Last Saturday, the District Recognition Awards were held as part of the District 9800 Conference Breakout Session.

It was commented that the applications for each category were outstanding and it was difficult to select winners.

However, the Award recipients were as follows:

Community Service

Macedon Ranges - You are Not Alone - This project gave comfort to aged care residents during COVID when the club mobilised the community to write letters and provide drawings to over 400 people in five facilities.

Camberwell - Myeloma Program - The club worked with Myeloma Australia to establish four support groups in regional Victoria so that no patient was more than an hour away from a support team. This has the potential to grow into a national program.

International Service

Richmond - Support for Edna Adan Hospital in Somaliland - This project involved the supply of Obstetrics and Gynaecology medical equipment through DIK and the upskilling of nurses. Rotary Brighton North has also joined as a partner.

Hoppers Crossing - Diabetes in Ghana - For four years the club has been helping to educate health professionals in the diagnosis, treatment and care of diabetes in Ghana. Over the last two years 109 health professionals have been trained, enabling the treatment of 27,000 patients.

Vocational Service

Brighton - Bayside Academy of Enterprising Girls - In partnership with Young Change Agents, the club hosted an event for more than 50 young women aged from 12 to 18 in social entrepreneurship skills.

Public Image & Communications

Wyndham Harbour - The Wave - The club commenced an e-magazine to increase awareness about Rotary, the club and issues such as supporting the environment in its local community. The uptake was incredible and the November 2020 edition was read in 33 countries.

Yarraville - 110 Acts 100 Times - To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Australia, the club came up with this novel project during COVID restrictions. Some of the acts members identified were: 

  • Cooking meals for the needy
  • Supplying food containers and used shopping bags 
  • Donating toiletries to charity 
  • Providing water to front-line workers 
  • Making neck warmers.

Supporting the Environment

Bendigo South - Replanting after Bushfires - The club sources seeds from fire ravaged areas in Gippsland through Rotary Bairnsdale Sunrise and is propagating plants for replanting shelter belts and wildlife corridors on farms.

Flemington/Kensington - Recycled Playgrounds - In Australia playgrounds are regularly replaced and the old equipment is usually very serviceable. Planning with Rotary in Sri Lanka enabled shipment from DIK and the project now has support from all Rotary Districts in Victoria, Municipal Councils, Schools, manufacturers, contractors and other businesses.

Youth Services

North Melbourne - MUNA online - The Model United Nations Assembly is well known to Rotarians. Running it online during COVID was an unusual challenge around allowing reasonable opportunities for participants to speak and remain engaged during a long screen-only event. North Melbourne approached other clubs and schools and the e-Club was a key partner. The results were excellent.

Central Melbourne - Hope for the Future Scholarships - Working with Concern Australia, the club provided eight scholarships during COVID to keep students engaged with education through the provision of school supplies and support.

Membership

Southbank- Satellite Clubs - Satellite clubs are a way to preserve club cultures whilst introducing separate groups of new members doing different things, but using the existing administrative structures. Southbank has spawned two satellite clubs in the past 12 months resulting in strong membership growth.

Chadstone/East Malvern - Active recruiting, including the re-signing of previous members, has enabled this club to introduce eight new members so far in 2020/21.

Innovation During COVID

Canterbury - FORaMEAL - This activity, which has been successful overseas (especially in the Philippines), was extended during COVID in Victoria. For the last six months of 2020, 170,000 meals were delivered to needy families—largely migrants, overseas students and refugees—who were not being supported by government relief. Distribution was by Rotary and 26 other NGOs.

Castlemaine - Truck Show - The club acknowledged the importance of trucks through a history of transport photographic event, a truckies’ breakfast, a zoom event on heavy vehicle research and a truck convoy of 40 trucks. The event attracted great media attention for Rotary.

Special Centenary Award - Cross Category Project of Excellence

North Balwyn - Rotary Gardens Program - This program will have been running for 10 years in July, and ticks many boxes. It is a Community Service for elderly and disabled citizens in Boroondara; a Youth Service program because it involves secondary school students working under the supervision of Rotarians; an Image project because it has a visibly high profile in the community and with schools, welfare agencies and council; and an Environment project because the waste is recycled and spread as mulch on public parks and gardens. The program receives continuing excellent feedback from residents.