On 6 December Club Assembly four committee chairs provided an update of each committee. The presentation outlined the activities and projects by each committee over the past six months. The Committee Chairs represented were the Youth and Vocation, Community Service, International and the Hawthorn Makers Market.
Committees are the ‘engine room’ of the club and are vital to achieve the ideals of Rotary of making a positive impact in the lives of people both locally and internationally. Their actions reflect a window to the world about the level of our members’ commitment. The club is proud of the committees’ achievements and grateful of living up the Rotary motto of 'Service about Self.'
Youth & Vocation
RYLA – Youth Leadership Program
The Committee engaged the local school and education communities to enlist young adults of 18- to 25-year-old to take part in a Rotary youth leadership program (RYLA) supported by the club for the past 25 years or more. The program is an intensive leadership experience to develop lifelong communication and problem-solving skills. This year, four young leaders from different backgrounds a youth worker, an engineer, a journalism graduate, and a vet nurse were sponsored by the club to participate in RYLA.
Education CHANCES Scholarship Program
The Education CHANCES Scholarship Program provides students performing at satisfactory standard, located in Boroondara, with assistance to families experiencing financial hardship. Chances gives financial support to over 100 families every year across 12 local public secondary schools. Assistance includes school text books, MYKI cards, financing school-based excursions, sporting equipment and musical instruments. This support makes a significant difference in the lives of students to successfully complete their studies. This year the Committee has provided a financial contribution for Chances to continue their worthy program.
Camberwell High School
Camberwell High School is located in the club’s neighborhood. For many years the club has had a strong relationship with the school which has recently been strengthened with support for a welfare fund for students experiencing financial difficulties due to unexpected family change of circumstances. The fund will cover the cost of required textbooks and school related expenses.
The Bert Stevens Apprentice Award
For over 20 years, the club has sponsored the 'Apprentice of the Year' award at the Box Hill Institute. This annual apprentice scholarship award is dedicated to now deceased member ‘Bert Stevens’. This award serves to recognise leadership and commitment in the local young trades sector.
Community Services
St Vincent de Paul
‘St Vinnies’ has a long history of providing financial support which plays a crucial role to reduce hunger for local residents and beyond. This is particularly heightened during the current difficult economic times magnified during the festive season. The committee contributed financially towards material aid such as food and transport costs for low income Boroondara public housing residents. The club also donated to the St Vinnies Christmas hamper with three dozen cakes for Christmas and thanks to our member Nadia who coordinated delivery of children’s toys from club members. St Vinnies were also sponsored to Rotary Donations in Kind (DIK) for much needed clothing items.
FORaMEAL is a project of the Canterbury Rotary Club to help provide emergency relief meals for those impacted by natural disasters. Each year over 250,000 meals are provided free of charge to vulnerable individuals and families across the Asia Pacific region in times of disaster. The Club will be hosting a ForaMeal packing night for members and their family members on 14 February 2024. The club will cover the cost of all ingredients and shipping for the meals packed on the night.
The Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network (RIMERN) provides homewares and furniture to people in need. With the use of a member’s truck two of our committee members volunteer their personal time every fortnight to collect donated furniture, white goods and other household items and deliver to the warehouse. Another member volunteers as ‘selection host’ at the warehouse provides invaluable advice to families on how to best furnish their home.
Camcare is the preeminent welfare agency for the City of Boroondara. The club is making a contribution to Camcare with four members collecting donated fruit and vegetables from Woolworths, Ashwood and for delivery at Camcare. Future financial assistance is being considered in 2024.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (Wash Program)
A successful Timor Leste scoping trip was achieved by two members in September 2023. An MOU has been signed with Timor Verde, an NGO involved in Clean Water & Sanitation projects. The Minister of Water and Sanitation is keen to progress a MOU and the Rotary Club of Dili. A Global Grant application ready for submission in readiness for further project work.
Running Water Project - Hun Sen Sandar High School, Cambodia consisting of 705 students 49 teachers 16 toilets. The Project achieved the construction of 5 new septic tanks, 4 girl’s toilets all with menstrual health kits and 3 boy’s urinals with the support of the club.
Water Wells Project – Sue Gray leads a well project in a remote village of Vietnam to facilitate clean water for local residents financed by the club.
The Club continues to be involved in supporting the establishment of an Early Childhood Development creche in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Kimberly, South Africa since 2019. Recent funding to assist the Ebenezar Primary School achieved the completion of a third classroom used for childminding and care of very young children.
The Cambodia Rural Students Trust programs includes empowering girls, installation of solar lights, a mobile bike mechanic service, assisting their Community Service house building project and family support. The club provided a one-year student sponsorship currently completing her Intensive English Academic Program and will start a bachelor’s degree in 2024.
The club covered the cost of 10 desktops delivered to the INSTITUTO PROFISSIONAL DE CANOSSA, East Timor, collaborating with St Vinnies who covered the freight costs.
The club provided a university scholarship for the final year of a Physiotherapy student in an ongoing project in Tanzania.
A provisional Project is in collaboration with Bridging Lanka, a local charity dedicated to support the Northwestern region of Sri Lanka which is a socio-economic disadvantaged area. As part of the proposed project is support in constructing a Preschool on Mannar Island, Sri Lanka with the aim of assisting the post war community.  There is also a need for furniture and office equipment for the preschool. The Preschool incorporates the school building, playground, nature trails and organic vegetable patches. The proposed Project is considering assistance with the development an outdoor playground that will nurture a sense of adventure and other sensory activities. Through sensory play children develop crucial cognitive skills like memory, reasoning and problem-solving. Bridging Lanka will coordinate the construction of the playground locally. A likely partner will be the Rotary Club of Colombo.
Monash TeamMed is a university student-led organisation established in 2009 that seeks to contribute to global health and address regional healthcare needs. In December 2023, a 5-day health camp at Bhakanje, a part of the Solukhumbu District (northern part has Mt Everest) is targeted to deliver medical services with the assistance of a local NGO. The club provided financial support for the purchase of medical supplies.
Hawthorn Makers Market (HMM)
The HMM is currently in its ninth year and a new four-year agreement is due to be signed with Boroondara Council in early 2024. Following the COVID restrictions easing in 2021, there has been a period of re-building. Visitor attendance over the past 3 years have been patchy and much work has gone into its recovery.
As a result of successful social media marketing, December 2023 achieved the best market since its inception. Income sources are from Boroondara Management Fee, stall fees, gold coin donation and the proceeds of the sale of donated honey.
The HMM makes a significant contribution to the club’s charity fund for the ongoing support of the community.