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.

The Annual General Meeting of the Club this year was held in March, following the regular monthly meeting. The Treasurer and President presented reports; and reports were received from organisers of the numerous and varied activities over the preceding Probus year. Reports were accompanied by appropriate photos in a PowerPoint presentation.

The new President and Committee for the 2017/18 Probus year were elected. Outgoing President Joan Munro installed the incoming President Vic Ryall. Other Office bearers and members of the Committee are listed here.

IMG_0322Club member Geoff Scully was the speaker at the April meeting. From 1985 to 2001, Geoff was the Donor Transplant Coordinator for the Department of Nephrology at Monash Medical Centre. His talk to us was entitled “Don¹t take your organs to Heaven – Heaven knows we need them here.” It was a fascinating and informative insight into the complex and rapidly developing world of human organ transplantation. It was at times confronting and moving, showing the emotional impact on families of both organ donors and recipients.


 The guest speaker at our May meeting was Judy Maddigan, who was the Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 2003 – 2005. Her talk to us did not concern politics however, but rather her role as a key member of the Essendon Historical Society. The Society was founded in 1970, and Judy told us about the people whose perseverance established the Society and led to finding their home, as headquarters and museum, at the heritage-listed old Moonee Ponds Courthouse. For further information about the Society please click here.

Down on His Luck Cover DSC_0005Our guest speaker for the June meeting was the author Ted Cavey. He has recently written a book of stories about the adventures of swagmen during Australia’s glorious era of squatters, selectors, shearers, Cobb and Co coaches and other icons. His talk was about this era as seen through the eyes and pens of our great men and women of literature and verse – such as Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Dorothea Mackellar, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Edward Harrington and others. For further information about the Ted Cavey’s book please click on the cover image at right.

IMG_0438 For the July meeting, our guest speaker was the CEO of YMCA Victoria, Jan Berriman. The YMCA was founded in Victoria in 1882 with the aim of “spiritual, intellectual, and social improvement of young women”. YWCA Victoria works to deliver services focused on creating opportunities for women facing disadvantage and to be a powerful voice for women’s equality. Jan’s challenging talk to us was primarily focused on ‘Women and Homelessness’. Whilst YMCA and other agencies are providing relief for women made homeless for various reasons, the increasing level of need is concerning. Around 85% of the current need for accommodation cannot be met, and yet  the demands are increasing. Further information about the YMCA may be founded here. Donations to the work of YMCA can be made here.

FullSizeRenderOur guest speaker at the August meeting was Carli Cook from Foodbank Victoria. This is an independent not-for-profit organisation with more than 80 years’ food relief experience. It is the state’s oldest and largest organisation of its kind. Every Victorian deserves healthy food, yet 1 in 10 Victorians don’t know where their next meal is coming from and 1 in 7 children go to school hungry. Foodbank Victoria aims to provide healthy food for all. Each month, it sources and distributes food to 134,000 Victorians who rely on this food assistance – including 38,000 children. Surplus food is collected from across Victoria. We were very interested to learn of the pop-up markets and the school breakfast club program (operating at 516 primary schools feeding 25,000 children every day). Visit the Foodbank website here.

IMG_0573Our guest speaker for the September meeting was Sue Worland, Donor Relations Officer for the St Vincent’s Hospital Foundation. Sue told us of the origins of St Vincent’s Hospital in 1893, when the Sisters of Charity, an Irish order, came to Melbourne from Sydney. A leading light was Sister Mary Aikenhead. The Sisters were pioneering and determined in their commitment to offer first-class healthcare to the community, especially the poor and vulnerable. Today, the Melbourne Hospital is part of a National group – St Vincent’s Health Australia. In addition to patient care, the group has a major role in research and education. Sue told us of amazing research projects such as the Biofabrication Centre – which brings together scientists, engineers and medical researchers to drive biomedical discoveries. 3D printing will be used to help develop replacement body parts. To continue this work a new facility, the ‘Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery’, is planned. For further information about St Vincent’s Hospital please click here. Sue’s role is to help supporters of St Vincent’s Hospital make a long term difference by growing the number of confirmed gifts. These gifts will ultimately provide a reliable income stream, for St Vincent’s Foundation. For information about giving to St Vincent’s, please click here.

At the October meeting, our guest speaker was Mark Rusic, an artist, photographer and writer. He has worked in engineering, real estate and is currently a pastor (in the Melbourne CBD). He has successfully self-published the books  Iconic Melbourne and  Iconic Animals of Australia. They are collections of his own paintings, photography, prose and poetry.

At the November meeting, the last regular meeting for 2017, five new members were inducted. Instead of a guest speaker, these members were given time to introduce themselves to others in the Club.

The next regular meeting, the first 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).

The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday 27th February. Our guest will be Leah Royle from Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

AWC Logo

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.

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