Posted on Jul 07, 2020

Members & Friends of the Perth Rotary Club,

I am so sorry that I was not able to attend the very first meeting of the 2020/21 year due to an unexpected specialist appointment, however, the club was in good hands with the Very Reverend Dr John Shepherd AM available to chair this inaugural meeting and I sincerely appreciate his calm support and your understanding as I navigate this unexpected health speed bump.
I have no doubt that we would never have imagined only four short months ago, that it would have been possible to have Laura’s parents join us on the big screen from Brazil during our weekly meetings.  It was such a delight to surprise Laura and for them to see, in a small way, how Rotary meetings are conducted at the Perth Rotary Club.  Roberta and Monir Saleh have contacted me direct to express their deep and sincere gratitude for the way District 9455 RYE Committee and Perth Rotary Club Members enabled them to “feel comfortable and with peace of mind” about sending Laura to a country of which they had little knowledge.  Laura has now arrived home in Brazil and reunited with her family.  It was another tearful farewell at Perth Airport Sunday Night and I thank those who braved the stormy weather to venture out and farewell Laura.
I would particularly like to thank Wesley Sim & Darren Perera who ensured the technology worked last Friday during lunch and Kelly Gibson who assisted Laura with the preparation of thank you cards, gifts, closing of bank accounts, packing of clothes and general last minute running around as Laura visited with friends and host families.  A special thank you to Darren and his daughter Tansy who took Laura on an epic trip down south, arriving in Bunbury for sunrise, Bridgetown, Pemberton – Karri Trees/Gloucester Tree, Beedelup Falls; Margaret River & the Chocolate Company, Grace Town for the Beach, Busselton and a return to Perth.  Thank you again to Perth Rotary Members; Emma Cork; Ray Simpson; Kelly Gibson; Jonas Edner; Darren Perera; Stephen Inouye & Larry Hirsch.  Without the host families welcoming students into their homes and lives, the RYE Exchange Program could not exist. 
Lastly, thank you to Laura who was an exemplary Rotary Youth Exchange Student, living up to the expectations of the District 9455 RYE Committee & Perth Rotary Club.  Laura conducted herself at all times as a fine ambassador for her Family, Country and sponsoring Rotary Clubs both here in Perth and in Brazil.  We wish you safe travels home Laura and look forward to a return visit from you in the years to come.  You will always be welcome at the Perth Rotary Club.
On my behalf Rev John delivered an overview of the year ahead to members at lunch last Friday.  A copy of this overview is available on request via email –  Whilst my message was being delivered to you, an even bigger message was being delivered to all Rotarians across the globe, 2019/20 RI President Mark Maloney announced that, Rotary’s 7th Area of Focus is “Supporting the Environment”. 
I am very proud to say that the Perth Rotary Club has been on the front foot with this area of focus via our club member Darren Lomman and his GreenBatch initiative.  The Perth Rotary Board recognised two years ago that this was an important element that requires community action.  

David Wee has been working tirelessly with GreenBatch and clubs across both districts to set up opportunities for Rotary to educate our community and promote the use of alternative products to plastic.   More information will be forthcoming as Western Australia moves closer to adopting the container deposit scheme and opportunities to visit the Green Batch centre arise. 
District Governor Jon Bilson will be our club’s Assistant Governor for 2020/21.  DG Jon has re-designed the cluster areas for District 9455 in 2020/21 and the Perth Rotary Club is now in a cluster with City East RC and Elizabeth Quay RC.  DG Jon is keen for our three clubs to find opportunities to work together on projects which will benefit our community and membership. 
DG Jon will be the guest speaker at our After-Business Drinks Meeting (5.30pm – 7.30pm) Thursday 23 July and I urge all members to attend.  DG Jon has assured me his visit will be an interactive
Q & A session.  He wants to hear from members, get to know you and enrich your Rotary experience.   RSVP for this event is via a trybooking link and tickets are $40/pp.  Your ticket includes canapes & cash bar available. 
As you know, 2020/21 is Rotary Australia’s Centennial Year.  PP Vangelis Katsaitis is Western Australia’s nominated representative on the Centenary Committee of Australia along with District 9465 DG Colin Burns.   Congratulations PP Vangelis and we look forward to your updates.
This week we have the Italian Consul, Dr Nicolo Constantini as our guest speaker.  Dr Costantini has a masters degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Pisa and a Master’s in Diplomatic Studies at the Italian Society for International Organisation.  Dr Constantini commenced his career in the diplomatic service in 2011.  He has been the Consul in Perth from 27 February 2020 arriving just as the Corona Virus took hold of the world.  Please rsvp via paperless post or direct to my email – asap
I am delighted that we are able to induct Nicola Johnston as a member of the club on Friday 10 July.  Nicola has already stepped up and taken on the position of Chair of the Speaker Program for 2020/21 and I thank all Perth Rotary Members in advance for making Nicola welcome.  Nicola has tertiary qualifications in Public Health, Public Relations and Dental Therapy.  Nicola is also qualified as ESL teacher (English as a Second Language).  Over the years Nicola has worked in various industries including oil & gas, education, dental health and the not-for-profit sector.
Three weeks ago we welcomed David Preece and Laurence Pace as members of Perth Rotary.  Both Laurence and David have immersed themselves into the life of the club and are already engaged with projects.  Laurence is meeting with Community Services Director David Wee this week to commence a dialogue on how we can begin to put together a Perth Revitalisation committee.  Watch this space for more updates on this exciting new phase of Perth Rotary re-engaging with the CBD.
David Preece is a registered psychologist working full time as a post-doctoral research fellow at Curtin University.  His research and practice interests involve the assessment of emotional functioning, and the understanding and treatment of psychopathology. David’s career goal is to be both a scientist and a practitioner, working in academic and clinical settings.
David has developed several widely used psychometric tools and has publications in high quality peer-reviewed journals. He is involved in many ongoing research collaborations with researchers at Australian or international universities (e.g., Stanford University, Harvard University, KU Leuven) and with clinicians in industry or government departments (e.g., Perth Children’s Hospital).
Recently, David started on a 2.5 year research fellow position at Curtin University, working under Professor Penelope Hasking, with a grant from Suicide Prevention Australia. This research focuses on a project of the World Health Organisation program on suicide prevention (headed by Professor Ronald Kessler, Harvard University). In this project, David is leading papers on the development and use of a multivariate algorithm to identify university students at high-risk of suicide.
Outside of work, David is a Youth Leader in Nedlands Uniting Church. Together with a team of energetic young people that includes his wife Erin, David organises events and weekly activities for high school students in his church. David has recently been nominated for a role in the Church Council as well.
Thank you for your continued support of our club.  Please participate in committee meetings when requested.  Our club cannot progress if all of the Committee work is left to only a few – it is integral to our survival as a club and our ability to have a positive impact on our community that we each pick up a paddle and row the boat together.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Jill Dawson
Perth Rotary | President | 2020-2021

President:                   Jill Dawson       
Past President:          Vangelis Katsaitis
President Elect:         Rev Dr John Shepherd AM
Treasurer:                  Joseph Wambua
Secretary:                   Jacques Phillips
Rotary Foundation      Emma Cork      
Club Services :           Darren Perera   
       Fellowship Chair:       Jo Morris                    
       Media Chair                Barry Thornton 
       Speaker Program       Nicola Johnston
Membership               Ashley Whitworth
Vocational                   Jonas Edner     
Community                 David Wee        
International                Wesley Sim      
Youth                           Kelly Gibson