Youth Services Chair

Gabe Hau
Contact Details:
Mobile: 0411338989
The role of the District Youth Service Committee is to recommend, co-ordinate and support clubs in District 9800 to deliver effective Youth Service programs. These programs are District Managed, District Endorsed or District Supported programs. Essentially, the objective is to provide innovative and practical opportunities, to assist and motivate children, young people and associated stakeholders in our communities to acquire learning and life skills. The District Youth Committee is open to recommendations, feedback and offers to launch new project and expand current programs.
Chair: Gabe Hau (E-Club of Melbourne)
Deputy Chair: Maria Silber (Footscray)
Youth Program Chairs Contact information
Please see below, contact details for all Youth Program Chairs. If you would like information on any of the programs, please do reach out the following contacts.
Rotary Representative to Rotaract/ District Youth Hub
Contact: Bronwyn Fanning
District Youth Hub
Contact: Chris Richardson
Rotary Youth Exchange
Contact: Samantha Dunne
Interact Representative (Regional)
Contact: Jane Watters
Pathway to Rotary
Contact: Julie Mason
Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA)
Contact:Neville Page
COntact: Suzanne Zammit
Rotaract Representative to Rotary
Contact:Elliot Silcock
Contact: Jessica Wheeler (Rotary Social Impact Network)
Youth Protection Officer
Contact: Barb Brook
Contact: Chris Richardson
Science Experience
Contact: Chris Richardson
Child Protection
The Rotary District 9800 and the District Youth Services committee takes protection and well-being of children, youth and associated parties very seriously. Please refer to details regarding ‘Working with Children’ Card, Volunteer Form and Protection matters in District 9800 Governance section to meet relevant activities’ legal and quality standards ( . On the District website ( you will find up to date information on Child Safe Activities, the District Protection Policy and The Abuse and Harassment Reporting Guidelines for the District Youth Exchange Program and Certification Requirements for the VRQA. It is each club’s primary responsibility to ensure relevant protocols, controls and legal/regulatory requirement up to date to meet government, district and insurer’s criteria. 
Youth Exchange
The Committee coordinates and facilitates reciprocal 12 month secondary school exchanges between students sponsored by Rotary  Clubs in District 9800 and Rotary Clubs in other Districts overseas. The students undergo an extensive selection process to ensure that they are competent and able to maximise the benefit from the Youth Exchange experience, whilst fostering an enduring relationship with their Host Club. The objective is to provide a unique and effective Rotary supported educational and cultural opportunity, whilst promoting goodwill, peace and understanding.  The District supports students, both outbound and inbound and is always looking for involvement from new clubs.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, changes are anticipated.
Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)
RYLA is a weeklong residential program conducted annually for 18 to 25 year olds. RYLA encourages emerging and experienced leaders to reflect on their own skills and personal strengths to effectively contribute to their communities in a practical manner. RYLA provides opportunities to share leadership experiences within a diverse group to understand the unique qualities, abilities and skills of others and how this diversity can empower and encourage participants to facilitate teamwork and greater understanding. Rotary clubs are invited to nominate, sponsor or part-sponsor a young leader and provide practical support and encouragement. During the RYLA program there is a formal dinner to which all Rotarians are invited.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, changes are anticipated.
Secretary/Chair: Jess Wheeler (Rotary Social Impact Network) (
Treasurer: Wayne Hunter (Yarraville)
Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN)
The Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) in Rotary International District 9800 is a Youth Leadership conference for young people who are between 15 and 17 and are year 9, 10 and 11 students. The conference is a weekend long camp designed at developing young people’s potential through a mixture of lecture style sessions and adventure-based learning.
RYPEN is designed for students who are seen as the upcoming leaders in your school, not those students who are already leading and achieving amazing things or those at the bottom end, but those students who just need a bit of a push and a confidence boost to start achieving at their full potential.
Through RYPEN students will begin developing skills in:
Communication skills
Leadership fundamentals and ethics
Goal Setting
Forming and defining their own values
Community and Global Citizenship
Problem solving and conflict management
Taking initiative
The key outcomes of RYPEN align with the Personal and Social General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum. Students are encouraged to: learn to understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work and learning more effectively.
RYPEN provides an experience of ideas, problems and social experiences which will assist them in forming their own values and moral standards and allow them to broaden their horizons culturally, socially and academically.
Challenge by choice is an important aspect of the program experience.
Students are free to discuss and interpret what they experience and the Supporters and Rotarians involved in running the camp act as mentors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, changes are anticipated.
Chair: Suzanne Zammit (Footscray)
Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA)
This international youth program simulates the workings of the United Nations Assembly by having two senior students from a number of schools represent a particular UN country. The students debate on matters of world political and social concern. The assembly aims to build goodwill, world peace and understanding through the experience of tackling issues from the viewpoint of the team’s ‘adopted’ country, even where this may be completely contrary to their own views. Students use research, debating and public speaking skills to address a wide range of contemporary and world-focussed issues. The program extends over a weekend and it is chaired and judged by Rotarians. MUNA is held in May each year.
Chair: Nevile Page (North Melbourne)
Deputy Chair: TBA
Science Programs
The committee will promote selection and/or sponsorship of students by Rotary Clubs for two programs:
Science Experience
This is a three or four day hands-on science program in participating universities in Melbourne and regional Victoria for Year 9 and 10 students. There is no selection process and students only need to obtain endorsement from their local Rotary club if they are seeking Rotary funding. For more information:
National Youth Science Forum (NYSF)
A program for students completing Year 11 and considering pursuing a science, engineering or technology based career are eligible to be apply. There are three fully residential sessions, two in Canberra and one in Brisbane each run over 12 days in January. This program spans two Rotary years.   For further information:
Co Chairs: Chris Richardson (Essendon North) and Bronwyn Fanning (Altona City)
Pathway to Rotary Program
The project governs and facilitates the process around developing bridges between Earlyact, Interact,  Rotaract and Rotary. The program serves as an opportunity to develop relationships with stakeholders and expand Rotary as an organisation.
Chair: PDG Julie Mason (Wyndham)

Rotaract is a Rotary sponsored service Club for young men and women aged 18 to 30, which makes them true ‘partners in service’ and key members of the Family of Rotary.  There are more than 8,400 Rotaract Clubs in about 170 countries and geographical areas.

All Rotaract efforts begin at the local, grassroots level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service. Mentoring is provided by the sponsoring Club to enable vocational and professional development for individuals and assist in leadership growth. Rotaract Clubs in D9800 undertake fundraising and humanitarian projects of their own, as well as assisting with RYPEN and MUNA programs and other Rotary projects. 

Chair: Bronwyn Fanning (Altona City)
District Rotaract Representative: Michael Horridge
Email: which contains details on all clubs
Interact is RI’s service Club for young people aged 12 to 18.  Interact Clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary Clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting. As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of Rotary service, with more than 20,372 Clubs in 139 countries and geographical areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Almost 468,000 young people are involved. Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community. Alternatively  there can be Rotary club sponsored community Interact clubs ,with members of school age drawn from the local community.   
Each year, Interact Clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill.
Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas Clubs and learn the importance of:
  • Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
  • Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
  • Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
  • Experience of participating in committees of management
  • Advancing international understanding and goodwill. 
Current District 9800 Interact clubs and their sponsoring Rotary clubs:
St Albans Secondary College     
Keilor East
Wyndham Central College           
Balwyn High School
North Balwyn
Camberwell Boys Grammar School
St Leonards College                      
The MacRobertson Girls’ High School
Port Phillip
Melbourne Girls’ College
Hoppers Crossing Secondary 
Laverton Point Cook
Wyndham Secondary College
A District Interact committee comprising selected Interact liaison officers from each sponsor club meet every two months  
A student led District Interact Council also meets as a networking group on a monthly basis to discuss common issues and goals   
Interact programs provide for members each year include a multi District Interact Conference and a multi District annual Interact District Assembly /training day for incoming club leaders  
Chair:  Des O’Shanassy ( Hoppers  Crossing)
Chair: Jane Watters (Woodend)
Earlyact is a service Club for primary school students and is sponsored by a local Rotary Club. Its mission and operation are closely linked to the ideals of Rotary. Earlyact Clubs strive to promote goodwill, understanding and peace through the active participation of their student members, so that with committed citizenship and effective leadership they may improve the quality of life of their school, local and global communities. Involvement in an Earlyact Club teaches values such as caring, respect, responsibility, tolerance, compassion, friendship and leadership.
Contact: PDG Julie Mason (Wyndham)
Youth Alumni Hub
Rotary District 9800 Youth Alumni Hub is being developed to maintain contact with all past participants of Rotary District Youth Programs allowing them to stay in touch with Rotary and to tap into and promote to their networks the ongoing youth programs of Rotary (such as those above). As each Rotary youth program concludes, participants are invited to join the alumni by a program leader who facilitates their membership. The Committee is also looking at new ways to engage former participants in Rotary ideals and projects. The team are always looking for new members, new ideas and opportunities to promote Rotary activities.
Chair: Chris Richardson (Essendon North)
Deputy Chair: Bronwyn Fanning (Altona City)