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Upcoming Speakers 2023

October: Eric Panther, who will speak on the topic,'Down Memory Lane'.

November: Snr Constable Brendan Gogarty will speak about staying safe in the home

Recent Past Speakers.


September: Bruce Knight J.P.

July: Annie Wysham  Poems 'n More

Annie provided us with a delightful hour of diverse poetry and prose. Her ability to take on the voices and mannerisms of the characters was impressive. We enjoyed the humour of Barry Humphries and Pam Ayres, the work of Banjo Paterson, Judith Wright and Henry Lawson, as well as some of Annie's own writing.


Kien Quoch shared his personal story of life in Australia after having arrived from Vietnam as a refugee.  His happy disposition and gratitude shone through as he entertained and informed our members of the difficulties he had to overcome in leaving his family to start a new life in Australia.


                                Kien chatting with member, Margot at morning tea


Author John Howell, discussed his book, The Only Woman at Gallipoli.  In November 1915, a woman appeared during the fighting and placed flowers on the grave of a Victorian Cross recipient.  She then disappeared.  John researched this story for five years to solve the mystery. He was an excellent speaker, and his story was of great interest to the group.  We still don't know, however, if the woman in question was Lilian, his wife or Gertrude, his lover!


Christine Pietsch, a midwife gave a very informed and dramatic presentation of her experiences and the changes she has seen in midwifery over many years.

March AGM 


We were greatly entertained by Professor Kate Burridge wordsmith and literacy expert. She spoke of the ways our language has changed over the centuries and continues to evolve.  Kate shared many interesting anecdotes and humorous examples to prove her case.  Members showed their interest with a wide range of questions which she was pleased to answer.


At our November meeting we were treated to a very entertaining and inspiring talk from Wanda Egerton who has been blind since birth.  She spoke of her childhood, work experiences and her family and the way she has overcome tdifficulties along the way.  She has given back to the community through her involvement with groups for those with a vision impairment helping them to achieve a fulfilling life.  


Penny Christie from EAST opened our eyes during her presentation at our October meeting, when she spoke about the role gambling plays in contemporary society. Penny was a most entertaining and informative speaker and there were many questions.  Of particular interest was the work that her group is doing in both primary and high schools to help students understand that gambling 'is not a fair playing field'.

At our September meeting, Jackson Parker from the Victorian Racing Club, spoke about the history of the Melbourne Cup 

In July we welcomed Neil Angus MP, the local member for Forest Hill.  Neil gave a revealing insight into his different responsibilities at both state and local levels.  We were most surprised at the diversity of challenges he faces when helping the members of the Forest Hill District and the use of his expertise in planning and financial roles on Government committees.  Neil proved an excellent and interesting speaker for an appreviative audience.

Chris Hodson from 1812 Drama Company entertained us with the history of the local Ferntree Gully theatre company.  He spoke about their work with different age groups, how they kept going throughout the pandemic and what the futire holds as they rehearse upcoming productions.  To conclude, Chris read a monologue he had written which focussed on the hilarious shortcomings of members of theatre audiences. 

Charlotte Sterrett, Riverkeeper of the Yarra River, spoke about her role as a caretaker f the Yarra River and the work being done to monitor and improve the water quality along its course from Warrandyte to the sea.

Heather Burge returned to continue the story of her travels through Iran, the Middle East and Europe as she cycled her way across the continent, mostly on her own to finally meet up with her daughters near the Eiffel Tower after 6 months.  Her enthusiasm was obvious as was her love and respect for the countries she visited and the wonderful hospitality of the people she met and stayed with along the way.

Sean Stanton from GAP, The Greyhound Adoption Program spoke passionately about the work being done to rehabilitate greyhounds once their racing days are over.  We enjoyed meeting his own dog, Marshall, who happily wandered around greeting members as we enjoyed Sean's talk.

Heather Burge took us on a trip with her as she spoke of the highlights of her travels when cycling the  Silk Road.  

Mandy Ginsburg from the Embroiderers' Guild shared her lifelong love of the craft, bringing along superb examples of her skills and sharing the story behind some of her favourite pieces.  We were amazed by the creativity and artistic skill behind her work.

Anne Catchpole  from Cottage by the Sea talked about the new renovations and their continued work in helping children to enjoy a holiday at the seaside. The craft ladies presented a very generous donation of knitted goods for the visiting children.