Posted by Karin Soster on Oct 26, 2022
    Helen was our chairperson for this evening’s meeting at Cilantro.  Guests included Nigel Cousins - D9820 RYLA Chair and Ann Cousins, Les Marton - D9810 RYLA Chair, Trish Carr – D9810 RYLA Coordinator,  Loreto Pinnuck - guest of Helen and Margaret L, Maureen Mateer - guest of Linda & Peter O’Brien, Jason - accompanying guest speaker – Claire O’Brien, Carol and Leah – Vic Police Youth Resource Officers, and Rotary partners – Angela Lynch, Sarah Bennett,  Leonie Ryan and Gary Ramage.
    On behalf of the club, Tim presented a portable basketball ring to Carol and Leah, Vic Police Youth Resource Officers, for use whilst engaging youths during their work in the Proactive Policing Unit.
    Margaret reminded club members of the following club meetings and events:
    30/11 – Evening club meeting at Cilantro with a special guest.  Partners and guests are welcome to attend.
    7/12 – Club meeting at Moorabbin Airport, followed by a tour of the Australian National Aviation Museum
    11/12 – Club end of year social function in the rotunda at Packer Park, Carnegie
    14/12 – Club meeting venue to be advised.     Cilantro will be closed during December for refurbishment.
    This week’s club toast was to President Jiwan Kaji Makaju Shrestha of the R.C. of Dhulikhel, Republic of Nepal.  Nepal is a landlocked Asian country between India and China with most of its China border shared with Tibet. Nepal is mainly in the Himalayas with an average altitude of 900 – 1200 metres above sea level, but also has a plain that is as low as 59 metres above sea level.  It has a diverse climate and topography ranging from tropical to arctic, and grass plains to mountains.  Nepal has a population of 30 million, capital is Kathmandu, and has most of the world’s highest mountains over 8000 metres. Human habitation dates back to 4000 BC, and was originally a group of independent hill states ruled by numerous kings for a number of families for at least 2,500 years.  The kingdoms were united in the late 18th century, and power gradually transferred to a hereditary prime minister in the mid-19th century. Pro-democracy movement commenced in the late 1940s when political parties formed.  In 1950 there was a revolt against the ruling family, causing King Tribhuvan to flee to India, however, the king returned in 1951 and established a democratic government.  Elections were first held in 1959.  In 1997, the Communist Party attempted to replace the parliamentary monarchy with a republic leading to a civil war.  In 2001, 9 members of the royal family were killed.  In 2006, the civil war ended and a new constitution was adopted.  In May 2008, the monarchy was abolished and the constitution was amended and replaced by a republic.  Dhulikhel is 30km SE of Kathmandu, 1550 metres above sea level and a population of 16,000.  Dhulikhel has a meaning – “place where tigers play”.  Its elevation enjoys 180 deg panoramic views of the Himalayan mountain range.  Club projects include supplying an automatic laundry system to Dhulikhel Hospital, providing 250 wheelchairs to people living with mobility problems, and coordinating the Judigau Drinking Water Project in conjunction with a Rotary Global grant – a gravity flow system benefiting over 600 people from 120 households.  The club is in District 3292 that covers both Nepal and Bhutan.  The club meets each Saturday at 11am at the Hotel Himalayan Horizon.     This was another great presentation from Grant.  
GUEST SPEAKER – Claire O’Brien, BMC RYLA 2022 Participant
    Helen provided a brief outline of RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, before introducing Claire.
    Claire commenced her presentation with an Acknowledgement of Country.  Claire provided an outline of her background – her journey with Rotary commenced as a Youth Exchange student to France in 2013.   She was a Queen’s Guide in 2015, and after matriculating in Queensland, she moved to Melbourne.  In 2017, she completed Certificate 1 and joined the Holland Foundation and completed their Volunteer Program.   She joined the Australian Public Service in 2018, and in 2021 she completed her Batchelor of International Public Health, and became a member of the Glen Eira Youth Advisory Committee.  In 2022, she received her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, participated in RYLA 2022, and became a member of the World Economic Forum Youth Global Shaper Community.
    Claire thanked Helen and our club, and the RYLA Leadership Team for her RYLA experience and the friends and skills she has gained for having participated.  Claire provided an outline of the activities at RYLA that was a mix of speakers and seminars, fun activities with a competitive edge, group activities involving planning together with an Ex-RYLA team member.  Each day all the participants worked in groups to present what they had learned during the day.
    Claire came away with many learnings – Speaker Col Fink and an Ex RYLA participant emphasized the need to record your ideas and goals to make them real – adding our brains are an amazing idea machine, but are a terrible idea keeping machine. She learnt from Rotarians who attended, the Rotary Expo on display highlighting local and international projects, and gained a lot of friendships and connections during the week.  Claire was very appreciative of the support from Rotary.  
    Claire’s future plans look at volunteering in the local health space, possibly drug and alcohol policy, and gaining experience in the workforce with a focus on other goals/study. She quoted a saying by Steve Cain, an author, leadership trainer and public speaking coach – “never leave a moment of clarity without taking action”
    PRESENTATION – Trish Carr – D9810 RYLA Coordinator
    - Trish thanked our club for sponsoring Claire, adding it is Rotary’s duty to foster and train new leaders.  She encouraged our club to attend and participate in next year’s RYLA Rotary Expo, and suggested to invite Claire to create a project for our club to be involved in.  Trish presented Claire with her RYLA Certificate, and invited her to return as a RYLA Leader. Trish added the two Rotary districts 9810 and 9820 have worked in combination over the past 3 years to run the RYLA program.
ROSTERS – next week’s Market roster was announced.
MEETING CLOSE – President Margaret closed the meeting with this year’s Rotary Theme – Imagine Rotary.