Peter O was our Chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro.  Helen N performed Invocation and Julie performed the Loyal Toast.  Glenda and Charles joined the meeting via Zoom.  Guests included Tom from SES, and Tania Hutchison from Stride Education, and our Guest Speaker, Rebecca McKenzie, CEO of Glen Eira Council.
President Ron had the very pleasant duty of inducting Barry Oliver to our club, and invited D.G. Ian to present the Rotary International lapel pin.  Barry looks forward to meeting all club members and participating in our programs.
STRIDE EDUCATION – Tania Hutchison – Operations Manager
Tania Hutchison was invited to say a few words about Stride Education which provides student, teacher, and parent programs Australia wide.  Tania thanked our club for supporting the ALA – Applied Learning Awards, which has been running for 20 years -  advising this year’s award event will return for the first time since Covid, and will be held at Holmesglen on 16th November.  Further information on Stride is available on their website.
GUEST SPEAKER – Rebecca McKenzie – CEO Glen Eira Council
Rebecca McKenzie was appointed at CEO of Glen Eira Council in 2016, having come from the Shire of Mitchell.  Rebecca congratulated our club for the work done in the community.  Rebecca provided an outline of the demographics of the City of Glen Eira, the programs and services provided, and what the future holds.  We learned the City of Glen Eira has a population of 148,909 represented by 160 different cultures, 40.1% of whom were born overseas.  21.5% are aged 60 and over, and the median age is 38 years commenting the median age is becoming younger.  The council has 1500 staff across 150 services.  Glen Eira Council is the only council in Victoria that operates a residential age nursing home, adding the home did not report any deaths attributed to Covid during the pandemic.  The council runs business programs and recognises businesses through excellence awards, Five Star food safe awards, mentoring classes and courses, and a new program called Business Concierge that assists businesses to navigate council and government systems. Community grants programs are available.  Loneliness is a recognised vulnerability and as a new initiative, the council supports the Chatty Café scheme where cafes and restaurants set up a table for inviting lone diners to connect socially.   Rebecca also participates in a new program Cooking Up Connections where excess food prepared at  home can be shared with the community.  The council supports the Victorian Seniors Festival to be held in October.  The Carnegie Memorial Pool in undergoing a $75 Million refurbishment and will have 5 pools, meeting rooms for community use and have a 6 star environmental and sustainability rating.  Bentleigh Structure Plan is currently underway with the council seeking community feedback by 11/9/23.  Glen Eira has the least green space of all Victorian councils, and continually seeks ways for procuring more green space.  The Mackie road Reserve  Masterplan is a new green space, having received $3Million from the Victorian government.   Challenges for the council include planning for growth, seeking more open space, and long term financial sustainability, adding Glen Eira charges the least in rates of all councils.  The Council encourages community feedback and has 13 Advisory Committees.  Community Voice has 400 residents and the council has an online platform called Have Your Say.  Moving forward, following the Electoral Structure Review within Victoria, Glen Eira council which has 3 wards represented by 3 councilors in each ward will transition to a council with one single ward.   
MARKET ROSTER – was read out for the next market
FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITIES –  a couple of social activities are in the pipeline.  Mahjong will resume at The Healey for the time being, with the next session on Thursday 7/9 at 7pm.
MEETING CLOSE – President Ron reminded everyone next week’s club meeting is an evening meeting at Cilantro with guest speaker, David Baird – chauffeur for the ‘rich and famous’.  The dinner will also be the last Cordon Bleu dinner for the current group of Cordon Bleu students.  Ron closed the meeting with our current theme “Create Hope in the World”.