5th Edition                                                                             31 August 2020 

I’m excited to be a Rotarian.  Every day, every week I find new inspiration and more sensational ideas for projects, fundraisers, conversation starters, learning opportunities and Rotary activities.  Fortunately for me, many of them arrive via my in-box rather than me having to trawl around and find them.  I use these pages to convey to you the best of those ideas and to save you the time required to do the searching.

I’d love the Rotarians of District 9810 to think of this as their fortnightly dose of idea input.  Check out everything and, with luck, you’ll find one or two ideas that can be adopted in your club to make Rotary life more interesting and varied.

Your input, feedback, ideas and suggestions for “Open Doors” are always welcome.  I would love to hear from you, so just send me an email.

Look out for the return of “Highlights”.  Starting early September “Highlights” is back with all the information about significant events in our District and beyond.  Keep a particular watch for those clubs having super special guest speakers.  While we’re locked down it’s easy to visit other clubs and reap the rewards of their hard work 😊

Feature is this issue are;

  • the announcement of the eradication of Polio for the whole of the African continent.
  • The success of some D9810 events
  • Diversity Equity and Inclusion actions and information
  • Rotary Regionalisation Project update
  • Running Hybrid Meetings

PS. Make sure you read Rotary Down Under every time it arrives (mail box or in-box), as a little bird tells me that two great District 9810 projects are likely to be featured soon.


Congratulations 2019-2020 RI Citations
Congratulations to the following clubs which have obtained a RI Citation for the 2019-2020 year.  This is an amazing result and shows how much sensational work our District does.
Rotary Citation with Presidential Distinction – Platinum
RC Bayswater
RC Box Hill Central
RC Doncaster
RC Emerald & District
RC Fern Tree Gully
RC Lilydale
Rotary Citation with Presidential Distinction – Gold
RC Beaumaris
RC Healesville
RC Nunawading
RC Wandin
RC Warrandyte-Donvale
Rotary Citation with Presidential Distinction – Silver
RC Box Hill Burwood
RC Croydon and Montrose
RC Forest Hill
RC Glen Waverley
RC Noble Park-Dingley
RC Rowville-Lysterfield
RC Springvale City
RC Templestowe
RC Wheelers Hill
Rotary Citation
RC Cheltenham
RC Mont Albert & Surrey Hills
RC Mordialloc
RC Mount Waverley
RC Waverley
Polio Eradicated in Africa

This week the World Health Organisation announced the official eradication of wild polio virus in the whole of the African continent.  Congratulations Rotarians!  This is another huge step forward in the battel we have been raging for 35 years.  No time now for “battle fatigue”, let’s keep going and beat this horrible disease once and for all.  Clubs are asked to make a particular effort to increase their donation to the fund this year as it is the District Governor’s Partner’s (Rtn Greg King) project for 2020/21.  To see the RI media release for this momentous event, please go to https://www.rotary.org/en/rotary-congratulates-african-region-becoming-wild-poliovirus-free

Being Kind

This terrific Rotary International article explains why being kind is excellent therapy during this time of lockdown.  This is interesting information to share with your club.  The article ends with a list of examples from Rotary and Rotaract clubs around the world – could be some inspiration for your club!  Thanks to Ian Ballantyne of Bentleigh Morrabbin Central for bring this to my attention.  


Club Runner Workshop Outcomes

The Club Runner workshop conducted last Monday was a huge success.  A big thank you to DGN Ken Miller and member of the D9810 Technology Committee Peter Dalwood for this terrific session.  Unfortunately, there were technical difficulties so there is no recording of the event, but Peter has put together a set of FAQs (with answers!) arising from the chat activity during the session.  Ken and Peter are also planning further Club Runner Workshops, so keep an eye out in “Highlights” for information.

To find helpful information on using Club Runner go to the District Website, click on the “Links for Members” tab and then on D9810 Website Help, which is the first item on the drop down menu.


Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
D9810 has now established a DE&I Committee.  The vision of the committee is to ensure that Rotary reflects the community in which it operates with each club aiming for a membership which reflects the age, gender and cultural mix of its locality.  Rotarians interested in making this a membership goal can contact Committee Chair, Aleksei Bondarenko-Edwards of RC of Upper Yarra.

For some club inspiration on the topic see this less than 5 minute video from D9800 featuring Dr Todd “Bowtie” Jenkins.  https://rotarydistrict9800.org.au/Stories/diversity-equity-and-inclusion   (Thanks to John Lehner RC Bentleigh Moorabbin Central for this pointer).

If you really like Todd’s style, there’s about half an hour more in "Building Inclusion In Physical Distancing" from Rotary District 7670  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORcUP7laK1c

To see Rotary International’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion statement click here https://my.rotary.org/en/learning-reference/about-rotary/diversity-equity-and-inclusion

Finally, here’s a short (3 minutes) video from the Royal Society on “Unconscious Bias” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVp9Z5k0dEE  Is this a factor in your club?


Environment Projects for Your Club

At the recent District Presidents’ & Leadership Meeting, PP Pat Armstrong (RC Doncaster) presented an introduction to the new Environment & Sustainability Rotary Area of Focus and included some wonderful examples of projects and activities clubs could undertake.

See her presentation at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/4977cf12-02f2-414c-9d44-3c2c300ecbda/1/

Thinking about establishing a club Environment Committee?  Check this document https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/8b27dd61-f21b-4f45-ac9e-dd09d95cee6e/1/

Pat and other members of the District Environment & Sustainability Committee are available to be guest speakers at your club.  For more information see the D9810 site page at https://9810rotary.org.au/page/sustainability-amp-environment


Make All Your Projects Rotary Projects

The heading sounds a bit redundant, doesn’t it?  After all, what else do we do?  At the last District Presidents’ & Leaders’ meeting, PP Mark Anderson (Senior Coordinator, Fund Development for The Rotary Foundation at the South Pacific and Philippines Office in Parramatta) made a presentation on how a re-think of our priorities can boost club fundraising and make the club more dynamic and attractive to new members.  At the same time a succinct overview of the importance of Rotary branding.  At the cost of only a few minutes of your time, this could be a real revelation.  See https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/91788b0e-2ccf-4292-acab-41dfded15fba/1/

Mark is available as a guest speaker at your club.  He can be contacted through the RISPPO office – see http://rotaryaustralia.org.au/contact


Community Forum a Great Success

In the last fortnight Community Service Chair, Trish Smyth, has conducted a forum for clubs to share their project ideas and suggestions for activities that can happen in lockdown or with social distancing.  If your club is looking for inspiration, click on this link for 15 project suggestions for consideration.  https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/63f32ef7-7ed4-4ada-ba38-86bec0f195ae/1/

A big thank you to Trish for the time and effort in organising the forum and to all participating clubs for your input and enthusiasm.


Rotary Regionalisation Project Update

Rotarians have been asking recently about the Rotary regionalisation project and progress towards establishing “Rotary Australia”.  This link provides the latest information on the survey responses and the next steps.  https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/f7523c4a-be69-43d5-b474-c1777f91d87f/1/  


Hybrid Meetings

When clubs are able to meet in person once again, many are considering the use of “hybrid” meetings in an attempt to reap the benefits of both worlds.  The trick, it seems, will be to have a set-up that works well to engage the online attendees.  Poor and limited vision, poor sound transmitted through only one microphone and a feeling of being disengaged from the meeting will soon see online attendees halt their involvement.  This article provides information about the required technology for hybrid meetings and how to set up for success.  Warning! – this may be a little more complex than you expect.  https://blog.rotary.org/2020/08/17/hybrid-meetings-keep-all-members-engaged/#more-10905


Social Media Links

Fans of Social Media can find a list of official Rotary social media links here https://www.rotary.org/en/news-features/social-media  

This is the way to get the Rotary news first and, as usual, lots to learn.

RI Website Sign-in Issues
The RI website has been redeveloped and reconfigured recently.  If you are having problems signing in to the site, it’s probably because your “cookies” are trying to take you to the old site.  Advice to fix the problem came from RISPPO recently.  See below:
Removal of browsing history and cookies on Safari (for iPad)  https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201265
Removal of cookies on any browser:  How to Delete Cookies in Every Major Browser
Vocational Seminar Report

During this week, Vocational Service Chair, Bill Haywood (RC Waverley) presented a very successful and informative Seminar featuring D9800 Vocational Service Chair, Mary Barry, and Michelle James, who recently joined Rotary Satellite Club of Waverley and is Director and Founder of Aus Career Coach.  Plenty of great discussion and direction from the speakers and from Bill.  To catch up with more about Vocational Service and how it applies in your club, please go to Bill’s report at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/50071/Documents/en-au/a03aedbf-727b-42f4-98db-013a55eeb14e/1/


Stay Positive
Psychologists who have been monitoring the COVID pandemic have identified that a portion of the community are displaying the same signs and behaviours as those observed in grief.

The grieving process usually follows the stages of denial, anger, sadness and acceptance.
Some people, unwittingly, feel grief because the pandemic has taken something away from them.

This could be the loss of control over their life, the ability to travel, the enjoyment of seeing family and friends, or the loss of other things that are important to them.
The upside is that psychologists advise it is OK to have these feelings, and to be angry or sad provided the feelings are kept in proportion.

If you are feeling emotionally unwell, talk to your partner or a friend or consult your doctor.

These feelings are natural and can be managed with assistance. There is no stigma or shame in asking for help.
Outside, trees are in blossom and the daffodils are out which means Spring is not far away.

The weather will soon improve, and we will feel better by getting out in the garden or on the balcony with some sun on our faces.

We have got this far, so we can see this pandemic through to the end. Stay strong.
Remember - things will improve, they always have, and they always will.
Jan Rattray
Rotary Club of Glen Waverley
Books for Babies
September is designated as 'Literacy Month' by Rotary International. A number of projects during this month are designed to help improve the literacy of children around the world.
The Rotary Club of Glen Waverley started the “Books for Babies” project back in 2007-2008, and it has been continued in most Rotary years since then. The new mothers at Waverley Private Hospital are visited by a female Rotarian and they are presented with the book [at no cost to them] which has had the purchase price underwritten by the club and Mem Fox, the author.
The number of births at this hospital average approximately 80 during the month of September. The books are received gratefully by the new mums or in some cases by the new dads. The nursing staff at the Hospital feel that this project is wonderful, and has great value to the new parents, and the bubs as they grow and hopefully have books read to them regularly.
Mentoring Program - Opening Opportunities
In District 9810, we have the benefit of a long-term close relationship between Rotaract and Rotary. One of the benefits of this relationship is a Rotaractor being able to offer up an idea to an incoming District Governor, and that idea then becoming reality. As was the case this year, which led to the creation of the Rotary-Rotaract Mentoring Program. 
The program currently involves mentors hosting a series of free professional development webinars for Rotaractors, Rotarians and program alumni across Australia. Not only does the program serve a diverse audience, the committee organising the program is also composed of Rotaractors and Rotarians collaborating with complimentary skills. This has allowed for a strong and speedy planning period, with the first webinar having been successfully delivered on the topic of 'Interview skills and finding the right job for you'. The second part of the program aims to connect vocational mentors with young professionals, to offer personalised, long-term mentoring. Already, surveys into interest and feedback from the program are yielding positive results. 
Some of the scheduled upcoming webinars for the rest of 2020 are listed below, with more in-demand topics being scheduled for 2021.
- The impact of social media for good 
- Managing a team in uncertain times 
- Integrating younger generations into your workforce 
- Managing projects 
- Financial management 
If you are interested in being part of this opportunity as an attendee or mentor for this program, please feel free to reach out to our committee at mentor.9810@gmail.com
3 layer washable cotton face masks with wire nose bridge in patterned and plain fabrics available and hand made by Rotarians Trish Carr and Les Marton (RC Box Hill Burwood).
You can order from the website – sizes available are Adult, Youth and Child  $8.80 per mask plus postage.
www.facemasksoz.com or 9720 1177 during business hours.
Face Masks for Personal Use or For Sale
Peter Cole from the Rotary Club of Belgrave, has been working with experts in the field to design and make the most practical and comfortable face masks for personal protection during the pandemic.
The masks allow the wearer to breath, see each other and stay safe from droplets in the air.  They are light weight, anti-fog, and glasses can be worn comfortable underneath.  The masks have been designed by a Melbourne based optometrist.
Rotarians may be interested in these masks for personal use, for use in their businesses or as a fundraising opportunity.  Recommended retail price is $30.
For more information contact Peter Cole by email at petercole99@hotmail.com or on 0488 888 848
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". As advertised a couple of weeks ago, "Highlights" will start up again in September on a monthly basis to publicise all your upcoming events.
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 14th September.
Also send me your events for "Highlights" which will be back out on the 7th September. In the meantime you can view all the events here
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor