Mark's February Message
Australia Day
I want to say a very special thank you to our Assistant Governors, who at very short notice were able to gather clubs together and create exciting events celebrating Australia Day in our communities. Funded through grants from the National Australia Day committee, we were able to pour many thousands of dollars back into our local communities by funding free events  and spending with our local traders providing free food gifts and entertainment at venues across the District. 
 The major event was a R100 Australia Day online broadcast of world-renowned artists and speakers including President Holger, Jesse Harman and Gregory Ross and David Mann working their magic so smoothly as MC’s and showcasing some of the amazing R100   signature projects such as "Every Child Deserves a Future" and "End Trachoma". Linda & I attended the function at the national broadcast centre, based in our District. We had 9820 members attend who enjoyed “live” the event. It was stunning. Our live audience was a gathering of 120 Rotarians from 5 Victorian districts with many interstate Districts to make this event a success across Australia, with approximately 10,000 unique viewings. Naturally I was heavily involved in the technical broadcast side of the event and used the facilities of Nossal High School. 
Berwick Rotary cooked up a storm, and a real Aussie BBQ was enjoyed by all. 
If you missed the broadcast < click here >

Rotary’s four roles in promoting peace are:
  • Practitioners: Our work fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, improving the health of mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies directly builds the optimal conditions for peaceful societies.
  • Educators: Our Rotary Peace Centres have trained over 1,300 peace fellows to become effective catalysts for peace through careers in government, education, and international organizations. 
  • Mediators: Our members have negotiated humanitarian ceasefires in areas of conflict to allow polio vaccinators to reach children who are at risk. 
  • Advocates: Our members have an integral role as respected, impartial participants during peace processes and in post-conflict reconstruction. We focus on creating communities and convening groups that are connected, inclusive, and resilient.
Rotary Conventions
The Rotary International Convention, scheduled for 12-16 June 2021, in Taipei, Taiwan, will now be a virtual event in response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
We are sorry that we will not see you in Taipei this year, but this decision, made by the Rotary Board of Directors, is necessary to protect the health of everyone involved. We will share more details about the 2021 Rotary International Virtual Convention soon.
Convention in 2022 is still scheduled for 4th – 8th June, It is 18 months away. Let’s hope we can get to conference in Houston Texas USA!
Then in 2023 think of the conference that Melbourne will hold! Book the date now, 27th-31st May 2023

Australian Honours
It is with great honour that I like you all to congratulate Andrew Pinxt, Cranbourne Rotary, John Butler, Rotary Mitchell River and the East Gippsland Fire Aid Committee for their respective awards.
Order of Australia Medal                                                               
  • the honour received, OAM
  • the name of the recipient, Andrew Pinxt
  • their club. Cranbourne
  • the honour received, OAM                                           
  • the name of the recipient, John Butler
  • their club. Mitchell River
  • For service to the community of Bairnsdale
East Gippsland Fire Aid
Members of the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid Committee at the East Gippsland Shire Australia Day Award Ceremony held at Sarsfield oval on Thursday January 21st 2021. East Gippsland Rotary was well represented at the Ceremony, with the Committee nominated for best Community " event",  PP Bruce Hurley from RC Lakes Entrance was nominated as Citizen of the Year.  P Don Osborne from RC Orbost accepted an award given to each Community for their local recovery efforts since the fires. Don handed that award over 
to the appropriate recipient during Orbost's Australia Day function on Tuesday - well done to all on a huge year!'
Polio update
“Polio is only a plane ride away”
Our campaign to end polio has faced many challenges in the last two years, not least the impact of the Covid pandemic.  Cases of wild polio jumped in Pakistan and cases of ‘circulating vaccine derived’ polio became a serious problem in equatorial Africa.
These setbacks were related to issues such as political distractions, Taliban resistance and virus mutations following the use of the ‘mOPV2’ vaccine.  Great progress has been made with these issues:
  • governments have refocussed and there were zero cases in Pakistan in December
  • discussions have commenced with the Taliban
  • a new vaccine, ‘Novel OPV2’ was introduced in October, and it is dramatically less likely to mutate.
Eradicating a disease is no easy task but we are now back on track.  See more details at:
 Knock Knock February Issue 2021
Welcome to February - World Understanding
  • Organise 'MUNA' (Model United Nations Assembly)
  • Engage in the reconciliation of broken families, restoring the relationship
  • Help people to live in peace with their families and their neighbours

 Rotary International 
“Supporting the Environment”. 
Mark's February Message Conts...
Rotary Club of Traralgon Pilots our new Membership approach
The Rotary club of Traralgon has been our first club to be a part of a new pilot program for club membership focus and making your club a welcoming and full of service opportunities.
Membership Chair Christine Williams with help from Linda Humphries and Libby Wilson has expanded out the District membership team and shifted the focus. Thank you to our first club, Traralgon who have taken up the challenge and help develop the program The feedback tells us they have found the process enlightening and we welcome your club to be part of this new approach in discovering how to set your club up for membership success.
If you are excited about increasing opportunities to attract and retain members, please contact Christine Williams at
What is the Membership Pilot?
  • It is a pilot project to support clubs who desire to grow their membership numbers and health.
  • It is an ongoing conversation with some of your leadership team. We recommend President, President Elect, President Nominee and Membership Chair
  • To empower you to develop your club to be even more effective and generate new members.
What it is not
  • It’s not training – in training the trainer sets the agenda.
  • For this process you set the agenda.
  • It’s not authoritarian – we will be supportive, but you will be in control. The responsibility to decide and act is up to you.
How it works
  • It is about you! – Your club, your context, your goals and your context (one size does not fit all)
  • We will get alongside you to support you to set some goals, strategize, discover insights and next steps for your club.
  • It’s about action – your action.
  • Each session you will determine a few action steps - you may be surprised how quickly you progress towards your goal.
  • Each time we catch up we will review how you went. What went well, what you might ‘tweak’ and what is next?
  • Each session will be via Zoom – an online meeting (a simple computer platform where the facilitator will send you a link)
What is our goal?
  • We hope there may be significant changes.
  • Better clarity and insight for your club to move forward.
  • Simple goals are set
  • More members in your club – enabling your club to create lasting change and make a difference in your community and throughout the world.
Rotary Opens Opportunities
Rotary helps to Open Doors
at Centenary House
Centenary House
We all know about the great work that Gippsland Rotary Centenary House does and the amazing work that our District Secretary Carol Crewe does in managing the unit. We know that funds are very tough to come by and that often things are done without. I asked Carol if there was anything that our clubs could do to help support the great work that is being done. Below is a small project that clubs can easily participate in and make a real difference.
Gippsland Rotary Centenary House is offering clubs a chance to participate in a community service active to support oncology patients from across the region.  This simple project allows clubs, with a small financial contribution, to participate in a project that will contribute to the wellbeing of members of the community at a stressful and difficult time.
GRCH is the process of converting all the locks of the internal doors from key to electronic, at a cost of about $900 per door.  The new system improves safety and access for those staying at Centenary House while undergoing specialist medical care.  There are 10 guest rooms and about 12 auxiliary doors to be upgraded as part of the project.
If you would like more information about the project to upgrade the locks please contact Operations Manager Carol Crewe at 
Clubs can donate the full amount of the upgrade or consider applying for a District Grant via the District Foundation Committee to cover 50% of the costs.  For more information about District Grants please contact Geoff Magor via email at  
Rotary Branding
Why you should care about Rotary branding!
Having a consistent brand image is important, we as clubs and Rotarians are responsible to ensure we use the correct brand and branding as prescribe by Rotary International. We all like our own tweaks that we have done in the past to our Rotary logo. However Rotary International have given us guidelines on what we can and cannot do. Now is the time for us to ensure we get things right.
I urge everyone to have a look at the following blog regarding Rotary Brand.
Fireside chats have started up again, it is great to see so many friends online. We had a great chat and shared some stories, discussed some ideas and opinions, and shared some pictures of the recent Australia Day event.
What did come out of this session, was the evidence that there are more and more people appearing in our communities that are going to really need our support, some of the figures show that some communities are feeding up to 600 meals a day, hundreds upon hundreds of people are sleeping rough let alone the long term effects of mental health issues. With many of the government and local council services ending, what is going to happen???
We as Rotarians will step in, we will help and support where we can. It is not just a small local problem it is a much bigger issue. We are a part of the solution.

Come and join us
Meeting ID: 850 3660 4996
Passcode: 027268
Disaster Aid Australia
Source: Brian Ashworth Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills
Disaster Aid Australia                                                                                             


  1. Was founded as a project of the Rotary Club of Endeavour Hills.
  2. Has members/volunteers from across Australia;       
  3. Is a member of Disaster Aid International, a partnership of Rotary Based organisations dedicated to providing Humanitarian Aid.
  4. Respond to disasters with the supply of humanitarian aid  with Smart Aid to the affected communities and/or individuals until the needs are reasonably addressed.
  5. Responds to the disaster of contaminated water with Safe Water for Every Child by providing Sky Hydrants to schools and communities;
  6. Train volunteers in administering humanitarian relief and aid;
  7. Provide education and training in aspects of disaster relief to individuals, community groups, businesses, schools and other organisations; and
  8. Works in partnership on humanitarian projects funded by other organisations, including Rotary clubs and Rotary districts.
Want to find out more the Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills has got a YouTube Channel. 

source: Rotary Foundation website Our Causes | Rotary International

Rotary is dedicated to causes that build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever.

  • Promoting peace
    Rotary encourages conversations to foster understanding within and across cultures. We train adults and young leaders to prevent and mediate conflict and help refugees who have fled dangerous areas.
  • Fighting disease
    We educate and equip communities to stop the spread of life-threatening diseases like polio, HIV/AIDS, and malaria. We improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in developing areas.
  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
    We support local solutions to bring clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to more people every day. We don’t just build wells and walk away. We share our expertise with community leaders and educators to make sure our projects succeed long-term.
Australian Rotary Health
Source: Mardi Shepard Australian Rotary Health 2020-21 Rotary District 9820
If you were wondering where the funds go, that you donate to Australian Rotary Health, here is a summary of their funds. The details of the funding for last year can be found in their Annual Report for 2019-2020 which has reported on their main fundraising activities for the year. ARH received over $1.6 million in donations this year, which was significantly less than the previous year of over $3.6 million. This reflects the difficult environment which we have all been living in over the 12 months. However, ARH was able to fund over $3 million on projects this year.
Most of the funds for this research goes to funding prevention, treatments and cures for mental illness through their Mental Health research scholarships.
31 Mental Health Grants for the mental health of young Australians aged 0- 25
10 Ian Scott scholarships for mental illness
4 post-doctoral fellowships for the prevention of mental health disorders
Partnering with Rotary clubs and District, individual sponsors, governments, businesses, and community organisations allow Australian Rotary Health to fund research in more general health areas such as cancer, diabetes and Children's Health
Australian ROTARY Health also passionately contributes to 3 programmes which focus on opening opportunities for trainee scholars
This year funds went to.
1 Rural medical scholarship
7 Rural and remote nursing scholarships
84 Indigenous Health scholarships to pursue a career in rural Australia upon graduation.
For more information on Australian Rotary Health, you can access the Annual Report on their website. Our ARH district committee support these projects and we look forward to keeping you informed  on how programs are progressing and any new initiatives over the next 12 months.
Trivia Social/Fundraising Event
Editors note
Welcome to the February edition of Knock Knock.
If you have a story or something interesting that your club is doing then we want to publish it for your colleagues to enjoy. Please forward your copy to me at;