From the District Governor

Merger of District 9820 and District 9810 to form new District 9815
I am opening with a gentle reminder that applications for the position of District Governor of D9815 are closing very soon.  Please give it your earnest consideration to be a leader of this new district.  Interviews will be held on Saturday 28th May.  The interview panel will have representatives from both Districts including a Past Club President from each district.
We are delighted to continue to induct new members at many of the clubs we have been visiting.  Judy has been so excited by the projects that she has watched being delivered by so many clubs that she has decided to join Rotary and be involved in all these wonderful projects.
Unfortunately, Seaford-Carrum Downs Club have decided to return their charter at the end of June.  The club has a long and proud history and many significant projects to their credit.  The club was to celebrate their 50th Anniversary last year but it was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Please support the club as they disperse, some to other clubs in the district and others into a well-deserved retirement.  If any club would like to become the proud owner of a barbeque trailer with all the equipment and tables, get in touch with Louise.
Probus Club of Foster – 30th Anniversary
Just for something different, Judy & I were invited to help the Foster Probus Club celebrate their 30th Anniversary.  The club was sponsored by Rotary.  The Inaugural Chairman was Reg Williams (father of PDG Merv Williams from Mount Martha Rotary Club).  We had a delightful luncheon and afternoon with the group.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
I was privileged to attend the RYLA Award Night in Berwick during April and present the certificates to the successful participants.  Congratulations to the group on their application to the task and for completing their projects.  Well done to Nigel Cousins for supervising and assessing the group at each stage of their work.
District 9800 Conference - Albury
During the ANZAC Day weekend, Judy and I travelled to Albury to attend the D9800 Conference as guests of DG Dale & Maureen Hoy and the Brighton Club.  There were others from our District attending including PDG Don & Jude Ripper from the Sale Club, Pres-elect Theresa Mitchell from the Warragul Club, and Peter Faulkner & the Disaster Aid team from Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills Club.  We had an enjoyable weekend and made some new friends.
What do I have planned this month?
I will complete my official DG visits over the next three weeks.  I continue to revisit clubs in person where we were not previously able to physically meet because of Covid-19 restrictions.  I have nine visits planned for May in my calendar so far, plus a boat trip on Western Port Bay to inspect mangroves and sea grasses.  The visits include two special meetings celebrating anniversaries of their Club’s Charters.  Please let me know if your Club is planning a special fundraising event or anniversary that you would like Judy and me to attend.
Re-vegetation in East Gippsland
Work to help in the revegetation of East Gippsland took a leap forward last weekend, when an energetic group of volunteers invaded Newlands Arm to plant over 1,800 native seedlings.

The weekend marked the culmination of a project which had started two years ago between members of the Rotary Club of Kerang (in Central Victoria), the combined Rotary Clubs of East Gippsland, and Landcare.  The Kerang club members wanted to contribute to the regrowth of trees following the Black Summer Fires, so they would propagate trees from local Gippsland seedlings, then return them to the region.  Due to recent heavy rains the team was restricted in locations to work, so the decision was made to spend time in the Newlands Arm area, on the banks of Forge Creek and at Lakewood Park.  Matt Stephenson, Project Manager with the East Gippsland Landcare Network, said “I hope that more groups will come forward during the current planting season, to add further to work already achieved by Landcare, and volunteer groups like Rotary.”
East Gippsland Rotarians are looking to coordinate with other Clubs from inside or outside the region to achieve further progress on this great project.
Peninsula Trail - Peninsula Cluster's Centenary Project
The following article appeared in the Mornington News on 19 April 2022 - to see the full story click here.
Wheelchairs For Kids
Wheelchairs For Kids has the objective of providing wheelchairs to families with disabled children living in developing nations - it was establised by the Rotary Club of Scarborough in Western Australia.  At the latest count, 52,500 wheelchairs have been provided free of charge and delivered via disability centres in the home countries.  Because WFK operates totally with volunteers, each wheelchair is provided at a cost of only $250 - details of the fully adjustable wheelchair and examples of recipient children can be found at or by contacting Grant Klaaysen from the Rotary Club of Casey
WFK is seeking to partner with clubs in District 9820 for fundraising, awareness, and other support - one of the main ways clubs can assist it by hosting a Wheelathon.
Wheelchair Wheel-a-thon
WFK can be a local Youth Project when fundraising is combined via a Wheelchair Wheelathon.  WFK in Melbourne is very happy to assist any Victorian school and their student leadership group to run an international aid project that will have a great impact.  The concept is an outdoor fun activity where students are riding in wheelchairs that are being pushed by other students.  The students will have pre-arranged sponsorship from their families and friends.  The objective is that each grade is targeting $250 to cover cost of one wheelchair but the underlying priority is the message where our children are changing the life of others less fortunate living in countries where they might never have an opportunity in life if they don’t ever get a wheelchair
To see a video from a recent school wheelathon click here
End Polio Tandem Cycle Challenge
The below appeared in the Hobary Mercury on 25 April 2022.  To support Phil and Joyce, donations can be made at
Club Development Summit
On 30 April to 1 May, District leaders met with incoming Club Presidents and other club members to prepare for the next Rotary year. Thank you to everyone that participated. If there's anything you missed and would like to catch up on, please contact District Trainer Tim Moore
Youth Programs
With Covid restrictions lifting, our Youth Programs are restarting! 
MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly) is a great program for high school students in years 10, 11, or 12.  The students in teams of 2 will research a country and then debate resolutions from the perspective of that country.  MUNA gives students confidence, debating skills, life long friendships and a perspective of other people's options and cultures - and it gives your club a connection to your local schools and younger generations.  Apologies for the delay in information regarding MUNA 2022 - MUNA 2022 will now be a one-day, in-person event at Nossal High School on 20 August 2022. Registrations open on 16 May 2022. Go to for more information or download the Rotary Club Information Sheet here
RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) is a 6-day camp for 18-30 year olds where they will learn about leadership, teamwork, and personal development.  RYLA will be held on 27 June - 2 July after being postponed from earlier this year.  The RYLA team have been contacting those that registered earlier in the year to confirm their availability for June.  If your club has a new participant that hasn't yet been registered there is still space available.  For more information go to:
If you would like to know more about the Youth Programs and how you can be involved, I am available for club visits as a guest speaker or to just discuss.
For more information contact Robert Cook 
Boat Trip in Western Port Bay to view Mangrove Plantation 
If you were at the recent District Conference in Traralgon, you would have heard about the importance of planting mangroves from the inspirational Vic Grosjean - mangroves prevent coastal erosion and protect marine ecosystems. 
A Rotary boat trip has been organised to view projects by a Rotary working group and the Western Port Seagrass Partnership along the Western Port Lang Lang coastline. 
When: Saturday, 14th May 2022, 8:45am to 2pm
Where: Tooradin Jetty (Foreshore Road) 
Cost: $30 per person
To register contact Dick Cox 
Catering and tea & coffee will be provided
There used to be a thick mattress of seagrass on the eastern banks of Western Port Bay which calmed the waves reducing coastal erosion.  But the seagrass in this area had all but disappeared by 1970, caused by an increase in sedimentation and urban/farming run off.  Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang wetlands were drained to produce highly fertile farmland, farmers used excessive fertilizer, and livestock accessed stream banks - all causing sedimentation smothering and cutting off required sunlight for the seagrass.  There are now better farming practices and Melbourne Water do great work operating sedimentation traps, however, work is still needed to re-establish a protective line of mangroves along the coast. 
A Rotary working group has been established (with members from Berwick, Mornington, Casey, Rosebud-Rye, Warragul, and Somerville-Tyabb Clubs) to plant mangroves in support of Rotary's seventh Area of Focus! To be involved contact Dick Cox 

Safe Water for Every Child Fundraising Lunch
Rotary International Convention Melbourne 2023
For an update on the planning for the 2023 Melbourne Convention and hear about opportunities for Clubs and Rotarians to be involved in Host Hospitality Events and volunteering for the Convention see the video on the District website using this link.  
District Leadership Team Positions Vacant
Incoming District Governor Paul Mee is seeking expressions of interest from suitably experienced Rotarians or Rotaractors for a number of positions on the District Leadership Team. The following positions are currently vacant: 
  -  District International Service Chair (DISC)
  -  District Emergency Management Chair
  -  District Interact Club Coordinator
  -  District Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) Chair
If you have any interest in these roles, or for a full position description, please contact District Governor-Elect Paul by emailing 
Rotary’s Council on Legislation Chicago 2022
I have just returned from the 2022 Council on Legislation in Chicago which was conducted 11 – 14 April.  84 enactments were debated over the 4 days.  There were 473 delegates, each one representing a Rotary district, and I had the privilege and pleasure of representing our District 9820.
The Council on Legislation is Rotary's version of a congress.  Every three years, representatives, selected by their districts, gather to consider proposals designed to move Rotary forward and adapt to the changing times.  Passed enactments modify the Rotary International and Club Constitutions and ByLaws.  While the Rotary International Board may suggest enactments, most emanate from Clubs and Districts throughout the world of Rotary.  The experience and the debates at the Rotary Council of Legislation were interesting and thought provoking.  Many of our colleagues from Australia and New Zealand couldn’t be here but participated in an elaborate virtual environment.
Just as rewarding I caught up with past virtual Zoom friends, and of course, face to face with our own Zone Director Jessie Harman, Past International President Ian Riseley, plus President Nominee Gordyn McInally, and Rotary Foundation Trustee Larry Lunsford.  All will be visiting Australia for the ANZ Conference in October this year.
A summary of all of the enactments and outcomes will be available soon.

Editors Note

Requests for inclusion in the newsletter can be made using  

Rob Cook, the District Youth Chair and District Facebook page moderator, will be editing the May newsletters while Stephen and I are on leave.  You can make requests to him using the email address above.