Posted on Oct 29, 2019
Fellow Rotarians and friends of Perth Rotary,
You may have noticed that I use the word “life-changing” quite often whenever I refer to our Club and our projects. Some may see this as an exaggeration or as a rhetoric expression of enthusiasm.
Life-changing refers to an event, a fact or an experience having an effect that is strong enough to change someone's life.
Last week we had a demonstration of this life-changing experience in all its magnitude through a series of events.
First of all our past Rotary Youth Exchange Student Lea Renevey from Switzerland visited Perth and she cherished her memories from her days in Perth with the families who had hosted her and whom she shared a full year with – one of the best years in her life according to her.
A past Rotary Youth Exchange student from Europe visiting her host families in Western Australia… how life-changing is that!
Further on the same note of life-changing events, we had the finals of the 4 Way Speaking Test competition where Emilia Gillmore representing Perth Rotary & Mercedes College impressed with her skills. However, the highlight of the night was a very special guest who attended the competition, Dr. Maria Foundas. Dr Foundas is an adjunct senior lecturer at Curtin Medical School specialising in gerontology rehabilitation. What made her presentation very special though was the fact that she was the winner of the first 4 Way Test Competition 31 years ago!
The life-changing stories continue of course with our current Rotary Youth Exchange student Laura from Brazil who has been tirelessly exploring Western Australia thanks to the support of the host families. After her surfing lessons in Trigg Beach, Laura visited Quairading with President Elect Jill Dawson to watch Mamma Mia musical performed by the locals.
In the same life-changing note, Helen Leach Past President’s Jeff Leach wife will be welcoming for one more year all the Christmas gifts donated for the victims of domestic violence and especially the children who have been embraced with love by the Path of Hope.
Another different life-changing experience was our invitation by the United Nations Association of Australia (Western Australia) to attend as a Club the celebrations for the centennial founding of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), an UN agency that promotes decent work and social justice. That was a Galal night at the Duxton hotel and it was very impressive to see the multiethnic and multicultural mix of guests, celebrating together as one group. Also, very important to remember that Perth Rotary and the United Nations Association of Australia – WA, have joined forces for the new and upcoming project Rotary Path to Peace.
This week continues with excitement and important moments for our Club with the two-time Walkley Award winner and senior editor of West Australian Newspapers Anthony De Ceglie. The most important part of that lunch though for us the members of the Club is the come-back of our very own and much missed Barry Thornton who has been recovering steadily and rapidly after that unlucky moment he had overseas.
I’m sure every member will want to be in this lunch to welcome Barry and the numbers are rising rapidly, so you’d better book quickly.
In this lunch we will also have Sue Peden, our Past President’s and District Governor’s better half, announcing the commencement of an organising committee for the District Conference 2020 where our Club will have a big responsibility and role.
I’m inviting you all to this life-changing trip with Perth Rotary. Participate more in our projects, be part of our Committees, host our exchange student,  come to our meetings and enjoy the fellowship, travel the world and visit other Rotary Clubs with your Perth Rotary badge on, expand your networks and do business with other Rotarians, embrace the Perth Rotary way of life and be the role models for your children and your family.
Change the lives of those in need and see your life changing!
Yours in Perth Rotary,
Vangelis Katsaitis
Perth Rotary President 2019-2020