Graeme's Message, 21 May 2015

Dear Rotarians and friends,

Appropriate for Community Service month, we were out in the community on Saturday and Sunday.

“Emerge in the West” celebrated African culture in the heart of Nicholson Street. We were invited to be involved and facilitated a team of nurses and doctors from the diabetes service at Western Health, performing random blood glucose tests and blood pressure checks at our marquee. Many people stopped and took advantage of the tests and a few abnormal results were recorded and advice given.

As most of you are aware, we have forged a link with the diabetes service over the last twelve months with fundraising for the Young Adult Diabetes Service and will continue to do so in the coming year. Arrangements are well under way for the Rotary Western Health Dinner that will be held on Thursday November 19th during WH Research Week.

On Sunday, we were able to contribute to another community event to assist “Kids of the Kerb”. This is an organisation working with young people with the aim of “inspiring and offering opportunities to enable young people to succeed” and “to engage and collaborate with young people to deliver projects that achieve positive outcomes for all”. A barbecue was held on Sunday and we provided our trailer for their use and they were most appreciative of this community gesture.

A number of club members attended the District Conference on Sunday at Tabcorp Park in Melton. The new leadership team for 2015-16 was introduced by DGE Julie Mason. Sessions discussing the various avenues of service were organized.

A session discussing Community Service highlighted District endorsed programs including: Camp Getaway, RoCan (ovarian cancer), Australian Rotary Health and ROADEC (teaching new drivers road skills). 

A new District program is Violence Free Families (VFF) that I mentioned just after District Conference. This is rightly a very topical issue and the program was created as part of the community service outreach of the Rotary Club of Brighton with Lifeworks Relationship Counselling and Education Services. Colleen Hewitt has become an ambassador for VFF and has released a new CD with $5 of each CD sold ($25) going to VFF. Last week the Prime Minister, Mr Tony Abbott, filmed a glowing endorsement of VFF and Rotary. This link will take you to a video of a track from Colleen’s CD and Mr Abbott’s message.

Club based community programs and these large District programs are evidence of the great work Rotary does throughout our communities.