Posted by PDG Dennis Shore
For many years, a highlight of the Rotary year for Rotary Hawthorn was the presentation of the Ron Carr Award, named in honour of Ron Carr who was President in 1981-82, having joined the club in 1965.
It was always easy to find Ron’s office, which was originally at 444 Burwood Road – just above the mower shop where a papier-mache Sir Robert Menzies pushing a mower was a well-known local oddity!
Ron was a pioneer in acoustical engineering and acoustical consulting was a relatively new discipline when Ron started in the field in the 1960’s trading as Ronald J Carr Acoustics. Once an obscure field, acoustical consulting is now standard practice in Australia to ensure the measurement and control of noise pollution and acoustical planning in residential, industrial and commercial developments.  Ron worked in Perth, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as Melbourne’s CBD and surrounds.
Among other things, Ron was a founding member and inaugural President of the Association of Australian Acoustical Consultants in 1977. The Association was established to provide a professional peak-body with status equivalent to the Institution of Engineers in the acoustics field. Ron also worked tirelessly to support entrepreneurs and innovative new businesses. 
As Vocational Services Chair for the club, Ron developed and initiated the concept of an award for entrepreneurship, which was rolled out in 1986. Sadly Ron passed away 6 days before the first award was presented and the 1985-86 President Gerry Gaffney and his Board decided to name the award in honour of Ron to recognise his vision and effort in bringing this award to fruition. Ron is the only President of our club to have an award named after him.
Ron had a greater vision that “similar awards will be promoted through other districts culminating with a National Award”.  Ron very much believed in the small business people and the community.  These values were brought together and promoted with the development of this award.
Ron suddenly became critically ill and died from mesothelioma on 4th June 1986 at the age of 53 only 4 months after diagnosis. This may have been from his contact with asbestos as a popular material in acoustical engineering before its sinister properties were acknowledged, but his daughter Lisa noted that Ron and his younger brother (who also died from mesothelioma) had worked on fireproofing the blue trains, apparently as a holiday job and this may have been the origin of their condition. [For the railway aficionados, the “blue trains” were technically Harris trains and were the first steel-bodied electrical multiple unit train to operate on Melbourne’s suburban rail network. They operated between 1956 and 1988 and were named after Norman Charles Harris, Chairman of Commissioners of the Victorian Railways, between 1940 and 1950].
The concept of the award was to recognise entrepreneurs from the City of Hawthorn and later from Boroondara through an‘Annual Entrepreneur Award’ The award consisted of a specially created Bronze statuette (commissioned from artist and former Hawthorn Mayor Lloyd Orton) and $1000, a significant sum in those days.
Over time, the award morphed into the Ron Carr Enterprise Award in conjunction with the Economic development Department of the City of Boroondara. Nominations were evaluated on the basis of flair and enterprise; Demonstration of innovation and development of new thinking; Potential contribution to community and/or economic development and innovation techniques.
A look through the list of past (and some current) members demonstrates just how apt that award was for our club. Many of our members have themselves been pioneers and entrepreneurs in their businesses and professions.
There were many very worthy nominations over the quarter century, which highlighted the significant entrepreneurial centre of excellence in Hawthorn/Boroondara and very many worthy winners, including our own Jill Weeks in 2001.
Ron left us well before he should have but his contribution to Rotary and the community lives on through his professional achievements and the Ron Carr Award.
Past Winners of the Ron Carr Award
1986 David Bygate of Monitor Security, for the Monitor Service name installed throughout the metropolitan area of Melbourne a sense of security so needed by elderly people.

1987 Derek Holly and Victor Proctor of Gilder Painting Services Pty Ltd.  In today's economic climate it is rewarding to learn of two young men recognising a need, developing the courage to persevere with that idea.  In two short years they have used their marketing and management skills with plenty of hard work to develop a successful enterprise.  At the presentation it was noted that the company employed a higher than normal percentage of apprentices.

1988 Dr Jack Massey of Space & Time Research, who developed a software which enables large data bases to be taken from magnetic tape, stored on a compact disk and then retrieved by a conventional desk top micro computer.  His market is international and the first product launch using Census data has been very successful.  

1989 - 2000 No Awards details recorded

2001 Jill Weeks of Lifestyle Info Services, which plays a key role in educating and delivering quality content, presentations and materials to financial planning groups, superannuation fund members, property groups, business groups other companies and organisations around Australia on lifestyle, retirement, future trends and baby boomers, based on books, products, documents, and articles she has written (including Where To Retire In Australia, Retire Bizzi, 21 Ways To Retire, Looking Ahead and Boomers With Bounce and The Next Step). 
2002 Tim Lincoln of Lincoln Indicators which provides a new and superior way of analysing the financial health of companies.  We can supply objective and independent analysis on any financial entity through our two software products: STOCKdoctor and RISKmanager.  Tim Lincoln, Dr Merv Lincoln's son and an experienced computer analyst, joined the business in 1991 to focus on commercialising Dr Lincoln's methodology into a PC-based application that could be used by retail investors and organisations to assess financial risk.
2003 James Shen of Ozsicon whose patch products are made from a versatile silicone rubber material with unique properties including durability, low toxicity, resistance to temperature extremes and UV radiation.  Using proprietary technology, epatchis manufactured to adhere to glossy surfaces without glue or water. It can be peeled off without leaving a residue and reapplied many times as required.  From its inception, in the last 3 years epatch has expanded it's core business to include the promotional products industry and the signage industry.
2004 Danielle Thompson of Specialist Care Services, which helps find nursing home or hostel places or help provide support for elderly of disabled people who want to stay home.  We are a team of highly qualified staff with a range of expertise in the aged and disability care industry.  Our company is built on experience and professionalism.  At Specialist Care Services we take pride in services to meet individual care needs and expectations.

2005 Liz Gasparini and Belinda Read of Overlooking Solutions Pty Ltd, and Henk Kelly-Kobes of Dymocks, Camberwell. Overlooking Solutions is a business dedicated to the production and promotion of the Overlooking Solutions Unit (OSU) a window unit designed to overcome the urban problem where high storey windows overlook neighbouring properties, thereby compromising privacy.  The OSU is a double glazed window unit which can be used as an alternative to frosted or obscured glass.  Thin metal blades are spaced, tensioned and sealed horizontally between glass panes, creating and obstruction to vision when looking down on neighbouring properties.  Dymocks was established in 1992, Dymocks Camberwerll was generating a sizeable turnover when current owners Henk and Roxanne Kelly-Kobes purchased the store in 2000.  Recognising the store's potential at its valuable Burke Road location, Henk and Roxanne recruited the help of their family to improve business through attentive customer service, a comprehensive book range and competitive pricing.  Within three years, hard work had paid off and sales had increased by over 200%, including increased market penetration into the valued school market.  The store has added new product lines, including the introducti on of an ABC/SBS Centre within the store.
2006 Peter Philip, Director of TechOnline, which was formed in May 2004 to directly address the IT problems of micro/small businesses.  The principals of TechOnline undertook research with many small businesses, SOHO, home offices, professional consultants, engineers, small trade companies and small manufacturers to find out what their needs were.  As a consequence of the research carried out TechOnline decided to take advantage of recent developments in the rapidly changing world of technology: The result of all this has been the creation of a set of TechOnline subscription services designed specifically for small business.  

2007 Jackie Cook and Kate Webster. Priorities Flexible Employment Strategies was formed in 2005 by Kate Webster and Jackie Cook who recognised that there was a vast pool of dedicated, highly talented, capable individuals who were available to work but needed some flexibility to balance their other commitments in their lives.  Priorities specialises in these non-traditional candidates such as parents returning to work, mature age employees, people who require more flexibility or have down shifted and wish to work less.  They train, recruit and advise in alternate recruitment methods, often working directly with employers to help them establish accommodating work practices and employment strategies and create roles that will appeal to this valuable underemployed sector.  

2008 Cris Ivanidis and Michael Wong, of Audiology Ultra Services.  Traditional hearing service providers prescribe and fit hearing aids with often little interest in what occurs once that individual has left the clinic. Four years ago audiologists Cris Ivanidis and Michael Wong saw this as an opportunity to establish an innovative business with community connections that exceeded client and industry expectations.  The Ultra Life service offers a combination of hearing rehabilitation programs and activities that provide clients with real life opportunities to experience the benefits of better hearing once they have been fitted with hearing aids. In achieving this goal, Audiology Ultra has become one of the fastest growing private practices in Victoria, and their unique service-based model is fuelling phenomenal growth  

2009 Bernadette Roach and Leila Sturt. Healthy Fund Raising Healthy Fundraising Australia is a dedicated fundraising business offering healthy snack foods specifically designed for school fundraising, kinder fundraising, office fundraising and club fundraising, Australia wide.  

2010 Rina Chia of Take 2 Markets.  This business was set up to bring women together who wish to buy and sell quality pre-loved clothing and accessories in a fun and friendly atmosphere.