The guest speakers last week were two of our newest members –  Anna McGrane and Melissa McGrath who gave us their stories of ‘The Rotarian behind the Badge’

ANNA MCGRANE. (On left) Anna hails from the outback area in Queensland, where she was raised on the land. Her family lived in  St George, Queensland,  and then moved to Toowoomba, and the latter is still her family’s home base.  Her early years included a lot of sport and outdoor activities, both of which have much enhanced her life. She came down to work at the Tasmanian State Institute of Technology in Launceston for six months on an exchange, then returning to Toowoomba. After that, travel to the UK and Europe and beckoned, including a stint at Lech, in Austria, skiing. She cycled through Eastern Europe with her travel partner (later husband), going as far as Turkey, before returning to Poland. Anna’s life then brought her to Tasmania with her builder husband Pat,  where her four children were born and raised. Travel and overseas careers have been a feature of her children’s lives so far, and they are all successful in their fields. Anna showed a number of slides of some of the interesting places she has been, noting that they even brought back some memories for her!

MELISSA MCGRATH. Melissa moved to Tasmania from NSW in 2009  – she is originally from Queanbeyan, but moved to NSW when she married. She lived on the NSW coast for quite a number of years, including time in the Byron Bay area. She has two sons, one a film producer, and the other has an asbestos removal business. Both of them are still on the mainland. Melissa has a social science degree, qualified to be a child protection worker, parole officer and other related professions. She is currently working as a part time teacher, and is building up her civil celebrant work profile in the Greater Launceston Region. In terms of getting employment in Tasmania, she has noticed the difficulty of ‘breaking into’ various workplaces because she is from ‘The Mainland’. Her hobbies include gardening, cooking and art, especially indigenous art. Melissa has joined Rotary because of our community and humanitarian work in all areas, and is keen to build on her input into community service. She enjoys the friendship, involvement and social interaction which Rotary provides.