President’s Report


Cordell Short
Welcome to The Probus Club of North Balwyn Inc.  A0016781Z website, you are encouraged to visit the various pages within. Should you find an interesting topic please use our Contact Us page for further information on any topic that might be of interest.

You are also warmly invited to come to any one of our MONTHLY GENERAL MEETINGS at the Greythorn Community Centre, 2 Centreway, North Balwyn, with ample parking onsite, commencing post-Covid restrictions from 11th May, held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, 10.00am – 12.00pm, and afterwards for a casual lunch get-together at the Kew Golf Club.


We also extend a warm welcome to attend any of our SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS, (SIG’s), noted on the Website which can be facilitated by calling the respective coordinators. The SIG’s give a special dimension to membership.

We also regard the SIG’s as a wonderful opportunity for non-members to become acquainted with the activities, substance, and benefits of becoming a member.

We are always keen to attract new members to maintain the Club’s ongoing strength and vitality going forward into the future.

Our commitment, – “You will be a stranger but once”.


RETURN TO FACE-TO-FACE MEETINGS, (assuming no reintroduction of Covid restrictions): The Committee is pleased to confirm the following arrangements

Annual Changeover Lunch   –  Tuesday 13th April 2021 at 12 Noon for 12.20pm (members and partners – see newsletter for details)

Monthly General Meetings    –  Commencing Tuesday 11th May 2021 at 10.00am

All SIG meetings                         –  From respective dates commencing May 2021.     

It is expected it will be possible for these meetings to revert to pre-Covid formats with opportunity for members to have social interaction, enjoy Guest speakers, presentations, and interactive discussions, as well as coffee breaks.

In addition, we are exploring the possibility of holding hybrid meetings, face-to-face & Zoom, to allow members who are not able to physically attend to still participate.


The Club during the whole of the pandemic period, with the aid of Zoom, has remained extraordinarily vital and connected, but with the emergence from Covid our challenge is to re-engage personally and bring back the benefits of in-person interaction and captivate Member’s interests and involvement back to pre-Covid levels and more.

Our Guest Speakers have traditionally been of extremely high quality and interest and the activities of the SIG’s, such an important part of Club membership, we intend to support and foster to another level.


I commenced my Presidency from the March 9th, 2021 Annual General Meeting, having served as Senior Vice President in the year before. My time on the Committee has been special. The Committee’s commitment to the Club surviving Covid has been extraordinary.

The outcome of our Zoom year has been a remarkable success and it has been a pleasure to be part of  that team effort, 2021 represents a different challenge. The recruitment of new members in the 2020 year was almost impossible and natural attrition, part from anything else, demands we maintain our membership level. to ensure the Club’s ongoing vitality.

My commitment in the 2021 year is to redouble our efforts to attract new members to our special Club, support and strengthen our Special Interest Groups, visit succession planning about Committee and SIG Conveners positions and see a longed-for return to those captivating social events we’ve enjoyed so much in the past – in which we have importantly included our partners.

After a year like 2020, 2021 will require a bit of effort and commitment to get to where we want to be. In this, our Website will be an essential element of our communication strategy.

                                      PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE – OFTEN!

Special Interest Group of the Month

Photography/Travel SIG

Convenor Nino Xerri mob: 0410 571 446

The Photography/Travel SIG (Special Interest Group) consists of a group of members who are keen on all aspects of photography, of which Travel is an integral part.

We meet on the 3rd, Tuesday of each month to discuss topics such as:

– You tube tutorials on key features of photography e.g., RAW vs JPG: Manual vs Auto.

– Excursions such as: Frankston’s Annual Street Art Festival, Blue Lotus Water Gardens as well as others that were jointly conducted with the Heritage/Genealogy SIG.

– The following month members would present 2 or 3 of their images with discussion as to format used and why.

– As part of the Travel SIG, members present a PowerPoint presentation of images taken during their varied travels.

Whilst 2020 was a difficult year, whereby we were only able to go to a limited number of outings, it is hoped and planned that 2021 will be easier for the group to be able to do so.

I welcome any person or persons who would be like to join us, to please contact the convenor. You do not have to be a “photographer” as such, but we have all travelled in some way and have taken photos of the places we have been to and so it would be interesting to be able to share those memories with your fellow Probians. Our meetings/outings are always conducted in the spirit of Probus philosophy of Fellowship, Friendship & Fun.

Nino Xerri

 Guest Speaker’s

Our guest speaker for our Zoom General Meeting  will be Ken Parker on Tuesday 9th March 2021 is: – Topic “Electric Vehicles Renewable Energy & Climate Change”

Ken has been pursuing how we could improve our world. This has led to him giving presentations to various community groups on sustainability issues and more recently about online news and information.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and Maths, was awarded an 1851 Scholarship and completed his doctorate in Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics at Oxford University. He worked for the University of Surrey in a team doing experiments at CERN in Geneva and analysing them. He was recruited by CSIRO to return to Australia to work as a Research Scientist in the Divisions of Computing Research and Information Technology, then Telstra Research Labs. He gained an MBA and worked as a consultant for VicRoads, Alcatel-Lucent, Vic Depts of Finance & Treasury and Justice & Regulation, ANZ Bank, Ambulance Vic, H&R Block and other entities. His work has included: 
– development of financial models for two Australian Broadband Networks:
– development of the financial model for the centralisation of all systematic IT and communications in Victorian Government Departments and Agencies.

Previous Guest Speakers 2018 – 2020

Andrew CampbellHearing and Brain Health
November 2020Ross McMullinPompey Elliott – in his own words

October 2020
Vikki PetraitisCrime stories  “ Hodsons and Nicola Gobbo ” 
September – 2020
August – 2020
Julian Battistella

Andrew Mitchell
Estate Planning

Electric Cars and Clean Energy – Why?
July – 2020Anthony CaruanaHome Automation
March – 2020Brian WilliamsScams and Fake Tradies
February – 2020Radha Raghunath`Add Years to Your Life
November – 2019Gary FergusonElder Abuse and Seniors Rights
October – 2019Fiona CampbellThe Spencer Street Bridge
September 2019Thorold MerrettStory of Collingswood Premiership 1958
August 2019Rodney RichardsAngel Flights
July 2019Beverley MossBuckingham Palace in my underwear
June 2019Lloyd PhillipsPoetry can be fun
May 2019Joffa CorfeMy life and Gold Coat
April 2019No SpeakerChange over lunch
March 2019Kevin TraskMyself and the media and the Australian singer Diana Trask
February 2019Madryn Sanderson & Alex CarterPersonalised In-home care and health
December 2018No SpeakerChristmas Luncheon
November 2018U3A ChoirSongs of Screen and Stage
October 2018Jacqueline DinanRacing the Boys
September 2018Anthony KnightBeleura House Mornington
August 2018Cliff HardyThe London Blitz
July 2018Natalie DurkovicShen Yen Performing Arts and Traditional Chinese Culture
June 2018Jessica WattsBladder & Bowel Health
May 2018Ross McMullinVillers Bretonneux
April 2018No SpeakerChange Over Luncheon
March 2018Don McQueenThe Bush Balladeer
February 2018Elida BreretonTravel Stories