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About Mel Gray, Bearbrass President 2020-21


 I have a professional and volunteer background over a long period of time in leading teams and chairing committees which I trust will be beneficial to establishing the club and “getting it moving”. 

My wife Pam and I lived in Southbank from 2015 to 2019. For the past 12 months we lived in Lucca, Italy. We have always loved the Italian way of life, the climate and the sights. We thought that 12 months residing in Italy would give us a better understanding of Italy, than one gleans from merely being a tourist. We arrived back in Australia last Friday and are now locked-down in quarantine at a hotel in Docklands until April 25th. As part of our research for returning home, I became aware that the Bearbrass Probus club was forming. Pam and I both applied to join because we thought it would be a good way to reconnect into the local community and extend our social network.

My Objectives for Bearbrass

The purpose of a Probus club is to establish an environment for like-minded retirees to have fun, friendship and fellowship. In the current environment where most personal contact is prohibited, that purpose has become even more important. The prospect of people’s morale  deteriorating during an extended period of social isolation,  is very real.

The virus crisis presents an enormous challenge to Probus generally, but specifically to our fledgling Bearbrass club. However, it also provides us with a wonderful opportunity to develop new ways to have fun, friendship and fellowship, unconstrained by how things were done in the past.  It will be essential to engage with all members of the club, to understand what club activities they would like to undertake and how the club should operate. In this way we can have an active membership and grow the club in this period of social isolation. We will then be ready to emerge into the “new normal” post covid-19 world with a strong and vibrant membership, and people “beating down the doors” to join.

My Background

I worked in the IT industry for over 46 years, including  over 30 years as a management consultant with firms including Coopers and Lybrand (now PWC), Deloitte and Fujitsu. 

As a volunteer, I have been a committee member and office bearer in organisations including: social and sporting clubs, a primary school, a kindergarten, Owners Corporations and Rotary. In these committees I have had the role of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Board member at various and multiple times.

During my over 20 years in Rotary, I was President of the Rotary Club of Chadstone/East Malvern in 1999/2000 and again in 2011/2012. I was also acting President for 12 months at the Rotary Club of South Yarra. I was part of the District Leadership Team in Rotary District 9800 (comprising approximately 70 clubs) for seven years including key roles as an Assistant Governor, Chairperson of the District Membership committee and Chairperson of the District New Generations (Youth) committee. I was also a Board member for 2 years of the ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children) organisation, responsible for all clubs in Victoria and Tasmania. ROMAC provides surgical treatment in Australia and New Zealand, for children from developing countries in the Pacific Region, in the form of life saving and/or dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in their home country.

After moving from the family home to a 250 unit apartment block in Southbank in 2015, I joined the committee of management of the Owners Corporation and in 2018-19 was Chairperson.


I look forward to the opportunity of working with you all in the Bearbrass Probus club for the purposes of fun, friendship and fellowship.