District 9865 eNews

May 6, 2021

We wish 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.
To my dear Rotarians, family and friends,
It is time for a diversity, equity and inclusion health check?
How well does each one of us, our clubs and club leadership encourage and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion in practise?
Equity and diversity are recognised in our legislation and RI has approved a diversity, equity and inclusion policy (see RDU article December – 2020). The importance of how we respond to this is entirely up to us. We share our concerns that we have been making slow if any progress on ensuring our clubs are embracing the diversity, equity and inclusivity challenge before us.
In many instances we seem to behave as though we are an exclusive club within our community - not reflective of the demographic changes occurring in our communities. We are also inconsistent in our welcoming and support of those from different backgrounds who wish to join us in doing good in the world, particularly if they have a different perspective on what is needed and how to achieve it.
How many of our clubs have Gay, Lesbian, Transgender people or a large number of members who are not Anglo Saxons??  These people still want to do good in the word so why aren’t they members of our Rotary Clubs??
RI President Holger Knaack said recently “every country has its history. I do not believe in deleting history, but instead learning from it. I believe in that totally. Everything has to be put on the table so we can learn for our future.” and “For me, diversity is not a wish list for a Rotary club, this is part of our core values.”
Australia and Australians like to think of ourselves as being truly multicultural. In Rotary we also consider ourselves to be open to all. That may be so in terms of the range of ethnicities in our communities, but have we truly integrated all ethnicities from our communities into our Rotary clubs?  Do we understand the various backgrounds and experiences that others bring to our shores?    Do our Rotary clubs appropriately reflect our wider demographic?  Over the last 10 years in Rotary we have not had a problem with attracting new members; but we have had a problem retaining them, and a significant proportion leave within 2 years of joining. Part of that is due to not meeting their expectations – did we over promise and not deliver or was it something more worrying? New members have identified Rotary as something they want to be a part of to truly make a difference in our world. Importantly they bring new skills, new views and potentially they have already identified new opportunities (and ways) for Rotary to engage in and supporting the needs of the community (both here and internationally). 
And so here is the challenge we must all consider:
Are we truly open to other cultures beliefs, values and ways of doing things in our clubs? While the foundations of Rotary are largely unchanged over the past 116 years, what we do and how we have delivered Rotary has changed significantly and must continue to do so.
At the start of his Year RI President Holger asked all club leaders to hold at least 1 strategic planning meeting. Looking to the future of our clubs is an important first step in ensuring each remains relevant and well positioned to be effective. Just as in business keeping an eye to the future and adapting is essential. Club leaders need the support of members to openly and honestly discuss the issues and identify strategies to keep clubs vibrant and attract and retain new members. It may take several years to identify and implement the changes needed but the development of a plan is a critical first step.
With the new President having just gone to PELD and the new board attending the Assembly perhaps this is a great time for them and your clubs to do a Strategic planning meeting, and  please support your club leaders as they strive to address these challenges. On the diversity, equity and inclusion front, it is timely for the current and incoming club leaders to do a simple club health check with all members:
Ask yourselves; do you apply the 4-way test to how you engage in all of our Rotary activities?
“Diversity, equity and inclusion should begin at the top, and for us to welcome new leaders into our organisation and expand our ability to make an impact, we need to build stronger bridges that help everyone see themselves reflected, celebrated and valued here in Rotary” quote from RI President nominee Jennifer Jones (Dec- Jan RDU)
Many of you may question why I am asking questions of diversity and gender equality, given that the District still has 5 clubs that are all male clubs. We really need to look at this problem, not only gender, but GLTG people as well. Needless to say, when, and if, they do have female members, and other clubs welcome other minority groups and different ethnic groups, and I’m sure they will eventually, or (they and we will die a slow death), we must make sure we welcome everyone openly and make their experience of Rotary one as enjoyable as each of us have found it.
Disappointingly of recent times that has not been the case for several relatively new women members in some of our clubs. In at least one instance I know of personally, the member had a very poor experience – so much so she felt the only option was to leave said club. The members concerned should have a good look in the mirror at the behaviours they displayed.
It is incumbent on us all to support all members and to especially make all new members feel welcome, support them all by sharing our professional, experiential and rotary knowledge, and to demystify the morass of Rotary acronyms. And we have to listen to what they have to say not just dismiss their ideas as "no that won’t work" / "we did that years ago and it didn’t work then". What we say, what we do, how we do it, and how we hold ourselves individually and collectively to account in our interactions with fellow Rotarians is important. Be respectful in asking new members about and learning more of their background - but do not judge them, their life story may have many challenges that may be difficult for them to discuss with others until they are comfortable to do so. Encourage, but do not force, them to participate in all that is good in our Rotary world.
A simple act such as ensuring new members are asked to join different groups at your club meetings can make a world of difference to how quickly the feel truly welcome.
“Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance”. (Verna Myers)
Find out more about responding to the diversity, equity and inclusion challenge in the RDU article on the topic of diversity in Rotary. As we continue to make the Rotary experience inclusive for members and participants of all backgrounds, it’s important to embrace our differences and understand where we have privilege in comparison to others. For example, have you ever felt scared to hold hands with your romantic partner? Or, has someone automatically assumed that you are not from the country you live in? Our colleagues in RI’s Europe/Africa Office created a video to help us realise and understand these differences so they don’t become potential barriers for prospective members. Share this video
It is no good just getting women, Gay/ Lesbians or other minority ethnic groups into Rotary, we have to change our behaviour and keep them in and involved. In 2019 Rotary International did a survey of one hundred thousand current and former members of Rotary and Rotaract Clubs around the world. As well as a lack of program participation being the biggest reason, here are some key reasons why members left their clubs:
22%:  Said they were made to feel uncomfortable at their club and other activities they participated in.
33%: Said they left because of the club culture and environment.
35%: Said they were not made to feel, or did not feel, welcome and included.
30%: Said they felt it was still an old men’s club and women were just tolerated and not listened too.
If you can’t or won’t genuinely welcome and include women and other gender and nationalities into your club, start another club just for them. Satellite clubs are the way to go. Think about it!
There is lots of RI help in starting new clubs. Give it a try???
And Remember: (If it stops being Fun, Stop doing it). Stay safe.
District Governor Dave Clark JP
Hello Rotarians of D9685,
To qualify for grants in 2020/21, Clubs must be accredited.
An important element of the process is to have a nominated Club representative (ideally the Club TRF Chair!) attend the TRF training at District Assembly.
This is being conducted on Sunday 16 May at 0845.
If you want some TRF support for your Club’s good works, please get registered and enjoy the fun. Remember to bring your own coffee.
Congratulations to RC Castle Hill who have received a Global Grant to help with their project in Lebanon.
Considering the destruction caused by the massive explosion, RC Castle Hill has mobilized assistance for the St George Hospital University Medical Centre by supplying nursery equipment. The Grant is in the amount of USD87, 000.
Babies are getting a better start to life, THANK YOU, Rotary Club of Castle Hill.
D9685 is offering Club Giving Awards to Clubs that donate AUD5000 or more to the Annual Fund and AUD2200 or more to End Polio.
Year’s end is looming and Clubs are balancing the books.
Calling all Club Presidents and Club RF Chairs!
It has been a tough year but please give whatever you can to the AF or EPN.
I would love to present your Club with a recognition award.
Thank you for reading. 
Stay safe.
PDG Bruce Lakin
District Rotary Foundation Chair 
1. District Assembly 2021
The second two parts of the District Assembly, Part C and Part D, are being held on Sunday, 16th May
Part C is for the Foundation Directors on Clubs' Incoming Boards, 8.45 for 9.00 am to 10.15 am. It is a prerequisite for Clubs to have a representative at this session to be able to submit a grant application.
Part B is for International Service Directors on Clubs' Incoming Boards, 10.45 for 11.00 am to 12.20 pm.
The link for these Seminars is being sent out  to all concerned on Friday 14th May.
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program in our district has an exciting opportunity: with the hiatus from the day to day care of students and their families due to COVID-19, the District Committee is taking the program apart and reviewing every part to ensure that when exchanges can recommence, we are providing the best possible program for all participants including inbound and outbound students, clubs and host families. To do this, we need YOUR feedback and perspective on the program! What experiences have been good, and where can things be improved? Do you have ideas for updates to the program and the way things are done? Whether or not you’ve been involved with youth exchange before, we would love to hear from you - email
3. Aboriginal Scholarships
A number of Clubs have asked Aboriginal Support Programs Coordinator, Bob Selinger, about sponsoring the education of an Aboriginal student. The sponsorship is paid to the school to cover parent contribution fees, subject fees, excursions and the like. In the first instance Clubs should contact their local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group and discuss with the members how schools might be approached. This link will provide the contact details:
Working with Aboriginal communities to assist young people to stay on in education is an important part of the “Closing the Gap” initiative. 
4.  Rotary Club of Terrigal  Invites us to Hear PRIP Ravi Ravindran
President Mary Crammond (the Rotary Club of Terrigal) is exceedingly thrilled to announce that she has arranged for Ravi Ravindran (her hero from his articles in a Rotary Down Under) to speak on Zoom during Terrigal’s meeting on the 20th May. "We believe that we are really privileged to have Ravi talking to us.  It would be sensational to have members from each club in our district to attend" Mary said.
The meeting is on Thursday, 20th May 2021.  The Club meets at 6 for 6.30 dinner and Mary will be asking local Clubs Erina and Kincumber to join the meeting in person. The Zoom meeting will start at 7.00 when Ravi will join us and Mary has invited every Rotarian in our district to attend. More details will follow with information about the link, and any other final details about this evening.
Please RSVP to President Mary ASAP at ASAP so that broadcasting or Zoom Meeting details can be prepared.
The second wave of COVID-19 is striking India extremely hard. The country is not being able to cope with the number of cases is increasing day by day, especially in the northern states including Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
A conversation between a Rotarian from our district with a Past District Governor from Rotary International District 3120.
PDG Dr. Pramod Kumar, Medical Director at an approved COVID-19 Specialty Hospital in Uttar Pradesh: “Haran: need is for equipment. Money is unable to buy anything! 
Today we had 7 deaths since morning.  I feel like Arjun standing in Kurukshetra.
Watching people dying all around.  No one is even crying: it’s like a relief.
The number of COVID-19 infections is increasing every day.  The 7-day official average is 301,833 and the death rate is at 2,559 as at 29th of April 2021.  This may not be the accurate and true numbers.
Inadequate beds in hospitals, oxygen shortages and medical professionals testing positive to COVID-19 increasingly rendering beleaguering healthcare workers into helpless bystanders. Rotarians are working with other like-minded organizations to open opportunities to response to this dire need.
One such example is from Dr Anirudh Gangola, a Senior Medical officer and Nodal Officer for handling COVID - 19 Public Grievances) at B D Pande Hospital Nainital-263001. Uttrakhand India has requested urgent assistance for 15 to 20 oxygen concentrators as big need in small villages and Nainital Hospitals plus any quality of pulseoxymeters, N 95 masks, Surgical Gloves, PPE kits, Sanitizing machines and Nebulizers.
We have been partnering with AARIO (Association of Australian Radiologists of Indian Origin) and have to-date send 112 Oxygen Concentrators to New Delhi and which has been delivered on the ground to various NGOs to save lives.
We have secured numerous essential items in partnership with Rotary Club of Strathfield (9675) and are preparing the air lift to help the medical professionals in various locations. To carry out this logistics we are seeking financial support from Clubs and fellow Rotarians.
RAWCS Project 33/2020-21 - Supporting Communities in India impacted by COVID19 (RAOAF)
Donations can be made online here -
For more information:
PP Haran Ramachandran M: 0419 980 529 E:
PP Thaya Ponniah (RC Strathfield) M: 0409 909 095 E:
DISTRICT 9685 R100 REPORT, May 2021 
D9685 R100 REPORT - MAY, 2021
Celebrations took place across the District. Here are some photos, more next eNews.
A photo from the Rotary Club Blackheath first planting Native Flower Meadow in the Rhododendron Gardens. A combined project with  Rhododendron  Gardens  staff.  1/3  of the gardens were destroyed  during the fires.
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
  • Giving The Girls Their Dignity. Allan Waldon 
  • Ship Ahoy!
For this latest podcast, see "Read More"


In some of the world’s most vulnerable places, coronavirus is still a deadly threat. Devastated by disasters or forced to flee their homes, families urgently need shelter aid to help protect themselves from the virus. To find out more, click HERE.

Larapinta Trek for ShelterBox
District Governor Nominee Mina Howard is undertaking the Larapinta Trek in July this year.
On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, she will trek through the Australian outback on one of the most spectacular walking tracks in the world—the Larapinta Trail. 
From the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder, the trail stretches 223 kilometres.The track will follow Aboriginal Dreaming tracks and explore the beautiful mountains, valleys, rivers and the dramatic desert landscapes of the Red Centre. By day, the group will trek through the ochre-landscapes of the outback, witnessing the sacred sites of the Arrernte people and by night the group will camp under the stars, falling asleep to the sounds of native wildlife.
If you would like to Support Mina in her fund raising efforts for ShelterBox, please go to
The Rotary Club of West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook

Registration is open for the 2021 Virtual Convention.

Registration is open! Don’t miss your chance to connect with Rotary members at the 2021 Virtual Convention: Rotary Opens Opportunities which will take place from 12 through 16 June 2021.
Enjoy a special rate of $49 through 7 May 2021. After that, the registration fee is $65.
You can also join us early at a preconvention, 10-11 June, for Intercountry Committees, Rotaract, and Rotary Youth Exchange officers. Each preconvention will cost an additional $20.
The 2021 Virtual Rotary Convention and preconventions are open to all Rotary members and participants and include access to the virtual House of Friendship.
Don’t forget to visit the convention event page on Facebook to connect with others and stay up-to-date on event news and program highlights!
LEARN how your club can help to address the urgent need for improved WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene, cleaning and waste management) at Healthcare facilities.
Register today for the WASH Rotary Action Group Virtual Summit!
For more information visit
Register for Thurs. June 3                                               Register for Friday June 4
District 9685 Governor
David Clark

Monthly theme for April

14th to 16th May, 2021
Face to Face
There is still time to register
for this Learning Opportunity.  RLI60
recently concluded with great success and rave reviews. Don't miss out .
Register Here Icon Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey
Australian Rotary Health
Latest News April 2021
To view, click HERE
Really great articles in this
newsletter. Well worth a read.
To view, click HERE.
ROMAC Newsletter
April 2021
To view, click HERE
APRIL, 2021
Articles such as :
  • Make friends around the world
  • Accountability and inclusion webinar: Building Strong Intergenerational Relationships 
          To read, click HERE
 Articles such as :
  • Paving the way for women in the fight to end polio
  • Polio survivor advocates for vaccination
          To read, click HERE 
APRIL 21 , 2021
The articles are excellent. eg.
  • Explore Rotary’s role in the 2,000-year history of vaccination
  • Rotary International president discusses global polio situation
To read, click HERE
MAY, 2021
The articles are excellent. eg.
  • What is a vaccine cold chain? 
  • What every club should know about virtual, in-person meetings
To read, click HERE
April, 2021
Great articles such as:
  • You can support mothers and children
  • Supporting high-Impact service Through Programs of Scale
To read, click HERE
May 2021

The articles are excellent. eg.

  • More on Membership and Club Models
  • Rotary On the Move is On the Move.

To read, click HERE

Past District Governors Lunch Meeting
May 08, 2021
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
District Assembly Part C and Part D
On-Line Event
May 16, 2021
8:45 AM – 12:20 PM
District 9685 Presidents Meeting and Presentation of District Awards 22.5.21 at 1.00 pm
May 22, 2021
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
District Assembly Parts E, F and Part G
On-Line Event
May 23, 2021
8:45 AM – 1:25 PM
G Train Meeting
Zoom On-Line
May 29, 2021
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
COTA Meeting
Zoom On-Line
May 29, 2021
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
District Assembly Part H and Part I
On-Line Event
May 30, 2021
8:45 AM – 12:00 PM
AG's and District Team Meeting
Jun 12, 2021
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
RLI Course 63
Jun 18, 2021 5:00 PM –
Jun 20, 2021 4:00 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 63
Jun 18, 2021 6:00 PM –
Jun 20, 2021 4:00 PM
District Changeover 2021
Jul 04, 2021
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 65
Oct 08, 2021 6:00 PM –
Oct 10, 2021 4:00 PM
View entire list
Contact Details
6-8 Phyllis Avenue
Thornleigh NSW 2120
Phone    +61 2 9481 9400
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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