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.
The NIKERI nursing program at Deakin is a course that blends study time in blocks with work in the students local communities. The scholarships are essential for many students to enable them to cover both course related and daily living expenses whilst they take time away from paid employment to complete their course work. Without this assistance many potential students would not be able to undertake the course.
Senator Henderson is the first Federal Senator from Geelong and saw the event as an opportunity to talk and listen, and to connect with the community.  She outlined that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years for all, with pressures on the economy, health and what as a nation has to be done to recover. On that there has been an excess of $3 billion dollars spent backing businesses, sole traders and families which includes programs like job keeper and job seeker. Corio and Corangamite have received $130 million dollars in a 6 month period.
The challenge ahead now is for us all getting used to living in a Covid safe economy and environment. Moving out of this time Sarah believes there will be a changed attitude to the community and servicing of that community, and a renewed interest in regional Victoria, with those in harsher lockdown conditions questioning what is important to them. Geelong has seen a high population growth rate of around 2.7% and offers affordable housing and great schools, providing a vibrant and self-sustaining area for people to work and spend more valuable time with family. An important factor to the growth of the region is transport infrastructure. Greater connectivity will bring greater possibilities, as shown with the allocation of the federal grant to Avalon Airport. To revitalise our region tourism is paramount, as is manufacturing. Having lost Ford, the Howitzer defence project will be based in the Geelong region. Sarah hopes to see decisions being made quickly between state and federal governments to get the project moving. 
She then provided the opportunity for questions with the ABC funding and wheelchair access at Avalon airport being raised.