Posted by Andrew Crockett
Thirty-eight members and guests attended today’s Club meeting by Zoom to hear our speaker Associate Professor Tony Walker ASM, the CEO of Ambulance Victoria.  
Other guests were Andrew Tait, President of Hawthorn Community Chest; Lili Teichman, Assistant Governor, Riverside; Stuart Stockdale and Robyn Sparks.
Guest speaker
Tony Walker (right) gave a very interesting talk on the history and current role of Ambulance Victoria, tracing its development from its origins 138 years ago under the auspices of the St John’s Ambulance, to a complex multi-functional health service with a large and diverse workforce that focuses today on ‘connecting the right person to the right location’. Another important focus today is supporting the mental health of AV staff whose work often involves dealing with emergencies in traumatic circumstances.
I was left feeling how fortunate we are to have a world-class ambulance service in Victoria.
A more detailed report on Tony’s talk appears elsewhere in the Bulletin.
Board meeting report
The Club’s Board held its first meeting for the year last week.  There were several items of business requiring decisions and these included the following.
  • Katrina Flinn and David Rush were nominated as the new shareholders in the trustee company that manages the Club’s Survey Street Trust fund.  They replace former shareholders David Rosback and the late Charles Morrison.  They will also join the board of directors of the trustee company.  The Club’s expresses its appreciation to David Rosback for his many years of service to the Trust as a shareholder and director.  
  • The Club’s three Honorary Members Ken McNamara, Bill Troedel and Josh Frydenberg, were reappointed for the next 12 months.  The Board also established a subcommittee to review the criteria for appointment of Honorary Members and recommend whether we should increase the number of Honorary Members the Club can appoint, which is currently limited to no more than 10% of the number of Active Members.
  • The Board adopted the member survey report and decided that the next stage of the strategic planning process will be the development by Avenue of Service committees of their plans for the next four years. The results of the member survey will of course inform those plans. 
  • The Board also decided that if it is necessary to hold any future Club meetings by Zoom we will reintroduce the option of making a voluntary donation to Club funds when registering for the meeting.
Talk at Rotary Woodend
Last week I gave a talk on Rotary’s Four-Way Test to the Rotary Club of Woodend.  I reprised the talk I gave at a meeting of our Club last year.  The talk was well received and led to discussion about the importance of Rotarians using the test to lead by example in every aspect of our lives.
On 28 July I’m attending the first Riverside Cluster meeting for the year.  The Riverside Cluster comprises the Hawthorn, Glenferrie and Kew Rotary Clubs and meetings are held monthly between the Club Presidents and the Assistant Governor, Riverside.  
Forthcoming Club events
The special interest groups – the Bookworms and Fixers – have their monthly meeting on 2 August by Zoom.  New members are welcome.
The mock interviews scheduled for 4 August have been postponed to 15 September.
The Salvo Hawks home game on Wednesday 4 August will go ahead as planned.
Covid restrictions on the number of visitors to private homes will also mean that the President’s Drinks Party on 15 August will have to be postponed to later in the year.  
Treasurer’s report
Doug McLean reported on the Club’s financial outcome for 2020/21, detailing the main items of income and expenditure.  Despite the limitations of Covid, the Club raised project funds totalling $49,400 and donations of goods and services valued at $48,200, including a $22,000 donation of diabetes monitoring equipment for Boab Health Services secured through President Tilak’s efforts. The Club starts 2021/22 with a healthy cash balance and we hope that improved conditions this year will allow us to increase our fundraising and service efforts. 
Foundation report
David Pisterman spoke about the Rotary Foundation and how members an contribute to it.  He will send some information to members, and reminded existing contributors to ensure that they provide the Foundation with new credit card details when old cards expire.  
R100 project
The Community Service director, Denbigh Richards, announced that the opening of the R100 playground on 8 August would have to be postponed due to restrictions on numbers attending outdoor events.  The project organising committee will meet on 28 July to decide on a new opening date.  The help of Club members will be required to hand out event flyers and to assist on opening day.
Next Club meeting 3 August
Next week’s meeting will have an Olympic theme and our guest speaker , Graham (‘Smokey’) Dawson AM, will talk about his career as a sports commentator during which he covered four Olympic games.  The meeting will either be held at Kooyong or, if Covid restrictions on hospitality venues preclude this, we will meet again by Zoom. 
Also attending next week’s meeting will be the Acting Principal of Auburn High School who will say a few words about the relationship between the Club and the school, and our Youth Service director Geoff Wright will provide a report on the Club’s youth service activities.
Stay well and safe and I look forward to seeing you next week.
Quote of the Week
Our thought for this week comes from diarist and Holocaust victim Anne Frank and is appropriate at a time when catastrophic natural and human-made events around the world, Covid restrictions and winter blues combine to challenge our spirits.
"I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains."