Posted by Joan Robison on Jul 20, 2018
Along with about 20 other contributors, Past President Joan Robison received a Certificate of Appreciation at the opening ceremony for the YWCA Lakehouse on Friday 20th July, 2018. The official opening was performed by the Governor of Victoria,  Hon. Linda Dessau AC and Hon. Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability & Ageing (and also the local MP).  The work & contribution of our members in providing linen & towels (sourced from members, friends and Rotary Donations In Kind store),  welcome packs of toiletries and library books may seem relatively small (in dollar terms) compared to some of the building materials works & equipment provided by some corporate, the impact of such personal touches for the new residents is immeasurable and not to be overlooked or discounted .
Rotary Albert Park can stand tall & proud on this initiative, as we are fact the original instigators of this project and have achieved a ‘Melbourne first’.  Despite what the speeches said and the media is reporting (including YWCA saying South Melbourne rather than Albert Park), the true origins of this project started with a conversation between Rob Pradolin, a former member of Rotary Albert Park, and Past President David Gorman.  When Rob outlined his idea of ‘pop-up housing’ for the homeless, David who was a director of CaSPACare at the time, told him about Claremont Home being vacant.  Taking the ‘pop-up’ idea back to the CaSPACare board and gaining their support, the project was then handed over to the City of Port Phillip to handle the tender process for operational management. The rest of the story is in the following links:
Whilst the ‘Melbourne first pop-up facility’  is being much lauded in the media, another more significant ‘first’ has really been achieved – the bringing together of the whole cross-section of contributors: state & local governments, corporate and community service groups to solve a problem.
This is how Rotary’s best work is done – networking and bringing all the useful parties together. Being at the centre of the wheel and driving it to turn!