District  Governor's eNews

October 1, 2020

Before we begin the newsletter, we would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the traditional owners of this land – the Aboriginal people past and present.
It is upon their ancestral lands where we are today.
As we share our knowledge, Rotary practices and ideas, through this newsletter and all of our activities, may we also pay respect to the knowledge embedded forever within the Aboriginal Custodianship of Country.
My dear fellow Rotarians, Friends, and all in our Rotary Family,
In a previous newsletter I talked about MEMBERSHIP, so I thought I would continue the same vein but talk more about what you are asking people to join when inviting them into your Rotary Club. I know that after reading this article there will be many members who will say ‘how dare he say these things to us, we love our club just the way it is’ … but that is just the point. Do others, share your passion for your club???
Why am I writing this article you might ask? At the end of June 2019 we had 1,326 Rotary clubs in zone 8 (Australia & New Zealand/Pacific) and 34,359 club members now, as of the end of August 2020 that number has dropped to 1,309 clubs, so 17 clubs have handed in their charter and 32,878 club members, which is 1,481 less members. Since the 30th June 2020, the zone has only inducted 33 new members and lost 136. Do you see a trend????
We all think OUR club is the best club in the District, but I am asking you to look at it through the eyes of someone who has just been asked to join, knows nothing about Rotary, is time poor but wants to do something to help the community - whether local or further afield? Are you confident of impressing them when you invite them to come to one of your meetings?
We all agree that we need to grow Rotary, but sometimes we get caught up in the numbers game and lose sight of the bigger picture. After all, an increase in membership is meaningless if next year, those new members or other members in your club leave and never return. This article is to get you thinking about growing Rotary sustainably. Rotary’s flexible options for participation will engage members and show the community how we are different from other clubs. Let us celebrate that we (Rotary) is now less about rules and more about joining together in a variety of ways besides traditional meetings.
It really does not matter if the person is male or female, old or young - the following article still applies as most people today do not want to waste their time with commitments that doesn’t interest them! The big market area that successful, growing clubs tap into is women, young businesspeople and millennials.
To attract them, clubs need to get rid of their twentieth century baggage of the seven deadly sins:
1. Too much bling
If your President wears his/her collar at meetings, if your club has a dated picture of HM the Queen and displays the Australian flag; these are all signs your club is still living in the 20th century and will not appeal to most people under 60 - especially millennials - as potential members. Your club will die with your current members. One concession is to bring out the collar out for the changeovers and I am glad to see that this tradition is less prevalent than it used to be.
2. The National Anthem
While your members may be loyal citizens and feel such observances are a measure of respect. You may have noticed that not all people now stand for the national anthem at some public functions and sporting events. Again, millennials see such practice as a tradition that should be assigned to the past. Australia as a culture, thinks Australia Day should be celebrated with family and friends at the beach, on the river or by the lake or a pool. Today’s Australians are not into salutes and military parades but enjoy citizenship ceremonies reinforcing our multiculturalism around the barbie.
3. The invocation/Grace or whatever you want to call it.
Rotary International states it is not a religious organisation and across the world it has hundreds of different religions and sects amongst its membership. Inserting a Christian grace into a meeting no longer reflects the views of many Australians and forms an immediate barrier to non-Christian potential members. And I ask you how many of you say grace before you eat a meal at home these days?
4. The Toast
While many clubs have modified the toast to the Queen and Australia or just Australia, most people and especially Millennials still find this a quaint custom. If you are of aboriginal decent you might find this practice disrespectful. One concession is to have a toast to Rotary International or to a sister club in another country where you could promote information on the work of Rotary at the same time.
5. The top table
Again, if your club maintains a top table you are showing deference to your leadership that is no longer necessary in today’s Australian egalitarian society. Effective Rotary leaders demonstrate they are part of the club by sitting with the members and then getting up to speak on the stage or the front of the gathering as required
6. The Sergeant
This is probably the most controversial sin, but it is a real turn-off to most women and Millennials. The number of women who have told me that they find the Sergeant humiliating and a complete waste of time, is countless. Some clubs may have good Sergeants who bring a sense of fun to the club but most, unfortunately do not, and the inside jokes on members (even if it is funny) is missed on most visitors. It can be easily replaced by Happy Dollars when individual Rotarians stand up and announce why they are happy this week to donate a dollar to the Foundation or whatever you decide. Only an exceedingly small number of clubs do the Sergeants session well.
7. Meetings, bloody meetings
If you are still meeting weekly, you are likely to be meeting too often. Most people and especially Millennials who join Rotary don’t want to attend meetings just for fellowship and networking, They don’t want to waste 2 to 3 hours a week having a (not always) good meal, and listening to a (not always) good guest speaker. They want to do good in the world and only want to meet as necessary to assist them implement their projects. You don’t have to attend meetings to be a Rotarian – you are only required to work 12 hours in every six months on projects. Meetings are expensive – four times the cost of District and RI Fees, (if clubs meet every week).
Young people struggling to gain full-time work find Rotary awfully expensive. It is not just District and RI dues, it is meal costs, raffle tickets, fines and other associated hidden costs. If you can eliminate cost from meetings you can be a Rotarian for $20 a month. This is the way Rotary membership should be sold. In this time of COVID-19 and zoom meetings many have told me that they enjoy the mix of zoom and in-person meeting more now than ever before.
When these young people were asked (despite their enthusiasm for Rotary), why they don’t join a Rotary club. It was a familiar litany: high costs, inconvenient meeting times, unreasonable demands, and expectations on young professionals with new careers and young families, so this clearly shows there are issues that have to be addressed.
So, I know there are many of you out there who will say but I like all the Bling, toasts, singing grace, the National Anthem and so on. If that is the case, good for you. But I am asking you to look and see just how many members you have brought into your club and retained over the last five years. If you have not increased your membership by 10 to 20%, you are probably not going to be around in the next five to ten years. Most of our members in our District are over 65 years of age and many clubs continue to lose more members than they bring in each year.
Please know that I am not saying you have to do anything, but if you don’t want to change your club, start thinking about creating a new (satellite or standard) club, made up of members (younger, female, or just different demographic) who are different and can’t, or don’t want to, join your Club! Standard rules and by- laws have changed in recent years and members can build the club that suits them.
At no time in our Rotary existence is it more important to accept the opportunities that are opening up for us in this COVID-19 times. Let us build on this new momentum and seize the opportunity to embrace change so that rotary keeps thriving.
Why growing membership is so important
PLEASE watch this video about the importance of providing a variety of formats for potential members.
And Remember, If it stops being fun stop doing it.
David Clark JP
Rotary 9685 District Governor 2020/21
Hello Rotarians of D9685,
You may remember that D9685 successfully applied for a Foundation Disaster Response Grant to assist international students affected by COVID-19. These folks do not qualify for any government assistance and you may have read recent press reports about how they are struggling.
The Rotary Clubs of E-Club of Greater Sydney, Macquarie Park and Wahroonga saw this need some months ago and wanted to help. Th Rotary Club of Macquarie Park and E-Club of greater Sydney, partnering with Macquarie University Student Wellbeing Committee, have distributed $25,000 of food vouchers to help the students get through. The Rotary Club of  Wahroonga are continuing to distribute similar support partnering with Ku-ring-gai Connect in the Hornsby district.Well Done to these Rotarians
Here is a picture of DG David Clark and Rotarians meeting with University staff and students to recognize the project.
The week commencing 9th November will be Centurion Week. All Rotarians are encouraged to become a Centurion, or to renew, by donating $100 during this week. Your commitment will support END POLIO and recognize 100 years of service in Australia and New Zealand.
         Be a Centurion, End Polio and Celebrate R100 
         3 Good DEEDS done with one simple donation of $100. 
         Please sign up with your Foundation Chair at your next meeting
For COVID-19 reasons the annual Rotary Foundation dinner will not be held in 2020. If conditions allow a celebration event may be held in 2021.
D9685 Grants Chair, Haran Ramachandran, has produced a video to record a Global Grant that RC Hills-Kellyville received to provide eye-imaging equipment for children at Westmead Hospital. The international partner in this grant was Rotary Club of  Madras-Coromandel.
Here is the link, take a look. Click on the picture below.
The power of Rotary at work!
Thank you for reading. Stay safe.
PDG Bruce Lakin
District Rotary Foundation Chair 
This October let’s get together and paint it End Polio Red!
Walk with Us is an End Polio Now event to be held across Australia and New Zealand throughout October to raise funds to eradicate the scourge of polio.
Corporate sponsorship will cover administration costs so 100% of funds raised by walkers will go to Rotary’s End Polio Now program. Register now and donate at  
Dear Rotarians/ International PolioPlus Committee members/ Directors and Trustees,

It is with great pride that we inform you that one of our own has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Just a few moments ago, Dr. Tunji Funsho, Rotary’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Chair was named to the TIME 100 list for his critical leadership in working with Rotary members and our partners to achieve a wild polio-free Nigeria and eradicate the wild poliovirus in the African region. He is the first Rotary member to receive this honor for our work to eradicate polio.

You can view Dr. Funsho’s profile on the TIME website HERE.
There have been reports of periodic issues when logging into My Rotary or the Learning Centre that have been fixed. If you continue having trouble accessing the Learning Centre, please clear cookies and cached images in your internet browser settings, close, and reopen your browser and try again.
D9685 R100 UPDATE
Your R100 committee have been meeting fortnightly to gather details to assist in the celebrations next year. Despite the lockdown we have all been experiencing, there are many options available to increase public awareness of our achievements, to have some fun, and to affect the lives of those in need.
Some of the projects available for your involvement include:
  • R100 baton relay or walk-a-thon
  • Peace poles – planting in schools
  • GECAF – Give Every Child a Future – the delivery of 3 lifesaving vaccinations to 9 of our island neighbours to prevent diseases like cervical cancer, severe diarrhoea, pneumonia, blood infection and meningitis
  • 100 Plants for 100 Years – partnering with Step-by-Step to replace gardens devastated by the bushfires across 7 council areas – gift cards, growing cuttings, planting, tools etc
  • Big Red Bus – Rotary branded and touring our neighbourhood
Please discuss at your club and talk to your AG about combined club events. We want the world to know that we are in party mood!!
Rotary Matters
On air Friday 3.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Radio is a powerful way to spread your Club stories. If your Club has a project, local or overseas, which would interest the wider general public, discuss it with Rotary Matters presenter Ian Stuart who will be glad to help spread the word. 0416 138 860
For these latest podcasts, see "Read More"
  • Books in Homes / Beirut
  • Behind the Scenes at St Ives
The New Style Rotary Clubs Forum – Session 1 was held recently. It was wonderful to see such an interest in developing new club models and rethinking what it means to be a Rotarian. We heard inspirational and thought-provoking stories from our speakers District Governor Andy Rajapakse (D9640, Australia) and Assistant Rotary Coordinator Karen Purdue (D9980, NZ) about how we can grow Rotary through a strategic approach to new club development and innovative club models.
  • Watch a recording of Session 1 here 
  • Watch the video District Governor Andy played: Rotary Club of Gold Coast Passport    
  • Attached is a Frequently Asked Questions factsheet and a useful Resource Guide for a deeper dive
  • Attached are contact details of zone membership champions Rotary Coordinator Adrian Roach and the Assistant Rotary Coordinator team who can provide further advice and support
Appeals - Keynsham & District Mencap Society

Creative Virtual Fundraising Ideas from Rotary Zones 26 & 27 Website

The  purpose  of  this  list  is  to  provide  virtual  fundraising  ideas  to  Rotary  clubs,  including  fundraising projects  that can  be  safely  conducted during  COVID-19. The  list  will  be  updated  as new  ideas  emerge.  Many  of  the  ideas  are  general  and  clubs  can  learn  more  details  and  see examples of actual fundraisers by searching for the idea online. In some cases, we have included links to specific examples or provided contact information for more details. If you have an event you would like to have added to the list send it to
Archie Roach knew what he was singing about. Pam Pritchard and the Rotary Club of Turramurra have used Spring to plant a seed in Moree and although the flowering may take some little time the fruits of their labour are sure to make a great display. (Phew - here endeth the metaphor!)
The two Rotary Clubs in Moree, Moree and Moree on Gwydir have thrown their support behind the twin goals: a sun shelter near the canteen at Moree East Public School and the provision of laptops. Over 80% of the students come from Aboriginal families and most do not have laptops at home on which they can do their homework or access the Internet. Many lessons these days are provided on Google Classroom and even without remote learning, students need to be able to get onto the site for both class and home work.
District 9685 Annual (Virtual) Conference 2021
Click HERE for the Conference website.
More information will be added to the site as we approach the event, so keep checking for the latest information
District 9685 Governor
David Clark
Click on the above for more information
Opportunities for Peace
Registration is now open. Learn more and invite
a friend to join you.
For the month of October...
Past District Governor Bruce Lakin attended a meeting at  the Rotary Club of Manly on Tuesday 15th September.  It was a great pleasure for Bruce to see the Club induct 6 ( I say again) 6 new Members! This included 2 Honorary Members, Local Federal Member Zalli Steggall, and local Police Commander
Pat Starkey.
Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Manly!!
on the
District 9685 Website
Rotarian Dr. Tunji Funsho named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People in the world
(See the story in the main part of this DG's eNewsletter)
Check out this story on the District  9685 Website
The train timetables can be found on the District website
Image result for classroom update
13th to 15th November
There is still time to register
for this Virtual Learning Opportunity.  RLI59 has just recently concluded with great success and rave reviews. Don't miss out .
Register Here Icon Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey
The Zone 8 Virtual  Conference was held on The weekend of 19th to 20th September, and was an outstanding success. The first day's presentations can be viewed HERE
Great articles, like
"Saving a Struggling Club",  or "Knowing What it Takes to Conquer Polio, Survivors Refuse to Crumble
Under a New Threat".
To read, click HERE


The Membership Resource Guide has been updated. The hyperlinked resources below (underlined in a blue font) can be downloaded on by clicking on the hyperlink.  If you experience any trouble when downloading resources, please email
Join us for the first of a three-part webinar series on global grants focused on WASH in Schools (WinS).
Learn about
  • How global grants are evolving
  • What makes a great global grant program
  • Successful assessments – the why and how
  • Key tools and resources
Presenters include The Rotary Foundation’s WASH Area of Focus Manager, Erica Gwynn, TRF's Cadre Technical Coordinator Chair for WASH, Wade Nomura, and members of the WASH Rotary Action Group Professional Resources Group. 
The webinar will be offered twice:
October 22 at 6 - 8 pm CDT (11 pm - 1 am GMT), and
October 23 at 10 am - 12 noon CDT (3 -5 pm GMT)
Register now to save your spot!
Special screenings in cinemas are being offered to Rotarians and friends to
raise funds to fight Polio.
For more information about this really special event, please click HERE.
Vale Helen Reddy.
Australian Rotary Health
Only 10 days until Australian Rotary Health celebrates Hat Day on World Mental Health Day, October 10!

If you can't celebrate on that day, that's okay - we have plenty of events you can get involved in/support during Mental Health Month in October.
Of course, you can host your own as well! 

By supporting Hat Day you are helping to Lift the Lid on Mental Illness by breaking down the stigma and contributing to vital mental health research. 

We know that 1 in 5 Australians experience a mental illness every year, but with COVID-19, these figures may have increased. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we continue to fund mental health research, especially for our youth.
One more webinar on the New Style Rotary Forum (more details by clicking on the above picture)
For Session 2,
 Thursday, 8th October 6.00-7.00 pm
Register HERE
Everything (except flags) that you need for End Polio Day on  24th October. Just click on the above.
Official DG visit - Beecroft/Nth Rocks/Carlingford
North Rocks TBC
Oct 12, 2020
Past District Governors Meeting
Oct 17, 2020
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Rotary District 9685 Presidents Meeting
Oct 17, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
World Polio Day
Oct 24, 2020
Official DG visit - Balgowlah and Belrose
Balgowlah RSL & Zoom
Nov 03, 2020
6:15 PM – 8:30 PM
Assistant Governors and District Team Training
Details to be Confirmed
Nov 07, 2020
8:00 AM – 11:03 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 60
Nov 13, 2020 6:00 PM –
Nov 15, 2020 4:00 PM
Assistant Governors Presidents Meetings
Nov 20, 2020
G Train Meeting
Nov 21, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
COTA Meeting
Nov 21, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Assistant Governors Meeting
Nov 28, 2020
8:00 AM – 9:15 AM
District Team Meeting
Nov 28, 2020
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 61
Feb 26, 2021 5:00 PM –
Feb 28, 2021 4:00 PM
District 9685 Conference 2021
Zoom / On-Line
Mar 13, 2021 8:00 AM –
Mar 14, 2021 4:00 PM
District 9685 Conference 2021
Mar 13, 2021 8:00 AM –
Mar 14, 2021 4:00 PM
President Elect Learning and Development Day
Details to be confirmed
Mar 21, 2021
8:00 AM – 11:05 PM
District Assembly Part A
Apr 18, 2021
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
District Assembly Part B
Apr 24, 2021
8:00 AM – 9:35 PM
View entire list
Contact Details
6-8 Phyllis Avenue
Thornleigh NSW 2120
Phone    +61 2 9481 9400
You are receiving this email as a member or friend of one of the Rotary Clubs within Rotary International District 9685.  If, for any reason, you do not want to receive communications of this nature, please unsubscribe by un-checking the box in the 'Privacy' tab of your member profile on the District website, or by selecting the 'unsubscribe' link at the foot of this newsletter.
District eNews is reviewed weekly for publication on Thursday at least every two weeks. Content provided and all rights reserved by Rotary International District 9685 Inc