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Australian Rotary Health Districts of Australia





Chairman’s Report “If it ain’t broke ...” Australian Rotary Health is our oldest and largest Australian Rotary project, administered by our long-time CEO Joy Gillett and her small staff, and is consistently successful in its research funding. Gregory Ross

Change is an essential in life and ARH is continually evolving as it should. However, when everything is working as well as it is, I question strongly the change for change’s sake mentality. Recently a Rotarian expressed the view that all Australian Rotary projects could be bundled into one group and administered from a central body. Now in my sixth year on the Board of Australian Rotary Health and fully appreciating the requirements in successfully running such an organisation, I disagree with that view. As a research based Rotary project, ARH is unique and is administered accordingly. Thanks to the generosity of many Rotary Clubs, we have had a wonderful year. We have been able to fund more new researchers and, with support from the Federal Government, we continue to run an effective and uplifting indigenous health scholar program.

26th January, 2001 at Glenbrook: Paul Henningham, Joy Gillett, and Bob Aitken celebrating Paul’s 80th birthday.

‘We have lost one of the best and nicest human beings I have ever known ...’ Joy Gillett OAM ... CEO Australian Rotary Health

As Chairman, I thank all those Rotarians who value and support what we are doing in the area of mental illness prevention. You are our life blood. Our most important challenge is to enlist support from those clubs which don’t have Australian Rotary Health on their giving list. ARH has been funding research since the 1980’s and is our biggest and longest serving home-grown Australian Rotary project. In talking with many of the young researchers we are funding at Australian Rotary Health in 2019, they speak overwhelmingly with passion about their research and their desire to make a positive difference to the future health of Australians, and to people globally. In the coming year, our researchers will focus on important topics such as suicide prevention, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and perinatal mental health.

You have a nine member ARH Board which represents every Australian state and district. I thank each of them for the excellence of their work and for their commitment. Special congratulations to our Tasmanian Vice Chairman Kevin Shadbolt, whose great community work was recognised with an OAM in the recent Australia Day Honours List. Well done Kevin and Anne. Some decades ago I became a Benefactor for the Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s greatest international humanitarian arm. That’s something that needs to be encouraged more for Australian Rotary Health. Happily, John Anderson, an accountant from the Rotary Club of Croydon, rang me and said that following his advice a recently deceased client named Australian Rotary Health as one of five beneficiaries. Since the amount being divided was around $2 million, the $400,000 we received has helped ensure part of our research funding in 2020. Continued page 2

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •


Chairman’s Report

Continued from cover

John asked me, ‘Why don’t more Rotarian accountants, solicitors and financial advisers encourage those clients of theirs who want to give back to the Australian community, the chance to do so by including Australian Rotary Health as a beneficiary?’ Especially knowing that 100% of all monies donated will be spent on research. As I finish this newsletter article, CEO Joy has just told me that a Rotarian in Sydney has left ARH a little over a million dollars in his will. In 38 years, this is the first time we have had a million dollar bequest. That is the sort of generosity that will allow us to continue funding new research into mental illness and, in time, reduce the incidence of this wretched disability. Two months short of his 98th birthday, Paul Henningham passed away on 2nd December 2018. A truly great Rotarian, it was through Paul that a national Rotary magazine was established in 1965 and he served as Editor of Rotary Down Under until 1984. Paul achieved so many things in his lifetime, within Rotary and outside. We were friends and he was so pleased when I joined the ARH Board in 2013. To mark this new chapter he gave me one of his poems, written years earlier. Here it is:

THE MENTALLY ILL By Dr H. Paul Henningham OAM 16 February 1961 Tear aside this veil of darkness Dissipate this fog of fear Only friendship soothes their anguish Only knowledge makes it clear That the mind that walks in darkness Can be guided to the light And that help and understanding Give them courage for the fight To regain their independence And to face the world with pride And if, still, they lose their battle At least you’ll know you tried To succour them in travail And made a true attempt To show them love and kindness Instead of your contempt


The 2019 Facts Booklets are now available. If you would like a paper copy, please contact Australian Rotary Health staff at (02) 8837 1900 or To read online, visit: docs/a5_-_facts_book_2019_with_cover__fo The first pages are headed ABOUT US and give clear, easy to read information about ARH. Then follow details about our funding, our mental health and general research, and then our programs. I commend the Facts Booklets to you. What is it that people want most in their lives? To be happy, to be healthy, to be safe and to be loved are the four most popular responses I have found. Another answer that resonates is to have the freedom to decide what you want and then be able to live that. When advising my children about career choices, I said simply, ‘Find what you are passionate about and then follow that passion.’ Sadly, they are all performers. ☺

Wishing you good health.

Gregory Ross, Chairman

In Loving Memory of Paul Henningham Words by Australian Rotary Health CEO Joy Gillett OAM following the recent passing of former employer and friend Paul Henningham. “Paul was always the most considerate and kindest person I knew. Back 50 years ago when I was first employed at RDU, he joked that I was his “adopted daughter”. He was such an extraordinary person who genuinely cared about people and wanted the best for everyone. Nothing was too much trouble for him and I knew if I did ask for something, he would do everything in his power to make it happen. I will miss his best wishes on my birthday - which he delivered in person or by telephone every year. He was the best. I consider myself one of the luckiest people to have known, admired and loved him for so long. My thoughts are with Peggy and with Paul’s five sons and their families.”

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •


Rotarians Supporting ARH In March, Australian Rotary Health received a $1 million bequest from the Estate of the late Josephine Margaret Redfern and the late Ross Edward Redfern. Ross was an active member of the Rotary Club of Granville in NSW prior to his death in 2015. Josephine passed away in 2018. This money will be used to fund a perpetual scholarship in their name, to fund research into Dementia.

The late Ross Edward Redfern and Josephine Margaret Redfern

Terry Davies and Joy Gillett OAM met with the Executors of the Will.

Life is a Puzzle Catherine Eagleson, ARH District Representative from D 9780, has blown us away with her passion and dedication to fundraising for Australian Rotary Health mental health research. You may have heard of her creative fundraising projects ‘IgKNITe’ and her most recent endeavour ‘Puzzling for Mental Health,’ which also received mention in the media recently. Catherine has developed a range of original crosswords, codewords, cryptograms, trivia quizzes and sudoku puzzles, which are available on an online puzzle portal. She is encouraging anyone with an interest in puzzles to buy a subscription to support Australian Rotary Health. A 12-month puzzle subscription will cost

$100, with $20 donated to mental health research through ARH. Buy your subscription today at the Clue Detective Puzzles Online website:

“We all need to do our bit to Lift the Lid on Mental Illness.”

Wedding Bells Neville and Patti Parsons supported Australian Rotary Health (ARH) in a very unique way recently. Instead of gifts, they asked their wedding guests to donate to mental health research through ARH. With a very generous $6,000 donation to Australian Rotary Health, Neville and Patti have indicated they would like to support ARH Mental Health Research Grant recipient Dr Mark Larsen with his suicide prevention project at the Black Dog Institute. We congratulate Neville and Patti on their marriage and thank them for their support.

Dr Mark Larsen’s Mental Health Research Grant project is called: Optimising caring contact: Using text messages to support people after a suicide attempt.

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •



Rotarians Supporting ARH Former District 9810 ARH Committee Representative Ian Armstrong was presented as a Gold Companion by Chairman Gregory Ross at a Supporters event in Melbourne in February, for raising more than $10,000 for Australian Rotary Health. Here he is pictured with Greg and ARH PhD Scholars (L-R) Jason Palazzolo, Ali Kodsi, Lucy Marsh, Jacqueline Kuruppu and Katrina Streatfeild.

Researcher News Mental Health Research Grant awardee Associate Professor Anthony LaMontagne at Deakin University received funding from Australian Rotary Health from 2017-2018 to investigate employment outcomes following adolescent-onset mental illness in a longitudinal cohort of young Victorians.

• Women with endometriosis appear to be just as likely to have at least one child as those without the condition. They are also just as likely to have an unintended pregnancy and abortion. • Some women with endometriosis perceive their doctor to prioritise their fertility over other aspects of their care, including quality of life and symptom relief, without first consulting them.

Anthony found that young people with a history of depression:

• Are less likely to complete school than those who have never experienced depression. • Are less likely to be employed in their later 20s compared to those who have never experienced depression.

• Doctors do not feel they are adequately trained to understand and provide care for the psychosocial aspects of endometriosis; some do not believe it necessary for them to do so.

• Who are employed in their late 20s tend to be employed in lower quality jobs that may be harmful to their mental health.

• When there is a lack of medical knowledge available to guide a doctor to care for a woman with endometriosis, they may look for psychosomatic explanations (mental causes for biological problems). Women did not find this to be acceptable.

• Are more sensitive to adverse mental health impacts of poor working conditions, such as high job demands, low job control, and experiencing incivility or poor treatment at work.

• Women identified the need for doctors to listen to them and believe them as being central to healthcare that meets women’s needs and addresses the complexities of endometriosis.

Anthony believes that strategies for improving employment prospects and sustainability for young people with a history of depression should include consideration of psychosocial job quality—emphasizing, for examples, moderate levels of job demands, adequate job control, and prevention of exposure to incivility and bullying at work.

“Our research identified a need for doctors to be better supported to provide women with quality care for endometriosis, particularly for women who had tried available treatment options with little symptom relief,” Kate said.

“This can be used to inform both the


selection of jobs from the open employment market, as well as the design of jobs for people with a history of depression or other mental health problems, such as disability employment programs,” Anthony said.

Kate Young from Monash University was awarded an Ian Scott PhD Scholarship from 2014-2016 to learn more about the experiences of women with endometriosis and how clinicians respond to patients with this chronic inflammatory condition. During her PhD, Kate discovered that:

“We also identified a need for more research into the reproductive healthcare needs of women with endometriosis beyond the current focus on infertility.”

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •


Congratulations to Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Erin Hoare Saying that ARH Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient Dr Erin Hoare is talented is definitely an understatement! The professional netball and AFL star is not only proficient at sport, but has recently been awarded the prestigious 2019 Fullbright Scholarship for her excellence in research at the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University. Erin is looking forward to the next 12 months mapping diet and physical activity for mental health on an international scale as she undertakes her research in Boston, USA. Congratulations to Erin and we wish her all the best!

Familiar Faces Continuing on as Postdoctoral Fellows We are very happy to welcome back our three previous PhD Scholars Breanne Hobden, Katrina Prior and Louise Birrell, who are now receiving ARH funding as Postdoctoral Fellows. Colin Dodds Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient Breanne Hobden is now examining the comorbidity of mental health problems and alcohol and other drug use within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at the University of Newcastle NSW. Her previous Ian Scott PhD Scholarship (2015-2017) project looked at depression management for individuals with comorbid alcohol dependence. Royce Abbey Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient Katrina Prior previously investigated the relationship between

social phobia, depression and substance use disorders and the impact on treatment outcomes during her PhD in 2014-2017. Katrina is now looking at preventing the exacerbation of anxiety and alcohol use comorbidity through cognitive re-training at the University of Sydney, NSW. Louise Birrell was awarded a Bruce Edwards Postdoctoral Fellowship this year for ‘Mind Your Mate’ - an Online peer intervention to prevent mental health and substance use problems in adolescence. Louise was previously supported by the David Henning Memorial Fund (2014-2017) for her project: Untangling co-morbidity: substance use and mental health in young Australians. She will conduct her research at the University of Sydney, NSW.

Indigenous Health Scholar Spotlight: Gary Wallace Indigenous Health Scholar Gary Wallace is a descendant from the IMAN Nation mob within Queensland and is currently studying a Bachelor of Medicine. Gary’s desire to be a doctor commenced just before his mother passed away from multiple strokes at 15 years old. Today, he is pursuing his dream at Deakin University (VIC). Over the years, Gary has practiced as a lawyer, coached professionally and lectured, but his heart and mind has always focused on finding out various medical answers in order to help his mob. “As a Doctor and Lawyer I will do whatever I can on a political and medical level to improve the health and life expectancy of our mob compared to Non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Gary said. Gary hopes to specialise in Cardiology and set up his own fly in fly out medical service to the remote Indigenous communities.

Dr Breanne Hobden

Dr Katrina Prior

Dr Louise Birrell

Gary’s scholarship is sponsored by Ian & Claire Graham of the Rotary Club of Dingley Valley (VIC).

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •





APRIL 28 ROTARY RIDES CANBERRA FIVE PEAKS CHALLENGE Woden Rotary (ACT) are once again raising money for Australian Rotary Health research this year through the annual Five Peaks Challenge (or six peaks if you want to get technical). This is the 15th year they have hosted this event. MAY 3-5 2019 CHARITY CYCLE RIDE Building on the success of the 2018 inaugural Charity Cycle Ride, South Bunbury Rotary Club (WA)will be riding again this year to raise money for Australian Rotary Health’s Lift the Lid on Mental Illness campaign and other local beneficiaries. 2019-charity-cycle-ride/ MAY 25 – 26 BANISH THE BLACK DOG RIDE The Banish the Black Dog Charity Bike Ride is a relaxed cycling tour promoted by the Rotary Club of Townsville Central (QLD) to raise awareness of mental health issues in our community, and to raise funds to aid research into the causes and treatments of mental health disorders. The ride’s major donation recipient is Australian Rotary Health.

South Bunbury Rotary Fundraises For ARH The Rotary Club of South Bunbury (WA) recently sent a cheque of $18,305 to Australian Rotary Health, from the fundraising efforts of two events.

Club President Tony Critchley on the road.

In October 2018, the club hosted its Dirt N Dust Run, where participants spent 5 days driving their cars on some of the dirtiest roads around the country - having fun and raising money for charity.

In February this year, Club President Tony Critchley and Club member David Castro embarked on 1000km bike ride together, visiting as many Rotary Clubs as possible to raise money for ARH and Solaris Cancer Care. During a visit to the Rotary Club of Manjimup (WA), they were presented with a cheque for $3,855.

“This rally was without doubt the most fun way to raise money, and everyone gave generously,” said Club President Tony Critchley.

President Tony doesn’t look like he’s stopping his fundraising efforts anytime soon, with another bike 222km bike ride scheduled for May.

The next Dirt N Dust Run will be held this year on October 23-27.

We thank the Rotary Club of South Bunbury (WA) for their support.

OCTOBER 10 LIFT THE LID ON MENTAL ILLNESS Lift the Lid on Mental Illness is Australian Rotary Health’s National mental health research fundraising and awareness day. Rotary Clubs and workplaces across Australia can help Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by hosting a Hat Day event or collecting donations. OCTOBER 10 ARH GOLF DAY Join ARH at Camden Lakeside Golf Club (NSW) on World Mental Health Day to raise money for mental health research. Enquiries: Terry Davies - 0412 229 994 OCTOBER 23 - 27 DIRT N DUST 2019 RETURN OF THE DUSTER South Bunbury Rotary (WA) are hosting the Dirt N Dust Run in October this year to raise funds for mental health research. Each team will drive their car through some of the South-West and Mid-West dirtiest roads over 4 days. All teams are required to raise $2,000 or more. Are you up for the challenge?


Left: Winning Rotary team from the Rotary Club of Windsor: Rob Stalley, Rod Hartas, Paul Fraser and John Chapman. Right: Winning Team from Mainstream Electrical : Anthony Tobia, Anthony Skapetis, Beau Scott and Scott Simmons.

Golf Day at Twin Creeks On Tuesday March 12, the Rotary Club of Penrith Valley (NSW) held their annual charity golf day event at Twin Creeks Golf Club.

Congratulations to winning team Mainstream Electrical who took 1st place! And to the winning Rotary team from the Rotary Club of Windsor!

Over $33,000 was raised on the day, with half of it going to Australian Rotary Health for mental health research.

ARH Golf Day is on World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10 October) at Camden Lakeside Golf Course (NSW).

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •


Soggy Bottom Regatta Family Fun Day On March 3, the Rotary Club of Youngtown Tasmania put on its 3rd annual Soggy Bottom Regatta Family Fun Day event to raise money for Mental Health initiatives for Tasmanian youth, including research through Australian Rotary Health. With a gold coin donation, members of the community brought their own boats constructed of cardboard, ready to head out onto Waverley Park Lake for a race. The day was a lot of fun. We thank the Rotary Club of Youngtown Tasmania and their local community for their support. Find other Rotary sporting events at:

Walk for Mental Health It may have been cold and dreary on Sunday October 14, 2018, but that did not stop the Rotary Club of Mooloolaba (QLD) and their local community from going ahead with their annual Walk for Mental Health fundraising event. As always, the event drew in members of the public of all ages, who enthusiastically wore their eye-catching purple event shirts. Even pets got on board! The event raised $12,200, which was donated to Australian Rotary Health to fund mental health research. We are incredibly grateful for their dedication!

Australian Rotary Health • PO Box 3455 Parramatta NSW 2124 • Phone 02 8837 1900 •



Cumulative donations Gold Companions - $10,000 Loloma & Colin Puls Rotary Club of Horsham, Vic. Robert Hastwell Rotary Club of Adelaide, SA Ian Armstrong Rotary Club of Nunawading, Vic.

from September 2018 - February 2019

Robert & Rosemary Blenkiron Rotary Club of Barossa Valley, SA Diamond Friends - $2,500 Wally Cox Rotary Club of Penrith Valley, NSW Barry McConville Rotary Club of Picton, NSW

Companions - $5,000 Graeme Davies Rotary Club of Kincumber, NSW

Platinum Friends - $2,000 Gordon James McKern OAM Rotary Club of Eaglehawk, Vic


Rob Morrison No Club, SA Neal Fogarty Rotary Club of Orange North, NSW John Mudgway Rotary Club of Templestowe, Vic Therese Newell Rotary Club of Forbes Ipomoea, NSW Silver Friends - $1,000 Denise Schellbach


Rotary Club of Brisbane, Qld Sofia O’Donoughue Rotary Club of Holroyd, NSW Dorothy Dixon Rotary Club of Hurstville, NSW Greg Marlow e-Club of Outback Australia Narelle Wilson Rotary Club of Holroyd, NSW Lisa Lowcock Rotary Club of Essendon, Vic.


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Australian Rotary Health Autumn Update 2019