Werribee River


Next week's speaker will be Iramoo Ward Councillor, Mia Shaw, who was elected to Wyndham Council in 2016.​

She is Wyndham City’s Family Friendly City Portfolio Holder, which covers supporting community health, wellbeing, active participation and volunteering in Wyndham

Please note that on Tuesday 13th February, we will be having a joint meeting with the Rotary Club of Laverton Point Cook at Waterstone Cafe, 72 Greg Norman Drive, Point Cook.



We were fortunate to have three speakers presenting on headspace - all for the price of one! And judging by the large number of questions, they proved to be very interesting and informative.

headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ well-being. This covers four core areas: mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services. There are 101 offices around Australia. The operation is funded by the Federal Government. Kim, Nicky and David work at the Werribee branch of headspace.

Kim works full-time at Werribee as a counsellor and she loves her job. She and her colleagues see about 1000 youths each year of which 600 are new and the remainder are repeat attendees. Each person is entitled to 10 free counselling sessions. This makes it much more accessible especially in our area where there is a high number of disadvantaged youths.

Kim works with people with a vast range of mental health difficulties. This includes school bullying, family violence, autism and intellectual disability. The branch also offers drug and alcohol support, GP services and employment advice. They also have group sessions and a family support program. The staff consist of professional counsellors and volunteers.  Kim said that, at the end of the day after hearing many stories of despair, she still leaves the office with a sense of hope that the headspace program is making a positive difference.

Nicky and David are both volunteers and have a similar happy and positive disposition as Kim. Both have had their own mental health experiences but, with the help of headspace, they now offer their personal advice. They have been able to build a sense of self and a sense of purpose in their life and can use this to help others.



Alek Akuie was our representative at the recent RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) camp in Mt Evelyn. With humour, sincerity and much enthusiasm, she told us about her week-long experience.

When she arrived at the camp, she was extremely nervous as were all the other attendees. She felt way out of her comfort zone. However, it wasn't long before they were bonding, thanks to the leaders who encouraged the group to do some fun things together. By Day 2, many friendships had already started to develop.

Alek was very impressed with the quality of the speakers. Their subjects generally related to leadership and building confidence. She was particularly moved by the presentation of a young lady called Annie who, as a young girl, wanted to be an actor. Sadly, she was involved in a fire which resulted in scars to 50% of her body. Now she goes around Australia talking to people about not giving up, no matter how adverse your personal circumstances may be. In fact, Alek and her friends were so encapsulated by Annie's speech that tears were shed, partly through sympathy but mainly through inspiration.

Alek believes that she learnt so much from her RYLA experience. As she embarks on her working life, hopefully in the police force, she feels she will be a better person and a stronger leader. She also believes that she can do so much more by working within the Sudanese community. She has even used her new-found experience to great effect by being part of a camp for less fortunate kids. 

Everyone agreed that the vibrancy and enthusiasm portrayed by Alek will result in her having a successful future regardless of what she does.


Pictured above is our member Michael Redding in Ho Chi Minh City with Anh Nguyen, a Board member of the NTCM Charity, who were presenting the second of four tricycle wheelchairs to Loan.
Loan is 23 years old and lives in Vung Tau. She has cerebral palsy and walking is very difficult for her. She is unmarried and has a 3-year old son. He is looked after by her grandmother who lives quite some distance away.
Loan earns an income by selling lottery tickets each day on a commission basis. The wheelchair will enable her to have increased mobility and therefore to earn more money. Loan is able to send money to her grandmother to support her son.

On Saturday 24th February, Donations in Kind (DIK) is holding an Open Day at their premises in Maribyrnong Rd, West Footscray to celebrate their move to the new warehouse.

Tea and coffee will be available thorugh the day and there will be a good old sausage sizzle lunch.

The operating cost of maintaining the warehouse is high so one of their aims is to seek financial support from clubs by buying a bay of racks.

Click here to see a flyer of the Open Day.



The date for the Werribee Rotary Annual Golf Day is Friday 2nd March.

The Golf Day committee is already hard at work to ensure it will be another successful event.

For the third year in a row, you have the chance to win a car from Ballan Holden in the hole-in-one competition on the 15th green. No-one has been successful in the past two years which means the chances of someone scoring an ace this year are improving.
The net proceeds from the day will once again go to the Werribee Mercy Hospital's project to raise funds for a critical care unit. We are aiming to raise $25,000.
Click here to see the brochure and registration form. If you plan to play, please get your entry in early to avoid missing out on this popular event.
We are seeking volunteers to assist with the following:
  • Hole-in-One observers
  • Hole-in-One spruiker
  • Drink cart drivers
  • Helpers for the putting hole
  • Someone to install sponsor signs at each hole
If you would like to sponsor the event, or know of someone who would like to sponsor or donate, please send us an email.

We are invited to an exclusive culinary fund-raising event called "A Taste of Heston – the BBQ Indulgence" to launch the locally written, multi-award winning play "Point of No Return" on its 2018 Victoria tour. Many of the members and partners will already have seen this wonderful play and, due to its success, the producers are now taking it on the road.

The function is at 7pm on Friday 23rd March and will be held in one of Wyndham’s finest homes at 456 Sayers Road, Hoppers Crossing. You will enjoy an exquisite 8-course Heston Blumenthal themed BBQ menu presented by Bart Beek (Executive Chef for Everdure by Heston Blumenthal).

Click here to see the flyer.

Click here to make a booking.



Our Community Committee Director, Jason Daddy, advised that we potentially have a busy time ahead in providing our BBQ services. This includes:

  • Bunnings BBQ on Easter Saturday (31st March).
  • Mid-week BBQs at Bunnings once a month.
  • BBQ breakfast at Relay for Life on Sunday 24th March.
Jason will be asking for our help for each of these events. Please contact him if you can volunteer for one or more of these.

Marty Vaina is organising a Rock 'n Roll night on Saturday 14th April and you're all invited.

It promises to be a very enjoyable evening. The band will be Itchy Fingers, a very popular rock 'n roll group. The venue will be the Italian Social Club and the cost is $60 per person plus drinks at bar prices.

Please come along to this important club fund-raiser to hear some great 50's and 60's music and to kick up your heels.

Bookings are now being taken. Please contact Marty on 0418 349320 to reserve your table.

Click here to view a flyer of the function.


IN BRIEF........
  • Guests at our last meeting were:
    • Joumana Oueirdat
    • Alek Akuie (RYLA participant)
    • Alaine Beek 
    • Andrea Fredskild (Youth Exchange)
  • On the unwell list at the moment are Enzo Maddalon and Anne Randall who have both had short stints in hospital but are now on the road to recovery. We wish them well.
  • Phil Purdy will shortly be embarking on his 8th bike ride to the District Conference. He and his fellow riders have ridden on just about every road in Victoria through rain, hail and hot weather. This year the ride will take about 7 days and make its way through various towns until the team reaches its destination in Warrnambool on March 16. Phil and his mates will receive great service from the support team which includes Barb Purdy and Geoff and Lexie Smith. Good luck and safe trip to all.
  • Congratulations to Micki and Ian Hovey who have a brand new grandson.
  • Joe Cumbo is seeking assistance from 3 volunteers on Saturday 17th February (9am-1pm) to help at a working bee at WERN in Footscray. The work involves cleaning up the yard and the warehouse. Please call Joe if you can help.
  • Have you registered for the District Conference yet?  If you're planning to go but haven't registered, please click here to go to the Conference website.


By Jean Irwin Hatfield, Rotary Club of Folsom, Calif.

When I decided to become a teacher for the deaf, I enrolled in a program at Fresno State. We started with 80 candidates, but by graduation we were down to 13. That’s how intense the program was.

People don’t realize the linguistic challenges of deaf students, especially the trouble they have learning to read. Why is that? Because reading is a sound/symbol system. You don’t read with your eyes but with your ears. This is why blind students, for instance, read at the same level as their sighted peers, while deaf students might graduate from high school reading at a fourth-grade level.

When I started out, 38 years ago, teachers dealt with this problem using workarounds, trying to figure out how to get information to deaf students in ways that didn’t involve reading. Then I heard about a professor in England, David Wood, who was doing groundbreaking work with the deaf. 

He was studying artificial intelligence, and he fed a computer all the rules of English and programmed it to generate language. But the language that came out was very strange. He passed it around to his colleagues and someone said, ‘That’s deaf language!’ And he had this epiphany: A computer is deaf! A computer has no ear for language. So he realized that he would have to study how deaf people process language if he wanted to understand how computers process language. That’s how he came to form the Learning Sciences Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. 


President Ross Conley


6th February

6:30 for 6:45 PM


Italian Sports Club

601 Heaths Rd




Adrian Burt



Roland Wade

Jeff Garfield



Lyn Fava

If you are not able to attend the next meeting or are bringing a guest, please contact the following person by midday Tuesday
Ross Smith
0418 692329
Feb 06, 2018
Family Friendly City
Feb 13, 2018
Youth Exchange and Strengthening Governance for Community Organisations
Feb 27, 2018
The Kianh Centre
View entire list


Member Birthdays
Michael Redding
January 23
Spouse Birthdays
Robyn Ballan
January 20
Anne Randall
January 26
Marty Vaina
Kara Vaina
January 2
Join Date
Michael Redding
January 19, 2016
2 years
          CLUB DIRECTORS          
President Elect
Community Service Director
Vocational Service Director
International Service Director
Rotary Foundation Director
Vice President
Membership Director
Youth Service Director
Immediate Past President
Werribee Rotary Website
Werribee Rotary Facebook Page
Neighbouring Clubs
Rotary Club of Hoppers Crossing
Rotary Club of Laverton Point Cook
Rotary Club of Wyndham
District 9800
Rotary Down Under

Bulletin Editor

Ian Hovey
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