At Hawkesbury Probus Club care is taken to provide guest speakers for our monthly club meetings. Their subjects are varied and of considerable interest to members. In addition to the Guest Speaker there is usually a 5 or 10 minute speaker who is often a club member with an interesting story to tell.
Should any member or visitor have any suggestions of a possible speaker that information should be passed to the Programs Officer and Webmaster, Graham Wilcox firstname.lastname@example.org phone 0402 033 930.
Our club welcomes interest in our Guest Speaker program by other Probus clubs. Although our Guest Speakers' contact details are not listed below, we will supply them by email or text message only to interested clubs who may also want to hear them.
Coming Guest Speakers
Monday 16th December 2019
Lester Morris will present his story, The Life and Times of a Professional Actor/Singer/Stage Director. Lester has had a very long and impressive career in all these roles and will be well known to members who have seen him on television over the years.
Lester has presented his interesting story many times and has been referred to us as someone we will definitley want to hear.
Lester Vincent, another of our valued members has a very good story to tell. He will do that this month. The title of his talk sums up what he will talk to us about. It is “My 30 years in the Probation and Parole Service”
February's speaker will be David Stewart from Foodbank NSW. David spent 25 years working in the financial services with companies such as Perpetual, NAB and ANZ, where much of his experience was involved in talking to clients about their philanthropy. Whilst at ANZ he spent 10 years on the National Committee for their Staff Foundation (ANZ's principal way of community engagement for staff). Four years ago, he decided to work in the not-for-profit sector.
Prior to joining Foodbank David was the National Manager Fundraising at the Butterfly Foundation. His current role at Foodbank is to build relationships with their corporate and individual donors.
David’s talk will cover the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger in Australia and what Foodbank’s role is, trying to alleviate it.
Monday 16th March 2020
Our Guest Speaker for February will be Peter Plowman whose subject Voyage to Gallipoli is bound to interest all members. It is based on his book which tells the largely unknown story of the events around the Pacific Ocean in 1914 that delayed the departure of the first convoy to leave Australia in November that year. This ultimately resulted in those troops ending up being sent to Gallipoli.
Peter has had a fascinating life which has resulted in a amazting interest about vessels large and small on our oceans and rivers. He says he has been interested in passenger liners as long as he can remember. He was born and raised in Bermuda, but as his relatives lived in England, his family would visit there every two or three years, going by ship from New York to Southampton and back. He travelled on some of the greatest liners ever built, including (the original Queens) Elizabeth and Mary, Caronia, Mauretania and Ile de France. In 1965 he migrated to Australia, travelling from London by Orsova to Sydney. Since 1980 he has had over a dozen books published on various aspects of Australian maritime history.
Monday 20th April 2020
Monday 18th May 2020
There is more to William Bligh than conflict, mutiny and colonial rebellion. He sailed with Cook, Nelson and Flinders and was a friend of Joseph Banks. This maligned master mariner was a loving husband and father who cared about the health and welfare of the men under his command and the indigenous people he encountered.
Learn more of the true story of this colourful figure of our past through this presentation by Arthur Pearce from the National Matitime Museum.
The photo above show Arthur at the helm of the Nepean Belle
Narelle Norrie who is the Relationship Manager for the Home Doctor Service spoke on the subject of "13SICK", being this entity's phone number. This is a service providing after hours home visits by doctors for non-emergency medical problems. They operate under contract with the Government and the aim is to reduce the need for people to have to go to Emergency Clinics for treatment.
Nancy and Vince Cosgrove talked on their subject of "Off the Bucket List". A 2016 World War I western-front battlefields tour including commemorations services at Fromelles and Poziers - five great uncles' supreme sacrifice remembered. Their impressive presentation included many photos of the battlefields in France and Belgium where their family members had been buried as a result of First World War casualties.
Michelle Gosewinckel is a solicitor in the Hawkesbury law firm Turnbull Law (one of our club website supporters). She gave a talk on the very important subject of "Wills, Estates and Elder Abuse". Michelle has a particular concern with this because she has had many elderly clients who have have been badly treated by their own families. The welfare of elderly people includes such matters as the need for a Will and the dangers that can arise when a Power-of-Attorney is given. The response to her talk was so well received that Michelle has been invited to speak to the club again in 2018 on the subject of "Powers of Attorney".
Denis Smith enthralled our members with his subject, "Governor Arthur Phillip and the reason the First Fleet in 1788 was a success". His message was that the success of the colony was due to the careful planning of Arthur Phillip, our first governor. He also spoke about Matthew Flinders and the naming of Australia. Denis is a direct descendant of First Fleeters John Barrisford (a marine) and his wife Hannah.
Debbie Ward Harris's title for her talk was "Meditation". Each week involves teaches up to six meditation classes in Richmond and Dural plus volunteer work for the University of the Third Age (U3A). Debbie explained that meditation is a readily available tool to use for relieving stress, helping with anxiety and changing our thought patterns from negative to more positive thoughts.
Peter Webb gave an absorbing address about "Building the North West Rail Link". Peter represents Impregilo-Salini who were awarded a joint venture $340 million contract in December 2013. This contract involves building the four kilometre elevated sky-train between Bella Vista and Rouse Hill, including the 270-metre cable-stayed bridge over Windsor Road at Rouse Hill.
Our member Olga Dickinson shared with us the story of her career in British film and television. After leaving Drama School Olga started her career in a Repertory Theatre Company moving on to Stage Management at Granada Television for 20 years. During this time she worked on major drama series and the longest running soap in history. She finished her paid working career as Head of Performing Arts at Bolton Technical College in the north of England.
Our member John Butler told us about the coming 200th anniversary of St Matthew's Anglican Church, Windsor on Saturday 14th October 2017.
The book by Ian Jack and Jan Barkley-Jack entitled, St Matthews Windsor an Anglican Landmark celebrating 200 years was on sale at the meeting by courtesy of the Hawkesbury Historical Society.
Cassandra O'Connor represents the Lendlease and Bouygues Joint Venture on behalf of Roads and Maritime Services and Transurban. She spoke to us about NorthConnex, the $3 billion project being built to provide a nine kilometre underground motorway link between the M2 Hills Motorway at West Pennant Hills and the M1 Pacific Motorway at Wahroonga. We were advised that this tunnel, the longest in Australia will be opened to motorists in late 2019.
Greg Vincent from One Agency (one of the supporters of the Hawkesbury Probus Club website) addressed us on "The Pitfalls in Selling Your Property". Greg shared information that he has gathered in his twenty years in Hawkesbury real estate. This included general advice for vendors and purchasers and how to view the market appraisals given by various agents.
Noel Phelan from the Australian National Maritime Museum told us the full story of a very important event in Australia's wartime history. On the night of 31st May 1942 three Japanese midget submarines attacked Sydney Harbour.
The response last year to the talk by Michelle Gosewinckel from Turnbull Law was so strong that Michelle was invited to speak to the club again; this time on the subject of "Powers of Attorney".
In 1966, Australia and the US signed a treaty that allowed the establishment of a jointly run satellite tracking station, just south of Alice Springs. For more than forty years it operated in a shroud of secrecy and had been the target of much public and political controversy.
For the first time, a US high-tech spy who worked at Pine Gap for 18 years spoke out to give an insider’s account of what happens behind those locked gates in the middle of the Australian desert. David Rosenberg detailed his career with an American intelligence agency during a tumultuous period in history that covered the terms of three American Presidents, four Australian Prime Ministers, the end of the Cold War, a peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, two wars in Iraq, genocide in Rwanda, as well as the ‘War against Terror’ and the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear-armed nation. This was a fascinating glimpse inside the top-secret world of military surveillance.
Our guest speaker this month was Colette Kinsellay who is a Senior Education Officer with Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA). MDFA is the leading independent expert supporting those impacted by macular disease to live well on each step of their journey. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss in Australian’s over the age of 50. During the talk we learned about macular degeneration, its symptoms, treatment options, how we can reduce our risk and the importance of diet and lifestyle. An early diagnosis can help prevent unnecessary blindness.
Graham Wilcox told us the story in his book, The Struggle For Unity - A Story of the Federation of Australia. Graham explained that ten years ago he was writing the biography of his great-grandfather, Attorney-General of Queensland Sir Arthur Rutledge, when he discovered a story of vital historical importance which had been buried for 120 years.
During the late 1890s the Australian continent was destined to be occupied by three countries. By 1899 the Queensland government was urging Queenslanders to vote NO to federation. Two weeks before the vital Queensland referendum Rutledge managed, by a skilful manoeuvre, to turn North Queenslanders to such an extent that the whole colony swung to voting YES. This made Queensland part of Australia instead of being a separate country and as a result Australians today are able to live in a country on a continent with no international borders.
This month we had a very informative talk by CareFlight. Its mission is to save lives, speed recovery and serve the community by providing the highest standard of rapid response and critical care. CareFlight started as single helicopter operation in 1986.
CareFlight doctors and nurses now fly to and from destinations throughout Australia and beyond, on helicopters, aeroplanes and medi-jets.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Sweeney (Retired) addressed us on the subject of the Battle of the Coral Sea in 1942.
For a detailed introduction to Tom please go to Tom Sweeney
“The Search for the Morse Photo Albums”
The first railway bridge across the Hawkesbury River was the last link in the rail connection between the eastern mainland capitals, and a necessary pre-requisite to the federation of Australia. The bridge was built by American contractors who kept photographic and other records of their work, but at the end of the job they took them all home to the USA. In 2015 Bill Phippen tracked down these documents and photo albums in Kansas City, Missouri and the Library of Congress in Washington DC. A coalition of Sydney groups pooled a substantial amount of money to buy scans of the photos. Bill's presentation followed the search and illustrates the images and pages from the scrapbook from Missouri.
Club member Deirdre Dehn entertained us with the story of her singing careers.
In 1962 Deirdre sailed to London to establish her career. In 1967 after a very successful first career she returned to Australia for her second career, touring in Australia and New Zealand. Deirdre then joined the Sydney Opera Company and sang at the newly opened Sydney Opera House.
This photo is Deirdre in her heyday.