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MEETING INFORMATION

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our club has temporarily postponed all future face-to-face meetings.

Instead, we have established weekly online virtual meetings where we can still meet but from the comfort and safety of our own homes.

UPCOMING MEETINGS
Kelly Grigsby
Sep 29, 2020
What's Happening in the City of Wyndham
Tammy Shepherd
Oct 06, 2020
Mercy Hospital Ships
Skye Sharpe
Oct 13, 2020
CareFlight Australia
Nicole Cuiava
Oct 27, 2020
Status of the new Melbourne Metro Tunnel
Dick Whitaker
Nov 10, 2020
From Gods to Gigabytes
Julian Mather
Nov 17, 2020
A Man of Many Talents
 
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The club is proud to welcome its newest member, Vas Samaltanos, who was inducted during our club's virtual anniversary meeting on Tuesday 18th August.

Vas has a genuine interest in helping others and a willingness to get involved in hands–on activities within the local community. He sees Rotary as a means to achieve his goals. He believes our club offers exactly what he wants in his life today.

He has a keen interest in cycling and has expressed interest in participating in future ROCAN fundraising rides. He has also indicated that he will take time off, occasionally, from his busy job as a Software Development Manager, to assist with the mid-week Bunnings BBQ’s.

Welcome Vas.

 

The Imagination Library is the brain-child of Dolly Parton and was founded in 1995. It provides children with free home delivered books and literacy resources each month, from birth until their 5th birthday.

The goal of the program is to help children - especially those in disadvantaged communities - gain the skills they need to start school ready to read learn and succeed in life.

The local community-based program is offered by United Way Australia and funded by Werribee Rotary.

We are delighted to be able to support 21 Wyndham families from the Karen, South Sudanese, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.

The club has initiated a project to support the community during the Coronavirus epidemic by manufacturing face masks for distribution to people in the Wyndham area. Through two generous donations, we were able to purchase some of the scarce supplies of fabric and elastic.

Rotarians, partners and friends of Rotary, better known as the Cut Giggle and Sew group, have been involved in cutting and sewing up a storm. The first 70 masks have been delivered to Uniting Wyndham for distribution to their clients but we still have a way to go to meet our aim of 500 masks. We would welcome more sewers to assist if they have any spare time.

Despite the fact that the team is working in isolation due to the Covid19 lockdown, they are still engaging with each other and embracing the opportunity to help others through this difficult time.

 

Pictured above is 2019-20 President Brian Ahmed (left) handing over the reins of office to our new President Michael Redding. Normally, this changeover event would take place at a dinner function in June. However, due to the pandemic restrictions, the process was completed during an online meeting session.

Prior to the handover, Brian summarised his year by highlighting some of our major achievements including:

  • The Imagine Library Program (which was a joint grant project)
  • Scholarship to Gordon Tafe
  • Bushfire relief - via Blazeaid
  • Bingo
  • Bunnings BBQ's
  • WERN (Western Emergency Relief Network)
  • Breakfast Club
  • Cut, Giggle & Sew
  • Beyond Blue Cup
  • Golf Day
  • Support to Rotary Foundation
  • Operation angel - relief packs for bushfire workers
  • Interact Club at Wyndham College
  • Vanuatu School Project
  • Tamarind Chicken Shed in Uganda
  • Sinna Mentor Dance Group

Brian said he was proud to have been given the honour of leading the club. Despite the challenges of having to resort to online meetings for the past 4 months, he said it was still a productive year for our club. He thanked the Board, the members and their partners for supporting him.

President Michael is keen to keep the club on a similar track but recognises that there will be some challenges until the virus restrictions are lifted. One of Michael's key changes will be that every member will have the opportunity to choose a project that they want to support for the year, rather than the traditional approach of establishing committees to run projects.

Michael wants our major project for the year to be the Beyond Blue Cup which will involve a football match between two local junior sides. The aim is to support youth mental health.

 

 

Our club normally meets at a regular venue every Tuesday evening. However, with stay-at-home and social distancing rules in place, we have now reverted to conducting our meetings online.

While the attendance for the first few meetings has been lower than expected, we are hoping it will grow as the less technologically-minded members become acquainted with the virtual concept.

One of the benefits of these online meetings is that we can invite guest speakers who may be located anywhere in the world. In a recent meeting, our guest speaker was Chris Ochaya  and his wife Sarah from Uganda. Chris was sponsored by our club several years ago to spend 3 months in Australia to learn various farming techniques. Since returning to Uganda, he has established the Tamarind Community Farm which is aimed at supporting many families in the region. Werribee Rotary and several agricultural businesses in Australia have been instrumental in providing funds and expertise for some of the projects which include building a bore water system, constructing a goat shelter and a chicken shed.

During the meeting, Chris gave members an update on the status of the various projects. He also talked about the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on his country.

In the future, we will invite some of our past Rotary exchange students from Japan and Brazil to speak about life in their respective countries.

 

Members and friends of our club recently responded to the urgent call from President Kitty of the Rotary Club of Laverton Point Cook to help create relief packs containing items for distribution to the brave firefighters and evacuees who were involved in the devastating bushfires in south-east Australia.

Sixty people of all ages worked feverishly from midday to 8pm to prepare the kits which contained essential items. Each pack even included a face washer with the words "Thank you" embroidered on it.

The items were generously supplied by local businesses, community groups and families. Some children were even moved to donate their pocket money as a means of expressing their support, particularly for the loss and injury of so many native animals.

While the team was exhausted at the end of the process, they felt extremely satisfied that they had contributed in a positive way.

Click here to view some photos of the successful day.

 

The Rotary Club of Werribee is proud to announce that the chicken and egg business at the Tamarind community farm in Uganda and is now in full production mode. This is the completion of another phase of a joint project between Werribee Rotary and Tamarind, with support from several Australian investors, which has previously seen the establishment of a bore water system, a vegetable garden and a secure compound for the domestic goats.

Tamarind is the brain-child of Chris Ochaya, a local resident who was awarded a Royce and Jean Abbey Scholarship to travel to Australia in 2017 where he was hosted by our club. During his 3-month stay, Chris visited many agricultural businesses to learn about modern practices. With his new-found knowledge, he returned to Uganda and commenced the long road to set up a self-sustainable economy for his community. He wanted to deliver a "hand-up" rather than a "hand-out" solution.

There were a few challenges along the road before the chickens started laying. Chris had to design and construct a building that would be free from predators and vermin. This was a more expensive exercise because the walls had to be made of brick. When the first batch of baby chickens arrived, many of them died from a common disease which could have been prevented if the correct inoculations had been delivered.

Our club is proud of the work that Chris has achieved and is keen to support him on future projects.

Click here to see more images of the chickens.

Click here to see a short video of the good work we are doing in Uganda.

 

 

Our club member Michael Redding was accompanied by Lorry Rowe (Rotary Club of Flemington) on a trip to central Vietnam where they presented self-propelled tricycle wheelchairs to four young people whose mobility has been restricted through illness or injury. The tricycles cost about A$380. The children are from very poor families and their families could not afford to pay for them. The funds were provided by Werribee Rotary and Lorry.

The tricycles are made in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to central Vietnam. They are easily propelled by pushing the steering column backwards and forwards. They are comfortable, very manoeuvrable and can travel at speeds of up to 10 km per hour on the local roads. The four recipients were Nhan, Thanh, Moi and Khanh.

In Vietnam, people with many types of disability are hidden away, living in their family home and destined to remain there for the rest of their lives. In the Hue area alone, it is estimated there are over 29,000 disabled people, nearly all of whom receive no support.  Among this group are many young people who cannot walk but whose lives would be transformed with a tricycle wheelchair. The big challenge is how to locate where they live.

Michael's Vietnamese friend, Dung, has formed a small team of committed volunteers. Through asking questions to a range of people, the team were able to discover where the four recipients lived. Once the wheelchairs were given to them their lives were immediately transformed. They now have their own mobility and can travel wherever they wish.

The team intends to continue identifying where more young disabled people in the Hue area are living.  Any donated wheelchairs in the future they can distribute to the young people they have located.

Click here to read a full report about the four recipients and the joy they expressed when they were presented with their tricycles.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Michael and Lorry for their generous humanitarian efforts.