Mike Finke: the Rotarian behind the badge
This past Wednesday, 14 December, Mike Finke told us a bit about his life, where he's worked, where he's from and what motivated him to move to Australia.
Mike was born in Manhattan, New York City, 50 years ago. He spent his childhood in the northern tip of the island, in a neighbourhood called Inwood, which is surprisingly green and full of parks. He spent a year in a small town in Oregon when he was 13, in the same town where they filmed Stand By Me and then moved back to New York State and attended high school in the same town where Sing Sing prison is.
When he was 23 Mike managed to meet a young woman over the internet, which in 1995 was fairly primitive. A group who who hung out on the same chat room got together in Niagra Falls and, after hanging out for only a week, Mike proposed to Kira. Twenty-six years later they are still married, with two more-or-less adult children. Kira got homesick for life in Australia after six months living in the USA, and she and Mike flew here in 1997.
During his 25 years in Australia Mike has worked as a restaurant manager, the manager of a small paint company, a chef, a media analyst and, currently, a Hansard reporter. He became a citizen in 2008 and in 2015, after reading Hugh Mackay's Right and Wrong: How to decide for Yourself, he became a Rotarian. Mike said he'd had some difficult times in his life but had also had some help and some luck and that he thought Rotary would give him the opportunity to help provide luck and help for others who needed some.
Mike also shared his love of entertaining, particularly barbecuing, and teased some incredibly quirky family stories--maybe we'll get some more details at a future presentation.