Club Meeting October 2 2019 Melbourne Indigenous Transition School


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It was a perfectly exquisite morning with blue sky and temperate weather as we gathered at Cilantro to be greeted with the wonderful aroma of coffee served by Tony and Sossi. Neville was our Chairperson. We had several visitors, Paul Barcham, Development Manager, Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS), Michael Bury, Intending new member, Clemence, French Exchange Student and Akshay Shipurkar from the Rotaract club of Panvel Mumbai India. After Invocation and the Loyal Royal Toast, we were to hear from Grant to learn about the Rotary Club of Kampala, Republic of Uganda. However, the overhead projector went on strike. Most disappointing but as he had done SO much preparation, a summary of the presentation will appear in this edition of the Bulletin. He will talk today the 8th October but this day is the all-important Holy Day of Atonement for the Jewish members and consequently will not be attending the meeting. We wish them “Well over the Fast”. The Rotary Club of Kampala has chartered an Interact Club as well as a Rotaract Club. Uganda is a country in East-Central Africa with borders of South Sudan. Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The southern part of the country includes a substantial portion of Lake Victoria. Human activity goes back at least 50,000 years or even perhaps 100,000 years! The Imperial British East Africa Company was formed as the administrator of British East Africa in 1888. In 1894 this company was found to ineffective and was dissolved and Uganda was declared a protectorate. Independence was gained on 9/10/ 1962 with Queen Elizabeth ll as Head of State and Head of Uganda. Uganda became a republic in October 1963 but maintained its membership in the Common wealth of Nations. The capital is Kampala. There are several projects that this club is involved with. The Sam F. Owori (RIPE) Memorial WASH Project which provides to four primary schools, two secondary schools and the community of Merikit.  The population of 4,000 increases to 10,000 during the day. The water is also supplied to Eco toilets to schools, market and health centers and trains teachers and health workers in sanitation, health and hygiene for girls. It also trains people to maintain and manage distribution system. The Sam F. Memorial Gift of Life Program provides cardiac surgery to over children born with heart complications within Uganda. The RC of Kampala started the construction of the Rotary Hospital, Mukono in 2014. The club organizes Family Health Days with Medical outreaches within the Mukono District. The program aim is to spread awareness about disease prevention within the community. The President is Hope Waira. The Club has 84 members. The District is 9211 and was chartered 20th May 20 May 1957 and meets at the Sheraton Hotel Thursday 12:30 pm. We send our best wishes to this busy club. Pres. Geoff welcomed our guests, talked of the Market Meeting held on Thursday 26th September. The meeting with the councilors of Glen Eira and the storage issue at the market due to the selling of the property on which our shed stood.  He acknowledged the service of the market committee and is of the need to making process easier. Paul Barcham, our Guest Speaker came to tell us about MITS (Melbourne Indigenous Transition School) and began by acknowledging the Boonurrung Nation on whose land we are meeting.  He continued by showing us a wonderful video showing us the importance of the children’s voice and how they enjoy the experience of coming together from Northern Territory and parts of Gippsland. They said it fills in the gaps and can stand in front of a class with confidence. For some children English is a second language and some can speak up to as many of 5 different indigenous dialects. The children live in a boarding homes, one for boys and one for girls in Richmond near St. Ignatius Church on Richmond Hill.  They learn techniques, gain confidence and most of all feel safe.  MITS talk to families in the communities to enable them to gain the confidence in allowing their kids to be able to have the same opportunities as non-indigenous in life and education. These children have extraordinary capability and potential that cannot be fulfilled in the Northern Territory.  The 27 children from various communities have 1 year at Year 7 level from the beginning of this year to the end of the same year and then move on to Partner Schools. The reading levels improve remarkably. Some of the Partner schools that accept these students are Brighton Grammar, Kingswood College, Methodist Ladies College and Preshil to name few. 60ks from Jabiru a town in Northern Territory, a Vetinary Professor is quoted as saying the children need to go to Melbourne to be able to walk in both worlds, therefore being able to live comfortably in multi cultures.  The transition year of school is held within the Richmond Football Club grounds and both the boarding houses are walking distance. The children go home for holidays and this eases the homesickness that occurs at first and retains the sense of connection   The children have a deep religious connection which is why there is a mixture of religious, independent and single gender schools. The selection is made from those with lower reading and math and non-verbal reasoning but are very bright and without opportunity to go to school, going to Melbourne they are able to learn to get on with one another, have schooling and the academics can see the enormous growth in learning. This is not easy for 12-13 year olds but there is 100% backing and mentoring. Paul talked of a boy who has a massive interest in horse mustering and a clear knowledge of the land. His aim is to be able to run a particular cattle station that is always run by white people but he needs to learn about book work and accounting and after his experience with MITS he is able to walk in both worlds and has a great chance to achieve his dream. Paul’s enthusiasm and obvious joy in what he does made us a captive audience made us aware of the achievements and some of the difficulties such as the accommodation, especially of Year8 girls and the gaining of government grants to continue financing this amazing school. He answered many questions and we gained a comprehensive insight of the work done by the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School. Thank you Paul for your interesting and knowledgeable presentation.  We wish Faye a speedy recovery from her back operation and hope to see her back strong and healthy. Sergeant Tim fined us as usual with his funny and clever judgements on us. Pres. Geoff in closing the meeting reminded us of the importance of education, wished the Jewish members a Happy New Year and Well over the Fast and hoped we would have a good week. ROTARY CONNECTS THE WORLD

ZILLA (BULLETIN REPORTER)

 

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