President’s Note

The story of Rotary and the many personal stories shared throughout the magnificent three days of the Peace Summit and the Multi-District Conference just passed, consistently identified two synergistic components integral to human efforts to make the world a better place for all.  
The first is the power of one - one person's idea started the movement to End Polio, to establish RAWCS, to build a hospital in war-devastated Somaliland, to establish an international law to make nuclear weapons illegal and so on and on and on. 
The complementary observation is about the power of the many. Rotary's power comes from its sheer size and capacity to mobilise and utilise the talents, treasures and time of large numbers of like-minded people to do good in the world.
These ideas are captured in the words of Edward Hale, the nineteenth century American Unitarian clergyman.  
Quoted during the conference: "I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something.  The something I ought to do, I can do."
Elsewhere, Hale wrote: "Together — one of the most inspiring words in the English language. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
It is essential that we keep supporting individual members to have ideas and equally important that we pull together as a club and as members of the wider Rotary organisation. It is for this reason that I encourage all members to attend next week's meeting entitled "Your fellow members".  At the meeting we will share and discuss the many ideas and plans we have brewing in an effort to strengthen our club, so we can continue to be a force for good, while at the same time having fun.
Ian Bentley

The Man Behind the Badge

Denbigh Richards gave us a brief look into his career as a Social Worker and Public Servant, working over many years with children, youth and adult offenders.
Denbigh was brought up on a dairy farm in Gippsland, and was later educated at Box Hill High School and Melbourne University, where he acquired degrees in Social Studies and Arts.
In the sixties the public service in Victoria was expanding, and Denbigh was initially employed tending to the families of children in care. As Youth Training Centres developed, he was appointed to Malmsbury, where in his early twenties he had responsibility for an institution with one hundred young offenders.  During this period he acquired a Diploma in Criminology.
In the seventies the Department began to decentralize the management of its field services and Denbigh was appointed Regional Manager for the Barwon region.
He met and married Lorraine and later had the opportunity of further study at Ann Arbor in Michigan, gaining a Masters Degree in Social Work in 1980.
Appointed as Director of Community Corrections in the newly created Office of Corrections he oversaw the development of a statewide network of Community Corrections Centres. This period also saw the introduction of new legislation establishing more flexible Community Corrections Orders and introducing the Intensive Corrections Order as an alternative  to imprisonment that Courts could impose in appropriate cases. His Division also managed a Pre-release Program assisting prisoners to prepare for life after their release.  
After leaving the Public Service he worked for some months as a consultant to a firm bidding to manage private prisons, and soon after was appointed as head of the Tasmanian Corrections Service.. He felt that the system was overcrowded and antiquated prison facilities required rebuilding.  Problems in the system worsened after the shootings at Port Arthur. After he completed his contract and returned to Melbourne, he was engaged to assist in planning a new prison to replace Risdon.
Then on to a Disability Employment Service in Moorabbin, running three small businesses which provided employment for 70 people with disabilities. 
After retiring, he joined the Board of Foundation Boroondara, and was  Chairman at the time this became the Boroondara Cares Foundation. During this period Denbigh worked alongside Rotary for many years but jestingly described himself as “a reluctant Rotarian” as he did not commit to joining a Club at that time. He is very pleased to have now joined Hawthorn and expressed appreciation for the way in which he has been welcomed. In reflecting on his working life directions, he paid tribute to his inspirational father, who devoted many years to working with refugees. 
Probing questions from the audience revealed that Denbigh has a fine singing voice, having participated in choirs since his youth. Unfortunately, he supports the wrong football team. 
Rotary Foundation Breakfast
Rotary Foundation Breakfasts are always a highlight of D9800 Conferences, and Past Rotary International Director Bryn Styles gave the Multi-District Conference a boost with an entertaining and informative early-morning talk. The eradication of Polio remains tantalisingly just beyond reach, and efforts continue to complete the task.
There were several presentations, and at one stage PDG Dennis Shore must have felt like he was herding cats. However the presentation that stood out was for Cheryl and David Pisterman’s contribution to the Foundation as Major Donors. 

They are seen here with PDG Gordon McKern (who was himself recognised with a “Service Above Self” Award) DG Bronwyn Stephens, PRID Bryn Styles, PRIP Ian Riseley, and RIPR Stephanie Ulchick (usually referred to as “The Ripper”)  Stephanie’s good nature was a feature of the Conference, and she will carry her new nomenclature home with pride. 
Ths Shadow Knows!
The 2023 Rotary International Convention will be held in Melbourne.  
To get some publicity, DG Bronwyn Stephens was interviewed on Channel 9 News, and a few lesser mortals @ DIK managed to get a second or two of fame on the TV.  The Convention will be a great event and a boost to Melbourne’s economy: The Shadow is sure we can put on a better “Great Australian Barbecue” than they did in Sydney a few years ago. 
If you missed the news, catch up on the broadcast here:
As DIK has got a mention, we remind you of the Working Bee this Saturday, when we hope to clear some space by sorting the contents of around 15 pallets of assorted donated goods. Can you give an hour or two?  It would be REALLY appreciated.  Shed 39, 400 Somerville Road, West Footscray.

The Child Nobody Wanted

At the age of four months, I was stricken with polio.  My parents, due to their superstitions and lack of understanding, abandoned me to the nuns of a Catholic orphanage in Medan, Indonesia. It was a huge orphanage of 200 children, and I remember listenin g to the bells and sounds of prayers.
On school holidays, relatives would come and pick up many of the children, but not me. I was always left alone. I had never been cuddled or carried on someone’s lap. I had never known my parents, but only the gentle kindness of the nuns. I was starving for the warmth of family love.
But even as a child, I worked hard not to be surpassed by others. In those days, a wheelchair was a luxury. I crawled for short distances, but most of the time used a pair of steel calipers and wooden arm pit crutch to walk freely. Before I learned to walk, I was fitted with a full-length steel and leather brace. If you have seen the movieForrest Gump, you can picture what the braces looked like.
Rotary changed my life.  In 1973, a bachelor Singapore businessman and past president of the Rotary Club of Singapore West, wanted to adopt a son, and talked to the nuns at the orphanage, who recommended me. A local surgeon examined my legs, and performed an operation free of charge that helped straighten them.
That kindness left a lasting impression on me. Thirty years later, I was visiting a prospective client to renovate his office when I noticed the Rotary pin on his lapel. When I told him Rotary had changed my life, he invited me to one of his club’s meetings.
It was a great moment when I was accepted and inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Jakarta Sentral in April 2004.  Without Rotary, I would not be what I am today. I’m a richer person for the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done.
Learning from polio: My attitude about polio was much more important than its physical effects on me. Through polio, I learned not only to be independent, but to insist on my independence. Polio survivors today have an astounding amount of social support. And I believe we have within us, both individually and collectively, a wealth of knowledge and insight that can help others grow and flourish. My children learned from my disability. They learned to be resourceful, helpful, sensitive and accepting of people different from themselves.
Polio is not over. There are millions of survivors living rewarding and productive lives. We want to stop the disease from threatening future lives. Join the effort to end this disease once and for all.

Dr Edna Adan Ismail

Edna Adan Ismail is one of the most influential women in Africa today. She is a talismanic figure whose life and work provide an inspiration to women throughout Africa and beyond. Her long career in public life, which has seen her making lasting contributions in the fields of health, peace building and foreign affairs, has been marked by an exceptional devotion to advancing the cause of women.
From her time as a trainee nurse in London in the 1950s to her present running of the pioneering Edna Adan Hospital, she has never ceased to be a tireless campaigner and champion of women’s rights and health. 
Born in Hargeisa in the then British Protectorate of Somaliland, Edna Adan trained as a nurse and midwife in London 1954-1961 before  moving to Libya in 1965 to share her skills as a midwife trainer on behalf of the World Health Organisation (WHO).  She returned to the Horn of Africa in 1967 when her husband, Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal, became Prime Minister of the Somali Republic. (He would later become the first President of Somaliland).
Despite the tragic setback of the civilian government being overthrown by a military coup led by General Mohamed Siyad Barre in October 1969, Edna Adan persevered with her work and in 1976, became the first woman director of the Somali Ministry of Health, a post she held for two years.  In 1986, as Somalia descended into civil war, she re-joined the WHO as regional nursing/midwifery advisor, serving as a technical officer from 1987 to 1991, and then as WHO representative in the Republic of Djibouti from 1991-97.
Following the death of her husband in 2002, Edna Adan Ismail embarked upon a career in politics and served as minister of social affairs and family welfare in Somaliland and as a stellar foreign minister from 2003 – 2006. Her time in government is remembered fondly and she became a much-loved figure in the land of her birth. As the only female minister in the government at the time she used her position to raise the concerns and amplify the voice of women.
Faced with a health care system that had been utterly destroyed by the civil war, and the highest rate of maternal and infant mortality in the world, in 2002 she founded the Edna Adan Hospital with the aim of not only training fully-qualified health care professionals but also to train and dispatch thousands of midwives throughout the country. In a region where FGM remained a widespread practice she trained midwives in modern birthing techniques and became a fearless and unstinting opponent of the practice of FGM. She went on to found the Edna Adan University in Hargeisa in 2012.
Edna’s story chimes with the aspirations of young women everywhere. It is no surprise that it has struck a chord with so many, her story being included in the PBS documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide in 2012, and her work being regularly featured and praised by prominent broadcasters such as Oprah Winfrey and Nicholas Kristoff.
Among her numerous awards, Edna Adan is an officer of the French Légion d’honneur (2012), and a Commandeur Dans l’Ordre National du 27 Juin, Djibouti (1997). Most recently she was short-listed for the European parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. She also holds an honorary award from Clark University, the Universities of Cardiff and Pennsylvania, and the Chancellor’s Gold Medal from the University of Pretoria.

Accelerated Learning Program

Upcoming Speakers

Helen Botham
Mar 12, 2019
La Trobe's Jolimont - a walk around my garden.  Partners are particularly welcome to come and hear this talk. 

Helen's book, published in 2006, ‘La Trobe’s Jolimont – A Walk Around My Garden’ uses the illustrations of Edward La Trobe Bateman to give an insight into La Trobe’s Jolimont estate and the people who lived there.  Chair:  Gordon Cheyne   Photo Credit:

Tony Stokes
Mar 19, 2019
Rotarian Action Group Against Slavery
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
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'.
May 20th, 2019

Stewart Kreltszheim, Expedition Coordinator
No Roads Health
Chair: Helen Kavnoudias
Rotary Hawthorn Changeover
Jun 20, 2019
Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Coming Events

Working Bee at DIK: Saturday 2nd March from 9.00 am.
Do you remember how much fun you had at our last DIK Working Bee?  
Come along and do some easy sorting of our accumulated medical goods: we have 12 pallets eagerly awaiting your attention. We can’t send the goods anywhere until we actually see what is in the boxes.
Bring a biscuit or two for morning tea, and enjoy our jovial company. 
Tell Gordon Cheyne you are coming: 0417 583 803
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.)

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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