Issue 09 :: April 2023  ::  Imagine Rotary
Around the District
Big swings, big results for our clubs, members and communities

Profile image of District Governor Amanda WendtWe started this year promising big swings to help our clubs make a bigger difference for their communities by connecting with more volunteers, activating them into members and raising much-needed funds with profile-raising community events.

Our clubs have stepped up to the crease and hit some big sixes for our three major metrics, and we have a few more surprises to announce! Read on for:

- Make a big difference assembling 100,000 relief meals in Fed Square for people in need in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria
- Club projects making a meaningful difference for their communities: People of Action District Recognition
- Organise your club gardening bee in Rochie!
- Buy your tix to Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023; under-40 and Foundation contributor ticket winners!
- District membership update
- Rotary Activate charters with 22 new members!
- Book your table for A night to celebrate! Rotary Gala Dinner
- Tell the DG to go jump update: G-Train and Grant getting nervous
- Booked-out Melbourne Celtic Festival dials up the craic to 90. Again. Running total: 180 craic
- Being more inclusive and effective with accessibility of published messages


Oodles of fantastic news from across our District! Let’s dive in.

Make a big difference! Relief meal assembly at Fed Square

Big Difference iconSaturday 27 May at Fed Square

District 9800 is partnering with the world-changing FORaMEAL to deliver 100,000 much-needed emergency relief meals to people in Ukraine, Turkey and Syria, while connecting with 1,000+ new volunteers in a high-profile, meaningful, hands on, convenient community event! In our very own Fed Square!

The aim is to connect with oodles of new volunteers, so we’re asking Rotarians’ help in two ways:

1. Distribute this event to your community partners, community members and sponsors, and encourage them to volunteer on the day, by registering at
2. Help run the event on the day, supervising crews of 12 volunteers or bumping in and/or out, by registering at


Rotarians from around the world will be in town for the commencement of Rotary International Convention, so let’s show them how District 9800 gets behind one of its own projects – FORaMEAL – to make a big, world-changing difference.

Flag bearers wanted for RI Convention opening ceremony
Image of young man holding the Australian flagWould you like to be involved in one of the most memorable moments of the Rotary International Convention Opening Ceremony? 
We need approximately 200 volunteers to represent flags of the world. The flag ceremony will be held on the morning of Sunday 28th May at Rod Laver Arena, and there will be a dress rehearsal on Saturday 27th May. 
Flag bearers will need to be able to hold a flag and walk around the main arena for approximately 20 minutes. They must be registered to attend convention (the exception being Interactors). 
We want to showcase the terrific diversity of our Rotary members, so we encourage people of all ages and abilities to apply. Limited places available. 
To register your interest go to
Any questions, please email
Rotary Activate Victoria Club charters with 22 new members

Photo of members of Rotary Activate Victoria volunteering at Avalon CentreWelcome to new members of our just-chartered club Rotary Activate Victoria Club. Rotary Activate has signed 22 new members for the District, and three transferring members. The new ‘Activators’ have already been out in force volunteering at Avalon Centre helping to sort goods for those experiencing homelessness.

In a fantastic demonstration of principles in action, District Service Chair Lili Teichman has been working with meaningful, hands, convenient projects to connect with more volunteers, with Rotary Activate demonstrating how to activate those volunteers into members, by pitching Rotary’s Vocational Advantage.

Activate is looking forward to connecting new members with projects and mentors across our clubs, to help them find their best fit in the Rotary family.

Discover new ways to pitch Rotary to participating volunteers:

Partner with Rotary Activate for project volunteers or mentor relationships:

Apply For District Grants NOW – Changes are Coming 

The Rotary Foundation and Imagine Rotary logos




If your club is considering applying for a Rotary Foundation District Grant, now is the time to apply.

The District Grants committee has ample funds still available for this Rotary year.  It is possible to arrange District Grants through the District 9800 Humanitarian Grants Committee at relatively short notice. The Grants Committee has been able to approve grants and has done so quite quickly where grant applications comply with the terms and conditions of the Rotary Foundation. 

News from Speaker Bank 

Looking for a speaker for your club?  Speakers recently added to Speaker Bank include Mal Padgett, who speaks on Rotary’s history of raising bowel cancer awareness; and George Petrou OAM, a graphic designer who supports the welfare of ex-service personnel.  

Several other speakers have impressed and received favourable reviews! 

District 9800 Polio Plus Society Launch

Rotarians and friends are warmly invited to the launch event for the Polio Plus Society in District 9800.

The Circular Economy: Rotary Melbourne Environment Day Lunch 

Rotary’s 7th area of focus was established to prioritise care for the environment and is the foundation for Rotary’s other 6 areas of focus. In celebration of World Environment Day, you are most warmly invited to join Rotarians from around the District and the Region for a luncheon, on 17th May at the Sofitel on Collins, highlighting a very special environmental theme: the Circular Economy. 

VTT Addressing Timor Leste High Infant and Maternal Mortality Rates 


Rotary District 9560 hosted a group of 14 Timor-Leste midwives and nurses in a Vocational Training Team that attended a 5-week Maternal and Child Health Course at Central Queensland University Mackay Campus.    

Funded by a Rotary Foundation Global Grant, with assistance from the Mackay/Whitsunday area Rotary clubs, the course was especially organised to present different procedures and knowledge not readily available to the group in Timor-Leste. 

Rotary Bendigo South Emergency Food Distribution in Cambodia 
In early 2020, with the onset of Covid 19, where countries were closing their borders to travellers, I received a request from friends in Cambodia advising that they needed help to support Cambodians who were facing starvation due to lack of income.  Young people who worked in the cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap had lost their jobs due to lack of tourism and the closure of businesses involved in the garment industries, and therefore, they could not send funds back home to support their families as they normally would. 
Rotary Bendigo South Bicycles and Libraries for Phnom Penh 

The Rotary Club of Bendigo South has been supporting Projects in Cambodia and assisting the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh for many years.   Our latest Project was to raise sufficient funds to assist the Club with the purchase of bicycles for poor families and libraries for school communities. 

Rochester Working Bee
Photo of President Heather Watson working in a gardenFive months ago our Victorian regions were subjected to huge flooding with the town of Rochester was particularly impacted. Rochie is now ready for us to provide assistance so it’s time to head over there, roll up our sleeves and do some serious volunteering. 
While many people are still not able to return to their homes, continuing to live in caravans or with family and friends, the rains have created much growth in the gardens and this is where they are requesting assistance.  
You don’t need to have green thumbs to help – just a willingness to spend a few hours tidying up the gardens, lawns, community spaces mowing lawns, whipper snippering, weeding and general garden pruning. The last thing we need is overgrowth, particularly during hot weather times.
Rotary Hoppers Crossing Youth Projects Alumni

Rotary clubs often lose track of potential youth leaders once they graduate from youth projects. The Rotary club of Hoppers Crossing has found a way to retain these links through the introduction of a young people’s networking group: Rotary Youth Projects Alumni, or RYPA.  

Through RYPA young people over eighteen and up to twenty-five years who progress through Rotary endorsed Youth programs can stay in contact with each other and their sponsor Rotary club.  They can gain through networking opportunities; Rotary mentoring; and by running a major humanitarian service project themselves once per year. 

Pictured: Rotary Hoppers Crossing RYPA Group

Together we connect
Image of two women connecting over a new menstrual hygiene packIn many parts of the world it is a common experience for girls to miss school for up to six days per month during menstruation because of poor sanitation and hygiene, stigmatisation and infection.
In 2018, Rotary Central Melbourne member Mawien Ariik saw an opportunity to identify vital community needs in his home village of Lou Ariik and founded South Sudanese Health Matters Inc. These needs included basic healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation, and access to improved women’s hygiene.
The South Sudan Menstrual Hygiene and Education project was established and recently helped 800 schoolgirls through the distribution of re-usable menstrual hygiene kits (sourced from Days For Girls Uganda). By distributing the kits along with menstrual hygiene education the project is empowering girls, addressing the stigma and traditional cultural mores of menstruation in a sensitive way, and helping to reduce infection rates.
Congratulations to Mawien Arrik and Rotary Central Melbourne for bringing lasting change to the lives of these girls by connecting project partners including Rotarians, The Rotary Foundation, volunteers from South Sudanese Health Matters; The Chagai Foundation and the village Chieftains.
Together we connect, we are #peopleofaction
Peter Doherty Institute seeking healthy adults 65 years and older 

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity is conducting a study of an experimental influenza (flu) vaccine using new mRNA technology and is seeking healthy adults 65 years and older.  

Rotary’s Council on Resolutions 2023 

Rotary’s Council on Resolutions and Council on Legislation give Rotary members a voice in how our organisation is governed. 

The deadline for submission of resolutions to the 2022 Council on Resolutions is 30 June. 

To meet the 30 June deadline for submission, clubs wishing to submit a resolution should let me know at least six weeks beforehand to enable time for a vote of the district’s clubs to be arranged. 

Let's celebrate at Rotary Gala Dinner, 1 June 2023
Showcasing Environmental Sustainability at RICON23 Melbourne 

The Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG) is organising a diverse range of activities for convention delegates, prior to and during the Rotary International Convention in May 2023.   

These activities include Environmental Tours, an Action Summit, a RAGtime event pre-RICOON; and break-out sessions during the convention.  The aim is to showcase a sample of Rotary environmental initiatives across the world; and to encourage Rotarians to take further action to support and recover our environment.  

Rotary Youth Challenge Sailing Program Comes to Victoria 

Victorian clubs from all districts are invited to become involved in sponsoring participants in two very special interstate Youth Challenge sails on South Australia’s ship, ‘One & All’ in 2023.  

The expansion of the Rotary Youth Challenge Sailing Program into Victoria, where a Youth Challenge Sail Committee has just been formed, will be enhanced by these special voyages in conjunction with the Rotary International World Convention in Melbourne. 

The first 7-day sail will voyage from Adelaide to Melbourne prior to the Convention; the second will return from Melbourne to Adelaide after its conclusion. 

As part of the Rotary International Convention, One & All will also be taking Conference delegates on short lunch and dinner cruises on the Yarra River from Docklands. 

Upcoming events
Launch Event - Polio Plus Society District 9800
The Hub
Apr 15, 2023
2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Footscray Rotary Golf Day - Friday 21st April 2023
Sanctuary Lakes Golf Club
Apr 21, 2023
7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
PETS(3) Program
Jasper Hotel
Apr 23, 2023
9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
District Assembly
Jasper Hotel
May 07, 2023
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Environment Action Summit
May 25, 2023
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
RI Convention - Melbourne 2023
May 27, 2023 – May 31, 2023
Big Difference
Federation Square
May 27, 2023
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
RI Melbourne Convention - Home Hospitality Evening
May 29, 2023
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
A night to celebrate! Rotary Gala Dinner
Plaza Ballroom
Jun 01, 2023
6:30 PM – 10:00 PM
View entire list
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