State Branches

Victoria

Committee

Position Name Email
Patron Mr David Price OAM
President Prof David Runia fovvpresident@gmail.com
Vice President Rev Colin Honey
Secretary Mrs Viviane Harangozo fovvsecretary@gmail.com
Treasurer Mr Ken Gilbertson fovvtreasurer@gmail.com
Publicity Officer Mr Neil Champion champndc@gmail.com
Committee Members Mr Jim Richardson
Dr Nancy Nicholas
Alumni Liaison Dr Sunil Datta
University Liaison Prof Nathan Grills

Donations

Address for Correspondence:

P O Box 455
Essendon, North Victoria 3041

Please post all Donations ( cheque & money order) to:

Treasurer, FOVV
P O Box 455
Essendon North Victoria 3041

Direct transfer or deposits to:

Friends of Vellore
Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633 000
Account No.: 139 185 151
Please Email details of any deposits to : fovvtreasurer@gmail.com

Annual Report 2023

Annual General Meeting

Because post-covid the Victorian branch is holding fewer public events, our AGM has become an important vehicle for conveying news about our activities and the CMC. The AGM for the year 2021–2022 was held on Saturday, 12 November 2022. Once again, we were delighted and most grateful that it could be held at Queen’s College. The attendees were first updated on develop­ments in Vellore by means of a recorded video presentation by the Director, Dr Vikram Mathews. The highlight was a talk by our guest speaker Dr Anu Mary Oommen from the Department of Community Health at the CMC. Dr Anu was spending a number of months in Melbourne doing research for her PhD as part of the joint program of the University of Melbourne and CMC. She spoke about the research she is carrying out on Cervical Cancer Screening for vulnerable women in Tamil Nadu. Her talk gave us a detailed insight into the challenges and advances being made in work with women in remote poor communities by persuading them to participate in cervical cancer screenings and then following up with treatment if required. The photo shows her speaking in the Stafford room at the College, with FOVV secretary Viviane Harangozo listening attentively.

Committee

As in previous years, the committee held its first meeting for the new year at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on 1 February. Plans for the year were hatched. It was decided, because of the geographical spread of committee members, that meetings would in principle take place via zoom, but hybrid features have developed, with our secretary Viviane’s home proving to be a popular meeting point. The only public event organized so far is a choir concert to be held on the day after the AVB AGM, 26 August. It is to be hoped that the beauty of the music to be presented and the venue of the Queen’s College will attract a good audience. It will also be possible to say some words about developments at the CMC.

Fund-raising

This year again the chief means of raising funds for the CMC has been our Annual giving appeal. The projects for which support was asked were this year:

  • The Development Department Emergency Fund;
  • The Palliative Care Social Rehab Project;
  • The Allied Health Scholarship Project.

In addition, donations could also be made to the General Support Fund of the AVB. In practice some of the undesignated donations received were designated for this fund. An attractive brochure was designed for the purpose of the appeal.

Response to the campaign was most heartening. Generous donations large and and small have been received. This has enabled the FOVV to again send significant funds to the AVB. The important role that the Friends groups play as a conduit for donations to the CMC has once more been demonstrated.

Alumni relations

In discussions among ourselves and with others it has emerged time and time again that we need to increase our liaisons with alumni of the CMC, not only those who have lived here for some time, but also new arrivals and those, such as Dr Anu, who are residing here temporarily. A project has been established to increase alumni participation in our work. It is vital for our future.

Liaison with the University of Melbourne

This year, as foretold in last year’s report, The Gault Trust was wound up and the residual funds transferred to Vellore and used to establish the Edward Gault Travelling Scholarship, which in the first instance will fund travelling costs of CMC staff members who have embarked on PhDs in a joint program of the University of Melbourne and CMC. So far three recipients have enjoyed a stay in Melbourne: Dr Anu Oommen (mentioned above); Dr Prabhakar; and Dr Tina George. The committee was privileged to have lunches with each of these recipients, allowing us to get to know each other and learn much about the research that they are carrying out. The relationship with the University of Melbourne through the tireless liaison activities of Prof Nathan Grills, is becoming a central focus of our activities.

It remains to me to thank the committee for their loyal and enthusiastic involvement in the work of the Friends this year, and also to thank the Australian Vellore Board for its invaluable support. It is a joy to continue the work of gathering support for such an inspiring institution which continues to faithfully fulfil its mission in an ever-changing world.

David Runia
President Friends of Vellore Victoria
13 August 2023