Around District  9800

I remain forever inspired and in awe of our Rotarians. Once again our members have stepped up when it counts. 

When we received word that Rochester residents were approaching winter without enough blankets, our People Of Action instincts kicked in. District Service Director Lili Teichman has written a fantastic article about the blanket drive but I wish to echo her thanks to the following clubs and individuals for their generous donations and support (in club alphabetical order):

  • Activate Victoria club members, including Greg Harbour 
  • Albert Park club members, including Mark Davies, David Gorman, Lea Ram 
  • Balwyn club members, including David Hobson 
  • Bendigo club members and, including Peter Reading 
  • Brighton North club members, including Lyn Mortimer 
  • Carlton club members, including Ian Ada, Michael Elligate, Tania Herschberg  
  • Camberwell club members, including Gary Goldsmith, Alan Lorenzini 
  • Chadstone/East Malvern club members, including Michele Kennedy, Frank Warner, Jo Roach, Kathy Noble 
  • Daylesford club members, including Terri Oprean 
  • DIK Team, including Bob Glindemann 
  • E-Club club members, including Gabe Hau 
  • Hawthorn club members, including Katrina and Mick Flinn 
  • Hoppers Crossing club members, including Mick and Pennie Stade 
  • Macedon Ranges club members, including Sally Armstrong 
  • Melbourne Passport club members, including Jessica Palti 
  • North Balwyn club members, including Rowan McClean 
  • Point Lonsdale club members  
  • RIMERN Team, including David Gorman 
  • Werribee club members, including Ian and Micki Hovey 
  • Woodend club members, including Grant and Melissa Hocking 
It starts with a smile and a shared sense of purpose.
Among people who enjoy connecting for a cause, to solve problems and address community needs.
That's what we do at Rotary. We are people of action, a network of 1.4 million neighbours, friends, and leaders who bring our skills, ideas, and expertise to take on challenges here and around the globe.
From protecting the environment, to supporting our neighbours, to investing in the next generation of problem solvers.
Our members share a passion for making the world better and creating lasting change at home and around the world.
Bring your passion and purpose and take action with us.
The Rotary Passport Club of Melbourne has welcomed 5 Rotaractors from the Rotaract Club of Siem Reap, Cambodia, who are in Australia for the Rotary International Convention. Doeb, Lita, Phanich, Sokal and Tola have already done so much during their first week in Melbourne, including being guest speakers at a number of clubs in D9800, volunteering alongside RC Balwyn members at the Camberwell Sunday Market and hosting a community event. 









Via their work in hospitals in Phnom Penh, a group of orthopaedic surgeons had a dream to build a new surgical ward for Kampong Spue Referral Hospital.  That dream has now been realised through the extraordinary generosity of  benefactor, Dr. Chris Keenan who funded the building of a brand-new surgical facility with two operating theatres. 

While the building was under construction the Rotary Clubs of Hawthorn, Vic. and Osborne Park, WA, got to work identifying and sourcing suitable items for the new operating theatres.  


Teachers and students alike have responded enthusiastically to Bayspeak, a Rotary public speaking competition for Melbourne Bayside high schools, now in its third year. Teachers have praised the organisation of the competition and the very high standard of the speakers, qualities, they say, that have made Bayspeak the premier public speaking event for Bayside secondary schools. 

The Science Experience is a Rotary Districts of Australia initiated and supported program:  a nationwide STEM outreach program for year 9 and 10 students in 2023.

The Victorian Rotary Emergency Services Community (RESC) Awards are designed to recognise our emergency service personnel who have gone above and beyond their call of duty and reflected the Rotary motto of “Service above Self”. 

Nominations for the RESCA Awards VIctoria will be open to all Victorian-based paid and volunteer Emergency Service Personnel and can be made by any member of the community, or their colleagues. 

Rotarians are encouraged to nominate outstanding Emergency Service workers in their communities. 

The other evening, I was sitting on the lounge. It was so cold that I decided to throw over 2 blankets and then I stopped and thought about the people in Rochester, impacted by the floods, living in caravans, tents and sheds ……… 

The incredibly generous acts of kindness shown by our Rotary clubs, in answering our callout for assistance, only two weeks ago, to help others in need is simply overwhelming. The families in Rochester who have been impacted by the floods, after 6 months have reached out and asked us for help. We have been waiting for this call! And there was a 24-hour turnaround in responses! 

Breaking News:  Word from Rochester is that almost all blankets have been distributed in only 2 days since they arrived!!

Photo: David Gorman and Frank Warner loading the truck.

After several years of setbacks, the small rural village of Mwast, on the island of Espiritu Santo, 25 km north of the city of Luganville, has two new school classrooms and an office.   

The project began in 2017, at the suggestion of Woodend Rotarians Allan and Shirley Cann, who have volunteered business mentoring for many years in Vanuatu. 

‘We noticed that many primary school-age children were not attending school and were told by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) that many parents could not afford to send children to school, and many schools were so overcrowded, that new children were turned away’ 

RIMERN and WERN are a multi club Rotary projects operating Inner and Western Melbourne, providing furniture, appliances & homewares to welfare agency clients who have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, incarceration, refugee displacement and other crises. 

Customers of Coles have an opportunity to contribute. 

ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children) is a not-for-profit humanitarian organisation run entirely with volunteers. Established more than 35 years ago in District 9800, it is now a project of Rotary Districts in Australia and New Zealand.  




Enjoy a 3-day pass free of charge to the House of Friendship, where you’ll be able to connect with thousands of fellow Rotary members from around the world; and have access to hundreds of Rotary project booths, vendors, food, and entertainment at the 2023 Rotary Interantional Convention in Melbourne. 

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.

Big Difference iconSaturday 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 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.

Image of young man holding the Australian flagWould you like to be involved in one of the most memorable moments of the Rotary International Convention Opening Ceremony? 
We need approximately 200 volunteers to represent flags of the world. The flag ceremony will be held on the morning of Sunday 28th May at Rod Laver Arena, and there will be a dress rehearsal on Saturday 27th May. 
Flag bearers will need to be able to hold a flag and walk around the main arena for approximately 20 minutes. They must be registered to attend convention (the exception being Interactors). 
We want to showcase the terrific diversity of our Rotary members, so we encourage people of all ages and abilities to apply. Limited places available. 
To register your interest go to
Any questions, please email

Photo of members of Rotary Activate Victoria volunteering at Avalon CentreWelcome 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 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:

The Rotary Foundation and Imagine Rotary logos




If your club is considering applying for a Rotary Foundation District Grant, now is the time to apply.

The District Grants committee has ample funds still available for this Rotary year.  It is possible to arrange District Grants through the District 9800 Humanitarian Grants Committee at relatively short notice. The Grants Committee has been able to approve grants and has done so quite quickly where grant applications comply with the terms and conditions of the Rotary Foundation. 

Looking for a speaker for your club?  Speakers recently added to Speaker Bank include Mal Padgett, who speaks on Rotary’s history of raising bowel cancer awareness; and George Petrou OAM, a graphic designer who supports the welfare of ex-service personnel.  

Several other speakers have impressed and received favourable reviews! 

Rotary’s 7th area of focus was established to prioritise care for the environment and is the foundation for Rotary’s other 6 areas of focus. In celebration of World Environment Day, you are most warmly invited to join Rotarians from around the District and the Region for a luncheon, on 17th May at the Sofitel on Collins, highlighting a very special environmental theme: the Circular Economy. 


Rotary District 9560 hosted a group of 14 Timor-Leste midwives and nurses in a Vocational Training Team that attended a 5-week Maternal and Child Health Course at Central Queensland University Mackay Campus.    

Funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, with assistance from the Mackay/Whitsunday area Rotary clubs, the course was especially organised to present different procedures and knowledge not readily available to the group in Timor-Leste. 

In early 2020, with the onset of Covid 19, where countries were closing their borders to travellers, I received a request from friends in Cambodia advising that they needed help to support Cambodians who were facing starvation due to lack of income.  Young people who worked in the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap had lost their jobs due to lack of tourism and the closure of businesses involved in the garment industries, and therefore, they could not send funds back home to support their families as they normally would. 

The Rotary Club of Bendigo South has been supporting Projects in Cambodia and assisting the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh for many years.   Our latest Project was to raise sufficient funds to assist the Club with the purchase of bicycles for poor families and libraries for school communities. 

Photo of President Heather Watson working in a gardenFive months ago our Victorian regions were subjected to huge flooding with the town of Rochester was particularly impacted. Rochie is now ready for us to provide assistance so it’s time to head over there, roll up our sleeves and do some serious volunteering. 
While many people are still not able to return to their homes, continuing to live in caravans or with family and friends, the rains have created much growth in the gardens and this is where they are requesting assistance.  
You don’t need to have green thumbs to help – just a willingness to spend a few hours tidying up the gardens, lawns, community spaces mowing lawns, whipper snippering, weeding and general garden pruning. The last thing we need is overgrowth, particularly during hot weather times.
Image of two women connecting over a new menstrual hygiene packIn many parts of the world it is a common experience for girls to miss school for up to six days per month during menstruation because of poor sanitation and hygiene, stigmatisation and infection.
In 2018, Rotary Central Melbourne member Mawien Ariik saw an opportunity to identify vital community needs in his home village of Lou Ariik and founded South Sudanese Health Matters Inc. These needs included basic healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation, and access to improved women’s hygiene.
The South Sudan Menstrual Hygiene and Education project was established and recently helped 800 schoolgirls through the distribution of re-usable menstrual hygiene kits (sourced from Days For Girls Uganda). By distributing the kits along with menstrual hygiene education the project is empowering girls, addressing the stigma and traditional cultural mores of menstruation in a sensitive way, and helping to reduce infection rates.
Congratulations to Mawien Arrik and Rotary Central Melbourne for bringing lasting change to the lives of these girls by connecting project partners including Rotarians, The Rotary Foundation, volunteers from South Sudanese Health Matters; The Chagai Foundation and the village Chieftains.
Together we connect, we are #peopleofaction

Rotary clubs often lose track of potential youth leaders once they graduate from youth projects. The Rotary club of Hoppers Crossing has found a way to retain these links through the introduction of a young people’s networking group: Rotary Youth Projects Alumni, or RYPA.  

Through RYPA young people over eighteen and up to twenty-five years who progress through Rotary endorsed Youth programs can stay in contact with each other and their sponsor Rotary club.  They can gain through networking opportunities; Rotary mentoring; and by running a major humanitarian service project themselves once per year. 

Pictured: Rotary Hoppers Crossing RYPA Group

Happy International Women’s Day

I’m incredibly thankful for all the wonderful women I know through Rotary: mentors, friends and people I continue to look up to and learn from every day. 

Please take a moment today to acknowledge the women in your clubs and those who lead throughout District 9800, particularly our Club Presidents and District Leadership Team.

Club Presidents

Sally Armstrong, Macedon Ranges

Pennie Cornwell, Kew

Michele Kennedy, Chadstone/East Malvern

Faye Kirkwood, Caulfield

Seema Lal, Wyndham Harbour 

Teresa Liu, Glenferrie

Vera Maljevac, Essendon

Donna Martin, Bacchus Marsh

Sue McDonald, North Balwyn

Judy Miatke, Bendigo Sandhurst

Kate Miller, Echuca-Moama

Sue Moses-Critchley, Fitzroy

Cheryl Nash, Laverton Point Cook

Fabienne Nichola, Camberwell

Terri Oprean, Daylesford

Janice Peeler, Richmond

Helena Peng, Rotaract E-Club of Melbourne

Merlyn Quaife AM, Bendigo South

Lynette Robinson, Gisborne

Shraddha Sharma, Flemington Kensington

Sainab Sheikh, North Melbourne

Maria Silber, Footscray

Debra Sloggett, Keillor East

Deborah Tucker, Eynesbury

Vera Vasilchenko, Brunswick Tullamarine

Heather Watson, Rochester

Edda Williams, Canterbury


District 9800 Leadership Team 

Anne King, District Secretary

Justine Murphy, District Secretariat

Marjorie Gerlinger, District Secretariat

Lili Teichmann, Director, Service

Sue Foley, Director, Fundraising

Sarah Overton, Chair, Vocational Service

Rosemary Waghorne, Chair, Club Service

Sue Vincent, Chair Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Kitty O’Connor, AG Beachside

Alison Bacon, AG Goldfields North

Anthea Rutter, AG Stonnington

Anne Frueh, AG Port Philip and Riverside

Mary Barry, Chair Host Organising Committee

Thank you to everyone who supports women in their clubs, community and in Rotary!

Rotary’s Council on Resolutions and Council on Legislation give Rotary members a voice in how our organisation is governed. 

The deadline for submission of resolutions to the 2022 Council on Resolutions is 30 June. 

To meet the 30 June deadline for submission, clubs wishing to submit a resolution should let me know at least six weeks beforehand to enable time for a vote of the district’s clubs to be arranged. 

“I want to say how honoured, humbled and extremely excited I am to have been appointed as District Governor Nominee Designate for Rotary D9800.

Really pleased that as my club Rotary Altona celebrates its 60th anniversary my gift to the members and partners is that the club will be Home of the District Governor in 25/26.

Looking forward to learning from current DG Amanda Wendt, DGE Ron Payne and DGN Michael Lapina and hoping to make proud all the PDGs I have had the pleasure to work with over my almost 20 years in Rotary. Let the adventure begin!"
- DGND Peter Shepheard
Known for his reassuring and supportive approach, and being a great mate to many, our District is in terrific hands during 2025-2026. Congratulations Peter, enjoy the ride!
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