15th Edition                                                                      1 February 2021 
Every time I sit down to gather “Open Doors” into a coherent whole I tell myself that this time it will be shorter, and every time I find that there’s so much, I’m bursting to tell you that I just have to put it all in!  I know some say that it’s too long, but you don’t have to read everything.  Skim through, look at the headlines, concentrate on the local stuff and read anything else that catches your eye and interest. 
I love to highlight local projects, ideas and activities undertaken by the clubs in our D9810.  If there’s anything you would like to see in Open Doors, please be in touch.  Also, it’s great when I see clubs taking snippets or ideas from Open Doors for their own newsletters.
Being District Governor is a bit time consuming, I admit, but it’s also exciting and enjoyable.  A focus on the wider world of Rotary really helps to see how big and powerful a force for good we really are.  To showcase this point, have a quick look at the three Rotary Action Groups highlighted in this issue; ESRAG, LITRAG and Food Plant Solutions RAG.  What good work they do in coordinating and implementing projects as well as helping clubs to mount their own projects in these areas.  RAGs really help us to understand that for virtually anything we want to undertake in Rotary there is expertise available to help.
Special in this issue, see;
  • Governor’s Travels – Australia Day
  • One of the most fun activities I’ve seen in D9810 this year
  • Two (yes, two!) fabulous Membership Inspirations
  • Australia Day Awards and Recognitions
  • Two D9810 Unsung Heroes
  • DG 2023-24 applications close soon
  • Can the COVID Vaccination program provide a community project opportunity?
  • Making a club promotional brochure the easy way
… and, of course, lots and lots more.  Happy reading!
Governor’s Travels – Australia Day
Image may contain: 3 people, people standing
This week Australia Day is still top of mind for me.  I managed to visit two D9810 Rotary activities and was an audience member for the National Online Australia Day event.  Everything in which I was involved was wonderful and reports from around the District tell me that the events I didn’t visit were also wonderful.  Thank you to all Rotary clubs and Rotarians who took part in the following events:  
  • Australia Day Breakfast at Monbulk
  • Australia Day picnic at Lilydale Lake
  • Australia Day Park Clean-up at Karkarool Park
  • Australia Day Recognition Lunch at Doncaster
  • Australia Day Community Celebration at Surrey Park
  • Australia Day Community Celebration at Halliday Park
Image may contain: 3 people, people standing, outdoor and nature
  Image may contain: 3 people, people standing
Fun Activity at Club Social
Saw this is the recent newsletter of RC Rowville Lysterfield.  It sounds like a lot of fun so decided to pass it on.
“As Director of Fun, Carol showed a creative streak, providing a LEGO challenge for members. Groups of 3 worked to construct something with their bricks and a story to go with it. This proved to be a very engaging and entertaining activity.”  The pics below show how engaged the members were!
Membership Inspirations
How often is your club out in the public doing Rotary things?  Could be quite often if you run a market or a sausage sizzle.  How can contact with the public be turned into a membership opportunity?  Many clubs are now using these opportunities to set up Rotary signs or Rotary displays so members of the public can talk to Rotarians – but does it work?  In my experience the “come to us for information” strategy is rarely successful, with most people walking right past without a glance or avoiding the site altogether because of some preconceived and negative notions of what they will find there.
I was witness to a very successful strategy recently and “hats off” to the Rotary Club of Mount Waverley for their proactive approach.  At the pre-Christmas market all club members wore their “Ask me About Rotary” badges.  The membership chair went out into the market and approached people – buyers and stallholders – for a quick chat about Rotary.  In less than hour the contact details of three prospective members had been gathered.
It’s really worth the effort to make a membership plan and to take a proactive approach to membership – as proved by RC of Mount Waverley at their pre-Christmas market.
Nurturing New Members – Membership Inspirations 2
During our period of lockdown, a number of D9810 clubs inducted new members.  These new members are special and precious members of the Rotary family and, while existing members were craving the return to face-to-face meetings, these new members have never experienced what most of us consider “normal” Rotary.
As clubs return to in-person meetings, I urge Membership Chairs and new member mentors to make extra efforts to encourage new members to attend meetings and to ease the way for them to enjoy what is to them, a new meeting format.  As we all know, online meetings and face-to-face meetings are two vastly different experiences and care is needed during this time of transition.
Celebrating Life: Margaret Cunningham
Awarded in AOM (general division) in Australia Day Honours
The late wife of D9810 Rotarian, James Cunningham, was awarded an AOM in the Australia Day Honours.  The late Mrs Margaret Dorothy Cunningham formerly of Donvale Victoria was recognised for service to women and girls, and to the community.  I’m proud to say that Margaret was a friend of mine!
Kids Fun Run With Thomas (KFRWT)
The Rotary Club of Emerald and District was awarded Cardinia Shire Council's Community Event of the Year for its November 2019 Kids Fun Run with Thomas.  The Australia Day award was announced on Monday night at the Cardinia Cultural Centre in Pakenham by Mayor Brett Owen.
Congratulations to event Chair, John Henderson, the KFRWT Committee and the RC of Emerald and District o this well-deserved recognition. 
Unsung Hero #1
Thank you! | Rotary Club of Toronto EglintonMany people toil away at vital Rotary work with little recognition.  During the week I received a report from The Rotary Foundation called “Grants Reporting Analysis” for the Rotary year to January 2021.
“I am happy to inform you that District 9810 was 100% up-to-date with reporting requirements for grants sponsored by the district and its clubs as of the January 2021 analysis. The Trustees rely on district leaders to ensure that stewardship guidelines are being upheld worldwide and they thank you for your efforts. We recognize the hard work involved to maintain this level of compliance and encourage your district and its clubs to continue your good work.”
Thank you to Grants Chair, Graham Richardson and the Rotarians of the D9810 Foundation Committee chaired by David Alexander.
District Insurance Officer (Unsung Hero #2)
While we’re thinking about those who toil mostly behind the scenes, let’s consider our District Insurance Officer (and unsung hero), Marcus Robertson.
All club projects need to be registered with our District Insurance Officer to ensure appropriate coverage.  To contact our insurance officer
  • Go to D89810 website https://www.9810rotary.org.au/
  • Hover over the last tab “Members Only”
  • Click on the third item sown “Insurance and Risk Management”
… et voila!  All the information you need is right there.  So remember, our super-efficient and obliging Insurance Officer, Marcus, is the ONLY person you contact for insurance information.
District Governor for 2023-24 Selection
Presidents and Past Presidents in D9810, please consider sending your application for
  • Membership of the District Governor Nominating Committee
  • District Governor 2023-24
Applications to be DG close on Friday 19 February.
Applications for the Nominating Committee close on Friday 26 February.
All relevant information can be found on the District website at https://www.9810rotary.org.au/page/selecting-the-next-dg
COVID Vaccination – Project Opportunity?
With COVID-19 vaccination program commencing soon, can Rotary clubs help?  This important community activity could well need the help of a range of volunteers.  Clubs may like to be in touch with their local community health service to see if volunteers can be used.  Activities like helping to maintain queues and keep appropriate distancing, transporting elderly residents to vaccination centres, providing refreshment to those having a long wait are some activities that spring to my mind but you may have many more ideas.  This is an opportunity to be seen in our communities at this crucial time. 
Need Help with Conflict Management
The Essentials of Understanding Conflict course is available in the Learning Centre. Explore the various conflict management styles that can help you develop more collaborative relationships and ensure that everyone has a voice in your club.
Getting Our Branding Right Everywhere
Our branding is our strength which is why RI works so hard to get this message across.  I urge all Rotary to
clubs to examine carefully;
  • Club website
  • Club social media
  • Club newsletter banner
  • All club project websites
  • All club project social media
  • All possible uses and occurrences of the Rotary logo
I urge this so that we can all make sure that the logo is always used correctly and that it’s obvious to even the most casual observer that this is modern Rotary – an organisation that uses its branding consistently to convey its strength and unity.  For more information see https://blog.rotary.org/2021/01/11/why-you-should-care-about-rotary-branding/
“Together We Fight Hunger”  RDU Theme for March
COVID 19 - Together, We Fight Hunger. | Living in Pismo BeachClubs with projects fitting the RDU March theme of “Together We Fight Hunger” and that wish to submit and article for publication should contact Editor Meagan Martin meaganmartin@rotarydownunder.com.au   
“Hunger hides in every community. That’s why Rotary clubs support programs to provide healthy food and develop sustainable solutions to food insecurity. Fighting hunger to build
stronger communities – that’s what People of Action do.”
Your Club Information Brochure
Recently, I have received a number of requests for brochure promoting Rotary. District does not keep a stock of brochures for Club use.  It is up to each club to produce its own promotional material.  Fortunately, Rotary International makes it easy to produce a brochure which is professional looking and complies with the Public Image guidelines.
Log in to the RI website and once there;
  • At the top of the page hover over "Manage" or "News and Media", down the list click on "Brand Centre"
  • Once the Brand Centre has opened, click on "Materials"
  • Click on "Create Your Own"
  • Click on Rotary Club Brochure
This template can be customised with the club's own words and pictures to create a professional brochure in a print ready format.
Help the Children of Teveuni Island Get Back to School
RC of Boronia has had a long-term relationship with the people of Taveuni Island, which is part of Fiji.  Families there are in dire need following the ravages of Cyclone Yasa which destroyed food crops and lvelihoods.  With no money for essentials, there is certainly no money for children to go to school. To find out how to donate to this project or for more information contact Peter Malden of RC of Boronia.  I’m sure Peter would be delighted to be a guest speaker at your club.
Rotary Projects Close to Home
Many Rotarians don’t realise that our Rotary Zone (Zone 8) comprises 12 different countries.  They are;
  • Australia
  • Timor L'Este
  • PNG
  • Solomon Islands
  • Vanuatu
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Western Samoa
  • American Samoa
  • Fiji
  • Tonga
  • Cook Islands
Many of the smaller countries in the Zone have opportunities for Rotary international projects and development activities.  Some of these countries have sustained significant damage in recent cyclone events.  Clubs seeking international project activities within the Zone can contact District Chair, Tony Stokes or District Governor, Alma Reynolds.
Paul Harris Society
TRF: Paul Harris Society | District 5190
The Paul Harris Society recognizes Rotary members and friends of The Rotary Foundation who elect to contribute $US1,000 or more each year to the Annual Fund, PolioPlus Fund, or approved global grants.  The purpose of the Paul Harris Society is to honour and thank individuals for their generous, ongoing support of The Rotary Foundation.
Rotarians can make their donation in pone payment or arrange automatic bank transfers for whatever interval best suits their budgeting needs.  In Australia these donations are tax deductible. For more information contact PHS Coordinator Greg King of the RC Manningham.
How Polio Plus Funds are Spent
The last calendar year was a successful one for the Rotary Polio Plus campaign with case numbers declining.  Raising funds for this major Rotary cause is the focus of the District Governor’s Partner’s Project for this year.  To finish the job, Rotarian support is vital.  To add to the Polio Plus fund, please contact Greg King of RC Manningham.  First or further donations for clubs and individuals are of critical importance, especially this year.  And in case you’re wondering what the money is spent on, this pie chart was part of a report received recently.  Like all Rotary projects, the funds are spent where they are needed with nearly 60% going to the purchase of vaccines and the delivery of them to children.
For all D9810 Rotarians interested in basic literacy projects either overseas or locally, LITRAG (Literacy Rotary Action Group) has recently become BELRAG (Basic Education & Literacy RAG).
The website www.litrag.org has some great information with the newsletter being the most recent.  If your club is looking for ways to become involved with the Basic Education & Literacy area of focus, this is a great place to start looking for project ideas.
Environment Project Ideas are Near at Hand
Looking for ideas for your club’s next environment and sustainability project?  A visit to the ESRAG website is just the thing.  Go to www.esrag.org for loads of great information about Rotary E&S projects around the world.  At the top of the home page is an opportunity to sign up for the monthly newsletter for on-going inspiration.
Add Value to Your International Projects
Many clubs have projects designed to help specific groups of people sometimes with health projects or education projects.  Be sure to help as much as you possibly can by carrying out a Community Needs Assessment (for help download the Rotary publication Community Assessment Tools).
If food security turns out to be a significant issue the Food Plant Solutions RAG has many ideas and opportunities to help.  See https://foodplantsolutions.org/
Watarrka Foundation
LogoWatarrka Foundation was honoured to accept the Sports in Community Award at the first annual NT Community Achievement awards ceremony, held in Darwin.  The Sports Community award was given to the Foundation in recognition of the annual Sports and Storytelling festival, held each year in Lilla. The Foundation was recognised for the great impact the festival has on local Indigenous students who attend and learn about health and fitness.  
Rotary Club of Moorabbin is a supporter of the Watarrka Foundation.  For more information see http://www.watarrkafoundation.org.au/  or talk to Carlo Dilettoso of RC Moorabbin
Centenary Stamp
Australia Post has announced that we will have a special stamp in 2021 for our centenary. There will  be several “products” including first day covers, stamp packs and inclusion in the annual collection. Ideal for collections, gifts, thankyou’s for speakers, Rotary archives, memorabilia and more.
Taipei Convention Goes Virtual
The RI Board has decided that the Taipei Convention will now be a virtual event.  Although sad news for any who wanted to travel to this iconic event, it does mean the Convention is now more accessible to more Rotarians.   Watch this space for more information!
While we wait for Taipei, it could be a good time to re-visit Honolulu (if only!).  To see the great sessions of the last RI Convention go to https://convention.rotary.org/en/honolulu
Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds Project (RORP)
Would you like to add a playground to your overseas project and get $500 towards the cost of transport?
The Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds Project (RORP) can help. RORP, a project of the Rotary Club of Flemington Kensington,  ‘harvests ‘ playgrounds here in Victoria that would otherwise be sent to landfill. Playgrounds have been mainly sent to Sri Lanka through a partnership between the Rotary Clubs of Flemington-Kensington and Colombo with some being sent to Timor Lest, Tanzania and Papua New Guinea.
We have a window during which playgrounds can be made available to other community causes overseas*. COVID has temporarily prevented playgrounds being sent to Sri Lanka and the new partnership with Nepal has yet to commence. All playgrounds come fully coded to ensure safe reassembly with the details provided via a database to the organisation reinstalling the harvested playground.
Contact: ptcribb@gmail.com or ring Peter on 0410548543.
*reinstalling a harvested playground in Australia can be tricky.
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 February.
Also send me your events for "Highlights", with the next edition coming out on Monday 8th February. In the meantime you can view all the events here
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor