When Covid-19 rules allow, Kardinia Rotary Club meets Wednesday mornings at 7:00 am for 7.15 am start for breakfast, at the Highton Bowls Club, corner of Roslyn and North Valley Roads, Highton, Geelong. If Covid restrictions prevent us from meeting in person, we will be meeting on Zoom, still on Wednesdays at 7:00 am for a 7:15 am start.
We are a diverse group of people who work hard within our local community and the wider community.  We warmly welcome you to join us if you'd like to learn more about Rotary and our Club. If you'd like to join us for breakfast please contact our President Ben Systermans at bernard.systermans75@gmail.com or Secretary Nick Oakley at nick@oakley.net.au and they can add you to the meeting attendees list.
Volunteers in Geelong are the backbone for the community.  Working tirelessly in the community quietly behind the scenes to support those in need.
The Rotary Club of Kardinia, in association with Rotary Club of Geelong Central and Volunteering Geelong, proudly presented 15 finalists with certificates of service to the community. 5 nominees were awarded for their service in their community.
During September and October the public and charitable organisations were invited to nominate members of the community who have supported those in need.  These annual awards recognise those individuals who give service above self. This year was no exception with wonderful stories of what is being achieved for those that need our support by amazing individuals and the charities and communities they represent.
The 5 awardees who go above and beyond receive a cheque for $250 for themselves, $750 for the charity that nominated them and a beautiful, engraved glass plaque from Wathaurong glass.
This years awardees are;
Marlene Jerinic               Bellarine Living &Learning centre
Marlene Is the rock for at the BLLC and has volunteered for many years as a Foodbank Volunteer. She is reliable, and inspirational to the staff and volunteers with her energy and passion to help those in need.
She treats all in the community with respect, compassion, and fairness.
Her engagement with the Whittington community is incredible, throughout the pandemic she has been a vital member of BLLC checking on the vulnerable in the community. 
Lauren Arkinsall               Hope Bereavement
Lauren’s calm presence, wisdom and communication skills with her ability to model how she has come through her own grieving process creates a safe place and inspires the participants in the group to tell their stories. Due to her own lived experience with her daughter, she truly understands the grieving participants are experiencing, instilling hope, while providing strategies to manage the trauma and grief that follow a suicide bereavement.
Leonie Hunt                     Uniting Barwon
Leonie’s enthusiasm, commitment and positive attitude inspires the team at Norlane every day. She volunteers full time, taking on everything that comes her way. Her role is primarily administrative and leadership support. She offers ideas on ways to improve processes then helps to implement the changes, enabling the organisation to be more efficient.
Kath Bourke                     Golden Plains Shire
Kath has been President of the Playgroup, Secretary and President of the Kindergarten services. A foundation Board Member of the Bannockburn and District Grants Group, where she is currently Secretary. She is the Junior team coach of the Bannockburn Netball Club, and a player, as well as currently the secretary.
John Mills                        Colac Area Health
John has been a volunteer at Colac Area Health for the last 9 years. He works where and when he can assist in all areas of support.  He comes to Geelong Mums for their supplies when needed, and transports those in need to medical appointments in Geelong as required.
He is a valuable member of the family services team with his incredibly kind, caring and respectful manner.
Without the support of our sponsors these awards would not be possible. Special thanks to Geelong Connected Community who have supported us for many years with 3 sponsorships. Angelo Kakouros from Standby Security who sponsors not only one awardee but supplies all 5 plaques and the certificates for many years and our welcomed newcomer Geelong Insurance Brokers for the fifth sponsorship
For the full list of our finalists and more detail on the awardees please see below.
You can also see photos from the presentation event in the album adjacent to this article.

Kardinia Rotary Club is proud to be supporting the Samaratin House Geelong Independent Living Unit Project. The project has been developed to install 7 independent living units within the existing Samaratin House property, with the objective:
To provide homeless men and opportunity to experience self sufficiency by residing in their own independent accommodation for a nominated period, scheduled for 6 months. The aim of the new accommodation is to provide transition opportunities to their own independent Public or Private Housing, thus breaking the homeless cycle. The guests will participate in a program run by the Salvation Army for which there will be a fee equivalent to affordable rent.
Samaratin House has partnered with a number of Geelong Businesses, Educational and Philanthropic organisations to develop this economically viable and sustainable facility to provide a transition option for homeless men. 
We were delighted to have Brian Sherwell, from the Samaratin House Board, join our meeting on August 25th to detail the project to our club and explain how our financial contribution would be used.
Kevin Larkins, the Community Engagement Manager for the Peace of Mind Foundation (POM), a local Geelong Charity started by a good friend of our Club, Bec Piccone and her brother, Clint following the death of Clint’s young wife from Brain Cancer, spoke at our meeting on August 11th.
The Vision of POM is that every family in Australia impacted by Brain Cancer will get the support they need. Bec's experience with her sister-in-law led Bec and her brother to the position that they had to do something about the little known fact that brain cancer has a huge impact on peoples’ lives and that so little support was provided for them. It has the lowest survival rate except for pancreatic cancer of all cancers - only one in four survive beyond 18 months (after being diagnosed at Level 4). Bec and her brother realised that while research is the best way to improve the survival rate this will be slow and requires lots of money and that there was a huge role and benefit in being able to offer support for sufferers following diagnosis and during their journey with brain cancer. 
Kevin has recently moved into his role at POM and in Bec’s words he is an incredible asset on the POM Team who brings with him a significant record of employment in the Health and Welfare Sector at Senior Executive Level in Victoria, Northern Territory and Western Australia. 
At our meeting on June 7th we were delighted to have James Hattam share with us his work at the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC). The TLC was established in 2001 and from humble beginnings has grown to be one of Tasmania's largest landholders, working in nature conservation projects across Tasmania, including King Island. James shared with us the range of ways that the TLC operates and funds its operations.
It has as its vision for Tasmania to be a global leader in nature conservation and works directly on properties it owns, through existing landholders and purchasing and reselling important conservation value land to conservation minded new owners.
The Tasmanian Land Conservancy website is Tasmanian Land Conservancy (tasland.org.au)
Rebecca Lester, Marie O’Dell, Robert Hodgson, Bree McLennan (with apologies from Luke Kelly) joined us at our meeting on May 26th to share the findings of their Leaders for Geelong project - Loneliness in Geelong.
The project was carried out on behalf of Barwon Health with the following brief;
To understand relevant contributing factors to loneliness and its impact on physical and mental health, to inform recommendations to address loneliness in the Geelong community, specifically young adults (18–24 years), so as to better target existing services and develop relevant information for dissemination.
The key goals and objectives for this project are to:
  • Develop a better understanding of both the prevalence and the impact of loneliness in the Geelong region based on existing data sources and using a strength-based approach.
  • Collate a list of existing services available in the Geelong region that may be appropriate to address loneliness.
  • Identify any gaps in service coverage and propose solutions. Identify opportunities for collaboration between service providers.
  • Develop material to promote education and awareness of loneliness in the public realm (for example, possible targets could include workplaces, schools, universities, Barwon Health, City of Greater Geelong, Geelong Cats etc.
  • Identify a pathway to extend the impact of this project beyond its life time by embedding the work in community and research organisations who can continue to implement our findings.
  • Disseminate our findings across key stakeholders including a report of actionable findings to Barwon Health.
There are many benefits associated to the project:
  • A healthier and more socially-connected community.
  • A proactive approach to mental health rather than being reactive.
  • Better targeted resource allocation for services in the community to address loneliness.
  • Breaking the cycle of concomitant health issues enabled through loneliness, allowing health providers such as Barwon Health to reduce the number of acute care patients.
  • Ultimately, improved physical and mental health outcomes, including lower suicide rates in the Geelong region.
Their presentation can be found at this link.
and the full report at;
On May 1st 2021, under sunny blue skies the Surf Coast Trek was held. Once again Kardinia Rotary Club members were out in force to help with parking and bus management, start & finish line logistics, manning drink stations and following up the field as tail End Charlies. In excess of 900 people tackled either the 38 km Aireys Inlet to Torquay or the 25 km Angelsea to Torquay treks along the Surf Coast Trail. The weather was perfect and in addition to our formal roles we are able to provide encouragement and support for participants undertaking this challenging walk.
The 2021 event is on track to raise in excess of $230,000 to be shared equally between the Give Where You Live and Kids+ Foundations.
During World Immunization Week, 24-30 April, join with Rotary to combat vaccine hesitancy and misinformation by spreading the facts about why #VaccinesWork. 
This year, you can take action for World Immunization Week in these ways:   
  1. Download and share our new two-minute video, “Rotary Inspires Leaders in Global Health,” (see link below). In it, global health leaders like U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore, and World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus talk about what Rotary has achieved in the fight to end polio.
  2. Post graphics and other content from Rotary’s World Immunization Week Toolkit on social media with the hashtags #EndPolio and #VaccinesWork.  
Rotary in Australia and New Zealand is 100 years old this year. Share in the celebrations with the 14 Rotary Clubs of Geelong and District this Sunday, 21 March, as we join together for our R100  Baton Relay. Three relay teams will converge from around the District in Geelong at Christ Church where there will be a celebration including music, a coffee van and a chance to picnic and enjoy the the fun. 
To celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia 100 Rotary Clubs or School’s from around Australia were invited by the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin to become involved in this joint Centenary project. Kardinia and Corio Bay Rotary clubs have combined to donate 4 Peace Poles to Northern Bay College to install at each of their 4 primary school campuses.
The Peace Poles were presented to the school, represented by Ken Massari, College Assistant Principal - Student Enrichment and Community Partnerships, at the Northern Bay early Learning Centre by the 2 club Presidents on March 3rd as part of a Kardinia Rotary Club breakfast meeting at the centre. It is planned that unveiling of poles at each primary school campus will coincide with Harmony Day 21st March 2021. 
At our meeting on November 25th Michelle van Zanden spoke to us about her experience as a School Counsellor in remote NT indigenous schools. She is based on Groote Eylandt servicing 3 schools on the island, one on a neighbouring island and one on the mainland. She shared some history of the island, the cultural practices and how that can impact on school attendance.
To see her slide show follow the link https://www.dropbox.com/s/1btbs2iowwmyql6/Indigenous%20School%20Counsellor.pptx?dl=0 . The text related to the slides is in the Story Content below.
Our 2020 Geelong Gourmet Goodies project was an outstanding success, enabling us to raise $25 k to fund local projects and support Community organisations and Rotary programs both locally and overseas. We are most grateful to all our individual and corporate customers as well as all our very supportive local suppliers.
We plan to be back bigger and better in 2021 so watch this space.
Over the 2019/20 summer the East Gippsland area of Victoria was devastated by bushfires, with many communities and farmers losing homes, sheds and livestock. The District 9800 Bushfire Relief committee has established a project to supply retired shipping containers to farmers to replace destroyed sheds, as a temporary measure. Funds raised by clubs are able to be matched by funds from the District 9800 Bushfire Relief committee through RAWCS. Through the generosity of our members Kardinia Rotary Club raised sufficient funds to supply 4 containers. 
On September 23rd the Kardinia Rotary Club conducted it's first on-line Fundraising event with Federal Senator Sarah Henderson as our guest speaker. She spoke on the topic of "Victoria's Post Pandemic revival : the challenges and opportunities".
The event was raising funds for the NIKERI Indigenous nursing scholarships so we also had Professor Mark Rose, Associate Professor Gabrielle Fletcher and Senior Lecturer Kelly Menzel as guests to share with the audience the fundamentals of the NIKERI nursing program.
The event was successful in raising in excess of $2,500 to enable the club to continue its ongoing support for the program.
For the last 3 years the Kardinia Rotary Club, with support from District 9780 grants, has supported a Nursing Scholarship program at the Mvumi Hospital in the Dodoma district of Tanzania. At our meeting on September 2nd we had the privilege of having Doctors Angela and Brian Savage join us from the UK via Zoom.
At our meeting on July 29th Steve Funnell introduced Kellie Menzel (NIKERI Snr lecturer), and Nikki McGrady and Lani Harris (two NIKERI nursing students and Rotary scholarship recipients). Our club has been a supporter of these Scholarships and it was good to have some insight from Kellie as to the program and Nikki and Lani from a participant perspective.
At our meeting on Wednesday July 22nd we first viewed a recent Landline segment highlighting the locally driven bushfire recovery effort in Mallacoota. President Henry, after viewing this, subsequently made contact with one of the East Gippsland Rotary clubs to understand what role Rotary locally, and more broadly, can play in assisting this difficult process.
At our meeting on July 1st we had an enlightening presentation from Megan Hockey, who is a PhD Research Student at the Deakin Food & Mood centre. Her research is focussed on the link between diet and mental health. The research shows there is a strong link between diet and mental health and that improving diet should be a key strategy in treatment of  depressive mental illnesses.
To see Megans full presentation please click the link below.
During this past year, the club has worked hard to develop a garden comprising a number of raised beds, a chicken coop, herb garden and tree plantings for the children of the Family Learning Centre at Northern Bay College. We were delighted to receive a letter of appreciation from the centre accompanied by this letter from the children. 
An intrepid band of club members took part in the International Marathon Fellowship of Rotarians Challenge Walk along the Barwon River this morning, 13th June 2020. The IMFR have kindly indicated that they will donate to a cause voted on by the participants, world wide. Check out the video:
One of the projects that our club has supported for a number of years is the Bushikori Christian Centre in Uganda. Our club member, John Watts, who has been our link to the project, shared the following video that was put together to explain to our newer members what Bushikori is all about and what it does. This is well worth a look.

We recently had two amazing young people speak to the club about their excellent initiative, Lockdown Buddies. Despite Rachel and Kara having 5 boys under 5, they have established Lockdown Buddies to support those most vulnerable in the Geelong, Bellarine and Surf Coast areas during the Covid-19 period. They are supporting all age groups, from the elderly who do not have family and friends to support them, to students who are isolated, who can’t get home and have lost their jobs. They can provide Apco Care packages, and volunteers who will assist with gardening and small maintenance issues. They are working closely with Volunteers Geelong to ensure that all the support personal are interviewed, have Working with Children registration and are suitable for the tasks to which they are assigned. Their web site below has information about the services. Click the following link or refer to the flyer below that.

https://www.lockdownbuddies.org/?fbclid=IwAR0CnXeSjWna4TQrE6Vqh_JNAJF8U2gqnDFNdy7CIpU VV6PYV_zsQBOAO3g



We are pleased to share that our regular, virtual Club Meetings using the Zoom platform have gone very well. Our members are rapidly becoming proficient with the platform. Breakfast continues as usual!
Meetings start with a 7:00 am join, via Zoom, with the formalities starting at 7:15 am, as usual. The meeting link will be shared via email.
Please refer to the Meetings / Calendar page for meeting detail and the meeting duties.
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We meet In Person
Wednesdays at 7:15 AM
Highton Bowls Club
cnr Roslyn & Nth Valley Rds
Highton, VIC 3216
We normally meet at the Highton bowls club. 7 for 7.15am start and finish around 8.30am. If Covid restrictions are in play, we meet on Zoom, same time.
Postal Adress:
PO Box 768
Belmont VIC 3216
Rotary Club Number 28907
Chartered June 22, 1992
Incorporated Association A0027707F
Registered Fundraiser 14432
Meeting Attendance
To register for a meeting or submit an apology, please contact Gary by 12:00 noon Tuesday.
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Community Service
Vocational Services
International Service
Rotary Foundation Officer
Immediate Past President
Public Relations
Youth Service
Director Fellowship
Chair - Fundraising
Rotary International Theme for 2021-22
   2021-2022 Theme logo - Serve to Change Lives - EN