Posted by Karin Soster
Jo was our chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro.  Geoff Gartly performed the invocation and toast to Rotary and Australia.  Charles and Karin joined the meeting via Zoom.
Apologies for today’s club meeting - Alan, Faye, Tony, Sam, Glenda, and Roy.
Ron reminded everyone of the following dates and events:
Sunday 10/12/23 – is our end of year function at Dendy Café, Dendy Park in Brighton 1-4pm.
Monday 11/12/23 – BMC Board meeting in Cilantro at 7.30pm
Wednesday 13/12/23 – our last club meeting for this year at Cilantro
Wednesday 17/1/24 – first club meeting for 2024 – morning meeting at The Deck in Bay Street, Brighton – venue to be confirmed. 
GUEST SPEAKER – Kylie Stanley from the Highland Foundation
Kylie works with the Highland Foundation and was invited to speak to the our club to provide more information about what they do following our club’s recent High Tea held at The Healey to raise funds for the foundation.  The Highland Foundation has a vision to strengthen healthcare facilities in Papua New Guinea with the aim of decreasing the infant and maternal mortality and morbidity rates.  Kylie described PNG as a land with many challenges for obtaining health care.  PNG has rugged terrain that causes difficulty with communication and distribution of medical supplies between villages, and in some areas due to remoteness and poor roads, the best access is by plane.  There are many rural villages scattered throughout the countryside where 80 – 90% relies on subsistence farming with little access to healthcare.  As a result, maternal and infant death rates are amongst the highest in the world due to inadequate prenatal and postnatal care and inadequate birthing facilities.   Women are the most affected by the lack of medical facilities.    Children often present at health facilities with malnutrition and stunted growth.  Common illnesses are pneumonia, diarrhoea, tuberculosis, malaria, and meningitis.   There is a severe shortage in health resources – medical staff, midwives, doctors, nurses, medical facilities and equipment, and skilled staff.  The foundation commenced in 2002 with the aim to reduce mortality rates and support maternity health care.   A major project of the foundation is providing mother/baby packages for new mothers., with packages consisting of suitable clothing, and a range of practical items for mother and baby.  Packing days are held at their depot in Altona, then shipped in containers to PNG for distribution to hospitals and villages.   Sourcing suitable items for the packages, and medical equipment is a challenge . Other ways to provide support is to become a member of the foundation for $60, and donate items for packing – warm clothing is welcomed as, despite being in the tropics, the highlands can be cold.   Sue Loeliger presented Kylie with a cheque for $5,000 being the funds raised at the High Tea.  Kylie commented donations make a real difference – she will return at a later date and advise how the funds were used.  Kylie’s involvement with the foundation stemmed for her parents who were medical students in PNG in the 1970s, and who continued to maintain an interest in PNG and the welfare of its people.    
Bentleigh Market on 17/12 – Geoff Gartly will take Roy’s place.
Birthdays this week – Birthday wishes to Sue on 2/12, Sheryl (Neville’s partner) on 4/12, and Grant on 11/12
Anniversaries this week – Roy on 2/12, and Paul on 10/12.
MEETING CLOSE:  Jo closed the meeting with this year’s Rotary theme – Create Hope in the World.    Kylie, today’s guest speaker, certainly demonstrated she and her foundation embody this theme.