17th Edition                                                                              1 March 2021 
Welcome to issue #17 of Open Doors.  I’ve had a busy time recently with two Zoom meetings on some evenings after an already busy day.  However, not complaining as I’m thoroughly enjoying my year as DG.
At one stage I was sure I would set a Rotary record as being the only DG never to have visited an in-person club meeting!  The great news is that particular mark of infamy will not follow me for the rest of my Rotary career.  Clubs are starting to meet again and I will be attending my first in-person meeting this week after RC Maroondah invited me to attend the launch of their Automatic External Defibrillator (see below) – can’t wait.
Other clubs could check their meeting schedule and invite the DG to a meeting they think is appropriate.  Looking forward to hearing from you.
The items in this issue start with some important reminders – please read and act!
Also, in this issue find some great items on;
  • Fabulous news on the fight against polio and launching the Clem Renouf Club
  • A list of our R100 events
  • Past DG Merv Ericson honoured by the Pinewood Community Bank
  • Conference news
  • Join our world record attempt
  • Two great Membership Inspirations
  • Personal Development opportunities
  • What to do about Peace
… and, of course, lots, lots more.
Insurance Forms Due
All clubs are reminded that their completed insurance forms are due to be returned to District Insurance Officer, Marcus Robinson, no later than this coming Friday 5 March.  It is vital that this be done on time so that insurance coverage for all Rotary clubs in Australia is not delayed by District 9810 clubs.  If help is required, please contact Marcus.
Membership Questionnaires
Assistant Governors have distributed brief membership questionnaires to all clubs.  This information is required in order to complete the District Growth Activity Report requested by the Rotary International Board.  The future of our District depends on this report, so all clubs are requested to complete and return the questionnaire this week.
Called to Higher Service
Soon a member of the this year’s D9810 Conference Committee will be collecting information for the Called to Higher Service segment.  Please make sure your club responds by the deadline date so that your much-missed Rotary friends can be included.
Banner Offer
For clubs considering upgrading and up-dating their club Public Image stocks, here’s a special offer.   AM-PM Print is offering Rotary Clubs and Rotarians 5% off their already low price for pop-up banners.  For the next the next 3 months all orders using the code Rotary100 will be able to order pop-ups for the low price of $83.60 each.  These are quality banners – at least as good as those from that well-know giant office supplies chain.  Design assistance for banners is available by contacting Adam Summers  adam@zygadox.com 
Community Grants Named for PDG Merv Ericson.
May be an image of 1 person and smilingBelow, I have copied the FB post from Bendigo Community Bank at Pinewood.  Speaks for itself, really.  Congratulations to PDG Merv for being given this signal honour.  Well-deserved and well done. 
We're very excited to let you know about a new community grant initiative here at Community Bank Pinewood - the Ericson Community Service Award!
Merv Ericson was our inaugural Branch Manager and later became a Director of the Board, he was integral to the success of the branch and our business - he is also just a genuinely great human. Merv retired last year and to recognise his outstanding community contribution we're proud to be opening nominations next week for this award in his name.
The Award will recognise a remarkable community-focussed individual for their voluntary contribution within the City of Monash.
For more information about the award check the Pinewood Community Bank Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/pinewoodcommunitybank/  
Conference News
Multi-District conference “Virtual Victoria” will be happening on Saturday and Sunday 1 and 2 May.  Registration will be free and the booking site will open soon – you’ll be notified.  Each day the conference duration will be 2 hours from 11.00am to 12 noon.  On Saturday afternoon there will be an extra session for D9810 only.  This will require a separate booking – again, links to the booking site will be available soon.
A number of exciting speakers and presentations are being arranged for both events and I hope to make definite announcements by the next Open Doors. 
Thank you all for your patience with this event.  I know it’s running late but I’m confident it will be an event worth waiting for with great entertainment and interesting and inspiring speakers.
Club Conference Dinners
Back in the old days 😊 when conferences were held at a venue and over a whole weekend, the Friday night was set aside for club dinners.  Why not get into the spirit of conference weekend by organising a club social event for Friday 31 May.  I’d love to receive an invitation or two to join such events.
Maroondah AED Project
Recently Rotary Club of Maroondah, together with the Bendigo Bank Community Bank at Ringwood East, Heathmont & Croydon have purchased a portable automatic external defibrillator.  The unit will be accompanying the Rotarians to every meeting and event.  I’m looking forward to attending the presentation and training session on Wednesday night. 
This is a worthwhile project and could very well be a real life-saver.
As an aside, some time ago my own club (Doncaster) purchased a unit for installation in the local secondary school.  A couple of years later we were pleased to hear the unit had been crucial in saving a life.  What a difference that project has made not only to an individual but to a whole family and community!
Personal Giving to End Polio
The Clem Renouf End Polio Now Club has been created and you can join by pledging just $10 per year.  PP Greg King will be at all R100 events and collecting your donations for this great cause.  Please remember that End Polio is the DG Partner’s Project for 2020/21 and Greg just happens to be my partner.
Significant Decrease in Polio Cases
I’m pleased to report a significant decline in the number of Polio cases so far this year.  In the 55 days from 1 January to 24 February the total number of wild polio virus cases in the world is just 2 – 1 in Pakistan and 1 in Afghanistan.  If the rate of infection remains at this rate for the whole of the year (a big if, I know), then the total number of cases could be as low as 14 for 2021.  Compared to the 2019 number of 176 and the 2020 number of 140.  Could we really have the end in sight? 
R100 Events in D9810
The table below sets out the dates and host clubs for R100 events in D9810.  Now is the time to add all these to your calendar and be sure to support the events and the celebrations.  My suggestion would be that every Rotarian in the District attend at least two events – their own local activity and one other.  Let’s really fly the flag for Rotary and the Centenary celebration in D9810.  See you there!
March 13th
Rowville Lysterfield
March 20th
Baton Relay via VicRail & Shire Office
Monash Clusters
March 27th
Hampton Sandringham
March 28th
Manningham Cluster
April 4th
Historical Cemetery Walk
April 10th
Forest Hill
April 10th
Bayswater walk to Knox
April 11th
Cluster walk, ride
Whitehorse Clusters
April 17th
Walk to Eastland
Yarra Ranges - Lilydale Cluster
April 18th
Ride on Puffing Billy
Belgrave & Emerald
April 19th
April 24th
Ferntree Gully Walk
Ferntree Gully
May 1st/2nd
Multi-District on-line Conference and D9810 on-line Conference
May 2nd
May 8th
May 15th
Baton Relay to Jells Park
Monash Cluster
May 15th
PicNic in the Park
District 9810 +
World Record Attempt in D9810
Come join the rest of D9810 at the Picnic in the Park day at Jells Park on May 15.  This event will highlight Rotary in the community with plenty of other community groups joining us to celebrate the Centenary of Rotary in Australia.  The day will also highlight Rotary’s new area of focus and our commitment to environment and sustainability.  The highlight of the day will be a world record attempt at the most people doing the “bee waggle dance”.  So think about a yellow and black outfit, decide to numb your embarrassment gland and get into it. 
To see a bee do the waggle dance click here and to see the Rotary Waggle Dance click here
Membership Inspiration
All R100 events are the perfect time to be looking for project volunteers, friends of Rotary and new Rotarians.  Here’s some ideas;
  • All members to wear club shirts or Rotary apparel at events
  • Invest in some Ask Me About Rotary badges for all club members to wear (see RDU Supplies http://rdusupplies.com.au/pins/ )
  • Roster members of the Membership Committee (or other club members) to approach people to talk about Rotary.  Have handy means to record names and contact details of those who indicate an interest.  You just may be surprised at the positive responses!
Membership Inspiration 2
Recently Zone 8 “Membership Champions” had the opportunity to meet with RIPE Shekhar Mehta and hear his Membership Strategy for the coming year.  To see RIPE Shekhar’s address click here  The recording is little under half an hour so perfect for your morning coffee break.
Join Me for Morning Tea
Meeting ID: 818 8145 7517  Passcode: 508278
What to Do About Peace
Rotary is big into promoting peace and contributes to a more peaceful world in many ways.  For most clubs this is all well and good but members are not sure what their club can do to work in this important Rotary priority. 
Finally, here’s some answers from the Rotary Service & Engagement Newsletter:
Rotary Action Group Against Slavery (RAGAS) Newsletter Now Available
Learn more about the valuable work of RAGAS and possibly find project inspiration by checking out their most recent newsletter by clicking here.  This quality newsletter is truly international and highlights projects, activities and partnerships all active in ending modern slavery and human trafficking.
New Personal Development Courses in the RI Learning Centre
Become a more effective presenter, communicator, and leader by taking a series of courses developed exclusively for Rotary by the experts at Toastmasters International. These courses in Rotary’s Learning Centre will help you grow professionally and personally.
They include: 
•    Develop a Speech, on developing content based on your topic, audience, and goals 
Deliver a Speech, on the basics of giving a speech 
Inspirational Speech, on how to engage, persuade, or inspire an audience 
Interpersonal Communication and Networking, on building and maintaining professional relationships and networks
Leadership Basics, on topics like motivating others, integrity, and team inclusiveness
Leading a Team, on creating a positive environment, setting goals, and delegating
Collaboration, on understanding and developing leadership and collaboration skills 
Building Consensus, on developing the skills needed for effective and inclusive leadership 
Expand your opportunities by building your skills!
ESRAG Seminar with PRIP Ian Riseley
Ian Riseley, who chaired the Rotary Foundation Environmental Issues Task Force, will share the stories and reasoning that inspired the Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors to unanimously approve Rotary's new Area of Focus in June, 2020.
Here's the agenda:
• 07.15 Greeting & fun information about Ian, new projects, an international video contest, and more!
• 07:30 Ian speaks on RI's New Area of Focus: The Environment
• 07:45 Q&A moderated by Karen Kendrick-Hands, ESRAG Projects Director, and Ken Howell,  Zone 27 Rotary Foundation Coordinator
Enjoy this short video: Ian, Rotary, and the Environment.  
Register by Feb. 28 here. The webinar is limited to 500 (and we're already at 390). If spots run out, watch live stream on ESRAG Central North America's Facebook page. Questions?  Email Laurie Zuckerman.
Water & Sanitation Project
Came across this project which looks quite exciting to me and presents either an opportunity to be involved or an inspiration for new projects.  Any club considering a Water & Sanitation project would be wise to seek expert advice from the D9810 District Resource Network (see the International Service page on the D9810 website or contact Tony Stokes of RC Box Hill Central)
The Rotary E-Club of District 3310, based in Singapore, has created an informative video on the Safe Water Gardens project which is an innovative sanitation solution designed to suit the typical Indonesia villagers. They are partnering with the Rotary Club of Bandung, Indonesia and are seeking other Rotary Club partners to fund a pilot project for a village of 50-100 households in the West Java province of Indonesia. The funding will also support research to further enhance the SWG solution and hygiene education program for the villagers.
World Water Day - March 22
Since 1993, the UN has observed March 22 as World Water Day as a way to highlight the importance of clean water. This year's theme is "Valuing Water".
The World Water Day website has toolkits available in English, French and Spanish. The kits include top facts and key campaign messages.
The website has information on an online forum on the topic of Water Source Security. On the website, you can read about the World Water Day Kids Summit and the 20 tips provided by 450,000 children.
Another Centenary Celebration
Rotary in Africa is also celebrating 100 years of Rotary service this year.  For the first time ever, a cutting-edge online platform, will allow thought leaders from the continent to share our collective story of building communities and addressing challenges around the world. 
Clubs with projects in Africa or interested in making connections there may want to attend this on-line event.  To book go to Zone 22 Rotary Africa Centennial International - 2 day Conference (webtickets.co.za)
Neighbourhood Watch Launches New e-Learning Portal for Parents and Children
NHW believes that every person has the right to feel safe in their community.
Check out our interactive website with information, quizzes, videos and downloads to help parents and children to prepare for traveling alone in the community.
Neighbourhood Watch 4 Kids will take you on an interactive learning journey to improve safety knowledge, increase confidence and empower your child to trust their instincts and react appropriately to unsafe situations. 
Please tell your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours to visit www.nhw4kidsvic.com.au
Knox Cluster - Foothills Community Care
The Rotary clubs of the Knox cluster have supported Stephen Barrington of Foothills Community Care individually over a period of time to provide assistance in kind and financially. Our clubs collectively decided to meet with Stephen to explore if it would be beneficial and for forward planning purposes if we co ordinated our efforts.
Stephen and his volunteers provide meals for people in the community that are experiencing hard times due to homelessness, loss of employment, domestic violence and mental illness.
This service not only provides a warm cooked meal with company, but can direct those in need to other agencies if required. The demand of this service is overwhelming, 32000 take away meals were provided last year. The casserole meals provided to those who couldn’t get to the hall for whatever reason went from 50 a week to 700/800 per week! The demand rose markedly due to COVID, but prior to this they provided 65-125 meals from Ferntree Gully. A weekly meal service also operates weekly from Upwey.
Cancelation of this Year's Rotary Gnome and Fairy Festival
Dear Friends
The Rotary Club of Mordialloc has decided to cancel the Gnome and Fairy Festival due to be held on Sunday 14th March, 2021.
We have been working with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services towards providing a safe Festival, however at this time there are too many uncertainties due to Covid 19 and lockdowns in the near future are unpredictable.
We will review our decision mid-year for a possible October/November date and hopefully we will be able to proceed with more certainty then.
Thank you to all of those people who have been working with us in the preplanning over the last six months including sponsors, charity stall holders, entertainers, our members and friends.
Regards Ernie Williams
Projects Director
Rotary Club of Mordialloc
Supporting the Environment
Click Here for more details
RDU Advertising Commission - Boost club funds by up to $7,000
Rotary Down Under is offering a 25% commission incentive to clubs and districts that secure advertising in the magazine.  See information above and, for more, contact Judy Drake at RDU on 02 9633 4888
And to finish off....
Hi to all.
I look forward in seeing all your articles and stories every fortnight for me to publish in "Open Doors".
If you would like to see previous versions of "Open Doors" click here.
So please send me your photos and articles to highlights9810@gmail.com prior to the next edition which will be sent out on the 15th March.
Also send me your events for "Highlights", with the next edition coming out on Monday 8th March. In the meantime you can view all the events here
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor