Club Meeting March 4 2020 In2Life


Faye was our charming Chairperson last week and the room was full with happy chatty Rotarians all pleased to be served coffee by Tony and Sossi. Faye invited Margaret M to give us Invocation and Helen to present the Loyal, Royal Toast. She welcomed Peter Nolan who has visited us many times and whose name has been put forward to become a member of our club. Faye also welcomed our guest speaker Tania Hutchinson, from 2life-Stride-Big Brother Big Sister. Grant chose Slovenia for us to visit and pay respects to a club there. Slovenia s located in Eastern Europe sharing borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia and a coast on the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia is not to be confused with Slovakia which is to the North East. The area is 20,300km2 (<1/3 Tasmania) with a population of 2,100,000. The capital is Ljubljana. The country has an interesting history. Human settlement of the present-day Slovenia dates to about 30,000 years ago. In 181BC Romans began to conquer Modern Slovenia. In 9AD the Roman conquest of Slovenia (Province of Pannonia was mostly completed). Slav migration from Central Europe occurred. In 745 the area becomes part of the Frankish Empire under the rule of King Charlemagne. The Ottoman invasion of Eastern Europe began in 1566 and in the years between the 15th and 17th centuries, Slovenia had been devastated by wars between the Ottoman and Habsburg Empires. Many towns were destroyed by raids by the Ottomans and never recovered. By 1593 the Habsburgs had restored the balance of power and brought the expansion of the Ottoman Empire to a halt. After WWl, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolve the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs was established. In 1918 the State of Slovenes, Crats and Serbs merged with Serbia becoming the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1929 it was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After WWll Slovenia was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 23rd December 1991 the Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia passed a new constitution which became the first Constitution of the now independent Republic of Slovenia. Slovenia was the most productive of the Yugoslavian republics accounting for one-fifth of its GDP and one-third of its exports. Skofia Loka was first mentioned in 973AD as Lonca and is 20km NW of Ljubljana. Skofja Loka lies at an elevation of 354m at the confluence of the Poljane Sora and the Selca Sora rivers. The town has a population of 12,000. Grant asked us to be upstanding to toast President Damjan Rotter and the members of the Rotary Club of Skofja Loka. The club sponsors an Interact club and a Rotaract Rotaract Club. The club belongs to District 1912 which includes Slovenia and Northern Macedonia. It meets at Kasca Inn, Mihelic Gallery on Thursdays at 7:00. Thank you Grant for choosing once again a country so far away and congratulations on your trying to pronounce unpronounceable words. You work so hard to find us places together with a fascinating history. It is a real learning experience and we truly thank you for this. Pres Geoff in greeting us this morning reiterated what he had written in his section of the Bulletin. He reminded us of the important Board Meeting in March and the discussion of the new format of the club constitution and new member application forms and market lease agreement. Members are welcome to attend. He concluded by mentioning how delighted he is with the general momentum and cooperation of the club. Tania Hutchinson began by explaining that usually she is the “behind-the scenes” person and does not usually do presentations. So.. We are very pleased that she could make it to tell us about In2Life-Stride-BigBrother-BigSister. Tania is a Bentleigh Person and has lived in the area for many years and is pleased to tell us that the offices are also situated in East Bentleigh. The three programs are a combination of organizations creating a youth collective who are passionate about breaking the cycle of youth disadvantage through prevention. The entities are In 2 life incorporating Stride programs and Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia. In 2 Life provides creative solutions and programs that improve the social and economic capabilities of at risk young people. Many years ago the organization known as Youth Connect (run by Danny Schwartz, past BMC member organized a program called Applied Learning Awards. These were only given to people in the area. It was a hand-on learning such as of trades and cooking and for students who were not recognized as much as students who were able to reach a high academic standard. The awards were generally given at a big function but was no longer viable and therefor no longer continued. The program then decided to hold the awards in the schools in front of the school’s communities and administration. Some of the schools where the impact became important were OLSH, Berendale School (caters for students with intellectual disabilities), Cheltenham Secondary College and Westall College. There is no discrimination between schools such as Berendale and Brighton Grammar where VCAL is not recognized. Tania gave beautiful examples where students acknowledged their appreciation to be able to find their right pathway. STRIDE was founded in1987. Stride delivers workshops in schools to primary and secondary aged students.  The workshops help students to make better choices and better resilience which enables the students to be more hopeful and confident and build higher self-worth when the times get tough and to be able to use language to express themselves. Stride programs aim to provide better life skills. Big Brothers Big Sisters is committed to helping young people to reach their potential through the power of long term mentoring. This program supports at risk children and young adults through evidence based on long term one to one mentoring. The mentors are matched to the children spend hours with their charges and note changes in confidence. Children can copy and learn from social situations and learn problem solving. Tania showed us a short video where a child from an extraordinary large family had dreamed to be able to have tertiary education such volunteers are needed for programs such as mock interviews and preparation for students from year 9 to year12 thereby often giving these students their first experience in job interviews. As a Rotary Club we at BMC have helped this youth collective on many occasions. We thank you Tania for your powerful impact on us this morning and we hope to continue in our support. We learnt that the mentors are most carefully chosen and ‘Working with Children” and “Crim Check” are part of the tools used to make the right important choices. Tania, we thank you for coming to us so early in the morning. Sue Reminded us that yet another stall for MS will take place at the market on Sunday 15th March and Jo reminded us that we need to pre-pay for our MS dinner by March 17th. There is no provision to pay on the night of March 19th. We saw amazing photos taken by our Exchange Student, Loretta, of he visits to Denmark. She is having a marvelous time her host country Finland, while Clemence has begun her stay with host parent Peter and Judy. Sergeant Tim held his fun and fines session by fining the Nurses in the club as he said it was the International Year of the Nurse and Mid-Wife. Another fine was for those who knew that there was a new braille $100 note. He also founded the “Compliment Day” Very nice and we did enjoy being complimented. The Bulletin Reporter, Zilla, too wished to compliment and thank Margaret and John for writing the reports in her absence. Pres. Geoff closed the meeting reminding us that ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD
Zilla (Bulletin Reporter)

(note, more pics on the website—Ed)

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