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President Thaya's Message

22 September 2021




My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

It is with great joy and pleasure; we welcome all our new members to our Rotary Club of Strathfield. Last Wednesday, 15th September, we inducted five new members. This was a great occasion for both the new members and our club as we reached the magical milestone of 50 members, in the presence of our DG Jeremy Wright AM who
had graciously agreed to conduct the inductions.

Thank you everyone for your contribution and participation. As the meeting was online, the actual "pinning" will be conducted once our "In-Person" meetings resume.

Rotary is not a political organization, but all Rotarians are vitally concerned with everything pertaining to good citizenship. It is neither a religious organization, but it is built on those eternal principles that have served as the moral compass for people throughout the ages.

We are not a charitable organisation, but our activities exemplify the service and sacrifices that one should expect from people who believe that they have a responsibility to help others.

Rotary is an organisation of business and professional people pledged to uphold the highest professional standards.

Rotarians believe that worldwide fellowship and international peace can be achieved when business people and professionals unite under the banner of service. We have all been chosen at one time or the other for membership of this very fine institution, The Rotary Club of STRATHFIELD because our introducers - LIKE MY GOOD FRIEND, PAST PRESIDENT ARIE PAPPAS, WHO INTRODUCED ME TO THIS CLUB - believed in us to manifest those qualities of head and heart that fit us to interpret and impart the message of Rotary. They relied upon us to carry the principles and ideals of service that they inspired to those who shared our professional activity.

I would like to give below a brief about our new members which was prepared by our outstanding Club Service Director PP Arie Pappas:

Harpreet Bhatia - Introduced by Nella Hall
Harpreet Bhatia has been a resident of Strathfield since 2007 and holds a Masters degree in computer science. Harpreet currently works for various government and private clients in providing them with expertise in IT systems. Harpreet is an IT architect by profession and has been in the IT industry for more than 15 years. He has a lot of interests in his local community and takes a keen interest in making life better for everyday living. Harpreet lives with his wife and 2 kids and likes to travel when possible around Australia. His recent travel just before the lockdown was towards the Dubbo region.

Robert Jordan - Introduced by Arie Pappas
Robert Jordan who is usually referred to as Bob was educated at Haberfield Primary (along with David Croft) and Newington College (Senior School) Bob then went on to study pharmacy at Sydney University. In January 1962, two days after marrying Diane, who was also a pharmacist, they sailed to London where we both worked in London pharmacies and also toured the UK and Europe - returned to Sydney in May 1963.
Owned a pharmacy at Kingsgrove and then Dural from 1964 to 2003. Did locum pharmacy work until retirement in 2010. Bob retired to care for his beloved wife Diane who was then diagnosed and ultimately taken by ovarian cancer. Bob is a Community Ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia. Bob has two children - Tracey a lawyer and David a barrister. He has six grandchildren who are the apple of his eye. Bob is interested in and played many sports including cricket, rugby, golf, tennis, soccer and squash. Like many of our current and past members, Bob was an Alderman at
Strathfield Council. He was a former Member of Strathfield Rotary between 1978-1985. Since retiring, Bob works three days a week in the Archives Department at Newington College.

Anita Sajo - Introduced by Arie Pappas
Anita is a technology enthusiast and an aspiring social entrepreneur hailing from Kerala, better known globally as God's own country. On the professional front, after pursuing a degree in Management, Anita has been working on delivering technology outcomes for her clients. After about 10 years of IT services and strategy in India and
delivering some fantastic programmes for the Government of Kerala, Royal Netherlands Embassy, World Bank, etc., she moved to Australia in 2015 on a work permit. One of her first assignments in Australia was to provide technology consulting to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their big data initiatives and has been continuing with them on various technology roles ever since. She was joined in 2016 by her young children, Ardra, then aged 5 and Aditya, aged 8, while her spouse Sajo shuttled
between India and Australia for his work. Her husband, Sajo, is an Advertising and Marketing professional who has been running his own venture in Kerala and heading the communications for an UK-based engineering firm. Being a resident of Homebush, her children attend the local public schools and have been part of the Strathfield-Homebush community ever since. Seeing her children thrive and embrace Australia as their home, she embarked on a pathway to Permanent Residency having become a Permanent Resident in May this year! With this caveat having been met, she is now fully engrossed in working on her area of passion, which is to give back to the community through social endeavours that make an impact. It is with this aspiration that she has sought out voluntary organizations which support underprivileged individuals and try to make a difference through volunteering. She has been associated with two Australian NFPs - Purpose and Growth and Opportunities Australia since 2020. She is keen to be further embedded in philanthropic ventures in Australia that drive global outcomes and hence the initiative to join the RC of Strathfield.

Joanne Baldwin - Introduced by Alexey Prokopenko
A dual-qualified (the UK and New South Wales, Australia) solicitor with 9 years of experience in Australian Immigration Law and 8 years of experience in UK Commercial Property Law. Also, a Registered Migration Agent and currently specialising in corporate and skilled migration in Sydney, Australia. Joanne is passionate about JCI and has been involved with JCI in both Australia and the UK. JCI has given her so much confidence in herself and so many opportunities - to organise nationwide events, to improve her debating and public speaking skills, to people-manage, to run a growing organisation in a democratic manner - dealing with the finances, admin, marketing, etc.

Rodney Ormes - Introduced by Arie Pappas
Our next member to be introduced is Rodney John Ormes. Rod's membership represents our 50th major milestone for our club. Rod proudly claims that he has lived in the same postcode his entire life 2118 (Carlingford)! Rod is 51 years of age, happily married to Merrilyn; they have twin 19-year-old daughters, Emily and Katelyn. Rod left school at the ripe old age of 15, completed an engineering apprenticeship with Dairy Farmers before joining NSW Police at 19.5 years of age.
Rod has been a NSW Police Officer for 31 years and currently holds the rank of Chief Inspector. He has worked in many areas of NSW Police, with a large portion of service on the front line in Western Sydney Commands. Rod tells me he has seen the absolute best in people and witnessed and commanded many challenging serious events, many of which you may have seen as the lead stories on the nightly news bulletins.
Rod's family is the most important aspect of his life. He is a family man who loves travelling, creating memories and sharing experiences with his wife and girls, and no doubt one day their families. Rod loves the garden, outdoor life, and doing unplanned acts of goodness and kindness to those in need. This is underpinned by his Christian beliefs. Merilyn is the Director of Curriculum, Primary Years Programming at the Trinity Grammar Junior School, Summer Hill. Merilyn has been employed with Trinity for 20 years. Emily and Katelyn have been students at Meriden since year 3 and are now following their mum's footsteps in studying the role of teaching at the University of Notre Dame and Sydney University. Rod is known to numerous members of this club through his association with the Meriden School.


Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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