Chris opened his address with thanks for thoughts and concerns since his wife, Wendy, passed away from Alzheimer’s.
With a focus on how things change—and don’t change—he recalled his earliest memory of being fascinated by a case moth. As a science teacher, his interest in science hasn’t changed. Living in Bundoran Pde he remembers his father using a wet sack to put out a grass fire. That area is now dense housing.
Hours riding bikes with mates, early morning paper rounds, cubs and scouts were highlights of his childhood.
Chris went to Camberwell Grammar School adding gymnastics, athletics, printing and drama to his skills along with being Captain of Games and House Captain. Printing the school newspaper involved roller ink over large plates of individual letter. Printing has changed.
On completing Matric Chris graduated from Melbourne University as a Science Teacher and taught for three years—compulsory but better than HECS—at Ararat High & Tech. At 25 years of age he married Wendy.
Buying a family home meant a mortgage of $14,500 at a fixed rate of 4% which turned out to be a good deal given the 18-19% interest rates of the Whitlam era.
Chris returned to Camberwell Grammar School as a Science teacher for 35 years.
He has three children, Lisa (teacher), David (pilot with Qantas and Emerates) and Kate (animal lover, dog groomer and amateur photographer).
Chris has a heart of gold; he cared for Wendy for some 15 years and volunteers with Fair Share Footscray, soup van kitchen in Collingwood, high rise Richmond building fit out and repair the Shepherds Arms Orphanage and BLAZEAID.
He also runs support sessions with Alzheimer’s Australia for families and friends; organizes get together meals and walks for carers and those with dementia; and officiates at fund raising fun runs.
- Rebecca Scott – STREAT Social Enterprise
Wed 11th Oct
Changing the World Through Social Enterprise Rebecca Scott is the co-founder and chief executive of STREAT, a social enterprise that operates cafés, coffee carts and a coffee roastery in Melbourne. Since launching STREAT in late 2008, Scott and her team have created eight businesses, helped more than 520 young people by providing over 50,000 hours of support and training, and served more than 1.5 million customers. In September, STREAT opened the doors of its most daring venture yet: a $6.5 million youth training and hospitality site in Cromwell Street, Collingwood boasting a 100 seat cafe, artisan bakery, state-of-the-art kitchen and coffee roastery plus spaces for events and community activities. The site was gifted to STREAT on a 50-year lease at $5 a year by STREAT supporter and Flight Centre co-founder, Geoff Harris, who purchased the property for $2.5 million in 2013. Not only will the new site help STREAT train 365 young people each year, it’s also opened up new opportunities for doing good in STREAT’s four key impact areas: People, Planet, Profit and Performance.
- One Family at a Time
Wed 4th Oct
Our dinner speaker Jenny Chalmers talked about how being touched by the generous and kind hearted nature of the Cambodian people, prompted her decision to register the charity One Family At A Time. One Family At A Time (a Registered Australian charity) focuses on supporting individuals, families and communities, in order to assist them to live the lives of their choosing and achieve their full potential. Their work in Cambodia aims to improve access to quality healthcare and education; providing safe, accessible and affordable housing and increasing opportunities for decent employment for adults. Rice Scholarship Program As many Cambodian families living in extreme poverty are forced to remove their children from school to work, the Rice Scholarship Program provides students with 10 kg of rice every month in return for them having outstanding school attendance. First 1000 Days Program This program invests in the ‘partnership’ between a mother and her child over the first 1000 days of a child's life, providing vital nutrients and keeping girls at school. Branching Out Program Branching out encourages families to grow Moringa trees which they purchase at fair trade prices. They also pay local labourers to plant the trees, thus creating local employment opportunities for several families. Coffee Club You can join this ‘club’ and donate the cost of one coffee per week (AUD$3.00) to fund building houses for families experiencing significant hardship, poverty and disadvantage. Small Business Loans Program The In-Country Liaison Manager works closely with families to assess their skills, experience and employment goals. One Family At A Time then matches donors with these families. So far, they have started male hairdressing salons, shops (selling preloved clothing and groceries), fishing business, motorcycle repair apprenticeship and business, chicken farm, sewing business and more. Branching Out growers are also small businesses set up via this program. Aspire Program The Aspire program is focused on educating girls in to the future. Aspire will focus on increasing educational, social, creative and sporting opportunities for girls so that girls can aspire to be their very best self. One Family At A Time
- Lesley Hoy – Behind the Badge
Tue 19th Sep
Lesley is a Kiwi, born in Wellington, to an engineer and a primary school teacher. Her family moved around to different towns in NZ about every five years. Not ideal, but she did learn to make friends quickly. Her childhood past times included water skiing, girl guides, swimming club, church youth group, snow skiing, mowing the garden’s lawn, net ball and a part-time job in a milk bar. Although best in class at French, the French prize went to the French teacher’s daughter which she feels was an injustice; an injustice that spurred her on later in her studies to excel. She did win the Science prize, one of the physical education prizes but got left off the prefect list in year 12. Another injustice. Lesley went to Medical School, worked hard and got straight As. Following residency at Auckland hospital she moved to Australia to work as a doctor at the Royal Brisbane Hospital for six months in paediatric casualty. This was followed by a stint as a GP in Broadmeadows. After marrying, she and her husband Wayne moved back to NZ for 11 years, adding two children to their family. In 2002 she sold her practice and the family returned to Australia. Unfortunately, the marriage broke down in 2014. She reflects on the years that followed as being very scary, very upsetting. With the best interests of the children at heart she and Wayne now have a good working relationship and the children spend week on / week off with each parent, freeing Lesley to spend more time with Rotary on her off week. Her son Elliot is studying law and her daughter Lucy is still at school. Besides practicing medicine Lesley likes to go camping, hanging out with friends, reading, drinking champagne, shopping and cruise ship travelling. She no longer skis, runs, lifts weights or goes to the gym. As a doctor making a difference to people’s lives is a source of great satisfaction, whether its nailing a diagnosis that rules out something nasty or working with the patient to make a plan of action.