International Women’s Day Breakfast 2017

On Wednesday 8 March 2017, an enlightening International Women’s Day Breakfast was held at the spectacular Mornington Racecourse with over 400 attending. The weather was perfect, the breakfast delicious and the speakers inspirational. The project is a collaborative effort by Frankston North Rotary and the Frankston, Peninsula 2.0 and Mount Eliza Rotary clubs. The money raised will be allocated to local community projects.
The first speaker, Kate Carnell AO, started with a quote from John Lennon: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. This is how she explained her life, from her early years as a pharmacist to her current role as Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Early in life she realised that to succeed in business you need to make people feel important: to listen to and be interested in both staff and customers.

Kate Carnel

Kate Carnell

After a successful 15-year career in pharmacy, including being the first female National Vice-President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, she went on to serve as Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory from 1995 to 2000, and has since held various CEO roles. To succeed in your life and career, Kate’s advice is to be ethically true to yourself, engage with the community and be willing to take risks.

The second speaker, Susan Berg, author of The Girl Who Lived, recounted the trauma when, as a 15 year old, she was the sole survivor of a boating accident that claimed the lives of her mother, father and brother. Suffering from survivor guilt, Susan charged down a path of self-destruction. In the following years she continued to face significant challenges and hardship, including domestic violence.

Susan Berg

Susan Berg

Then, at age 30, when she escaped death again in a fatal motorbike accident, Susan turned her life around, refusing to remain a victim of her past. She fought through her demons – learning to love herself and life again. In January 2017, she faced her greatest fear, open water, and swam the Lorne Pier to Pub. Then, on 26 February 2017, she completed the Rip Swim across Port Phillip. This was all part of her ongoing journey of self-healing, and to encourage other women to confront and overcome their fears.

Frankston Community Raffle 2017

One of Frankston North Rotary’s signature projects is the annual Community Raffle. The raffle has been running over the past 27 years and has returned more than $1.7 million to local community groups, schools and clubs. Tickets are $2.00 each, and this year a dividend of $1.50 per ticket sold was paid back to local club, school or community groups. How easy is that! Frankston North Rotary organises the prizes, permits, prints the tickets and oversee the running of the raffle.

Your local club, school or community group can raise funds simply by participating in the raffle. All you need to do is to sell as many tickets as you choose, and you receive the major part of the proceeds from your tickets for fund raising.

First prize this year was a dream holiday valued at $15,000, won by Paul Ormrod on a ticket sold by the Peninsula Horse Riders Club. Second prize was a weekend away valued at $3000, won by Deb Cornell on a ticket sold by the Victorian Women’s Superleague Association. Third prize was $1000 worth of electrical goods, won by Carolyn Parker on a ticket sold by the Seagulls Day Club.

If your local club, school or community group would like to take part in next year’s raffle, please contact Frankston North Rotary. Otherwise look out for the ticket early in 2018 and make sure that you participate in raising money for this worthy cause.



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Elisabeth Murdoch College Debutant Ball 2017

On Tuesday 28 March and Wednesday 29 March 2017, students from Elisabeth Murdoch College attended their Debutante Ball at the New Peninsula Centre, Mount Martha. And what a wonderful success both nights were! The venue and food were great, the dancing superb, due to the expertise of dance teachers Terry and Michelle from Marshere in Cranbourne, and all this was made possible due to the efforts of the Frankston North Rotary Club, who managed the planning and organisation of this successful event, along with facing many challenges.
There were around 700 attended over the two nights, and 53 debutante couples were presented. It was an amazing event and provided many great memories! Proud mums and dads watched as their wonderfully dressed sons and daughters completed their fantastic dance routine on each night.
This group of Elisabeth Murdoch College students were waiting for their limo to arrive and take them to the Tuesday Night Ball.

Rotary Junior Community Awards 2016

The Rotary Junior Community Award program has now completed its 20th year. These awards, designed by late Rotarian, David Hawkey, in the Bairnsdale area, engage Grade 6 students in four main areas of endeavour to be completed over the school year: Community Service, Social Experience, Physical Recreation and Skill Development. The students, with the aid of parents and teachers, design a program they feel they can achieve and keep a diary of their progress. There are now over 15,000 diaries sent around Australia each year.

The success of the program is indicated by the variety of activities the students choose to complete their award and the confidence and effort they put in, together with the enthusiasm and diligence of the people who are involved as supervisors, instructors, assessors, mentors and supporters. At the end of each year, students are presented with a certificate at a ceremony organised by the sponsor Rotary Club together with family, friends and supporters.

On Monday 17 October 2016, the Mayor of Frankston, James Dooley, and the President of Frankston North Rotary, Eric Neill, presented the Rotary Junior Community Award certificates and badges to 25 Grade 6 students from Aldercourt Primary School who had completed the program in 2016. Congratulations to you all. A special thanks to teacher Kirren Whaiapu from Aldercourt Primary School and Kerry Gibson from the Frankston North Schools Consortia for their work to make the awards possible. Thanks also to Linda Tinney for coordinating and organising the awards.

Computers for Communities Program: Schools

Frankston North Rotary has been running a Computer for Communities Program over the past 3 years. Data centres, which update their computer hardware every 3 years, donate their replaced equipment to the club. These computers are then allocated within the local Frankston North communities according to need. This means that local schools can have greater access to computers, enhancing programs that would otherwise be delayed or could not go ahead. It also gives Frankston North Rotary the opportunity to promote literacy and numeracy: key activities in giving back to the community.

The club has worked with St John’s Primary School to supply around 40 personal computers that were allocated to various educational programs. These included use in the library as a research tool for projects across all grades, and in the junior school where introductory activities on using computers are offered from prep to Year 1.

Monterey Secondary College Senior Study Hall

Monterey Secondary College Senior Study Hall

The club has also worked with Monterey Secondary College on the new Senior Student Study Hall. The club provided 10 personal computers, giving students the opportunity to research assignments individually and collectively. The hall has desks and leisure furniture plus online internet access to help students with their various VCE assignments. The senior students are responsible for the new study hall environment, and the facility serves to encourage them to take responsibility for their learning outcomes.

Donations in Kind

Donations In Kind is a major recycling operation run by volunteers who coordinate, assess and package materials to be sent free throughout the world to people in need. Thousands of voluntary hours are spent each year to run this operation. Donations in Kind is Rotary Australia’s largest ongoing project and the West Footscray Store is the largest in Victoria.

In July 2015, Roger Thorton from the Pakenham Rotary Club presented Frankston North Rotary with an in-depth insight into Donations in Kind. He explained what it takes to run such a project and the requirements of the club. Following this meeting, Frankston North Rotary adopted Donations in Kind as a project with Peninsula Health to provide obsolete surgical equipment, respirators, and such for third world countries.

Later in 2015, Frankston North Rotary began the stocktaking, cataloguing process to source a large amount of obsolete hospital equipment made available following the major renovation at the Frankston Hospital. Several truckloads have been collected and sent to the West Footscray Store. Recently, a large container of equipment was sent offshore to set up a hospital. Much of the equipment was sourced from Peninsula Health. The project will continue to provide opportunities to service poorly equipped third world countries.

International Women’s Day Breakfast 2016

On Wednesday 2 March 2016, the second International Women’s Day Breakfast was held at the Mornington Racecourse Gunnamatta Room, overlooking the specular racetrack. Weather-wise it was a beautiful sunny morning. The caterers provided a breakfast of yoghurt and Danish pastries followed by Eggs Benedict and tea or coffee. Gift bags of donations from local businesses were given to all the attendees. The project was a collaborative effort by Frankston North Rotary and the Frankston, Peninsula 2.0 and Mount Eliza Rotary clubs. The Committee, chaired by Past President of Frankston North Rotary, Judi McKee, spent many hours getting everything in place.

The theme for 2016 was Women of Change, and guest speakers were Kristy Kendall, the new Principal of Toorak College, Mount Eliza, and Moira Kelly AO, Australian humanitarian worker. The MC was Cara Litterick, a family lawyer with Roberts Beckwith Partners. Lynne Westland, District 9820 Governor Elect, gave the welcome speech.

The first speaker, Kristy Kendall, titled her presentation Being unapologetic about loving what you do. She outlined the challenges of being a working mother and of her promotion to Principal of Toorak College at the young age of 37 years. She spoke of other people’s perceptions of her work and family, of the need for women to support each other in the workforce and of how family support enabled her to further her career. Juggling the demands of work and family is always a challenge. Giving 100 per cent of her attention to her two small sons when she comes home from school is her priority. Her achievements have not been due to luck, but are the result of hard work, study and commitment.

International Women's Day Breakfast - Kirsty Kendall

Kirsty Kendall

The second speaker, Moira Kelly, titled her presentation Creating hope. Moira is a humanitarian worker and advocate for children living in poverty or in war zones. She is an inspirational Australian humanitarian. Her work has been recognised by several awards, including an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001 and Victorian of the Year in 2003. She is an active campaigner for the rights of carers, refugees and displaced persons.

International Women's Day Breakfast - Moira Kelly

Moira Kelly

Moira’s presentation followed her extraordinary journey, first working with her idol Mother Theresa, then spending 10 years living abroad, caring for sick and needy children and their families in countries such as India, South Africa, America, Romania and Bosnia.

In recent times her base has been Melbourne. Her journey included adopting two young boys, Ahmed and Emmanuel, who she brought home from Iraq in 1998. They have overcome incredible disability and multiple surgeries to become wonderful, accomplished young men. She is guardian of the cranially conjoined twins from Bangladesh, Trishna and Krishna, separated in 2009 in a 32-hour operation at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital. After many operations they are now happily settled into school in Melbourne. She spoke briefly of some of the other children she has helped, many with life-threatening conditions, and the children she now has living with her who have debilitating illnesses that require constant attention.

Moira’s son, Emmanuel, a 2011 contestant on The X Factor, also attended the breakfast and gave a wonderful rendition of the song Happy to be me.

The money raised from the breakfast will be allocated to humanitarian needs and local community projects.

Group Study Exchange to Turkey in 2015

Group Study Exchange (GSE) is a cultural and vocational exchange program run each year for professional business men and women, aged between 25 and 40 years, in the early stage of their professional lives. The Rotary Foundation provides travel grants for teams of participants for exchange visits in a different country. For 4 to 6 weeks, team members study the host country’s institutions and way of life, observe how their own vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas. Each exchange team is comprised of a Rotarian acting as the team leader and four specially selected team members.

In 2015, Eric Neill from Frankston North Rotary, lead a team of young professionals from District 9820 on a visit to their sister District 2430 in Central and Eastern Turkey. The team consisted of an Environmental Consultant, a Mechanical Engineer, a Small Business Retail Owner and Cooking School, and a District Burn Planner from East Gippsland.

GSE Turkey 2015 body

Eric Neill and the team members at Anzac Cove

The exchange in Turkey was during the Centennial celebrations of the Gallipoli campaign. In mid April 2015, the team arrived in Istanbul, touring many wonderful sites. From there the exchange commenced. The group travelled through Turkey by plane (covering around 1900 km with four internal flights), fast train (covering around 240 km), and public buses and private vehicles (covering almost 300 km).

The GSE team visited 14 cities, made presentations at 12 Rotary club and combined club meetings, and made many vocational visits in each city. In total the team was involved with 21 Rotary clubs and gave their final presentation at the D2430 District Conference.

There were some extraordinary vocational events and cultural days. The Turkish hospitality, generosity and friendliness was wonderful. The host family discussions on many topics were great, and their food was equally amazing and plentiful.

The exchange was a fulfilling and life changing experience for all those involved from both countries. For a very interesting detailed diary of these events and experiences, please download and read the attached document.

GSE 2015 Diary of events in Turkey

Adopt a Park: Ballam Park

Frankston North Rotary has had a long association with Ballam Park, Frankston. In 1981, the club put aside money to build a rotunda (picnic shelter) in the park. Ballam Park provides a great day out for people of all ages, with two regional playground areas, barbecues in the large picnic areas, a walking track, public toilets, a tennis wall and a basketball ring.

Ongoing maintenance has included Frankston North Rotary’s work on the restoration and painting of the rotunda. The club, in conjunction with the Frankston City Council and the Department of Justice, undertook a program of Adopt a Park. This initially involved the removal of graffiti and the painting of the bollards. In 2013/14, Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) student at McClelland Secondary College joined the club in this project as part of their community service.

The last Frankston North Rotary community event at Ballam Park was on 2 December 2015 to remove graffiti on the art wall near the barbeque shelter and to maintain the bollards. Club members got their hands dirty and undertook some physical work in the park. The Ballam Park Rotunda bears the Frankston North Rotary sign to acknowledge the erection of the shelter many years ago. The club takes pride in helping to keep it look clean and fresh.

Garden Party

The second annual Frankston North Rotary and Peninsula Youth Music Society garden party was held at the Frankston South home of the Frankston North Rotary President Mark Sammut and his wife Jane Griffiths on 14 November 2015. This again was a wonderful day in a beautiful garden background. The Peninsula Youth Music Society students entertained the crowd with renditions from the classics to the Beatles. Refreshments included delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones with tea and coffee.

This is an important event for Frankston North Rotary as the money raised is for children who would not normally be able to afford to learn and develop their musical skills. If they have the talent and the will to learn, this will assist them to reach their potential and can be life changing.

A group of over 120 people attended and over $2000 was raised. A cheque for $2051 was presented to the Peninsula Youth Music Society at a summer concert. This money will go toward buying musical instruments for budding musicians who cannot afford to purchase their own instruments.

Garden party Helen Griffiths award

Jane Griffiths with Meevel Mathew and her family.

During the afternoon, one promising student, Meevel Mathew, was presented with the Helen Griffiths Music Award for 2015.