by Gail McCulloch
It was a fantastic night at the Attadale Rotary Club meeting on Monday May 21. President Colin McCulloch was delighted to welcome members, partners and such a great crowd. It was lovely to have Club member Carole Maxwell and her husband David attend as Carole has been on extended leave and she has been greatly missed. It was also great to see Club Honorary members and many others from other Rotary and Probus clubs as well as many of the members' guests.
The Guest Speaker for the evening who drew the interest of this great attendance was the ex Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan. Karl was introduced to the meeting by President Elect Ian Pittaway who gave a brief history of Karl's background. Karl was born in the UK and arrived in Western Australia in 1970. In January 1976 Karl graduated as Dux of his WA Police Academy class. Since then he has served in numerous roles in a wide variety of places. He was promoted to Police Commissioner in 2004 where he served until 2017. Karl O'Callaghan has been awarded the Australian Police Medal, the National Police Service Medal, the National Medal and the Western Australia Police Medal. In 2006 he was made a ROTARY INTERNATIONAL PAUL HARRIS FELLOW for his work with communities in Western Australia.
Karl founded Bright Blue in 2011, with the aim of improving the lives of sick children both here and overseas. It supports work to prevent and treat childhood illnesses, particularly ones linked to issues that police often see - drug and alcohol abuse and social disadvantage. Karl spoke about his years of service giving all present a great insight into the Western Australia Police Force. He also shared a little of his personal life. When the last of his four children left home he and his wife, a special needs teacher, realised they could make a difference to some children, who are in poor situations through no fault of their own. They have cared for nine foster children, including two young brothers who have become a permanent fixture.
Music is another outlet for Karl. He sings and plays guitar and keyboard with a rock band, despite only learning to play an instrument when he was in his 40's. He is also a very knowledgeable and popular presenter on Curtin Radio as well as an accomplished and sought after public speaker.
Karl was an absolute delight to listen to. We were very privileged to hear him talk on a wide range of both public and personal topics. One of the visitors to the Club commented after the meeting that "Karl O'Callaghan is a very articulate and comfortable speaker. He does it so effortlessly, like he is just having a chat with everyone. Karl doesn't just talk the talk, but with his fostering and his charity work he walks the walk too".
We especially thank him for making the time to also answer questions at the end of his talk and for staying for fellowship over coffee/tea/cake.
Karl is pictured below.
Enjoying the evening are Astrid & Richard Gell, George & Anne Lewkowski and Elaine Bennett. Jan & John Maiorana and Natalee & David Lawson and Garth Curran. Attadale Rotary Club President Colin McCulloch (or 'Batman' as he is often known), is pictured handing over a Microbat Box to David Lawson. David is from Lawson's Tree and Garden Solutions and helps put up the bat boxes for the Attadale Rotary Club's Micro Bat project.