Congratulations to the Wyndham Leaders of the Future team who completed their 7-day trek along the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea on April 25 - ANZAC Day. It was a gruelling walk which saw them trek along mountainous and muddy jungle tracks in very wet conditions.
Wyndham Leaders of the Future is an innovative program that supports young people who have an ambition to be successful in life and to become future leaders in the community. The aim of the program is to provide them with a unique experience, one that will take them out of their comfort zone. At the same time, it seeks to build up their confidence and self-esteem and to learn the true value of teamwork and leadership.
Rotarian Steve Evans and members of the Victoria Police Force accompanied the group of secondary school students and acted as mentors. The team also wanted to honour Australian defence forces who waged one of the toughest and most successful conflicts against the Japanese army in World War II. They are very proud of their achievements. Congratulations to everyone.
Click here to see a set of photos of the team's venture.
The 2016 Rotary District 9800 Conference was held on 12-13 March in the vibrant regional city of Bendigo. 950 Rotarians, partners and guests attended the two-day event at the Ulumbarra Theatre and were entertained by some humorous, heart-warming and thought-provoking guest speakers, quality musical performances and brilliant video productions. District Governor Julie Mason was thrilled with the outcome of the conference and very proud of all who helped bring it together.
Rotary Club of Werribee members, Geoff Smith and Ian Hovey, played key roles in putting the conference together by organising guest speakers and creating much of the audio-visual content. Another member, Phil Purdy, was part of the 30-person team that rode their bikes to the conference over 7 days and raised $80,000 for ovarian cancer research and support.
The 2017 conference will be held in Shepparton.
The following video was shown at the conference. It is a short story about the club's current project to provide clean drinking water in Uganda.
Effervescent member of the Rotary Club of Werribee, Phil Purdy, is riding his bike with a group of 30 riders on a 7-day journey to raise money for ROCAN (Rotary Ovarian Cancer). The end of the ride will coincide with the commencement of the District 9800 Conference at Bendigo on Friday 11th March.
Phil and his fellow riders have been performing this amazing feat for about 10 years. They have raised almost $1 million in that time. All proceeds go towards research of ovarian cancer and support of victims.
This year they will be travelling on roads through the heart of Victoria. Unfortunately, the weather forecast is quite foreboding with temperatures expected to reach 42 degrees Celsius on some days.
We wish them a safe and successful ride.
Click here to see some photos at the beginning of their journey.
On 3rd February, one of the club's newest members, Michael Redding, presented a donation from the Rotary Club of Werribee of a Kien Tuong tricycle wheelchair to Ba (Nguyen Thi Ba), a 39 year old disabled mum living in Phuoc An village in Vietnam.
Three years ago, Ba fell four metres from a bamboo ladder when harvesting black pepper, severely damaging her spinal cord and losing the use of her legs. Subsequently, her husband deserted her, leaving her with two children to raise.
Ba was extremely delighted for the gift and very grateful to the Rotary Club of Werribee. She now has mobility and the opportunity to travel by herself to the market and to visit friends. Her life can now expand in new directions that were never possible in recent years.
Rotarian Michael has a passionate interest in helping people in Vietnam who have similar problems to Ba. With the help of the club, he plans to continue his mission of goodwill.
Click here to see more photos of Ba and her new wheelchair.
The Rotary Club of Werribee Golf Day was held on Friday 4th March and it proved to be a very successful event. A full house of golfers played the lush Werribee Park Golf Course and scores were as hot as the temperature.
The winning team (seen above) was representing Roderick Insurance company. Congratulations to them and to all the participants who played with great spirit but not always with great accuracy. It is expected that the event will raise nearly $20,000 which will be used by the club to support local and international projects.
A Holden car was on offer for anyone who could get a hole-in-one on the 15th tee. Unfortunately, there were no aces scored.
During the dinner, one of the club's two remaining charter members, Tino Ballan, was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow for his long-term contribution to the golf day.
Click here to see more images of the day.
The club conducted an Information Evening on Tuesday 23rd February. Thanks to an effective advertising campaign, promotion through several business networks and support from our members, we attracted 35 guests who heard from a number of speakers who talked about Rotary from their viewpoint. Three of the presenters were club members who told the audience about the history of the club, some of our past achievements and some of our current projects. A fourth member has only been in the club for a few years and he spoke about his experiences from a newcomers point of view.
The special speaker was Una Hobday from the Rotary Club of Hobart. She has been a Rotarian for over 25 years and was the first female District Governor in Australia. Having been involved in a number of international projects, including PolioPlus, she told some moving stories about her visits to India and Ethiopia. A wonderful speaker and a great night. Many of the guests expressed their interest in joining Rotary.
Click here to see photos of the evening.
The Werribee River is one of the regions best kept secrets. The river meanders through the Werribee township and walking tracks have been constructed along the banks enabling the public to experience its serenity and beauty. It is also a major haven for wildlife particularly for many species of birds. However, the river suffers from an accumulation of unsightly rubbish which collects along the waterway.
As part of the Clean Up Australia campaign, members of the Rotary Club of Werribee recently worked with other community-minded groups to help clean up an area of the river called Bungey's Hole. During a 3-hour period, volunteers collected a staggering 227 plastic bottles, 100 glass bottles and 178 cans in addition to carpet, aerosol cans and shipping pallets. In all, a massive 240 kilograms of litter was recovered from the area.
Further clean-up days are scheduled for 2016.
Click here to view images of the river and the clean-up day.