Governor's Messages

Rotary District 9800 Leadership

Rotary District 9800 is led by its District Governor. The Governor is directly responsible to the Board of Rotary International for the administration of the District.

The Governor is Chairperson of the District Board, which comprises the Immediate Past District Governor, the Governor Elect, Governor Nominee, District Secretary (Public Officer), Treasurer, Rotary Foundation Director, Governance Director, Membership Director, Director of Public Image & Communications, Co-Ordinator of Assistant Governors, Vice Governor, and District Secretary Elect.

Separately, the District Leadership Team includes the Governor, Governor Elect & Governor Nominee, together with the Secretary & Treasurer, Assistant Governors, District Directors, Avenues of Service Chairs, and Chair of Learning & Leadership Development.

The District also has the following District Officers: Auditor, Resolutions/Manual of Procedure, Protection, Insurance, Legal, and District Conference.

Read the latest message from our District Governor below.


43 Governor's Messages Items found:      Showing Governor's Messages Items 1 - 25

November is Rotary Foundation Month    

Two wonderful opportunities to promote the amazing power of Rotary to the public have occurred in the last few weeks and days, with the Lift The Lid/Hat Day and World Polio Day in October.

Research into the prevention of mental health issues and Ending Polio are not small things. Everything we we do in Rotary means a lot to the lives of those we help, no matter how small we think our work might be. One person had the idea conduct research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), under the banner of Australian Rotary Health; and one person had the idea to to immunize the world to end polio.

Every Rotary project starts with one person’s idea, which is leveraged through Rotary’s huge powerful network of Clubs, Districts, Zones and Internationally. We are a vocationally diverse organization with reputable core values and when we work together, we can do anything we set our minds to.

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Disease Prevention and Treatment Month    

December 2016 – Governor’s Message

The work of Rotary begins in the community, and every community has its own unique needs and concerns. While we serve in countless ways, through The Rotary Foundation we’ve focused our efforts in six key areas to maximize our impact. These areas encompass some of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs, and we have a proven record of success in addressing them. One of them is Disease Prevention and Treatment.

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Every Day in Rotary is like Christmas    

Since mid-July, Rebecca and I have been visiting our wonderful Rotary clubs and experiencing the amazing variety of things you are all doing to make a difference to the lives of others. It is inspiring to be part of an organisation whose unique structure enables us to work locally, in our Districts, across the State, around the country and all over the world, helping those who didn’t get our opportunities. We do things that others don’t, we achieve what Governments cannot and this is largely due to our diversity of skills, our ethical core values, our acceptance of diversity in culture, religion, ethnicity, gender age, and we owe no favours to any lobby group. The opportunity to serve is a great one, and everything we do matters, especially to those we help.

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March Area of Focus is Water and Sanitation    

District Governor Neville John

Clean water and sanitation is a human right. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives. We don’t just build wells and walk away. Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families, expanding our impact.

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October Area of Focus - Economic and Community Development    

"Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." - Arthur Ashe

Economic and community development is one of Rotary’s six areas of The Rotary Foundation’s focus.

Nearly 1.4 billion employed people live on less than $1.25 a day. Rotary members promote economic and community development and reduce poverty in underserved communities through training, well-paying jobs, and access to financial management institutions. Projects range from providing people with equipment to vocational training. We work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women, in impoverished communities.

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September Area of Focus is Basic Education and Literacy    

During visits to clubs I have been honoured to present badges many new members of the Rotary Family. The Member A Month Campaign is going well with many clubs already qualifying for the $1,000 grant for their new members to engage in a project. Remember, you have until 31 October 2016 to get those four new members so keep working at it.

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August is Membership Development Month    

With the simple aim this year for each club to be stronger on 1 July 2017 than on 1 July 2016, the first strategic pillar of ‘strengthening our clubs’ is an important one.

During Governor-Elect leadership training last year, John Germ commented that the need for Rotary in our communities today is more important than it ever was, and tomorrow it will be even greater. Additionally, there is also reason to believe that some time during 2016-2017, the last reported case of the wild poliovirus could be announced. When that moment comes, Rotary International will work hard to ensure that it receives the recognition it rightly deserves, and the world will know what Rotary has done and is capable of with its huge powerful networks of members in all parts of the world, with their diverse skills and experience. This is something that no other organization has.

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Rotarians set to celebrate The Rotary Foundation’s centennial    

Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith addressed district governors at the 2016 International Assembly in relation to the celebration of the Foundation's centennial year, 2016-17. Since the Foundation was established in 1917, it has spent more than US$3 billion on programs and projects to improve the lives of millions worldwide, said Klinginsmith. The centennial celebration officially kicked off in May 2016 at the Rotary Convention in Korea and culminates at the 2017 convention in Atlanta.

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District Governor Neville John 2016-2017    

By District Governor Neville John

Each new Rotary year all Rotarians confirm their commitment to Rotary’s official motto of ‘Service above Self’ and there is a different theme to provide a new focus and inspiration to support the work of Rotarians. Every Rotary year builds on the year before it and is a base for the next. The District Changeover lunch on 26 June from Julie Mason to me was a wonderful occasion and demonstrated the close working relationship of our Governor train, which ensures consistency in the implementation of the District strategic plan and the support provided to our clubs.

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Rotary Fellowships    

By District Governor Julie Mason

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  Dr. Seuss

Three years ago my life changed considerably when I was selected to be a District Governor in Rotary. People often wonder how the process of selection works and indeed it seems that in our District past and current leaders take it upon themselves to approach people they believe will do a good job! After two years of such approaches I decided to nominate and secured the support from the members of the most amazing Club, Wyndham Rotary. A rigorous selection process conducted by a panel of seven past District and Club leaders determined that this country girl who still goes to school would be a District Governor in the largest District in Australia.

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Rotary Fellowships    

One of the core values of Rotary International is Fellowship and it is almost quaint and for some irrelevant, until you examine a definition of the word. The notion of “a friendly association with people who share one’s interests”, with words such as companionship, comradeship, friendship and mutual support, respect and liking, ensures that the nebulous nature of the word becomes clear.

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Youth Services    

By District Governor Julie Mason

A lovely  and pertinent saying is that ”It takes a village to raise a child” and I am convinced that our work in Rotary plays a significant role in creating opportunities for children to thrive and become caring, thoughtful citizens of the world. I would suggest that every Rotary Club in District 9800 has a program or project that supports children and young people. I am aware of weekend camps that enable disadvantaged youth to have challenging and indeed life changing experiences. The programs that enable young people to have a voice through Public Speaking and those scholarships that are awarded to enable further education to occur are often the motivation to better education and a successful work life. The mentoring that occurs when Rotarians commit to sponsoring EarlyAct and Interact Clubs should never be underrated, and how wonderful it is to hear the Rotarians from Brighton North regularly go to school to listen to young people, who are often not supported at home, read, and share literacy enhancing conversations.

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Youth Services Month    

District Governor Julie Mason

For the past forty three years I have spent my professional career working with young people and over time I have come to appreciate their ideas, initiative and passion that usually results in positive results for other young people or those in need. It was an honour to see the charter of the first EarlyAct Club in District 9800 at Baden Powell College. Whilst Interact is a Rotary International endorsed program, EarlyAct does not enjoy that status and perhaps that should change.

The development of the “Rotary Club” for Primary School students has impressed me beyond belief as I see students commit to projects to enrich their school, local community and indeed the international community. The collection of baby clothes for East Timor, school resources for Cambodia and cans for the local Salvation Army has been achieved with planning, precision packing and a visit to Donations in Kind.

Early literacy programs have been conducted with preschool children and money raised for the Cancer Council, Bosalla Village in Cambodia and Disaster Aid in Fiji. In six years over 180 students have become Citizens of the world through a heightened sense of the power of collective service and many have gone on to join Interact at Baden Powell.

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Time to Celebrate our Gifts to the World - District Awards    

By District Governor Julie Mason

The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating. Jarod Kintz,

The Rotary Theme for 2015/16 asks us to be a Gift to the World and when visiting clubs, assisting with projects and meeting with Cluster groups, it is obvious to me that in District 9800 we have embraced this theme. We have so many local and international club projects and thanks to the initiative of Philip Archer Rotary had significant exposure at national level providing opportunities for people to help alleviate financial hardship to families in need. The instigation of the Western Emergency Relief Network and the ever increasing output generated by Donations in Kind has assisted so many in a very practical manner. What about the clubs in City of Boroondara who will be working hard on Sunday the 17th of April doing a spring clean in the three Servants Homes in their local area. Then we have a fabulous program Busy Feet that just seems to be gaining momentum and attracting interest from clubs all around our District.

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Maternal and Child Health    

It is disturbing to know that over six million children under the age of five die each year from diseases, malnutrition, inadequate sanitation and poor health care. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, AIDS, and diarrheal diseases are the leading causes of death in children under five. I guess once you have children of your own or indeed grandchildren it is almost impossible to ignore these statistics. So what to do is the challenge! To know that the reduction of diarrheal diseases caused by contaminated water can be achieved through the provision of fresh water by simple water catchment systems initiated by Brighton Rotary in Cambodia gives a sense of hope and optimism. To see the benefit that water filtration systems and small dams that provide water for rice crops, fresh vegetables and a daily wash for children reminds me of the wonderful work done through the provision of Rotary Foundation grants.

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What a memorable Golden Bendigo Conference    

The Conference Themes of Our Youth Our Future, Golden Rotary Moments, Joined up Partnerships and Innovative Leadership set the direction for some memorable speakers and in turn some thought provoking messages.

The presentation from the Vocational Training Team that did some amazing work in Cambodia, the Group Vocational Exchange Team from the Philippines and the Youth Exchange students certainly showed the internationality of Rotary at its best and those in attendance will never forget “Pray for Paris”. Renowned speaker Phil Ruthven reminded us that organisations like Rotary will thrive in the future if changes are made to accommodate the needs of the next generation and we are fortunate that we have articulate young Rotarians who can show us the way forward.

Topics: our youth our future,  golden rotary moments,  joined up partnerships,  innovative leadership

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Rotary Celebrates 111 Years of Service    

This edition of District Governors'  message will update you with the latest on:

Water & Sanitation - Rotary's theme for February

You know I remember vividly one morning when I woke up, turned on the tap in the shower and …no water. Down stairs to see what might be happening outside only to find many neighbours already there discussing the impact of the situation! We couldn’t fill the kettle to make a cup of tea, no shower today, no washing of clothes or the car! Disaster had struck in this part of our world, and then of course the water began to flow freely again. Once you stop and reflect we are so very lucky compared to others in other parts of our world.

Celebration of 111 Years of Rotary

As part of the planning for Major Events in this year, where we are asked to Be a Gift to the World, I invited every club to celebrate the anniversary of our amazing organisation.

District Governor 2018/2019

I am so pleased to let you know that your District Governor, subject to an appeal time of one more week, will be Bronwyn Stephens. Bronwyn will join the DGEN as the District Governor Nominee from the first of July, and up until then will be lovingly called The Designate!

Shout out to your District Governors

I want to give a big shout out to the most amazing team of Assistant Governors that I have the privilege of working with and I will always appreciate their good will, hard work and personal support.

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Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution    

Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution

Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding - Albert Einstein

It seems that in the world today the role of Rotary to take a position of facilitation for peace is just so important. But how will this happen? Several District and club signature programs could in fact be seen as precursors for world peace.

Our District has an unbroken record of providing participants in the Rotary World Peace Fellows Program. At this time Peace Scholar Ellen Maynes is currently in Thailandand is participating in classes at the Rotary Peace Centre at Chulalongkorn University. The Rotary Peace Centre is a fantastic facility with the university a lush oasis compared to the chaos of Bangkok traffic and high-rise buildings.There are twenty other students participating in the program this year from around the globe - all have very diverse experience and credentials. Ellen has met her Host Counsellor from a local Thai Rotary Club and will get an opportunity to speak at hopefully several meetings. She has made contact with the Australian Embassy in Bangkok and has shared information about the peace program. In late January she was to visit the Mae Sot Refugee Camp on the Thai/Myanmar border and in March will travel to Nepal. It will be interesting to follow Ellen’s adventures and to see just how much her life changes as a result of the District 9800 commitment to the Rotary World Peace Fellows program.

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Vocational Service Month    

In recent times where so many members of the Country Fire Authority and the State Emergency Services have been called upon to provide service at the front line of natural disasters it is useful to take time to reflect on and appreciate the work done by them to save and support others in need. I am sure that we all know many volunteers who give time to the emergency services and one such person is my nephew, who at a very young age joined the branch of Country Fire Authority in Koroit and for the past fifteen years has maintained his commitment to service when called upon. Whilst celebrating Christmas day in Bacchus Marsh he received a call out and immediately left to do his duty. Here is just one example of a fine young person doing “good in the world” and I am sure that you too will have similar stories to share!

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Watch Julie Mason's Christmas Message    

District Governor Julie Mason

Hello everybody, I thought I'd take this opportunity just to say a couple of things to you and as we lead up to half way through our year together in Rotary. this year we're asked to Be A Gift to the World.

Topics: video

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Supporting the Marginalised this Christmas    

District Governor Julie Mason

As I sit here thinking about the onset of the festive season, I can’t help but reflect on the past few months where I have experienced the very best of what Rotary stands for in the world. My visit to the clubs in our amazing District has opened my eyes to the breadth of projects that have been initiated as a response to the needs of the marginalised individuals and groups in our community, local and international.

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Disease Prevention and Treatment Month    

In the olden days people died through starvation, a lack of cleanliness and medical knowledge. Now we have plenty of food, we wash our hands with soap, go to the doctor when ill and use all sorts of technology to diagnose and treat conditions that effect our quality of life. However in the western world our desire to live longer and better, has created life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes, cancer and coronary heart disease.

So, is there really a role for Rotary in disease prevention and treatment and will we as Rotarians live long and healthy lives to enable us to take on such a role.

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Our Foundation, Your Bank, My Charity    

Julie Mason, Rotary District 9800 Governor

When visiting Clubs and talking about the Rotary Foundation, I have declared that, in fact the Rotary Foundation is my charity of choice, as I know with absolute certainty that all money given really makes a difference in the lives of others here and abroad.

I liken our Foundation in some ways to a bank, in that every year our District Clubs give a substantial amount of money that in due course comes back to be spent by you through District and Global Grants on projects that change and enrich lives. When you have an idea for a new project, I want you to think Foundation Funds and Rotary Australia World Community Service, and I want you to call John Wigley, District Director Foundation and Rowan McClean, District Chair international Service, to get the best advice and support available to kick start this project! We have money available and I want you to access it!

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Rotary Foundation Month    

The Rotary Foundation can be seen as the most magnificent means to an end. Such foresight was shown at the 1917 Rotary convention, by the outgoing Rotary International President Arch C. Klumph when he proposed to set up an endowment for the purpose of “doing good in the world”, with money that was unspent.

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Economic and Community Development    

'Literacy is at the heart of sustainable development' - Kofi Annan

I guess there is no disputing the obvious link between literacy and economic and community development. This is often seen in a most profound and life changing way in developing countries, and I must say that my experience in Cambodia changed my life. I found it interesting though, to hear about a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Footscray in February 2013 in partnership with The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. The receipt of a Foundation District Grant facilitated this project and the good work continues.

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43 Governor's Messages Items found:      Showing Governor's Messages Items 1 - 25