Posted by Sam McCurdy on Jan 27, 2022
The Rotary “SAFE Families” Australia Day event at Nossal High School had to be modified due to the increase in COVID transmission in the community.  
The planned face-to-face interactions showcasing various significant Rotary projects to about approximately 200 invited guests of diverse cultures and closing with a social BBQ, were cancelled, and replaced with a 1-hour open broadcast featuring inspirational Guest Speakers and top-class performers.  The broadcast from Nossal High School took place from 12:00 noon until 1:00 pm on Australia Day.
The BBQ component that was to be provided by the Rotary Club of Berwick volunteers, was replaced with a packaged meal alternative.  The meals were prepared for distribution to people doing it tough within the local community.
They were produced By Executive Chef, Julian Robert-Shaw, who heads up the catering and food operations at Moonee Valley Racing Club and Melbourne Showgrounds.  Julian collaborated with a local indigenous catering company, Bunji Catering, to produce dishes for the food packs, and with Farmer’s Daughters restaurant to produce two signature dishes under their brand. His team have extensive experience in putting together food packages, complete with compostable cutlery, plates etc and packed in refrigerated boxes.
Approximately 150 meals were prepared and delivered to the Salvation Army in Pakenham and Transit Soup Kitchen and Food Support in Narre Warren.  Both organisations have refrigeration facilities and direct links to large numbers in the community in need of food support, thereby facilitating an effective meal distribution.
PDG Mark Humphries from the Rotary Club of Mt Eliza, who also  works at Nossal High School, coordinated the SAFE Families event and the distribution of the food packages.  Sam McCurdy delivered 70 meals to the Salvation Army and the remainder were delivered to Transit by President David Button.  
This was a great example of Rotary in Action, while celebrating Australia Day.