Our beloved member Past President Ian Fitzpatrick passed away in August last year. His estate has just made a significant donation to the Australia Rotary Health Research Fund. The fund is closely associated with Mental Health issues.
PP Blair recalls Ian’s involvement with Rotary Health
Perhaps the most important project he brought to the Club was in the year 2000. Ian attended the Rotary District Conference in Tamworth and was inspired by a presentation by the Australian Rotary Health Foundation on Mental Health Awareness. Having been on the Council Senior Safety Committee, where they discussed the problem of suicide in the elderly, and having a keen interest in men’s mental health issues, Ian had the idea of extending the ARHF concept to the general public. With the co-operation of the Foundation and Mosman Council, the Club held a series of “Mind Matters” seminars for the general public. These generated very positive feed-back and laid the platform for hundreds of similar seminars being hosted by Rotary Clubs across Australia. As the issues suicide and men’s mental health are now regularly addressed in both print and electronic media it is easy to forget that this was not the case 25 years ago. Ian’s actions in creating the ‘Mind Matters’ seminars was an important step in bringing these issues from behind closed doors and into the public domain.