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President’s Note

Tony was my barber for many years. He learned and plied his trade in Rome as a young man. In the 1950s, with thousands of other European immigrants fleeing the deprivation of post-war Europe, Tony made his way to the 'land down under' with hopes of a better life for himself and his young family.  
 
One day, with the background of rapidly clicking scissors, he reminisced about his arrival in Melbourne by ship. He admitted that as he disembarked, along with many of his fellow Italian countrymen and women, to feeling a little bit smug. "I felt confident", he said, "I felt I had a significant advantage over my compatriots. I possessed skills that I could use immediately to raise money to feed my family and to start my new life. Everyone needs a haircut sometime. Most of the others leaving the ship at the time were starting out with no skills or qualifications."  Tony then explained that there was an irony in his story.  Many of those who had arrived without obvious skills, turned out to be better off.  He lamented that they had become successful and wealthy, while he remained a simple barber. Through hard work and initiative, the unskilled used what they could glean from their cultural background, found a niche and made fortunes in Australia. They had become the restauranteurs and later landowners of Lygon street and surrounding Carlton. They were the pizza chain owners, the successful manufacturers and distributors of Italian smallgoods, the orchardists and market gardeners of the Peninsular and Shepparton, and the vintners of the Yarra Valley and Riverina.
 
Tony's story popped into my head this week, as I reflected on conversations I shared with my mentees during the second session of the new Rotary Hawthorn migrant mentoring program.  Nearly seventy years on from Tony's landing on Australian soil, people are still packing up their lives and moving to the unknown in Australia; full of hopes and dreams for a better life.
 
However, for many, like those who arrived in the 1950s, being a migrant is not an easy ‘row to hoe’. Realising hopes for a better life seem in the early days to be well-nigh impossible. Even those who are skilled find trouble getting a start. 
 
I particularly remember an immigrant Romanian student I had at La Trobe University. A man in his mid-forties with two PhDs in vascular surgery, he was forced to train as a secondary science teacher because he did not qualify to be a surgeon in Australia.  'Do you regret coming to Australia?' I asked him.  'For me, yes, but not for my children' he replied.
 
Having been born, raised and spending most of my life in Australia, my experiences of being immersed in foreign cultures is limited. However, after having spent just two hours so far with my mentees, I already strongly empathise with their plight. Not only are they confronted with the challenge of communicating in a foreign language, but also with deciphering and plotting a future in a confounding culture. 
 
As I spoke with my mentees last Tuesday, I became even more aware that for non-English speaking migrants from very different cultures, arriving in Australia is like being enveloped in a thick fog.  My mentees feel pressured to plot and pursue a future, but as they look for that future, what they see is hidden in a mist. Through the mist they struggle to discern jobs and careers that mesh easily with their previous qualifications and their personal interests; to say nothing of their aspirations. There seem to be more obstacles than clear paths. Seeking help is often impeded because they don’t know what they don’t know. There are things in our culture that are superficially illogical and confusing; even frustratingly inhibiting to them.  Why for example, can a person who is fluent in a foreign language, after a short training program, not be allowed to teach that language in a school? Why do all teachers need a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in education? There are good reasons that such standards have been imposed, but they seem unnecessarily rigid to a person trying to get a start.  
 
This is the third or fourth time I have mentioned the mentoring program recently, but I am inspired and absolutely convinced of its worth.  There is a genuine need to be addressed.   For me personally, I feel it is a privilege to be able to aid, even a little, in helping those undertaking the challenge of pursuing a new life in Australia. When Hans next calls for volunteers, I strongly recommend you consider becoming involved.
 
Looking forward to seeing you at Changeover next Thursday.
 
Ian Bentley
President
 
Read more...

The Power Of Rotary

Our guest speaker, Katie Wilford, gave an inspiring message about her journey to become a Global Scholar, life goals, and recent research at the University of Melbourne.

Some presentation highlights: 

- Katie is a high school mathematics teacher who taught in Pocahontas, Iowa

- She is a former Interact faculty adviser and built a very successful program

- Katie’s Rotarian mentor suggested she apply to be a Rotary Global Scholar, problem was...where in the world should she go? 

- While in a hostel in Norway, Katie met three Aussie girls who all went to the University of Melbourne...this was a “sign” that she should go there too! 

- Upon arrival to Melbourne, she contemplated her purpose and determined she wanted to incorporate three things that she was good at (teach, help, feed) into one goal someday

- A course at uni inspired her to learn more about refugees and from that, she established her goal: to go into a refugee camp somewhere in the world to teach, to help, and to feed

- The Southern Border Crisis in America prompted her attention and she altered her goal to focus on the detainees on her own soil...to teach, to help, and to feed 

- She turned in her 6,000-word research paper a few days ago, which was the final requirement for her Master of Education degree

- The research question: What are the embedded intentions regarding Koorie peoples in Victorian education documents? 

- Her findings indicate visions of normalisation and reconciliation, two very different intentions regarding Koorie peoples

- She left for Perth the day after presenting to our club for a two-week holiday to “celebrate”

- Upon return, she will continue to volunteer at DIK and Missionaries of Charity, provide free mathematics tutoring at Epping Secondary, visit and present at Rotary clubs across the district, and cross off those last minute adventures in Melbourne before returning home! 

- She requested our support with connections and ideas to help make her dream come true 
 
Any ideas? Send them to Katie at mailto:katieirene1212@hotmail.com or 0444 507 847.

Paul Harris Society

The Rotary Foundation recognises as a Paul Harris Society Member anyone who contributes annually to The Rotary Foundation, a minimum of US$1,000.

These contributions are eligible for tax deductibility.
Special events in recognition of members are held annually and hosted by the District Governor.
 
 
Where does the money go?
Villagers fish in a canal outside the Akha hill tribe village of Bala, Thailand, near the "Golden Triangle," where drug trafficking and civil unrest along the Laos-Myanmar border have caused many hill tribes to flee. They speak their own languages, and almost half lack citizenship and are unable to own land, vote, or seek legal employment. The Akha Training Centre teaches Akha children English and Thai, which allows them to be educated at Thai schools, making them less vulnerable in mainstream society. Rotarians from Australia, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States have volunteered and provided donations, and The Rotary Foundation has supported the project with a Matching Grant.
 
Photo:Alyce Henson© Rotary International
 
 
 
Upon his retirement as Chairman of the D9800 Paul Harris Society, PDG Gordon McKern, OAM, sent the following letter:
 
Dear Fellow PHS Members and Major Donors, 
 
It has been a privilege for me to have been Chairman of the D9800 Paul Harris Society, (PHS) and co-ordinator of Major Donors, for the past 6 years. I have many people to thank, none more so than Roger Thornton and Cheryl Pisterman who have been with me every step of the way in developing the Society to the strong position it is in today. When PDG Julie Mason takes over on July 1, she will have the opportunity to not only maintain our current numbers, but also to bring a fresh approach which may well increase our membership. 
 
In his capacity as Chairman of the District Rotary Foundation committee, PDG Dennis Shore has been a tower of strength, I have no doubt that his successor, PDG Murray Verso, will also be for Julie. 
 
Dennis recently provided some interesting figures which clearly show the importance of PHS membership to our District commitment to the Foundation. For the Rotary year 2017-18 total D9800 giving to the Annual Fund was US$421,064, of which no less than one third came from our 135 or so PHS members. That is a wonderful achievement, of which all members are entitled to be very proud. Many thanks. 
 
Another point worth making is that of Major Donors. Recognition levels are defined as follows : Level One — US$10,000 to $US$24,999; Level Two — US$25,000 to US$49,999; Level Three — US$50,000 to US$99,999; Level Four — US$100,000 and above. As at 1 July 2013 our District had 5 active Rotarians and partners @ level 1, and one @ level 2. Today the numbers have grown significantly, in almost all cases due to the annual commitment of PHS members, to now stand at 33 Level One, 11 Level Two, 2 Level Three. 
 
That is a remarkable testimony to the generosity, and commitment, of our PHS members and Major Donors. 
 
Gordon McKern OAM 
 
 
Photo: Some Major Donors at a District Conference, Rotary Foundation Breakfast.
PDG Gordon McKern (who was recognised with a “Service Above Self” Award) DG Bronwyn Stephens, Cheryl Pisterman, PRID Bryn Styles, David Pisterman, PRIP Ian Riseley, and RIPR Stephanie Ulchick.
 
(Hawthorn Rotary Paul Harris Society Members of District 9800 are: Gordon Cheyne, Katrina Flinn, Peter Lugg, David Pisterman, Anne Scott, Dennis Shore, and of course the Past District Governor who introduced the first Paul Harris Society in Australia, Bernie Walshe.) 

Social media ‘a risk to the brain’

The internet and the “Instagramification” of society are reducing our attention spans, adversely affecting our memory and damaging real-life social interactions, scientists say.
 
In a major study, researchers at Oxford, King’s College London, Manchester, Harvard and Western Sydney universities concluded that time spent online could produce “acute and sustained” alterations in the brain and could be particularly harmful to children’s development.
 
For their paper published in World Psychiatry, they reviewed scores of studies, drawing on psychological, psychiatric and neuro-imaging research into the effects of the internet.
 
Most seriously, they warned that “digital distractions” and the capacity for “cognitive offloading” — where information does not need to be retained in the brain because it is stored online— could affect the development of children and teenagers at critical stages. They referred to studies suggesting higher frequency of internet use in children was linked to “decreased verbal intelligence” and impeded development of grey matter.
 
They said whereas real-world social acceptance and rejection was “often ambiguous and open to interpretation”, social media quantified success or failure by providing metrics in the number of “friends” or “likes”.
 
This “addictive” online feedback could have adverse effects such as lowering self-esteem. A definite causal relationship between heavy social media use and poorer mental health was difficult to establish and required more research.
 
On the other hand, they found that the opposite could be true in older adults experiencing cognitive decline, for whom the online environment may provide a source of positive cognitive stimulation.
 
Lead author Joseph Firth, of Western Sydney University, said: “The key findings of this report are that high levels of internet use could indeed impact on many functions of the brain. For example, the limitless stream of prompts and notifications from the internet encourages us towards constantly holding a divided attention, which then may decrease our capacity for maintaining concentration on a task.
 
“Given we now have most of the world’s factual information literally at our fingertips, this appears to have the potential to begin changing the ways in which we store, and even value, facts and knowledge in society, and in the brain.”
Ths Shadow Knows!
The Shadow hopes you had a lovely holiday weekend, but asks himself a couple of questions:
 
Why is the Queen's birthday celebrated in June?
The day has been celebrated since 1788, when Governor Arthur Phillip declared a holiday to mark the birthday of the King of Great Britain.
Originally, the Monarch's birthday was celebrated on the anniversary of the actual date of birth of the King or Queen. On the second Monday in June, the Queen's Birthday honors list is released
 
What date is the queen's real birthday?
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21 April in 1926 to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She celebrated her 93rd birthday – the 67th since she ascended the throne – earlier this year. Her second, ceremonial birthday celebration is marked on the second Saturday in June, which this year falls on the eighth.
 
How are you going with your “Elevator statement”?  
 
The Shadow knows you are having trouble with it, and is always willing to help with a tip: 
 
Rotary is a worldwide community of business and professional men and women whose focus on health, hunger, clean water and literacy spans over 100 years.   
With over 1.2 million members, over 30,000 clubs in over 200 counties, Rotarians are committed to making a difference in the lives of people around the world.
We promote the ideals of peace, understanding and goodwill for all.  
 
We had lots of lovely guests on Tuesday, to hear Rotary Global Scholar Katie Wilford: Sue Zidziunas (check the spelling, please) seen here with David Pisterman, Pam Baker of Balwyn RC (here with Katie and Geoff Wright), Dr Phil Dolan (fortunately a financial guru rather than another medical chappie) and DG Bronwyn Stephens, seen here being congratulated on her well-deserved OAM by PDG Dennis Shore
And by-the-way, Charlotte England won the wine in the raffle.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jest for a Laugh

Upcoming Speakers

Rotary Hawthorn ChangeoverJun 20, 2019
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club
 
Dr Stephen Carbone, Chair, Prevention United
Jun 25, 2019
Prevention: Anxiety, Depression, Other Mental Health Conditions
Dr Stephen Carbone has a passion for promoting people’s mental wellbeing.
He holds qualifications in medicine, psychology and social work and has firsthand experience in supporting people with mental health conditions in both his professional and his personal life. He was an active contributor in several key mental health reforms in Victoria and nationally and has held senior positions in organisations such as Vic Health, Headspace and Beyond Blue.
Mental health conditions are not inevitable and there is now good scientific evidence to show many conditions can be prevented. The problem is we are just not using this knowledge effectively. This talk focuses on the prevention of mental health conditions. It discusses what prevention is, why it’s important, how we can prevent depression, anxiety and other conditions from occurring, and what our organisation and others are doing about it.  
Chair:   Dr Kevin Rose
 
Visit To The Rotary Camberwell Art Show
Jul 02, 2019
The 2019 Camberwell Art Show is Australia's largest art show. It celebrates 54 years as one of Australia’s leading art events where the cream of Australia's artist elect to exhibit.
 
Zoo Based Conservation Organisation, Zoos Victoria
Jul 09, 2019
Craig Whiteford, General Manager - Threatened Species, Wildlife Conservation & Science at Zoos Victoria
 

Forthcoming 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.) kimcco@tpg.com.au

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.  geoffbwright@bigpond.com

Club Roster 

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

 

20th June

 25th June

 2nd July

9th July

 Greeting/Badges    

       CHANGEOVER

 TBA

   CAMBERWELL

       TBA

 Front Desk

          DINNER

 P.Stewart

     ART

       J . Benhamou  

 Credit Cards

      

R Logan

   SHOW

      S. O’Donoghue

 Set & Clear Up  

     

  P.Stewart

   

      P.Stewart

 MC        

   

  K Rose

    

           TBA

 

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Hawthorn Rotary P.O. Box 33, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia.
Web:  www.hawthornrotary.org.au