Around District  9800

Reflect on what our First Nations people have done in keeping our lands in pristine condition for 60,000+ years Respect how the First Nations people achieved…

Rotary Southbank ESG Group's central event was livestreamed across Australia on January 26th.  You can view it now.

Rotary’s highest honor recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, Service Above Self, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. The award is internationally competitive, and is granted to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide. Professor Jeremy Oats AM from Rotary Melbourne was confirmed by the January RI Board as being one of this year’s recipients. 

Jeremy has voluntarily dedicated most of their free time for over a decade leading a hand-picked team to save lives of women and babies in remote areas of Timor Leste that have horrific maternal death rates. Funded by 2 back-to-back VTT Global Grants, very strong outcomes have been confirmed through independent reviews and participant feedback. This commitment and a lifetime of helping mothers and babies through their chosen profession in obstetrics and gynecology exemplifies service above self. Congratulations Jeremy!


The Polio Plus Society, a fundraising and recognition program specifically to support the worldwide effort to eradicate polio, is now open to District 9800 Rotarians. 

Members pledge to donate at least US$100 annually to the PolioPlus Fund until polio is gone from the world. 

The Melbourne Celtic Festival is back on St Patrick’s Day, Friday, March 17 2023 from 12pm to 11pm at Melbourne’s iconic Mission to Seafarers, 717 Flinders Street. 

100% of ticket proceeds go to Rotary Foundation Australia and Australian Rotary Health Mental Health Support and Research Programs. 

Tickets are Live and you are the first to know so don’t walk, JIG to book your Festival Pass. BOOK NOW: 

The Citation for Meritorious Service recognizes one individual Rotarian per district per year who have demonstrated outstanding active service to The Rotary Foundation for more than one year.
This year PDG Murray Verso has been recognised due to his service to Rotary and The Rotary Foundation for a number of decades. Murray has been Foundation Chair of Rotary Club of Williamstown over many years and also the District Rotary Foundation Chair for 3 years. In addition, he has served as Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for 3 years and as an End Polio Now Zone Coordinator. Murray has led a Group Study Exchange team and has been a great advocate for The Rotary Foundation organising multiple fundraising events to help raise awareness and funds. Congratulations Murray!
On behalf of Rotarians from D9800 and beyond, I wish to congratulate the following individuals and clubs who were recognised on Australia Day for their leadership and commitment to making a difference to others through their services to the community and vocations. We are all incredibly proud and delighted these inspiring people have been recognised. 

It has been a busy first 6 months of the Rotary year in the Foundation space with lots of activity.  The Foundation Newsletter has a summary of these activities and an update of what is important in the coming months.


In April 2022, Rotary Club of Richmond received a call for assistance and financial support from Thomas Williams, Head of Music at Richmond High School.  The request was for funds to purchase a much needed baritone saxophone for the school, an item not provided to State Schools by the Ministry of Education.

Pictured are Thomas Williams, Principal Lars Andersson, Mark Dwyer, and Maria Makris with the baritone sax. 


Reflect what our First Nations people have done in keeping our lands in pristine condition for 60,000+ years.  Respect how the First Nations people achieved this, and celebrate the multi-cultural Australia we are. We are in this together! 

Speakers include: Thomas Mayo, a Kaurareg Aboriginal and Kalkalgal, Erubamle Torres Strait Islander man and the National Indigenous Officer of the MUA; Costa Georgiadis, presenter of Gardening Australia; and Professor Patrick McGorry,  youth mental health advocate. 


In 2020 Rotary Club Chadstone/East Malvern introduced their “Sleeping out Rough Night” program, to raise not only funds, but awareness that there are people every night who only have the street to call home. 

This year the ‘Sleeping Out Rough Night’ will be held in Central Park East Malvern, on the 17 March. We would love to see Rotary Clubs across District 9800 come and join us to make this year even more successful. Funds we raise this year, will go toward continuing to assist people experiencing homelessness; and also, to assist women and children escaping domestic and family violence. 

Jean Abbey, the widow of Royce Abbey, Past President of Rotary International 1988/89, celebrated her 100th Birthday in Melbourne on the 13th of December 2022. A small family gathering with children, grandchildren and a few of her 12 great grandchildren helped celebrate the event. The following day Jean was also visited by two members representing the Rotary Club of Essendon, the club Royce joined in 1954 and remained a member until his passing in 2014.
The milestone was recognised by the Prime Minister, Governor General, Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, Premier of Victoria and Victorian Governor.
If you would like to leave a special birthday message for Jean, comment below in this post and DG Amanda will collate everyone's well wishes on behalf of D9800. 


WERN (Western Emergency Relief Network) is part of the City of Maribyrnong Flood Recovery Committee and is offering support in several ways. Many of the 400 families affected by the recent floods are struggling with financial and insurance implications of the devastation.

Do you have vocational skills with an insurance background that could help?  


There is now a major mosquito danger within flood impacted communities. In order to provide some relief to affected communities, RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service Inc.) has acquired thousands of mosquito repellent candles. 

RAWCS has taken the initiative and so far distributed over 16,000 candles in Shepparton (VIC), Lismore (NSW), Parkes (NSW) and Gympie (QLD) with great effect. There are plans to distribute up to a further 25,000 candles in coming weeks. 

For donations to the appeal for Victoria and Border areas:

After the Regionalisation Pilot vote in September, we announced that 90% of clubs voted yes to proceed with the pilot and 20 of 21 districts met the two thirds of clubs voting Yes threshold. The 21st district had a simple majority in favour but not the two thirds majority. 
The results were reported to the Rotary International Board and it was approved that we proceed with 20 districts. We will continue to work with the last district during this period and give them the opportunity to have another vote at a later time.

Essendon North Rotary Club are conducting their annual Australia Day Breakfast with keynote speaker Barry Jones AC.  Funds raised will be donated to TLC for Kids. 
Since 1998, TLC for Kids has given relief and much-needed distraction to sick children and their families during stressful and traumatic situations. In hospitals across Australia, our services have been used over 13.1 million times and counting. For bookings go to:

Some time ago, Dr Neil Browning learned of the plight of 200,000 displaced persons in a refugee camp on the border of Uganda and South Sudan. Staggeringly, this is the same population as Geelong. The closest town with a hospital is Moyo, which has a population of 4,000. The hospital had decent midwifery services but not a lot else.    Neil and his wife decided to relocate from their cosy home in England to Moyo and help.   

'One Rotary Club at a time... one nurse at a time
Imagine it! Could one Rotary Club in suburban Melbourne make a meaningful difference in treatment and outcomes for cancer patients in regional Victoria and beyond?  That question has been positively answered recently by  'ROMP' - the Rotary Club of Camberwell’s Rotary Outreach Myeloma Program. 
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
 Check out the Dec / Jan edition of Rotary Down Under for a special District 9800 feature.
 Includes articles on:
 - Grow my club
 - Secondbite (Melbourne)
 - From tiny seeds mighty trees grow (Balwyn)
 - Mock job interview program (Richmond)
 - Kyebe maternity clinic (Albert Park)
 - D9800 radio show
 - Bushfire recovery (Bendigo South)
 - Be your own boss (Brighton)
 - Rotary Essendon international projects
 - FORaMEAL (Canterbury)
 - Member Fayia Isaiah Lahai (Glenferrie)
 - Sanitation solutions for Nepal and Cambodia (Passport Melbourne)
 - Steam rally Echuca Moama
 - Scholarships for disadvantaged children in Pakistan (Hoppers Crossing)
 Read more about our inspiring projects, clubs and Rotarians:
The Rotary National Flood Appeal has been launched to raise funding to provide financial assistance to flood victims in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales. Funds donated to Victoria and Border Communities Flood Relief Fund Distribution (Project 31-2022-23 RABS) will go to flood victims in Victoria and Border communities. Donations can be made via the RAWCS website: 


The Rotary Club of North Melbourne is assisting the Association of Ukrainians in Victoria, who are running a raffle to support re-settlement of displaced Ukrainians in Victoria.
Clubs selling tickets for the raffle will receive a $5 return per ticket.  The raffle, with first prize a $15,000 gift voucher ,will be drawn on 7th January 2023.
For ticket orders contact Ted Dziadkiewicz, RC North Melbourne, via email: or mob: 0408 106 719

October 8th was a chilly but clear Saturday morning for the opening of the new playground at Victoria Park Kew, and the spirits of club members in attendance for were high. Finally, they got to dedicate the fabulous new BBQ donated to the project as the club’s contribution to all the other projects undertaken by Rotary clubs around Australia to mark the centenary of Rotary in Australia in 2021. 

Did you hear about the two blood cells that fell in love?  Alas, it was all in vein! 

Did You Know?  Over 8.3 million Australians will need blood in their lifetime.  Your family, grandchild, close friends? 

In July 2022, a shipment of FORaMEAL packs containing 100,000 meals was dispatched to the Philippines.  When the shipment arrived, the packs were distributed to five strategically placed Rotary Clubs in the Philippines ready for when they would be needed following disasters such as floods and fire.  It wasn’t long before that aid was needed. 

Rotary’s Council on Resolutions (COR) and Council on Legislation (COL) give us a voice in how our organisation is governed. 

The Council on Resolutions of Rotary International meets online every year to vote on resolutions proposed by clubs, districts, and the RI Board. Resolutions are requests to the Board or the Foundation Trustees to take an action that is outside the purview of the RI constitutional documents. 

Have you ever wanted to tell the DG to go jump?
Well this is your chance but it will cost you a donation to the Rotary Foundation!
If we reach our target of $500k AUD to the annual fund, DG Amanda Wendt - joined by DGE Ron Payne, DGN Michael Lapina and D9800 Foundation Chair Grant Hocking - will skydive out of a plane.
Want to join us up in the sky? Challenge your club or cluster to your own fundraising goal and help our District meet the target!  

Around 30 Rotarians joined together to pack over 4000 meals in one hour as part of the official DG Batman cluster visit. Held in the foyer outside Red Emperor restaurant, it took only moments for 5 random pedestrians to stop, enquire about who we are, what we were doing, pull on gloves and get involved! Hands-on volunteering sells itself and what a wonderful, impactiful introduction to Rotary for these new volunteers! 

At the official DG Cluster visit with Calder, Martin and Di Taurins did what they’ve always done, champion the fight against MS. Whilst their incredible donation of $36,000 to Australian Rotary Health was an incredible highlight, it was such an honour to see their work recognised with Royce Abbey awards. A truly inspiring couple, congratulations again Martin and Di!

It only took members of Essendon, Essendon North, Flemington Kensington, Footscray and West Footscray a record 13 mins 41 secs to pack 100 food parcels which were delivered to local food banks, feeding 500 people in need. Gateway East showed what was possible with a strategic production line and a determination to beat the previous record held by Westside at 15 mins. 

Rotary’s number one priority remains the worldwide eradication of polio. 
The amazing progress made by Rotary and its partners towards eradicating polio is inspirational, but the job is not yet done. Raising the US$50 million each year to obtain the maximum Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 2-to-1 match is a challenge. 
The PolioPlus Society is a new fundraising and recognition program that specifically supports PolioPlus. The program began in Oregon, USA in 2012 and is now being used successfully by districts throughout North America, Brazil and The Philippines. Now, Rotary members and others in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands will have the opportunity to participate. 
Great evening spent with the Chirnside cluster clubs as we continued to work together through hands-on volunteering. 50 food packs were given to Afghan refugees and 100 birthing kits are making their way overseas. Thanks to the club presidents Kwabena Larbi, Cheryl Nash, Ian Hovey, Pascal Ochi and Seema Lal for updating everyone on the difference their clubs are making, I'm always blown away by what clubs achieve!

 One of our District’s best success stories, For-A-Meal has provided well over 500,000 emergency relief meals for free to for those impacted by natural disasters.  It was only natural that we hold a special volunteer with the DG day to support their mission. 

Thank you to everyone who has so promptly booked their Paul Harris Breakfast tickets. Unfortunately, our guest speaker Jeroen Weimer is no longer available on Wednesday 23 November 2022. However, Jeroen has been able to work with us to be available on Tuesday 22 November.
School Principal (retired) and PDG Julie Mason AM says “It’s never been more important to support and honour teachers for the extraordinary requirements put on them during the Pandemic and its recovery.”

Brighton, Brighton North and Caulfield clubs had a very successful night building new friendships, sharing project wins and discovering ways to collaborate at the official DG Beachside Cluster visit. It was the first time the three clubs have met together and to quote many of the members, 'Let's make sure its's not the last time'! 

The passing of Lawrence Atley OAM was a sad milestone for the Rotary Club of Footscray. Lawrence was a dedicated and passionate Rotarian who enjoyed and valued his time in Rotary and the friends he made there. 

As soon as the Hobson Bay cluster members saw a table of soup kits waiting to be packed they jumped straight in - we didn’t have to ask! Before the meeting had officially started, 100 food packs were done waiting to be taken by the various clubs to local charities and food banks. It was so much fun to join members in a meaningful, hands-on and convenient project that everyone could get involved in. 

DG Amanda Wendt recently joined Woodend Rotarians and friends to celebrate the opening of the club’s Rotary centenary project, Rotary Rocks on Five Mile Creek. The project is the culmination of two years’ work supported by the Rotary Foundation. 

Organisers were pleased with the turnout for the End Polio Now Walk following the November Zone 8 Conference in Canberra. 87 registered walkers, including RI President Elect, Gordon McInally (holding the baton) and RI Director, Jessie Harman, enjoyed the walk in the pleasant surrounds of Lake Burley Griffin. To date, $55,000 has been raised, but further donations would be very welcome.

In October, under the direction of PDG Ross Butterworth, volunteers rolled up their sleeves for some Hands-on Volunteering with the DG at Western Emergency Relief Network (WERN). 

This month's featured speakers are:

Prof. Janet McCalman, AC, a teacher and researcher in interdisciplinary history at the University of Melbourne

Richard Harrison, Australian author, speaker and cricket umpire.

If you have an interesting speaker at your club that you would recommend to other clubs, please contact Speaker Bank Chair, Jill Weeks (Hawthorn) via the Speakers Bank page: (Available only to members logged on to the District website)

Bees and other pollinators are essential to maintain production of our food crops and are responsible for one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat!  Over recent years there has been an alarming reduction in pollinator populations worldwide. Thanks to this enthusiastic group of bee champions, many more Rotary clubs and communities are actively engaged in fighting the decline of pollinator populations worldwide. 

Now in its fourth year, Rotarians for Bees, a project of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Victoria, is expanding into New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory as a project of the Rotary Club of Castle Hill, NSW. 

The Host Organising Committee (HOC) is looking for Volunteers to assist with the running of the Rotary International Convention in May 2023 in Melbourne (RICON23). Volunteers are required to primarily assist as Welcome Marshalls at the main convention sites ( Melbourne Convention and Entertainment Centre and Rod Laver Arena ) as well as at HOC Events, Major Block Hotels, Tullamarine Airport and Southern Cross Station. Volunteers will also be first-hand providers of information and advice to delegates on a variety of aspects of RICON23. 

The Water for Education Project, providing four schools in Siem Reap with water filtration systems, has successfully installed a water filtration system providing one school with delicious clean, clear water. The water is available to both students and the wider community. Rotarians and friends from Australia, Cambodia and Singapore joined together to celebrate this project in action.


The 17th International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians (ITFR) World Championship will take place in Melbourne Park “The Home of Tennis”, over 4 days from 23-26 May 2023, in the lead up to the RI Convention.

Don’t be put off by the “World Championships” tag, it’s an event for tennis players of all ages and abilities. 

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