Guest Speaker & Dinners
Please see further down the page for more information on each Guest Speaker and their topic.
Tuesday 9 December 2014 - Karla Kastellanos
Tuesday 16 December 2014 - Last Meeting/Forum for the year. Put your Christmas hats on and bring your eggnog for an end of year get together online.
Regional Member Dinner
Every three months members throughout Australia and the world will be asked to open their homes and invite family and friends over for a meal and social evening. At the end of the dinner, members at the homes will ‘beam in’ to the Forum to listen to a guest speaker and participate in a friendly competition between houses. The competition will focus on 10 questions related to Rotary.
Upcoming Guest Speakers
Karla Castellanos, is the first person in the Rotary International District 6990, South Florida and the Bahamas, to be awarded the Rotary Peace Scholarship for study at University of Queensland, one of the Rotary Peace Centers in the world. After a competitive international process, she was selected among hundreds of applicants to be one out of approximately seventy Scholars worldwide who are given this opportunity every year. The scholarship which has been set up by the Rotary Foundation to provide advanced educational opportunities for a group of chosen Scholars from various countries and cultures in order to advance knowledge and world understanding among potential future leaders of government, business, education, media, and other professions enable Karla to earn a Master’s Degree in International Relations in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in early 2006.
Karla was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Honduras. She returned to the United States to enroll in the architecture program at Miami-Dade College (MDC). There, she was an officer of the American Institute of Architecture Student Chapter, and participated in the National Model United Nations (MNUN). This simulation of United Nations proceedings introduced her to conflict mediation in the setup of a two-thousand-student conference inside amazing UN headquarters in New York. For four years, she attended similar simulations at Harvard University and McGuill University in Canada while representing countries such as Somalia, Central African Republic, Uruguay, and Indonesia as a delegate to the UN Development Program. She then transferred to the University of Miami with a half-scholarship where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture with honors.
In 2000-2001, Karla was awarded the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, which afforded her the opportunity to study at the Joint Centre for Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, England. While there, she fulfilled Ambassadorial duties to the Rotary District of 1090. She spoke on behalf of Rotary in three different continents including countries such as Germany, Egypt, Honduras and Ecuador, and made everlasting friendships among peers and Rotarians alike.
After her departure from England, Karla visited devastated communities to illustrate the theory behind her thesis on the positive urban regeneration of human settlements after disaster strikes. She conducted a study in a small sector of San Pedro Sula, Honduras that has rebuilt its infrastructure through local leadership and the financial contribution of international agencies after being affected by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
After graduation Karla divided her time for a number of years between her job in South Florida at Zyscovich Architects and her adjunct faculty position at Miami Dade College where she taught several design studios. Karla was also very active in the community. For two consecutive years, she was awarded a commendation by the City of Miami for her beautification efforts of the Jose Marti Park in Little Havana. She also found time to participate in various community service efforts organized by local Rotary Clubs.
This is how Karla became aware of a new Fellowship opportunity by the Rotary Foundation - the Rotary World Peace Fellowship. She feels most indebted to the kind support of all Rotarians in District 6990 because of their very generous contribution towards the scholarship award, which covers tuition costs, housing and related expenses up to US$50,000 over the course of two years. It is through the financial contributions of Rotarians in each District that scholarships are awarded every year. This opportunity allowed her to earn a master’s degree in International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Rotary Peace Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
In addition to her studies, she also conducted an Applied Field Experience in remote villages of the Perur Block in Tamilnadu, India as part of the Fellowship Program. Upon graduation from Queensland, she worked in development work in south-east Asia and returned to Australia in 2008 where she began working in urban design projects in the greater Sydney area as well as rural communities in NSW as a member of GM Urban Design and Architecture in the role of Associate Director. Karla has since become an Australian citizen and shares her life with her husband in Sydney. The goals of her talk are to share some of her experiences as a Peace Fellow, emphasize the importance of the Rotary Peace Fellowship and share how Rotary changed her life by giving her wings.
A fabulous opportunity for Fellowship and to put ideas to the other e-Club Members about future projects; ideas or just vague thoughts about helping in a particular sector. Brainstorm with amazing people in your own Club and try to fix the World's woes.