People with a purpose

Broadly Speaking 05 June 2018

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We had a good attendance at our meeting on Tuesday.   Without a Guest Speaker

for this week, we altered procedure a little and I set members a challenge.

I have two passions – music and a love of words – and during my term as President,

I have introduced a new, little used word each week.   To tie them all together, I wrote a short story and asked Rotarians to change the new words into words in more common usage and rewrite the story.   They were permitted to use their phones for translations, and some of the words had several meanings.   Unfortunately time didn't permit participants to rewrite the whole story but, with a lot of talking, shaking of heads and laughter, about a quarter of the story changed with some quite funny results.


For those who were not there, here are a couple of sentences which were included -see how you go.  'I am not trying to HORNSWOGGLE you'....  'I sometimes sit in my chair munching on a MERRYTHOUGHT, just LOLLYGAGging and dreaming that a young, drop-dead gorgeous young male would come by to EXOSCULATE me....'.


'I really wish that he would ABSQUATULATE  and leave me to my dreaming and to my great interest in CRYPTZOOLOGY'.


Absolutely nothing to do with Rotary, of course, but a bit of fun!!


A group of our Rotary ladies has become very interested in a possible new project for the Club and we have been in discussion regarding 'Fork in the Road'.    There are exciting possibilities attached to this and I have invited Rod Case to come to our meeting on Tuesday, 12th June, to tell you about it.   This is a project being run by Bendigonians for needy Bendigo residents across many areas of our society, ranging from homeless people and our refugee community through to young people who have been through the Justice Department.   I urge you to come along and hear more about this.  


Peter Hyett read to us a letter that he has received advising that the Rosie Batty Foundation is closed and the funds collected - $900,000  -will now be distributed.   You will remember that Rosie's son, Luke, was murdered by his father – he would now be 16 years old.  This is a tragic outcome of family violence and our Club supported an event at the Ulumbarra Theatre, organised by Rosalie Rogers, which enabled us to donate $20,000 to help in the fight to stop family violence. We did not donate to the Rosie Batty Foundation directly, but gave it to the Annie North Centre here in Bendigo.    Earlier this year I was privileged to see the results of that donation when I attended the opening the new Annie North Centre secure facility for women and children who have suffered from family violence.   I also received a copy of the letter and it is attached for your information.


Advance Notice – for your diaries.   I have received advice from Merlyn Quaife, one of Australia's best known Sopranos, and now a member of the Rotary Club of Bendigo South, that she will be giving a recital in the Bendigo Bank Theatre on 19th August.  She will be accompanied by flute and piano.    If you haven't heard Merlyn before, this will be an opportunity for you to hear this fine singer.




In keeping with today's activity the word of the week is 'Challenge' – and, linked

to that, the inspirational saying: 'Life is all about facing new challenges'.







Tuesday, 12th June  - our Guest Speaker will be Hearing Specialist, Dirk de Moore,

who will be introduced by Chairman, Graeme Clarke.   Our Sergeant will be Tabitha Abbott.    We will also hear from Rod Case who will tell us about Fork in the Road.



19th June -   And so our young exchange student, Laura Zeuner has come to the end of her time in Australia with us.    She will be our guest speaker today and share with us her wonderful Aussie adventure.     Joy Bruce will be Chairman and Tabitha Abbott is Sergeant.   

As well, we will have a speaker from the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show, an event which we proudly support.   


And – attached to this Fossicker is some information about Victor Saelens, a Rotary Exchange Student from France who has been hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Eaglehawk and Bendigo South.   Victor was co-opted to help the Bendigo Youth Choir learn how to pronounce French for their up-coming performance in Villers-Bretonneux in September of this year.  




And time as your President has also come.   This will be my last meeting

as your leader.    As with Laura, my year, too, has been a wonderful adventure and it is difficult to believe that it is over.



Sunday, 24th June, is our Changeover at Silks, Bendigo Racecourse.  12 noon for 12.30.   Invitations are now out and we look forward to welcoming you.



I have been asked to change the lovely Irish prayer with which I leave you and, with sincere apologies and fully aware that I shouldn't.....I have......... for this week only!

He is a farmer and I understand why he would want the wording changed.  



Until we meet again -


'May the rain fall softly upon your face – and the wind be always at your back'.


 President Valerie.


The Rotary Exchange Student program not only benefits the students who are involved.   It has benefits
for host families who take a student from another country into their home – and also for the clubs which
participate in the program.   The Rotary Club of Bendigo has been involved for many years and there have
been unexpected benefits to the community.     The Bendigo Youth Choir will be travelling to Villers-Bretonneux
in September of this year to perform ‘Peace – a Cantata for John Monash’ which has been composed by Dr.
David Kram, a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne and Kevin O’Flaherty.   The choir participated in
the Premiere of this work in Hamer Hall in September of last year, and Dr. Kram has invited them to
travel to France to sing with a 100 voice French children’s choir.  Consequently the work has been translated
into French and members of the choir have been relearning it.   Victor Saelens is a 17 year old Exchange Student
from France – who lives about one hour from Villers- Bretonneux – and has and is currently being hosted by the Rotary Clubs of Eaglehawk
and Bendigo South.  He was invited to help members of the choir with their French pronunciation.    He has been a willing,
very capable teacher who has made the language live for the young choristers. 
The Exchange Student Program is an opportunity for young people to develop personally as they live in another culture
for 12 months and all those who are eligible are invited to think seriously about becoming involved. 

Some months ago Rosie announced she would be stepping back from the Luke Batty Foundation. Tomorrow we are formally closing our doors and distributing the funds Rosie and her supporters worked so hard to raise in support of the victims of family violence.

We wanted you to be the first to know so that we can honour Luke together.

After years of her tireless campaigning and advocacy on behalf of victims, the Board accepted Rosie’s decision to step away from the intensity of the day-to-day commitments of the Foundation and immediately started work on ensuring Luke’s legacy would be continued through the wind up process.

After an independent sector-wide consultation with key experts across Australia and discussion with Rosie, we have identified a series of domestic and family violence response and primary prevention initiatives that will benefit from the nearly $900,000 the Foundation has raised.

There is a strong focus on children and young people, victim-survivor voices, respectful relationships education and a substantial contribution to programs in, and led by, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

The projects will be run by two organisations - Australia’s National Research Organisation For Women’s Safety (ANROWS) and Our Watch and will include:

  • an early intervention project to assist mothers and infants leaving domestic violence;
  • a psychotherapy project on reconnecting mothers with children following domestic violence;
  • respectful relationships education programs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children;
  • a project to strengthen capacity to prevent violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their children;
  • a project to ensure children exposed to violence at a young age are given the best possible chance for trauma recovery; and
  • a project that will work to put victim’s voices at the centre of policy, practice and research in family violence prevention.

You can view full details of the distribution and projects here.

Rosie has asked us to share this message with you:

When Luke was murdered there was an outpouring of support from people all over Australia. So I started the Luke Batty Foundation to ensure this support could be channelled somewhere useful. It is wonderful to see him honoured with these much-needed programs and his legacy respected.

While it has been a relief to move away from the day-to-day pressures of running a Foundation, I will continue to campaign for an end to family violence. I have continued working as the Chair of the Victorian Government’s Victim Survivors' Advisory Council and I am also considering what I might do next to make sure victims are heard and that family violence never falls into the shadows.

Luke would have been turning 16 years old on 20th June. I am so pleased that funds will be used to honour him with such great and desperately needed projects ahead of this difficult day.

Thank you to all of the Foundation’s supporters. Without you, Luke would not have been honoured like this and we would not have made such amazing progress in shining a light on family violence.

Let’s continue speaking out on behalf of victims.

- Rosie Batty

We have worked hard to ensure that Luke’s legacy will be respected and honoured through the distribution of funds collected in his name. We believe that these projects will have significant and sustained positive impacts in some of our most vulnerable communities and for victim-survivors, with a particular focus on children, whose voices are often not heard.

The Board is very grateful to transitional CEO Trish Mitra-Kahn for managing the wind up of the Foundation with probity and compassion. The Foundation has benefited enormously from her excellence in leading change management and strategic stewardship.

The Board extends our sincere and deep appreciation to Rosie Batty and all who have supported her. Rosie has irrevocably changed the way that Australia thinks and speaks about family violence and she has made our leaders listen. In the wake of Luke’s death, first as Australian of the Year and in partnership with the family violence sector Rosie travelled across our country speaking and listening to survivors, communities, sector workers and key influencers. She has inspired hundreds of thousands of others to have a voice and to speak out against violence.

The impact of Rosie’s work since Luke’s murder is immeasurable and we are a richer and more mature nation as a result of her tireless advocacy. We wish her well and thank her for everything she has given to the Foundation and to Australia.

In keeping with our legal commitments and to your privacy, your personal data will be deleted as the Foundation closes its doors.

Over the past 3 years many of you have connected with Rosie via the Never Alone campaign. Rosie wants to make sure that you are still able to send her a message and has established a new email address

Please keep in mind that whilst your journey is very important to Rosie it will be difficult for her to respond to everyone individually. 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit

The campaign to end violence is not over. But for now, goodbye. Thank you for everything.

Yours sincerely,

The Luke Batty Foundation Board and Staff




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