Posted on Aug 20, 2019
PERTH ROTARY - PRESIDENTS UPDATE - 20th AUG 2019
Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
We are only in the second month of the financial year and our Rotary weeks become busier and busier while our Fridays become more and more exciting.
 
Last Friday we launched the After Business Cocktails at the Hilton by Perth Rotary. As there was only wine, juices and beer served, the real “cocktail” was not in the drinks but in the “cocktail” of ideas, of inspiration and motivation that this type of meeting is designed to deliver. Thanks to Prof. Jorg Imberger, last Friday’s cocktail was a very successful one and it will be a milestone for our Club.
 
Prof Imberger AM, fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, presented his answer to the rhetoric question: “Human Extinction… Inevitable or Avoidable?” He provided us with an insight to the future through the facts and the paradigms of other countries and by presenting the impact of the political and economic decisions, directly responsible for the future of human communities.
 
The response from the members and the guests was overwhelming with 69 people attending, a plethora of questions discussed at the end of the presentation and a high number of non-Rotarians who would like to know more about Perth Rotary.
 
The “cocktail” of the night included also the “Acknowledgment of the Month” with Perth Rotary corporate member Veritas and their recent achievement recognised as the “2nd Most Innovative Company” (Professional Services) in Australia at the AFR Boss Innovation Awards.
 
Also another inspiring part of that night’s “cocktail” was the inaugural “A Member’s Journey” with Rebecca Tolstoy AM who presented how she started only a few years ago from our Club, under the guidance and the mentorship of Past President John Garland AM the life-changing endeavor of the Path of Hope, a project in support of the victims of domestic violence.
We were also very pleased having our very special member Senator Dean Smith who managed to find the time to be with us although his schedule is so busy. Senator Smith shared what Perth Rotary means to him and why improving peoples’ lives is so important.
 
So far, our meetings this year have focused in providing added value to the members’ businesses and networks through The Business Breakfast at the Hilton, inspiration and knowledge through The After Business Cocktails at the Hilton but we haven’t touched upon the most important “Why” that gives purpose to our lives: our families.
 
This Friday we will have the most important meeting of the Club: The Family Buffet at the Hilton by Perth Rotary. This monthly family dinner will be the meeting point for our families where husbands, wives, children and grandchildren along with our friends will mingle and will establish on going and genuine friendships. Even beyond that though, our families will be introduced to the same values that we as Rotarians serve and will have the opportunity to meet some life changing role models, who are also members of our Club.
 
As an example, at this Friday’s Family Buffet we will have the rare opportunity of listening to the updates from our Perth Rotary International Service activity in Cambodia by 3 special members and ambassadors of Perth Rotary to the world.
Mike Gurry is the Chairman of Tabitha Australia and since 2010, Mike has been taking volunteers – from young AFL footballers to Rotarians – to Cambodia to build 800 houses and 12 schools. He’s developed the Animal Bank, a program which enables poor families to raise animals for food and sale.
Dr. Vincent Keane, is an Australian Doctor with extensive experience working with the United Nations and was Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration in Cambodia from 2002-2006.
Dr Keane and his wife Helen who has a background in Public Health, serve on the boards of Cambodia Family Support, CFS Australia, and CFS USA.  They provide technical support to the CFS program and assist with fundraising a number of projects for the unprivileged Cambodians.
It is not a coincidence that our Club has selected this “family meeting” for the annual address of our District Governor and Past President Graham Peden.  Past President and District Governor Graham will convey the message of Rotary International which will be our compass for the new Rotary year. It is a message that everyone should listen to.
 
I’m looking forward to seeing you coming with your families to this special Family Meeting and introduce your children and grandchildren to these amazing members and role models because in Perth Rotary family comes first!
 
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020
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