We had a wonderful meeting with the Melton RC last night. Vijay, John and Justine gave an amazing overview of the East Timor water tanks and WASH project. The Melton RC members hospitality was amazing and we had a good time sharing a meal and stories with all the members. We must do more of having meetings within our cluster RC and beyond.
Vijay Susarla, Justine Paragreen and John Walmsley with Chairman Dickson
Our guest speakers gave a  very inspiring presentation about
Timor Rotary Consortium (the following information is taken from District 9800 website)
Formed in 2017, the Timor Rotary Consortium is a collaboration of six District 9800 Rotary Clubs to implement a Global Grant for a Water and Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Project in the Baguia region of Timor Leste with the Rotary Club of Dili Lafaek acting as International Host.
The participating Rotary clubs were: Camberwell, Chadstone East Malvern, Hawthorn, Glenferrie, Malvern and Prahran, who together raised $72,000, which, with the addition of a Global Grant, District Grant and individual donations, grew to a total of $140,000. 
The project was to construct four school toilets and thirty-two 5,500-litre water tanks, including training for local villagers in construction techniques and the use of hand and power tools.  Over two years, four Rotary volunteer teams visited project sites.  During this time, a close relationship was developed with Ms Leopoldina Guterres, Principal of St Joseph's High School in Baguia and Director of eight Primary Schools in surrounding villages. An exceptional community leader, she has a close involvement with many volunteer organisations and was able to act as the Consortium's local Project Coordinator.   Her subsequent induction into the Rotary Passport Club of Melbourne has been very welcomed.
The construction of the last three toilet buildings, and installation of 20 water tanks with roof guttering and downpipes, was carried out completely by locals, using local materials and local skilled/semi-skilled labour.  This means they will be able to maintain the buildings and water tanks into the future whilst the Consortium will increasingly act as facilitators.
Through this project, good working relationships have been developed with principals and directors of primary and secondary schools, community leaders, the local Sub-District Administrator, and suppliers of building materials including the East Timor Roofing Company in Baucau (previously Rotary-owned, but now operated by the Don Bosco organisation).
With the completion of the Consortium's first project, on time and within budget, in June this year, it has been decided to form a new 2020 Timor Rotary Consortium, which will commence activity in Timor Leste in April/May 2021 and run until June 2023.(editor’s note: this project is ongoing and it is hoped it may be extended to basic library and sporting equipment in schools)
It is hoped that other Rotary Clubs will join the 2020 Consortium so that a similar sized project can be developed that will extend into the neighbouring region of Viqueque, as well as Baguia.
The focus will again be on providing water ranks, school toilets, Water and Santation & Hygiene training, but also including the provision of menstrual hygiene packs to encourage school attendance by female students.  
Other Rotary clubs (some of whom may not have had any previous international project experience) are invited to participate in this new entity, which is a registered project with Rotary Australia World Community Service (No. 8-2020-2021). It provides the opportunity for hands-on participation as a member of one of the volunteer teams that will visit project sites. 
Registration with Rotary Australia World Community Service enables tax deductible donations to be made directly to the project at https://donations.rawcs.com.au/8-2020-21  and also provides travel insurance for project volunteers.
This Timor Leste Water and Sanitation & Hygiene project contributes to international goodwill and understanding – participation from interested clubs is very welcome.
For more information, please contact: Project Manager John Walmsley on 0412 516 445, jjwalmsley@hotmail.com or Assistant Project Manager Vijay Susarla on 0410 619 323, susarla2008@gmail.com