Mr. David Price OAM


Prof. David Runia
Email: [email protected]

Vice President:

Rev. Colin Honey


Mrs. Viviane Harangozo
Email: [email protected]


Mr. Ken Gilbertson
Email: [email protected]

Newsletter Editor:

Dr. Nancy Nicholas
Email: [email protected]

Minutes Secretary:

Rev. John Connan

Committee Members:

Mr. Jim Richardson
Prof. Lynette Joubert

Alumni Liaison:

Dr. Sunil Datta

Address for Correspondence:

P O Box 455
Essendon, North Victoria 3041

Please post all Donations ( cheque & money order) to:

Treasurer, FOVV
P O Box 455
Essendon North Victoria 3041

Direct transfer or deposits to:

Friends of Vellore
Bendigo Bank
BSB: 633 000
Account No.: 139 185 151
Please Email details of any deposits to : [email protected]


Annual General Meeting
9 November 2019

President’s Report

As President of the Victorian branch of the Friends of Vellore, I am pleased to present the Annual Report for the year 2018–2019. This year too I will follow established practice and not adhere strictly to that time period, but rather will cover the period of the branch’s activities since the last General Meeting, which was held on 1 December 2018.

The branch had a busy year. In addition to the Annual fund-raising dinner, which was a great success, it also hosted the Australian Vellore Board on the same day. Information about the College and Hospital was disseminated by means of three newsletters. The annual giving appeal was held again. Fruitful talks were held with the Principal of the CMC together with the University of Melbourne. In order to organise and supervise all these activities, the committee meet four times during the year. In the remainder of my report I will describe these activities in some more detail before finishing with some brief remarks which look towards the future.

(1) On 24 August 2019 the branch organised the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Vellore Board (AVB) in the Stafford Room at Queen’s College. Highlight of the meeting was the video link with the Director, J.V. Peter, in Vellore, in which he was able to make a PowerPoint presentation and speak to it at the same time. It was a very thorough account which brought the Board right up to date with the situation in Vellore. A number of committee members attended the meeting.

(2) The Annual dinner was held in the Junior Common Room at Queen’s College on the same day and was well attended by 75 people, including members of the AVB and tables from the University of Melbourne and from Queen’s College. There were three speakers. First the President of the AVB, Dr Stephen Aseervatham, gave a summary of the activities of the Board. After the main course the guest speaker was Board member Dr Chellam Kirubakaran, who spoke about “Paediatrics at CMC, past, present and future”. Finally, at the end of the evening Dr Nathan Grills, fresh off the plane from Vellore, spoke about his trip and the collaboration between CMC and the University of Melbourne in the area of public health. All three speeches were well received. The dinner raised nearly $6000 for the CMCH and the AVB.

(3) Fundraising activities have been very successful. During the financial year 2018–19 the branch was able to honour its commitment to the AVB, transferring $29,906 to its treasurer. At the most recent committee meeting it was decided to transfer another $30,000. This will be effectuated in the near future. The Annual giving campaign focused this year on three projects: The Development Department Emergency Fund; Funding Sight-preserving Surgery, in recognition of the VISION 2020 Global initiative; and the Allied Health Scholarship programme. It was also possible to donate to the General Support Fund of the AVB. The campaign was able to raise more than $15,000. The branch also received a number of generous donations from unexpected quarters, thereby fulfilling one of its roles as a vehicle for channelling donations to the College and Hospital. I wish to take this opportunity to thank all our donors most sincerely for their generosity which has made these substantial donations to the CMCH and its care for the underprivileged possible.

(4) The three newsletters were compiled by Nancy Nicholas, with assistance from Viviane Harangozo and David Runia. They contained news items about the College and Hospital, as well as information about the branch’s activities and invitations to the dinner and AGM. They were distributed in March, June and October. The newsletter editor, Dr Nancy Nicholas, deserves our warmest thanks for her energetic supervision of the editorial process and her many contributions to the newsletters’ contents.

(5) A highlight of the year was the lunch that members of the committee had in Carlton with Prof. Anna Pulimood, Principal of the College, who visited the University of Melbourne in June. She impressed the group greatly with her report on recent developments at the College, and particularly on the thorny problem of selection of applicants for College places. Prof. Pulimood strongly encouraged the branch to engage in liaison activities for staff engaged in training or research who were visiting Melbourne. This could perhaps be combined with activities for the Gault trust.

It is my pleasant duty to thank the committee for all their hard work in the past year. In particular I am grateful to Viviane Harangozo and Nancy Nicholas for very capably steering its activities during my two lengthy absences abroad. I anticipate that these absences will diminish somewhat in the coming time. I also wish to thank Queen’s College, its Master Prof Stewart Gill OAM and its conference coordinator, Kristen Fletcher, for the splendid support they give to our activities, including providing the venue for today’s AGM.

Certainly, there are significant challenges for our work. The future of the branch is not assured, in my view, unless rejuvenation of our supporter base takes place and unless we are able to establish closer links with alumni and other residents from the sub-continent here in Victoria. A hopeful development is the increasing interaction with the University of Melbourne. These links should be further developed and extended, if possible, to other tertiary institutions. It would be particularly promising if we could work with medical students and encourage them to apply for placements in Vellore during their courses.

Above all it is my wish and hope that we will continue to be inspired by the dedication shown by the staff and students in Vellore itself under increasingly difficult political and societal circumstances. Their motto is drawn from the words of Christ (Mark 10:42), “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Let these words guide us too as we make our modest contribution in support of the wondrous medical and educational work that the CMCH does in Christ’s name in southern India.

David Runia, President FOVV
















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