Most Rotarians in District 9800 know about the great work that Western Emergency Relief Network does in supplying donated furniture and household goods to families located in the west who are in need.  Many also know that the Eastern Emergency Relief Network does the same out in Mitcham for people in need in the east.

“Why isn’t there an Emergency Relief Network in inner Melbourne?” asked Rotary Prahran’s new Community Service Chair Mike Scott. 

Mike is also the Community Services Manager at Uniting Prahran (formerly the Prahran Mission) and knows from every day experience the need of many people who are escaping domestic violence, are refugees, coming out of homelessness, or even starting out after a stint in jail.

Mike’s question spurred Rotary Prahran into sponsoring the set up of Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network, as a collaborative ‘Centenary of Rotary in Australia’ project for all inner Melbourne clubs if they are interested in getting involved.

“RIMERN will be to Community Service what Donations In Kind is to International Service” said Rotary Prahran President Susie Cole, “a powerful ongoing project that delivers real help in our own neighbourhoods, that clubs can get involved in as a real hands-on opportunity for service, and something to attract new members.”

District 9800 Community Service Chair Sue Foley will be telling clubs a little about Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network in coming weeks, but Mike & the steering committee want to move fast.  They need to find a warehouse of around 500m2 in South Melbourne or Port Melbourne (or further out if it’s free or at a peppercorn rental), to provide a receiving point for the many offers of donated furniture and appliances that are already on the horizon and that will soon be needed as more homeless people are helped into affordable rentals post Covid-19.

Which Clubs are potential RIMERN foundation partners?

Albert Park, Carlton, Caulfield, Central Melbourne, Chadstone/East Malvern, Collingwood,
E-Club of Melbourne, Fitzroy, Glen Eira, Glenferrie, Hawthorn, Kew, Melbourne, Melbourne Park, Melbourne South, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Provisional Club of Northside

Malvern, Richmond, Southbank, Toorak, Yarra Bend, plus clubs in the East not affiliated with the Eastern Emergency Relief Network such as Camberwell, Canterbury, Kew and North Balwyn.

What does foundation partnership involve?

  1. Financial support

    While Rotary Prahran is contributing $20,000 seed funding to the project, if rent free or cheap premises can’t be found then commercial rent will have to be paid (like at Donations In Kind) so Clubs are being asked to contribute $3,000 seed funding and support for 2 additional years of $2,500 pa.  Warehouse fit-out and truck leasing has been budgeted for, local municipality and corporate grants are being applied for, but rent affordability is the key!

  2. Volunteers

    If foundation partner clubs can provide warehouse volunteers that would be great! If not, help with other roles such as fundraising, logistics, grant writing, recruitment and more will be needed.

  3. Relationships

    People in need must be introduced to Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network by one of the many support agencies operating in inner Melbourne and Clubs with relationships with these agencies can strengthen their ties and opportunities for service.

Want to know more? Email for the date & link to an information ZOOM or a short presentation for your Club.