Posted by Karin Soster on Mar 06, 2024
Peter, one of our Market Chairs ‘extraordinaire’, was our Chairperson for today’s club meeting at Cilantro.  Faye performed Invocation and the Toast to Rotary and Australia.  Charles and Karin joined the meeting via Zoom.
Regionalisation Project –
  • Club Community groups have been determined – BMC is in Group 1 together with Bayside clubs that extend to Frankston.    The first Group meeting was held last Friday over Zoom.   The next step is seeking Community Leaders to lead the group with applications closing 27/3/24.    Ron has a position description sheet for anyone interested – it is also available on the website.   Clubs will be able to vote where there is more than one applicant for the Community Leader role - successful Community Leaders will be announced in early April. 
  • Zone 8 has approximately 100 Community Groups with operations under the two year pilot program to commence 1 July 2024.   It is envisaged Districts will cease to exist with district processes gradually transitioning to Rotary Central and will be supported by Rotary Specialists. 
Club Meetings
  • 13 March 2024 – Committee chairs to present a report on committee activities
  • 20 March 2024 - No club meeting 
  • 3 April 2024 - Meeting at Onyx Restaurant
  • 10 April 2024 – Evening Fellowship meeting  at Cheltenham RSL
  • Details are also on the club website
GUEST SPEAKER – Lilli Franco – Program Manager at Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School
Lilli provided a fascinating story on her journey that eventually led to her current position as Program Manager at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school - in her wildest dreams little did she think when growing up that her journey would lead to heading the training program at Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School in Australia.  Her interest in food and cooking commenced in 1983 after watching an American TV program called Hotel.  He uncle was also in hotel management.  Lilli attended a very posh boarding school in England after having moved from Panama, her birthplace, where there was political unrest at the time.  When school finished, Lilli accepted an opportunity to study Hotel and Catering Management at Oxford University and her journey began.  Work in a kitchen at the Hotel Le Meridien in Italy followed.     Her father was a self-taught cook who enjoyed dining in London’s fine restaurants and after taking young Lilli one day to a 3 star Michelin restaurant, her interest in cooking was sparked.   Lilli travelled to Paris and joined the Cordon Bleu Cookery school in 1995 – a fabulous time.  Work at Michelin star restaurant Jacques Faussat in Paris followed, and other experiences included work at Buckingham Palace, and Ascot.  After 10 years working in Europe her journey took a turn and she returned to Panama, her cultural home, where she worked in a kitchen -  but she found Panama was a very patriarchal society and life was not easy for Lilli who was unable to use her skills to her best ability.  Lilli left the culinary world and worked in Events and Tourism in Latin (South) America.  During these years she met and married her Australian husband - they moved to Australia and for the next 10 years, they jointly ran a food import and distribution company in Australia and New Zealand.    When this came to an end, Lilli took up a suggestion to study for a Certificate for Training at RMIT – a 6 month qualification, and a requirement for the Cert 111 Le Cordon Bleu School Teaching program.  This reignited her interest in food and cooking.  She moved through the ranks in Vocational Education, that eventually led to taking up her current position officially in January 2024.  Lilli leads a large team of skilled practitioners in leadership, teaching, stores and administration.  Cookery and hospitality is a very respected industry, even prestigious, in Europe where training and skills are highly regarded and valued.  Australia has a long way to go to matching this level.  Lilli is interested in compliance and her focus for 2024 is raising accountability and professional development for her students.  She is passionate in encouraging students to decide their future career path in the culinary world.  Lilli now views Australia as home.  In finishing – Lilli mentioned the Student Community Market being held at Moorabbin Campus next week on 13/3.  And the name Le Cordon Bleu is copy righted for naming rights, and cannot be used by anyone or organisation without approval.   Thank you Lilli for your most interesting story and your courage to follow the paths that opened in all its twists and turns.   
ROSTERS – The rosters were announced for Market and next week’s club meeting.
Ian referenced an article on the latest happenings at Savu Savu placed on the club website by Linda O’Brien, and encourages everyone to read it.
Terry Kane also has a fund raising dinner this coming Saturday night – details are on the club website.
MEETING CLOSE – Closed by President Ron.    Create Hope in the World.