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Vocational Service - 2003/2004

The Vocational Service Committee's role is to identify and implement programs that support vocational training and exemplify excellence, and the selection and nomination of persons for the Vocational Service, Young Achiever, Shine On and Apprentice of the Year awards.

Professor Peter Doherty was the recipient of the Vocational Service Award.  He was presented with his Award at the Club luncheon on 22 October 2003.  He gave a most stimulating talk on SARS and the international scientific effort to diagnose the nature of this infection and its probable cause.  It was a fascinating discourse on how international public health systems can work speedily to identify solutions to problems and thereby protect populations.  Subsequently, Professor Doherty has accepted an invitation to become an honorary member of the Club.

In August of each year the Club, which played a leading role in establishing the apprenticeship system in the 1920's, makes Apprenticeship Awards to three of Victoria's top apprentices who address the Club and each receive $500 plus a certificate.  Morgan Fisher, the winner of the Frank Newman Award, is a painting and decorating apprentice, Ben Meade has undertaken an apprenticeship in Construction Landscaping and Stephen Menz is VFF Grains Group Apprentice of the Year.

Over the past two years we have been privileged to have Governor John Landy present the Young Achievers Awards.  The winner of the Sir Albert Coates Award for humanitarian endeavour was Hugh Evans.  He established The Oak Tree Foundation which is the only international aid agency in this country that is solely managed by young people.  The other Young Achievers were Lucas Bluff, who is studying Evolutionary Ecology at Monash University and soon to go to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and Cameron Rahles Rahbula who is currently studying Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne.  As a young lad he became interested in downhill skiing after an alpine holiday. At the age of 14 he lost a leg to cancer. Two years later he resumed skiing and participated in the senior team at the Para Olympics in 2002.  Subsequently, he achieved a notable victory in the World Cup Circuit.

The Shine On Awards, presented by our Rotary District, recognise the abilities and service to the community by people with disability.  The three candidates nominated this Rotary year were Russell Short, Chris Boyle and Chris Gillies.

Shell Livewire was once again managed by President Bob.   Shell LiveWIRE for 2004 is now underway and mentors once again are needed.  It is sponsored by Shell Australia and has the support of Rotary and State governments.  The aim is to encourage young Australians aged 18-25 to establish their own business.  Rotarians provide guidance as mentors for each entrant as they develop a business plan.  Amanda Armstrong and Jacqueline McGowan, were the Victorian winners of Shell LiveWIRE in 2003, and then the National Youth Enterprise winners.  They made a presentation to the club on April 14.  Their business, Zentini, operating at 95 Queen Street Melbourne is a specialist ladies shirt boutique offering a very select range of tailored women's French Cuff shirts and accessories.

Kevin Sheehan has been the hardworking chairman of Student Exchange.  Our current inbound Thomas Erdosi delivered his final address to our club luncheon last Wednesday in the presence of Trinity Grammar Deputy Head, fellow students and host families.  His exemplary year must give encouragement to this worthy program in our Club and to the District. We thank most sincerely the host families for their part in a most successful exchange.  Our current outbound student, Emma Palmer, continues to excel in Hungary as her many emails confirm.  The club has now signed off on our incoming exchange student from Germany - Nadine Schuller.  Carey Grammar has accepted to host her for the school year 2004/05.  We are sponsoring the application for two outgoing students for 2005.

12 Connect Project

This project, aimed at filling a financial gap that exists for students without family support that makes completion of school difficult, ran for a second year in 2003.  Following the assistance given to two students nominated by the Salvation Army in 2002, the past year saw assistance to two Year 12 students put forward by Anglicare.  The first of these students, Kim, completed her Year 12 and the funds advanced under the program were used for school books, clothing, uniform, school bag, school fees and a computer.  She is now undertaking tertiary studies in Youth Work.  The second student, Samantha, also completed her VCE in 2003.  The funds advanced were spent on books, school fees, uniforms and a computer.  Sam has now commenced tertiary studies in the Music/Performing Arts area.

This project was completed with a report to the Victorian Government on the achievement of the programs.  The report highlighted the need for the small number of students who are without parental support to be assisted to complete their schooling.  We aim to convince Government to address this need. 

RMIT Printing Industry Training

Forty years ago our member George Collie left a bequest to fund an award for printing training.  The Rotary Club of Melbourne has administered this award for each of those 40 years and this year, the last of the funding, was used and the Club informed RMIT International Centre of Graphic Technology that our task was complete.

There are a number of awards now given for printing training and we like to think that this is in some part due to the George Collie Award being the seed of the idea for some of those awards.  On the 22nd April 2004 the Club made the last award presentation to Steven Beeby and the Centre presented the Club with a certificate recognising our 40 years of support for the printing awards.

District 9800 Literacy Project

This project ran during January and February and provided contributions of books for young people to assist literacy.  Club members were approached to provide (purchase or donate) suitable childrens' books.  While relatively few members of the Club actually contributed books, the overall outcome was a satisfactory number of books provided to District at the District Conference in Adelaide.

What's New in My Line

What's New in My Line, in which Club members speak briefly on new developments in their occupation, has been an irregular part of the Rotary luncheon program for many years.  It became a permanent monthly feature of the program on the first luncheon meeting of the month beginning in May 2004.

Seminar on Self-Managed Superannuation Funds

At its March 2004 meeting, the Board approved the holding of a DIY Superannuation Seminar as a Club project.  This seminar, organised by the Vocational Service Committee is scheduled for the 21st July 2004 immediately following the Club's regular luncheon meeting.

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