Speaker Date Topic
Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Hess Sep 24, 2019
The Forgotten Story of ... the Chinese Goldfields Aussie Rules leagues
The Forgotten Story of ... the Chinese Goldfields Aussie Rules leagues

Adjunct Associate Professor Rob Hess is an historian and a former staff member in the College of Sport and Exercise Science at Victoria University.  He has a long-standing interest in the social history of sport and his PhD was the first ever doctoral study of the history of Australian Rules football.  Rob is a past president of the Australian Society for Sports History and he currently serves as a regional academic editor for the International Journal of the History of Sport.  He is also a member of the Australian Football Heritage Group, an honorary heritage consultant with Netball Victoria and a Board member of the History Council of Victoria.  His most recent book (co-written with Brunette Lenkić) is Play On! The Hidden History of Women’s Australian Rules Football, published in 2016.

**Wear your favourite football scarf or hat!**

Chair: Geoff Wright

Photo: Newspapers Collection, State Library of Victoria

Andrew Crockett Oct 01, 2019
Behind The Badge
Behind The Badge


Not to be missed. Behind The Badge talks are always popular.

Come and hear from one of our new members.

Chair: Ian Bentley


Photo: Lee Soo hyun

Leigh Woodgate Oct 08, 2019
7 Steps To Overcoming Anything
7 Steps To Overcoming Anything

Leigh’s goal as a public speaker is to successfully inspire people to develop courage, strength and persistence, especially in times of adversity.

'Leigh Woodgate and is an inspiring, 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. 

Do your people hesitate at hurdles? Do they struggle to get back on the horse after setbacks? Leigh might have the story and the old-fashioned, pigheadedness to help them overcome anything!

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. With the racing world watching and fearing the worst, she survived, but it took her 15 years to repair her shattered body and mind – 15 years of perseverance and dedication – to get back on the horse, literally.

Leigh’s spent the last 5 years riding track work, as well as sharing her story with corporate and community audiences. As Leigh says; I’ve harnessed this experience to share my story and inspire audiences around the world.

The story of the only woman ever to win the Great Mountain Race at Mansfield, as well as countless other awards and accolades as a professional rider, is one of determination. The accident changed the course of her life forever. 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. 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 2 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’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.

What people have said about Leigh:

‘Leigh is a fine example of a woman who has risen above her hurdles, and fearlessly steps forward. I certainly recommend her as a unique speaker with a compelling story.’

‘Leigh’s story is one of extraordinary courage, determination and hope. Every man, woman and child in the room was deeply moved by her journey and we were all left inspired to make the most of our dreams and ready to tackle the insurmountable. I strongly recommend Leigh Woodgate as a powerful motivational and inspirational speaker whose story is relevant to all age groups.’


Tamara Cannon Oct 15, 2019
Lille Fro: An Update
Lille Fro: An Update


'From Lille Fro … Big Things Grow

'Lille Frø' is Danish for ‘little frog’. It also means ‘new beginnings in the form of a little seed’.

There is an expression in Danish:

If you plant a little seed, sprinkle it with love, talk to it and it show you care, let it know you are there,
undoubtedly a beautiful tree will grow.

Planting the Seed
Lille Fro Foundation (Lille Fro), is an Australian charity founded in 2008 by Tamara Cannon.
On one climbing trip in the north of India, Tamara met a little girl living in destitute circumstances. Like many children in her village, this child had never been to school. Tamara decided to pay for her education.  Seeing first hand the difference she had made to this child's life through the simple gesture of sponsorship, Tamara realised she could not turn her back on other children in similar circumstances. The seed had been planted and Lille Fro had begun.

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 '.  

Chair: Ngaire Cannon

Photo: Lille Fro

Visit Of The District Governor, District 9800 Oct 22, 2019
Rotary: Looking Into The Future
Rotary: Looking Into The Future

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 has served at District level as Community Service Director (2011-2013) and as Assistant Governor Goldfields Cluster (2013-2015), Executive AG for the same period and AG mentor (2017-18). Grant has also been active for many years as a Foundation and Grants cluster advisor, Club Vision facilitator and supporting the D9800 Learning and Development team with RLI and New Member seminars.

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.


Father Joe Giacobbe Oct 29, 2019
Melbourne Cup Theme
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. 

Joe began his pastoral work in the inner suburbs in the high rise housing estates in Flemington, North Melbourne and Fitzroy.

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 these  children.

Over 200,000 children have attended the Malmsbury Complex. Doxa has initiated other activities, namely, providing residential City programs for children from poor rural areas in Victoria, a University program launched in 1993,  whereby Doxa has sponsored in partnership with major corporates 500 graduates and a philanthropic partnership at the Doxa School, Bendigo for children who struggle in the mainstream school system.

Over 8,000 children participate in Doxa program each year. As a fund raising project Joe established the Winning Post form guide in 1988 which was sold by the Foundation in 2007 when circulation reached 35,000 per week.

Chair: David Rush

Melbourne Cup Day Nov 05, 2019
No Meeting
No Meeting

Melbourne Cup Day is Australia’s best known horse racing event. Since 1861 it has been held on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. It is an annual public holiday in the state of Victoria. This event, popularly dubbed as “the race that stops the nation”, is a 3,200 metre race for three-year-olds and over, is said to be the richest ‘two-mile’ handicap in the world and is one of the richest turf races.  More than 100,000 people usually attend Flemington Racecourse, and the race is televised live to an audience of about 650 million people worldwide'.

Did you know? The 1875 winner, Wollomai, came from Phillip Island?, (which is located around 135 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and is better known for its penguin colonies). In earlier days, prior to a ferry service between Phillip Island and San Remo, animals were swum across to the Narrows.

It was thought that Wollomai had very little chance of winning, but jockey Bob Batty rode the horse to success, in a time of three minutes and thirty eight seconds, before a crowd of 70,000 people.

The owner, John Cleeland, returned to Cape Woolomai  with £22,000 pounds, having given the jockey and trainer £500 each.

Photo Credit: bandt.com.au
K.R Ravindran (Ravi) Nov 13, 2019
Rotary Foundation Dinner **NOTE CHANGE OF DATE
Rotary Foundation Dinner **NOTE CHANGE OF DATE

Ravi is CEO of a publicly listed company which he founded with a worldwide clientele in the tea packaging industry. He also serves on the board of several other companies and charitable trusts.

He is the founding president of the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association.

As his country’s national PolioPlus chair, Ravi headed a task force consisting of the government, UNICEF, and Rotary and worked closely with UNICEF to successfully negotiate a ceasefire with the northern militants during National Immunization Days.

A Rotarian since 1974, Ravi has served RI as treasurer; director; Foundation trustee; committee member, vice chair, and chair; task force member; RI training leader; and district governor.

He also chaired the Schools Reawakening project, sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka, to rebuild 25 tsunami-devastated schools to benefit 15,000 children. 

*See further details here



Scott Bolton Nov 19, 2019




Scott has returned from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Scott is 'an educator with a track record of working to further the Rotary Foundation’s goal of improving basic education and literacy in disadvantaged school contexts, and a clear commitment to building a career as a reforming school leader in Australia’s public school system'. Australia needs a coalition of public school system leaders, committed to improving student outcomes by investing in teaching and school communities'.

Past District Governor, Bronwyn Stephens said: 'What an inspirational and aspirational goal for the recipient of the 2018 global scholar program'. 

Chair: David Rush

Seda Douglas Nov 26, 2019
Cambodia...plus AGM
Cambodia...plus AGM

'Seda has worked as a broadcaster with Radio Australia since the inception of its Khmer broadcasts in 1992. Prior to this, Seda worked as a community health educator with various health agencies in Australia and in a refugee camp in Thailand, where she was herself a resident. Seda holds a Post Graduate Diploma of Asian Studies and a Master of Development Studies from Monash University, Melbourne'.

Chair: Katrina Flinn


Photo Credit: One Just World

Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss Dec 03, 2019
The Smart Cricket Ball
The Smart Cricket Ball


'A smart cricket ball that could revolutionise cricket has been developed by Swinburne researchers. The smart ball uses first-of-its-kind technology as a tool for understanding the mechanics of spin bowling and is being used to optimise spin bowling training.

Until now, the only way for coaches to analyse spin bowlers’ techniques was through video analysis.

The ball has been developed by Swinburne’s Professor Franz Konstantin Fuss and PhD candidate Batdelger Doljin, with assistance from Dr Rene Ferdinands, an ex-first class cricketer and current coach'.

Chair: TBA

Photo: Swinburne University


Visit: Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute Dec 10, 2019
We're Off To Visit the ARMI
We're Off To Visit the ARMI


Thanks to Ian Bentley for organising.

More details to come.


Photo Credit: Lucas Vasques

Christmas Party Dec 17, 2019
Dinner Meeting, Having Fun
Dinner Meeting, Having Fun


We are celebrating Christmas with Rotary Glenferrie.

At: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club.




BBQ Jan 28, 2020
TBC.......Visit to Men's Shed, Hawthorn
TBC.......Visit to Men's Shed, Hawthorn

Stay tuned.

More details to come.

Photo Credit: Vincent Keiman

TBConfirmed Feb 04, 2020


Lli B.

TBA Feb 11, 2020
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day


More information to follow.

Stay tuned.



Photo Credit: Laura Ockel