club of Footscray rather than as a member of the Medical Staff indicating the community status of our club. He served as member for Gellibrand in Federal Parliament from 1972 until 1998.

During that time he held a number of cabinet positions during the Hawke/Keating era of Labour government including being Treasurer. Since July 2004 he chaired the Board of Western Health and during the subsequent decade guided incredible development and expansion of the organization. Attendees included many present and past political leaders, representatives of universities and the medical profession along with community partners including Rotary. 

A “super cluster” meeting was also held on Thursday evening. We are now part of Gateway East along with Flemington, Moonee Valley, West Footscray, Essendon and Essendon North. Gateway West includes Sunshine, Brimbank Central, Tullamarine, Keilor and Keilor East. Meeting together gives the opportunity to share ideas and it is amazing to learn of how many projects are being planned or already underway across the cluster. Details of the various events will be posted on our website calendar and in the Bulletin as notice is received. The first of these notices (attached) is from RC Moonee Valley for a cocktail party in aid of Australian Cambodian Childrens Task Force.

Membership is a major focus for clubs in our cluster and to address this a joint promotion involving all clubs is planned for September. Members will be invited to bring potential members who can hear about Rotary. Our club is having a special membership day on August 14th and details are attached in this Bulletin. We hope to induct two new members on that day. Kevin Field is demonstrating great leadership in his capacity as Membership Chair.

As I heard discussion during the week concerning the leaking of a taped interview of a political leader I couldn't help but consider the value of the “Rotary Four Way Test” in the way we relate to one another personally and professionally.

Regards Graeme