Sergeant Les Walker began the meeting by introducing our President, Chris George, who, after welcoming the various visitors, asked the Chairman for the night, Ratnaker Vallabhaneni to announce the various youth speakers.
The visitors included Chris Knight, the Acting Principal of Glen Waverley Secondary College. And parents Michelle and Marcus Rufenacht, Andre Salee, and Melissa Allen. Other visitors included Nigel and Ann Cousins (D9820 RYLA organisers- from the RC Frankston Sunrise), and Amy and Kaishan (RYLA Colour Group Leaders and Rotaractors).
The first speakers, Heli Patel, and Ashveka Sivananthan from Glen Waverley Secondary College spoke of their three day
Science Experience outlining the activities of each day. These varied from Pharmacy (different medicines), Forensics (DNA testing), Nursing (saving lives), food technology, Biotechnology, virtual technology and rocket building.
This was followed by Ryan Rufenacht of Wesley College describing his experience with Camp Awakening. He said that when arriving at the venue with trepidation everyone was immediately put into different colour groups and familiarity with others began immediately. He said that they undertook activities such as if they were in a scout camp, and twice daily for the next two days, they listened to speakers describing issues they encountered and how they overcame them.
The next speaker speaking in a very confident manner told us of his experience on the RYLA program. The Speaker was Rylie Allen. Rylie spoke of the action packed six days he endured, saying it brought him out of his comfort zone with the multiple challenges he faced. He did not expand on each day but said that he learned all about teamwork and that it
was a fantastic experience for him. He said that they finished off with an amazing race but not for a prize.
At this point, PP Ted Keene spoke of a text he had just received from our Indigenous Health Scholar, Samantha Taylor who apologised for not attending the meeting but that she was called home to assist with a family emergency.
The last speakers were Bella Sallee and Jeffrey Jiang of Wesley College who spoke of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) which was a ten-day program. In this, they had a close look at future career paths, visited many universities and met many eminent and experienced people. In this, they identified many career pathways available and gained inspiration leaving them with tremendous experience gained. Following a couple of questions, all speakers were asked to participate in a group photo.
RYLA group with District organisers on left and Pres Chris on right
Ratnaker handing out pens to Youth Participants
(Thanks to Raj Susarla for the photos)