Posted by Karin Soster
Neville chaired today’s club meeting with a welcome return to Cilantro.  Sam performed Invocation, and Karin performed the loyal toast.  Members Glenda and Charles joined the meeting via zoom.  Guests included our guest speaker, Hadi Saab – Mayor of City of Kingston, and Marina Shneyder – guest of Larry Green.    Welcome to all.
Grant conducted the Rotary International club toast to President Anne Isavwa and members of the Rotary Club of Mbuluzi-Mbabane in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), in Africa.  Eswatini is a landlocked country in Southern Africa – bordered by Mozambique and South Africa.   The club was chartered in 1990 and is the third oldest Rotary club in Eswatini and one of two clubs based in the capital city.  Projects include providing painting materials for Ekwetsembeni Special School, a  play area for Sinethemba Preschool, donations for the annual scholarship program for the Salvation Army High School, Solar lamps for students at disadvantaged schools, support for Diabetes Eswatini, and providing food hampers for the elderly. 
  • Rotary Regionalisation program – Pres Ron will email to all club members today (4/10) a link for members to open and view details of candidates for the Regional Council and advise Ron / Karin of their preferred candidate for the various positions on the Council.   Included with the email will be a survey for members to print and complete with their preferences for Rotary Community Groups. 
  • Big Serve Tennis Competition – 29 October
    - Requirements have changed – our club will now prepare the BBQ lunch – 12pm – 3pm.  Ron has a list of volunteers for the day. 
  • The following two motions were approved by the board at the September 2023 board meeting, and notified to club members on 29 September 2023 with notification they would be put to club members at today’s club meeting for member approval.   
    1. Calvary Care
    Motion: That the board approve a donation of $5,000 to Calvary Care to purchase Care Packages for patients leaving hospital.
    Moved:  Tim Lynch      Seconded: Margaret Lucas       Motion Carried
    2. Applied Learning Awards
    Motion: That the board approve a donation of $5,000 for this year's Applied Learning Awards with R.C. Bentleigh Moorabbin Central as a major sponsor.
    Moved:  Helen Nodrum     Seconded:  Samantha Langridge        Motion Carried
GUEST SPEAKER – Hadi Saab – Mayor of City of Kingston
Hadi commenced his presentation with an Acknowledgement to Country.  Hadi has a deep appreciation for the cultural diversity that makes up today’s Australia.  He is a first generation Australian born to a father from Lebanon, and mother from Syria who came to Australia as a safe environment and escape the ravages of war in their native homelands.  His parents owned and operated a pizza shop for many years in East Brighton.  Hadi’s volunteerism commenced at a young age of 14-15 in a range of activities – initially in an aged care facility, and then  involvement in a religious youth group that continued on during his time at Monash University as a student studying IT software.   He became involved in student politics.  When studies ended and working full time as an IT software engineer, he had extra time on his hands to give.  His passion is working within and for the local community.  With the encouragement of Steve Staikos, Hadi ran for council and was elected in 2020, and two years later was appointed Mayor of the City of Kingston, a role he did not envision before standing for council.   Hadi feels privileged to hold the position of Mayor which is very busy, challenging and rewarding. His mantra is to be transparent and open in his dealings with the community and actively engage and communicate with as many people as possible to consider their feedback whilst representing their interests for the future.   Recent initiatives include a community panel of 45 people to provide feedback on proposed projects before they are announced to the community, plus the introduction of an open online forum on the council website for the local community to provide feedback on any topic that is relative for council consideration. Highlights for Hadi have been an Urban Forest Strategy to increase the tree canopy within the council, reduce carbon emissions and provide a more sustainable future.  This is further encouraged with the inaugural sustainable business awards at a gala event in the Town Hall at the end of October.  Playgrounds are being reviewed for updating and reconfigured as multi-purpose sites.  Other projects are a Youth Strategy and supporting young people within the community, and most proud of all was the recently released Council Housing Strategy – 6 years in the making with suggested changes and plans for appropriate development within the City of Kingston, whilst maintaining a high standard of living for everyone and not reducing or removing any amenities.  
  • Rosters – were announced. 
    - Greg is unable to attend the market on 8/10 and seeking help – this was sorted at the meeting with Margaret Lucas and Helen Nodrum putting up their hands to cover.     Thank you Margaret and Helen.
  • Mahjong – is on again at the Healey on Thursday 5/10
  • Club end of year event – plans are underway – watch this space.
  • High Tea – Sunday 12/11 – Faye is seeking items that can could be donated for auction at the High Tea. 
President Ron closed the meeting with this year’s Rotary theme – Create Hope in the World.