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2019 Begonia Ballarat GardA diverse selection of guest speakers continues to inform members about our community and the wider world. Recent speakers have represented; Ballarat Community Health, Hair Aid, Ballarat Botanical Gardens, and Thomas Ainsworth who is recovering after serious road trauma. 

Peter Marquand, manager of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens told us a little of the overall history of the gardens focusing on the begonia collection which holds varieties no longer available in England.  The first begonia plants were imported over 100 years ago and are the catalyst  for the Begonia Festival. Plans for the replacement fernery were on display with work set to start soon. The return and restoration of one of the original gate cottages is also nearing completion. This meeting was held in the Robert Clarke Centre situated in the gardens 


2019 Sean Duffy


Sean Duffy (pictured right) with Steven Britton and Micheal Scarlett, is CEO of Ballarat Community Health. Sean worked in the mental health sector for 30 years but is now focused on the full spectrum of health issues that effect the Ballarat community. Ballarat Community Health  is dedicated to promoting health in Ballarat and surrounds, and providing quality and affordable health care. Looking to the future includes ways to assist the homeless, victims of family violence, create a youth hub and a mens health clinic.




Untitled 4Hair Aid works globally to make a difference and create change by teaching people living in poverty the skill of hair cutting. Once they've been trained people can start their own micro business, cutting hair in their own communities, earning money. With money they can support their families by buying fresh water and food, educate their children, and move into housing. Since 2014 more than 3500 people have been trained. Join us, help make a difference as we go about #changingtheworldonehaircutatatime. Local woman Yvette Sarra explained that was working toward joining the next trip to Cambodia 

(accessed from the web,, 22/04/2019)



2019 Thomas Ainsworth While we hear of major road trauma it is not until faced with a victim that the extend of that trauma is realised. Thomas Ainsworth was involved in a low impact collision which has changed his life for ever. After many plates and screws to mend broken bones Thomas is in continual pain requiring ongoing care. This care is provided primarily by his mum and also other family members. Thomas' mum moved from Queensland after leaving her job to take up the care role. It is this level of love and sacrifice that remains unseen after road trauma. President Elissa wished Thomas all the best into the future.