Our Club Information

The Rotary Club of Preston

Preston

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:30 PM
Darebin RSL Club
402 Bell Street
Preston, VIC 3072
Australia
We also meet on ZOOM at the same time. Please contact the Club for the ZOOM meeting link.
Contact us at the Rotary Club of Preston
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Club Directors
President
Secretary
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Treasurer
President Elect
Community Service
Conservation & Enviroment Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Rotary Foundation
Membership
Youth Service
Photo Albums
 
Speakers at Our ZOOM Meetings
Brian Ashworth
Dec 09, 2020
Rotary Disaster Aid Australia
Thanks to Rhiannon Tracey (centre) for her presentation to the Rotary club of Preston at our Zoom meeting last week. Preston Rotary has supported The Next Step SCI since its inception.  A short version of Rhiannon's story appears below.

My name is Rhiannon Tracey and I am the Founder & Executive Director at The Next Step.

After sustaining a spinal cord injury and becoming a quadriplegic in 2009, it became evidently clear there were not enough options for an individual wanting to improve their quality of life post injury. Within the first twelve months of my SCI journey, I met so many SCI survivors who were struggling with their new reality and their families were desperately trying to find answers and amongst all this, hope and this included my own.

I set out to find the best possible recovery options available, which included travelling across the world and collectively began to combine exercise therapy with holistic practices that were improving my own mobility and mindset. During an outpatient visit with my spinal consultant who had once told me to accept my new life in a chair, with me now walking into the hospital with the aid of a frame, I looked around the hospital gym and had a deep realisation that the purpose of having my accident was to show and enable others that life could go on after a negative experience, and how important it now was to turn my own, into something truly positive.

This realisation soon became establishing The Next Step SCI Recovery & Wellness Centre.

Learn about The Next Step Recovery Centre at   
 https://www.thenextstepsci.org.au

 

Living with Post-Polio Syndrome
Bev Watson, Polio Network Victoria Chair, joined us on ZOOM to help us mark WORLD POLIO DAY. The personal perspective she shared on living with polio and post-polio syndrome was much appreciated and re-energised our members as we journey towards eradicating Polio from the world.
 
Bev was struck with polio in 1956 at the age of 6 1/2 years. Her talk took all through from that moment she was paralysed from the waist down.
 
Though muted her audience was gasping at the treatment she endured, while simultaneously envious of her spirit and lifetime achievements. With great care from her mother and after 4 years of rehabilitation she used full callipers and crutches for mobility until her mid 20’s when a manual wheelchair became her preferred method of mobility. Bev was able to attend Thornbury Primary School. On crutches in a two-story school, the teaching staff carried her up and down the stairs. Then off to Preston Technical School where she recalls how her buddies carried her bag and books up the stairs. Completing that stage of her education Bev got a job with a Preston car company where she eventually took over as secretary.
 
Married in 1971 it was off to Box Hill and finally settling on 5 acres at Woodend where she brought up her three children. In 1996 Bev graduated with a BA and became an outreach worker in mental health. She is associated with Polio Network Victoria, Post Polio Victoria, National Polio groups, Bendigo Shire Polio, to name a few, while she is happy to work from her desk at home.
In her rehab years it was strongly inserted in her mind the need to be self sufficient.  Bev has felt the need to achieve, to be competitive, at times to be impatient and work obsessed. With these drives her services in mental health and polio counselling have been very successful.
 
 
In 1985, Rotary International accepted the challenge to rid the world of Polio. This mammoth undertaking has gained traction and shown results beyond imaginings as partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others joined the campaign. Now we are so close . . .
Past President Lisa has thanked Rotary Club of Preston members for our support and service to Rotary and the community in the 2019-2020 year.
The club is a tightly-knit unit and while members are very proud to have their contributions recognised for helping connect the world, as important is our commitment to looking for opportunities to "do good in the world" going forward.  
 Thank you to Past President Lisa for submitting the application and to Assistant Governor Emma for her support.
Preston Rotary Member Joan reports from India
 
Here we are in the middle of September and no end in sight to the disruption to life in India and most of the world. India is still experiencing well over 95000 new cases daily – a figure that’s hard to get my head around as we’re in a beautiful, remote part of the country where there aren’t teeming millions.
 
Schools were officially closed on March 17th and we all thought after the summer vacation from 1st May till mid June, we would be back to normal school hours. Sadly that wasn’t the case and just last week the Chief Minister (premier) of the state announced schools and colleges would not start until 30th October.
 
7 months for so many children is a long, long time to be away from classes. We have been able to hold coaching classes at Rejoice Centre using phones and What's App, with main focus on classes 7-10 six days a week, so our kids are up to date with their studies. Our middle school kids have languages and math classes and our juniors have lots of play activities incorporating the three languages they’re learning and math.
 
As Whats app requires wifi, classes are held on my veranda – fortunately it’s quite long and has side verandas at each end so the groups are separated. Before the rains began the carport was also used, but it’s too wet in the rainy times.
 
We currently have 163 children living on campus – as the first lockdown was announced with only four hours for people to travel home; some parents were able to come for their children. Other children who are with us under government order were told they couldn’t go to their relatives; they must stay in our care. Then we had a third group who lived in the next district. They became stranded with us as all buses and trains stopped running. Fortunately one of these was Hemanta, one of our senior students doing Fine Arts at Patna University. He’d come to visit his siblings in our centre and was also stuck here… that’s been a real blessing to us as he’s worked with children and staff coaching local language, Oriya and doing some art classes. 
 
This year has been challenging in many ways for all of us. I am so grateful for your support to me personally with messages of encouragement, so appreciated as I sit out lockdown in India. I get quite homesick at times, missing family and friends but am glad I’m here to take a stand, keep our gates locked and ensure the safety of our kids and staff at Rejoice Centre.
We are so proud at Rotary Club of Preston, to be able to support our Community
as  a part of Rotary International.
Let's Support The Rotary Foundation - Areas of Focus!

This is what Trachoma looks like. It causes blindness, when the eyelid swells and grows inward, covering the eye.

This is an illustration of the eyelashes growing inward, scratching the cornea following repeated infections.

All we need to do is to enable people to practise better hygiene. Contact: www.endtrachoma2020.org.au