Making a difference... you can too
People will do amazing things when given an opportunity.
This simple philosophy inspires Applecross Rotary's members: both locally and further afield. 
We are from all walks of life - we are marketeers, scientists, educators, farmers, engineers, lawyers  and retailers: the list goes on - and we range in age from early 20s through to 80. The commonality we share is an interest to use our time, skills and energy to improve the lives of others. And we have fun while we do it.
Our projects are equally varied. From our much-loved Rotary Jacaranda Festival, the Pride of Workmanship Awards, a local Art Show and Sale, numerous youth initiatives as well as supporting indigenous, mental health and women's refuge projects and delivering major health and water based projects around the world that will save thousands of lives.... we're an ambitious club with the power to get things done. 
Applecross Rotary meet weekly; and we have a flexible approach to membership. Just be involved; be there only when required for your project outcomes.
We meet Tuesday for a 7.30am start, at the Dome Café, Deep Water Point, Mt Pleasant (or via ZOOM if that works for you). 
Just turn up (and/or send an email to
Visitors are the future of our community service outcomes. Check us out at a meeting, a fund raising event or at a social event. Try us on for size. 
If interested please drop us a line.

Upcoming speakers at our Tuesday breakfast meetings (7am for 7.30am start, finishing at 8.30am)

Margaret Brede
Oct 31, 2023 7:30 AM
‘A Perspective on the Challenges for Education in Schools Today'
Club News
Oct 02, 2023
No, not a job change for our Cran, Principal of the Kensington Secondary Special Needs school, but an important milestone for his plans to provide real world opportunities for many of his 65 or so Special Needs students.

We flagged the opening recently of the classroom Woolies “store in a school”, one of many that the supermarket colossus is supporting across Australia. It has a dedicated room setting, with a range of various types of stock for “sale”, full scanning technology, cash registers, appropriate shop assistants attire and promo material, and all that goes with a fully functioning retail outlet.
It’s Purpose:
To give the kids at the school real world training and shopping experiences, better equipping them for both job opportunities (for some) and confidence to go about shopping for their daily needs in a post school world. To be honest, it is quite an eye opener, attractively set out with lots of regular Woolies colour and promos, but a good range of stock appropriate to the learning experience. It looks truly commercial!
Cran is truly chuffed with the support that he has been able to muster for his kids, many of whom are severely limited in their capability to receive a “normal” school schooling.
Well done, Cran! Well done, Woolies!
AxR’s support for helping to equip the Special Needs Sensory Room is also progressing well, with the arrival of the Magic Carpet at the very end of last school term. It is a $20k plus educational sensory experience for kids, allowing them to touch and identify with the multitude of images displayed on the carpet via video beam. Brett and I saw the carpet in action on a visit to a promo some months back, and it is amazing in how it creates the changing educational and learning images. Great for kids who need that sort of stimulation to get their personal learning experiences underway.
AxR is continuing to support Cran with his Special Needs sensory experience needs and aims to help fully equip the Sensory class room for those kids in our world with indeed SPECIAL NEEDS.
Future Sundowner.
How about we aim for a Sundowner at the school in the next month or so and we can all check out what a wonderful project this is,  aimed at kids who tend to be neglected by the main stream educational opportunity.
Editors footnote:  And where is Cran now?
On a well-earned 3-month LONG SERVICE leave.  And where is he spending it?  With MAMA RESPOND helping them out at the newly completed Special Needs Unit, Kenya. This project was recently completed in partnership with ROTARY.

Oct 03, 2023
Here are two people who make a difference in the world, not just Mt Pleasant or even Applecross: Greg Hebble is the CEO of Wheelchairs for Kids (WFK), and Sara David AM, is the founder of Living Child Inc, a Perth based charity training lifesaving midwives in remote areas of New Guinea.
Neither knew the other one was dropping into our meeting to update members on how our financial support is helping them make a difference in the world.  And neither know our guest speaker’s presentation would be very relevant to their work.
Greg told us WFK’s army of volunteers are now turning out 400 wheelchairs a month, and are currently preparing to send a container with 340 wheelchairs to Morocco to help children who were disabled by the recent earthquakes there.
Sara had just returned from PNG and thanked our members for the funding which enabled a group of local women attend a world conference of midwives in Bali recently.  None of them had ever travelled overseas before and found themselves in the company of people from places of conflict, like Ukraine and Haiti. They themselves have had their own experience of this with local tribal conflicts that flare up from time to time.
By the time your intrepid correspondent left the meeting, Greg had offered Sara the wheelchairs she needs for some tribal kids to enable them to work towards their dream of competing in the Paralympics one day.  Heaven knows what other great things will come from this serendipitous encounter.  Oh, I forgot to mention Greg also won the Heads ’n Tails game that features at the start of all of our meetings!  No wonder he keeps coming back.

Jun 24, 2023
I first learned about Wheelchairs for Kids (WFK) from a student of mine at Curtin University.  I ran a scholarship program named for wartime PM John Curtin, and the winners of the scholarships undertook to continue their community service activities they started at school.
One of the John Curtin Scholars had been volunteering at WFK and he met with me monthly to talk about this and other activities including his plans to study overseas, another requirement of the scholarship.
In those days (we are talking over 20 years ago) the focus was supporting kids in Cambodia who lost limbs because of the land mines the US carpet bombed trying to stop the Viet Kong using the Cambodian countryside to invade neighbouring South Vietnam.  The leader of the program was Christian Brother Ollie Pickett, and it was supported by Scarborough Rotary.  At that time everyone involved were volunteers and they could construct a wheelchair, using often scavenged parts, for about $100.  They only built them if they had the funds available to buy the parts needed.  No money, no wheelchair, no gathering together to construct the chairs, no chats over cups of tea.
I asked my student at one of our monthly meeting how it was going and he told me that they had run out of money and the workshop was closed until they fund raised.  So what did my student do?  He fund raised on campus, starting with my staff, and before long the workshop was humming along again, and everyone was happy.  In fact this was a really important observation he made - the fellowship created among the volunteers was a very important of the program.  This fellowship also enabled them to face unexpected challenges, such as a new WHO standard for wheelchairs - no more scavenged parts.
We also had students volunteering at Foodbank and I got to know and appreciate the organisational and strategic planning skills of then CEO Greg Hebble.  During Greg’s time at Foodbank it grew to be a very big business "with a compassionate heart”.  So when I learned that WFK had selected Greg to be its first paid employee, I realised that WFK was also becoming another big business.
Every week over 250 volunteers (average age 74) gather in the new workshop, building WHO approved wheelchairs that are now sent to over 100 countries worldwide.  The wheelchairs are assembled after the recipient is selected so it fits properly and can grow with the child. 
As can be seen in the photo of Greg at our recent meeting, the chair comes with a knitted rug and a couple of soft toys.  More than 65,000 have been sent overseas, usually though an international aid agency who identifies the need and pays the shipping costs.  Last year WFK sent 3500 wheelchairs to needy kids, and Greg and his willing workers want to lift that to 6000/year.
Happy footnote: AG Kenn announced that Greg has been elected an Associate Member of Applecross Rotary


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