Past President Adrian Nelson opened last week’s meeting; Rotary Melbourne Member Barbara Yerondais delivered the meeting reflection in a most pertinent way. The full meeting can be viewed by clicking here.
Rotary Melbourne member Jim Orchard gave an update on the 2023 Around the Bay bike ride, and updated us on the opportunity to be involved, as rider’s, volunteer marshals, and countless other roles as a fundraiser fot The Smith Family - Learning for Life Program. The event on Sunday 8 October is officially arranged by Bicycle Victoria. Rotary Melbourne is a long-standing supporter of this event, and is pleased that many other Rotary Clubs in Melbourne have been willing volunteers as well. Contact Jim if you’re interested in volunteering on the day.
Following Jim’s update, Allira, a student whose whole educational journey has been supported by The Smith Family came to the podium and gave an outstanding address, which left us collectively in no doubt about the importance of The Smith Family's work, and the impact it has on herself and the lives of thousands of other young people.
Philip Cornish, another active member of the Club’s Community Service Committee came to the podium with a request of members to recommend suitable candidates for the Sir John Reid Award Community Service Award. The Award is made in recognition of an individual judged to have been devoted to community welfare for a lengthy period without remuneration.
Rotary Melbourne member Kelton Dennis chaired the speaker session, capably introducing guest speaker Mr Keith Ryan. Executive Director – Victoria of the Housing Industry Association, speaking on the topic: "Will My Builder Finish My House? Yes, They Will, But Talk to Them". To view just this address click here.
Keith described how COVID lockdowns, work from home, escape to regions, and government stimulus led to increased demand for housing.
At the same time the ability of the housing industry to fulfil that demand was strictly restricted by limiting the number of workers allowed on sites, and constrained movement of workers between different sites during COVID.
The availability of building materials dried up, causing delays to completion of houses, and substantial price increases.
Now 2 years after the last lockdown, the impact on the industry is still continuing. Many owners are still waiting, and builders are still struggling to get enough skilled trades. They are suffering financial loss, and cash flow issues. But the builders keep going. They love to hand over a completed house to a happy client.
Keith's advice to clients: Continue to talk to your builder, but also listen and give a bit of understanding. They will respond and they will get the house done, and have that pleasure and joy of having a handover.