People with a purpose

Broadly Speaking 17 October 2017

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We had a very intimate meeting at the Bendigo Club on Tuesday.    The large room which we usually use was gaily decorated with festive balloons for a House Dinner for Girton Grammar School students - and we were moved to a room at the back.


We welcomed several Partners and our Guest Speaker was Michele Woonacott.  A very fluent and knowledgeable speaker, Michele is the Vice Consul for Political and Economic Affairs at the US Consulate General in Melbourne.

Previously she was a Consular Officer at the US Embassy in the Dominican Republic.   She speaks fluent German and Spanish as well as English – and she told us she is working on her 'Australian'.  She is a recognised leader in economic development and public policy, having spent more than 15 years working in these fields in her home state of California. Amongst a long list of accomplishments, she was selected to participate in a prestigious one-year fellowship program in Germany sponsored by the Robert Bosch Foundation.   During that time, she worked in Munich for Invest in Bavaria  and for Infineon Technologies, a major semiconductor manufactor.   She spoke to us about women in business on the eve of Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place in November.  She highlighted US Government programs and partnerships that support women's economic empowerment around the world, and explained why the US Government is committed to helping women prosper:  because when women succeed, economies grow, and this in turn helps to increase peace, security and stability.  The US and India will co-host the 8th Annual

Global Economic Summit in Hyderabad, on the 28th – 30th November.   The summit's theme this year is ;'Women First, Prosperity for All'.

And – if all of that is not enough – Michele is proud mum to a very energetic 4-year old son.    She is quite a lady!


Our thoughts are with member Libby Hughes.   Her father passed away in his sleep on Sunday night and she is flying to the UK to be with her family at this sad time.

We welcomed home Lin Kalms,returning after flying to Sweden to be with her son who had been involved in an accident.


My box of used stamps is nearly full.   Thank you John Flood – your contribution

really topped it up.   Are you collecting stamps?  Please pick up  your box and get your friends and neighbours to save their stamps for you.  Lisa Pearson is collecting these to raise funds to help rid Australia of Trachoma by the year 2020.

Lisa is currently out of action, but she will soon be back with us.


At 4.00 am on Thursday our first members of our working party fly to Samoa to assist with projects there. The second team will join them the following week.   We have had a long association with the Samoan people and have developed close ties.   This visit will enable members to catch up with Norma who spent 12 weeks with us earlier this year.   We wish them a safe and fruitful journey.


The Sri Lankan Garden Party which Tilaka deZilva had organised for 29th October has, unfortunately, been postponed.   If you have purchased tickets, please contact Rosalie Rogers who will organise the return of your money.      


Our VOPA Project has begun!   For 5 years we have been lobbying for a Feasibility Study to assess whether our belief that an outdoor stage for performing arts is necessary in Bendigo is viable – and if it is, where should it be placed to best serve potential users and the community.   47 years experience in presenting the Carols by Candlelight has convinced us that we do need such a facility and, in our opinion, the best place would be Rosalind Park.   However, several other sites have been suggested.   We have had our first meeting with Bernie O'Sullivan and Officers of the City of Greater Bendigo and a Working Party has been formed. We have a calendar of meetings at 3-weekly intervals until the Study is commenced.   We are definitely on our way and I will keep you informed of progress.


Word of the week was – homonym – two or more words with the same spelling or pronunciation but with different meanings and origin.   Strangely no winner!



Calendar of Events:


October 24th -  Emma Grant will be our Guest Speaker.  Her topic is Womens Football.   Come and hear about this fast-growing sport. 


October 31st -  Margot Falconer will speak to us about horse racing in Bendigo and the Bendigo Cup.


November 7th -  Bryan McMahon's famous Melbourne Cup Call and Sweeps.  Come dressed to impress – or at least wear a fashionable hat!!


November 14th -  We will welcome Ben Murphy, Kilmore Racing/Bendigo Club CEO as our Guest Speaker.   Ben has been our Guest Speaker previously and we have invited him back to give us an update.  



Are you rostered on for duty?



Michele said that her train trip to Bendigo was beautiful – the countryside is blossoming with Spring growth – as are all our gardens.   I love Spring – it is so full of new life and hope. 



Until next Tuesday, ' may the sun shine warm upon your face and the wind be always at your back'.




President Valerie.  

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