Posted by Ian Ballantine on Sep 30, 2020
What fun! How much fun was it on Wednesday September 31th evening, a glass or two of wine, 2 very enthusiastic and passionate Guest Speakers and many members with apologies from Peter L and John L. and appearances from Leonie R and Angie G. Welcome Terry! We have not seen Terry for a while as she has to work long hours from home and lives a long way from us. Pres. Geoff welcomed us all including Vishal, Angie and Leonie and Karin who at last has a camera and therefore can be seen.
He again felt that it has been a “funny” week that possibly gave us a chance to think things over. Praised those of us who attended the Strategic planning meeting and commented that sharing meetings can be entertaining.
Our Guests were Laura Astone and Justin Lawson from Malvern “Travel&Cruise” Glenferrie Rd Malvern. They told us that they were independently owned and having taken over an existing business affiliated with “Hello World” 10 years ago.  Laura told us that they were Client Centric and their aim was to keep clients happy with a strong family feeling.  Laura is Chief Consultant/Assistant Manager and Justin is Managing Director of their company. Together they showed amazing photographs of Australia to indicate that travel is definitely very much alive after COVID. They illustrated with passion and enthusiasm where we can go instead of longing to travel overseas we have great adventures here in our own country Overseas travel will be out of reach for some time but here Justin presented us with scenes in Australia where the sights are breathtaking, the accommodation is out-of-this world. “The Ghana” offers first class experiences while travelling by train from South Australia with stops on the way if we choose and final destination Darwin in the Northern Territory. The Indian Pacific offers a magnificent train ride through the Nullabor to Western Australia. Meals are included and there are choices of casual and comfort and choices of bunk or single beds. Justin included photographs of the Kimberley and between us becoming excited about mountain ranges, waterfalls, pristine rivers, water holes and lakes with amazing sunrises and sunsets over Broome or Uluru, joining a ride on a camel train, first class camping or more hotel-like accommodation, self-travel in compulsory 4wheel Drive vehicles or bus, helicopter or small ship travel! We then were shown by Laura a totally different aspect. We saw beautiful destinations on the Whitsunday islands, Whitehaven beach, Hamilton island, Hayman Island. She talked about places closer to home such as that beautiful townships of Aireys Inlet, Daylesford, the Hot Springs at Mornington and wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, Cradle Mountain in Tasmania where we could view the Aurora Australis (Southern Lights).   We, who are still at this stage in Lockdown we can but dream and think of our “Bucket Lists”. However, what marvelous adventures can be had at our “Door Step”. Thank you! Thank you Laura and Justin for giving such happiness with your amazing presentation, your enthusiasm and passion. We understand how difficult life and business is at present especially in Victoria so we all must keep in mind to try and “dip” our toes in the pools of Australian adventure. Thank you for coming and sharing with us!   Both Ian and Helen have been attending DG Alma fortnightly sessions for out District 9810 and are encouraging us to participate. Not only is DG Alma enthusiastic and engaging, she shares an amazing amount of Rotary knowledge and is a marvelous communicator and therefore her meetings are very informative and helpful. Our support would be most appreciated. It was with shock and concern that Tony R informed us of Tim L.’s accident has been knocked off his bike on the corner of Nepean Highway and Gardenvale Rd a few days ago. Goodness!!We hope you are recovering and getting over the shock and your injuries. We love you Tim! Terry told us of her lockdown at home with her 2 sons who are also working from home and a very belated birthday wish for your 60th birthday. We are all hoping for some kind of face-to-face meeting even though small and in a park really soon. Another dream! Helen is always coming up with really good ideas. Pres Geoff closed the meeting, thanking our speakers, thanking us and saying we were given something to think about. Have a good week and ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES.     ZILLA (Bulletin Reporter)