President's Note    


Our Club was fortunate today to be able to hear Leigh Woodgate speak about her journey through life after a catastrophic injury sustained during a jumps race 25 years ago.  There are times in life when you are brought back to a very level playing field and today was certainly that day. Leigh's eloquent address was motivating, awe inspiring and from the heart.  An extraordinary lady who continues to win against the odds!  Thank you Leigh for sharing your story with us you are exceptional.

The Hat Day Lunch Fundraiser was well attended by members, Rotarians and friends. The ballroom at Kooyong was abuzz with fellowship and everyone entered into the theme for the day with hats of all persuasions. 122 people attended the lunch and the funds raised were far beyond our expectations.  

A very big thank you to the organising Committee Ngaire Cannon, Sue Rush, Sue Zidziunas, Julie Clark, Lynda Shore, Henry Drury, Jane Drury,  Katrina Flinn and Kim D'Arcy  for all the hard work to make this event happen. Thank you also to Mark Christoffelsz for being the MC, Delphine Genin for Judging the Hats and Jonothan O'Donoghue for conducting the Auctions.

Kind regards,

Charlotte England

President & Membership Director 2019-2020

Rotary Club of Hawthorn

The Woman from the Snowy

Leigh Woodgate was chosen as our keynote speaker on Hat Day, to support Australian Rotary Health.  We found her to be an inspiring and honest goal-orientated speaker. 

Tom Burlinson, who played the lead role in The Man From Snowy River, introduced her in the  ABC’s  Australian Story, as follows: “A fearless horsewoman who grew up just down the road from the Snowy, who beat the men at their own game. They breed them tough in those mountains, and Leigh Woodgate’s experiences have been epic. 

Growing up, riding was her life. She was a natural rider and from a young age developed into a champion; a proud and proficient professional jockey. One race changed all that. She had a horrific fall, broadcast on national TV. 

The accident changed the course of her life forever.  Leigh said:“At the 2nd last jump my horse stumbled and fell. The rest of the field was unable to avoid my body on the track. The resultant injuries were almost fatal; hardly a bone in my body was left unbroken.

Leigh was in a coma for 17 days, then in hospital for 6 months. Doctors predicted her severe brain injury would keep her as a wheelchair bound ‘vegetable’, if she survived at all. The whole time she believed passionately that she would ride again. Leigh had to learn how to eat, talk and walk again. Step by step, she strengthened her body and her resolve. Leigh’s received great support overcoming profound hurdles. 15 years after her accident, she finally received clearance from doctors to ride again, which she does professionally two mornings a week for the trainer Eric Musgrove. In 2012 she was recognized as the National Jockeys’ Celebration Day Ambassador, and was featured in an episode-long story on Australian Story.

Leigh has never seen herself with a disability. She said: “ I just see myself as badly injured and one day I’ll get back to 100% or even better than what I was because now I have all the experts working on me and with me. I just never ever give up. Don’t look at what’s bad in your life, look at what’s good and if you can breathe without pain, drink water and eat food then you’ve got a good base to start with. Breathing air is what keeps us alive and that is what you need, then you can work on everything else. Just chip away at it day by day.”

Some of her revelations were astounding: she felt she had no credibility as a person when she had a speech defect, so she worked hard to correct it. Feeling no pain was worse than having pain: loss of sensation was such a challenge that she dropped a brick on her insensitive foot, hoping to feel pain again.  She volunteered as a “guinea pig” in clinical trials with botox, and avoided pain relieving medication as far as possible.

Leigh described seven ingredients she used to recover from her injuries:

  1.  Belief and acceptance
  2.   Determination
  3.   Passion
  4.   Grind and hard work
  5.   Strategies and goals
  6.    Drive and singlemindedness
  7.    Placing no boundaries on what can be achieved.

Leigh’s will and determination to get back on the horse have got her through daunting adversity, and she inspires others to overcome the obstacles they come up against in their own lives and careers. She is now overcoming the challenge of making a career as a speaker. 

She closed her talk with some hints: “Try to be kind to those around you, surround yourself with positive people, and never give up!”

Leigh's determination to overcome her injuries and disability is an inspiration for us all. 

Our photos show Leigh with her mother, just before lunch, and some of the "Mad Hatters.".

More photos of Hat Day are available at

Australian Rotary Health

Past District Governor Greg Ross is the Chairman of the Board of Australian Rotary Health. Best known to Australian audiences as Senior Detective Tony Benjamin in COP SHOP, Greg has worked extensively as an actor, singer and master of ceremonies since graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art over four decades ago.

 Not only did he draw the raffle (ably assisted by Anne Scott) but he actually SANG the toast to Australian Rotary Health.  He briefly described the work of ARH, and we include more information here.

ARH was founded by Ian Scott, a member of the Rotary Club of Mornington, Victoria. In 1981, Scott was so moved by the impact of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) on families that he resolved to set up a fund to support research on this and other family health problems. This resulted in the establishment of the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund with Royce Abbey as the inaugural chair of the board. The Fund offered its first research grants in 1985. The Fund initially supported research on sudden infant death syndrome, including a project which showed that prone sleeping position of the infant was a major risk factor. 

An information campaign following this research led to a rapid fall in the deaths from SIDS in Australia.  Subsequently, the Fund supported a number of areas of research, including environmental health problems of the aged, adolescent health and family health. From 2000, it began to specialise in support for mental illness research in recognition of the adverse effects that mental illness had on the health and wellbeing of children, youth and adults in Australia. ARH is currently the largest non-government funder of research in this area in Australia. In 2009, the name was changed from the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund to Australian Rotary Health because the organisation had broadened its scope to include community mental health awareness and education activities, in addition to support for research.

ARH currently provides a number of types of support for mental illness research, including project grants, PhD scholarships and Post-doctoral Fellowships. In addition, it supports research into a wide range of other health problems with Funding Partner Grants, which involve Rotary Clubs raising money for a specific project and ARH providing matching support. ARH also supports students training as health professionals with Indigenous Health Scholarships, Rural Medical Scholarships and Rural Nursing Scholarships.

In addition to the important research on SIDS, ARH has provided funding for a number of projects that have had a practical impact on Australia or have received awards for their importance. These include projects on: nutrition and mental health, clonidine added to psychostimulant medication for hyperactive and aggressive childrene-therapy for anxiety disorders, media reporting of suicide and mental health first aid guidelines.

ARH has broadened its activities to include many community awareness and education activities, particularly in the mental health area. They have included Community Mental Health Forums, Mental Health First Aid Workshops and training of young researchers to better communicate with the public. ARH also offers an annual Knowledge Dissemination Award through the Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research, for excellence in knowledge dissemination and research translation.

Most of the funds provided by ARH have come from donations by Rotarians. In order to broaden the donor base, ARH launched Hat Day in 2011 as an annual fund-raising event aimed at the general public.

Buckley’s Chance

Melbourne, for decades you have been growing increasingly uncomfortable about the two men who have long been regarded as having co-founded that wretched little settlement of sod huts by the banks of the Yarra River back in 1835.

Image (right) - The Wild White Man, William Buckley, who spent 32 years living with the Wadawurrung people, meets John Batman's party in 1835.

John Batman was a syphilitic big-noter and murderer of Aboriginal men, women and children. In 1829 he led a roving party during the so-called Black War in Van Diemen’s Land that massacred a sleeping Aboriginal clan.

John Pascoe Fawkner, that other so-called founding father of your city, was a pathological liar and egotistical self-promoter. He had numerous convictions ranging from aiding a prison break through to assault, stealing government property and selling underweight loaves of bread.

Statues of both men have been removed from public view and now sit gathering dust in a storeroom. Batman’s name has been stripped from a federal electorate, and various parks around the city are in the process of being renamed. 

But Melbourne, isn’t it about time you embraced your past? In your rush to eradicate all those awkward truths and blood stains, you have overlooked someone far more deserving of the title of the city’s original discoverer and founder.

William Buckley was a towering figure who cast a considerable shadow in his time. Portrait of William Buckley at the State Library of Victoria. (left) 

A former ­English soldier who fought Napoleon’s army, he was sentenced to transportation for life for stealing a small amount of cloth. He arrived in Port Phillip Bay in late 1803 as part of a fledgling colony designed to prevent the French from using the southern half of Australia to dominate the Pacific.

Buckley escaped from this troubled settlement at Sorrento over Christmas and, with several others, made his way on foot around Port Phillip Bay. Given up for dead, he was adopted by the Wadawurrung people — one of the five key language groups based around the bay known as the Kulin nation — and spent the next 32 years living among them.

In Buckley you have a figure who did his best to bridge two warring cultures, a man who these days would be acclaimed as a modern symbol of reconciliation.

Buckley’s life was truly remarkable, even by the standards of an age noted for its outrageous acts of bravery, courage and equal amounts of stupidity and ignorance. But his experiences and achievements have largely been shrugged off as a footnote in the story of the founding of Melbourne.

Buckley’s ability to overcome long odds gave us the saying “Buckley’s chance”. His role as an interpreter and conciliator helped lay the foundations of your shiny, world-acclaimed metropolis.

Read more: 

Garry Linnell is the author of the recently released Buckley’s Chance: The Incredible True Story of William Buckley and How He Conquered a New World (Penguin/Michael Joseph, $34.95). He is a former editor of The Bulletin and The Daily Telegraph.

The Shadow Knows!

Jonathan O’Donoghue of Jellis Craig really impressed The Shadow with his dexterity at the auction, plucking bids from the room to raise funds for Australian Rotary Health. Some of the bids at the silent auction were clearly audible, but all went smoothly. Thanks Jonathan, foe a job well done. We all had fun, and congratulations, President Charlotte on a successful innovation.

Photos of the day can be seen at

Noel Halford was also a star on Hat Day. Or at least Delphine Genin thinks so: she selected him for having the most outstanding headgear. On the other hand, the Sergeant may find him guilty of cultural misappropriation. Where DID he get that hat?

Meanwhile Noel has sent us two messages:

1) The Wednesday Evening  Group Meeting for 16th has been cancelled. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th November at Grace Park Hawthorn Club.

2) Nhill Airshow Weekend. Some of us have elected not to travel by the DC3 but will drive up to Nhill early Saturday morning. If you would like to join us please call me for further details. Travelling on Friday is also an option. Please call Noel Halford ( 0419 018901) if you would like to join us and meet up with our Rotarian friends in Nhill.


The Shadow apologises for the unfortunate mental imagery, but the knotted knickers of vegans and environmental activists around the globe have been on display this week. 

A study led by Dalhousie University and McMaster University in Canada, which was a systematic review of existing research, concluded that :

Based on the research, we cannot say with any certainty that eating red or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes or heart disease… From 12 randomised controlled trials enrolling about 54,000 individuals, we did not find a statistically significant or an important association in the risk of heart disease, cancer or diabetes for those that consumed less red or processed meat.

Time to light up the barbie!


The Shadow is a bit surprised at Garry Linnell’s unkind description of John Batman as “a syphilitic big-noter and murderer of Aboriginal men, women and children” elsewhere in this bulletin. Especially in this non-judgemental era of “wokeness.” Batman was a victim of an infectious disease that was common and without effective treatment at the time.

The treaty Batman negotiated with local Aboriginal peoples in 1835 stands as the only attempt by a European to engage Australian Aboriginals in a treaty or transaction rather than simply claiming land outright. In his last months of his life Batman was cared for by the local Aboriginal people.

Image (right): 1880s Artist impression of Batman's Treaty being signed.


Jest for a Laugh


Upcoming Speakers

Oct 15, 2019
Tamara Cannon   -   Lille Fro: An Update
"Lille Fro is non-religious and non-political. We are small and hands on. 
Our aim is to help break the cycle of generational poverty for the lowest income groups living in extreme conditions in some of the remotest parts of the world through education.  Our projects have now touched the lives of thousands. Reaching some of the remotest corners of the globe ".  
Oct 22, 2019
Visit Of District Governor Grant Hocking
Grant Hocking joined Woodend Rotary in 2004 and has been President in 2007- 2008 and again in 2015-16, as well as Vice President, Community Service Chair, Foundation Chair and Bulletin Editor for many years. Grant is a Clinical Manager (MICA Paramedic) with Ambulance Victoria where he has worked for 33 years in most operational areas of the organisation. He has an interest in clinical quality and was awarded the Ambulance Service Medal (ASM) in the 2014 Australia Day recognitions for development of Clinical Quality Improvement processes.
Oct 29, 2019
Father Joe Giacobbe    Melbourne Cup Theme

Fr Joe Giacobbe has been a Catholic Priest for 45 years and currently works in the Western Suburbs – St Augustine’s parish, Yarraville. 

In 1972 with the help of many friends in the Racing Industry the Doxa Youth Foundation was launched for the purpose of establishing a residential complex at Malmsbury to provide educational and recreational programs for children who struggle in the mainstream school system.

Nov 05, 2019
No Meeting - Melbourne Cup Day

Forthcoming Events

Rotary Walk to End Polio Saturday 19 October 

Following the success of the event in 2018, it confirmed that Rotarians and Friends will again be walking 5km around Albert Park Lake. 

Last year 42 people (and numerous dogs) took part – this year they are aiming for 100. Registration is $10.00 and you can “Walk Your Way” with the option of purchasing one of the special limited edition D9800 End Polio Tee $30.00. Register at 





World Polio Day – Taking the Public Transport to End Polio Thursday 24 October 

Ride the train or hop a tram to the City where we’ll meet at Fed Square in all our Red Glory at Transport Bar for celebratory food and drinks. That’s right: Transport Bar has opened the Glasshouse for exclusive use by all Rotarians (and friends) who terminate the journey at Fed Square. A free drink on arrival and food platters will help quench the appetites after the journey. Entry online is free for this event. Register at      

All donations over $30 are eligible for a limited edition D9800 End Polio Now Tee. 

In 1988 Rotary made a commitment to eradicate polio from the world, and so this October let’s Walk, Run, Tram or Ride with us until the end – we’re this close! 

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


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