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Diana Crossan, CEO, Wellington Free Ambulance

Diana Crossan, CEO Wellington Free Ambulance, 5 May 2015For our meeting on 5 May 2015, we had the pleasure of hearing from a very accomplished speaker, Diana Crossan. Diana was appointed the Chief Executive of Wellington Free Ambulance in February 2013. She accepted the challenge to speak on the following:

In recent times the subject of the Wellington Free Ambulance being a "standalone" service has arisen - and to put some context to that comment we have several members who have been involved with emergency services over time. In this age of consolidation, economies of scale, shared use of technology, Government funding and the like - the question has been asked "Why is there not one Ambulance Service in NZ and why is it not nationalised?"

The Wellington Free Ambulance is a charitable organisation that provides free to the patient emergency ambulance paramedic services in the greater Wellington and Wairarapa region. Such services are not provided free elsewhere in New Zealand. Diana explained about the significant history of the Wellington Free Ambulance that was established in 1927 by the Mayor of Wellington, Sir Charles Norwood. He saw an injured man lying on the road and no hospital ambulance was available.

The service paramedics provide 24x7 response to emergencies. They work closely with other emergency care providers including the Westpac Rescue Helicopter where paramedics provide care on each flight. Diana Crossan, WFA and Keith Wray, 5 May 2015Diana shared her early experience with learning about the Ambulance service through sitting next to the call centre operators as they helped distraught callers seeking urgent help; and she travelled with the ambulance crew – at one stage, she had to assist with providing CPR to a patient that impressed on her how valuable it is to learn CPR. This training is available to the community.

Tawa Rotary has previously donated funds as part of a combined Wellington Rotary effort towards an ambulance. The ambulance chassis have limited wear and Wellington Free Ambulance is looking for further support to buy another chassis for the fleet. Keith Wray thanked Diana for her excellent talk and the service that the Wellington Free Ambulance provides in our region. 


Russell Smith, 5 May 2015Russell Smith shared his international experiences as a Rotarian working on community projects in Tonga that had been initiated by former Tawa Rotarian, Ray Harriss. While there helping with a painting project, he recollected an unexpected invitation to play at a tennis tournament to help locals prepare for international competition. Russell’s description of the Rotarian experiences conveyed the evident value with being there and making a difference.




The role of bacteria – Catherine Plunkett, Malaghan Institute

Guest speaker for 12 May 2015 - Catherine Plunkett, a former Tawa College student, is now in her final year as a PhD student at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. As our guest speaker, Catherine will talk on: “In sickness and health: The role of bacteria in immune development and inflammation.”

She will present an overview on the work that is being done in the field of immune-bacteria interactions and will touch on some of the results from her thesis. Catherine will also briefly cover other projects being carried out at the Malaghan Institute.

Catherine’s research focuses is on intestinal immunity and gut health. She has been conducting research into the interactions that occur between the immune system and the bacteria in the intestine. In particular, how specific immune-bacteria interactions are involved in limiting intestinal inflammation similar to inflammatory bowel disease.

We look forward to hearing from Catherine as another of our "Tawa Stars" we have had as guest speakers such as former Mayor Kerry Prendergast, John Langham, Cassandra Shih who have lived and been educated in Tawa.

Upcoming events




12 May

Catherine Plunkett - Scientist, Malaghan Institute

Denise Garcia

19 May

David Corner - Self Advocacy Adviser, IHC

Malcolm Andrews
23 May

Key of Friendship Dinner

Ngaire Best
24 May

Hats & High Tea Event

Irene Corpuz
26 May

Forum & District Presentation

President Martin
2 June

Book Fair Setting Up

Ken Pearson


Fundraising event – Hats & High Tea

Members are encouraged to spread the news about the Hats & High Tea event – a fundraiser for the charity, Dress for Success. This event is being held on 24 May at Linden Community Centre. Posters are displayed throughout the Tawa retail area and promotion has also been through the Tawa Rotary website and Facebook, and Neighbourly.

Cancer Awareness Public Evening, Karori

The next big event that Karori Rotary has coming up, on Thursday 14 May – a Cancer Awareness Education public evening at the Karori Baptist Church, Marsden Village Karori. Top surgeons have been invited to speak on trends and treatment of Prostate, Bowel and Melanoma cancers, big issues at the moment.

This is a Rotary initiative, coordinated by me, with the support of the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society and the ANZ Bank.

Hopefully, you may be free that evening to join us in Karori that evening. We are spreading the message widely to attract as much support from our various communities to come to this event.

David Watt

Past District Governor 9940

Rotary International - Relief for Nepal

From RI President, Gary C.K. Huang:

Relief in NepalDear Rotarian,

We express our profound sadness and extend our sympathies to all those affected by the devastation resulting from the 25 April deadly earthquake in Nepal. Rescue missions and emergency aid continue to arrive in Nepal for the 8 million people impacted by the massive 7.8 magnitude quake.

As we mourn the thousands of lost lives, Rotary joins many international agencies in providing immediate relief to survivors and mobilizing our expertise to support long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

How to help:

  • District 3292, Nepal, has established a disaster relief fund to provide needed equipment and supplies to affected communities. Contact District Governor Kumar Piya for information about contributing to the fund.
  • Rotary’s service partner ShelterBox is working closely with Nepali Rotarians to coordinate immediate relief efforts. On Monday, 27 April, and Wednesday, 29 April, Rotarians greeted ShelterBox response teams in Nepal who will mobilize temporary housing and relief efforts. An initial 1,000 housing tents and 1,000 shelter kits will be distributed throughout affected communities. Two more ShelterBox relief teams and additional kits are ready to be deployed once further assessments are complete. Learn more about supporting ShelterBox’s relief efforts.
  • As with all disasters, the Rotary family may apply for global grants to support long-term recovery efforts in Nepal. Once immediate health, safety, and relief efforts have been addressed, work with local Nepali Rotary members and their international partners to develop projects within Rotary’s six areas of focus.

Monitor the announcements section of My Rotary for more information as it becomes available and do not hesitate to contact with any questions.

Our thoughts are with our Nepali neighbors during this difficult time. Thank you for continuing to Light Up Rotary through your compassion and generosity.

Yours in Rotary,

Gary C.K. Huang
President, Rotary International 2014-15

Bulletin 10 May 2015

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