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Heart warming gift from local Rotary Clubs - May 2012


Article from iNews – the official staff newsletter of Southern Health – 7th May 2012


The Rotary Clubs of Clayton, Huntingdale and Oakleigh recently partnered to donate $4,873 to the Birth Suite Unit at Monash Medical Centre Clayton after hearing of their urgent need for a new blanket warming cabinet. The cabinet is specifically used to warm blankets, towels, nappies and fluids which are required for newborn babies and their mothers immediately after birth.


While it might sound basic, the blanket warming cabinet is vital to provide the best care for new mums and babies and is used on a daily basis. The current cabinet that is being used was inherited from the Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital and is now over 30 years old.


Rebecca Lovitt, Manager Monash Health Foundation said: “The Rotary Clubs of Clayton, Huntingdale and Oakleigh responded to the need for this piece of equipment, only a couple of weeks after receiving the proposal.”


“These three clubs embody the community spirit that Rotary Clubs are renowned for. We are very appreciative that they have helped our Birth Suite purchase this vital equipment for new mums and babies,” Rebecca said.


Lesley Zuccaro, President of Rotary Clayton, John Jarvis from Rotary Oakleigh and Ces Hodges, President of Rotary Huntingdale visited the Birth Suites at Monash Medical Centre Clayton on Thursday April 26 to view the old blanket warming cabinet and present their cheques.


L-R Clayton Birth Suite Centre staff with Rotary Clayton President Lesley Zuccaro, Rotary Huntingdale President Ces Hodges, Rotary Club of Oakleigh member John Jarvis and Monash Health Foundation Manager Rebecca Lovitt.

Books for Babies - March 2012

Books for Babies is a very simple national program launched in 2011 to help raise Rotary’s profile in a club’s local community.

Some 1500 books were distributed to new parents in the maternity wards of local hospitals last year.

The program has been repeated this year, with participating clubs choosing to present the books as a ready-made and very affordable Literacy project in March. It highlights one of Rotary’s six areas of focus—World Literacy and Education. Each copy has a message from the Rotary club tucked in a pocket inside the front cover.

And what a book! Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes is by two of the most gifted picture-book creators of our time—Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. It’s a gloriously simple picture book with rhythmic text ideal for very young children and the adorable illustrations depict babies from a variety of backgrounds.

Mem Fox is an enthusiastic supporter of this special Rotary programme. "I am thrilled to endorse the excellent work of Rotary, in particular their ‘Read-to-your Baby’ birth day programme. Reading and sharing the magical world of books brings great joy, laughter and peace to everyone involved. And literacy follows … as night does day. Well done Rotary for knowing what’s important in the lives of children."

Publisher of the book, Penguin, gives a generous discount to bring the cost to a very affordable $7.00 per copy.

Members of the Rotary Club of Clayton recently made their own special delivery of 150 books to new mums and their babies at Monash Medical Centre Clayton’s Maternity Ward. The books were supplied free of charge to the club thanks to Frank Gollotta, owner of L’Unico Hotel, Clayton.

The program provokes some heart-warming reactions and often joyful tears as the mums receive baby’s first gift. It has encouraged a young dad to stop "thinking about Rotary" and acting to join Rotary. It brought gratitude and happiness to a young single mum who had been rejected by all her family. "It’s so wonderful that there is someone who cares."



Hi Lesley


My apologies for my late reply – I would have liked to have thanked you for your kind gifts before today but it has been far too busy for my liking!


What a wonderful initiative this was and how very thankful we are for Clayton Rotary’s generosity. You could tell that the new mums loved receiving the book and we are very appreciative to you for putting a smile on their faces.


I have attached a few of the photos taken for your use and I will also send through a copy of the newsletter when it has been published.


I really look forward to working with yourself and Clayton Rotary in the future on some terrific Monash Children’s projects.


Best wishes


Georgina Heaslip

Monash Health Foundation
Fundraising and PR Officer

Clayton Festival - February 2012

Our President Jon Breisch and I manned a stand at the Clayton Festival on February 26th in hot and blustery conditions. Jon had put a lot of effort into our display which took a bit of looking after in the conditions.


A Disaster Aid box was in front then some photos from Marie Antoinette’s recent talk on her visit to Ghana largely funded from the last Clayton Festival plus some other things out club has done recently. We had three banner boards up of info. It cannot be said that a huge number studied intently what we had on display but our presence was obvious from afar and many people came over, looked and asked questions including a couple of people very interested in membership which we will be following up.


We are in a multicultural area, of that there is no doubt, the people walking past formed a wonderful kaleidoscope of colour and nations. There was ethic dancing and music all day and we were well positioned outside the Westpac Bank.


Our stand was next to Ronald McDonald House who thanked up for our club’s contributions and gave us some free sausages, they were having a sausage sizzle which was a little more modest than the one we had the same time at the Police Academy.


I think Clayton Rotary is being noticed in the community now and our stand is a worthy exercise. We also made connections with the Probus Club and RSL and numerous local identities all of which is good.

Above is a photo of our stand with Jon and Marie-Antoinette Spina, who is wearing one of the dresses she bought in Ghana.


Bill Sides

Monash Farmers Market - October 2010

The initial Farmer’s Market was held on Saturday 23rd October at Monash University in the car park . To say it was well done would be an understatement, The Rotary Club of Monash had put in enormous efforts and I suspect money to get it going and it was pure quality throughout. It looked good and while there are improvements possible it was a marvellous first effort and I suspect traders were generally happy despite appalling weather for much of the time which must have kept many away. We know some vendors ran out of stock. I think our club made a few dollars, how much will soon become apparent but I am sure we can improve on the return it now we better know what we are dealing with.



A special mention must be made of our newer members who demonstrated a variety of talents and were invaluable on the day. (Isn’t it marvellous how a few extra members eases the load) The marvellous Westpac BBQ trailer was there and it was kept very busy all day and their tent was very welcome too given the inclement weather. The club’s new tent was erected for the first time and proved a great asset for our club. I drove one of my old cars around town for a few days prior with banners attached and that seemed to work, there was a major leaflet drop in the area and nice signs around the venue. Rotary was well presented. A survey was carried out to see how people had heard about the market and how it can be improved. Personally I am sure it will succeed, the venue seems right and vendors were appropriately varied and there remains significant potential for growth. The food quality of vendors was high, as were some prices! Rotary can hold its head high and we as a club should be able to benefit significantly from it in the long run.


It is an ongoing Market on the fourth Saturday of every month, so please mark your calendars well ahead.


President Bill Sides.

SEAAC Sudanese Youth Trip - April 2010

SEAAC Multicultural Youth Services organised a three day Sudanese Youth Camp in Allambee Reserve Gippsland. Eighteen Australian- Sudanese Young People attended the trip which featured a dynamic and jam packed schedule of informative, engaging and fun activities. Some of the information sessions that SEAAC provided for the group included topics such as: a series of employment workshops; Respect, Protect, Connect relationships workshop run by WHISE and SECASA; a Support services workshop and a presentation by Monash Youth and Family Services.  In addition these sessions and the whole camp were run with the help from five youth leaders who did an outstanding job. The experience for everyone was overwhelmingly positive and highlighted the importance of such programs in building rapport and mutual understanding and respect as well as empowering these young adults to be informed and well skilled citizens of society.


The camp was made possible with the help of some very generous organisations and individuals such as the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Clayton Rotary and Clayton Traders Association, who donated the lunches, drinks and snacks for the first day. A special thank you to Bill Pontikis from the Clayton Traders Association who made up every sandwich in his shop the morning of the camp and the Rotary Club of Clayton for organising this. Thank you to Monash City Council for their support of the trip and Peter and George from New Hope Foundation for the use of their bus.


What some participants said about the camp:


“Firstly I would like to thank all SEAAC staff for giving us this opportunity to feel like a family even though we all come from different backgrounds. I don’t really know what I would do without SEAAC’s help in Australia. I really can’t find words to thank SEAAC staff”


“This camp was really a great experience and more youths should attend it. It can improve their lives in a certain way”.


Tree Planting Day - October 2009


Some time ago this now reclaimed area was a tip site and thanks to the City of Kingston it is now open space for the community. Council is ably assisted by the “Friends of Heatherton Park Inc.” who are helping in the development of the area and transforming it into fine parkland. The Rotary Club of Clayton supports the development and some time ago donated 5 bench seats which are located around the walking track. We are represented on the friends group which is providing input into the erection of a Gazebo and BBQ area. Our visit on the 11th October was for the purpose of planting trees to add to the number already planted by local school children. It is our hope that our planting contribution will continue into the future leaving a living legacy to the community of Clayton. Thankyou to “Heatherton Park Friends Inc.” President David Catchpool and Norm Bury for their support and assistance.

Golf Day - May 2009

Our Club Annual Charity Golf Day was held at the Spring Valley Golf Club on Monday 4th May 2009. All the proceeds which were raised on the day will support the Rotary response to the communities affected by the Victorian Bush Fires.

Link to sponsors page.

SEAAC Sudanese Youth Trip - April 2009

On Friday 3rd April some of our members prepared sandwiches (90 of them) which were made for the Sudanese Youth Trip 2009 from the 4th to 6th April to Rawson in the La Trobe Valley on behalf of SEAAC (see photo attached of the students who attended). The ages of the students were between 18 – 25 years old. SEAAC is a community based organisation that seeks to enable young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds to be active, informed and well skilled members of society. A big thank you goes to club members, Bob Millen, Jim & Jean Cochrane, Dianne Day for their help and support and also Bill Pontikis who is the president of the Clayton Traders Association for organising the Bread, Fruit and Drinks. 


Australian Synchrotron Open Day  - October 2008

On Sunday 26th October the Rotary Club of Clayton once again organised the car parking and held a BBQ at the Australian Synchrotron Open Day. The team was lead and captained by PP Neil Rickard who was the major organiser for the day. From all the hard work put in by the team, we raised approx $2,500 on the day. Just in case you are asking "What is a Synchrotron?", here is a quick explanation.

"A synchrotron is a large machine (about the size of a football field) that accelerates electrons to almost the speed of light. As the electrons are deflected through magnetic fields they create extremely bright light.

The light is channelled down beamlines to experimental workstations where it is used for research."

Illustration of the Australian Synchrotron

For more photos of the day click here

Golf Day - January 2008

Our Club Annual Charity Golf Day was held at Spring Valley Golf Club on Monday 21st January. 51 players participated. The field included Rotarians from Brighton, Glen Waverley, Wheelers Hill, Greensborough and Geelong West, together with sponsors and their guests, and guests of members of our Club.
Thanks are extended to Spring Valley Golf Club, Jefferson Ford - our major sponsor, Otter Nails, Maroondah Credit Union, Card & Caboodle, Mako EyeWear, Southern Cross Brokers and  Fourway Pharmacy. The lunches were again delicious so thanks to Jean and her team of helpers who prepared them. Every member of our Club was involved in the organization of the day. It is expected that we will raise approx. $5300.00
Thanks to all
Warren Fricke
For the Golf Day Committee

For more photos click here

Australian Synchrotron Open Day  - August 2007

On Sunday 12th August the Rotary Club of Clayton organised and held a BBQ at the Australian Synchrotron Open Day. It was estimated that 2,000 sausages were cooked and 1,200 drinks were sold on the day. All up approx $4,500 was raised. A big special thanks goes to PP Neil Rickard for all the work and effort he put in to organise the event. Also a special thank you goes to the following people who helped on the day:- 


Jim & Jean Cochrane

John & Gaye Barnes

John & Mary Goldspink

Ralph & Lesley Zuccaro

Bob Millen

Heather Norling

Richard Simmons

Kelly Allan {Past member}

DG Dick Garner

PDG John Glen

Lewis Hunter {Rotaract}

Glenis, Zoe & Neil Rickard

Dianne Day

For more photos of the day click here

Kath Byer PHF - April 2007

On the 30/04/07, Kath Byer from the Notting Hill Hotel was recognised as a Paul Harris Fellow for her dedication and achievements in the local community for many years. Kath has also been great support during the last 40 years with the Clayton Rotary Club with regards to our annual Golf Day where she provided donations and sponsorship. (click here to see a copy of the full presentation speech)

Golf Day - January 2007

Our 41st Annual Golf Day was held on the 29th of January 2007 with great success. This year our raffle was used to buy two Shelter boxes (pictured below).

A big special thank you goes out to all the sponsors, golfers and members who turned up and also help out on the day. We hope to see you all again next year for the 42nd Annual Golf Day.

For more photos click here

Food Deliveries to Dixon House

One of the activities performed by the Rotary Club of Clayton is the picking up of food from the Toorak Ecumenical Council and delivering it to Dixon House in Clayton. The food which has been collected during December is just in time to go to the needy families to brighten up their Christmas. This job has been performed year after year with the main contributors in the club being Jim & Jean Cochrane and John Barnes. 

Here are a few words from the Dixon House Team Leader, Kathryn Shedden :-

To all of our friends at the Rotary Club of Clayton
What a fantastic job John and Jim and Jean have once again done for Dixon house this Christmas.
Over the past 2 weeks they have been sited at Dixon house on 3 occasions!
6/12/06    John and Jim deliver 72 boxes of gourmet Christmas food from the Toorak Ecumenical Council.
12/12/06    John and Jim deliver a further 100 boxes of gourmet Christmas foods from the Toorak Ecumenical Council. As you can see from the photo, boxes covered every available space in the car, boot, and trailer!
13/12/06    Jim and Jean go to Foodbank and purchase and deliver another supply of pantry goods!
What would we do without volunteers?! We are very ready now to assist approximately 250 families and individuals over the next week with an extensive supply of beautiful foods and gifts that will bring some pleasure to people experiencing hard times this Christmas.
Thank you so much for this support. Have a safe and happy Christmas and New year!
Regards, Kathryn Shedden
Team Leader, Dixon House   

Golf Day - January 2006

Our 40th Annual Golf Day on the 30th of January 2006 was a great success. The day was held at the Spring Valley Golf Club, with 96 players teeing of at 12.30 pm and completing their rounds by about 5.30pm. The day started off with rain, but by after lunch the sun had come out and dried up the course for the golfers. Even with the early rain we were quite lucky with the weather, as we had just been through one of the hottest and humid January's for a long time. So getting a cool day was a blessing.


This year our raffle was used to buy wheelchairs for the "The Wheelchairs for Kids" program. Our goal on the day was to at least raise enough money to purchase 10 Wheelchairs and with the generosity of all the golfers, we were able to donate the $1,000 towards the purchase of the Wheelchairs.


A big special thank you goes out to all the sponsors, golfers and members who turned up and also help out on the day. We hope to see you all again next year for the 41st Annual Golf Day.

For more photos click here

Never Too Old for Christmas 2005

Never too old for Christmas was held on the 7th of December and approximately 120 guests from homes and private residents attended.  Once again the day went well with the new venue, the Bayview Conference Centre working well.  Thanks to Harald for being such a great Santa, to all the members and family who helped out, to the Rotaractors Sarah and Shonagh for their help and to DG Philip Hedley for pitching in.  Also, thanks to John Gesthuizen and the Wheeler’s Hill Primary School for entertainment.


For more photos click here

Official Opening of Heatherton Park - April 2005

This was a most unique community involvement project since the creation of the Friends of Heatherton Park and the partnership of Clayton Rotary Club with Kingston Council to turn a former 19.5 hectare municipal waste site into a passive recreation area with more to come from future development. On Saturday 9th of April 2005, the community celebrated the planting of 150 trees around the site with 12,800 ground cover plants to be added by April 2006. The partnership with the Rotary Club of Clayton resulted in the gifting of five park seats made completely from recycled materials. One seat contains 1,500 2-litre plastic milk bottles or 2 1/2 cubic metres of material that will not end up in landfill.

The landfill was closed in September 1984 and a "Parks' Consultative Group" formed under the previous City of Oakleigh resulted in the eastern section of the park becoming developed gradually over a period of time. In November 2000, former Oakleigh Councilor David Catchpool convened a meeting of local residents that was to become the Friends of Heatherton Park. Sale of a portion of the land by Kingston Council to the adjacent Spring Valley Golf Club for development of a driving range generated sufficient funding to allow the park to be upgraded to its current state. A large slice of that funding was use on careful preparation of earthworks followed by seeding with hard wearing turf (kikuyu grass) to bind the very thin fragile earth capping covering the landfill.

Other funds used was for the laying down of granitic sand walking trails extending approximately 1 kilometre over the park's surface, installation of the farm fence across the Heatherton Road frontage and the renovation of existing concrete paving trails. These works were carried out by Kingston Council contractors. To come is a toilet facility at the western end of the park together with construction of a regional playground. Farm gates will replace existing cyclone wire gates at the main entrance and at the first bend. Long term, it is envisaged that a wildlife habitat corridor will be established between Osborne Avenue and Heatherton Road via The Grange, Spring Valley Golf Club and Heatherton Park.

Added information about the history and the future plans for the site can be obtained from David Digby, Kingston Council Team Leader for Parks & Urban Design (8585 3352); Friends of Heatherton Park President David Catchpool (9547 4740) and Secretary Norm Bury (9546 2448).

Photo #1: Recycled Seating. Partnership with Rotary Club of Clayton resulted in the sitting of five seats made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles. Seated are Bill Sides of Clayton Rotary and Glenda Rose of Friends of Heatherton Park. Standing (l-r) are President Michael Ellinger of Clayton Rotary, Kingston Mayor Topsy Petchey and Clarinda Ward Cr Arthur Athanasopoulos.


Photo #2: One of 150 trees planted Saturday held by Norm Bury, Secretary of the Friends of Heatherton Park, assisted by Clarinda Ward Cr Arthur Athanasopoulos and Kingston Mayor Topsy Petchey wielding the commemorative Council Rates@Work shovel used on capital works ceremonial occasions.

Photos # 3 &4: The ceremonial plaque was unveiled at the entrance to the park located on the northern side of Heatherton Road, 100 meters west from Tootals Road traffic signals. The entrance is shared with the Spring Valley Golf Club. Pictured (l-r) are David Digby, Kingston Council Team Leader for Parks & Urban Design; David Catchpool, President of the Friends of Heatherton Park; Mayor Topsy Petchey and Clarinda Ward Cr Arthur Athanasopoulos holding the Council Rates@Work shovel used on capital works ceremonial occasions.


Blood Challenge - January 2005

Rotarian Neil Rickard (pictured above) from the Rotary Club of Clayton, achieved a milestone on Sunday the 30th of January 2005 by donating Blood for the 100th time. Congratulations Neil on a effort well done.

Community Trivia Challenge - October 2004

The Rotary Club of Clayton conducted its first Community Trivia Challenge on Saturday 16th October 2004 in the Oakleigh Hall.
Our quizmaster for the night was Trivia Night Fever.
More than 100 people attended and over $3100 was raised.
There were seven not for profit community groups from within the City of Monash who attended and they each benefited from the funds raised.
The Rotary Club of Clayton is confident that the challenge will be held again next year.
It proved to be a simple and fun method for the Club to assist smaller community groups with their fundraising.
Naturally many thanks are extended to the local businesses and sponsors who helped make the night such a success.