Club Meeting September 25 2019 Indigenous Programme


The meeting was held at Champagne Charlize on Centre Road Bentleigh.

The Chair was Alan Kempton who welcomed the guest speaker, Chris Mara (former member of RCBMC and now member at Beaumaris RC), Michael Bury (potential member) Lachlan Moran (son of member Tim Moran) and Fay Veitch from Mercy Ships.

President Geoff again welcomed Chris Mara, He then reminded members about the forthcoming Market Forum on 26 Sept at 6pm in Cilantro. Geoff then told members that he will report on the meeting that he and some Market committee members had with the CEO and Mayor of Glen Eira Council on 26 Sept. If there are issues that members wish to raise with the Board, they should go through Neville Kruss, the Club Secretary, who will include them in the Board meeting agenda.

Chris Mara then spoke about his involvement with the District Foundation indigenous Programme in Beaumaris Club. The 2 projects are:

The first is the Aboriginal Business project whereby Aboriginal farmers can make money as farmers by selling their produce. There are 2 farmers in South Australia (in Yorke Peninsula and the Riverland), who have access to the Central Market in Adelaide to sell their produce. Chris Mara’s previous occupation with Coles has also created an opening for Aboriginal farmers to sell some products through Coles.

There is also a “build up” process for these farmers to grow and sell “bush Food” but progress in this area is slow. His club raises money to assist in purchasing material.

The second is a project in collaboration with the Richmond Football Club whereby assistance is given to year 7 Aboriginal students in their transition to secondary school. There is a matching grant of AUD 35K to provide dormitory equipment for 20 students. This project has a big impact on a small number of people.

Another project Chris spoke about is the Arnheim Land Progress Association (ALPA) who operate General Stores in remote communities. There are 9 stores in remote communities, in Cape Yorke and Arnheim Land, which are involved. These stores employ approximately 1,100 Aboriginal people. Due to the remoteness of the area, it is expensive to engage tradespeople from Darwin to repair and maintain equipment. There is a project which offers local youth the opportunities to undertake apprenticeship programmes, (in equipment repair and maintenance) in Darwin with the hope that they will return to their communities to work.

Thank you Chris for sharing these project information with us.

Fay Veitch from Mercy Ships, who spoke to the club some weeks ago, was presented with a cheque of $2,000.00 by President Geoff.

The meeting closed after a session by the Sergeant

Margaret Mason

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