General meetings of members are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month except December. The last meeting of each year takes the form of a Christmas luncheon. There is always fellowship before the general meetings, but the formal meeting commences at 10.30 am and runs until around 12.30 pm. Typically meetings start off with about 45 minutes devoted to Club business, then a half hour for morning tea. Then follows up to an hour to take in a presentation from a guest speaker or other person of particular interest. The majority of members at each meeting like to remain for lunch in the bistro at the Waterloo Cup Hotel.

IMG_0667The first next regular meeting for 2018 was held on Tuesday 23rd January. Our guests were Susan Fleming (physiotherapist) and Caroline Hodza (occupational therapist) from Yooralla’s Independent Living Centre (ILC). This centre supports people with disability and seniors, their families and carers to access information about communication and assistive technology. Susan and Caroline brought and demonstrated an amazing collection of aids for independent living.

For further information about the Yooralla ILC, please click here. Also, the website for the Independent Living Centres, Australia, has a list of products and suppliers in a National Equipment Database (click here).

AWC Logo

IMG_0740 Our guest for the February meeting was Leah Royle from Australian Wildlife Conservancy. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy protects some of the largest remaining populations of many endangered species like Bilbies, Numbats and Gouldian Finches. It manages more than 4.6 million hectares, protecting more native wildlife than any other organisation.

For more information about Australian Wildlife Conservancy, please click here.

In March, our regular meeting was followed by the Annual General Meeting. Reports were presented on activities over the past year, and the Committee for the 2018/19 Probus year was elected. For information about the current Committee, please click here.

Our speakers at the April meeting were two of our own Club members speaking of their musical passions. One spoke about the Austral Salon of Music (click here), which began its life in 1890 as a club for women writers. It has evolved over 128 years to an organisation (open to all members) whose aim is to introduce aspiring young musicians to an interested audience. Our other speaker ran a U3A class (click here) on jazz appreciation for many years. We were given a brief introduction to the history of jazz from its origins in New Orleans in the late 19th Century and mentioning some of the great jazz musicians of the 20th Century.

The speaker at the May meeting was Warren Sparrow from Angel Flight Australia. This is a charity which coordinates non-emergency flights to assist country people to access specialist medical treatment that would otherwise be unavailable to them because of vast distance and high travel costs. Warren is a retired air traffic controller and a volunteer with Angel Flight as an “earth angel” – driving patients and families between airports and their appointment. Further information about Angel Flight can be found on their website – please click here.



In June, our speaker was Kirsten Wood, a lecturer in horticulture at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE. She has a particular interest in the science of gardening, and  talked about recent developments in soil technology  applicable to better gardening. She referred to the work of Gabe Brown on regeneration of his North Dakota ranch. His TED talk can be seen here.

peter-somerville-blackbird-1-660x400The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday 24th July. The speaker will be Captain Peter Somerville. A history buff and nature lover, for 35 years Peter has run tours of the Maribyrnong River on his traditional 1920s passenger ferry, the Blackbird. Combining scenery, stories and dry humour with a keen knowledge of the west’s industrial past, his cruises offer a unique look at both the river and the area’s rich heritage.

For comments or suggestions about speakers for regular meetings, contact Leonie here.