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SSC Newspaper : February 2013
22 Strathfield Scene february 2013 people “I will try to get more women members, especially those from other cultures to properly reflect the community.” – Suzanne Freud, Strathfield Rotary By Teresa Ooi Rotary Strathfield will have its first female president when Suzanne Freund takes up her new position in July this year. In another first, she will be joined by female presidents in three neighbouring rotary clubs: Dee Covington in Concord, Chrissi Nicholas in Breakfast Point and Sana Kamalesan in Burwood. “Its such a strange coincidence that Rotary has appointed four women presidents-elect in neighbouring suburbs,’’ Suzanne says. As Rotary clubs were traditionally dominated by men, Suzanne admits she was initially apprehensive about taking the senior role. But her husband, Kevin, who is a also a staunch Rotarian – they met as Rotary members before getting married eight years ago – convinced her to accept. “I guess it will be a bit of a challenge for me and I have to be respectful of the Rotary board and how things are done traditionally,’’ says Suzanne, who has been a Rotarian for 10 years. However, she is not someone who will only play by the old rules. Suzanne hopes to attract more women into Rotary, which in Strathfield has only four among its total membership of 55. “I will try to get more women members, especially those from other cultures to properly reflect the community,” she says. “Strathfield has many different ethnic groups including the Korean, Chinese and Indian. It is only right that Rotary Strathfield should reflect this cultural diversity.’’ Suzanne also hopes to introduce more variety into the Rotarian diet. “ While Rotary sausage sizzles are very popular, there is room to explore the introduction of other food such as samosas, kebabs and Korean food at Rotary and community events. Not all cultures enjoy eating a sausage. “I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I choose not to eat red meat.’’ Suzanne also feels the image of Rotarians can be “a bit dated’’ and too often dominated by retirees. “ We want more younger members to better reflect the community,’’ she says. While not busy with Rotary, Suzanne trains Lifeline volunteer counsellors how to deal with people facing a crisis. “I train them how to respond to people facing a crisis in relationship or are contemplating suicide,” she says. “I also train other community and work groups on mental health, suicide awareness and intervention.’’ When she started working in health she realised carers and other people involved with mental health needed to be educated to better understand how to deal with these issues. “It’s all about more awareness and assistance for relatives and friends living with mental illness.’’ Come July, when she becomes the president of Rotary Strathfield, Suzanne will have her work cut out bringing in the changes she wants to implement, without treading on too many toes. Will sausages give way to samosas? I guess it will be a bit of a challenge for me and I have to be respectful of the Rotary board and how things are done traditionally. President-elect Suzanne Freund helps out at a Rotary sausage sizzle. MOVIES PARK IN THE STRATHFIELDCOUNCILPRESENTS THE HUNGER GAMES www.strathfieldmovies.com.au Pack a picnic, bring a blanket or chair and enjoy a great evening of free entertainment for all the family under the stars. Saturday 9 February, approx. 8pm Strathfield Park, Homebush Road Eat local Use our comprehensive food directory to plan your perfect night out / food-guide deals,reviews,recipesandinterviews
December 2012 SS