4th Edition                                                                                 11 May 2020 
Welcome everyone to the 4th edition of “STAYING CONNECTED”.
How lucky are we, to have RI President Mark Maloney as our guest speaker for the final President’s meeting for this Rotary year. 
Over 60 Rotarians heard Mark talk about how COVID has impacted him personally.  He and Gay have spent 56 consecutive days and nights at home, a first for a RI President.
On the 7th May, Mark was to be having a private audience with the Pope.  Another first for a RI President which unfortunately had to be cancelled.
Mark also told us about the first virtual RI Board meeting, which over 3 days had 11 hours of meetings, with 19 people, in 7 different languages and the representatives were based in as many different countries.  To cater for the different time zones, the best time for such meetings is 8:00 am Chicago time with Japan being the latest at 10:00 am.
Rotary Foundation Awards
The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service Award.
The Citation for Meritorious Service recognizes individual Rotarians who have demonstrated outstanding active service to The Rotary Foundation for more than one year.
Congratulations to David Alexander.
The Rotary Foundation District Service Award.
The District Service Award was created to recognize Rotarians’ efforts to serve humanity and work toward world understanding and peace through Foundation programs.
Congratulations to Brian Foley and Stephen Fisher.
Member retention and welcoming new members is vital to ensure we keep our District autonomous. I have been delighted to hear of inductions occurring, as now is still a great time to join and remain in Rotary.  We currently have 1148 members.
Save the Date for Rotary International's Free Virtual Event
"Now More than Ever, Rotary Connects the World: The 2020 Rotary Virtual Convention"
When: 20-26 June 2020.  On Sat 20 and Sun 21 June, there will be a general session of about 60 min each starting at, 8:00 am Chicago time - 11:00 pm Melbourne time.
Mon 22 – Fri 26 2020. There will be 15 breakout sessions, each of them will be 1 hour in duration, with 3 on each day commencing at 8:00 am, 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm Chicago time. 
Happy Mother’s Day
A shout out to all those Mum’s out there, I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day. I know I did.
Stay safe, be positive and have FUN.
Interplast Australia & New Zealand
To all Interplast supporters, thank you most sincerely.  Together with Interplast our District has made a difference in rebuilding people’s lives in the Asia Pacific Region. 
District 9810 funded a Surgical Program in Myanmar at the request of Interplast’s C.E.O. Cameron Glover.  When urgent requests come in then they need to be responded to, provided the necessary funds are available.  Fortunately our District could respond.  
The Rotary Club of  Bentleigh Moorabbin Central funded a Program in Laos and also sent Paul Ferguson with the team as an Observer.  How great is this when your club can fund an Interplast Program.  Many thanks for this club’s great support.
In the latest Interplast Newsletter, I read of a ten year old girl in Bhutan who was born with an under-developed right ear, known medically as Microtia.  She received plastic surgery by an Interplast surgical team and local partners.  They reconstructed the girl’s ear by using cartilage from her ribs.  A great result.
With Plastic Surgery the ear is reconstructed
Many thanks to the District’s Interplast Committee; Brian Hodgson (Wandin), Harvey Lane (Nunawading), Peter Lewis (Bentleigh Moorabbin Central), Geoff Weeks (Box Hill) and Bob Williams (Forest Hill) for their dedication and willingness to be on the Committee.  Geoff was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation recently for his support of Interplast and for the beautifully knitted dolls made by his wife’s ‘Inner Wheel’ Club, Box Hill.  The dolls were handed over to Janette Etherington, Interplast’s Rotary Co-ordinator, who was delighted to receive them.
Continue to financially support Interplast’s amazing reconstructive surgery and, have you thought of joining the District’s Interplast Committee?  You would be most welcome!
PP Liz Guiver
District Interplast Chair
2017 – 2020
District Governors Family Project Books for Kids Campaign
One of the active Books in Homes fund-raising campaigns we've mentioned to you in the past is the  Rotary DG Family Project Books for Kids Campaign, which has been organised by Rotary District 9810 in Melbourne and which was due to wind up mid year.  However, District Governor Shia Smart recently advised us that with the Covid-19 causing havoc everywhere, Rotary is happy to defer the campaign until Term 1, 2021. By then (hopefully!) life will have returned to normal, and the new schools on the Program will be able to focus on rolling it out. Rotarians, as well as Ansvar Insurance who have committed $10,000 to the initiative via their Community Education Grant, will also be able to attend the various Book Giving Assemblies. We encourage you to donate to ensure that as many schools as possible from the Bay to the Hills of Melbourne can be added to the Program. You can DONATE HERE and we thank you for your generosity.

The above paragraph came from the Books in Homes Australia Newsletter which goes out to all their supports/sponsors.  Great sponsorship for Rotary.
Covid19 Heroes
Some of the Covid19 Heroes are no longer with us.  They are the ones who created the infrastructure as a result of the Influenza Epidemic 100 years ago, that serves us today and has allowed Australia to react so well to the current virus.
In developing countries like Timor Leste, the medical infrastructure is limited and so are plans for dealing with problems like the Corona Virus.  I took time to develop a plan and to create a wishlist.
DIK received call asking if it would be possible for the Store to be the drop-off and collection point for Covid19 equipment and supplies that were needed to fight Covid19 in Timor Leste.  As you would expect the answer was yes.  On the 16th April we received a wishlist and a request to see if we could supply anything.  They received the response the next day with a fully detailed list of what we could provide.
You have to love Rotary.  The Store was holding goods purchased for other projects that could not be shipped, because there were no planes flying.  The people were happy to donate the goods to help people in need in another country.
Sometimes you don’t appreciate how good people are until you see them working under pressure.  When Bob and Laurie look at a wishlist they automatically convert the items into volume, how it needs to be packed, where it needs to be placed in the load and the label required.  When destination details were established the labelling requirements and transportation documentation was finalized and the goods were ready to leave.  The goods have been shipped by road to Darwin via Adelaide where they will be containerised and shipped to Dili.  Other parties are covering the freight costs.
At each step along the way, including finding a way to get the goods to Darwin the DIK Team handled every new challenge with a smile.   The original offer of five pallets of Rotary material has now grown to ten, as a result of the DIK Team contacting people who may have been able to help.  So far, the only goods donated have come through Rotary.
When people review the response to the virus in Timor Leste, it is unlikely that Rotary will get a mention or the people involved in the process, but I am proud of our effort and the contribution of two Rotary Hero’s who will be embarrassed if the read this.  
David Dippie from Donations In Kind at West Footscray
Back to helping those in need
Helen Halim, Sam Halim and Alison Gommers
Important community services in the Yarra Ranges are restarting their vital community support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Locals are now able to grab their regular meal from a Warburton soup kitchen again, while community organisations in Healesville have partnered to help feed those in need.

Healesville Inter-Church Community Care Inc (HICCI) has teamed up with Healesville Rotary and Sanctuary House Resort Motel to help deliver 65 two course meals.

The meals are financed by the Rotary Club, prepared by the Sanctuary House’s restaurant, and delivered by HICCI to those in need.

“Together we can get through these difficult Covid-19 times if we support each other and ensure that every effort is made to support those most in need in our community” Healesville Rotary Club president Sam Halim said.

“We are aiming to provide meals to our community’s most vulnerable residents, including low income families and the homeless. We intend to increase the number of meals provided soon. Rotary has always been there to help our community and make a difference”

Sanctuary House director Helen Halim said,“We are honoured to be a part of this noble cause to ensure the most vulnerable in our community are not forgotten during this harsh time. We ensure that all relevant health and safety precautions are followed to protect the people preparing and distributing the meals.”

HICCI CEO Allison Gommers explained how the meals will be delivered to those who are most vulnerable in the pandemic.

“As we have a database for the names and addresses of our community’s most vulnerable residents, we picked up the meals from Sanctuary House restaurant and delivered them,” she said.

“Some of them said they were happy to be a part of this community … Sometimes the older generation are forgotten and feel undervalued in times of crisis.”

While over in Warburton, Alvin and Sonia Knight’s soup kitchen has returned to action as they moved their meal service to a motorhome. They would serve weekly meals at the Redwood Community Centre before it was forced to close due to the increased risks of the pandemic.

“We just closed it due to people’s health and safety, Mr Knight said. “ We were unsure about what we could do in terms of running it.”

Mr Knight said that the service, held every Friday night for the last six years, typically feeds 10-20 people.

“We get a regular customer base, they are usually the same guys and then we have people dropping in out of the blue.”

Mr and Ms Knight’s idea to move the weekly meals to their motorhome in the carpark of the Redwood Community Centre means that locals can still receive a warm meal.

“The mobile side of it works really well,” Mr Knight said. “What I find is the food is the secondary thing, it’s the communication, it’s coming together and sharing stories and the food is secondary to that.

“It’s the conduit to be able to bring people together and enjoy company. When we do run it from inside they just sit there and chat and stories just unfold.”

Other day time services are about to recommence through the Redwood Community Centre, including a free weekly food distribution. For more information regarding this support service, contact Rebecca Auriant on 0411 865 790.

For more information about HICCI visit, https://www.hicci.org.au or call 5911 6000.

By Jed Lanyon

An Opportunity to Feature Your Project in Rotary Down Under
Rotary Down Under have scheduled ‘International Sustainable Gastronomy Day’ as their June theme and have included a brief overview below. They realise service/projects etc. are rather challenging at present, but are asking Clubs / Rotarians to let them know if you they have anything in mind that falls into this category.

Sustainable Gastronomy Day

  • Sustainable Gastronomy Day emphasises the need to focus the world’s attention on the role that sustainable gastronomy can play. It also reaffirms that all cultures and civilisations are contributors and crucial enablers of sustainable development.
  • In addition to its interlinkages with the three dimensions of sustainable development, sustainable gastronomy can play a role promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production and the conservation of biodiversity.
  • The commitment to sustainability implies responsibility for the production and consumption of food. This means that public, private, producer, business, professional and travel institutions should support the consumption of sustainable food and create links with local producers. The commitment of gastronomy towards the principles of sustainability include:
    • the protection of cultural values, heritage and diversity.
    • environmental protection; and
    • efficient use of resources;
    • poverty reduction;
    • We can all contribute to the protection of the environment and many of us have already adopted habits in our daily lives. The choices we make in our eating habits also have an impact on the environment.
For further information or to share a story you can contact Meagan Martin who is the editor at Rotary Down Under on 0413 067 717 or meaganmartin@rotarydownunder.com.au
Fellowship Fun on Zoom
Fun and Fellowship plays a very large part of every Rotary Club.

During home isolation staying connected but most of all having fun, is more important now than ever.

The Rotary Club of Fern Tree Gully, would like to share just one of our Zoom fellowship meetings with you.

We held a” Bogan Trivia Night”
This was our programme (there are no copy rights so please feel free to use)
You are invited to join in for a fun filled night on Thursday April 23 at 6.30. Log on to?????? Zoom site.
Challenge 1: Without leaving your home create a truly "Bogan" outfit to wear for the evening.
Evening Format: Meet and Greet.
Round 1 Movies, (5 questions).
Heads and Tails.
Round 2 General Knowledge, (5 questions).
Best Air Guitar Display.
Round 3 Group Clusters, (5 questions).
Who am I?
Round 4 Sport, (5 questions).
Paper plane creating and throwing.
Round 5 Aussie, (5 questions).
General chit chat.
Round 6 1914 - 1918, (5 questions).
B.Y.O. Drinks, Nibbles, plenty of spare paper and pens, Music at the ready for your Air Guitar Performance and a phone with a camera facility so that you can send through a photo of your answer sheet to 000 000 000
We truly had so much fun and laughs, and for our next fellowship evening it will be a “Cocktail Travel Show” where all club members will be sharing the screen and we will be guessing where the photo was taken. Of course we will have different categories, to add to the fun.
Quote from Shia our District Governor “Have a Sensational Fun Year
Christine Anderson
Virtual Rotary Club Changeovers
The Rotary year’s end is fast approaching. Officers-Elect are planning their year in office. Serving Officers are ready to put their feet up. And everyone prepares to celebrate a year of hard work with one of our annual ceremonies: The Changeover.
Our traditional Changeovers, like many things in the world of COVID-19’s Global Pandemic, aren’t an option. But where some clubs are opting to cancel or postpone their Changeovers, many are asking another question: “How might we do our Changeover online?”
Whilst we might feel this a challenge beyond what we can execute, we see just how much has adapted recently. My fellow Australians would remember the recent highly successful re-imagining of ANZAC Day; an entire set of cultural ceremonies build around physical proximity. And unlike ANZAC Day, we already have lots of experience in the world of virtual events.
What’s important in a Rotary Club Changeover?
The “Rotary Chicken” dinner aside, why is it that Changeovers are important to us? This answer will vary from Club to Club. It’s important to think about what is important to us. We can design Changeover events that reflect what we value most and remembering why they are so important.
Celebrating Accomplishments are integral to Changeovers, and being able to look back on a year of hard work. Such reflection shouldn’t just be a vanity for the President and Board, but something all Rotarians can take pride in.
Acknowledging Service follows on to this. Honouring those Rotarians who stand out among us remains ever so important. Hard work in service to the club and their community, and generous to our Rotary Foundation are things to be celebrated.
Looking Forward to the year ahead, where we can see new opportunities for Service above Self, and working together to build an even brighter future for the world.
Fellowship and Banter can be more difficult over Zoom, but is even more critical than ever. Let’s remember why we love doing what we do, joined with our fellow Rotarians not just as partners in service, but as dearest friends.
How should we structure our Agenda?
Fortunate news here: It doesn’t necessarily have to change! If your club has a Changeover program that they are particularly attached to, see what you might do to convert it to working online.
If in doubt, think about the discussions above around what is vital for your club. Discuss it with others in your club, including your President’s incumbent and elect, your Sergeant-at-Arms/Master of Ceremonies, your Changeover committee, or your general members.
Unlike most things that we do, Changeovers are absent presence in our Constitutions, Bylaws, or formal practices. Instead, let us make it something to reflect what our Club wants and needs it to be.
How do we practically run the event?
Most active Rotarians will now have experience using videoconferencing for their club meetings.
Online Meetings can be a bit like herding cats; things are constantly changing, everyone wants to do their own thing, and nobody is quite sure what the purpose of what having a herd of cats is in the first place. So, what is the magical solution to running a good online event?
We already know the answer: Having a good Master of Ceremonies.
Being able to keep the event flowing, audience interested, everything on-time, and in order is the hallmark of a good MC, equally online as it is in person. Having someone in charge who can keep things going in the face of disruptive audiences, or an honoured member wanting to recant the history of their Rotary life is a essential to a good event.
But there’s another part here: Knowing the platform.
Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms have a lot of useful features for an event host. Being able to forcibly mute participants, having people raise their hands to indicate a desire to speak, and sharing presentations are all handy.
Don’t worry, your MC doesn’t have to be an expert on Zoom. You might find it useful having an Assistant MC to manage the technology. Meanwhile, the MC oversees the event itself. You could also consider technically experienced friends of the club, including family members, or Rotaractors to act as Assistant MC.
How might we run our particular rituals?
Award Ceremony
Honouring our fellow Rotarians is just as important this year, as any other. And the process can be very much the same, with the Club President announcing the recipients of the awards.
Not all awards are a surprise. Your Paul Harris Society members likely know they’re due to receive the upgrade for their PHF. Mail them early, and have members show off their new award as they’re announced.
Surprise awards are still similar; just mail the award on the day of the Changeover. They’ll find out before it arrives, and receive it soon after.
Due to the limitations of the physical universe, your Club’s Presidential Collar (or other regalia, like a gavel) can only be in one place at any given time. How might we handle this difficult challenge?
How should you do this? Consider the significance of the physical transfer, and how it works with your club, given your own culture and traditions. Is it a symbol of the end of a year, or the start of a new year? Does the special significance attach to the Collar, or the President? Does the Collar hold any special significance for your club at all?
You might consider whether to physically hand over the collar between Presidents before, or after the event. You might have each President take a photo or video with the Collar as part of the presentation. You might simplify the process by not using the Collar in this years formal ceremony at all.
Badges for Officers are much simpler and can be mailed ahead of time, similarly to awards. As the incoming President calls their names, they can display the badge of their position to the audience.
National Anthem
Ever heard two people trying to talk at once on a video call? Multiply that by several dozen, and you have an attempt to sing the National Anthem together at your changeover. Even with disciplined timing, the nature of the technology is that it just doesn’t work.
Another option might be for a recording of the National Anthem to be played, and having your members sing-along on mute. Or if that might feel a little silly, even having everyone listen silently on mute is an option.
Other Things
Your club may have other ceremonies, rituals, or habits that you like to undertake at a Changeover event. So, how might you handle it?
Experiment. Practice.
Get your Changeover Committee together, and try things on a smaller scale in a meeting. There is no substitute for experimentation, and practice will reveal what can work. Other rituals may need to be adapted, modified, or in some case, sidelined for the year.
What if we have a large number of attendees?
Anyone who has been in a large Zoom call knows that it’s hard to spot who is talking, or where a particular person is, even if they’re the only ones unmuted.
Another option is to use the Spotlight Video feature of Zoom. Similar to Speaker view, it allows the Host to display to everyone, a single person of the Host’s choice on the screen. During Awards or other processes, this could help share the focus of the audience. Other videoconferencing platforms have similar features.
Even larger events with hundreds of participants or complex practices may find that they require additional tools to broadcast their Changeover effectively. In this, the advice is simple and no different to any major event: Start planning now.
Could we put it on hold until after the pandemic?
Of course. Your Club’s Changeover belongs to your Club, and the event is run for the benefit of the Rotarians of your Club.
Before deciding on that, there are two things to be considered:
Changeovers are moments in time, and we hold them as close as possible to the turn of the Rotary year as a point of significance in transition. The further away from July 1 the event is, the less meaning it may hold. So, we might ask ourselves; Would a physical Changeover in November be more meaningful than a virtual one in June?
COVID-19 is challenging member engagement, and even with all of our efforts, it can be harder to feel as attached to Rotary at the moment as we might otherwise be. Changeovers are a beautiful occasion for us all to celebrate what we do, and the value of being a part of our Club’s. If we just ignore such a pivotal event, would it be harder for the individual Rotarian to justify paying those annual dues come July?
By  Stephen Sennett
Club Changeovers
What is your club panning for its changeover event? If there is an intention to go ahead with a virtual changeover, please remember that one of the G-train members (DG Shia, DGE Alma, DGN Daryl and DGND Ken) would all be delighted to receive an invitation. 
Australian Rotary Health COVID-19 Appeal
It has become clear during the COVID-19 pandemic that looking after our health – particularly our mental health – is more important than ever.
With social distancing rules in place, many of our supporters across Australia who would normally raise thousands of dollars towards mental health research, have been forced to postpone and cancel their fundraising events.
We can see that this virus is affecting our mental health tremendously. Therefore, continuing to support mental health research to learn how to best support our communities when unexpected events like these occur, is crucial.
We ask that you please consider donating to mental health research today to help Australian Rotary Health #Liftthelidonmentalillness in these uncertain times and ultimately improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
We have set a target to raise $200,000. Any dollars towards this will be greatly appreciated.
Please share this link with your family, friends and social networks.
Thank you for your support!
Morning Tea with the DGE
Join DGE Alma Reynolds for a cuppa and informal Rotary chat.  Be prepared to talk about your club's high points, projects and meeting ideas.  Ask your Rotary questions and chat with others from across the District. Alma's looking forward to having morning tea with you.

Topic: Morning Tea with the DGE
Time: May 12, 2020 10:30 AM Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney
        Every week on Tue, 4 occurrence(s)
        May 12, 2020 10:30 AM
        May 19, 2020 10:30 AM
        May 26, 2020 10:30 AM
        Jun 2, 2020 10:30 AM

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 832 7593 6425
Password: 590951
District 9810 - Changeover Event
District Changeover will be going ahead on 20 June as planned but it will move to the virtual world.  An event committee has been formed and plans are being formulated.  Details on how to book will be circulated as soon as they are prepared but please save the date now and look forward something very different from the traditional changeover.
There WILL be a District Changeover Event.
It WILL be Zoomed on Saturday, June 20th.
It may possibly commence at 7.30pm.
It may even go for about an hour or so.
Attendees WILL need to register online.
Attendees may even offer a voluntary donation to EndPolio.
There may even be a series of “after parties” organized in Clusters.
The incoming and outgoing DGs may separately Zoom in to all of them.
However uncertain all this reads there WILL be a District Changeover Event.
Stay alert for more information that WILL come to you soon.
District Assembly
Thank you to all Rotarians who have already registered for the 2020 District Assembly.  It isn’t too late to register and details of how to do so appear in this Newsletter.
Thank you, too, to the workshop presenters who have agreed to move from in-person activity to on-line.  It is fantastic to report that all the planed workshops will be going ahead.
At the Assembly it is usual for the DGE to have the opportunity to make a presentation of the new Rotary theme, the plans for the year and the partner’s project.  As DGE Alma will not have the opportunity to address Rotarians in person but still wishes to make the presentation, a short video will be prepared as part of the overall District Assembly activity.  All clubs are requested to make a short time available in their first meeting after 24 May to play the video.  Exact length of the video will be advised as soon as it is ready.
Rotary District 9810 Training Assembly
Whilst the District Training Assembly as a physical event has been cancelled, we’re still very focused on supporting club office bearers in preparing for the year ahead.  Now, more than ever, Rotary and the community needs strong clubs and well-prepared club leaders.
Our request is that before the 24th May, club office bearers and any other interested members undertake the online learning modules in the RI Learning Centre relevant to their portfolio.  Then, from the week commencing 25th May, we will offer online Zoom-based workshops for each portfolio to consolidate learnings and share ideas and questions with your peer group across the District.
To facilitate this process, we ask that you register via Eventbrite if you haven’t already done so, so that we can arrange the relevant online workshops.
The registration link and details of the online learning modules can be found on the District Assembly page on the District’s website:
PDG Tony Monley OAM
2020-21 District Learning & Development Coordinator
0438 515 273
Finding calmness, whilst social distancing:
  • Limiting news consumption to trusted sources like The World Health Organisation
  • Walking
  • Reading
  • Listening to quality podcasts
  • Daily gratitude, writing, sharing (start a WhatsApp group called ‘daily gratitude’ with your closest friends/fellow Rotarians)
  • Helping vulnerable people in our community
There are incredible resources out there for free for us all to use. Here are some free tools that have been recommended:
And to finish off....
Hi to all.
Thank you all for the positive feedback since the launch of this newsletter.
Just a reminder that if you or your club would like to be part of "Staying Connected", please send me your photos and articles to
highlights9810@gmail.com prior to the next edition which will sent out on the 25th May.
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor