President's Notes
0433 117 568
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Hello fellow Rotarians,
I wanted to reflect on the run of fantastic guest speakers we have had at recent breakfast meetings and congratulate Barry on the work required to sustain this. Soon we will commence an online marketing push to promote Rotary locally and promote the good work we do, with the intention of attracting new members and volunteers. We know that social media advertising is a good general shout out and helps to build awareness, but the step of attracting membership will always come down to personal connection. The quality of our breakfast meetings is critical to this and remains our best standing opportunity to welcome potential members to our club. I encourage all members to make your work in Rotary a point of discussion amongst friends and family and always follow with an invite to the next breakfast meeting. A quick look at the upcoming speaker schedule may help in this!
A reminder to please register via the online link to our District Governor night at Royal Fremantle Golf Club on September 11. All registrations must be via this link to allow Attadale Rotary to manage the booking and costs. Thanks again to Bev and the Attadale team for running this event on behalf of clubs in the City of Melville.

Yours in Rotary,
Tom Atkinson
0433 117 568


GUEST SPEAKERS: Rare & Undiagnosed Diseases

Two speakers for the price of one!
One of our local state parliamentarians, The Honourable Stephen Pratt MLC (to use his full title) came along to our recent meeting and rather than subject us to another "politician’s set speech” he suggested we let him bring along someone who had a more interesting message.  But just so you know just a little more about him, Stephen was elected to the WA Legislative Council as a Labor member for the South Metropolitan Province, in March 2021. Prior to being elected he worked as an Electorate Officer in Roger Cook’s Kwinana office, and then as a Senior Policy Adviser in his Health and Mental Health portfolios. Stephen  also served as a Councillor for the City of Cockburn for two terms from 2011 to 2019 and helped bring several local projects to fruition, including the $3.1 million adventure playground at Bibra Lake and the Cockburn Aquatic and Recreation Centre.  So if we ever need to make contact with the new Premier, Stephen might just be our man!
Dr Gareth Baynam is a clinical geneticist with a long-standing commitment to improved Indigenous health care.  Dr Baynam works to develop and deliver genetic health care in partnership with Aboriginal health leaders and the community.  Among current activities, Dr Baynam is a practising Clinical Geneticist, a Clinical Genomics Policy Advisor at WA Health, Director of the Undiagnosed Diseases Program at the Rare Care Centre, a co-director of genetic and rare diseases research at the Telethon Kids Institute, and a member of the International Scientific Advisory Board of the new pan-European Union genomic and multi-omic initiative for rare diseases (Solve-RD).
The Rare Care Centre (the Clinical Centre of Expertise for Rare and Undiagnosed Diseases) aspires to ensure children with rare and undiagnosed diseases (RUD) and their families, live their best lives possible.
There are currently around 63,000 young people in this situation in WA.  There are 8000 known rare diseases and half of those affected have seen 10 doctors before the cause of their condition is diagnosed, meaning it costs a lot of money for everyone.  About 50% has been misdiagnosed before the causative disease is identified.  Even then half of the cases remain undetermined - that’s over 30,000.

The Rare Care clinical service provides holistic care and support through a dedicated statewide cross sector care coordination service for children and adolescents with a rare or undiagnosed disease.  

The clinical service is complemented by innovative digital solutions, education and workforce capacity building initiatives, family support programs, new clinical research infrastructure, global professional networks, and advocacy locally, nationally and internationally.


Rotary Youth Exchange Update

Brook returns (again)
Brook Dodd was our Rotary Exchange Student in 1992-93, coming to Perth from RC Anacortes in Washington USA.  She has many happy memories of her time with Applecross Rotary, when Cyril Geach was president and all the members were blokes.  Brook went on to become a nurse after returning from her year here, and has been back a few times now, to catch up with the families who hosted her.

Valentin should have finished his hiking in South Korea with 40 of his fellow scouts so we can expect an update soon, next week I hope.

Meanwhile, how do his parents describe him. Here’s what they said on his application form:

He is a joyful boy who will easily integrate into any family situation. Coming from a large family (one sister and one brother of his own and many cousins of all ages), he knows how to get along with people.

He is not a teenage contrarian and we can always discuss different opinions and views with him. He represents his own point of view, but is also open to other arguments. He is caring, especially when it comes to younger kids, well integrated in his class community and very valued by both the scouts and the sports club.

The high demands at high school also taught him to deal with frustration and to learn from it. Therefore challenges are not insoluble problems for him. Valentin faces them and tries to make the best of it.

Due to his many years of involvement with his local scout group as well as during national and international scout events, he is skillful in organising himself and his group. He doesnít shy away from taking responsibility for himself and others. We always have complete confidence in his diverse undertakings and can rely on him in every situation.

Our travels and connections to family abroad have taught him tolerance and a great interest for different cultures and traditions. We know he would relish the opportunity to expand his horizon by participating in this exchange.

Take good care of our son, we love him very much. 

With best regards,
Silvia and Tilmann Vorholz

Silvia is a teacher, and Tilmann is an architect, and this is their home.  If you had to find the house where the architect lives, this one would be a good bet.



Community Engagement 

Last week Lorri and I met with the CEO (Leanne) and Faye, from Starick.
For those of you not aware, Starick is a charity supporting both women and children escaping domestic violence. They are different from other domestic violence charities, as they support the children as well. This means that there is a lot more involved in the support, putting kids into new schools, ensuring that they are safe, and that they get the appropriate psychological and overall support.
Starick does get Government funding, which is targeted to housing and legal support etc., and Applecross Rotary currently support them in two other areas:
  • We provide a basket of items to them that provide the essentials for each family moving into a new rental property.
  • We support their very important Christmas function by providing money for food, transport etc. (Children’s presents are donated from other avenues).
Starick would like us to continue the support we currently provide, and also are asking whether there is any way that we can help them fund after school sports for the children – to enable that social exposure.
Lorri and I would like to maintain our current level of support with the support of the members and the board but would also like to work with other Rotary clubs to determine how we might be able to support them further particularly with regard to after school sports. If we can support targeted areas, I think it can make a real difference.


Mini Woolworths Grand Opening at the Kensington Secondary School.

Last Thursday, Kenn and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the “Kensington Fresh Food - Mini Woolworths” launch at Cran’s Kensington Secondary School, along with senior representatives from local and federal government departments, Defence Force representatives and Rotary representatives from Como, Belmont and Victoria Park, and of course key members from Woolworths and Fujitsu involved in implementing it.
The breadth of those in attendance highlights how hard Cran and his team have worked to develop key relationships in support of their school which is the only high school in in WA specifically for students with disabilities and high support needs.
The “Mini Woolworths” project was a year in development, and is a miniature version of an actual Woolworths Store (refer pictures). It gives the students an opportunity to learn how to shop in a real life shopping environment, how to operate tills, handle money (fake 😊), and deal with customers etc. It doesn’t guarantee that they have a pathway to work in Woolworths, but it provides an opportunity to learn real life skills and open pathways to other work and life opportunities. The “Mini Woolworths” has been replicated in schools with similar needs throughout Australia.
We were treated to a lovely song (“Cloudy Day”) by some of the students as well as getting to learn some simple Auslan sign language. It was a great morning of engagement with a wide variety of folks, and Cran and his team should be commended for putting together a wonderful day.  
Applecross Rotarian & School Principal Cran Collis addressing the invited guests.


AG Kenn, Musings

There is quite a bit underway at the AG (Assistant GOVERNOR) level at the moment, and one date that all at Applecross Rotary should make every effort to attend,
This is the DG’s official visit to our 4 Melville Rotary clubs on Monday evening, the 11th of Sept, at the Royal Fremantle Golf Club. This is being hosted by Attadale Rotary, and it will be wonderful opportunity to hear our newly minted DG for Rotary WA bring everyone up to date on planning towards modern Rotary. Also to catch up with some of the wonderful members of our neighbour Clubs.
Ineke Oliver is a strong leader, and from my perspective at least, doing a great job of ‘lifting all boats’ as we strive to build community relevance at all level.
The TryBooking link follows, and we do need to prebook well in advance for the event. It will be a 6 pm for a 6.30 start. Cost is $50, includes alternative drop sit down meal with some shared table food to start, drinks at club prices.
We have cancelled our regular meeting on the 12th, so let’s support this with numbers!
There will be a similar DG visit to clubs on Friday the 8th, covering the South Perth, Como, Ascot and Vic Park area and which includes two of my new AG clubs in Ascot and VIC Park. This is being held at the Royal Perth Golf Club,and is a combined morning meeting.
Ascot visit.
Last Tues morning I visited the Ascot RC… only 12-14 members, but what a wonderful group of people!  They went through a difficult period over recent years, but under Pres Dianne Reed, it’s all go go again.
Ascot put on the Bricktober event; an exhibition of models built from LEGO bricks/ blocks and has now been running for 11 years. This year it will be on the 7-8th October at Curtin University Stadium... yes, it is that big, and growing! They make around $30k, and approx. one third is given back to schools in the form of boxes of LEGO.  A wonderful project. Like us with our JacFest, they need volunteers to support the project… can we look at this as a quid pro quo, we help them, they help us. They are keen on the idea.
Brett has detailed the Kensington Secondary School Mini Woolies opening last week. A tremendous shout out to Cran for the great work he is doing at the school, and we look forward to helping develop their special needs capabilities.
AG Kenn
Kenn Williams
0428 472619

Applications for RYLA for 2024 are open!
RYLA is an intensive eight-day program designed for 18-28 year olds with leadership potential and a commitment to community service. The program is a unique opportunity aimed to bring participants out of their comfort zone and challenge them to think outside the square while actively using and building on their existing skills and knowledge.
RYLA includes seminars, workshops, physical activities and team games relating to areas including Communication and Public Speaking, Leadership, Team Work and Group Dynamics, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Goal Setting, Time Management and Self Awareness and Emotional Intelligence.
All applications must include the name of their sponsoring Rotary Club, and we expect that applicants have contacted their local Rotary Club to arrange sponsorship prior to submitting the form.  The RYLA Committee will assist to put applicants in touch with a Rotary Club - so please be prepared!
Applicants are interviewed prior to acceptance onto RYLA.  Successful applicants will have the energy, commitment and motivation to develop their leadership potential and be willing to challenge themselves physically and mentally over the course of the program.  
Please note: Applicants who have come to us via a Rotary Club will receive priority acceptance onto the program.
RYLA is held at the Serpentine Camping Centre from Saturday 6th January – Saturday 13th January 2024.
Rotary Club Sponsorship for a RYLA participant is $920, and the participant contribution is $250.  This includes all activities, accommodation and meals for the week.
The application form is available online -
Applications close 30th November 2023.



This week's winner is George Mavros!

Season Winner - congratulations Kenn Williams

Kenn was also 28th (151) out of 46318 in the overall competition with the winner (156) collecting $50,000!

Meeting Duties 15th August
Turner, Hamish
Upcoming Events
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Aug 29, 2023 7:30 AM
'Human Microbiome and Practical applications of research'

Originally form Cork, Ireland and graduated with a BSc (hons) in Applied Biosciences before moving to Australia in 2008. Liz began working with Lifeblood in 2014 as a Scientist and joined the Microbiome project (as a scientist) in 2019, before being appointed in the role of Microbiome Manager in 2020. At the beginning of 2023 she moved into a part-time role as a Microbiome Growth Partner and now works closely with clinicians on clinical trials and research for FMT.

Sep 26, 2023 7:30 AM
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