1st Edition                                                                                8 July 2020 

Welcome to the first edition of your District newsletter, Open Doors.  I say YOUR newsletter because it is for you to fill.  This represents your opportunity to show the rest of the District your fabulous community service, your amazing international projects, your wonderful youth connections.  Let everyone know that your club is THE best club in the District.

We even need to know how fantastic your Zoom meetings have been.  Your awe-inspiring speakers, your quirky fun ideas, and on-line antics that make YOUR Zoomers the best. 

We all know that District 9810 is a shining light in the Rotary world and Open Doors is your opportunity to prove that it’s true.

New Website Launched

On the first day of this new Rotary year D9810 launched its new website.  The new site is aimed at Rotarians in the District and is configured to replace the previous hard-copy District Directory.  All Rotarians are asked to go to the site and check the information contained.  If there are any mistakes or omissions, please be in touch with me (DG Alma).  https://www.9810rotary.org.au/

A big thank you to new District Webmaster, Trish Carr of Box Hill Burwood and Tech Committee member, Peter Dalwood, of Boronia both of whom performed virtual miracles (pun intended!) to get the site ready to publish by the start of the year.

Rotary Convention Breakout Sessions Continue in July

The RI Virtual Convention was held last month.  If you missed it, don’t worry.  All the sessions and breakouts were recorded and are available on line.  As a special bonus, nearly 40 more breakout sessions will be held in July.  You can register to be part of the session or watch the recording at a time more convenient to you.  Almost every subject and Rotary program is covered in the sessions, so whatever is your Rotary passion you will find something of interest.  Go to https://convention.rotary.org/  

You could also visit the virtual House of Friendship at https://convention.rotary.org/en/honolulu/house-friendship  You will probably be asked to register first.

Environment Becomes an Area of Focus

Late in June The Rotary Foundation Trustees and Rotary International Board of Directors both unanimously approved adding a new area of focus: supporting the environment.

Once again, D9810 is in front of curve as we have a long-established Sustainability & Environment Committee headed by PP Pat Armstrong of RC of Doncaster.

Clubs that have already established an Environment & Sustainability Committee or are about to do so are requested to contact Pat to let her know.  This will enable a network of interested clubs to be created for the purposes or communication, sharing expertise and discussing project ideas.

Black Lives Matter

Rotarians will be aware of the community discussion and protests around the “Black Lives Matter” movement in the USA, around the world and here in Australia.  At the time, Rotary International released the following statement:

At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism. Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work.

We have more work to do to create more just, open and welcoming communities for all people.

We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us. Rotary’s strength has long been our ability and commitment to bringing people together. We will tap into that strength now as we stand with those who are working for peace and justice. 

Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change.

I’m sure that not only can we relate to these words, but that D9810 Rotarians work hard to make them true in their Rotary clubs and in their lives.

Your Rotary Dues

At a recent meeting I was asked to explain how your Rotary annual dues are calculated.  Here’s my best effort!

Rotary dues are made up of 5 parts.  They are

  • Rotary International dues
  • District dues
  • Conference contribution
  • Insurance
  • Magazine subscription

Of those, three are fixed by entities outside the District and D9810 has little or no influence over them.  Those three are the RI dues set by the RI Board, the insurance premium set by our insurers and the magazine subscription set by Rotary Down Under.  Rotarians may now save a small amount by opting to have the RDU magazine delivered on line rather than in hard copy.

The conference contribution is levied for two reasons.  The first is that conducting a District Conference is mandated by Rotary International – D9810 must have a conference.  For that reason the Board of D9810 has decided that all Rotarians in the District will make a small contribution to the conference and this year the amount was set at $19 being unchanged from the previous year.  The second reason for having a conference levy is that all conference activities require some funds to start the process.  Deposits for items such as venue, catering, entertainment, equipment hire and so on must all be paid well before registration fees start to flow.

The final item is the District levy.  For the 2020/21 year the District has budgeted significant savings as many activities have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  There was also savings realised by not printing a District Directory.  The District dues for 2020/21 were set at $45.00 per person which is $28.00 lower than the $73.00 set for 2019/20 and a 38% saving.

Detailed budget papers were distributed to all Presidents Elect in May and the PEs were then free to share the information with their clubs for discussion and ask questions of the DGE and District Treasurer before they voted to approve the budget in early June.

Centenary of Rotary Australia Launch - Save the Date
On Friday 10 July 2020, the Governor-General His Excellency David Hurley and Mrs Linda Hurley will officially launch Rotary’s centenary year in Australia at Government House, Canberra.
Rotary’s Centenary is a time of celebration. It is a time to reflect on the past, and take pride in all that has been achieved.
Register your attendance via the below link and once registered you will receive a link to Zoom prior to the event.
Please pass this registration link on to as many Rotary clubs as possible so that they too can join this event.
Rotaract District 9810 Changeover - Save the Date
Join Rotaract District 9810 on the 25th July for the Rotaract District 9810 Changeover virtually as they celebrate the past year and welcome the incoming District 9810 Leadership!
The Changeover will be via Zoom call, at 7pm for a 7:15pm start and will finish at 10pm.
The evening will also include Rotaract District Awards as well as the opportunity to acknowledge the recent charter of the Rotaract Club of Knox.
D9810 Responds to COVID19
As the 2019-20 Rotary year was coming to an end, the District Rotary Foundation Committee had never been busier!  With a global pandemic underway, Rotarians globally swung into action, initiating projects to support their local and global communities.  Our District received a number of requests to contribute to or partner in COVID19-related projects.  One of these was a request for D9810 to act as the international partner for a global grant in North Texas, providing critical equipment to frontline caregivers and to stock food banks in affected communities. 
Our District also supported COVID19 related projects in Brazil and Sri Lanka.  Our global Rotary friends pass on their thanks to our District’s members during this difficult time.
District 9810 - Free professional development webinar
District 9810 is running a free professional development webinar, please invite any interested young professionals to register click here
Probably the single most important decision a company can make is the selection and hiring of the right staff for the organisation and equally the decision by an individual about which company to work for can have a profound impact on his or her job satisfaction and personal self-fulfilment. 
Building upon decades of experience in this sector, this brief (1 hour) Interview Skills training presentation enables attendees to identify the right job and maximise their chances of getting it.  From guidance on how to create a great resume and cover letter through to hints and tips on holding a successful job interview, attendees will improve their chances of securing the job of their dreams.
Whitehorse Rotaract Polio Challenge
In order to help support the continual efforts of Rotary in our fight against Polio, Whitehorse Rotaract will be conducting a fundraising event with a difference. A virtual marathon conducted completely online. 
Rotary has been working since 1979 to combat Polio, Since then 123 countries have been freed from Polio. 
Our virtual marathon is 123km and follows the route of an amazing Rotaractor as she travels with a polio vaccination team to a remote village in Uganda.  If you want to read more of her story click  here.
The virtual marathon can take however long you want at your own pace but remember there is a leaderboard so everyone can see who is working hardest. By adding your distance-based activity you will progress along the trail. You can use any distance-based activity to contribute your distance such as Running, Walking, Hiking, Cycling, Swimming, Rowing, Elliptical and skiing.
Their is registration cost of $18 and all profits will be going to EndPolio to help eradicate polio.
Click below to join the virtual marathon
Knox Rotaract -Free Online Group Tutoring
The Knox Rotaract club is made up of 11 passionate young people, who are involved in volunteering and fundraising efforts in the Knox area. Our club is based in the Knox district which includes: Bayswater, Boronia, Ferntree Gully, Knoxfield, Rowville, Scoresby, Wantirna, and other surrounding suburbs.
Knox Rotaract are here with a volunteering initiative to help students who feel that they need additional support with their coursework through providing free, online small group tutoring classes on Zoom. Whether it be proofreading essays or helping students apply mathematical formulas, we would like to offer our skills and experience to help students achieve better outcomes.
‘Zoom Meeting with a Difference!’
Article by ARC PDG Karen Purdue
The Invercargill Sunrise club in D9980, decided they wanted Zoom meetings to have a “different” flavour to meeting in person. Different it was!
Instead of the “normal” Rotary duties, new Zoom duties were introduced:
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.
Welcome to the launch of the fortnightly newsletter for 2020/21 under the new name of "Open Doors".
As with "Staying Connected" last 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 "Staying Connected" click here.
So please send me your photos and articles to highlights9810@gmail.com prior to the next edition which will sent out on the 20th July.
All the best
Michael Ellinger 
Rotary Club of Oakleigh Clayton Huntingdale
Highlights Editor