Posted by Diedrie Willmott on Oct 01, 2022

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. 

The ceremony commenced with a moving Welcome to Country by  Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owner, Jason Kerr who invited everyone present to take part in the traditional Smoking Ceremony. 

Rotarian Howard Burvill recounted the project’s history. “In July 2020 then club president, Mick Deviny, asked for ideas to mark the centenary. I proposed that we ‘memorialise’ the event by providing a natural area where community members could meet or spend time alone to reflect on caring for others by providing service above self to the community through Rotary or other community groups,” he said. 

The area identified as suitable was located in the centre of Woodend and was overgrown with weeds and a nearby willow. 

Rotarian Ian Scott explained the design principles: “I want you all to cast your minds forward many years and imagine a secluded small grove surrounded by Poa trees and native shrubs, amongst a tight group of tall Blackwoods e providing shade. Passers-by on the footpath may be almost unaware of the rocks, except for the marker stone in the front that draws their attention and invites their curiosity. Children can’t resist the invitation and pull their parents through.” 

  Guests included Macedon Ranges mayor Jennifer Anderson and councillors Janet Pearce and Mark Ridgeway, also a Rotarian; Woodend Landcare; community groups; Rotarians from around the state; and many friends. 

DG Amanda Wendt reflected on the significance of 100 years of service and volunteering by Rotarians in Australia. She commented that the Rotary Foundation had been proud to support this and other projects around Australia to mark this great Rotary milestone.