Dear Ross
This communication is being distributed to all Rotarians in D9800.
A message from the District Governor, Grant Hocking -
Hello D9800 Rotarians
Like all Australians, we have been deeply impacted by the bushfires in our country. The loss of homes, landscapes, wildlife and lives is truly devastating, and our hearts go out to all those affected. 
Over the last week District 9800 has established a Bushfire Response Committee which has met everyday last week to coordinate our District response to the bushfires.
The committee is chaired by Sue Foley (RC South Melbourne), with Marion Macleod (Melbourne), PDG Jim Studebaker (North Balwyn) and Rhys Maggs (Essendon North) supported by DGE Philip Archer and myself.
We have been moved by the outpouring of support Rotarians and our community has shown to what will be a long and complex bushfire season.
In the last few days I have also spoken directly with Governors in both the Gippsland and Hume areas of Victoria and we will be working together in our response. We will be coordinating our efforts (financial and logistical) with these Districts to ensure that all communities are supported.
As well as this the 21 Governors across Australia are in constant communication and coordinating the National relief efforts.
The aim is to ensure we coordinate and maximise our response to those communities in need as base it on the identified needs from those communities.
Immediate response
Emergency and Disaster response agencies in Victoria do a marvelous job in the immediate care and safety of the affected communities. Relief and Recovery centres are set up with support from Government, Red Cross, and many others. Support is provided in the form of food, accommodation, counseling services and funding for necessities. 
I know you join me in sending our sincere thanks to the firefighters, charities and volunteers who are tirelessly working to assist in our country’s recovery.
I am proud that we have many Rotarians volunteering for front line agencies and responding to requests for support from agencies working in the relief centres and elsewhere including animal welfare.
Generous offers are being received from many Rotarians, and there have been many individuals and clubs working in many areas to provide materials and food to affected agencies and communities. This includes the provision of 500,000 P2 facemasks which are being distributed through RC Melbourne and DIK.
Our District Bushfire Response committee would love to have a record of all these efforts from Rotarians and clubs in our district. 
Please contact PDG Jim Studebaker with information about your recent efforts and any plans for or to discuss future relief efforts. Contact Jim via email or 0413 304 864.
Experience tells us that donation of money is more effective and provides more flexibility as in can be used to meet targeted and specific requests for support.
District 9800 is providing two separate ways for Rotary Clubs, Rotarians and members of the public to provide donations to our Bushfire Recovery efforts.
The first fund will provide Rotary Clubs and individuals not seeking a tax deduction and allow us more flexibility to take immediate action.

Account: Rotary International District 9800 - Australian Bushfire Appeal
BSB: 633000     Account Number: 171227895


The second fund through Bendigo Banks Community Enterprise Foundation allows tax deductibility to individual donors or businesses who require this option. Bendigo Bank has waived their administration fees.

For tax deductible donations please use this link:


Carlton United Breweries are also making a substantial cash donation and conducting a program to raise funds through pubs around Australia. A huge thanks to our partners at Bendigo Bank and CUB.


In the coming weeks and months we will be doing all we can to coordinate an effective and coordinated response to the Rotary Districts and communities affected by the bushfires.
The ongoing support of Rotarians will be invaluable over the coming months and as always it is valued and appreciated.
If you need to discuss anything related to the bushfire efforts please contact D9800 Bushfire Response Committee chair Sue Foley or myself.

Thank you again for all you are doing to support the bushfire affected communities.



Grant Hocking ASM (Melissa)
More Information Wanted?
The District Support Team members are here for you….that is why they have stepped beyond their Clubs to serve.  Please contact them via your Assistant Governor.
Or contact District Secretary Jane Pennington at or on 0408 402 555.