Around District  9800

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 in Foundation donations, 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!  

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. 

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: 
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.”
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. 
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)

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.

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 full results of the Zone 8 Regionalisation Pilot vote were shared on Wednesday: 90% of Zone 8 clubs voted Yes. Within District 9800, the proposal secured overwhelming support with 98.44% of clubs voting Yes. I’m very pleased to note that every club voted.

The willingness of our members to embrace our evolving circumstances by trying new approaches is incredibly heartening, and inspires me with confidence for the future of our projects, clubs and movement. No doubt, this was envisaged by Paul Harris when he proclaimed, “This is a changing world, we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.” If ever we needed licence to have a red hot go at new approaches, this is it.

As Rotarians, we know that when we engage people in meaningful, convenient and fun hands-on volunteering, we demonstrate that Rotarians are indeed “People of Action”. In mid-September, this message found an even wider audience when Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network (RIMERN) volunteer, Ros McMaster was announced as the Westfield Local Hero for the Airport West Shopping Centre, winning $20,000 for RIMERN towards the cost of its first van!

Terrific evening with Westside cluster clubs of Rotary Club of Bacchus Marsh, Rotary Caroline Springs, Rotary Eynesbury, Rotary Club of Melton and Rotary Club of Melton Valley, talking Growth Action Plan (, club projects and packing 100 soup kits for the local foodbank.

On 27th September FORaMEAL food packs to make 100,000 nutritious meals were transported to Rotary’s Donations in Kind warehouse. The packs will be collected by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and sent via Poland to the people of Ukraine.   The shipment will also include 6 pallets of medical and surgical supplies supplied and packed by the Ukrainian Association of Melbourne and DIK, and, as a special request, underpants, that were sourced from all over Melbourne.

Volunteering runs through the veins of our Rotarians, and in September, Volunteering with the DG involved two shifts of volunteers helping the Afghan Community to sort, pack, and box household items donated from all over Melbourne.  

From October 1st to 31st Rotarians and friends are being encouraged, once again, to take action to raise awareness, funds, and support to end poliomyelitis, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens the children of the world today. 

Do you believe that you can make a difference in the campaign to control the spread of malaria?  The position of District 9800 RAM Supervisor has been vacant for some time and RAM Southern Region is keen to hear from an interested party to assume this position on behalf of District 9800. 

The GardenDesignFest is the biggest open garden weekend event in Victoria. Keep 12 -13 and 19-20 November 2022 free.  The popular bi-annual event is on again in 2022 following its cancellation during COVID. It is now more important than ever to get out and enjoy nature in a beautiful garden setting.

October is Mental Health month and World Mental Health Day, October 10th, is approaching fast.
Each year, Rotarians and friends make an amazing contribution to raising funds for much needed mental health research through Australian Rotary Health (ARH). From 2022, the focus is on improving the mental health of children 0-12 years old. 
For many years, Rotary District 3181 has organised an International Motorcycle Ride/Drive event – Ride for Rotary, in India. The aim of the event is to promote International fellowship and exchange of Rotary views. The last six events have been an overwhelming success. More than 100 participants from 15 different countries have attended the event and have had wonderful experiences to take home. [] 

Welcome to the end of month two – so much to celebrate already!

Hands on volunteering projects already connecting with new volunteers from across our community, celebrating Rotary’s vocational advantage with six awards for outstanding mentorship, two fun and rewarding DG official cluster visits, so many clubs adding new members, record amounts of members engaging with our new capability platform, and International Convention gracing *our* town in May.

Truly, our members are people of action. Read on for the good oil.

Members of Rotary Passport Melbourne and other Rotary District 9800 Rotarians were in attendance on the 7th August 2022 when Rotary District 3350 Governor Iida Mitsutaka inducted 54(!!) Rotaractors into the newly-chartered Rotaract Club of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

DG Amanda Wendt planting a tree and sharing meaningful, hands on, convenient volunteeringOodles of our clubs and their members got behind National Tree-planting Day on Sunday 31 July to plant over 11,000 trees, but what was so surprising was how many volunteers from across our community also participated in this meaningful, hands on, convenient project. DG Amanda explores what the 3-in-10 Australian adults who already volunteer are seeking in community projects, in this video produced by Alex Lapiña and DGN Michael Lapiña.

In the middle of a long Melbourne winter, Rotarians and friends of Essendon Rotary, in conjunction with The Living Room – Youth Projects were able to provide some warmth and comfort to the homeless in the city.  With the assistance of a Rotary Foundation Grant sleeping bags were distributed to 130 rough sleepers.

On Saturday 13 August we held our second Volunteering with the DG event - what a fabulous day of volunteering and togetherness it was! 
Impact for Women ran two shifts to accommodate all the participants, connecting with lots of ‘new’ volunteers from across our community, to pack and sort gifts into Bags of Love, prepared for victims of domestic abuse. 
Volunteering with the DG at Impact for Women had a profound effect on those who attended and felt that ‘buzz of contribution’ in making a difference. We had a huge contingent of volunteers of varying ages and cultures participate, some travelling far and wide to share in giving back to the community, some Rotarians and many who were new to us. An incredibly meaningful experience.

An absolutely heartfelt cause for us as Rotarians to participate in. Click more to hear directly from some of the volunteers of the impact the day had on them. 

Rotary Central Melbourne (RCM) member Mawien Ariik (known as Ariik) was born in 1989 in the village of Lou Ariik, South Sudan. At the age of eight, he learned that his father (Ariik Dut) had died in the South Sudan war along with millions of others while fighting for the freedom of his people. This tragic loss became Ariik’s motivation to continue the legacy of freedom that his father fought for, and to ensure those efforts were not in vain.

Fun official DG visit with Heritage Cluster clubs Rotary Club of Carlton, Rotary Club of Collingwood Australia, Fitzroy and Rotary Club of Richmond Inc. Over 60 members, partners and corporate sponsors came together to help grow their clubs to make an even bigger difference for their community.
District and club recognitions to made to members, club presidents gave an update on their activities for the year and in true form, we did a hands-on volunteering activity packing 100 soup kits for local Afghan families. 

After being contacted by Linda Widdup from Aussie Hay Runners seeking assistance to obtain a fuel subsidy from the NSW Government Rural Assistance for a Hay Run to support the farmers in Grafton affected by the devastating floods, Rotary Melton’s then President Dickson Heaney Dickson spent hours completing an application and was rewarded with $392,250.00 to assist with transport of the convoy just one way. Filling up with diesel at Temora on the return journey to Victoria cost us $1,940 just to top up and about $5,000 for the return trip. 

Heritage Cluster Clubs, Carlton, Fitzroy, Collingwood and Richmond liaised with secondary schools in their area to select 20 students to attend the Nelson Mandela Youth Leadership Summit.  The Summit provided a positive environment to empower the youth present to believe that change was possible.  This was borne out in the comments of Princes Hill Secondary College students: “Great opportunity to meet like-minded people to discuss some generational type plans and share hope and optimism.”  (Thomas, Year 10).  “So many different speakers leading the way on leadership, hope and optimism. Thanks so much. Awesome.”  (Celeste, Year 8)  

At an age when most singers have well and truly retired, Merlyn Quaife lived up to her aim of being a “fearless soprano” by celebrating a significant birthday with a demanding but astutely constructed program of art song reflecting her career-long advocacy of Australian music. Her fearlessness was demonstrated from the outset in Johanna Selleck’s The Prospect and Bower of Bliss, settings of texts by the Restoration poet and proto-feminist Aphra Behn, where she unwaveringly traversed the highly strung, sinuously chromatic vocal lines, while not losing sight of the score’s celebration of “sweet and ravishing” things.

Rather than waste time, energy, and funding to develop own separate International projects, the Rotary Clubs of Keilor and Keilor East chose to become partners in an existing International Project.  The two adjoining clubs became partners in RAWCS Project No 114-2005-06 Tonga Dental Health Project, which also utilizes the quality material available from our Donations In Kind Store.  This is an excellent option for many Clubs as it allows them to be involved at a level that suits the Club.

Students need to know how to present themselves to secure a job interview, and have the skills to land that job once an interview is granted. Rotary Club of Richmond decided to invest in helping to prepare young people for a successful life. In collaboration with Melbourne Girls’ College, the club adopted the successful Mock Job Interview project, which has been going for around 20 years.

The Rotary world mourns the passing of Judith Durham AO and Paul Harris Fellow. Judith was a great Australian, generous with her time in caring for others and a friend of Rotary.

What a blast the last 6 weeks have been celebrating and welcoming in the new Rotary year. Helmed by District Changeover on Saturday 25 June which saw over 200 Rotarians and friends come together to imagine what's possible in 2022-2023.
It's a huge year for our District especially with Rotary International Convention coming to our hometown in May 2023. This year has started with plenty of dancing – at several changeovers – and we'll have plenty more to dance about throughout the year.
But don't take my word for it, here are some snapshots of our club changeover celebrations!
Great to see so many Rotarians out in force for National Tree-planting Day on Sunday 31 July, the first volunteer with the DG event. Tree-planting is a perfect example of a meaningful, hands-on and convenient volunteering project that everyone can get involved in.
Over 11 000 trees were planted by volunteers. 
Imagine the opportunities to grow your club by connecting with more volunteers from across our community through a meaningful, hands-on and convenient project.
Just three weeks in to our new Rotary year, we held our first workshop on hands on volunteering on Saturday 23 July. Leaders of several successful projects shared how ensuring their projects are meaningful, hands on and convenient has helped them connect with more volunteers. Working groups collaborated on various aspects of how to start or adapt a project that more volunteers want to participate in, each led by an expert project lead. Plus, we ran a hands on project in the background, packing over 100 meal kits for families in need.

Sarah Overton, Rotary District 9800 Vocational Service DirectorI’m often asked the question: “Why Rotary?” I am of a generation that tends to support causes, not join clubs.  I have a full-time job and a busy household with a husband, two young kids, and a dog who believes twice-daily walks are the only cause worth considering. 

Also I am passionate about my “me time” for reading, exercise, or quiet contemplation.  So… why make time for Rotary?

McKinsey Consulting has published timely data on why employees quit their jobs. Not surprisingly, Rotary membership offers fantastic benefits that younger professionals won’t necessarily experience in their workplace. This is our opportunity to convert more volunteers into members, and partner with employers to supplement their employee value proposition, all while engaging and retaining our more experienced members. Discover:
  • How our vocational advantage can help convert volunteer participants into Rotary members
  • Why clubs should partner with employers to supplement their employee value proposition and create a membership pipeline
  • How this will help engage and retain existing, more experienced Rotarians
Looking for past stories

Subscribe to District Bulletin

Subscribe to our eBulletin and stay up to date on the latest news and events.