Around District  9800

The tragic COVID-19 situation in India has touched us all and I’m pleased to advise that District 9800 has instigated urgent support. In partnership with the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Community Enterprise Foundation and the Rotary Foundation Australia Limited, we are raising vital funds for this humanitarian crisis through two major corporates with deep connections into the top 100 companies and private ancillary funds. The immediate focus is to secure and send across medical oxygen from two manufacturers – one in Perth and one in the US. Some are already on their way. Following this first focus, we will continue consultation with Rotary Districts in India, to decide the next urgent requirement. Further details on ways in which you can be involved will be provided to you over the next week.

After our wonderful and highly motivating online Multi District Conference, Virtual Victoria, I’m pleased to advise that the videos of the two sessions are now available via these links:  Rotary Virtual Victoria Conference Day 1   Rotary Virtual Victoria Conference Day 2  If you were unable to participate in the conference last week, I have no doubt you will find these videos extremely inspiring.

Speaking of all things ‘virtual’, District Assembly is on Saturday 22nd May from 9.30am to 11.30am. This is a valuable session for new members and all those taking up office bearer roles in the coming Rotary year. I encourage you to book.

Also an online event, the Multi District Interact Conference is scheduled for 30th May via Zoom. Clubs considering sponsoring a new Interact club will find participating in this event well worthwhile. Details of the Zoom link are at the end of this edition of Networker.

We have now entered the time of year when changeovers are being planned and the Governor Train is eager to support you. Please advise Jane Pennington via email: of your club’s changeover details so that either one or several of us (District Governor, District Governor-elect, District Governor-nominee or District Governor Nominee-designate) can attend.

Have a great week in Rotary service everyone.

Rotary District 9800 Governor Philip Archer  

By Past District Governor Dr Murray Verso

The Rotary Peace Symposium, held online April 21-22, was an outstanding event highlighting the work Rotary does globally to promote Peace and the key influence that Rotary, as an independent volunteer based global organisation, has on world forums.

There were superb presentations by Nobel Laureates, Rotary Peace Fellows, Rotary dignitaries and other peacemakers.

By Katrina Flinn, Rotary Club of Hawthorn

Care packs are a welcome gift for all inpatients on their arrival for a stay at the psychiatry ward at both the Alfred and Box Hill Hospitals. A local sewing group of volunteers make the bags that house items suggested by the ward’s nurses and social workers to make the inpatient’s stay more comfortable. These items include a hairbrush, moisturiser, lip balm, journal, pens and more. Since many of the inpatients arrive in an emergency context, and 40% are homeless, basic clothing is also provided that the staff distributes as required.

By Past President Tricia Reardon

Most Rotary clubs receive proposals, submissions or approaches, often on a regular basis, to provide financial assistance to a range of different community causes, charitable bodies and even individuals with needs, and it can be challenging making decisions on whether to provide support or not. Once a precedent is set, it is not easy to decline the next request for support from a similar organisation or individual. Setting clear guidelines around what the club deems as appropriate support is therefore prudent, and can save clubs from both internal and external disappointment, disgruntlement and even controversy if support for a cause is declined.

Rotary suggests that guidelines should endeavour to encourage a more “hands-on” approach to community and humanitarian service rather than just funds disbursement, and there are many clubs that also take “a hand up rather than a hand out” approach to funding requests. However, where a Rotary club does agree or offer to assist financially, then due recognition of the club in relevant media and publications should be a precondition of that support.

By Danielle Kutchell

He may have come to Rotary late, but Robert Edgar has wasted no time since joining in getting straight to work on a number of community projects.

Robert originally joined the Frankston North club in 1993, serving as president in 2002.

It was never his plan to join Rotary; school council friends had often invited him, but Robert felt that his job at the time, which involved a lot of travel, would inhibit his ability to give his time to the club.

Eventually, he gave in – and he hasn’t looked back.

By Jo Cowling, Rotary Richmond

Somaliland is a breakaway Republic from Somalia and is mostly unrecognised by mainstream charities.

Nurse-midwife, activist, and the first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland from 2003-2006, Edna Adan, knew the urgent need for a maternity hospital and began building one in Hardeisa on the site of a rubbish dump and burial ground. Using her retirement funds to help part-finance the hospital, she “begged” (as she puts it) and worked tirelessly for the rest.

Inspired by a presentation from Edna Adan at a Rotary Multi District Conference and Peace Symposium, Richmond Club member Annette Pepper travelled to Somaliland in 2019 and volunteered at the hospital for a month, identifying the medical equipment and supplies that would benefit the patients seeking treatment there. The hospital has 200 high-risk baby deliveries per month, had no baby warmers, was short on other equipment and existing equipment was very old. The trip was also an opportunity to assess the sustainability of an-ongoing project to support the training of midwives. During her visit, Annette was able to observe clinics and wards, as well as assess and discuss her observations with Edna.

By John Granger

This august publication and humble writer would never stoop to crass commercial promotion, but a recent trip to Castlemaine started a process.

Travelling from Melbourne CBD to Castlemaine by train takes less than two hours. And, seriously, Castlemaine is a delight! The ‘Goldfields’ area bespeaks the vibrant history of Victoria’s early development. There are nearby townships such as Chewton and its miners’ cottages, sometimes with wisps of chimney smoke. Also, there are many artefacts from that fabulous era that made Victoria and Melbourne a financial powerhouse in the 1880s. Castlemaine embraces its past … there’s the Theatre Royal where the controversial dancer Lola Montez once appeared, the local railway station hosting steam train trips to historical Maldon and the historical shopfront buildings. Then there are the 19th century coffee houses, which have given way to boutique eating venues, artistic pursuits, weekend craft and produce markets – and yes, even freshly brewed coffee. Castlemaine is a daytrip, an indulgent weekend or even something more enduring.

So, back to the “crass” … what a choice: a reserved train seat, time to read, email and prepare for the day ahead, instead of performing the urban ritual of ‘white knuckling’ up and down the Monash Freeway for an hour plus.

Rotary Fellowship of Wildlifers for Conservation (RFWC) was conceptualised in Rotary District 3190 (Bangalore, India) in 2020 and soon received response to form a global group with Rotarians, Rotaractors and other interested individuals. It was officially recognised by Rotary International in December last year and has over 150 members from across the world.

This Fellowship is open to anyone within the Rotary community who share a common interest and willingness to work towards building a future in which people and nature thrive.