President’s Note

Years ago, at a science education conference I attended in Canberra, the keynote address was delivered by ecologist and writer David Suzuki. Suzuki described a simple fix the salmon industry had attempted to address the fact that salmon had disappeared almost entirely from many Canadian rivers. The solution involved breeding salmon in fish farms. After reaching a suitable size, the fish were released into different rivers along the coast. True to their nature, the salmon eventually swam out to sea to feed during winter before returning to the rivers to spawn. To everyone’s surprise, however, while the fish returned in large numbers, they did not return to the rivers into which they’d been released, but to a single river, the river of their genetic ancestors.  
Suzuki’s message, of course, was that things are often not nearly as simple as they seem, and living systems are so often more complex than they appear. Ecosystems, biogeochemical systems, social systems and even business and economic systems are likewise more complex than the average citizen can imagine.
With the upcoming budget and election in Australia, the shocking events in New Zealand, trade wars and the many issues raised at the recent Peace Summit and MD Conference, it is clear that contemporary civilisation is beset with a multitude of complex and interrelated problems. However, reporting in the media and policies trotted out by our politicians rarely address the complexities. Blame is laid on a single group or cause and ‘band-aid’ solutions proposed.
Complexity is inherent in many of the issues Rotary addresses, including that of modern slavery, described at last Tuesday’s meeting by Tony and Robyn Stokes. Again, consistent with many Rotary humanitarian projects, the strategies to address slavery are multifaceted and will require persistence over many years and probably decades.  The solution to slavery is not to be found solely through legislative change, although this is necessary, but through addressing educational disadvantage, poverty, corruption, ethnic violence and even causes that seem remote, such as climate change and environmental degradation that drive people from land that was once arable, to places where they become more vulnerable. All power to Rotary and the Rotarians who are prepared to selflessly serve humanity.
At Club level, the new online registration process for club meetings had its first run this week. Considering this was its first trial, it was fairly successful. Each week when you receive the invitation email to the weekly meeting could I ask you to click your name and go to the ClubRunner invitation page.  On this page please either Register or Decline. Declining the invitation when you are not attending gives us a way of checking that members who have not registered are definitely not attending the meeting.  There were many more members at this week’s meeting than expected. While this which was a pleasant surprise, but it did mean that numbers communicated for catering were inaccurate.  Full marks to the kitchen at Kooyong LTC for their flexibility and being able to once again provide a substantial lunch for more attendees than expected.  
The cheerful hum of conversation punctuated with bursts of laughter before the meeting highlighted the strong friendships that exist between club members. It was a pleasure to welcome Rotarian Paul from Missouri USA and Alan Seale from the RC of Central Melbourne. I am sure that all present found the meeting varied, lively and thought-provoking.  
I look forward to seeing you again next week and don't forget to register online.
Ian Bentley

The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery

Tony and Robyn Stokes of Box Hill Central Rotary Club gave an interesting dissertation on modern slavery, and the activities of The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery.
Tony started by describing different forms of slavery, as some form of forced labour, unpaid work with debt that the worker is unable to escape from, perhaps without a full understanding of the debt and its implications, often with the debt being passed to the next generation.  He described North Korea with 1 in 12 workers in state imposed forced labour, Uzbekistan cotton pickers, “domestic servants” in embassies, in the electronic and clothing industries.  He bracketed forced marriages with workers in the sex industry, and described how orphanages were tied into these. 
He described 40.3 million people in some form of bondage, three quarters of them female, and including 10 million childeren. Half of these are in SE Asia, with up to 15,000 in Australia.
Robyn Stokes went on to describe some RAGAS Programs to raise awareness of slavery, and how kidnapping and rape were used to control the slaves. A program “Creating better futures” for children in the Karen villages of Myanmar is introducing training to protect children.
The Rotary Action Group Against Slavery supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to eradicate forced labour,  modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour by 2030. 
More about RAGAS at 
Watch “A21 Can You See Me - Sex Trafficking”on Vimeo: 
And for the latest End Slavery Newsletter (there is a subscribe button at the end of the newsletter)[UNIQID]

Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds 

The next Wednesday Evening Meeting will be held on 27th March, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM at Vision Australia.
Lesley McCarthy of Flemington Kensington Rotary Club will speak on Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds.  
This project arose from a “wish list” as part of a container of educational equipment to a girls orphanage in Sri Lanka in 2017.
Research identified that councils, schools and community organisations recycle their playground equipment on a regular basis due to changes in Australian Standards, wear and tear, fear of litigation.  They go to landfill!
Using the Donations in Kind organisation and with support from the Municipal Association of Victoria, we are harvesting these playgrounds, repairing elements, and shipping them to 3rdworld countries where such equipment is unheard of.  When money and food is scarce, playgrounds are not high on the priority list.
Lesley has  Power Point presentation for members to enjoy.

Empowering women through Rotary

The Seven Women Center in Kathmandu, Nepal, provides a respite from the discrimination and violence many Nepali women face in their personal lives.
Stephanie Woollard, a former tour guide with a passion for social justice and a knack for connecting with people, started the center after several encounters in Kathmandu revealed the plight of women there.
Now a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, Australia, Woollard’s drive for justice led her to the Rotary Peace Centers at Uppsala University in Sweden in 2013.
Many members will recall Stephanie Woollard at the District Conference in Albury in 2013. Her amazing story is available at:


The human body is an amazing thing. It is capable of creating life, surviving horrible diseases and accidents, and tasting all kinds of good (and equally bad) food). But human bodies are also susceptible to great tragedies, from freak accidents to medical mysteries. Understanding your body and how it works is vital to not only surviving, but also to live longer.
 “A person who is not very active can start by making small changes, such as replacing soft drinks with water and adding a 10-minute walk to a daily routine,” Carly Schuna writes for
And understanding your body and the benefits of good health are vital for thriving communities as well. “Better health is central to human happiness and well-being,” the World Health Organization’s website reports. “It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more.”
So how much do you know about your body? What you don’t know will surprise you, like how 50 percent of your hand’s strength lives in your little finger. Well, if you want to know about your body (and why wouldn’t you?), we have you covered.
Here are 50 facts about your body that you probably aren’t aware of, but should be:
1) Twenty-five percent of bones in an adult are in the foot. Even more of a reason to get those sensible shoes.
2) The body’s largest muscle is the gluteus maximus a.k.a. your booty a.k.a. your twerking muscle.
3) You will likely eat 100,000 pounds of food in your lifetime. Set a goal to make 25,000 pounds of that food pizza.
4) The only part of your body with zero blood flow is the cornea of eye. It only requires oxygen.
5) If you think you have big ears or a big nose, there’s a reason for that: both parts of your body never stop growing.
6) More than 278 different types of bacteria are exchanged when two people kiss. 95 percent of them aren’t harmful.
Ths Shadow Knows!
District 9800 Vocational Chairman Alan Seale told us about the new Leaders Mentoring Program: Building on the success of the Victoria Police Leaders Mentoring Program, Ambulance Victoria are partnering with Rotary in Victoria to establish a similar program.  Commencing in April 2018 the new program will involve all Victorian Rotary Districts. As with VicPol, it is a structured 12 month development program that matches an Ambulance Victoria mentee with a Rotary mentor in order to further develop the AV members’ leadership skills relevant to their role in the service. Interested?  Contact Alan at
Charlotte England reminded us to register for the Golf Day on Friday, 29th March. Even if you don’t (or can’t) play golf, join us for some fun on the putting greeen or for drinks and nibbles in the bar from 4.30 onwards. Register with Trybooking:
The expression“Youth is wasted on the young” has been attributed to several authors, including George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. So how did you go, during the students strike for “climate change”?  
The Shadow has a friend Chris, who writes: “My daughter decided not to participate, when I offered to help her with a personal climate change initiative by not driving her to school for the rest of the year.”
“Gaudeamus igitur, Juvenes dum sumus” as we sang as students: was that really in the middle of the last century? The Shadow recalls the gorgeous Lauren Bacall on-stage in a 1959 play by Tennessee Williams. She said: “Time is the enemy, that kills the sweet bird of youth.”  How right she was. 

Jest for a Laugh

Upcoming Speakers

Mark Thomas   Apr 02, 2019
Code 9 Foundation: You Are Never Alone
The Code 9 Foundation provides peer to peer support for Emergency Services Workers suffering from PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Code 9 has now expanded to a membership of over 2,700 emergency response personnel, including police, fire, ambulance and dispatchers within the group.
Mugshots 3
In the third book in the best-selling series, Mugshots 3 takes the reader inside the sinister world of Australian crime and reveals the truth behind the stories that shocked a nation.
Chairman: David Rush
Katrina Flinn, Rob Hines
Apr 16, 2019
Our Very Recent World of Difference Tour to Cambodia & Laos
May 07, 2019    Heather Ellis
Journey From Africa To The Silk Road
Heather rode her Yamaha TT600 from south to north Africa, and from London where she worked as a motorcycle courier, to Vietnam via Central Asia on the 'Silk Road'.

Stewart Kreltszheim, Expedition Coordinator.  May 20th 20119
No Roads Health
Chair: Helen Kavnoudias
Kim D'arcy      May 28, 2019
Behind The Badge
Rotary Hawthorn Changeover
Jun 20, 2019
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Coming Events

Make-ups and Apologies

Kim D'Arcy always seeks to finalize numbers by Monday 8.30am by collating  responses about attendance at the next meeting.   So please try to email back to her by that time; and, at the same time, forewarn of any guests.   (Predicting our numbers as closely as possible helps to minimize our catering costs.)

Invitations to Tuesday Club meetings now look slightly different.  To indicate your attendance or apologies, you will not be required to write an email to Kim.  You will simply need to click on the link attached to your name and follow a couple of simple steps. You can pay for your meal on the site.

Geoff Wright collates the attendance information.  He needs to know of  "make up " events.

Club Roster 

If you cannot perform your duty, please find a replacement or contact Charles Morrison


 26th March

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Hawthorn Rotary P.O. Box 33, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia.