Froggie's January/February Message
A large part of my message this month is about the bush fires and the magnificent way Rotarians both inside and outside our District have responded. There is so much to be proud of.
Rotary Fire Relief
Here in District 9820, clubs and members, clusters, as well as affiliated Rotary groups, have responded wonderfully to the catastrophic bushfires in East Gippsland (not to mention the fires in Eastern Australia, South Australia and Western Australia).
There is so much going on that I can only mention a few things.
I must in particular mention our East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid (EGRFA) committee comprising representatives of the five East Gippsland Clubs. Chair, Pearl Findlay-James and the committee are doing an amazing job supported by our enthusiastic District Emergency Chair, PDG Janne Speirs.
Many Rotary affiliates have stepped up to support EGRFA and their work. Some examples are:
  • Rotary Foundation has provided USD $25k grant for high energy stock feed pellets.
  • RAWCS has granted $15k from the Rotary Benevolent Society (Dick Smith) Fund.
  • District 9800 has got onto a large number of 20ft and 40ft Containers at a discounted $500 cost, delivered to site.  These are ideal where all secure storage has been lost in the fires.
  • Thousands of P2 facemasks have been received and sent to throughout Australia, including to EGRFA via Donations In Kind (DIK),
  • King Gee workwear donated to DIK has been passed to EGRFA.
  • Bairnsdale Rotary’s existing hay project for drought affected farmers is receiving 364 large bales of hay donated by Melbourne Water.
Clubs have been exceptional in providing funding for EGRFA, with many donating from existing reserves, by committing funds raised at various existing planned events to fire aid, and by planning special events to raise funds.
The Mornington Peninsula Cluster are collectively planning a major fundraising dinner, while some clubs have been organising hay donations.
On the national scene, the National Bushfire Appeal being collected through RAWCS at time of writing is around $730K, with the majority of that having come from overseas Rotarians and Rotary affiliated groups.
The fundraiser set up by District 9800 with Carlton United Breweries and Bendigo Bank is now over $1m.
I chaired a meeting on 30th January, where the District Governors Committee, Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) and the Rotary Foundation agreed to partner to better coordinate funds and capabilities to support bushfire recovery.  It makes sense and will, I hope, be a model for the future.
Districts throughout the world are keen to commit District Designated Funds (DDF) to support fire related Global Grant Projects.
Issue 7    January 2020

February is World Understanding Month. 
Rotary promotes peace and conflict prevention
/resolution worldwide.
9th February
District Leadership Meeting
(Zoom at 4:00pm)
District Finance Meeting
(Zoom at 7:00pm)
District Board Meeting
(Zoom at 7:30pm)
16th February 
Assistant Governor Pre-PETS
Venue/mode TBC
21st - 23rd February
Multi-District President Elects Training, RACV Goldfields, Creswick
Froggie's January/February Message Continued
Who is Counting?
Not me or the Club Presidents, I am sure, but did you realise there is only 5 months left until the end of the 2019-20 Rotary year. So little time, so much still to do.
Here’s a taste of what is coming in District:
  • District Conference; 
  • President Elect Training;
  • Our second GUMBUYA WORLD Family Fun Day; 
  • Membership & Club Development Seminars x 4; 
  • District Assembly and Avenues of Service; 
  • Model United Nations Assemby (MUNA); 
  • Youth Protection Seminar;
  • East/Central Gippsland Rotary Leadership Institute; and of course
  • District Changeover.
Meanwhile, all the clubs are getting on with their programmes and doing good.
District 9820 Conference
You really shouldn’t miss the fantastic group of speakers that we have for the Conference, not to mention the great food, great fellowship and great entertainment.
For those who have not yet booked, please do so as soon as possible, so we can finalise all conference arrangements.
I really hope I see you there.
Polio EndGame
Support for the 2019-2023 Polio EndGame Strategy is the project chosen by the District Governor's Partner, Wendy Froggatt.
The Polio Endgame Strategy 2019-2023 has been developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), because we have not yet achieved complete eradication of the virus.
The new plan has three goals, namely:
  1. Eradication of the virus.
  2. Integration - collaboration with other public health actors beyond the GPEI to strengthen health systems to help achieve and sustain eradication.
  3. Certification and containment - we have to prove through surveillance that we have interrupted the transmission of the poliovirus, and we have to be able to show that the virus in laboratories, either has been destroyed, or is appropriately contained.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative’s (GPEI) five-year budget to execute this is $4.2 billion.
What can Rotarians do to ensure that the plan is successful?
The No. 1 thing is to continue to support the program. We have a $3.27 billion funding gap.
We will need Rotarians to make direct donations as well as to advocate with their governments and other groups for their support, so that we can continue to do all of the immunizations and surveillance necessary.
Rotarians in countries where active polio eradication efforts are underway need to continue helping with these efforts and immunizing children. They need to keep advocating with their governments to continue to support polio eradication.
District 9820 Conference
Article submitted by PDG Tim Moore - Chair Conference Organising Committee
Your conference committee are getting really excited, as the countdown to Conference 2020 (March 20th-22nd) in Bendigo gets closer.
Join fellow Rotarians from around the District to:
  • Learn of our District projects, particularly our drought and fire efforts
  • Discuss key issues in Rotary and how we can be stronger by ‘Breaking the Chains’
  • Be inspired by our presenters and the endless opportunities Rotary provides
  • Make new friends
Our speakers are locked in and here are 2 of our latest – Kate McBride and Chelsea Roffey.
Kate McBride
2019 was a year of great discussion around both drought and water management and Kate received a great deal of media attention as she stood up for farmers.
The year began with mass fish kills in which a video Kate took went viral, resulting in both national and international media flocking to her local township of Menindee. Following weeks of media attention and appearing regularly on radio as well as channel 10’s the project, Kate was approached by ABC’s Australian Story who ran an episode called ‘Cry me a river’ on the 21 year old. 
Throughout the year, media attention continued as more fish kills occurred and the Darling river dried up further. In late October, Kate was asked to be on ABC’s Q&A panel for a drought special. She sat beside the federal Minister for Water Resources and Drought, as well as the Shadow minister for Agriculture, and fiercely defended the people of the land as well as advocating for looking after our rivers.
She received excellent feedback from the show and the following morning appeared on Studio 10, where she called the Prime Minister out for abandoning Australia’s farmers. 
Following these appearances, Kate has continued to appear on radio and speak at schools and events to further raise awareness of issues in water management.
She’s greatly looking forward to speaking at Rotary’s District 9820 Conference in Bendigo.
Chelsea Roffey
As a woman - and a Queenslander - Chelsea Roffey was never expected to reach the pinnacle of the nation's biggest sporting stage.
Overcoming the challenges of public opinion, media scrutiny and self-doubt, as well as the physical and mental demands of training and competing in a man’s world, she reached the top of the ladder in an environment where the cost of a slip-up can be huge.
Chelsea became the first woman to officiate an AFL Grand Final, when she was selected as goal umpire for the 2012 Grand Final between Hawthorn and Sydney.
A published author and Winston Churchill Fellow, Chelsea holds bachelor’s degrees in music and journalism and works with organisations to break through barriers and optimise performance.
The conference also offers:
  • Special pricing for new Rotarians and Rotaractors
  • A fantastic program of speakers, entertainers and fun
  • The opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones
  • The opportunity to learn more and interact with others
  • Optional events:  Fellowship Friday dinner, Leadership Breakfast Saturday morning for Presidents, President Elects, Leadership team members and partners, Friday Golf Day at Bendigo Golf Club with light lunch, Friday Winery coach tour finishing at Balgownie Estate with light lunch and a glass of wine! (some number limits apply)
  • Bendigo is a great tourist city to spend some more time in!
Click here to register for this great opportunity and to choose add ons!
Rotary International President's Personal Representative (RIPPR)
The President of Rotary International (RI), Mark Daniel Maloney, has announced who his Personal Representive will be at the District 9820 Conference in Bendigo from 20th- 22nd March.  He has nominated Past RI Director, Stuart Heal, from the Rotary Club of Cromwell in District 9980 (New Zealand) and his partner Adrienne to attend the conference.
Stuart has enjoyed a successful and varied business career. He was CEO of New Zealand’s largest agricultural supply co-operative for 20 years until 2004. He is now self-employed as a business mentor and a director of a number of companies across many different sectors including, manufacturing, wine, health, power generation, retail and forestry.
Adrienne is also a Rotarian and was Cromwell Club President in 2008/09.  Up until 2009, she was a teacher providing support for children aged 11 to 15 with learning and behavioural needs.
Stuart came into Rotary following selection as a team member on Group Study Exchange. He went to Nigeria in 1987 as a member of the team from District 9980. Much earlier, in 1971, he won a Rotary Youth Leadership award and attended District 9920 RYLA that year.  Stuart subsequently joined the Dunedin Rotary Club in 1987 and was club President in 1994/95, and District Governor in District 9980 in 1999/2000.
He was involved with the GSE programme as District chair in 1991-1993 and Adrienne is currently a member of the District GSE committee.  Stuart has been a member of the Management Committee for RDU, our regional magazine, for the past five years. He has also been a training leader at International Assembly twice (2003, 2004) and remains a member of his District’s training team. 
In 2005, he was awarded the Citation of Meritorious Service from the Rotary Foundation, following three years as Foundation Chair for the District.
International Assembly in San Diego
Article submitted by DGE Mark Humphries (Excerpt from Mt. Eliza’s Bulletin)
We made it; International Assembly has been run. A week of activities, long days and some very entertaining nights were had by all. You really do see Rotary in a different light.
Linda’s program was almost as busy as mine with many great activities and highlights along the way.
Rotary International President Elect (RIPE), Holger Knaak, has 4 main key points he would like Rotary clubs and Rotarians to focus on, one of those being how we as club make Rotary membership memorable.
All clubs need to look closely at themselves and see what they are doing. Are they making membership memorable? 
RIPE Holger Knaak is also encouraging every club across the world to have at least one club meeting annually, where they look strategically at what they are doing and then realign.
We will be home soon and back to work, but planning for the year ahead will continue.
East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid
Article submitted by Pearl Findlay-James, Chair-East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid
The five Rotary Clubs of East Gippsland have come together, forming a Fire Aid Committee, in preference to each club working on their own with possible double up. We are a greater force as one collective.
100% of all funds raised will be used to benefit the East Gippsland Community and individuals, that have been impacted by this fire disaster, through no fault of their own.
Money raised will be divided into the following categories:
  1. Hay/Fodder/ fencing, many landowners have insurance for their fencing and only require volunteers to assist with cleaning of fence lines. Others will require hay / fodder for their livestock, this we are presently assisting with.
  1. Money vouchers, to allow people to purchase new items they can determine for themselves within the local area, returning dignity and independence to the survivors. A knock- on effect to the local retailers will occur, placing money into local businesses which have been hit hard by the loss of the peak holiday season trading.
  1. There is also an emergency fund, this is for items that sit outside the above two categories and are deemed to be having a great impact on a community or a family and need urgent action e.g. fuel for a truck load of hay / fodder to be transported into the area.
  1. Community BBQ’s and working bee’s will be organised to assist and support small communities to reconnect with neighbours that may have had to find temporary accommodation outside their local area & support network.
Rotary is a worldwide not for profit organisation, where the Local Rotary Community works alongside the Local Communities
East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid is supported by Rotary International District 9820.
Rotary Club of Bairnsdale's Farmer Relief Project
Article submitted by Martin van Elst – Rotary Club of Bairnsdale
As many of our followers will be aware, our club has been helping farmers during this terrible drought since August 2018 and have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from Rotarians and the general public.
Now East Gippsland has to deal with the fires that have ravaged country and farms already affected by the drought. Our club continues to support these farmers and will honour our commitment to see this through until it is all over.
Since 1 January 2020, we have joined with the other four Rotary clubs in East Gippsland to maximise the assistance that we can offer to those affected by the fires. Our member Rex, who is in charge of the distribution of donated hay to drought affected farms through our Farmers Relief project, is now using his contacts to distribute donated hay to fire affected farms.
The fires have taken a lot of the focus off the drought and some recent rains have eased the situation somewhat, but more hot days or winds negate the good of the rain. We are still focused on helping our drought affected farmers (yes there are still many areas in need) and thank all of you out there who have offered support over the last 18 months.
      Some of the hay bales donated
         Bonnie Walker being inteviewed
On Tuesday 21st January, 350 bales of hay donated by Melbourne Water was delivered to us, freight free, and then sent straight on to those in need. Win TV was there to do an interview and photo shoot, and the result was on Nine News at 6pm that evening, providing great coverage.  
Donations are very welcome to:
The Rotary Club of Bairnsdale, Projects Account
BSB: 633-000     Account: 165960451
Ref: Drought Relief or Fire Aid - so that it goes to the correct cause.
Rotary Connects the World-Bushfire Masks
Article submitted by Roger Thornton – District Chair Donations in Kind
Direct Relief Santa Barbara California – Qantas –DHL- Donations In Kind West Footscray – Red Cross / CFA/ Rotary – The people who need them.
On the 7th of January Rotary Melbourne received a phone call from a Representative of Direct Relief, which is a Santa Barbara based non-profit, nonpartisan organization with a stated mission to “improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilising and providing essential medical resources needed for their care.  
Direct Relief had already been in touch with the Australian Red Cross and on the basis of pre-commitment from the Red Cross, they shipped 24 pallets containing 97,500 P2 / N95 masks to Melbourne utilising air cargo capacity donated by Qantas and ground transport by DHL. 
The connection with Rotary is that Dean Axelrod, Associate Director, Partnerships & Philanthropy at Direct Relief is also a Rotarian, and is President Elect for the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara.  At Dean’s suggestion, a call was made to the Rotary Club of Melbourne on Tuesday morning, resulting in a number of swift actions initiated by Rotary Melbourne:
  • To assist Direct Relief, Rotary Melbourne offered to facilitate access to storage capacity at the Rotary Donations In Kind (DIK) warehouse in West Footscray.  Storage capacity was available and the shipment of 24 pallets arrived at the DIK warehouse on the 9th January. We were fortunate that we were filling a container of beds for Somalia and had some room to take them in. The beds went in the morning and the pallets arrived in the afternoon!
  • At the same time District 9800 Governor, Grant Hocking wrote to Australian District Governors to advise of the availability of serious quantities of p2 masks and seeking input from Australian Rotary Districts and Clubs on the immediate needs of their communities for these masks. 
  • This has resulted in the immediate distribution of around 34,000 masks to North Eastern Victoria and East Gippsland.
  • Another 20 pallets on the ground in Sydney are destined for District 9685 in the Blue Mountains and for District 9675 in the Southern Highlands.
  • The next consignment of 30 pallets has arrived and distribution Is underway.
  • The plan is unfolding and we’re confident that the bulk of the remaining stock of masks will be distributed over the coming weeks, including Port Macquarie and Canberra.
And it’s not only masks:
We had a team of members from the new Passport Club and other volunteers sort and pack 5 pallets of medical consumables under the guidance of a Veterinarian member. These have been delivered to the Victorian Department Of Agriculture’s Central Vet Store for issue to animal welfare agencies seeking assistance.
We have also dispatched 50 cartons of new industrial clothing to Bairnsdale for EGRFA to distribute for use in the forthcoming cleanup, with the balance of these going into Southern NSW for the same purpose.
This and the other support DIK are providing for this disaster could only happen because of the generosity of the Rotary Clubs, who help to fund your store and the volunteers who do the work.  These Clubs have already made a significant contribution to Bushfire Aid.
Youthful Fire Relief Fundraiser
Article submitted by John Legione - President of the Rotary Club of Bunyip-Garfield
The younger generation quite often get a bad rap from the older generation, but recently 2 young girls aged 8 and 10 blew that idea out of the water.
While holidaying at a holiday park in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula, they thought they should do something for the fire ravaged area of East Gippsland. They canvassed their parents and a couple of local businesses and sought donations, so that they could conduct a BBQ for the families holidaying at the park.
After obtaining permission from the Park Managers, the girls got to work on posters and flyers to distribute amongst the other residents.
Nine kilos of mince, numerous sausages and onions and loaves of bread later and enlisting the help of their parents to cook, they set off on their quest. An hour after the start time they had fed a mass of holiday makers and to their pleasure run out of food.
They were even more surprised when after asking their parents to count the money, they realised that they had raised $1,200 in just over an hour. A fantastic effort for two young kids and a couple of friends. This money will be forwarded to the District 9820 Emergency Fire Relief Fund.
To cap off a great event, they were pleasantly surprised when the local CFA brigade turned up in their Road Rescue Truck to say Hi. They then had the opportunity to chat to a couple of volunteers, while climbing over their appliance.
Thanks go to Eleanor and Zoe and their families for helping out those affected by this terrible disaster.  $1,200 raised by two young kids is something that we should be very proud of.
As President of the Rotary Club of Bunyip Garfield and Pop of Eleanor and also a CFA volunteer, I am incredibly proud of their efforts.
Kananook Chook House & Fencing Project
Article submitted by PP Eric Neill – Rotary Club of Frankston North
The Rotary Club of Frankston North was approached in mid-2019 to assist parents and teachers in building a Chook House and Fox-proof Fencing in an area at Kananook Primary School. 
The project proceeded with an Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU), as a shared project with the school and an application for a $2,000 District Grant was applied for and granted.
Many working bees were held over a 2 month period, including teachers, parents and students to clear the area, install Chook House, fences and fox proofing.
The area will be maintained by Students and Parents with rosters being set up for maintenance and the daily release of chooks from the hen house and the return to house at night. It will be educational for the students learning about how to care and handle for chooks, as well as being used as a petting area for students with some seats being installed.
The grand opening was held at school on 13th December 2019 with the cutting of the ribbon done by President David Cahill of the Rotary Club of Frankston North and Kananook Primary School Council President Jim.
Ambulance Victoria Uniform Project
Article submitted by Tim Wills, President - Rotary Club of Drouin
On a smoke-filled Monday morning in January, thirteen Drouin Rotarians/partners, our Assistant Governor Peter Dell and Sally Dell (Rotary Club of Warragul), four Drouin Lions and five Ambulance Victoria Officers (on leave) commenced the process of de-badging, sorting and boxing the hundreds of items of second-hand uniforms donated by service members from across Victoria. And there is a mountain of them.
Over seventy hours of service were spent in this first effort...and most participants took a box of items home for later consideration. Two Rotarians spent six hours de-badging shirts that night ... another 12 hours!
Rotary's 'Donations-in-Kind' will be pleased to accept and dispatch these items overseas. The Ambulance Victoria group will send the sky-blue shirts to a school in Nepal, while the jumpers will go to a Lions project in the Sudan. And that too is just the start.
Sally was pleased to take charge of a box of crocheted rugs that somehow found themselves in the mountain of donations. She will see them off to Central Australia, as part of the wider ‘End Trachoma’ project.
This opportunity for service will be going on for some time, so any clubs that would like to help with the de-badging should contact the Rotary Club of Drouin’s President, Tim Wills, through
Any and all help will be gratefully received.
Disaster Aid Australia News
Article submitted by Brian Ashworth – Honorary CEO – Disaster Aid Australia
35,000 Children Safe in Bhutan
Disaster Aid Australia’s (DAA) ambitious project to provide safe drinking water to 120 schools in Bhutan is now 50% complete. 
With an average of 600 children per school, this means that over 35,000 children are now protected from contaminated water. This is thanks to the great support DAA gets, especially from our home District of 9820.
If Rotarians want a personal experience of Delivering Safe Water in Bhutan, they can have a holiday in Bhutan and present a SkyHydrant to a school
Here Peter and Lois Faulkner are shown opening the SkyHydrant at a school.
The fully inclusive holiday costs From $6,450 (twin share) and includes the sponsorship of the SkyHydrant (You will receive a claimable tax receipt for $5,000)
For more information see this link:  Bhutan.
Safe Water in Myanmar
Disaster Aid has recently commissioned a 2nd SkyHydrant in Myanmar.
The installation will protect a hostel for students at Mawlamyine University.
This project has been possible thanks to supporters in NSW.
Disaster Aid Canada Supports the Bushfire Appeal
One of Our Disaster Aid International Partners, Disaster Aid Canada, has raised $40,000 towards the Australian bushfire appeal.
This will be passed on to the Rotary Australia  World Community Service (RAWCS) appeal.