March 19 2020

Hi Everyone
Our daily lives as we know them have been thrown into upheaval in the last week as the growing advance of COVID-19 impacts so much of our lives. It is not just the overwhelming, almost comical, shortage of toilet paper, but also the rush on hand sanitiser which can actually have a positive impact on containing the spread of the disease.
This time last week, our plans for coming weeks were filled with events, celebrations, get togethers and life not so very far from normal. But now that has al changed!!
COVID-19 (Corona Virus) IMPACT
There is no doubt that we are and will be feeling the impact of the COVID-19 virus for many months to come. The authorities are now focussed on a process of ‘social distancing’ in an effort to reduce the speed of spread of the virus. The effect of this process is to ensure our health services are not overwhelmed. It will mean that the virus is around longer but we will be able to manage it better.
A message was sent from RI President Mark Maloney recently which in part stated:
We have proven abilities to reach out and collaborate to offer immediate help to people in need at a rapid pace. These are precisely the skills needed all over the world today.
This is good advice and needs to be applied depending on the circumstances of your own self and your own club. I know that many traditional events right around the District are being cancelled or postponed, and this is hard to take on board. Some clubs are choosing to suspend meetings for a short time until the peak of the infection passes. This is an individual club decision depending on your demographic and situation.
Combined District Conference cancelled
As many of you would now be aware, and in light of advice from Prime Minister Scott Morrison last Friday D9675, DG Dianne North and I took the decision to cancel our joint Reasons Conference in Wollongong this coming weekend. Welfare of all attendees had to be our priority, and the guidelines left us with no choice at all to ensure the ongoing health and welfare of our attendees.
Together with the entire Conference Committee, we had been looking forward to providing attendees with an amazing event, fabulous speakers and the chance to connect with Rotarians from across the Greater Sydney basin.
After two years of dedicated hard work in preparing for the event, this is a very disappointing outcome. The committee is now working to wind back all arrangements, with full refunds provided to registrants. However, the disappointment is ongoing, and there will also be other financial implications to be resolved in the near future.
Thanks to so many of you for the words of support to me and to the Committee in the wake of this decision. It remains hard to accept that the pinnacle event of our year will not occur, and that this also applies to so many other Districts around the country, as well as other larger gatherings planned for coming weeks; events such as PETS, Assemblies, national and international gatherings.
At time of writing the International Convention in Hawaii is progressing, and those of us registered to attend will need to monitor advice over coming weeks as COVID-19 develops and progresses.
Remote Meeting Options
For those clubs who choose to suspend meetings for a time, there are some other alternates that may assist with ongoing communications and collaboration, and to overcome any sense of isolation. I include below some options courtesy of one of my national classmates south of the border:
Seize the opportunity to innovate and improve in other areas.
  1. Now is a great time to enhance your electronic communications such as club bulletins, websites and social media such as Facebook.
  2. Connect into the social media pages other community groups and organisations in your community. This is a great way to stay connected and even broaden your reach.
  3. Connect with your communities by helping our less fortunate neighbours cope with the effects of isolation and fear, or by supporting our health authorities to address this situation.
  4. Assist health authorities communicate best practices or provide needed equipment or support into your communities.
  5. Many people are familiar with Video Conferencing programs with the District and e-Club using Zoom program successfully on a regular basis for many years. It is not as difficult as many may think, and works with both phones and with PCs of any sort.
The Rotary e-Club of Greater Sydney would like to offer any assistance it can to help Rotary clubs and committees to continue to meet as per normal - but online rather than physically.
Zoom Video Conferencing - account sign-up
I am urging clubs to consider implementing use of video conferencing programs. There is an opportunity for cluster clubs to collaborate on a subscription to reduce the cost and share the access. Scheduling of meetings can then be managed to ensure there are no clashes.
The E-Cub would be happy to help Clubs and/or Clusters use Zoom as a meeting platform. The E-Club has a subscription, as does District 9685, or you can sign-up for a Zoom account; plans and pricing can be found here -
  • There is a free account option with restricted function, ie only 40min duration.
  • There is also a Pro Account ($20.99/month), as used by the District Team.
Zoom Video Conferencing – training on how to use it
Zoom has on its website lots of guides and videos on how to use Zoom -  
The E-Club would also be happy to host one or more training sessions to demonstrate how to use Zoom for your meetings and best practice tips specifically for Rotary club meetings.
If you are interested, contact President Kian Safaei
They can also provide "helpdesk support" to assist Rotarians who are trying to set up and use Zoom for the first time, including acting as meeting host (subject to member availability).
Stay Safe
Whatever methodology you and your club adopt over coming weeks, please take care of you! These challenges are as unknown as those we faced during the bushfire crisis. Each one of you is needed to ensure we are all able to continue our support for that crisis, as many victims are still very much in need of our help to get their lives on track.
Yours in Rotary
Australian Rotary Health 2020 Autumn Update
The Australian Rotary Health (ARH) 2020 Autumn Update is available to read online now at this link:
The publication acknowledges ARH supporters, contains new research findings, as well as upcoming events.

Hard copies will be available soon. Request them by emailing: or calling (02) 8837 1900.
Lift the Lid in Schools
Dr. Seuss knew it then, and Australian Rotary Health knows it now — reading matters in the development of children’s mental health. This is why we are thrilled to announce a new partnership we’ve formed with QBD books, one of the largest bookstore chains in Australia, to create a special new Schools Program.
Lift the Lid in Schools aims to encourage children to participate in raising much needed funds and to start the conversation about finding better ways to help all Australian kids improve their mental health, through much needed research, with the added bonus of encouraging them to take time out and read along the way.
One the biggest challenges facing schools and parents today is the mental wellbeing of our children.
Each year 1 in 5 people experience a mental illness and one-third of young people have had an episode of mental illness by the time they are 25 years old. Because of these startling statistics Australian Rotary Health has committed to allocate its funding to mental health prevention research in young people. 100% of all donated funds go to research.
Without research we are unable to find possible cures for mental illness or develop mental health interventions that are accessible, low-cost, and effective for the kids out there needing support. Research has found cures for other illnesses, your school’s involvement could help mental illness join that list.
It’s fun and rewarding!
Throughout the year we will keep you up to date with new information and incentives, plus great prizes including book packs for your library and the chance to have some of Australia’s best children’s authors visit your school.
The school’s program is simple – we are asking that each school participate by registering here, where you will be provided the fun Lift The Lid on Mental Illness kit to display in the office or general assembly hall. You have until the end of Mental Health Awareness Month in October to participate and the aim is to raise up to $1000 per school.
Simple steps to get your school involved:
  1. Click here to register your school
  2. We’ll send you out the campaign kit including posters and vouchers
  3. Hold your fundraising day anytime between now and October 31st, 2020
  4. For every $2 coin collected each student will receive a $2 voucher redeemable from QBD Books to get them reading
  5. Tally your collections and make the deposit
A big congratulations and thank you to those schools who have already registered to join the Lift the Lid in Schools campaign.

The first three schools to sign up and lucky winners of a $500 QBD voucher each for their school are:
  1. Aspley State School
  2. Bagdad Primary School
  3. East Preston Islamic College

To find out more, click here.

To get your school involved, visit the Hat Day website.
Our Australian Rotary District Governors have agreed to establish a central fund into which all Australians can donate to support the victims of the devastating bushfires ravaging our country.
A link to the fund can be found on the main page of the RAWCS (Rotary Australia World Community Service) website:

Hills Rotaract President, Karenza De Leon is shaving her hair to raise $10,000 for the Cancer Council Australia at the Hills Relay for Life on the 16th of May.

You can show your support by sharing this lovely video about her experience.

Alternatively, you can help by donating to her campaign using the link below!…/indiv…/EI00151177/donate…

$26 can help transport cancer patients to and from treatment

$55 can help fund 10 information and support packs for people with a new cancer diagnosis

$100 can help fund one telephone support group session

Your small donation can go such a long way and we would love your support! Whether its $10 or $1,000, every little bit counts!



In Memoriam
* John Shanahan - Balgowlah
Please email to let us know of any bereavements you would like published.  
You may also inform your Assistant Governor, the District Secretary, or the Governor.  Remember to also update your club's member database on the District website.
DG 2022/23 Interviews
District Office
Mar 29, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2020/21 AG & District Team Training
District Office
Apr 04, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Zone Presidents Meetings
Various Locations
Apr 17, 2020
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
2019/20 District Team Meeting
District Office
Apr 18, 2020
8:00 AM – 11:00 AM
District Assembly
UWS Nirimba
Apr 19, 2020
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
RLI 57.1
District Office
May 02, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RLI 57.2
District Office
May 03, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Rotary Foundation Committee Meeting
District Office
May 07, 2020
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
GTrain Meeting
District Office
May 09, 2020
9:00 AM – 11:00 AM
COTA Meeting
District Office
May 15, 2020
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
PDGs Meeting
District Office
May 16, 2020
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presidents Meeting
Hornsby RSL
May 23, 2020
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
RLI 58.1
District Office
May 30, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
RLI 58.2
District Office
May 31, 2020
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
2019/20 District Team Meeting
District Office
Jun 20, 2020
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
District Changeover
Jul 04, 2020
View entire list
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