Posted by DG Amanda Wendt on Apr 09, 2023

Profile image of District Governor Amanda WendtWe started this year promising big swings to help our clubs make a bigger difference for their communities by connecting with more volunteers, activating them into members and raising much-needed funds with profile-raising community events.

Our clubs have stepped up to the crease and hit some big sixes for our three major metrics, and we have a few more surprises to announce! Read on for:

- Make a big difference assembling 100,000 relief meals in Fed Square for people in need in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria
- Club projects making a meaningful difference for their communities: People of Action District Recognition
- Organise your club gardening bee in Rochie!
- Buy your tix to Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023; under-40 and Foundation contributor ticket winners!
- District membership update
- Rotary Activate charters with 22 new members!
- Book your table for A night to celebrate! Rotary Gala Dinner
- Tell the DG to go jump update: G-Train and Grant getting nervous
- Booked-out Melbourne Celtic Festival dials up the craic to 90. Again. Running total: 180 craic
- Being more inclusive and effective with accessibility of published messages


Oodles of fantastic news from across our District! Let’s dive in.

Make a big difference assembling 100,000 relief meals with FORaMEAL

Saturday 27 May at Fed Square

District 9800 is partnering with the world-changing FORaMEAL to deliver 100,000 much-needed emergency relief meals to people in need in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria, while connecting with 1,000+ new volunteers in a high-profile, meaningful, hands on, convenient community event! In our very own Fed Square!

The aim is to connect with oodles of new volunteers, so we’re asking Rotarians’ help in two ways:

  1. Distribute this event to your community partners, community members and sponsors, and encourage them to volunteer on the day, by registering at
  2. Help run the event on the day, supervising crews of 12 volunteers or bumping in and/or out, by registering at

Rotarians from around the world will be in town for the commencement of Rotary International Convention, so let’s show them how District 9800 gets behind one of its own projects – FORaMEAL – to make a big, world-changing difference.


Club projects making a meaningful difference for their communities: People of Action District Recognition

Every year, our clubs make an amazing difference for their communities and people in need around the world, and District acknowledges their achievements. This year, we’re also curating them into meaningful media packs that all clubs can push far and wide to gain recognition for the difference Rotary makes. Our goal is to help open up opportunities such as gaining new partners, funding, beneficiaries and members. We’ve seen incredible activity by our clubs this year, with fifteen (so far) documenting the difference they’ve made:

  • Altona City
  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Bendigo South
  • Brighton North
  • Central Melbourne
  • Melbourne E-club
  • Footscray
  • Glenferrie
  • Hawthorn
  • Keilor East
  • Melbourne
  • Melton
  • Rochester
  • Werribee
  • Wyndham

We can’t wait to curate these amazing stories of our diverse clubs making a difference for their communities, to share to the media and their networks. Be sure to attend District Changeover Saturday 24 June for a special showcase by District Club Service Chair Rosemary Waghorne (Canterbury). 

We still have three spots available on the People of Action nominating committee. This year we are welcoming any Rotary member from our District to be part of the team deciding the category winners. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to Rosemary


Organise your club gardening bee in Rochie!

While organised building continues to get Rochie residents out of temporary caravans and back into their homes and businesses, Rotary Rochester is coordinating ongoing working bees to get gardens back under control after the floods and recent rains caused a growth sport. This is an ongoing volunteering opportunity as it will take many months to bring order back. Think of gardening tools you can bring or contribute for future bees. This is your chance to contribute to more than local pride, rural community safety depends on strict control of vegetation to reduce fire risk.

Consider contributing to the local economy – and reduce driving risk – with a weekender in Rochester at the local motel or holiday park, or at nearby Echuca-Moama. Get in touch with Rochie President Heather Watson to arrange a weekend for your club to visit and help out.


Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023 update

Get your tickets of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity 

Late May, we’re hosting tens of thousands of Rotarians right here in Melbourne, offering us all a unique opportunity to experience the amazing energy and fellowship, global knowledge sharing and shared purpose of a Rotary International Convention. To experience this event without long-haul flights, hotels and weird coffee is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and still a comparative bargain. Catch a glimpse of what to expect at

Get your official event tickets now at tickets to the convention at

Be sure to check out the speakers page as more get confirmed:

Get your tickets for specially-curated events by our own Host Organising Committee:

District 9800 supporting members to attend Rotary International Convention Melbourne 

I attended my first international convention in 2016 in Seoul, and experiencing the purpose, scale and impact of our organisation changed the course of my community leadership journey. It is my hope that you – and as many members as possible – are able to take advantage of a Rotary International Convention on our doorstep to enjoy your very own life-changing experience. 

To help make this happen, District 9800 is sponsoring select Rotarians from our District to attend. 

So, we asked our members aged under 40 to share their leadership journey and imagine what’s next for our organisation, and received such a wealth of high quality responses, we have upped our quota from five to nine younger members to experience their first Rotary International Convention on us. Congratulations to the following younger Rotarians:

  • Danielle Schutte, Carlton
  • Mawien Ariik, Central Melbourne
  • Alexander McDonald, Collingwood
  • Tim Manser, Hoppers Crossing
  • Sana Malik, Melbourne
  • Milla Garcia, Port Philip
  • Alex Lapina, Wyndham
  • Sibo Moyo, Wyndham Harbour
  • Mamode Osikoya, Wyndham Harbour

To encourage and acknowledge contributions to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund, we offered everyone who donated from 21 February to 27 March 2023 the chance to secure one of five Convention registrations, on District. The live draw was held 29 March and I’m pleased to advise that the five randomly-chosen contributors are:

  • Anne Scott, Hawthorn
  • Anthea MacTiernan, Fitzroy
  • Malcolm Baird, Brighton North
  • Andrew Crockett, Hawthorn
  • Gabe Hau, Melbourne E-club

A huge thank-you to everyone who donated to The Rotary Foundation, especially those who made their first contributions to our own philanthropy and engine of doing good in the world!

Have a chat within your club about sponsoring promising members to attend The Rotary International Convention. It could be the smartest investment you make this year.

Convention photoshoot

Thank you to DGND Peter Shepheard (Altona) and Susie Cole (Prahran) for helping to organise Rotary International photoshoots showcasing local projects and members for the upcoming Rotary International Convention. Projects represented were a river clean up, provision of homewares, and meal packing. Keep an eye out for familiar faces of our members appearing in media throughout Rotary International Convention and beyond. 


District membership update

A special shout-out to our clubs who have welcomed 3+ new members to Rotary so far this year:

Malvern - 9!!!

Camberwell - 4

Central Melbourne - 4

Chadstone East-Malvern - 4

Flemington Kensington - 4


Rotary Activate charters with 22 new members!

Welcome to new members of our just-chartered club Rotary Activate Victoria Club. Rotary Activate has signed 22 new members for the District, and three transferring members. The new ‘Activators’ have already been out in force volunteering at Avalon Centre helping to sort goods for those experiencing homelessness. In a fantastic demonstration of principles in action, District Service Chair Lili Teichman has been working with meaningful, hands, convenient projects to connect with more volunteers, with Rotary Activate demonstrating how to activate those volunteers into members, by pitching making a meaningful difference, flexibility and Rotary’s Vocational Advantage. Activate is looking forward to connecting new members with projects and mentors across our clubs, to help them find their best fit in the Rotary family.

Discover new ways to pitch Rotary to participating volunteers:

Partner with Rotary Activate for project volunteers or mentor relationships:


A night to celebrate! Rotary Gala Dinner

6.30pm Thursday 1 June 2023

Plaza Ballroom, 191 Collins Street, Melbourne

Ticket sales close in 37 days!

Commemorate a successful Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023 with Rotary International President Jennifer Jones and Lord Mayor Sally Capp, City of Melbourne, and join hundreds of  Rotarians from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and valued guests to support The Rotary Foundation, by celebrating the conclusion of Rotary international Convention Melbourne 2023 with dinner and drinks at Melbourne's amazing Plaza Ballroom, serenaded by the legendary Jack Jones and high energy dance band, The Baker Boys

  • Support Rotary Foundation
  • Special recognitions of community leadership and achievement
  • Dinner, drinks, table service and live entertainment included

Secure your club tables NOW (you can decide who is sitting where later). Single tickets also available. 


Tell the DG to go jump update

Thanks to our offer to send five Foundation contributors to Convention on District, there are some very nervous members of the G-train as well as District Foundation Chair Grant Hocking (Woodend)! We are perilously close to achieving our Foundation target for the year, and talk is turning to being incredibly strict on meeting the target before climbing aboard that plane. It’s up to us all to ensure we send District’s brass hurtling from a perfectly good aircraft to parachute to St Kilda beach. 

If your club is yet to make its annual contribution and you’re keen to catch the terrified faces and screams of DG Amanda Wendt (Melbourne), DGE Ron Payne (Eaglehawk), DGN Michael Lapina (Wyndham) DGND Peter Shepheard (Altona) and District Foundation Chair Grant Hocking (Woodend) as we tandom sky-dive, send in your donations now! Thanks to Skydive Australia for the generous 20% discount.

And be sure to be at the upcoming Rotary Gala Dinner with Rotary International President Jennifer Jones to have your club contribution to The Rotary Foundation acknowledged. 


Melbourne Celtic Festival dials up the craic to 90. Again. Running total: 180 craic

Rotarians know how to take time out from doing good to party … and raise much needed funds for youth mental health! 

Our sophomore St Patrick’s Day event showcased 17 acts across five stages, along with a licensed bar, food and merchandise concessions, and sold out with a waiting list of 100+ hopeful attendees, raising $15,000 for Australian Rotary Health and The Rotary Foundation. Amazing as this is, the real achievement was the amount of yet-to-be-Rotary members of the public making up the vast majority of the huge crowd! A true meaningful, community-focused fundraising event!

Congratulations to District Fundraising Director Sue Foley (Port Phillip), Alison Jones, Port Philip Rotary members and volunteers, and DGND Peter Shepheard (Altona) on yet another wonderfully successful Celtic Festival. If you missed out on a ticket, catch up on your fellowship and dancing at Let’s celebrate! Rotary Gala Dinner


Being more inclusive and effective with accessibility of published messages

District Club Service Chair Rosemary Waghorne (Canterbury) has been working hard to increase accessibility of our communications by implementing accessibility best practice. You’ll have noticed less PDFs and type-heavy images on both District website and our Facebook posts, as these formats are difficult for content-reading software used by members with vision or manipulating difficulties. When posting your articles to District website, Facebook or your own club website, try restricting type in images to large, clear headlines to gain attention and convey your message, describing the image and repeating the headline in the image’s Alt text, and typing in critical details as live text in your article’s webpage or post. Piling loads of text into an image, or attaching PDFs, are barriers to accessibility and can exclude some members from participating. A good test is, if the image or attached PDF can’t load for some reason, can everyone still access my web article or posts’ message? This will also help members find your content in search engines, such as Google, which can penalise content in less-accessible PDFs or lots of text embedded in images.