Brian McMath provided an update on the ROCON Charitable Foundation which has been very successful in its fund raising, governance and investments and currently has accumulated funds in excess of $1.1m. Two recent new initiatives involve our long association with the NZ Neurological Foundation and in association with the June Gray Charitable Trust the Trust has set up a $10,000 Research Scholarship. First recipients are two Otago University Professors who will are going to build a skin/skull/brain model that will measure impact forces to the head and brain. There are increasing reports linking mild traumatic brain injuries to early onset dementia. Often these minor traumatic injuries have no clinical symptoms and are difficult to diagnose, hence no minimum thresholds have been established. It is hoped that the research will provide international collaboration opportunities as it is a novel but globally relevant topic. 
 
 
Brian also announced that the Foundation is funding a Project –“We are One”- a focus on Autism. The project involves a young student, Kane Chong whose best friend has autism. Kane has written a song for his friend to raise awareness of autism and with guidance of NZ music icons like Mike Chunn and Eddie Rayner the song will be recorded next week at Neil Finn’s studios in Newton. The Foundation’s grant of $5,000 will go to the Play It Strange Charitable Trust, which Murray Thom our guest tonight is a former Trustee. Play it Strange was set up to encourage; foster and promote young NZ songwriters. Kane will perform the song at the NZ Autism conference at the end of August and as well as raising awareness of autism he hopes to raise funds for Autism NZ. TV’s Sunday programme are doing a story on We Are One so Rotary Newmarket &the Charitable Foundation will apart from supporting a great project, get some very good media exposure.
 
 Brian then introduced Mostafa Youssef, winner of the 2016 Newmarket Rotary Foundation’s Harold Titter Award. The award of $3,000 is given to the top student graduating in the Certificate of Health Sciences programme run by the Faculty of Medical & Health Sciences at the University Auckland. The programme is known as the Maori & Pacific Islands Admission Scheme (MAPAS). The award is named after Harold Titter who was a founding trustee of our Foundation and a former Commissioner of Health for the Auckland Area Health Board. Harold in his commissioner’s role recognised the need for more Maori & Pacifica Health practioners in our region which led to the establishment of the MAPAS programme run by the University of Auckland. Mostafa, a Kiwi of mixed Samoan and Egyptian heritage gave a multi-lingual thank-you to the Club.  
 
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