Greg O’Shea was our chairperson for this special evening club meeting - cocktail party at Cilantro.   
Guests enjoyed a wide selection of especially prepared finger food served with drinks from the bar, with desserts to follow.
President Glenda welcomed club members, partners and invited guests, and our guest speaker, Domenic Saporito of Mentor Match who was also a guest speaker at our recent District conference in Canberra.   
Note there are more photos here
GUEST SPEAKER – Domenic Saporito
Domenic Saporito is Co-Founder and Director of Mentor Match.  The program is designed to engage international students and assist them to assimilate into Australia society with a better understanding of our culture and way of life and to make them feel welcome.  It was found international students often feel isolated and unsupported, particularly during Covid shutdown periods when mental health also became an issue.  The program was an initiative of the Victorian Government seeking to support 250,000 international students in Victoria where education is the number 1 export. Mentor Match was shortlisted in the top 3 from 65 candidates, and finally selected to provide the program because of the connection with Rotary which has a strong sense of family and mentoring ethic with over 8,000 members in Victoria and a rich network of friends.  The 3 partners in the program are Mentor Match, Rotary and Study Melbourne Australia.   The program is not about seeking employment, but to match an international student with a mentor to help the student feel welcome and assimilate into our community.  The first program commenced 18 months ago with 25 mentors  and was well received. Mentor Match is seeking more volunteers.  Interested volunteers need to register for the program - training is provided for potential mentors and mentees and a selection process is in place to match mentors with their international student.  First time meetings are conducted over Zoom.   The program provides for at least 10 sessions over 3 months for mentors and their international student to meet.  Follow up surveys are conducted 3 times during the program to assess progress.  The program is free for the international student, however, a fee for the mentor is charged to the Victorian government – 20% of which is donated to The Rotary Foundation, and accrues recognition points.  Domenic’s presentation was very well received and struck a chord with Rotarians as a program of great merit with benefits enjoyed by Rotary, international students and the community. 
ANNOUNCEMENTS – President Glenda
  1. Easter Egg Raffle – the Easter Egg Raffle was drawn with three prizes on offer.  $335 was raised through raffle ticket sales, and matched by a further $335 from the Community Committee, making a total of $670 to be donated to The Soup Angel.   
    - The three prize winners were Jo Impey, an unknown recipient and holder of ticket A009, and Greg O’Shea who won the main basket of Easter Eggs.    Greg very graciously donated his prize to Nicole Lewis-Jacobs, CEO of The Soup Angel who was in attendance at the meeting. 
  2. Board members were invited to stay behind for a quick board meeting.
In closing, Glenda thanked everyone for attending this special meeting and hoped everyone enjoyed themselves.  She thanked Domenic Saporito, our guest speaker, and his assistant Colleen d’Offay (a member of R.C. of Brighton and a mentor in the first Mentor Match program), Sam for conducting the Easter Egg raffle, and Cilantro staff and students for the food and assistance during the meeting, and invited people to enjoy their desserts with coffee before going home.
Note there are more photos here