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. For the time being, general meetings will be held at Windy Hill, Essendon. 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.

8f0acc5a1e4bba3d0b1e3d58596d8a81The next General meeting will be held on Tuesday June 27th. The speaker will be Carolyn Pethick, who worked in Victoria police for over 30 years and has written a book about the trials and tribulations of working in a male dominated job. Her book is entitled To Hell and Back. Although her story is about the police force, many of you will know of someone who has been through similar experiences. She is now speaking out about her experiences in the hope that she can let others know they are not alone. Carolyn describes herself as a Equality Activist  promoting strength, courage and resilience.

IMG_2307At  the May 23rd meeting our speaker was Dr Ros Otzen. She is a retired educator, having taught at State and Independent schools. She was Principal of Korowa Anglican Girls’ School from 1991-2003. She was the inaugural President of the Alumni Council of the University of Melbourne and Deputy Chair of the Melbourne City Mission Board (MCM). She is the inaugural Chair of the MCM education arm, the Hester Hornbrook Academy, named for the founder of the MCM in 1854 and who opened nine schools for poor and disadvantaged children 1859-1862. Ros told of the extraordinary women, almost entirely unknown even to historians of the time, who worked tirelessly to support the disadvantaged in the community, especially children. For more information, please click here. The work is continued today by the Melbourne City Misssion (click here) and the Hester Hornbrook Academy (click here).

Vicki 2The last General meeting was held on Thursday April 27th (moved from our usual fourth Tuesday due to the clash with Anzac Day this year). The speaker was Vicki Mustafa. She is beginning to enjoy retirement after twenty-five  years as a Christian Pastor in both East Bentleigh and Glen Waverley. She originally trained as a Secondary School teacher at Monash University and after graduating, she spent some years teaching up in central Victoria, at Charlton. She then went to Sydney and studied theology for three years.  After that, she went to live and work overseas. Vicki spoke on the topic: ‘Women in the Middle East’,  and along the way, she shared a bit more about herself, why she speaks on this topic as well as her own experiences with both learning a new culture and getting to know  women in the Middle East.

Intro Slide imageFollowing the General Meeting in March, the Annual General Meeting of the Club was held. There were reports on Club finances and activities over the 2022-23 Probus year. The Club Committee was elected and positions of responsibility were announced for the 2023-2024 Probus year.


For more information about the 2023-2025 Committee, please click here.

At the February meeting, the speaker was Professor Peter Seligman, honorary Professor of the University of Melbourne, a biological engineer at the Bionics Institute, and an associate of the Melbourne Energy Institute. Peter was a key member of the team that developed the Melbourne/Cochlear multiple-channel cochlear implant. He worked in the field for 30 years and was particularly responsible for the development and improvement of speech processors. In 1979 he designed the first portable Speech Processor for the University of Melbourne device. He joined Cochlear Ltd (Nucleus) in 1983 and was instrumental in speech processor miniaturisation and improvement, including the development of custom microchips to implement new speech processing strategies. His special interest was the development of smaller behind-the-ear speech processors and totally implanted cochlear implants. In 2009 Peter retired from Cochlear Ltd. In that year he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering.


At the first meeting for the year – in January 2023 – we had our own “Antiques Roadshow” with Bryan and Lorraine Sturton-Gill from DeBretts Antique Market, Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds. They brought some treasured antiques from their personal collection, each with historical significance. Then Bryan and Lorraine reviewed items brought along by members and guests of the Club. They provided information about each item – origin and approximate date.



For information about DeBretts, please see the Facebook page by clicking here, or a description of the business by clicking here. The location (and more photos) can be be found by clicking here. Bryan would be willing to discuss value and saleability of items in private, and to take items for sale on commission.

DeBretts 2

IMG_2128IMG_2131At the last General meeting for 2022, held in November, the speakers were Andy Walsh and Mick Francis. Mick was the former CEO of the Magistrates Court of Victoria, Coroners Court of Victoria and Children’s Court of Victoria. Andy worked in Youth Justice and Community Safety programs. They spoke about the changing culture of court administration over the past 50 years, the little publicised programs to keep offenders out of court, and the similarly little publicised programs to help young offenders.


Our speaker at the October 2022 meeting was Eric Faulkner from Geelong, a lawyer by profession. Eric is from Northern Ireland and has had a lifelong interest in RMS Titanic. He gave a really engaging and informative account of the construction, launch and sinking of the ship.


At the September meeting the speaker was Ian Crawford, son  of Dorothy Crawford and nephew of Hector Crawford. He joined Crawford Productions at twenty years of age. Ian became the director and producer of many Crawford television series and later he was an Executive Producer of all the company’s drama output. In 1980 he became the company’s Managing Director, which post he held until Hector and he sold their shares in the company in 1988.  Ian’s speech spanned the late 1930s to the late 1980s, and is particularly about Crawfords and the travails of the company – the collapse of radio drama following the arrival of television, the company’s efforts to get drama onto TV, early TV series and serials, along with an inside look at such moguls as Sir Frank Packer, Kerry Packer, and Sir Reginald Ansett. His entertaining and informative speech was entitled “Crawford Productions and the dramas of early television!

EHS-logo-colour_RGB-transp_bg-200x200At the August meeting, the speaker was Bob Chalmers, retired teacher, and President of the Essendon Historical Society for more than 22 years. He spoke about “Fine Homes of Essendon” showing many interesting examples.

Further information about the Essendon Historical Society may be found clicking this link.



At the July meeting, the speaker was Elida Brereton, retired teacher, school principal and educational consultant. Among other significant achievements, she was Principal of Camberwell High School from 1994 to 2009. Elida gave a really engaging and entertaining talk focussing on the changes in schooling over her four decades involved in education.

Red Cross logoWendy ToddAt meeting in June 2022, the speaker was Wendy Todd, Account Manager at the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood – Melbourne Donor Centre. Wendy has worked closely with people faced with serious health issues, and is committed to help saving lives. In her current role, she partners with Lifeblood Champions who willingly share their time, expertise and networks to promote giving blood. More information can be found by clicking here.