Posted on Dec 01, 2022
Welcome to a special bumper-issue, chock full of news and updates! 
 - Flood-affected community relief
 - Two weeks left to save 40% for Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023
 - Tell the DG to go jump … for a donation to the Rotary Foundation
 - Zone 8 Regionalisation Pilot 
 - D9800 leading the diversity, equity and inclusion conversation for Zone 8
 - Official DG Cluster visits
 - D9800 leading capability development for  Zone 8 in Rotary Down Under
 - District website renewal with regular articles and review

Flood-affected community relief

Huge thank you to clubs and members who have taken action for flood victims across Victoria and southern NSW. The generosity is amazing. Clubs in affected communities are incredibly grateful for your donations, which provide them the flexibility to respond to the distinct requirements of their local community, in collaboration with emergency services.

The best way to support flood affected communities is to donate money through RAWCS Victorian Appeal or National Flood Appeal:  

Victoria and border communities flood relief

National Flood Appeal

Thank you to Rotary Eaglehawk for responding so quickly to facilitate donations while RAWCS’ dedicated fund was established.

If you wish to donate house goods, including furniture, please deposit them with WERN or RIMERN. Rotary clubs in affected communities report they do not have the resources to manage or store donated hard goods, which diverts them from the distinct priorities of their local community, and draws unnecessary traffic to affected areas. WERN and RIMERN can coordinate effective delivery of your donated items with local Rotary clubs. Visit and

Please collaborate within your club and cluster to continue your generous support, as the rehabilitation work after natural disasters continues long after stories stop appearing on our nightly news. Indeed, our bushfire relief programs have demonstrated that communities, families, and the services and businesses they rely on, can remain affected for years afterward. Consider dedicating existing fundraising events, and collaborate with your cluster clubs to share skills and resources to initiate new events and have a greater impact. 

Our Rotary clubs are world-leaders at mobilising to raise much needed funds, and we’ve collected some of that knowledge, along with Australian research and Rotary Learning Center resources, at You can also contribute your clubs’ fundraising insights and successful case studies for other to emulate at

Club presidents (or their delegate) can contact District Fundraising Director Sue Foley (, as well as your Assistant Governor, for more info and assistance.


Buy your discounted tickets to the Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023 by 15th December

Next May, we’re hosting Victoria’s largest conference ever, and your unique opportunity to experience the amazing energy, global knowledge sharing and fellowship of a Rotary International Convention, without worrying about long haul travel, foreign currency bill shock or terrible coffee! Train, tram or Uber from your doorstep, via your favourite café, to Rod Laver Arena and start telling our international guests how you arrived by kangaroo.

With hundreds of your fellow members already registered, don’t make the mistake of believing you can sign up for a few side-events and feel like you’ve experienced the real thing; the opening and closing ceremonies, the International headline speakers, the energy of tens of thousands of Rotarians cheering in united purpose! 

Watch the video here and comment to let’s know you’re attending

Avoid paying up to 40% more,  register by 15 December

Thank you to Mary Barry, Dennis Shore, Murray Verso, Ludovic Grosjean and Sue Vincent of the Host Organising Committee for their continued work and leadership to make this the best Convention yet.


Tell the DG to go jump … for a donation to Foundation

We’ve set an ambitious target this Rotary year to raise AU$500,000 to contribute to the annual fund and if we are successful, your G-train of myself, DGE Ron and DGN Michael, as well as District Foundation Chair Grant Hocking, will jump out of a plane. With parachutes. We have already had interest from several members wanting to join us (the more the merrier!) so you’re highly encouraged to set your own ambitious club or cluster fundraising goal to help us meet our target. Last year we raised AU$355,000 for the annual fund and with the generous support of Rotarians, corporate partners and friends of Rotary, I’m looking forward to D9800 achieving new heights (and taking the subsequent plunge) for our amazing Rotary Foundation. 

Follow up with your club on how to help raise funds and donate.


Zone 8 Regionalisation Pilot 

Thank you to all clubs and members for engaging with and voting on this watershed initiative. After the overwhelming vote by clubs and districts (including ours) to proceed, Rotary International Board approved Zone 8 Regionalisation Pilot to progress at the October board meeting in Chicago. Next steps are:

  • The 20 of 21 districts in which at least two-thirds of clubs voted to approve will assist the Pilot team with further development of a regional governance model to report to Rotary International Board for its January 2023 Board meeting
  • District 9620, which did not achieve a two-thirds club vote, may hold another vote on whether to participate in the Zone 8 Regionalisation Pilot, ideally before 1 July 2023

District 9800 board and Pilot delegates will continue to work with the Zone Pilot team to develop a regional governance model for presentation to RI Board in January, and update you on progress. Congratulations and thank you PDG Grant Hocking, PDG Peter Frueh, PDG Philip Archer, PDG Julie Mason, PDG Murray Verso, Kathy Hall, Gabe Hau, Tony Laycock, Cathie Macmillan, Lesley McArthur, Jane Pennington, Chris Richardson, Amrit Singh, Casey Tan and John Wall. 


D9800 leading the diversity, equity and inclusion conversation for Zone 8

At the recent Zone 8 Conference in Canberra in late October, I had the privilege of facilitating a forum of community experts and many interested Rotarians on how focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion is a win for our communities, a win for our clubs and a win for our members. It was also the premiere of the special video on how people with seeming disabilities, such as sufferers of Aphasia, have much to contribute and are keen to be not just beneficiaries of our service, but participants and members. Congratulations to PDG Bronwyn Stephens, Lili Teichman and Rotary Brighton North on the video’s launch (view in the article).

It was fantastic to hear the experiences and insights of panel members PDG Bronwyn Stephens, District Service Director Lili Teichman, PDG Edith Chaney (D9920, NZ) and Peter Mercer as well as audience contributors, with the conversation spanning gender, age, sexuality, race, colour, physical or mental ability, and place of origin. 

The clear message of panelists and audience participants was that our diverse community groups are seeking not just the support of Rotary clubs, but inclusion in project design and implementation, active participation and membership. The three key steps for our clubs are to connect, understand and invite.

I’m proud that D9800 clubs, as well as our neighbouring districts, are demonstrating this commitment with many members of diverse community group taking on leadership positions. 

Find out how your club can grow your service and membership to make a better, bigger difference for your community, and be more representative of that community, with an action plan on how to connect, understand and invite more members of diverse community groups at


Official DG Cluster visits

Since the last Networker, we’ve visited Batman, Beachside, Calder, Chirnside, Gateway East, Hobsons Bay and Port Phillip clusters.

Our clubs are diverse and know their community best, and District’s job is to help them make a bigger difference for their community. One way we’re doing this is by creating opportunities for clubs with shared communities to come together and share their knowledge, skills and resources through these cluster events. The unexpected bonus was the fellowship! While each cluster visit has had a unique format, the buzz and energy of members collaborating has been amazing and heartwarming.

With this year’s focus on connecting with more volunteers, District Service Director Lili Teichman has also engaged attendees in hands on volunteering demonstrations, with thousands of meal kits assembled for the community. Proving the power of meaningful, hands on and convenient projects to connect with more volunteers, five members of the public were so intrigued by Batman cluster members assembling their meal kits that they joined in! Find out more on how to tweak or start your own project to connect with more volunteers at

Cluster visits are also where we’ve been highlighting Rotary’s vocational advantage by acknowledging the outstanding mentorship within our clubs. Mentorship of our own people attracts new members, instills our next generation of leaders with Rotary values, and engages and retains valuable experienced Rotarians.

Since our last Networker, the following members have received DG Mentorship Awards: David Laurie, Rob Hines, Neville Taylor, Elias Lebbos, Sarah Overton, Neville Taylor, Maryanne Decleva, DGN Michael Lapiña, Yvonne Farquharson, Lesley McCarthy, Melina Caccetta, Edith Chen, Kate Blyth, Pip Elston, Sally Armstrong, Sam Turner, Shraddha Sharma, Peter Cribb, Reginald Holloway, Geoffrey Camm, Khurram Khan, Colin Styles, Wendy Tang, Bruce Shaw, Danielle Schutte, Melissa McIntosh, PDG Julie Mason and Mary Barry. Congratulations all!

Thank you to our tireless Assistant Governors (AGs) and Club Presidents for facilitating these fantastic events!


D9800 leading capability development for  Zone 8 in Rotary Down Under

Check your December copy of Rotary Down Under for a profile of our very own capability development platform Grow My Club Our district is proudly leading the conversation on meaningful, hands on, convenient projects to connect with more volunteers, Rotary’s vocational advantage to convert volunteers to members and engage and retain our invaluable experienced Rotarians, and develop the next generation of community leaders with community fundraising events.

This RDU issue also features some of our hands on volunteering projects: Rotary Balwyn’s From Tiny Seeds Mighty Trees Grow, Rotary Canterbury’s FORaMEAL, Rotary E-club’s E-meals and Rotary Melbourne’s Second Bite. Congratulations on well-deserved profiles on how to connect with more volunteers from across our community.

See the full list of our projects, clubs and members featured, on our District website article, and be sure to read the RDU issue. Congratulations everyone, huge round of applause, you’ve made us all proud!

View at


District website renewal with regular articles and review

You may have noticed that, since July, our website has been regularly updated with new articles published as they’re contributed. This is so your club can submit articles for timely publication, which you can then share on our District Facebook page to engage more clubs, members and make a bigger difference. While your Networker email will continue to highlight an omnibus of articles published since the last one, be sure to visit and contribute to regularly, and then share your published articles in our district’s People of Action Facebook group for engagement and discussion

In addition to more timely updates, a less obvious, years-overdue cleanup of non-news pages has been ongoing since August. With an admirable focus on getting information online over the years, the site has accumulated a palimpsest of sometimes-conflicting information. District’s dedicated Public Image team have been working hard for some months to review published content for clarity and accuracy. This a large and complex undertaking for our volunteers to get right, and will take significant time, so I’ll be collaborating with DGE Ron and DGN Michael to encourage continuity of this effort in future years.

A huge thank you to Rosemary Waghorne and Lili Teichman for all their high quality, volunteer work to regularly edit and publish new articles and undertake this long-overdue review of legacy content.  

Please continue to push your club information out there by submitting articles to Rosemary at and sharing the published pages in our Facebook group. If you have helpful insight on, or information for existing non-news pages, please get in touch with Lili at

Your club events will also be published in the site’s Upcoming Events calendar, if your club’s ClubRunner calendar is set up to do so. Contact DGN Michael at to find out how.