2020-2021 Edition 51


District Governor's Message
A Great Morning Tea…thank you to everyone!

The last Morning Tea with the DG for the Rotary year was on Saturday and I would like to thank all those who helped put it together, as well as the 130 participants on the day. We had a lot of fun, were entertained by great performers and heard from fantastic speakers. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Morning Teas over the year – seeing so many Rotarians from the District and other Districts join us online has been a real privilege for me.

Presentations from Dorothy Gilmour on Rotary Safe Families, Dr Suresh Marcandon on Australian Rotary Health’s Lift the Lid and Fabienne Nichola on the Environmental and Sustainability projects in the District were exceptional and a wonderful reminder of Rotary’s incredible impact. Partnering with other organisations is also something Rotary does so well and Terry McAleenan’s presentation on The Fathering Project struck a chord with many. I encourage Rotary clubs to reach out to Terry and see how you can work together on this exciting and worthwhile initiative for youth.

I congratulate Rotary Melbourne and President Marion McLeod for an incredible year, and in fact the Club’s century of achievement. Her presentation on the year that has been for the Club highlighted so many truly wonderful projects and events.

As it is the Centenary of Rotary in Australia, becoming a Rotary Centurion is a fantastic opportunity to support our giving tree, The Rotary Foundation. Our resident ‘Roman Centurion’, Gabe Hau, whilst a little wobbly on his chair, encouraged everyone to take up the Centenary Centurion Challenge and donate $100 for 100 years of Rotary for 100% of your Club. Doing so will also put you in the running to win The Centurion Shiraz, something we think Roman Centurion Gabe may have been sampling during his presentation, as he was certainly sampling something!

As everyone may be aware, we are even closer now to eradicating Polio with only two cases being recorded, one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. Tragically, the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan has seen six vaccine volunteers killed over recent weeks. All Rotarians worldwide share in the grief for these incredibly brave people who have lost their lives whilst working to save others and rid the world of an insidious disease. Our thoughts go out to all those who do such valuable, selfless work.

On a final note, both incoming District Governor Dale Hoy and I have decided to move the date of the District Changeover to 10 July due to the recent lockdowns and current restrictions. If you have already booked, you will be emailed about the change of date and your booking will be reregistered for the 10th.  If this date is no longer possible for you, a refund will be issued. For those who haven’t booked, you can do so via this link or via the District website. I hope to see you on the 10th.     

Have a great week in Rotary service everyone.

Rotary District 9800 Governor Philip Archer

Paul Harris Quote of the Week

“I would like to think that the pioneering days of Rotary have only just begun. There are just as many new things to be done as ever there were. Kaleidoscopic changes are taking place, many of them without our will. Even to hang on to the fringe of this fast-changing world is about all most of us can do. Rotary simply must continue to pioneer or be left in the rear of progress.”

The Rotarian, February 1945

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Rotary Macedon Ranges’ You Are not Alone project alleviates aged care isolation during COVID

As the COVID-19 pandemic sent Victoria into lockdown, the alarming posts on social media and local news that nurses were gravely concerned for residents who were stuck in “solitary confinement” sent Rotary Macedon Ranges in action. Eager to do something to help, the idea of writing personal letters arose and the ‘You are not Alone’ project was born.

Initially, Club members wrote letters, but this soon expanded to include family members, friends and colleagues. It was also decided to add a youth element to the project by involving students from ‘Project Ready’ Gisborne Secondary College, who are studying a Certificate II in Volunteering and being mentored by Club members.

Social media call-outs for help with letter writing to the Macedon community attracted the attention of Manna Gum Family and Children’s Centre and Riddells Creek Kindergarten and colourful drawings from the children were also included.

After discussion with the aged care facility providers, it was decided to laminate all letters and drawings for easy sanitisation before being given to residents to avoid any possible spread of the virus. The letters were constructed to include an introduction to the aged care resident, some general chitchat and encouragement to see the resident through the isolation period. A Club member coordinated the collation of the letters and printing them on colourful letterhead. The Club held ‘laminating’ evenings and the printing and laminating material was donated by a local business and the business of a Club member.

Once the 400-plus letters and drawings were laminated, Club members met with the nursing staff of Gisborne Oaks, Warrina Aged Care, Bupa Woodend and Kyneton, and RM Beggs Kyneton to hand over the materials.

The project was extremely well received by residents and staff of the aged care facilities, their families and the wider community. For such a low cost, the project had far reaching impact for the Macedon Ranges community, including Club members.

Rotary Macedon Ranges received a District 9800 Community Award for this wonderful project that made such a difference to so many in their community.

Hats Off to Rotary Glenferrie

A Great ‘Lift the Lid on Mental Illness’ Initiative

It was during the long lockdown that Rotarian Elisabeth Dumonic came up with a creative way of raising money for Australian Rotary Health’s Lift the Lid on Mental Health during Mental Illness Awareness week. It was a ZOOM presentation of selfies taken of people wearing funny hats. A $5 minimum donation was required to have a selfie in the presentation.

A music-backed PowerPoint presentation was put together and a regular Rotary evening set aside for a ZOOM meeting to raise awareness and donations. Along with the presentation, Club member, Mithzay Pomenta, who is a Clinical Sociologist and Registered Counsellor, gave a detailed informative talk on mental health. It was a great social success with prizes for best hat and best comical hat. Many people from outside of Rotary joined in, particularly from the Federation of Chinese Community.  

The event demonstrated the Club’s members’ ability to think beyond the norm and to take advantage of technology. It advertised the Club and engaged the community as well, as all Club members. It also provided the therapy of a fun night during COVID isolation, not to mention achieving a sizeable contribution of $4,630 for Australian Rotary Health.

Congratulations to Rotary Glenferrie for receiving a District 9800 Recognition Award for Innovation During COVID 19 for this fantastic, creative initiative.

Protocol Matters – Enhancing Rotary’s Image

In many business circles today, there has been quite a shift from the formal behaviours of the past to a far more casual approach to the way we address one another, conduct meetings and even dress. COVID has further added to this with so many people working from home and video conferencing with work colleagues. These changes have also carried over into Rotary. While formality varies from club to club, Rotary has also adapted to a rapidly changing, fast-paced, technology driven world where formality and rules have softened.

Even so, protocol and manners still matter.  And while each club will determine its own culture and conduct, it is still important to ensure that Rotary’s image is enhanced in the public eye and is attractive to new members, visiting Rotarians, guest speakers and other guests. 

Some simple, but important courtesies are important considerations and help to ensure meetings are well run and respectful. Guest speakers for example, should be advised of the format, the time they have allocated and what equipment is available for their use. It is inconsiderate if a guest speaker's time is cut short, or no time is available for questions, especially as that person has given up his/her time to visit your club.

It is normal for all visiting Rotarians to pay their own expenses when visiting a club meeting, but it is the general rule that if a member of the District Leadership Team is invited to attend a club on official business, the club should cover the expense.

When the District Governor or Assistant Governor is invited and they are on the program to speak, do re-confirm their attendance a few days prior the meeting.

The Club President should control the procedure of regular meetings in conjunction with the allocated Chairperson of the meeting, if there is one. At the very least the person on duty at the door should ensure that the President knows the names of all guests, and how to pronounce their names. The Chair should ensure the meeting begins on time and members are punctual. The Sergeant should at all times refrain from racial, discriminatory or rude jokes or stories and should insist that other members/speakers do likewise. In some clubs, the President personally greets members and guests on arrival, ensures they are hosted by a member and made to feel welcome. Other clubs have a greeter at the door to welcome and introduce guests to members.

On the subject of Paul Harris Fellows, the Trustees of The Rotary Foundation have stated that the correct terminology for the acknowledgement of the required donation or presentation is “Paul Harris Fellow Recognition” (not Paul Harris Fellowship or Paul Harris Award). The PHF pin does not replace the Rotary pin and if wearing both, the Rotary pin should be higher.

Simple courtesies and protocols are not difficult to observe, but do ensure Rotary’s professionalism is maintained.

Fabienne Nichola – Co-Chair D9800 Environmental Sustainability Committee

Having admired Rotary Camberwell’s annual Art Show and wanting to support the community, Fabienne joined the Club thirteen years ago, is currently Club Secretary and will be President in 2022-23.

But it’s her long-standing interest in the environment and Rotary’s work in this area that has given her the opportunity to take her awareness and caring to a practical level. Her role as Co-Chair of the Environmental Sustainability Committee for District 9800 has been particularly rewarding, especially at a time when the Environment has become the seventh Area of Focus for Rotary International.

Fabienne believes that partnering with other committed organisations will allow Rotary to use its human resources and skills to really make a difference for the environment. An exciting example is through Emma Cutting’s The Heart Gardening Project and its Melbourne Pollinator Corridor initiative (see the last edition of Networker), linking communities to create wildlife and pollinator-friendly, urban green corridors through nature strips and gardens.

It is partnerships between Rotary clubs, councils, schools and community leaders that Fabienne sees as valuable opportunities for Rotary to take community leadership. She also feels that by encouraging Rotary clubs to improve the environment through connections with their communities, real impact can be achieved. “Consider changes that can be made in our own backyards,” she advises. “Recycling, reducing plastics, minimising food waste, implementing plantings to support pollinators and making sustainable improvements such as green energy use and more thoughtful transport uses will make an impact.”

Fabienne would also like to see clubs establishing Environment Committees that set practical goals based on local issues, as she believes this will greatly contribute to environmental improvements and solutions.

Having a focus on the environment is also attractive to new and younger members. Fabienne cites the example of Camberwell Rotary’s seven new members all mentioning the environment as an area of interest, and that they want to join the Club’s new Environment Committee. “The environment resonates with young people,” she says.

Rotarians who would like to know more about how they can start an environmental project can find valuable information at https://www.esraganzpi.org/ Joining ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group is also a great way to learn more and is only US$30 in annual membership. Another forum that provides support and promotes the vital role of pollinators is https://rotariansforbees.org/

The Four-Way Test Public Speaking Showcase Finalist

Speech by, Ravin Desai, Camberwell Grammar

Rotary Balwyn has run The Four-Way Test Public Speaking Showcase over many years with the objective of providing a competitive outlet for secondary students attending schools within the City of Boroondara to hone their public speaking skills and promote the Rotary Four-Way Test as a moral compass. In this competition students can speak on any subject that they feel is current, interesting or important. Their speech must however, be based on the application of Rotary’s Four-Way Test, with its principles running either expressly or implied throughout the entire speech.

The following transcript is from one of the four finalists, Ravin Desai.

A simple click is NEVER a simple click!

How one click can have a huge impact online.

Clicking, it’s an action which is synonymous with anything digital and yet we don’t consider the adverse effects of that very action online. With using the internet being as simple as ever, most users disregard the need to think things through and fail to recognise the implications of their actions, opting instead to act in an impulsive manner. I’ll be honest with you, I, like many others, have fallen victim to the trap of being awed by the simplicity of the internet and because of that, having acted impulsively without a regard for what my simple click may cause. These aforementioned actions could cause a food delivery driver to die on the job, they could cause child labour to be propelled or they could cause someone to take their own life. It is for these very reasons why we must instil a sense of caution whilst using the internet as our actions may have severe consequences both online and offline.

In September 2020, 36-year-old Dede Fredy, was hit by a car in Sydney's Marrickville whilst working as a food delivery rider for Uber Eats. He was the first of five riders across various food delivery companies to die on the job nationally in the coming month. Uber Eats and other food delivery services make it easy for their large user base to get whatever food they please with only a few clicks of a mouse. Sadly, users of the app are not made aware of the tragic effects of this food delivery model and how it encourages drivers to drive recklessly in order to fulfil their quota, causing death. That year, despite the death of many food delivery drivers, Uber Eats’ revenue soared to 660 Million US dollars in 2020. This is a key example of how the simplicity of the internet enables its users to look past the consequences of their actions.

The naivety which comes with clicking a button not only applies to food delivery, but to supporting child labour. There are around 265 million working children in the world which is almost 17 per cent of the worldwide child population. Without knowing it, every purchase that you make online may be supporting this criminal act. This once again represents the devastating effects which a single action may have online. The instant gratification which we receive from ordering something online blinds us to what is really happening behind the scenes, that being child labour. In this day and age, it is more crucial than ever to understand where and how our goods are being made and through its simplicity, the internet acts as a cloak for these operations, making it easy for users to unknowingly be helping the act of child labour.

According to the eSafety commissioner, 1 in 5 Australian kids admitted to cyberbullying a peer online and of these, more than 90% had been cyberbullied themselves. It’s as simple as clicking send and yet most young people fail to think through the repercussions of these actions online. What may start as a simple joke or a petty remark can end in tragic events such as suicide. This could be seen in 2018 when 14-year-old Amy Everet tragically took her own life after being bullied online. For the perpetrator of this crime, they may have seen it as a joke or may not have realised the harsh reality that comes with cyber bullying but now they will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Just a few clicks and it’s a life sentence for the victim and perpetrators. This underlines the sheer significance of clicking send, tapping go or pressing share online as one action could have such an impact on not only the person who was affected by it, but the person who carried it out.

A simple click. The death of a driver. A simple click. Child labour being propagated. A simple click. The suicide of a child being bullied. In this ever-changing digital age a simple click is never a simple click. As a society, we must educate both ourselves and our youth that click, swipe or tap may seem simple or look simple in principle but in reality, a simple click may be one too many. By failing to recognise the significance of our actions online, we can be exposed to untruthful content which can lead to us being misinformed, causing us to make further bad actions online without even knowing it. These actions which have unintended consequences are not only unfair to the victims of them but they are unfair to the people which carry them out without knowing so. However, by making sure to think through exactly the consequences of our actions online
next time we click buy, send or go online, we will be able to build good will by doing the right thing, benefiting ourselves and those who may have been affected by our very actions. The test of fairness and what is right hinges on the few quick clicks which we make online. Be fair and build goodwill by thinking, not mindlessly clicking!

The Malvern Story

By Henry Drury

You barely need to scratch the surface of an Australian locality to find the involvement of a pub. Malvern is no different. In 1853, English barrister Charles Skinner bought and sub-divided 84 acres of land on Glenferrie Road, south of Gardiners Creek and advertised this sub-division as the Malvern Hill Estate. It was named after the Malvern Hills spa country in England where his forbears had lived, but apparently no one really noticed. Not at least until he built a pub on the northwest corner of the present-day Glenferrie and Malvern Roads, naming it the Malvern Hill Hotel, cementing for evermore the hotel name as the title for the area.

Like Kew at the northern end of Glenferrie Road, Malvern at the southern end by the 1880s became the site for “fine residences on generous allotments”. These residences included such mansions as Stonnington, originally the home of John Wagner (founding partner of Cobb and Co) and later to be the Victorian Governor’s residence, notably giving the name Stonnington to the amalgamated municipalities of Prahran and Malvern in 1994.

Stonnington now describes itself as “a city of quality and diversity”. It was into this diverse community somewhat noted for producing Prime Ministers (Menzies and Holt), Treasurers and sundry past and present State and Commonwealth government functionaries, that Malvern Rotary received its charter on 27 May 1959. The Club celebrated the 60th anniversary of this event appropriately in May 2019 with High Tea at The Gables, a stately late Victorian, Queen Anne-style Malvern mansion.

Community service is one of the Club’s great strengths. The list is long, but an early notable example is the funding in 1983 of the first Mobile Diabetes Testing Unit (caravan), which won two State Government Community Awards and a Rotary International Significant Achievement Award. Staying in the medical zone, the Club has funded equipment for palliative care for home visits and assisted with the provision of “care packs” for inpatients in the Mental health Units at the Alfred and Box Hill Hospitals.

The Club received a District Community Service Award for funding the re-building of a Children’s Day Centre and has had on-going relationships with charities including Very Special Kids, DIK, the SES, Vision Australia, the police and the Salvos, once again, just picking a few at random.

Youth and International Service also figure strongly at the Club, including a hands-on volunteer tour to Cambodia in support of the “World of Difference” program.

Malvern Rotary is an energetic and very active club in the community and President Jenny La Marca is proud to quote its website in saying: “We will work with groups and organisations of all sizes to achieve even more.”

International Tennis Fellowship Of Rotarians

Founded in 2004, the International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians was approved by the Rotary International Board in March 2005. Today, it has close to 2,000 members from around 84 countries across all continents.

Membership of the International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians is open to all Rotarians, Rotaractors and their partners and is free to join. Rotarians who can no longer play tennis, but love the game are also welcome. 

The Fellowship’s objectives are to develop and promote worldwide friendship for Rotarians with a common interest in tennis; bring together Rotarians from around the world for tournaments and fellowship; serve the community and humanity, through tennis; and promote international understanding and peace. Its main activities are to ensure the organisation of the annual World Tennis Championship of Rotarians; organise regional matches and help tennis playing Rotarians to tour each other’s countries, share hospitality and recreation, visit local sites and experience different cultures; arrange social events and visits for Rotarians who can no longer play the game, but who still have a passion for tennis; and create an email list where members can discuss tennis and promote general fellowship.

Enthusiasm for tennis by the Fellowship’s members is a great testament to the game, which has evolved over centuries to become the extremely popular sport of today.

Historians believe that the game's origins lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of this game and became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. The modern game of tennis came about between 1859 and 1865 when a game was developed that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which was played on a croquet lawn in England. By 1872, the world's first tennis club for lawn tennis was founded at Leamington Spa. However, in 1874, British army officer Walter Clopton Wingfield began experimenting with a different version of lawn tennis, designing, patenting and then marketing a boxed set containing net, poles, rackets, balls and rules for a game called "sticky”. The marketing of this game popularised what was essentially lawn tennis and historians all agree that Wingfield deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis. That same year, the world's oldest tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham, and became an annual event. Three years later, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club held its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877. These first championships heralded significant debate on standardising the rules of tennis. While the establishment of various tennis bodies occurred in different countries, each still had their own rules until the International Tennis Federation was founded in 1913.

For more information on this Fellowship, visit: itfr.org

Or https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITFR.F/

Weekly Tip

If your recreational or vocational interest isn’t represented by Rotary’s current Fellowships you can join a discussion group or start a new one on My Rotary.

District Changeover 2021


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