Like so many people, we are really concerned about the vast “oceans” of plastic that are threatening our environment. At the Rotary International Convention held in Melbourne in May, it was terrific to see some of the ways Rotary clubs world- wide are working to educate and promote reduction in Plastic Pollution.  Inspired by the “END PLASTIC SOUP” Rotarian movement, our club hopes to explore ways in which we can engage with this much needed environmental action group. ( in progress! !) For more info go to  A brilliant Rotary initiative!!!
… Meantime, there is some great information on various websites, such as “ We all can take seemingly simple measures to reduce our single use plastic use seems to be an insurmountable problem.
PLASTIC FREE JULY 2023-07-12 14:00:00Z 0


John McCarthy is a much- loved member of Rotary Preston, and his fabulous editorial skills, creativity, and succinct writing up of club activities and guest speaker’s presentations, makes for great reading of our Weekly Bulletins.
   We are very grateful to John for the hours he sets aside each week to craft the latest Bulletin. Outgoing President Ruth McCall presented John with a fine bottle of Van Rouge, and the club joined her in congratulating and thanking John aka “Johnny Mac” for his wonderful contribution to the Rotary Club of Preston.



Well, Ruth is not leaving the club, but she leaves the position of President in the capable hands of newly inducted Kannan Subramanian. In her President’s Report, Ruth noted, “ I resonated totally with incoming Rotary International President Gordon McInally’s words; “ to make sure Rotary experiences can be as good as it can be….. it all comes down to service. We are a membership organization and a service organization. We need to be out there doing service, because not only will we enjoy that more, we will also  see more people who want to come and join us because they can see us.”
Ruth expanded on this theme by enumerating the ways our club has engaged actively in many different ways, making for a busy and fulfilling Rotary 2022-2023 year. She expressed the strength of relationships and support for one another within our club, enhancing her enjoyment and commitment to her role as President. Ruth was thanked warmly by all who were present at Change- over Night.
AU REVOIR PRESIDENT RUTH MCCALL! Ruth McCall 2023-07-03 14:00:00Z 0


A wonderful night celebrating a busy 2022-2023 Rotary year, we ushered in the new Rotary year with the induction of Kannan Subramanian.
Kannan is a respected and fondly regarded member of the Rotary family. His professional life as a Real Estate Agent for Love & Co in Reservoir, makes him very familiar with the local area in which we are based. At our Change- over event Kannan’s guests included   Director of Love & Co. Michael Love, and his wife Laura. Kannan is an ex- Rotoractor, and thus very familiar of all that Rotary represents.
Kannan is married to Vandana, and she brings great warmth and great presence whenever she joins us for social functions, or assisting with some of our Rotary activities.

As noted by Bulletin editor, John McCarthy, Kannan noted his gratitude and profound sense of responsibility in taking on the Presidency.He reflected on the true essence of Rotary life- commitments such as resilience, empathy and a desire to make a difference. Naming some of the Past Presidents, Kannan saw his calling as profoundly asserting the Four Way Test: Is it the Truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? Will it build Goodwill and Build Friendships?
The Rotary Club of Preston are delighted to welcome Kannan as our 2023-2024 President, and we know he will bring his unique style and warmth to the role.
WELCOME PRESIDENT KANNAN SUBRAMANIAN ! 2023-2024 Ruth McCall 2023-07-03 14:00:00Z 0

ZainabSheikh Foundation

Sainab is the current President of the Rotary Club of North Melbourne.

She is the founder of the ZainabSheikh Foundation, supporting refugees from Africa, using her skills as a Social Worker. Sainab’s warmth and humanity shines through as she talked about her work in community assisting with immigration issues, housing, English classes, setting up homework clubs for students. The list is endless. Building partnerships with Victoria Police, Sainab is helping to break down barriers of misunderstanding, and mis- trust which can at times be mutual. Returning to Somalia in 2009, Sainab was horrified by the devastation wrought by Civil war, drought and famine. In 2020 she organised a container filled with medical equipment from Rotary’s DIK ( Donations in Kind) warehouse in Footsgray to Somalia. Shortages in Somalia abound; water is scarce, so she is seeking funds to establish bore- water holes, and assist in health care and education.
Please go to her website:
ZainabSheikh Foundation 2023-05-21 14:00:00Z 0

Celebrating the Rotary Anniversaries of Peter Peyton – 50 years, and Wayne O’Neill- 30 years.

     Peter and Wayne are much loved members of the Rotary Club of Preston. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch with our District Governor David McPherson travelling down from Albury to present the lads with Certificates and a letter from Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. Honorary member Pauline Josephson was present along with Debbie O’Neill, and friends & family of Peter’s.
       Tributes were read out – one from past member of our club Les Woodland, who now resides in W.A.
  • Another from fellow member, David De La Coeur, as he was recovering from very recent Surgery.  David writes-
  • “Peter Peyton- our history keeper and quiet doer. He will help anyone and all when needed. The work he did in collecting all our memorabilia for the 60th Anniversary ( of our club) was enormous.
  • Wayne O’Neill- Since I joined in 2007 Wayne has organised the Circus Quirkas Fund Raising. He has attended so many meetings to ensure everything is right and then there is every weekend that the shows are on.
Both these men are worthy Rotarians who go about their work in a quiet professional way. Congratulations on your milestones today.
Kindest Regards
David. “
Celebrating the Rotary Anniversaries of Peter Peyton – 50 years, and Wayne O’Neill- 30 years.  2023-05-08 14:00:00Z 0

RIMERN ( Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network)

RIMERN ( Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network) under the great leadership and drive of Susie Cole was a place of great hilarity recently as the PR team from Chicago Illinois USA took professional  posed shots of us working in the Warehouse. These photos will be displayed throughout Melbourne in the lead up to the Rotary International Convention in May- to showcase “Rotarians in Action.”
It was a joy to meet up with other Rotarians, Sainab Sheikh ( President Rotary North Melbourne, Anne Frueh,PP Rotary Balywn, and P.E. Herbson Singo, Rotary North Melbourne.
RIMERN is such a “good news Rotary story” and deserves publicity. The outreach and support to people requiring household goods is superb. Rotary Preston are proud partners!
RIMERN ( Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network) 2023-03-21 13:00:00Z 0


INDIGENOUS HEATLH SCHOLARSHIPS…. Was the focus of Australian Rotary Health (ARH) who gathered at Best Western Convention Centre in Attwood, celebrating Indigenous  students who have gained scholarships with ARH over the past 12 months.
Rotarians, and guests, listened to stories shared by those who were lucky enough to be recipients of these scholarships and what role Rotary played in supporting each through a tough time, including a worldwide pandemic. The object of this program is to provide a scholarship, which can be used to assist Indigenous students with their day to day expenses while they undertake a course in a wide range of health related professions. The scholarship is paid in addition to the Government Abstudy allowance.
    The purpose of the program is to assist students to gain an education for the benefit of other Indigenous people,- hopefully, but not necessarily, in some of the our remote areas.
       This program commenced with the intention of training doctors to work amongst other Indigenous people, but the scope of the scheme  was enlarged to permit the training, firstly of Nurses, and eventually any health related profession.
The value of each scholarship is $5000 per year. A Rotary Club contributes $2,500 per year and the State or Commonwealth also provides funding for the administration of the program within the Australian Rotary Health office. Since its inception this program has spread, and interested clubs and committees in each of the mainland states and in the N.T. are sponsoring students.
Ruth McCall, President of Rotary Preston, and GMan, General Manager of 3 KND Radio Station, attended this celebratory evening.

Annual Community Police Awards

Always a terrific occasion, Rotary Preston hosted the 11th Annual Community Police Awards recently.
Past President Elaine Price, does a fantastic job in coordinating nominations  from local Darebin Police Stations, - Reservoir, Preston & Northcote.
Sergeant LeeAnn Parfett, was recognised with a Highly Commended Award, and was recommended by Senior Sergeant Sam Groves, of Reservoir Police Station. S/Sergeant Groves writes,
  “Sergeant Parfett is a highly motivated member, regarded as reliable & friendly. She is always polite and courteous in her dealings with her colleagues and our community members alike. She views her key strengths as being her adherence to the Victim’s Charter, and her strategic focus on the Neighbourhood Policing Model. ( NPM) The NPM is a new initiative implemented by Victorian Police in early 2022. It involves a greater focus on community issues, driven by the community, and not Victoria Police. Sergeant Parfett  holds the Neighbourhood Policing portfolio for Reservoir and has used hard work & ingenuity  to encourage all members to understand the benefits behind the new strategy…. Lee Ann is the number 1 “go- to” person within the Reservoir Police Station when it comes to enhancing our community engagement opportunities, be it by attending events or utilizing social media to reach out to members of the public and bring them into our policing world….”
The Rotary Club of Preston offer their congratulations, and Senior Sergeant Groves accepted the award on behalf of Sergeant Parfett.
THE 2022/2023  COMMUNITY POLICE AWARD WINNER … went to Acting Senior Sergeant Lee Anne Hamilton from Preston Police Station.  
Inspector Graham Guy wrote, “ Upon her arrival Lee Anne embraced her role and set to work to implement, change and rebuild the reputation of Preston Police Station, both internally and externally. Lee Anne recognised the need to focus on her Sergeant cohort and implemented several changes which resulted in a more intrusive and supportive Sergeant’s network. Sergeants are now more visible and supportive of our junior workforce, providing greater oversight and advice whilst members are confronted with various policing issues in Preston……
….. Lee Anne has also been responsible for oversighting and guiding the Preston Police Station through its efforts to secure its Scope Australia Accreditation… Preston Police Station is now of three police stations Statewide which can provide support & assistance to people who are unable to speak or have difficulty in getting their message across.
      Lee Anne has also played an active role in the Neighbourhood Police Model (NPM) roll out across Preston and has been very active in several community/police & local government committees.
  1. Northland Precinct Action Group
  2. Police & Aboriginal Community Protocols Against Family Violence….
Lee Anne is a hard- working and committed member who
.Demonstrates the values of Victoria Police and instills these in her staff
.Has delivered several initiatives for the Preston Police Station & community
.Has become a well-respected & popular manager for the members of Preston
.Has made Preston Police station a safe & enjoyable place to work, a destination station, which is a significant improvement from when she started in the role.
.Has improved the Preston Police standing in the community.
Annual Community Police Awards  2022-11-28 13:00:00Z 0

The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship award

Two remarkable people were awarded Paul Harris Fellowship recognition at our club recently.
The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship award is the Rotary Foundation’s way of expressing its appreciation for a substantial contribution to its humanitarian & educational programs, and service to community.
A true friend of Rotary, Bob Cross was presented with a PHF award for his tireless advocacy for Returned Service Men & Women, and his devoted service as President of the Darebin RSL for 45 years. As Secretary Geoff McIlvenna noted, Bob has supported Rotary with a number of projects, and is an outstanding friend of Rotary.
Joan Roose, a member of Rotary Preston was heartily endorsed as a Paul Harris Fellow. Joan founded the charity Jacob’s Well, and continues to make a substantial contribution to the education of children from rural districts in India where education opportunities are very limited. Joan spends many months in the year living at the Rejoice School in India, assisting with the overall management of the school. Her devotion to this rural community in India is incredible. The Rotary Club of Preston heartily thank both Bob & Joan for their outstanding citizenship.
The presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship award 2022-08-29 14:00:00Z 0

Secretary Geoff McIlvenna

Reflecting on his childhood in Thornbury during the 1950’s Secretary Geoff McIlvenna held us enthralled with his ability to take us to another era in time! Watching the procession of 1956 Olympic Athletes as they paraded down the length of High Street, was a thrill, as was seeing a young Queen Elizabeth in the parade. Another era indeed with SP Bookies in the local area regularly being ‘raided’ by the local constabulary, plain clothes policeman watching out for errant youths, kids playing on the streets, & a fulfilling long career in the police force were touched on by Geoff with great insight and humor. Great to hear from a fellow Rotarian whose passion for life & service is ongoing!
Secretary Geoff McIlvenna 2022-08-04 14:00:00Z 0


NAIDOC week came a little early for the students of Reservoir East Primary School marking also the end of term.This years NAIDOC theme,"Get Up, Stand up, Show Up" was palpable as Rotary Preston contributed to the day ( in a small way) by cooking the sausages on the BBQ for students & Staff. It was inspiring to see Indigenous Elders, staff, and Community leaders facilitate so many activities, including cultural dance, traditional weaving, face painting,  & the IOP hip hop performers. Great to see the energy & participation of the East Reservoir kids. We hope to be back! 
NAIDOC Week 2022-06-26 14:00:00Z 0


The RYLA ( Rotary Youth Leadership Award) will be back this year – the first since 2019. RYLA is an intensive program for people 18-30 years old and will be held for the week 20th-26th November at the Doxa Youth Foundation Camp Site in Malmsbury.
        Rotary Preston is keen to support & sponsor applicants, and assist in transport to the Kilmore, where participants are then taken by bus to Malmsbury.
      RYLA gives participants the invaluable space to reflect on themselves,  to develop leadership skills, & develop self confidence  The program brings together a selection of experts in their fields to deliver topics and interactive sessions. It’s an opportunity to make connections with others, and have fun!
      Formal and technical skills are only part of the requirements for modern employees. RYLA works to develop ‘soft skills’ and personal attributes that are shown to be just as important to success. The values of these soft skills are outlined I a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics & Deakin Co.
    RYLA gives young leaders and emerging leaders the opportunity to serving their own communities and beyond.
For more information :
ROTARY YOUTH LEADERSHIP AWARD  ( RYLA)  2022-05-31 14:00:00Z 0

Reservoir Police Station

Peter Sambell, Senior Sergeant at Reservoir Police Station, is a fellow of great integrity, and a great friend to Preston Rotary.
Friend & Colleague, Shanice Vilone writes
“ Peter is well known for his great leadership and has a great passion in developing others especially when it comes to new or potential recruits from the community. He is consistently contacted by the City of Darebin staff to assist and support their initiatives.
Senior Sergeant Peter Sambell was selected to be a mentor for the new initiative ‘African Australian Recruitment Program’ in 2018. He successfully mentored an applicant with a Somali background and has been asked again to support the program. Peter is a L2P mentor and pre COVID he was mentoring an Asylum Seeker from Qatar. He has been part of many significant initiatives dedicated to the community….”
     Peter recently reflected on his Great Uncle, William Ruthven, V.C. – a name strongly associated with the Darebin area. ( n/b “Ruthven” Railway station!)  Wiilliam Ruthven served in both WW1 & WW2, was Mayor of Collingwood, & a State Parliamentarian. He grew up in humble circumstances, and, achieved a great deal in his lifetime. In asking the question, ‘what drove William?” Peter gave us pause to reflect on, what it is that drives us as Rotarians? The notion of “giving back to community” is one we all share. We share many values, and “Service to others” is key. We are really fortunate in Rotary as we are frequently in contact with folk who are service- driven, innovative, and compassionate.

Peter Sambell is all of the above.

Thanks Peter!
Reservoir Police Station 2022-05-22 14:00:00Z 0

10th Annual Community Police Awards

Feb 16, 2022
Preston Rotary celebrated a wonderful event in acknowledging & congratulating two  outstanding young Police in the Darebin region.
First Constable Nathan Batchelor, based at Preston Police Station  was HIGHLY COMMENDED for his work excelling in managing potentially dangerous situations, and mentoring  youths at risk. 
Nathan had previously worked as a Primary School Welfare Officer, and clearly, his compassion and work experience has been so well integrated in his role as a Police Officer. Amazingly, he has time to coach a Junior Basketball team in his spare time! 
First Constable Catherine Morgan, ( Northcote Police Station, ) WON the Community Police Award, for her work in "Operation Reduce". The impact of the Pandemic has been huge on the mental health of many people. The NW Metro region regularly responds to mental health episodes - & their aim is to reduce arrests and incarceration of vulnerable, and "at risk" people. Catherine has built a data- base identifying at risk people; she has worked also to track colleagues' mental health and well being. 
In her acceptance speech, Catherine said her reason for joining the Police Force was "to help people", and she thanked her family for offering her the values she takes with her in her everyday life. 
Catherine's choice of charity for the $500 donated to her on behalf of Rotary Preston was "Beyond Blue."
A fantastic occasion, and all guests, & Rotarians were pleased to thank the amazing work of our First Responders in Darebin.

10th Annual Community Police Awards 2022-02-22 13:00:00Z 0


Jill Pope, Warehouse Manager with the BIG GROUP HUG gave an excellent presentation of the work this organisation does. Compassion & Passion for humanity is the key driver for their work. Jill's talk is attached - it succinctly draws attention to the distinct discrepancies in our society. But some salient facts to highlight:
From June 2020- June 2021
  • 3,769 children have been supported
  • 100,000 essential items have been distributed to vulnerable and disadvantaged families
  • 2,141 families have been assisted across 165 suburbs
  • 44% families are single parent families
Demand during Covid has increased by 59% because  there has been an increase in women and children escaping domestic violence, Refugees & Asylum Seekers dont receive Govt assistance. Many families who have lost their jobs/businesses who have previously not reached out for support have had to.
Wonderful work BIG GROUP HUG! Rotary Preston were pleased to make a financial donation to this organisation.
BIG GROUP HUG 2022-01-02 13:00:00Z 0

Feeling Grateful was the theme of the day!

Our club hosted an early Christmas Lunch for some of the senior members of Darebin RSL this week. It was a very pleasant vibe with  much laughter and shared stories.
A great “Good NEWS story” for the week. Darebin RSL Ladies Auxillary- seemingly in their twilight years,-  have been visiting residents of Ward 17 at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital for quite some time. The  in- patients of Ward 17 are Veterans who are suffering from Mental Illness. Many of them diagnosed with PTSD. The Darebin RSL Auxillary ( & one gentleman) go regularly, taking  hand- knitted gifts, books, puzzles, and most of all, stay and chat with the Veterans.
Offering kindness and care out of their own hearts is apparently openly received by the Ward 17 community. In a climate  of so much tension and violence, ( globally, nationally & locally) it is really inspiring to meet and talk with “good” people!
Preston Rotary are grateful to the auxillary and committee  of Darebin RSL for their connectedness to community and beyond.
Feeling Grateful was the theme of the day! 2021-11-25 13:00:00Z 0

“A Neighbourhood House on Steroids”!

This is how the ‘Bridge Darebin’ , https: //bridgedarebin has been described, and after an excellent presentation by Community Education Officer Prue Challis, and Pathways & Education Officer, Sofia Fauzi, we are in no doubt that is the case! Bridge Darebin is a not for profit and certified social enterprise based in Thornbury and Preston. Starting 39 years ago, the Bridge has been involved in adult and community education. It is an Arts hub, as well as currently hosting the Moon Rabbit Café, a social enterprise café. Prior to the Covid- 19 Pandemic, the Bridge provided weekly a free sit- down lunch to anyone in the community, together with a take- home frozen meal.
In 2020 Bridge partnered with Reservoir Neighbourhood House in providing food relief, ( in which our club were actively involved) and this continues.
They are about to start up a second- hand book and record area; they are hosting a Bridge Queer event each month; and they have a thriving volunteer program.
Education Programs, courses & activities include:
  • IT
  • Eco- walking groups
  • Digital Literacy
  • English Courses
  • Sustainability programs
  • Barrista & Hospitality
The Bridge has proved to be adaptable in the face of the Pandemic, especially in what they have been able to offer and achieve for people with disabilities.
How fortunate the City of Darebin is to have such a dedicated team of staff and volunteers for such a creative community hub.
Thanks to Prue & Sofia for their great work, and presentation to our club.
“A Neighbourhood House on Steroids”!  2021-11-21 13:00:00Z 0

DonateLife Victoria

Guest Speaker Phoebe Storey gave an excellent overview of the Gift of Life achieved through Organ Donation. For example- in 2020 1,270 Australians received an organ transplant from 463 donors. In Victoria 346 lives were saved through organ donation. Phoebe emphasised the importance of registering as an Organ Donor, to discuss it with your family. Phoebe shared some wonderful examples of lives being turned around by organ transplantation. Questions and comments from club members showed the great interest this sparked, and we thank Phoebe for her passion to educate the community in such a vital medical service.
DonateLife Victoria 2021-11-07 13:00:00Z 0

November is Rotary Foundation Month!

Anne Matthews from District 9560 had this to say in the recent Rotary Downunder magazine: 
"The Rotary Foundation (TRF)is a  not for profit charity pivotal to the work of Rotary in advancing  world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of of education, and alleviation of poverty. TRF is supported soley by donations from members and friends- half is directed to District, and half goes to the World Fund. Both help to support and enable Rotary projects to become a reality through global and district grants. For example the Polio- Plus program introduced in 1985 has seen the immunization of nearly 3 billion children- thus, Polio has almost been erradicated world- wide. Hundreds of thousands of people now enjoy access to clean water, health care, and education, thanks to Foundation's humanitarian projects."  A  good number of Preston Rotarians  generously contribute to this excellent charity, and Club Foundation Director, Max Walsh recently presented Foundation's possibilities at our club meeting. 
November is Rotary Foundation Month! 2021-10-31 13:00:00Z 0

Paul Harris Fellowship Awards

Our club recognised and congratulated 3 of our members recently by presenting them with Paul Harris Fellowship Awards.
Frank Smith, our Treasurer & Tim Smith were recognised and thanked for their generous contributions to Foundation Rotary.
Gerry Lyons, was awarded PHF recognition by the club. Chairperson of Radio 3KND & founding member of SE Indigenous Media Association, Grant Hansen is quoted as saying " Gerry's contribution to education, and humanitarian efforts is outstanding, and he's always prepared to go the extra mile for those in need."
All 3 fellows are fabulous Rotarians, and all make great contributions to the club and beyond. 
Congratulations, Frank, Tim, and Gerry!
Frank Smith                                    Gerry Lyons
Paul Harris Fellowship Awards 2021-10-25 13:00:00Z 0

Lift the Lid on Mental Health!! 

So, how brave are we, - well, call or it brave, or at least we show we have a sense of humour! Rotary Preston  have been committed to Mental Health Research for some years, and this year  was no exception,- even with the Covid Pandemic. 
Meeting via Zoom, we held a NOT- SO  SILENT- AUCTION- resplendent in our interesting hat designs. Past President Elaine Price was outright winner in her colander, saucepan design literally "Lifting the Lid" from her Cranium!!
We raised well over $1600 in combination with our Walk on Sunday 10th October as we literally kicked off Mental Health Week.
Many thanks to Rotarian Joe Morris for organising our auction, and our Auctioneer, Kannan Subramanian, & to all Rotarians who generously donated and participated in this event. 
Lift the Lid on Mental Health!! 2021-10-11 13:00:00Z 0

Lift the Lid: Mental Health Day

A Great day to walk in the local neighbourhood with our "Lift the Lid" Mental Health Awareness week T- shirts- raising awareness for Mental Health Week.  Great to combine our "silent- auction" fundraising efforts with a great walk in our 'hood.! 
Lift the Lid: Mental Health Day 2021-09-28 14:00:00Z 0

DIVRS: Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Centre 

DIVRS is a volunteer- driven, not-for-profit service whose key focus is to provide free services support vulnerable populations in  Darebin who may be experiencing financial crisis, social isolation, and barriers to accessing community information. Emergency food relief is proving to be in increasing high demand. Darebin is a culturally and linguistic diverse area; there are many who have limited or no incomes, and many with Disabilities. DIVRS link in with at least 100 people each week. Over 800 households were supported last year. Advice and advocacy regarding financial counselling, help with Tax Returns, paying bills, negotiating Centrelink , and mentoring Learner Drivers through their TAC L2P Program .... & the list goes on! 
A wonderful service, and the need is pressing! 
Thanks to CEO Christina DiPierdomenico for sharing an update to our club today.
go to: for further information.
DIVRS: Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Centre 2021-09-28 14:00:00Z 0

What's happening to Micro- businesses in Darebin?

At our Sept 15 Rotary meeting our Guest Speaker was Paul Smarrelli, a long time member of our club, and formerly General Manager of Presslight Australia. Paul's concern for Small/Micro Business, and the lack of Federal/State Govt support, led him to his Consultancy role with the Darebin Business Recovery Program. Leading all LGA's with this enterprise, Darebin is investing $11,500 to support small/micro businesses. Paul's own business experience comes to the fore in his role in assessing all applications for assistance. Paul has identified that there can be a lack  of forecasting/ strategic planning , and in his comprehensive assessments of businesses over a number of visits, he focuses on improving cash flow, working capital reserves and profit building, as well as formulating a strategic plan. Small /micro business offer the highest opportunities for revenue growth and financial trading improvements that would lead to generating additional Net Profit and working capital to fund investment, and expansion in employment in the workplace. Considering that 95% of small businesses are present in Darebin this is clearly an important program being delivered. 
Great work Paul! 
What's happening to Micro- businesses in Darebin? 2021-09-25 14:00:00Z 0

Sept 29 Via ZOOM: Guest Speaker: Christina Di Pierdomenico: CEO DIVRS 

Christina will be talking to our club about  DIVRS: Darebin Information Volunteer Resource Service.  This is a not for profit volunteer- driven organisation that delivers free services and programs for vulnerable populations in Darebin who may be experiencing financial crisis, social isolation and barriers to accessing community information.
Please contact us if you wish to join in on our zoom meeting.
Sept 29 Via ZOOM: Guest Speaker: Christina Di Pierdomenico: CEO DIVRS 2021-09-23 14:00:00Z 0

Rotary International President: Shekhar Mehta: "Empathy" defines him as a Rotarian

In  the Virtual Zone 8 Rotary Conference shown recently,   Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehtar described   the moment he felt "defined" as a Rotarian. "Empathy", encapsulated by this year's theme, "Service Above Self" was what he got in touch with, leading him to galvanise a number of club projects such as funding Cardiac Surgeries for those who could not afford it; building literally thousands of toilets to impoverished communities; supporting literacy projects.... the list goes on.
Shekhar Mehtar highlighted the importance of  Engagement & Involvement, embracing core values of Diversity and equity, empowering girls and women as key goals for  current Rotarians.
He concluded his talk with, " we have the power to touch a life, hand, heart and soul." 
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT SHEKHAR MEHTAR.  Member of the Calcutta-Mahanagar Rotary Club West Bengal INDIA.
Rotary International President: Shekhar Mehta: "Empathy" defines him as a Rotarian 2021-09-12 14:00:00Z 0

Win- Win!  Combining Humanitarian & Environmental Activism

An amazing statistic. Over 3 billion people in Developing countries use open fires for cooking, contributing to millions of tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere, deforestation, and, millions of deaths per year from smoke inhalation, not to mention  horrific burns injuries. Poverty is the major driver here. StoveTeam International has installed over 78000  fuel- efficient stoves, thus reducing emissions, and improving safety in the homes of many at a cost of $100/stove.
StoveTeam International is a not-for-profit organisation founded by a U.S. Rotarian, Nancy Sanford Hughes. They estimate 20 million need to be installed!
The recent presentation to our club certainly piqued our interest. Stay tuned!
For further info go to:
Win- Win! Combining Humanitarian & Environmental Activism 2021-09-08 14:00:00Z 0


                           So,- What is CALM Youth? As this weeks Guest Speaker, the wonderful Alexander Michalidis, explained, CALM is an acronym for 
Alexander, and partner "in crime", Michael J. Fortune founded CALM Ltd as Year 11 students. Now studying for a BA in Business, & majoring in Finance, Alexander's mantra is
" Opportunities present themselves when you present yourself to opportunities." 
Alexander and Michael visit Secondary Schools in the Northern Suburbs giving motivational talks to hundreds of students, encouraging students to look for good mentors, find creative outlets to expend energy, play sport, and find healthy ways to deal with  stress. Michael & Alexander do this by sharing some of their own life story and experiences, and clearly, their excellent communication skills and empathy, are being well received, as they are getting some wonderful feedback from students. 
They also offer online motivational content, Peer mentorship, AND, creative friends are designing individually designed clothing & apparel which are being rapidly sold via Instagram, such is their appeal. This has helped to bring some much needed income as CALM Ltd is totally self- funded. 
Alexander & Michael hope to expand their school -reach as their message is an empowering one. They also hope to get more people on board with their team. 
Their website will be launched soon so details will be posted here. Follow them on Instagram. CalmYouth.
Rotary Preston Youth Services Committee were delighted to present Alexander with a cheque for $500, and we as a club hope to follow their progress. 
GOOD NEWS STORY! CALM Youth Ruth McCall 2021-09-01 14:00:00Z 0

Improving Leadership in Rotary Clubs: Steps to Success: Fiona Biedermann

This week our Rotary club viewed the webinar hosted by Fiona Biedermann,( Rotary Seaford, SA) on "Steps to Success"- summarised in  the 3 "C's"of successful leadership: Communication
Fiona explored the Environment of Rotary clubs, eg, what typifies the culture of your club, how do we treat each other, speak to each other?
                                                                                what's on show to our members, and our visitors?
                                                                                do you give newcomers your full attention?
Structure of your club: what are your systems and processes within the club?
                                      How are decisions made? How do you communicate? What is the club's criteria for choosing projects, dealing with challenges, exploring new ideas?
                                      Explore where having more structures in place might simplify the things you do in terms of public image, projects, communication, fundraising, coordinating events
                                      Implementation: Members are more engaged when they know what's expected of them- how do you spread the workload, & involve everyone?
Tips for success: Asses areas of your club where the challenges exist: What needs to be changed? 
                                                                                                                 What needs to be expanded?
                                                                                                                  What contributes to your success?
The overall message was "be innovative - try something new"
& a quote from George Bernard Shaw  " Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything." 
This is a very brief summary of Fiona's talk, but Rotary members may wish to go to "Rotary on the Move" August edition as sent out by Sec Geoff Aug 15. 
Improving Leadership in Rotary Clubs: Steps to Success: Fiona Biedermann Ruth McCall 2021-08-25 14:00:00Z 0

" When she was growing up in Bourke, Patricia, "Pat" Canty never dreamed she'd ever join Rotary...." 

... let alone take the reins as the local club President for 2 years running. As an Aboriginal woman, the perception was that Rotary was a out as 'far as a good fit' as she could get, but in  recent years, the club has pioneered the breaking down of those barriers through what she says has been a" wonderful shift" in that reality."   
- This is a good news story!
Click on the link below for a little insight into Pat.
" When she was growing up in Bourke, Patricia, "Pat" Canty never dreamed she'd ever join Rotary...." Ruth McCall 2021-08-23 14:00:00Z 0

Providing Sound Financial advice for people with Chronic Health Conditions & Disabilites

    This week we had the pleasure of hearing from Paul Conte,  Strategist,with the firm Health & Finance Integrated. Paul, who also happens to be a member of Rotary Preston, is known to our club members for his excellent work ethic, and desire to make a difference in the community. 
Health & Finance Integrated is a "people- centred" social enterprise specialising in providing financial advice to people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. It is the only firm in Australia to provide this service. Founded in 2013, "with the aim of assisting people to find solutions best suited to unique situations and to alleviate the anxiety of dealing with financial, social welfare and social service systems." 
        There are two arms to the service. Care Plan: a financial planning and advisory service. Tailored to people with specific requirements, for example there may be a need for setting up a Disability Trust, advising on how to grow wealth and retirement savings on a reduced income after illness or injury, & exploring ways to maximise Centrelink and tax benefits for instance. 
ProAssist is the other facet of Health & Finance Integrated, whereby they represent and advocate for you, the client, - deal with Govt departments, and negotiate application outcomes with the organisations such as Centrelink, Dept of Housing, Public Trustees. Anyone who has had to negotiate their way through these mine- fields will be aware of the complexities involved. 
As Paul noted, " our objective is to make life less confusing, promote autonomy, and provide the right to a dignified life."
A great service, and as Rotarians will appreciate its classification as a Social Enterprise is icing on the cake as a significant profit is returned to the community. 
 Thanks Paul for an insightful presentation! 
Providing Sound Financial advice for people with Chronic Health Conditions & Disabilites Ruth McCall 2021-08-18 14:00:00Z 0


 Yes! Another great program in place by participating Rotary clubs. Why recycle play equipment you ask? Well, as Bob Allardice from Rotary Nunawading explained, many developing countries are in dire need of great playground equipment for children. Many are removed here in Australia and regularly replaced. Sadly, the "old" playground equipment ends up in Landfill.
      Since the RORP ( Rotary Overseas Recycle Playgrounds) project was launched, 105 Playgrounds have been "harvested" and send to countries such as Sri Lanka, East Timor, PNG, Fiji,.. the list goes on. 
As Bob says, "this is a living, breathing, existing, and developed project.
Rotary Preston have been invited to participate by identifying playground equipment within the Darebin area that may be about to be removed, and assist with the RORP's team in targeting these for other countries. There are other duties involved, however Chair of International Committee Peter Peyton, is to liase with Bob to sound out future possibilities for our involvement. Watch this space!
Thanks Bob for your informative presentation!

Great People- Continue  to Inspire!!

In our current Pandemic crisis, good- news stories are essential for all of our mental-health !
Jo Bartlett & Nicki Nellis, from Epping Pavillion School painted a strong and inspiring picture of their work at this very special school.....
Students attending this school have not often found a place where they can be nurtured in a very specific way.  Jo related that 17% of students have some form of disability, 10% are Indigenous students, and many students have complex issues which they are living with.Students from a wide area attend the Pavillion School, Wallan & Flowerdale for example.  Key principles in supporting students involve-
 .ensuring a stable routine
.providing a well-being program
. supporting emotions,
.assisting in managing conflict,
.making friendships,
.building psychological skills and strength, 
.for Indigenous students- mentorship by Elders
Industry and Higher education visits are undertaken for more senior students, and 80% graduating students go on to productive pathways in employment, or further education. 
Another unique feature of this school community is that graduates can access staff for support after they have left school.
Read more in our recent Weekly Bulletin ( Aug 11) as our excellent John McCarthy captures further detail of this great school.
Congratulations, students and staff at Epping Pavillion School for your courage and persistence!
Great People- Continue to Inspire!! Ruth McCall 2021-08-08 14:00:00Z 0


Our famed Fund- raising BBQ's have sadly been delayed due to Covid.
We look forward to serving Premium Snags in later months! 

Not ANOTHER BARBY!!! Ruth McCall 2021-08-02 14:00:00Z 0

"Walking the Talk"- Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network

Terrific  to hear from Susie Cole today. Susie hails from the Rotary club of Prahran, and today was our Guest Speaker, giving an update on yet another compassionate enterprise of Rotary. The Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network ( RIMERN) currently is made up of contributions both hands on, and financial, from a number of inner Melbourne Rotary clubs, overseen by the Rotary club of Prahran.
"RIMERN will be to Community Service what Donations in Kind is to International Service... a powerful ongoing project that delivers real help in our own neighbourhoods, that clubs can get involved in as a real hands- on opportunity for service, and something to attract new members."
A myriad of volunteer roles are offered in the collection, and distribution of household goods, appliances, and furniture to people in desperate need, along with building relationships with support agencies, assisting with volunteer training, logistics and fundraising.
Agencies such as the Salvation Army, Uniting Housing, Melbourne City Mission, are just a few of the agencies that have been on board with the equivalent well- established Rotary coordinated Relief Networks in both the Eastern & Western suburbs.
All Rotarians have a heart to assist those in need. Susie also notes, it's a great way to build relationships with local Council and service agencies.
Close to our own turf, Darebin Hard Waste Heroes- are very enthusiastic in assisting with this great outreach. 
RIMERN is currently building their website, but Susie can be contacted via Email:
"Walking the Talk"- Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network 2021-07-27 14:00:00Z 0

Who Are We? 2020 

Preston Rotary
We are 45 members and growing. 13 members have been in the club for over 25 years.  By contrast we have 14 members who have been Rotarians less than 5 years, so there is a good mix.
Who is Preston Rotary?
We are aged 38-97 years. Don’t think we are old fuddy-duddies though. 
Look up Children First Foundation, to see a project we have supported over 20 years.  
Around 50% of us are retired, and 50% in employment. Collectively we have 700 plus years of Rotary service and experience. We come from far and wide… Craigieburn, Toorak, and Romsey, from Queensland, from Auckland, and Alice Springs, from Donvale, Mt Waverly, Delhi and Newport, to name a few. Twenty of us have seen the light and live in this local diverse City of Darebin.
So why, why do we come from so far and wide? Because…we are a clever, experienced, and committed bunch that can get you through life’s major hurdles. When we meet weekly there is energy and purpose in the room!
With our members’ experience and resources, this club can take you through every stage of life. Read on . . .
We’ve had new babies this past year, so can give our new parents on hand parental advice in bucket loads.
 We’ve got all the education advisors you will ever need, with our retired school principals and lecturers. Then we can advise you into careers, tertiary education, if you require. We can fill in papers and forms and do any Admin jobs you need.
 We can get you married with our connections to the clergy/celebrants. We have had 3 marriages in recent times, inter-country, rainbow, traditional. I told you we were diverse didn’t I ?  We can organize the whole event, catering, design and print the invitations, provide a short film if you so desire, … all at a good rate.
 If you are thinking of buying a house, we can sort that for you too, our real estate agents will make it a cinch for you! If you want to even build a house or business … no worries, architects and project managers extraordinaire, immediate, on hand!
Need the soil tested, land surveyed, why we may even be able to give you your own street name. Just speak with PBP.
But, you can’t take this on without sound and proper financial advice…Ah ha here is the Rotary club of Prestons’ secret and specialist area… plenty to choose from, some under 40, financial advisors, professional fundraisers, investment advisors, accountants, mortgage brokers, we can do your tax returns,… easy … you name it we’ve got the lot! Experience is the name of our game!
Having trouble getting a job? Try us out, hopefully with our friendly team, their skills, networks and experience we can get you on track. Should something unfortunate occur with an accident and you lose mobility, or have a disability, we have community contacts waiting to help.
Establishing or expanding a business, want it to improve…export to the world even? We are not joking, Preston Rotary’s got your back. By the way, Community markets are also a speciality of ours, experts in sausage sizzles…always for a good cause eg PTSD
Need anything advertised/broadcast, no problems, we can well manage all the media communication you want. Just ask our own G Man at 3KND. World conferences in the bag !
Oh, … things getting a little stressful? Experiencing some muscle strain?  We can put you in touch with the right folk, with years of experience. Having a few mental health issues managing life? We have experts in the field. Need to get exercising,… we would strongly recommend the fold up bicycle, no chain but a belt 100% guaranteed….and so, so easy to manouvre.
Teenagers veering off the rails… been there, done that, … we can help! In a spot of trouble with the law enforcement…. use our connections far and wide, particularly in the Northern suburbs. Our Club  gives an annual Community Police Award.  Perhaps you need a quiet nice meal out ...  we have choices. Once again, it is all about who you know, isn’t it?
Perhaps you feel you’ve got enough in life, and thinking you would like to go and give back to those less fortunate in the world ,… for something completely different ... volunteer overseas. What about Northern India? We’ve got the accommodation already for you, seriously,  … and they desperately need water wells in remote villages, speak with JR. Google Rejoice School  or Jacob’s Well and marvel at what is achievable. 
In fact any country in the world there is probably a Rotary project going on or about to happen!
As you get closer to the grave, we have experience in aged care. If desired we can help you write your life story. Remember we can design and print you funeral booklet, provide a celebrant, give emotional and spiritual support and highly recommend a very loyal and local funeral director.
And I haven’t even mentioned if anybody wanted to buy or rent a new car!
If the above isn’t enough to convince you, google our member Kate Austin at Pinchapoo to be further amazed at our work distributing personal care packs across Victoria.
Why wouldn’t you want to be a proud, passionate and paid up member of Preston Rotary? Sorry don’t come if you don’t want to put your elbow to the grind. We do stop gardening after 2 hours in over 30 Celsius however.
We are here to do good in the world. We are people of action.
Contact us and come and check us out, you are most welcome!
Who Are We? 2020 Julie Morris 2020-10-07 13:00:00Z 0