14th Edition                                                                      18 January 2021 
Happy New Year!  What will the New Year bring us?  365 opportunities to have a great Rotary day!
Welcome back to Rotary activity for 2021 when, with an air of significant optimism, we see the end of COVID-19 on the horizon.  Despite several recent setbacks, including here in Melbourne, as I write the entire country has had two days of no new community transmission cases. 
Soon COVID-19 vaccinations will be rolling out across the country and I intend to line up for mine just as soon as I possibly can.  I know there are some doubts in the community about it, but I see Rotary as an organisation that champions the benefits of vaccination and I need and want to live that philosophy.
You can see below our “save the date” for the Multi-District Conference.  For the first time our conference will involve all Victorian Districts and be an online event.  Add the dates to your diary now and keep an eye open for registration details coming soon.  I hope you can be part of this historic event.
Membership is in the forefront of our thinking right now.  Our District membership number has held up well during the lockdown and the disruption of the last 12 months; all clubs are to be congratulated for working to keep members engaged and interested in Rotary activities through 2020.  Despite our efforts, however, our membership has dropped below the minimum size for a Rotary District (1,100) and I have received notification that we must produce a Membership Activity Report for the Rotary Districting Committee.  Naturally, this will be done with all the skills and professionalism we can muster (which is a great deal, in case you’re wondering!!).
In the meantime, Membership Masterclass and the Satellite Series start soon.  These two programs are part of the D9810 membership strategy.  If your club is interested in being part of one or other of these programs, please be in touch.
Other highlights in this issue are;
  • Governor’s Travels
  • Australia Day activities
  • MAD March Challenge
  • Polio news
  • Vacancies on the RICON 23 Committee
  • RI Annual Report
  • Protecting the Environment Policy Statement released
  • Top rating (again) for Rotary Foundation
Membership Inspirations
Membership inspiration comes from our own District 9810 as we embark on our Membership Strategy for 2020/21.  Exciting new sessions commence soon with clubs invited to join Membership Masterclass (four sessions commencing February) or Build a Satellite (three sessions commencing soon).  If your club wants to be involved in either (or both) please see the email sent to Presidents and Membership Chairs on December 8th and be in touch with Membership Chair, Malcolm Chiverton (Box Hill Central) or me.
Also, a recording is now available of the Zone 8 New Style Rotary Clubs Forum (session 3).  Go to  New style Rotary clubs forum - Session 3 - 17 December 2020 - YouTube to see
·         Charter President Chris Bloore, Rotary E-Club of WASH, D9980 in New Zealand
·         DGN/ District Membership Chair Matthew McLeod, D9910 in New Zealand
·         Chair/Chair elect Josephine Bell, Rotary Satellite Club of Stanthorpe Flexitime.
Governor’s Travels
Early in the New Year DGE Daryl, DGN Ken and I gathered at the Eastern Emergency Relief Network building where the D9810 trailer is stored.  The aim being to sort through the various District items to decide what was rubbish, what could be repurposed and what needed to kept.  Plenty of work to be done to update the District’s public image including the signage on the trailer itself.  I’d like to thank Ian Armstrong (RC Nunawading), who is President of EERN and allows the District to keep the trailer securely stored in the building.
In the last week I managed to visit members of RC Beaumaris at Royal Avenue Farmers’ Market and also Rotarians from the Whitehorse cluster at the Whitehorse Farmers’ Market where I was surprised to meet up with DGN Ken who was shopping some distance from his home turf.  A great reflection on the quality and variety to be found at the market.  Very much enjoyed both experiences and would recommend the markets to any  Rotarians who have not yet visited.
Alma at Whitehorse market (below) with Pres Mark Balla (Box Hill Central), DGN Ken and PE Charlie Xu (Box Hill Burwood).  Right, at Royal Ave Market with Fred Hofman, Pres Adrian Culshaw (Beaumaris) and Ken Mirams
D9810 Alumni
All clubs are reminded that our District Alumni Committee is working to contact as many past participants of Rotary programs as possible.  This includes Youth Exchange, RYLA, Interact, Foundation Scholars and any others who may have benefitted from a Rotary investment in their future.  For more information contact Kehela Vandenberg of RC Mount Waverley.
Also check out, like and follow the D9810 Alumni Face Book page at https://www.facebook.com/rotarydistrict9810alumni
Australia Day Activities
Big kudos to the clubs and clusters arranging Australia Day events using the grants from the National Australia Day Council.  One of the goals of Rotary International is “to increase our ability to adapt” and these clubs have taken an opportunity and, in a very short time, turned it into events which highlight and showcase Rotary in their communities.  A very impressive effort by all concerned, brilliantly showcasing our ability to adapt.  I will be visiting as many of the activities as I can manage.  I hope to see lots of Rotarians on Tuesday 26 January.  If your club isn’t involved in an event, why not visit one of those listed below?  Alternatively, organize something yummy for lunch, get a group together and tune in to the National event (see below). 
  • Australia Day Breakfast, Monbulk Community Sports Pavilion, 8.00 – 9.30am (RC Monbulk & District)
  • Family Fun Day, Lilydale Lake, Swansea Road Lilydale 10.00am to 2.00pm (RC Lilydale
  • Community Lunch, Doncaster Shoppingtown Hotel, 12.00 to 3.30pm (RC Templestowe, RC Warrandyte Donvale, Manningham Rotaract)
  • Rotary Network Celebration, (see poster below), 12.20 – 2.00pm (Rotary Districts of Australia)
  • Kingston Cleanup, Karkarook Park, Warrigul Road, Heatherton, 10.30 – 1.30pm (Kingston A Cluster)
  • Whitehorse Australia Day Picnic, Surrey Park, 10.30 – 3.30pm (Whitehorse Cluster Clubs)
  • Whitehorse Australia Day Picnic, Halliday Park, 10.30 – 3.30pm (Whitehorse Cluster Clubs)
District 9810 Youth Projects Urgently Need Support
In Open Doors #12, I appealed for Rotarians to serve on District committees for various Youth projects including RYLA, RYPEN, MUNA and District speech competition finals.  Many of these activities are well supported by clubs but Rotarians are strangely reluctant to ensure the future of the projects by serving on the District committees which facilitate them.  So far, Youth Service Chair, PDG Malcolm Chiverton, has had ZERO enquiries from Rotarians.  Please consider your own and your club’s desire to participate in high quality Youth projects and make a commitment to see them continue and develop into the future.
MAD March Challenge in D9810
The traditional D9810 Ride for Medical Research cannot go ahead this year but the enthusiasts have not given up on fund (and fun) raising.  The Make A Difference March Challenge is open to all riders, walkers, runners and swimmers to sign up, find sponsors and help add to D9810’s proud record of fundraising for Australia Rotary Health.  If you’re not the exercising type then, hopefully, you can find enough energy to pull out your credit card and go to MAD March Cycle Challenge (raisely.com) and donate or sponsor a rider or a team.
Learn More About Schizophrenia
For those with no experience of it schizophrenia is strange and, frankly, a bit scary.  Kevin Walker, of RC New Gen, would like to de-mystify this condition by talking to Rotarians about his own experience and his views on treatment and the way forward.  If you would like to have this courageous young Rotarian as guest at your club, please contact him through Club Runner.
Polio Progress 2020
LogoDescription automatically generatedGreat news on polio data for the end of 2020.  For the 2020 calendar year the total number of wild polio virus cases in the world was 139 – 83 in Pakistan and 56 in Afghanistan.  This compares to 176 in the previous year (147 Pakistan and 29 in Afghanistan).  This represents a drop of more than 20%.  Your club and individual donations to this great cause are really making a difference.  Please remember that End Polio Now is the DG’s partner’s project for 2020/21.  Greg and I really appreciate any extra effort you can make to support this world-changing and life-changing project of Rotary International.
The Relevance of Polio Plus in a COVID World
Received an interesting article from Mike McGovern, Chair RI PolioPlus Committee, concerning the vital role that public health infrastructure developed through the Polio Plus campaign has had with tracing and controlling COVID-19. 
Rotary and our partners have worked for over 40 years to eradicate polio always referring to our activity within Rotary as PolioPlus.  Thus in 2020, our PolioPlus network was fully engaged in providing surveillance to keep the coronavirus pandemic in check.  Our laboratories provided testing capabilities that otherwise would have been missing. Polio funded personnel provided education on safe distancing, masking, and hand hygiene.   The importance of having a cold chain and personnel maintaining it was not something new to be learned as we were already doing it.  Herd immunity has been a focus for us for many years and now it is a focus for the world.
In 2020 Rotary still managed to achieve its Polio fundraising goal of $50 million, reduce the number of wild polio cases in the world, celebrate the declaration that Africa is now free of wild polio virus, steer a new oral polio vaccine through its approval process and celebrate 10 years since the last case of wild polio virus in India.
Overall the PolioPlus campaign has provided major benefit not only through its “Polio” efforts but also through the “Plus” effort.  A result of which to be truly proud.
Rotarians Against Malaria
Rotarians Against Malaria
Ever wondered why your club should involve itself with Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM)?  Here’s the startling facts about this ghastly disease.  It’s exactly the kind of project Rotarians take on, using the advantage of our world-wide presence and the power of our numbers.
In 2019 there were approximately 229 million cases in the world and 409,000 people died of malaria.  The tragedy is that 67% of malaria deaths occur in children less than 5 years old. 
For more information see https://ram.rawcs.com.au/ or talk to D9810 RAM Chair, Shelley Gurney (RC Doncaster).
The Rotary in Action Radio Program
A picture containing textDescription automatically generatedThis coming Tuesday afternoon Rotarian Greg King (RC Manningham) hosts the “Rotary in Action” radio program on local community station 96.5 InnerFM.  Greg’s guest will be Garry Browne (Rotary Sydney) the National Chair of the R100 (Centenary) Committee who will be talking about the plans for the R100 events and the celebrations that will occur around the times of the first Rotary meetings in Australia and New Zealand, late April, 1921, including the special commemorative coins and stamps that will be released on February 4th to celebrate the event.
The “Rotary in Action” radio program is the world’s longest running one-hour weekly program dedicated to Rotary matters. This week will be program number 1328.
Tune in to 96.5 InnerFM between 3pm and 4pm Tuesday (tomorrow – and every week).  “Rotary in Action” also streams live through www.innerfm.org.au or your smartphone apps such as “iHeart” or “TuneIn”.
Centenary of Rotary in Australia 1921 -2021 Commemorative Book
LogoDescription automatically generatedA free copy of this publication will be distributed to every club in District 9810 (excluding satellites – sorry!).  Rotarians wishing to order a personal copy should contact PDG Harry Durey at    hdurey@bigpond.com   The cost of the book is $25.00 plus $10 postage.  Can’t wait to see it!
Melbourne RI Convention Organising Committee Vacancies
The Host Organizing Committee of RICON 23 Melbourne is seeking to appoint two additional Directors who will have specific responsibility for the design and management of The House of Friendship for RICON23.
Specific position descriptions have been developed and can be obtained by interested Rotarians from PP Mary Barry, who is Chair of the RICON23 Host Organizing Committee either by email  marybarry1@gmail.com or by phone 0412295094 during business hours.
Need Help with your WASH?
WASRAG logoWASH projects are notoriously difficult to get right with many hurdles between initial inspiration and a successful, sustainable outcome.  For clubs considering a WASH project, help is at hand.  WASH RAG is now offering a $2,000 project contribution for every project that is reviewed by their Professional resources Team prior to submission to the Rotary Foundation.  This is a double bonus as clubs get the benefit of project oversight by Rotarians highly experienced in WASH projects plus the extra cash.   For more information go to https://www.wasrag.org/ or contact the WAS RAG Chair, Ron Denham ron.denham@kearney.com  
See the source imageBut, of course, before you rush off to seek help from WASH RAG, I just know you’ll seek the available expertise right here in D9810 by contacting our District Resource Network.  For information go to https://www.9810rotary.org.au/page/international-service and scroll down to heading #3.
The Rotary Club of Bath, Maine teamed up with Getting Water Right to teach children in Cambodia about personal hygiene. In the one minute 12 second video, you will see how they use a glitterball to show how germs spread through a village. The students were also involved in building their own a tippy-tap hand-washing station.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t-IWo5YqpI
WASH RAG has also gathered a stack of useful information into a single YouTube channel.  To see what’s there go to  WASH Rotary Action Group - YouTube
Invite a USA DG to Your Meeting
My DG classmate, Greg Horn, has been in touch offering to be a guest speaker at any of our clubs (or groups of clubs).  Greg is from District 5020 which is an international District taking in Vancouver Island in British Columbia (Canada) and parts of western Washington State, USA.  I’m not sure how Greg finds the time to do this, but I know he is an informative and entertaining speaker.  Should you wish to invite Greg to your meeting, please be in touch with me.
Rotary Foundation Retains Four-Star Rating
Charity NavigatorAs of 1 December 2020, The Rotary Foundation has achieved its 13th consecutive four star rating with Charity Navigator.  Our Foundation received an overall score of 99.4 out of 100.  See Rotary’s official announcement at https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-foundation-receives-highest-rating-charity-navigator-13th-consecutive-year
Cyclone Yasa Appeal – Urgent Request for Donations of Cash
Rotary New Zealand is appealing for funds to support its neighbours in Fiji following the devastation caused by Cyclone Yasa last month.  Rotary is collaborating with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs Emergency Task Force and the Fiji Disaster Management Office to ensure that Emergency Response Kits and other supplies are directed for best possible advantage to those affected. Rotary Fiji and supporters are providing logistical support.
The appeal funds will be used for Emergency Response Kits and other relief supplies, but may also support schools and their teachers rebuild, support families rebuild their homes and re-establish their vegetable gardens in addition to health and education issues.
Donations may be made through the RAWCS website https://directory.rawcs.com.au/86-2019-20 
Food Plant Solutions RAG
Food Plant Solutions LogoCOVID-19 has had a devastating effect on country economies around the world.  World Bank estimates that between 30 and 150 million more people will fall into poverty this year.  Food Plant Solutions RAG is a group taking positive action to help.  Why not check out their web site, view their projects and invite a Rotarian from the group to address your club? 
Rotary Annual Report Now Available
For some real inspiration check out the 2020 RI Annual Report at https://www.rotary.org/en/annual-report-2020   The report tells us that in the year the Rotary Foundation grants totalled $300 million for the first time.  Nearly $152 million was spent on the PolioPlus activities in endemic and “at risk” countries.  The report is divided into section corresponding to Rotary’s Action Plan; increase out impact, expand our reach, enhance participant engagement and increase our ability to adapt.  A number of great project inspirations to be found here!
Protecting the Environment RI Policy Statement
RI is moving forward on Rotary’s new area of focus! You can now find more information about how we’ll protect the environment in the updated Area of Focus Policy Statements.
This new cause empowers Rotary members to address specific environmental issues comprehensively and opens an opportunity to build on the environmental work we’re already doing in our communities.
The RI Board and Rotary Foundation Trustees added the environment as an official cause earlier this year, and clubs and districts can apply for global grants in this area beginning 1 July 2021. I encourage everyone who wants to apply for a global grant to carefully review the policy statements to ensure that their proposed projects are eligible.
Vocational Seminar in Eastern Europe (by Zoom)
Received an interesting invitation from District 2232 – that’s Belarus and Ukraine.  They are holding an online Vocational Seminar on 30 January.
“The Rotary Vocational Forum is planned to strengthen Rotary relations and create a platform for connections between Rotarians as professionals from different countries. 
We offer an opportunity to take part in an event that maximizes the building of vocational relations. Each participant will find something interesting in the plenary sessions on the Main Stage, during breakout sessions in the Session Zone, at any of the professional booths in the Expo Zone or during personal communication one-to-one in the Network Zone.”
The Wonder of Zoom
Image may contain: 1 person, text that says 'Rotary The Kelso Conversations THURSDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2021 6:00 PM GMT) ALL WELCOME'Kelso is a market town in the Borders area of Scotland within the boundaries of the historic county of Roxburghshire about 70 kms south-south-east of Edinburgh.
The Rotary Club of Kelso holds a monthly event called “The Kelso Conversations” and the world is welcome to attend via Zoom.  The last few guest speakers at “The Conversations” have been RI Secretary John Hewko (Jan), RIPN Jennifer Jones (Dec), RI President Holger Knaack (Nov), PRIP Ravi Ravindran (Oct), and PRIP John Germ (Sep).
The next guest at “The Kelso Conversations” will be District 9810’s own PRIP Ian Riseley who will be online via Zoom on Friday morning, February 12th, at 5am our time (for all the earlybirds).
For details and how to book go to https://www.facebook.com/rgr.mcinally
Rotary Hearing Project (Tonga)
The Rotary Club of Hampton (District 9810) in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Nuku'alofa, Tonga (District 9920), with participation by the University of Melbourne and the Ministry of Health, Tonga, is in the process of preparing a project to be implemented in Tonga, to provide assistance to Ministry of Health to develop their capacity through training and demonstration, to conduct regular hearing screening of young children.
Project objectives are to Identify any hearing problems which may require further attention by specialist medical personnel. The project is expected to result in significant benefits to the child’s educational and social development.
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.
Happy New Year. Hope that everyone has a great year.
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 1st February.
Also send me your events for "Highlights", with the next edition coming out on Monday 25th January. In the meantime you can view all the events here
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor