Nepal Build 2019 by Kerry Scarlett
Nepal was struck by a huge earthquake in 2015 which caused devastation, significant loss of life and over 800,000 homes were destroyed. In April I volunteered with my girlfriend to help these people put their lives back together and give families a real home and a new place to live by assisting with ongoing efforts as part of the earthquake reconstruction project in Kavre, in the Kathmandu Valley.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday April 25, 2015 caused considerable devastation and loss of life. It was followed by another magnitude 7.4 earthquake to the north east near Mount Everest on 12 May. According to the government of Nepal, more than 8,800 people were killed. The effect on housing was devastating, with more than 800,000 homes destroyed and damaged.
Since the earthquakes, the recovery process in Nepal has moved from the emergency phase to recovery and now, reconstruction. Despite challenges caused by political upheaval, fuel shortages and difficulties navigating the mountainous terrain, Habitat for Humanity has been able to undertake disaster recovery efforts to help families rebuild their homes and lives.
We were a part of a group of 30 volunteers from all over Australia and New Zealand and we kicked off with a visit to an incredible not for profit organisation called Seven Women which was in Kathmandu. Seven Women was founded by a young Melbourne woman Stephanie Woollard over 10 years ago when she was just 22 years of age. The organisation helps young women in need through training, scholarships and education. These women have been rescued from some of the most horrific conditions and they now have a chance to live a normal life through the help of Seven Women.
It was very emotional to hear some of their stories from human trafficking, arranged marriages at the age of 12 to being left on the street to survive. These women were inspirational, having suffered and conquered. Stephanie’s team is doing amazing work empowering women, making change and rescuing those in need and giving them hope. I had a strong urge to assist this organisation in the future and have a fundraising night organised at the club on November the 26th where Stephanie will be in attendance. I recommend reading her book with the title ‘From a tin shed to the United Nations. How every one of us can make a difference’ …
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We write in response to May Monash Bulletin put out by the City of Monash and distributed to all residents and businesses within this municipality, which included an article authored by Cr Lake.
Established almost 60 years ago, Mulgrave Country Club is a grass roots community club with over 6535 members. Our club is a fundamental part of the community, providing social, sporting and leisure infrastructure that keeps residents healthy, vital and connected. Our club is the conduit for people to socialise, exercise, communicate, participate and be involved on boards, in teams, in groups for dining, as volunteers and spectators. We offer squash, racquet ball, lawn bowls, indoors bowls and yoga onsite and off-site cricket, tennis and social golf. Even the Mayor is a current member of the Club and has participated in bowls play.
Our club is legally bound to provide for posterity and as a Club it is prohibited from distributing any income or assets to any individual. Our club is an investment in the community itself.
The Club acknowledges that gaming machines can cause harm to some users. In addition to all the statutory harm minimisation measures, such as RSG training, self-exclusion and voluntary pre-commitment, our Club takes a hands-on customer care based approach. Gambling is a legal activity and the last thing our Club wants is for our members and their guests to gamble in a way that does harm to themselves and others.
To compare a community Club like ours with Hotels is demonstrable of the lack of understanding of the author and is a deep insult to our Club. We believe our venue provides a far more protective environment than a pub venue.
Gaming machines are a lawful recreational activity enjoyed by many. It is demeaning for those opposed to gaming machines to judge those who enjoy playing them.
Around 35% of our revenue – being $3,616,730 per annum is returned to the State and Local Governments in the form of taxes and rates, which is then directed to schools, hospitals and other vital infrastructure. The Club spends around $4,400,000 per annum on wages and operating expenses, including using local suppliers who serve our club. These are real wages and dollars in the pockets of local families.
Anything that is left is returned to the community. Mulgrave Country Club’s 2019 audited accounts show the club:
• made cash donations to sporting clubs, schools and charities of $299,277
• returned over $330,000 to members through benefits, cash draws and other incentives;
• paid $3,616,730 in gaming tax to the State of Victoria – invested in schools and hospitals;
• paid $326,249 in rates, local taxes, utilities and insurance.
Our great club provides so much to the Monash community. As well as the cash contributions above, we provide subsidised or free access to our facilities and thousands of dollars in bistro vouchers each year to many fundraising groups.
Over the past 10 years Mulgrave Country Club has handed out $1,828,706 is cash sponsorships and donations.
Furthermore, it must be noted that although Cr Lake is concerned that our board is made up entirely of “old white men” it must be emphasised that composition of the board is a decision of the membership at large. For these men have been voted in by the membership. They should be applauded for putting up their hand and giving up of their time so freely. The assertions on the Board of Directors and the Mulgrave Country Club leadership structure does not take into account the three women who are all in executive leadership positions which includes the long serving General Manager.
We are immensely proud of our role as a vital hub within our local community. We are a not-forprofit enterprise and operate gaming machines to support our reason for being as a sporting, charitable, social and community-based club. Gaming is always secondary to what we as a community club offers our members and wider community.
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Our Pink Happy day is always a great success and this year was no exception. Although the weather started off a bit on the chilly side everyone seemed to enjoy the day. The bowlers raised $1700+ and the Mulgrave Country Club added more to round off the day with raising $4000.00. A big thanks to all bowlers and our parent club.
Jack Ross (Oakleigh Chargers Football Club) has been drafted to the Richmond Tigers at pick number 43 in the 2018 AFL National Draft. The 2018 Best and Fairest winner, Jack is a strong inside midfielder. Effective at clearances he uses the ball well by both hand and foot.
We thank the Mulgrave Country Club for their continued support of the Chargers program aiding us in developing young footballers like Jack across the inner east of Melbourne.
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