Froggie's May/June Message
Hello everyone – here we are with the penultimate Froggie’s Chain Mail - where has the year gone? I hope all had a good May enjoying Rotary online and keeping safe from COVID-19. I have attended quite a number of clubs Zoom meetings over the past month and have to say what a great job so many clubs are doing maintaining the contact, camaraderie and fun of Rotary. We have Trivia Nights, Guest Speakers, Conversations from the Couch, online Fund Raising and much more happening. Everyone deserves a massive pat on the back.
DGE Mark held the first part of District Assembly online where the 2020-21 Budget was put to the Presidents Elect / Club authorised representatives. That was the best attended budget discussion seen for very many years and for once it was not a struggle achieving a quorum.
District Protection Officer PDG Brian Norris has just done an online Rotary Youth Protection Webinar which was attended by over 40 people. Not only was this a great attendance but the really exciting thing to me was the confidence that participants now have using Zoom. There were plenty of questions and interaction. In the immortal words of friend and Rotary colleague Laury Gordyn of the Berwick club – how good is that! This was recorded and will be added to our D9820 You Tube Channel. “Membership During COVID-19” organised by District Membership Chair David Hanlon was a great success with lots of compliments from participants.
Speaking of our District 9820 You Tube Channel, we are building a library of recorded Webinars, training and informationals. Subscribe so you can keep up to date on new additions.
Our Zone Rotary Coordinators, PDG Tim Moore and Adrian Roach, in collaboration with Zone Membership Officer Barbara Mifsud have been busy putting together webinars on important and current topics for us. There’s a new one coming up this coming week, Wednesday June 3 titled “Our Virtual Rotary World” (Register here).
Coming up on June 18 we have a webinar with Leo Kennedy, the great grandson of Sgt. Michael Kennedy, one of the three police murdered at Stringybark Creek by the Kelly Gang (Register here). Titled “Black Snake: The Real Story of Ned Kelly” this is certainly one to catch. More information later in Chain Mail.
Many clubs are already planning their post COVID-19 programme with most looking at a combination of gatherings and online. That’s a great choice as Rotarians who have not been able to attend physical meetings are really enjoying the online access. We have a guide for post COVID-19 almost ready to circulate.
District Changeover
I speak later in Chain Mail about “hybrid” changeovers which are a blend of gathering and zoom. The “gathering” part is subject to progress on the containment of COVID-19 and if it does proceed will be a small group of invitees. Irrespective, the Changeover will most certainly be on Zoom. Put a ring around Sunday 28 June at 12:00 noon for 12:15 formalities (Register here). DGE Mark, Linda, Wendy and I look forward to lots of our friends joining us online. See you there.
Well Done West Gippsland Cluster
Boss Carol Crew with 2 workers
Great to see during the COVID-19 the West Gippsland cluster have funded and built a new fence for Rotary Centenary House in Traralgon. Congratulations and thank you to the cluster clubs for making the funds available and to the team from Drouin who built the fence. Note the social distancing in the photo – good work!
East Gippsland Fire Aid
The team are remaining busy providing invaluable support through out East Gippsland. PDG Janne has been busy organising Global Grants for recovery and assistance projects. There is a great story later on in Chain Mail on the activities underway.
RI Virtual Convention
Here’s an opportunity never previously available. As the Hawaii Convention had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 there is this amazing innovation – a virtual convention. The schedule for the Rotary 2020 Virtual Convention has just been released. Here are the Melbourne times (AEST) each session will be occurring live, if you feel like staying up!
The sessions will also be recorded and available on demand to watch later. The Rotary 2020 Virtual Convention is free to watch online, but you will need to register at
Froggie's May/June Message Continued
Who thought Lockdown Meant no Rotary Activity?
“Tell them they’re dreaming!” As you will have seen, it has been all action during the COVID-19 lockdowns. There has been so much happening we should all be very proud of Rotary and how we have dealt so far with the adversity.
Have a great month of June – join me late June for the final Froggie’s Chain Mail.
Stay safe everyone.
COVID-19 Update
Victorian COVID-19 Proposed Timelines
These following proposed timelines released by the Victorian Government will be subject to the advice of the Chief Health Officer, broader compliance with restrictions, the rate of testing and the movement of coronavirus within our community.
Under the proposed plan, restaurants and cafes will be able to resume:
  • From 1 June with up to 20 patrons per enclosed space
  • From 22 June with up to 50 patrons per enclosed space
  • With up to 100 patrons per enclosed space during the second half of July
All venues will need to abide by existing physical distancing requirements of one person per four square metres. Table spacing (allowing 1.5 metres) will also be enforced.
Additionally, venues will be required to take the contact details of every customer to assist in rapid contact tracing.
A number of other safety precautions will also be required, including extra cleaning, staff health screening and temperature checks.
For more information we recommend the Dept. of Health and Human Services website:
District 9820 Advice
District Governor Adrian’s advice is not to rush back to physical meetings and gatherings. While tremendous progress has been made flattening the curve, there is no escaping that our demographic is most at risk for serious illness or even death from COVID-19. Daily we are seeing new cases in Victoria as the restrictions are relaxing. There is still no vaccination or reliable treatment available, so under duty of care to our membership we need to proceed with caution.
For now, keep meeting online, practise good hygiene, practise physical distancing, do not go out unless you need to, and stay safe.
Club Changeovers in the COVID-19 Era
Submitted by DG Adrian Froggatt
Image from Stephen Sennet paper
We are facing interesting times due to the gathering restrictions and public and Rotarian health risks as the restrictions ease. See my advice in the COVID-19 Update story above.
An excellent guide and suggestions paper has been put together by Rotarian Stephen Sennet from the Rotary E-Club of Melbourne with tips about virtual (online) changeovers. I recommend you review this before finalizing your plans. You can view this here.
Hybrid Changeover
An option not covered by Stephen Sennet is a hybrid changeover – part physical gathering and part online where perhaps the outgoing President, President Elect and a small additional group are together with the actual passing over of the chain captured by the video feed to the rest of the members and guests. Rooms in Zoom could be used to replace a “table” at the Changeover. Breaks could be taken in the programme so each room can have a chat as they would at the table. Toasts can be made. How far we could go is only limited by our imaginations!
If you would like someone from District to attend, then you will need to get invites in soon. Outgoing DG, incoming DG, DGN and DGND look forward to invites.
District 9820 Changeover
Shaping the next 100 years in Rotary
Article extracted from Rotary Down Under
We want your help to shape the next 100 years of Rotary in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific.
It is a very exciting time to be a Rotarian in our part of the world.  With the celebration of 100 years of Rotary and the Melbourne International Convention in 2023, we have a once in a generation opportunity to showcase our impact as people of action.
Whilst we celebrate our longevity and success as a service organisation, we need to also ensure that we are well placed to be relevant, compelling and impactful into the next 100 years.
Rotary is great in many ways, and we must keep doing the things that make us who we are - our values, our vision, our passion for helping others.  However, there are several areas where we can do better, including membership, leadership, branding and partnerships.
We want your help in how best to capitalise on these opportunities and take us into the next 100 years. 
Read more on how you can get involved and what we are aiming to do at "Shaping the Next 100 years of Rotary"
Black Snake - The Real Story of Ned Kelly
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Our Virtual World Webinar
World Environment Day
Article extracted from the UN Environment Programme website.
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.  Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message. Nature is showing that we are on the verge of a breakdown. 
It is time to wake up. To take notice. To re-imagine our relationship with nature. It is time to raise our voices to tell the world that we need action now.

Rotary International backs World Environment Day.
With 1.2 million members worldwide, as well as 500,000 young Rotaract members, Rotary International has produced a handbook to inspire Rotarians to engage their communities for World Environment Day.
The handbook includes a selection of 11 green themes for activities that Rotary clubs can do for World Environment Day on 5 June and commitments they can make in the future. These include adopting a river, organising a clean-up, planting trees and measuring local air quality.
All six of the Rotary’s six corporate priority areas directly relate to the environment: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water and sanitation, saving mothers and children, supporting education and growing local economies.
“A vital component to humanity’s well-being, we increasingly need to recognise the environment’s elemental role in creating truly sustainable and lasting change. The opportunity to collaborate with UN Environment — the United Nations agency that serves as the global authority on the environment — is well-timed for those who want to make a difference at the local level. Our collective efforts will result in greater global impact,” said Barry Rassin, President of Rotary International, 2018-2019 and Mark Maloney, President of Rotary International, 2019-2020 in the Foreword to the handbook.
Daniel Cooney, UN Environment’s Communication Deputy Director, welcomed Rotary putting its support behind World Environment Day.
“At a time when the environment is under threat, we need to unite people to take decisive and collective action to sustain our future,” he said. “The work of organizations like Rotary International can make a powerful contribution to our efforts to protect people and planet.”
World Environment Day is the United Nations' day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. It is the "people's day" for doing something to take care of the Earth. This year’s theme is on air pollution, a call to action to combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, chosen by this year’s host, China.
District 9820 Environment & Sustainability
Submitted by Robin Stewart, District 9820 Environmental & Sustainability Chair
Introducing ESRAG
ESRAG is the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group whose mission is to engage Rotarians in considering and applying environmental sustainability principles in their projects and daily choices. This is achieved by educating and inspiring Rotarians around the world to take action for the environment, and by bringing attention to the important role the environment plays in Rotary's six areas of focus. Interested?
ESRAG Newsletter
The following link will take you to the Environmental Sustainability Rotarian Action Group’s last two Newsletters, ESRAG Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 10 and ESRAG Newsletter Volume 4 Issue 11. More Newsletters can be viewed from
June 5 ESRAG World Environment Day Forum
The June 5 World Environment Day forum originally planned for Honolulu will flow like daylight around the world as a virtual conference broadcast four times. You can register here to receive the Zoom link and schedule for your time zone.  There is a lineup of 30-minute talks (view). The starting time for each is the same in each broadcast, in the relevant time zone. You can participate whenever works best for you.
May 20, 2019 was International Bees Day
R4B (Rotarians for Bees) is a project of ESRAG. District 9820 Environment Chair Rob Stewart is involved in this and has a passion for this group.
Honey Bee populations worldwide are declining under the combined impact of disease, pesticides, climate change, and habitat loss. This poses a huge threat to human food security.
When people think of bees, they think Honey Bees, but in fact there are more than 1500 Native species of bees in Australia. They come in a multitude of sizes, the smallest only 3mm long, and all are pollinators; but other insects are also pollinators – moths, butterflies, wasps, beetles, and ants pollinate in different ways.
Whilst Honey Bees work as a colony and nest in a hive, native bees are solitary and nest in holes in timber or in the ground.  In your garden you can provide native bee hotels with drill holes in wood, using bamboo cane or bunches of pruned canes with soft pithy centres.  The blue banded bee nests in muddy soil, even mud bricks.  The leaf cutter bee cuts half-moon shapes from leaves to plug up their nest holes, and seeing this in your garden should not be seen as a threat to your garden production, but a sign that you are attracting these beneficial insects.
It is good to have a range of flowering plants and grasses to attract and house a range of insects: Honey Bees, native bees and other insects.  The flowers will range in size, colour and perfume.  Grasses are particularly good for native bees and butterflies.  For gardens in Victoria there are so many different flowers to choose from including:
Native species: tryptamine; crowea; bottle brush; melaleuca; sweet busaria; tea tree, correas, grevillea, kangaroo paw, small eucalypts, kangaroo grass and many more …
Imported species: sedum; achillea; alyssum; borage; comfrey; thyme; herbs; vegetables; etc.
East Gippsland Fire Zone Update - May 2020
Submitted by PDG Janne Speirs, District 9820 Emergency Chair
Well how quickly things change – who would have imagined that nearly five months after the devastating fires that ravaged so much of Australia during late 2019-early 2020, the aftermath and recovery process would have been put so completely on the ‘back burner’ as the World adjusted to life in lockdown! While we have been incredibly fortunate on the COVID-19 front so far, our hearts go out those across the globe where the number of cases and indeed the number of deaths from this pandemic have changed so many lives in so many ways!
Unfortunately, though, one of the hardest aspects of the pandemic for us in D9820 (and indeed in the other fire zones across the Country) has been the delay to our fire recovery efforts. Re-fencing was just really gaining momentum as were the first few working bees to rebuild stockyards, sheds etc. but with around 350-400 primary residences lost, and so many kilometers of fencing, as well as all the other losses, it has been a huge task just even to track all those who have been impacted.
Our local Committee has continued to meet via online means and have been receiving ongoing referrals of those in need from the Case Managers assigned to various survivors. The Committee has continued – within the bounds of social distancing and other lockdown restrictions – to get vouchers to survivors, hay to desperate stock and 20 or 40 foot containers onto properties for storage as people start to gather some belongings again. The latest development has been the first on site deliveries of caravans which have been refurbished by people within a neighbouring District and that will make a huge difference to people’s lives as some are currently living in very poor conditions. Some donated generators have also been delivered to some of those who need them. Coming in to Winter, East Gippsland climate is deteriorating quickly, particularly as you get higher into the mountains.
Thank you for the Warm Clothing Donations
Thank you for your support with the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid's warm winter woollies campaign!
We have been overwhelmed with generous donations of warm clothes, quilts, and knitted goods for those affected by the recent bush fires. 
We are now not in a position to accept any more donations.
We will let you know about future requirements.
'Rotary Down Under' (RDU) Magazine Subscription
Summarised by DG Adrian Froggatt
RDU Magazine has announced that from 1 July 2020 there will be changes to the magazine subscription prices. The news is both good and bad. The important thing is savings can be made against the previous price by swapping to the online digital version.
For those clubs remaining with hard copy there is an increase.
  • Hard copy magazine currently $40 per year will increase to $44 ($22 per half year).
  • Digital copy magazine currently $40 per year will decrease to $34 ($17 per half year).
This is the first price review since 2012. Information has been sent to Club Secretaries for action as Hard Copy vs Digital choices must be known before 30 June and RDU database updated.
Recorded 'Connect with Online Rotary World' Webinar
From the Rotary International Membership Development Department
This webinar is about how Rotarians and Rotaractors are embracing new ways to connect using technology. It’s facilitated by the Rotary International Membership Development department and features special guest panelist Ingrid Waugh from D9920 in New Zealand with some excellent tips.
Virtual Convention - Save the Dates
Vanuatu Malaria Elimination Program Fundraiser
Article submitted by Elizabeth (Libby) Wilson - Rotary Against Malaria Representative - Rotary Club of Rosebud-Rye
To donate click on this link: 
'Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children' Update
Condensed from a letter to ROMAC Supporters from Chair Harold Sharp by DG Adrian Froggatt
As I am sure you understand, ROMAC is unable, at this stage, to accept any new patients needing surgery or medical procedures.
However, one thing we at ROMAC know, is that in the coming weeks and months ROMAC will be needed by sick children in the Islands of Oceania like never before. Currently though, there are two patients still in Australia.
Vincent from the Solomon Islands who arrived in July 2019 diagnosed with "complete oesophageal T3-T4 level with no fistula between the oesophagus and trachea / bronchus", as well as "immediate respiration pneumonia" requiring treatment.  Vincent turned 11 months old on the 3rd April 2020. 
After many operations and procedures under the direction of Professor Croaker at Canberra Hospital, Vincent is now taking milk from a bottle and oral foods, and his weight has now increased to 7.3kg.  He is now crawling and getting into mischief!  Vincent and his mother, Cosinta, are being cared for at the home of Sandra and Brian Goldstraw, with assistance from her ROMAC team. 
Vincent and Cosinta will be able to return home in July this year (subject to COVID-19 travel constraints).
Germaine is also from the Solomon Islands, Germaine arrived at the Westmead Children's Hospital in early March to be diagnosed with rheumatic aortic and mitral valve disease.  Her operation was successful, and she was discharged from hospital at the end of the month.  She is currently staying with her mother and friends in Wollongong, NSW.
Club and Donor Support Needed
Please consider supporting ROMAC so that we can continue our much-needed work with children from our neighbouring countries in Oceania just as soon as we can. With ROMAC, 100¢ in every $1 goes directly to giving life to a child.
West Gippsland Cluster Project - Centenary House Fence
Article submitted by Tim Wills - President of Rotary Club of Drouin
The West Gippsland Cluster is made up of the eight Rotary Clubs of Bunyip Garfield, Hazelwood, Moe, Trafalgar, Drouin, Morwell, Koo Wee Rup - Lang Lang and Warragul.
The Cluster has just completed the installation of new fencing at Gippsland Rotary Centenary House.  Centenary House is a community owned facility that provides safe, supportive and affordable accommodation to patients / families of the Gippsland Cancer Care Centre at the Latrobe Regional Hospital.
The installation of the fence came in just under the amount raised across the cluster.  It was a great effort and the project attracted matching funds from a District Grant.  All the clubs contributed and the remaining $350 will ultimately be paid as a donation to Centenary House.  
A crew of six Drouin Rotarians spent two days in Morwell, first putting in 22 posts and then a couple of days later, placing the Modwood palings.  The project involved a lot of planning, sourcing goods and equipment and service work, but the finished product is pretty schmick.
A big "Thank you" to all involved.
Shelterbox and COVID-19 Update
Submitted by RI Secretary General, Jon Hewko.
Days for Girls Projects
Article submitted by Colin Byron - D9820 International Service Director - Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong
Four of our 'Days for Girls' (DfG) team went to Nepal to distribute 200 feminine hygiene kits in the remote villages in the Annapurna region. We were escorted by a group of educators who lead the team of trainers at the teaching institute LEARN in Kathmandu. We distributed kits to five schools, on occasions having to walk three hours to get to these villages.
It is our DfG team’s project to get a kit to every girl in the Myagdi District of Nepal, thus ensuring they have the same educational opportunities as the boys with their school education. They will also have the same choices as to furthering their education beyond school.
Our second project in Nepal was to set up a DfG enterprise in Bhorletar in Lamjung District. We used the money granted by the A62 Inner Wheel District to purchase industrial sewing machines, fabrics, tools and sewing supplies to enable Anita Gurung, the enterprise leader, to begin making DfG kits in her village. She completed the Enterprise Training Course in Kathmandu in 2019 with the DfG Office trainers. She is now qualified in business, sewing and as a DfG Health Ambassador. She has already also employed another woman to help her sew.
This is the ideal situation for the Nepali people, so they do not continue to rely on us to supply kits and the education program in their villages.  The Lamjung enterprise has already received orders from other International non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for kits to distribute to local schools in Nepal. It is early days yet, but we hold great hopes that this enterprise is a success both education and health wise, as well as providing a means to earn an income for the enterprise workers.
I would like to thank the Inner Wheel A62 District for the funding to set up this project. I will continue to monitor and report to both Rotary and Inner Wheel when I receive information from Lamjung.
Due to unforeseen circumstances (bush fires and COVID-19) DfG Far East Gippsland has not resumed sewing this year after our Christmas break.
Rotary Club of Mt Martha assists Nurses
Article extracted from the May 5th edition of the Herald Sun newspaper
A project of the Rotary Club of Mount Martha was featured in the May 5th edition of the Herald Sun newspaper.  The Club teamed up with the Boomerang Bags organisation to provide new hand-stitched garments for nurses at Rosebud Hospital.  
Boomerang Bags is about making bags, diverting waste, starting conversations, connecting with each other, fostering sustainable behaviour, and having fun!
You and your local community can be involved in any or all of this process. Find your nearest community to volunteer or donate materials, or start your own boomerang bags community!
A great lock-down project for our Rotary District 9820 community!
Kangaroo Care in a Special Care Nursery
Article submitted by Glenn Ellam - Fundraising Director, Rotary Club of Frankston North
The Rotary Club of Frankston North held its' Trivia Night on Saturday 23rd May to raise funds to supply Kangaroos Chairs for Frankston Hospital Maternity Unit.  Alison Conroy-Joyce, who is the Special Care Nursery Nurse Unit Manager at the hospital, explains below what Kangaroo Chairs are.
The Special Care Nursery at Frankston Hospital cares for sick and premature babies. Our last two years have seen a rapid rise in admissions and we now care for between 650-700 babies and their families every year. Our existing ward has limited facilities for parents and unfortunately, they are not able to be resident and sleep next to their babies. This means that mothers are separated from their babies which can be very distressing and emotionally challenging for them to cope with. While some babies are only admitted for a few hours, others can be in hospital for several weeks, particularly if they are born prematurely.
One of the most important ways we can reduce parental anxiety and promote bonding is to encourage parents to spend as much time as possible skin-to-skin with their baby. Skin-to-skin is known as kangaroo care and it has many benefits for both parents and baby. We have kangaroo care chairs that the parent reclines in with their baby positioned on their chest, skin-to-skin.
For mothers, kangaroo care can help with establishing breast feeding and is important in developing a strong attachment and bond with their baby. This is known to support mother’s emotional health and wellbeing as they begin their transition to parenthood. Babies also respond well to kangaroo care as it helps them to regulate their oxygen levels, heart rate and breathing rate.
Research suggests that regular kangaroo care can in fact reduce length of stay for babies in hospital and improve breastfeeding rates. All of these benefits highlight how crucial and important kangaroo care is and we really appreciate your support in purchasing an additional kangaroo care chair for families and babies in our Special Care Nursery.
'The Summer Australia Burned' Photo Exhibition
Source: The Walkley Foundation
“The summer Australia burned, 2019-2020” showcases the exceptional work done by Australian photojournalists during the 2019-2020 bush fire season, documenting the scale of the tragedy and its devastating impact on regional communities, as well as the communal spirit and resolve that came out of the fires.
This amazing digital exhibition, in collaboration with Head On Photo Festival, brings together a selection of the best photojournalism from the summer bush fires, curated by industry photo editors to represent a diversity of photographers from across the country.
Knitting Expertise Needed
Article submitted by the Rotary Club of Melbourne South
All knitters on deck please.
Please let us know if you can help us with this project. This is great weather for it!
Rotary Club of Yarram launches innovative fundraiser
Story submitted by Wendy Pope - Publicity Officer, Yarram Rotary Club
The Rotary Club of Yarram has come up with a novel way to continue fund-raising in these times of social distancing – a non-contact raffle ticket sales robot, ‘Raffi the Rotarian’.
Members, from the comfort of their own homes, staff the robot, asking passers-by whether they would like to purchase a Raffle ticket.  The purchaser pays and provides the Rotarian with their name and contact details.  The Rotarian then writes their ticket stub, shows them their ticket number, and asks the person to check the contact details. The purchaser is also asked if they wish to record the ticket number or photograph it.  The Rotarian sees live video of the money slot, change-tray, and customer.  If the change-tray is running down, the operator asks the customer to put their coins in the tray rather than the slot. The bulk of the money is in the non-accessible cash-bin.
At the first outing of Raffi, ten Rotarians in one-hour time slots over two consecutive days spoke remotely to customers of the Yarram Bakery Cafe.  We are extremely grateful to the bakery for allowing us to place Raffi in their cafe area where the tables and chairs had been removed due to the COVID restrictions.  The prize was a trailer load of firewood, timely in the wintry conditions.  When it was counting time, as well as healthy ticket sale proceeds, we also found to our amazement, a $2000 cheque in the money bin which had been put in the slot by an extremely generous donor!