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Skal International Sydney Newsletter
March 2015


  From the President's Desk...

Hello everyone and welcome to our new look Skal Sydney newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading about what is happening in our Club and the great things in store for the future.

You may have noticed that we have ramped up our social media presence as well - click on the coloured buttons above to like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or join the Skal Sydney LinkedIn Group. We are also in the process of updating the website and you will notice some changes to the format and content as you visit over the coming weeks. Skal is all about relationships and building networks and we hope that you will use these platforms to keep in touch and stay engaged with Skal Sydney and each other as we look to really build and progress our Club. 

I am just about to head off to the Skal International Australia National Assembly and 2015 AGM. This National Assembly will be hosted by the Broome Skal Club and promises to not only be an arena for important discussions on the future directions of Skal Australia, but also a very picturesque location. I will look forward to updating you all about the outcomes at our April meeting. 

On Monday, myself and Vice President Sue Francis met with Tony Clegg-Butt, Past World President of Skal International and Chair of the organising committee for the 2015 Skal World Congress in Mombasa, Kenya. A number of Skalleagues from the three Sydney clubs gathered at the North Sydney Harbourview Hotel for lunch and to chat to Tony about the plans for the 2015 World Congress, which will be held from 18-23 October. Its going to be a fantastic event and I encourage all members to consider attending. For more information visit

Until next month, Skal!

President Verniece Irvine. 

Below are some of the Skalleagues who attended the lunch, from left to right: Marios Toras - President Skal Sydney South, Pam Carroll - Skal Sydney North, Past World President Tony Clegg-Butt, Verniece Irvine - President Skal Sydney, Past World President Max Kingston and Sue Francis - Vice President Skal Sydney. 


St. Patricks Day Lunch - That's a Wrap!

The Skal Sydney Club convened for its monthly meeting on 11th March, as we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style. Sponsored by Tourism Ireland, the room was decked out in green, members got into the spirit and dressed in hues of green, and a cheerful mood prevailed among the group.

President Verniece opened the lunch and invited our guest speaker, Becky Edney, from the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to tell us more about the wonderful work they are doing in cancer research and patient care. Chris O'Brien Lifehouse is the Skal Sydney charity for 2015 and we hope all members will get behind us as we raise valuable funds for them to continue their good work.  

We inducted two new members at the meeting - Alison Mead from Collette and Craig Gosling from The Grace Hotel. The raffle prizes included a beautiful piece of Waterford Crystal courtesy of Tourism Ireland and also a Malaysia Airlines ticket to Kuala Lumpur. 

After a wonderful lunch we closed the meeting with a spirited game of trivia written by our very own Tara Strickland and MC’ed by the witty Kevin Millard. The tenacious birthday boy, ­­­­Brian Kirkham, took home the trophy on this one and donated his prize (a bottle of Bailey’s) back to the club to be auctioned off, to raise further funds for our charity. Just as bidding seemed to have stalled at $75, Diane Butler of Tourism Ireland added a donation 4 crystal glasses to the prize and Melinda Brown swooped in with a bid of $100, winning the auction and taking home the prize.

Finally, we were able to raise a total of $835 for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at the lunch through our raffle and auction. Thank you once again to Phillip Pratley, GM at The Grace Hotel for having us for another wonderful lunch!
President Verniece (centre) with new Skal Sydney members Alison Mead (left) and Craig Gosling (right).

April Meeting - 8th April - The Grace Hotel

The April meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th April at The Grace Hotel. 

Sponsorship - what's the return on investment?

Our guest speaker will be Karen Dalton, who will be speaking about the potential benefits to your business of sponsoring a sporting team. 

Karen became the first person in WNBL history to play and coach 300 games. Since taking over as the Sydney Uni Flames Head Coach in the 2000/01 season and winning a Championship in her first season, she has led the Flames to an additional eight finals series and six WNBL Grand Finals. The 2002 WNBL Coach of the Year, Karen has also served in the national team program as an Assistant Coach at the 2002 FIBA World Championships and 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

She forged a legendary playing career prior to taking up coaching, playing 375 WNBL games and 252 games for the Australian Opals that included two Olympic Games and four World Championships over a 14 years. Karen was inducted into the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame in 2007.

Don't miss this opportunity to hear from this inspiring Olympian and take home some valuable advice for your business. 
Book now for the April meeting!

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse - Skal Sydney Charity for 2015

Chris O’Brien was a man of leadership, vision and courage. He inspired people, both through his work as a cancer specialist and through his own three-year battle with an aggressive brain tumour. Chris transformed his personal adversity into a national opportunity, using his experience to fight so much harder for cancer patients and their families. Chris’ vision was for an integrated cancer treatment centre, where patients will no longer have to navigate their way through all the different elements of dealing with their illness alone. With the opening of the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, this vision has been realised. 

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a world-class not-for-profit integrated cancer treatment centre, our mission is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients, carers and their families by advancing the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of the disease.

Around one in two men and one in three women will get cancer. Every year in NSW alone more than 39,000 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed - that is more than 100 every day.
In November 2013 we opened our doors to our first patients, offering a range of outpatient services such as radiation oncology, ambulatory care clinics and chemotherapy. In September 2014 we welcomed day surgery patients to Lifehouse. Finally, in February 2015 we launched our inpatient services; Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is now a fully operational cancer hospital.
As a not-for-profit, Chris O`Brien Lifehouse represents a unique model of cancer care and funding in Australia and Lifehouse relies on our relationship with the ongoing support from the community. This support is central to us achieving lasting change in the way we prevent and treat cancer in Australia and enables us to provide uncompromising care to those affected by cancer. The path ahead is an exciting one and we look forward to continuing to share our journey with you.

- Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
President Verniece (left) with Becky Edney (right) from Chris O'Brien Lifehouse at the March Meeting.
Copyright © 2015 Skal International Sydney, All rights reserved.

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Skal International Sydney
PO Box 3291
Putney, NSW 2112

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