Froggie's February/March Message
I have never been so proud to be a Rotarian, as I have seeing the incredible response from our District Clubs and Rotarians to the fire disaster in East Gippsland.
I have been very impressed by the rapid response of our East Gippsland Clubs forming the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid (EGRFA) Committee and the empathetic and enthusiastic way this committee has gone about their task.
I am in awe of the financial support our clubs have given EGRFA and especially the incredibly generous support from Koo Wee Rup – Lang Lang, Hastings Westernport and Sorrento, who have all punched well above their weight. The truckloads of hay coordinated by Phillip Island – San Remo, the BlazeAid fundraiser by Berwick, which provided two combat ready work trailers, and all the other contributions and planned events.
It goes on and on, so to all who have contributed, a heartfelt thank you on behalf of our East Gippsland family. There are some amazing stories in this month’s Chain Mail.
Gumbuya Fun Day II
This is a busy time of the year and it has been a challenge to fit this in before the water park closes for the season. Gumbuya Fun Day II will be the afternoon of Saturday 14th March 1:00 to 5:00 pm. More information later in Chain Mail.
Come and enjoy our special Rotary pricing – bring the kids, grandkids and recapture your own youth with lots of fun rides. A new wave pool is now open too. Book Here
We have dropped behind where we would like to be in District Membership but there is time to make this up, so I urge every Rotarian to get out and invite a prospective new member. Make them welcome to your club and share the amazing work that we all do.
The Classification system is still a great way to identify skill shortages in your club, so use it to find people to invite.
On Saturday February 29th, Nepean and Peninsula clusters had a very successful Membership Seminar.  Seminars are also planned for the other areas, but don't wait for this, start now!
Also don’t forget to join the Public Image Branding webinar on Zoom, Thursday 5th March at 7 pm, at
District Conference
Time is running out to register for what is going to be an amazing Conference.
The range and calibre of our 8 keynote speakers is amazing, as is the fabulous near new Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo.  
Please register now so we can finalise our planning and catering accordingly.
See our promotional page at Conference 2020, or visit the quick guide to Speakers.
Issue 8    February 2020


March is Water and Sanitation Month. 
7th - 14th March
World Rotaract week
14th March
Gumbuya Rotary Fun Day II
(1:00 to 5:00pm)
Gumbuya World
15th March
Council of Governor's lunch
(12:00 for 12:30pm)
Cardinia Cultural Centre
15th March
District Board Meeting
(Zoom at 7:00pm)
20th March
UN International Day of Happiness
20th - 22nd March
District 9820 Conference
Ulumbarra Theatre
Froggie's February/March Message Continued
Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) DG’s National Fire Relief Fund
This fund is now over $1.16m which has predominantly come from overseas donors. We have set up a District Governor Committee to oversee the distribution of all funds that are not tagged by area.
Clubs are now invited to submit applications for grant funds. The first round of grant applications will close March 31. We are also encouraging projects that meet TRF guidelines as we wish to multiply the funds as much as possible by doing Global Grants as we have a number of overseas Districts with DDF they have offered to make available.
Have a great month everyone. I look forward to "Breaking the Chains" with you at the Bendigo Conference.
DG Adrian
GUMBUYA Rotary Family Fun Event II
Submitted by DG Adrian Froggatt
The first visit to GUMBUYA World was amazing and such fun that we have arranged a second visit at a special Rotary price. This is perfect for those who want to go again, and for those who missed it last time. Bring the kids, the grandkids, or the dare devil you! By the way, the new Wave Pool is now OPEN so don’t forget your bathers.
GUMBUYA World is a major sponsor of our upcoming District Conference so it is a great opportunity for us all to say thank you. Details are:
  • Saturday March 14 Half Day 1:00pm to 5:00 pm
  • Special prices Adult $27 (reduced from $36) | Child &18 (reduced from $31) | Family 2a2c $75 (reduced from $117) | Annual Passholder $0
Book here.  Hope to see you there!
District 9820 Conference Countdown
Article submitted by PDG Tim Moore - Rotary Club of Berwick
Only 3 weeks to go!
It is not too late to secure a place at this conference! Our committee has put together a fantastic program of fun, information and entertainment, with topics and presenters to inspire you in Rotary and outside.
A variety of entertainment will be provided at the conference.  Comedy will be provided by Micky Wyld, who is a roving comedian/magician.  He will perform before dinner on Friday night at the Atrium in the All Seasons Hotel and also before the afternoon plenary session on Saturday.
The Grinners band will provide the music from a popular song list at the Saturday Gala Dinner, which will have a "Jailhouse Rock" theme.
16 year old singer, Lucy Da Silva, will perform three rock classics during the band's first break.
There will be eight guest speakers covering a wide range of interesting topics and you can view their full profiles by using the link:  Guest speakers 
Registrations are still possible for the next week and accommodation is available at a variety of caravan parks, hotels and motels.
Join us for the optional activities, which include:
  • Fellowship dinner on Friday;
  • Friday Golf Day at Bendigo Golf Club with a light lunch;
  • Friday Winery coach tour, finishing at Balgownie Estate with a light lunch and a glass of wine! (some number limits apply);
  • Leadership Breakfast on Saturday morning for Presidents, President Elects, Leadership team members and partners.
Have a look at evolving nature of Rotary in the video at the link to Our Evolving Rotary.
Memories of attending a District Conference
Article submitted by Linda Humphries - DGE Partner and Past President of the Rotary Club of Mt Eliza
Wow! Only  a few days to go before the Bendigo conference and I am so excited to be going back to the Conference venue that started my love affair with Rotary.
We had only recently joined our local Rotary club and at that stage had no real idea what Rotary was about; we had just decided it would be good to work for the community. We discovered there were annual District conferences and a video of a DG Tim Moore with a green wig advertising a good time to be had in Bendigo, convinced us. We decided it might be good to go along and to be honest, to decide if we wanted to spend time being involved in Rotary.
We booked a motel across the road from the All Seasons Hotel, as the accommodation was fully booked; obviously the advertising worked and conferences in District 9820 were well attended and not to be missed.
On the Friday night we walked across the road to register.  From that moment we were blown away with the excitement the friendliness, the wonderful speakers and an amazingly well organised conference.
Our lives were changed from attending that conference. We began to understand what Rotary is actually about; we were part of an amazing community of people who made a difference. We enjoyed everything and have great memories of our first ever conference in Bendigo.
I know this year's Conference will be just as inspiring, enjoyable and as well organised.  It will bring us all together to share our love for Rotary.
 See you there!
Polio EndGame Update
The polio virus is now endemic to only three countries in the world.  They are Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.
Information provided by the Rotary Foundation early in February, indicates that there have been 7 confirmed wild poliovirus type 1 cases so far in 2020.  They all occurred in Pakistan, with no cases of wild poliovirus type 1 being reported in Afghanistan or Nigeria to date.  
The total number of cases reported in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2019 was 173, with none reported in Nigeria.
Without our polio eradication efforts, more than 17 million people, who are currently healthy, would have been paralyzed by the virus.
The  work to erase polio completely continues. 
East Gippsland Fire Aid Committee Activity
Compiled by DG Adrian from submissions by EGRFA Chair Pearl Findlay-James and D9820 Emergency Chair PDG Janne Speirs.
We can be very proud of this Committee and the East Gippsland clubs for the speedy and empathetic response made to this devastating situation in East Gippsland.  The focus has been on concentrating efforts to avoid crossing over into areas already being covered off by other service providers.
The committee has been working closely with Neighbourhood Houses and Community Centres throughout the fire affected area to identify people and families truly in need.
There is wonderful work being done in the name of Rotary; here are just some examples:
  • Sourcing & distributing hay to drought & fire affected farmers.
  • Covering (often) haulage costs for the donated hay
  • Purchasing and distributing from local stores ‘high protein’ pellets for fire affected farms breeding stock.
  • Ordering 1.5 containers of star pickets to assist with the many kilometres of fencing required to prevent stock wandering.
  • Ordering treated pine posts and wire for hobby farmers otherwise excluded.
  • Exploring the import of barbed wire for which there is a national shortage currently.
  • Making good use of the three chainsaws purchased by District and passed on from the Bunyip fires.  This is being driven by a Committee member and a group of young volunteer tradies.
  • Developing and operating a ‘money voucher’ system whereby identified fire survivor families receive funds in the format of the vouchers. These hand delivered vouchers can be redeemed across 90% of retailers & professional businesses of East Gippsland. Once a voucher is presented to a store, the store owner scans and sends the voucher to EFRFA for reimbursement by EFT.
  • Distributing new work wear (from DIK) to fire affected properties which allowed people to ‘save’ their limited clothing.
  • Distributing care packs to needy individuals and families.
  • Running Community BBQ’s & Working Bee’s where members of communities can reconnect, develop relationships and ‘talk’.
  • Sourcing & Distributing donated furniture, bedding & white goods to those in desperate need.
  • Identifying fire affected properties meeting our criteria in need of Shipping Containers to store work tools and equipment etc. securely. Three rounds of orders placed so far.
  • Families have been supported with the cleaning of tainted rainwater tanks and their commercial refilling.
  • Being a conduit for those needing professional assistance urgently.
  • Negotiating cost free lease agreements for some families that had lost their main mode of transport in the fires.
  • An amazing amount of volunteering & traveling over a vast region to assist the communities
  • Sourcing all purchasing through local businesses whenever possible.
  • Global Grants are on the agenda with a view to multiplying donated funds.
  • Community Assessments are planned to identify real needs that will meet TRFs Global Grants criteria.
The support from D9820 clubs has been incredible. Being Rotary and local, EGRFA is able to allocate 100% of the donated funds for fire relief efforts, something few other organisations can match. The committee knows they are in this for the long haul, as much of the community rebuilding is yet to commence. Expect opportunities for voluntary labour.
Rotarians are encouraged to come and spend a few nights, either in their caravans or staying in local accommodation, to help boost the badly damaged East Gippsland economy.
Incredible Support for Fire Recovery
Article submitted by DG Adrian Froggatt
Punching way above their weight the 19 members of Koo Wee Rup – Lang Lang have donated an astonishing $30,000 to East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid, the profits of their very successful Show ‘n’ Shine event held recently.
They are not alone though in stunning donations from our smaller clubs (in numbers but not in heart). Also punching way above their weight is Hastings Westernport, whose 11 members contributed $20,000 across EGRFA and District 9820’s Emergency Fund.
It makes me feel so humble. Absolutely awesome!
Rotary Club of Berwick's Crowd Funding for BlazeAid
(Edited) Story submitted by P.E David Button, Rotary Club of Berwick
BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with farmers and families in rural Australia after natural disasters, such as fires and floods.  Working alongside the rural families, the volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.
Thank you to all the generous supporters of our BlazeAid Combat Ready Trailer fundraiser. Without all our supporters, we wouldn't have been able to help BlazeAid get on with looking after those farmers who lost boundary fences in the recent fire events.
In addition to the clubs and individuals who supported us, extra funding has come from the Rotary Foundation through a District 9820 grant that gave us enough funds to purchase a second combat ready trailer. We thank everyone who contributed, most sincerely.
Some of the standouts were:
  • District 9820 Grant - $7,000
  • Rotary Club of Berwick - $3,500
  • Rotary Club of Bunyip-Garfield - $1000
  • Rotary Club of Gateshead (UK) - $800
  • Boort Ski Club - $676
On the 17th of February, "our" trailers were completed, and signs applied by the trailer builders Ballarat Trailers & Towbars, before they headed off to Lexton to get their complement of equipment, then into service in the fire zone.
Rotary Clubs working together
Article submitted by Julie Backhouse - Rotary Club of Bairnsdale Sunrise
Rotary clubs are working together to support East Gippsland in response to the bush fires. 
The five Rotary Clubs of East Gippsland have formed East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid (EGRFA).   They are:
  • Bairnsdale Sunrise,
  • Bairnsdale,
  • Mitchell River,
  • Lakes Entrance and
  • Orbost
Another group of Rotary Clubs West of Melbourne have formed Western Emergency Relief Network (WERN) and when they heard of the devastation in East Gippsland, they sent enough furniture to furnish two houses. 
EGRFA will donate the furniture to some of those who have lost their belongings in the fires.
Pictured receiving the donated furniture
L-R Geoff Carpenter, Malcolm Findlay, Dick Hughes, John Fallon, Troy from WERN and Robyn Counihan
John Fallon awarded a Paul Harris Fellow
Article submitted by Julie Backhouse - Rotary Club of Bairnsdale Sunrise
Recently John Fallon, a dedicated member of the Bairnsdale community and a committed member of the Rotary Club of Bairnsdale Sunrise was presented with the Paul Harris Fellow (PHF).  Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International and a PHF is presented to Rotarians who have provided outstanding community service. 
John Fallon is most certainly a valid recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow.  John has served the community for around forty years in a range of ways.  Over the years he has served on many committees such as the kindergarten committee, the Church Restoration Committee (St Mary’s in Bairnsdale and the football club committee to name a few. 
John is currently the president of Apex and incoming president of Rotary Sunrise.  John retired from his role as a driving instructor close to two years ago.  He now teaches disadvantaged youth to drive for free. 
Thank you John for all that you do for the community.  This is indeed well deserved recognition.
Happy Birthday Rotary
Successful Compared To Unsuccessful People
Submitted by DG Adrian Froggett
Rotary International Women's Day Breakfast
Article submitted by Linda Humphries - DGE Partner and Past President of the Rotary Club of Mt Eliza

This year's Rotary ID Breakfast event speakers are two incredibly inspirational women from diverse backgrounds.

Olympian Lauren Burns created sporting history by winning the first ever Olympic medal for Taekwondo, when the sport made its debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Lauren was one of only three Australian women to win an individual Olympic Gold Medal, along with Cathy Freeman and Susie O Neill.

Her amazing triumph was achieved against the odds requiring enormous discipline, commitment, perseverance and teamwork. The nation watched as Lauren’s victory brought the Australian public and Olympic crowd to its feet.

Humanitarian Dr Alice Hill has pursued what she calls “full-time, unpaid, for-purpose work,” which includes founding the Early Years Education Program, which, helps at-risk children realize “their full potential and ensure that they enter school as confident and successful learners, developmentally equal to their peers.”

Alice also serves as a director of other non-profit social-justice and educational organisations, and of The Antipodean Family Foundation, which she and her husband established to serve “people in need.”


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