Posted by DG Amanda Wendt


Hello, it’s great to be back in touch after what I hope was a restful and recuperative break with family and friends. That said, Rotary’s work never ceases, as work for our clubs’ flood-affected communities and Australia Day events continued. I’m also excited for this back nine of 2022-2023, as it is looking to be among the biggest our district has experienced. Buckle up for a big five months!


Flood-affected communities

Rotary Rochester President Heather Watson provided an update on how their flood-affected community is travelling, with many families and businesses unable to return to their homes and premises for 12 to 24 months, and that – for now – donations of funding provide on-the-ground services the flexibility to help those families best. If your club is looking to help, please visit RAWCS Victoria and border communities flood relief or National Flood Appeal

In the meantime, local clubs and District are partnering with agencies to provide innovative initiatives such as an insurance advice service staffed by volunteer insurance professionals to help get those families and business back in their premises, lead by PDG Ross Butterworth and Mark Perree, Rotary Echuca Moama is mitigating health impacts of flooding with mosquito candle drives, Rotary North Brighton and Rotary Bendigo successfully gained Foundation grants for respite for flood-affected women, and District is partnering with local clubs on flood food relief with FORaMEAL, preparing 11,000 nutritious, longlife meals at Goldfields North and South Official DG Cluster Visit and a Volunteer with the DG Day in partnership with our neighbour, flood-affected District 9780.

Rotary International Convention 2023 Melbourne

Rotary international Convention will bring tens of thousands of Rotarians to our city 27-31 May – a once-in-a-Rotary-career opportunity to experience this amazing event without long haul flights, hotels, or other countries’ ideas of good coffee. If you haven’t already, get a gang together and grab your tickets. We’ll also celebrate the success of such a momentous event with A Night to Celebrate Rotary Gala Dinner on Thursday 1 June at Plaza Ballroom, with Rotary International President Jennifer Jones and more! Interest on this event is red hot, so save the date and stand by for more info.

Activate volunteers into members

We’ll also be capitalising on the amazing work by our clubs’ meaningful, hands on and convenient volunteering projects, to progress from connecting with volunteers, to activating those volunteers into members. District Service Director Lili Teichman has worked with amazing volunteering projects such as The Afghan Refugee Project (for which Rotary North Balwyn has been the biggest recipient of District support this year, in the form of funding and volunteers), FORaMEAL, WERN, RIMERN, Nourish, SecondBite, Happy Feet and more. Our Volunteer with the DG Days and Official DG Cluster Visits, with their focus on hands on volunteering, have introduced our service projects to oodles of new volunteers from the community. Now, we progress to a membership focus as we help clubs activate those volunteers into members. We’ll have more to share on this shortly. 

Australia Day recognition

Congratulations and thank you to all our members who were acknowledged for their service on Australia Day! The recognition of our clubs’ and members’ contributions to their community highlights the breadth, diversity and sheer amount of innovation and hard work. Congratulations to Elizabeth Drozd OAM, Rotary Footscray; Garry Fabian OAM, Rotary Chadstone/East Malvern; PDG Greg Ross OAM, Rotary Balwyn North; Dr Mark Stephens OAM, President Rotary Brighton North; Mary Preston, Rotary Eaglehawk and her husband Laurie Preston; Jodi Martin, Rotary Altona; and Rotary Rochester. Beyond our District, congratulations also to PRIP Ian Riseley OAM, Rotary Club of Sandringham, and Jennifer Scott OAM, Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains. Please see the article link below for more details.

Australia Day events

Congratulations to all our clubs who participated within their community with a range of diverse activities, it’s fantastic to witness this connection as well as the appreciation by community members. 

Congrats and thank you also to PDG Philip Archer and team for another successful national live event. This year’s speakers touched on the evolving nature of this day, the opportunities that lie ahead for all Australians, and the role that our clubs can play. If you haven’t watched it already, I encourage you to click the article link below.

Our very own Celtic Festival fundraiser returns for St Patrick's Day 

The craic will be ninety as we enjoy world-leading performers onstage and workshops to develop your own skills, while raising much-needed funds for Australian Rotary Health and Rotary Foundation. Lead by our irrepressible District Fundraising Chair Sue Foley, this event always brings the roof down. St Patrick’s Day, Friday 17 March, noon to 11pm at Melbourne’s iconic Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street. 

Bring your club, bring your community! See article link below for more or book now: Professor Jeremy Oats OAM and PDG Murray Verso acknowledged by Rotary

Congratulations to Professor Jeremy Oats OAM (Rotary Melbourne) and PDG Murray Verso (Rotary Williamstown) on their special recognition by Rotary International for their tireless work. 

Jeremy was among only 150 Rotarians worldwide awarded the Rotary Service Above Self Award for his decade-plus of work leading a team improving maternal survival rates (mothers and babies) in remote communities of Timor Leste. Congratulations Jeremy and team.

Murray’s outstanding service to Rotary and Rotary Foundation over multiple decades has been recognised by Rotary International with the Citation for Meritorious Service, awarded to only one individual in each District a year. Murray has been a stalwart of service at his club Rotary Williamstown, District 9800 and beyond for many invaluable years, and it’s wonderful to see his contributions acknowledged.

Congratulaitons Jeremy and Murray! Read more details in their article links below.

As always, be sure to check regularly for new articles as they’re posted. Thanks to our wonderful District Club Service Chair Rosemary Waghorne for keeping us all so enjoyably up-to-date! Submit your articles to be published at and share them on our Facebook page.