2020-2021 Edition 37


District Governor's Message
Centenary Coins and Stamp Launch Success

The Rotary Centenary Coins and Stamp launch was held on Thursday morning and was truly a wonderful event. The seamless online communication link between the Melbourne and Sydney UBS boardrooms was impressive and allowed us to showcase the best of the two centenary clubs of Rotary Melbourne and Rotary Sydney. I would like to acknowledge the leadership of those clubs dating back one hundred years. Sir John Monash, the second President of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, and indeed every president since charter, has led a broad church of members who have been able to assist the growth of Rotary in Victoria and across Australia, chartering new clubs and implementing a range of impressive projects that have brought significant benefits to the communities they have served. I congratulate the current Rotary Melbourne leadership team of President Marion MacLeod, Immediate Past President Kevin Sheehan and Hugh Bucknall, all of whom have been so active in the promotion of Rotary’s 100 years of giving and leading our centenary celebrations. They have helped to lay the foundation for the next century of giving.

The multi-District conference, Virtual Victoria, is fast approaching and will be staged over four hours between 11am and 1pm on Saturday 1 May and Sunday 2 May. Under normal circumstances, clubs would have a dinner during the conference week and whilst this year’s conference is virtual, I would like to encourage clubs to still consider holding a dinner the Friday or Saturday night of the conference. Pick somewhere special and invite all your Rotary friends including community and business partners to celebrate in-person a century of service.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my Networker team who work tirelessly each week to put together this newsletter. I am so delighted with the positive analytics showing how many Rotarians across the District are opening it. Going forward however, Networker will be released first thing Monday mornings…a great time to read it over your morning cuppa!

Enjoy the week ahead in Rotary service.

Rotary District 9800 Governor Philip Archer

Paul Harris Quote of the Week

The spirit of tolerance which has made it possible for Rotary to form a worldwide fellowship of business and professional men will make all things possible.

My Road to Rotary 

Rotary North Melbourne is Turning Dirty Water into Clean Water

By Club President Neville Page

North Melbourne Rotary has been involved in many significant international projects for over fifty years, but none has been more effective than our current water filter program in Colombia. The distribution of just ten water filters to indigenous communities has transformed the lives of thousands of people.

The innovative project grew from a visit to Melbourne by Andrea Mayorga, a Rotaractor originally from Colombia. Andrea had developed close ties with North Melbourne Rotary and shared stories of her work supporting disadvantaged indigenous communities in her native hometown. Rotary North Melbourne saw the potential to help with her outstanding efforts.

When Andrea went home to visit family, she took with her ten water filters provided by the Club, distributing them among indigenous communities in the Guajira region. More than 2000 people have benefitted from just ten filters!

The filters are so simple to operate. Each connects into a plastic bucket and once a hole is cut and the filter connected, the bucket is filled with dirty water, and, hey presto, clean water (99.9% pure) comes out.

These simple filters have totally transformed the lives of entire local communities. Previously, the people had no access to clean water, other than what was available at an exorbitant cost. Before the filters, locals constantly suffered from water-borne diseases, including cholera, due to contaminated water.

North Melbourne Rotary is thrilled that the project has been such a resounding success. Andrea is planning to not only continue her work but to extend it in other areas in Colombia.

The water filters cost approximately AUS$50.00 each, which makes carrying out some very effective and highly impactful projects well within the budget of most clubs, as long as they can find suitable recipients for them.

If you would like to know more about providing water filters to indigenous communities, contact tedd@contourstravel.com.au or page@ghp.biz

Winning Potential Sponsors

By Rowan McClean

First, let’s consider the pool. 

The Rotary Foundation, to which worldwide Rotarians contribute, offers supplementary funding to enable us to pursue projects larger than our clubs can afford to fund.

There might be wealthy club members who are so impressed by a project concept and committed to see it go ahead that they will make personal donations. Not-so-wealthy members might also be prepared to help fund something they really care about.

There are a large number of private and corporate Australia-based and International Foundations that support “worthwhile” projects. These are often discrete grants that do not require any matching club contributions. The criteria they use understandably varies from one Foundation to the next, but they are generally receptive to initiatives that will provide sustainable benefits to needy recipients.  Websites set out the criteria they apply and the application approaches they recommend.

Corporate sponsors are important to most Rotary clubs and enable more to be done than clubs could do on their own. They will be more inclined to sponsor projects where they will get publicity for being good corporate citizens, so clubs should pre-plan how that can be delivered. The local press, club newsletters, club social media and websites, and publicity at local community events are means of recognition. Some clubs have used “partnership” banners, and club events such as golf days or car rallies with sponsor signs might appeal to some sponsors.

Don’t overlook your local traders. Cafes, retail stores, nurseries, legal and accounting practices and real estate companies are often willing to provide vouchers that can be used in raffles or offered as prizes, or product or cash contributions.

Don’t be reluctant to ask potential sponsors for help. Whereas “for Rotary Projects” might have been a sufficient message in the past to justify support, it is much more competitive in 2021, especially after the economic impact of COVID-19. Clearly stating the specific project being the worthy cause and giving an assurance that 100% will go to the project can often differentiate Rotary: many other charities have no specific purpose and have hidden overheads. Showing people where and how their money will be used is much more likely to get the support you are seeking. Involving your sponsors in your club by inviting them to meetings, asking them to be a guest speaker, and including them, as well as acknowledging their support in your bulletins, other mail-outs, website and social media will also build the relationship and make them feel a part of Rotary’s work, and your club in particular.

Past President Casey J Tan Embraces Change

By Rowan McClean

Born in Malaysia, Casey is one of eleven siblings and came to Australia as a student in 1975.  He joined Rotary Carlton ten years later following the persistent approaches by Geoff Cox, President of the Rotary Club of Melbourne. Carlton was newly chartered, and Casey was the first member inducted. He became President in 1994/1995. 

After studying a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne, Casey commenced his career with international accounting group Arthur Young. He has been a Board member for professional institutes, Australian Communities Foundation and has chaired innumerable committees. Casey and wife Carolyn have a son, Kendrick, who has followed in his father’s footsteps and is a Director at a major accounting /consulting firm.

In the early days, Rotary Carlton greatly benefitted from a President with a strong business background and the support provided by Rotary Club of Melbourne. The Club was involved in Hanover House for homeless people, raised funds for a local school, hosted an exchange student from the US and supported Interplast.

Recently (post pandemic lockdown), the Club started a pop-up bookshop, launched an award for student leadership and resilience, and undertook fund-raising for mental health research.

Casey is currently Assistant Governor for Eastside Cluster, and both he and his wife Carolyn are major donors and Paul Harris Fellows.

“With changes in the economy and society, and with Rotary ageing, the environment is vastly different in 2021,” says Casey. “We must be insightful and strategic. For example, we often recruit people like us, form cliques and miss out on, amongst others, the millennial age group.”

Casey believes that millennials and Rotary should be a perfect fit.

“Younger prospects are time-poor and information rich and see a bigger picture than most from previous generations,” Casey goes on to say. “They want to change the world. Climate change, the environment and world peace are major issues for them. We can offer hands-on opportunities, mentoring them to make a difference…the practical executive MBA.”

Casey envisions Rotary accessing the amazing skills and commitment of all current (and potential) members, drawing on their talents, enthusiasm, proven accomplishments and their passion for personal causes.

New Rotarian Peter England succumbs to Rotary’s charm

By Henry Drury

Some people are born to Rotary…others have Rotary thrust upon them.

Maybe ‘thrust’ is too strong a word, but perhaps it was inevitable that Peter would become steeped in the spirit of Rotary, being married to the President of Hawthorn Rotary and of his own volition, being present as the ‘handbag’ at President-elect Training weekends, District Assemblies, Change-over nights and numerous other district and club activities.The fact that Past President Charlotte England took on the role of Assistant Governor for the Beachside Cluster was the final catalyst for Peter to happily accept the invitation to be a member of Hawthorn Rotary and at the same time ‘support Charlotte in her Rotary endeavours’.

Peter, a Melbourne boy since birth, was educated at Scotch College and as a young entrepreneur in the mid-1970s, was deeply involved in the transformation of mechanical accounting machines to digital and, of course, ultimately computing services.

For most of his business life, Peter’s role has been in ‘the strategic planning and development of all systems and services to meet customer needs with a strong emphasis on future technological development’. Your correspondent believes that translates as ‘IT stuff’!

It was not all work however, as Peter found time to be a board member and ultimately president of the Old Scotch Collegians Association (OSCA) – see attached photo where Peter is the one on the right.

Currently, although semi-retired, Peter is still active in a consultative capacity assisting businesses and their staff to deal with the challenges and benefits of the ubiquitous digital technologies in their various forms.

Peter’s other interests and passions are video production, sailing, golf, lawn bowls, exploring new IT technologies of course, and enjoying time at their holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula.

Peter finishes by saying how pleased he is to be part of the Rotary ‘engagement and fellowship’.

Rotary Richmond’s ‘Next Step’ Project a Proven Success

By Jo Cowling

The Rotary Club of Richmond has been serving the Richmond community for over 54 years,

working with local groups, businesses and government to support people in need in the community.

The Next Step Program is one of the Club’s signature projects and is designed to support, guide and prepare disadvantaged young people living and attending school in the City of Yarra for a career matching their interests and capabilities.

An experienced Youth Worker is employed to work with Collingwood Secondary College and teachers to identify those students who would most benefit from the program. The Youth Worker then builds a relationship with that student lasting two or three years, helping identify a career direction that matches the participant’s interests and capabilities using career guidance testing. Using City of Yarra and broader Rotary club networks, matching work experience is then identified. Business volunteers support the program with the development of job application/interviewing skills.

The program includes the development of interview skills, how to communicate effectively and how to apply for a job. Program participants are assisted with securing employment and further education. Results are fantastic with a success rate of 70% of participants completing the program commencing a career and/or further education.

The program has been supported by a number of local organisations, including sponsorship from the City of Yarra and Bendigo Bank’s Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy Community Bank® Branch.

During the COVID-19 period of 2020, the program was suspended, but Rotary Richmond is on the way to recommencing Next Step at Collingwood Secondary College in Semester 2 of 2021.

If you would like to know more about this highly successful project, contact the Project Chair, Jo Cowling at: jocowling@optusnet.com.au

Caulfield Story

By John Granger

Hearing the name ‘Caulfield’ resonates in different ways. There’s the Jewish community who have, for a number of generations, made Caulfield and surrounding suburbs significant areas of worship and havens for wonderful Jewish cuisine. As well, the architecture of the area’s houses – particularly the retained and restored California bungalows – celebrates the rapid development from the 1900’s through to the 1920’s. Caulfield has also been a significant area for all levels of education with Caulfield Technical School (founded 1922) after a series of amalgamations, becoming Monash University (Caulfield campus) in 1990.

And, of course, there’s the famous racecourse and the Caulfield Cup. Generally regarded as Australia’s toughest flat race, it’s where, since 1879, the hopes of owners, trainers and punters have been either wildly celebrated or rudely dashed.  The area that incorporated the old Caulfield council (now Glen Eira) boundaries is huge and includes parts of Kooyong, Glenhuntly, Hawthorn, Orrong, Glenferrie and North Roads. Also within the bounds is the Brighton General Cemetery, the resting place of Sir John Monash.

The Rotary Club of Caulfield was chartered on 23rd February 1962 and, as a compact unit, the Caulfield Rotarians have tended to steer their endeavours towards hands-on local projects. Significant amongst these is the ‘Bee Aware’ project that involves educating the community on the role and critical importance of bees in environmental sustainability. Two beehives have been established and a continuing partnership with Rotary Canterbury aims at furthering the program.

In May this year, the Club, with local artist Anthony Breslin, will reveal a 75 panel ‘Mural for Murrumbeena’ to celebrate the 100 years of Rotary in Australia and New Zealand. Rotary Caulfield was also involved in a city presentation and a walk around Albert Park to publicise Rotary’s continuing crusade to end polio worldwide and with other Rotary clubs, has been prominent in assisting with drought relief.

Engagement with the community has continued with the recent provision of a free Australia Day Brunch and the financing and refurbishment of a garden water reticulation system at Caulfield South Community House.

President Ian Kirkwood advises that club meetings are still in ‘COVID-mode’, but a return to weekly Thursday gatherings at The Meeting Hub (Thursdays at 12.45) 438 Neerim Road, Murrumbeena is imminent. Rotary Caulfield is small, but unstoppable, and its achievements reflect a close-knit band of friends who ‘just roll up their sleeves and get stuck in’.

Rotarians Of Amateur Radio (R.O.A.R.)

By Helena Wimpole

The Rotarians of Amateur Radio was established in 1966 by a Rotary club in Illinois, USA, and is one of the oldest Rotary Fellowships.  

The aim of the Fellowship is to provide a forum for the exchange of views between members of Rotary International who share an interest in amateur radio, as either licensed radio amateurs or as short wave listeners with a view to developing understanding, acquaintance and fellowship. Membership is open to Rotarians, Rotaractors, licensed amateur operators, or a person with a genuine interest in shortwave radio whose partner is a member of R.O.A.R.  

As a result of the establishment of this Fellowship, Rotary news and views can be rapidly communicated over the air. Members of R.O.A.R. utilise a variety of forms of communication including voice, Morse code, radio-teletype and other digital modes, slow-scan television and satellites in orbit plus digital networks, such as the World Wide Web, to stay in contact with each other.

In addition to the networks, R.O.A.R publishes a directory and periodic newsletters, as well as bulletins delivered by packet radio networks. It also has a Facebook site.

There are R.O.A.R. Nets all around the world, including Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Britain. This is a popular Fellowship, which has grown considerably over time with many hundreds of members worldwide.

Members of R.O.A.R are mindful of the service mission of Rotary International and in times of disasters, they have assisted international relief organisations and efforts by providing communication, equipment and the generous donation of their time, talent and skills. This is an excellent example of Rotarians acting on an international level to assist in a crisis.

For further information refer: www.ifroar.org and www.wia.org.au (R.O.A.R. in Australia)

Weekly Tip

Proper school toilets in lesser developed countries provide privacy and dignity to students and prevent unhygienic effluent disposal. Check RAWCS projects to see how you can help or contact <networker@rotarydistrict9800.org.au>

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