District  Governor's eNews

April 1, 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.
Happy Easter
To my fellow Rotarians, and friends
Our Rotary Family
I was woken up at 3.00am one morning a few years back with the worst news any parent could receive.
My first wife Cathy rang, and between tears and sobs informed me, that our son Ben, who was backpacking through Asia at the time, had been involved in an incident in Laos, and was knocked to the ground hitting his head on the concrete road. Ben was in a coma with a brain haemorrhage and needed to be emergency air lifted out of Laos, to the Bangkok International Hospital for urgent surgery if he had any hope of surviving.
As you can imagine, quite a shock. It is like being hit in the stomach with a cricket bat, and the mental anguish makes you feel that you want to curl yourself up in a little ball and cry. I could not do that because for the next eight hours I was on the phone trying to organise everything for Ben.
I contacted a Rotarian friend James, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Canberra, (my old District), who worked in Foreign Affairs and was able to work with the travel insurance company to get Ben an emergency air evacuation flight out of Laos to Bangkok. James also put me onto another Rotarian in Canberra from the Woden club. Trevor worked in the Passport office, and he organised an emergency quick approval for Cathy’s passport, so she could fly over to Bangkok within a couple of days. I stayed behind, organised my business to run while I was away and flew over a few days later.
16 hours after the incident Ben landed in Bangkok and within one hour, was on the operating table in the Bangkok Hospital, and by this time his Brain haematoma was the size of a soft ball. The Doctor was so amazed at the size if the Hematoma, he stopped the operation for a minute to take a photo of the horrendous site that confronted him. He told us later that he wanted to share it later with his colleagues and medical students because he had never seen anything like it before. After he and his team had removed half Ben’s scalp, removed the Hematoma, and repaired the damage they put him in an induced coma.
Bad news travels fast, and in those first few days I was inundated by phone calls from Rotarians all over the District and beyond with offers of support and offers to help in any way they could to make my, and Cathy’s, life just a little bit easier. Our Rotary Family at work.
A member of my own Rotary Club and my good Friend and Mentor Bob Aitken, contacted me and said he had a Past District Governor and friend of his, living in Bangkok and he would get in contact with him and ask if he could help us in anyway.
When Cathy and my daughter Melinda stepped off the plane, Bob’s friend, Past RI Director Noraseth Pathmanand, was there to meet them and escort them to the hospital wait for them to be briefed by the doctors, and then took them onto their accommodation. Not only did he do that, but he had also already been to the hospital every day from the time Ben had arrived, to make sure he was getting the best of care. When I arrived four days later, there was Noraseth to meet me, take me also, to my Hotel which he organised and then onto the hospital.
Ben was in a coma for 10 days and when he finally woke, the Doctors and nurses told us this afterwards that they thought he would not survive, and if he did, he would be in a vegetative state.
He was paralysed down his left side, he could not eat by himself or speak clearly, and had months of physiotherapy ahead of him to look forward too, Ben had one Physio for his walking and paralysis, one for his speech and swallowing and one for his talking. We would see Noraseth everyday as he stopped by the hospital while Ben was in there, to look after Cathy, Ben’s, and my needs without being asked, and attended to anything we might have asked him to do.
Why, do you ask am I telling you this very personal story? And the answer is. This editorial is all about Our Family of Rotary.
I have a complicated family, and I am sure others do too, but we as Rotarians have a huge Rotary Family all over the world that we can call on in our hours of need or just to have someone to talk to or show us around if we happen to visit their town or country. 1.78 million members all with the same ideals and that philosophy of Service above Self. That is why I love, and am so passionate about, My, and Your, Rotary Family and what it can do.
I know if someone rang me and said they had a son or daughter of a friend in hospital and is there anything I could do to help; I would do everything in my power to accommodate that request. Not because of my own experience but because they are part of my Rotary family, and we do things to help our family.
The same goes when you meet someone like a traveller in your area, and after talking to them for a while you find out they are Rotarians from somewhere else. What would you do? I suggest you would maybe offer to show them some of the local sites, maybe invite them to your club meeting if they were around when it was on, and if they needed accommodation, you might offer them shelter in your house or ask your club members if someone could help. That is what we do in Rotary - look out for each other.
So, what has happened to Ben I hear you say?    
Exactly 8 weeks after the accident he walked out (after paying a bill of $83,794) of the Bangkok International Hospital (and that is another story for another day), and flew home to Sydney, where he then travelled up to the Blue Mountains to Leura where he lived with his mum, Ben continue with a further twelve months of physiotherapy before he was able to go back to work. Ben is now perfectly OK and is living in Spain with his wife Sandra and little son Max, borne on the 30th December 2019.
I feel blessed that I had my Family of Rotary both at home and overseas to call on,  because it really made the whole experience a lot easier to handle. My Rotary family at home constantly checked on my, Cathy’s, and Ben’s welfare not only physical but mental welfare, and it is so important that we continue (especially in these COVID-19 times) to respond to any welfare needs in our clubs and spread the love of the Rotary family.
Yes, Ben is tall, 6ft 7”in the old scale or 204.5 cm
District Governor
David Clark J.P.
And remember “If it stops being fun stop doing it”
Hello Rotarians of D9685,
RI President Holger and TRF Chair Ravi are asking all Rotarians to be advocates for COVID vaccination in their communities.
They are say         Vaccinations are ImPortant
Using the success of Rotary’s work to eradicate Polio, they say please encourage your fellow citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Only by supporting this program can COVID be defeated around the world.
This is now reporting season for 2020/21 District Grants. As your Club projects are completed (Well Done!), please promptly submit the final report. In particular, the COVID delayed projects from 2019/20 must be finalized.
D9685 cannot apply for 2021/22 funding until all projects and reports are finalized.
Thank you for your help, in anticipation.
Incoming Foundation Chair David Dean and Grants Chair Haran Ramachandran spoke with the incoming Club Presidents at PELD recently. During his presentation David compared planting seeds and then, in 3 years, harvesting the fruit to Giving to Our Foundation.
He is exactly right. Giving today provides funding in 3 years to help drive our projects. Please continue to generously support Our Foundation.
Thank you for reading. 
Stay safe.
PDG Bruce Lakin
District Rotary Foundation Chair 
1. President Elect Learning and Development (PELD) 2021
This course was held on the recent torrential rain weekend. It was well attended, although a number of Presidents Elect were unable to attend due to the severe weather conditions. For this reason, the sessions were all recorded. The PowerPoints used throughout the day, have been temporarily uploaded to the District website, and will soon be moved to the Learning and Development site. The videos are still being edited and will soon be uploaded as well. To access the PowerPoints from PELD, click HERE.
2. District Assembly for 2021-2022 Boards
The District Assembly this year will be held over 4 Sundays in April and May. It is the responsibility of each of the Club Chairs to attend the appropriate sessions of the Assembly. Registrations will open very soon. Each session will have a separate registration so that you can register for each event in which you wish to participate. The Zoom / YouTube link will be sent to those registered for a session two days before the session. The program is as follows:
Sunday, 18th April            8.30 am to 10.15 am            General Session (all Board Members)
Sunday, 18th April           10.45 am to 1.00 pm             Session for Presidents/Secretaries/
Sunday, 16th May            8.45 am to 10.15 am             Session for Foundation Chairs
Sunday, 16th May           10.45 am to 12.20 pm            Session for International Service Chairs
Sunday, 23rd May            8.45 am to 10.00 am             Session for Community Chairs
Sunday, 23rd May           10.30 am to            Session for Vocational Service Chairs
Sunday, 23rd May           12.15 pm to              Session for Youth Service Chairs
Sunday, 30th May            8.45 am to 10.00 am             Session for Membership Chairs
Sunday, 30th May           10.30 am to 12.00 pm            Session for Public Image Chairs
3. International Convention 2021
The Rotary International Convention, scheduled for 12-16 June 2021, in Taipei, Taiwan, will now be a virtual event in response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
We are sorry that we will not see you in Taipei this year, but this decision, made by the Rotary Board of Directors, is necessary to protect the health of everyone involved. We will share more details about the 2021 Rotary International Virtual Convention soon. Here’s what you need to know now:
The Virtual Convention will be open to all Rotary members and participants. Event registration will open in mid-April and will include a promotional fee of $49 for 21 days, with an increase afterward to $65. The cost of each preconvention event is $20. Both the convention and preconvention events include access to the House of Friendship. Please continue to check back for more details and updates.
4.  Renaming Our District
You will be aware that Zone 8 is working towards regionalisation and autonomy within Rotary International. As part of this process, the renaming of Districts is being considered. It has been suggested that we name Districts after the District Governor. For example, this year the District would be called District Clark, and next year, it would be called District May. We are seeking your responses about this suggestion. It will be important to apply today's date to your responses to clarify to which survey you are responding. You can send your responses to either DG David Clark, or DGE Lindsay May by clicking HERE
5. District Conference 2021
If you  missed this virtual Conference, there are still ways to see the Conference and House of Friendship videos. Go to:
  • Rotary District 9685 website (
  • District
  • District Conference
  • Prior Conferences
  • Scroll down below the Conference logo to find the Conference and House of Friendship videos
6. Conference 2021 Review
It is important in preparing for future events within Rotary, that we all contribute information and ideas to inform improvements in the events taking place, particularly virtual events such as the recent District Conference 2021. A survey was recently sent to you for completion. If you have not yet done so, the link is here for you to undertake the review.
7. District Changeover 2021 - Save the Date
Recently, an email was sent to all Rotarians informing everyone that the date for the District Changeover this year will be Sunday, 4th July at Castle Hill RSL. This is a lunch gathering and we are meeting from 12.00 pm for a 12.30pm start. As costings have still not been finalised, registration for this event have not yet opened. Keep the date free in your diaries and more information will follow.
8. District Directory 2021-2022
This book is being currently prepared. This is a call for everyone to check their details on ClubRunner through either your Club's website, or the District website. Go to Member detail and check your address, email and phone number(s). The Boards for next year have been mostly entered, but some Clubs still have to complete this task. Your urgent attention to these tasks will make the book as accurate as we can possibly make it, barring unexpected changes to data in June when the book has gone to the printers.
9. Rotaract Club Charter Function
(From Spokes 31.3.21 Rotary Club of Pennant Hills)
About 30 Rotarians and Rotaractors assembled on Saturday at the Glenhaven Community Centre for this official recognition of the chartering of the new Rotaract Club of Pennant Hills- Cherrybrook. The Rotary District was represented by District Governor David Clark, District Governor Elect Lindsay May and his wife Tania, and Assistant Governor Robert Erskine. There were about 5 from sponsoring club West Pennant Hills/ Cherrybrook including President Rosemary Clark and Youth Director Janelle Craig, and a similar number from our club – John Ellis, Theo Glockemann, Kaye Carter, Jim Fraser and myself.
There were also a number of representatives from the Hills Rotaract Club.
President Jason Terry and his members had done an excellent job with the organizing of the venue and the catering so that we were invited to enjoy some food to begin and then the formalities followed. DG David made the formal presentation of the charter certificate, supported by AG Robert, and then the members of the club who were present were with their members pins and certificates. The formalities concluded with the cutting of the cake! All in all, an encouraging result to have a Rotaract Club operating locally again. We have invested in setting up the club jointly with West Pennant Hills/Cherrybrook Rotary so that they can have a good foundation from the beginning. We wish them well.     
Pres.David Firth
DISTRICT 9685 R100 UPDATE, April 2021 
D9685 R100 UPDATE- April
Bushfire Garden Rejuvenation
Distribution of RAWCS Gift Vouchers has begun with the first and very successful event at The Bay Tree Nursery in Clarence last weekend.
Many thanks to RC Mosman for overseeing the RAWCS account, enabling 20 vouchers to be distributed at this event. Thanks to the Upper Mountains clubs for their support on the day, including morning tea and the ride on the Red Bus.
The Café van was kept very busy, including visits from the local RFS, also affected by the fires.
Photo Supplied
Red Centenary Bus
The bus is ready to go for all the events in the Sydney basin over Apr-May!
It makes a big statement for your event so contact us if you have an event to check availability on 
Baton Walks
The batons are, ready as are communities throughout the Blue Mountains and Central Coast and The Hills. Join the fun in these locations and celebrate the trek of these centenary batons through our local suburbs! From Blackheath to Glenbrook; through all clubs in the Hills Shire, and along the Shipbuilders Heritage Walk at Kincumber. Below - handing over the R100 Baton at Blackheath Rotary Club meeting Thursday, March 25.  Left to right: Peter Agar, Lower Blue Mountains; Christina Jackson, Blackheath Rotary; Michele Ellery, Lower Blue Mountains; Margaret Bell - Assistant Governor 9685; Lucian Keegel, Greater Sydney e-club; David Clark District Governor 9685.
Photographs courtesy of Michael Small -
Peace Poles
These are going in at schools and parks across the District, celebrating the push for peace across all nations and peoples under the Rotary banner.
Stamps and Coins
April sees the launch of Rotary Centenary stamps through Australia Post, as well as centenary coins - $5 for collectors and $1 for all Australians. The coins are for collectors rather than general circulation, and available soon in collector’s kits from $15 for the $1 coin. Keep your eyes out for them!!
PDG Kalma McLellan
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
  • Motoring Matters With Mikki
  • On Yer E-bike! Jake Southall
For this latest podcast, see "Read More"
1.  Books Available from the Rotary Club of Erina
The Rotary Club of Erina has collected school books from the libraries of two local Catholic school libraries. The books are readers for age K-6 and are in excellent condition. In the past the club has been able to work with Books 4 Outback who then distribute them to schools in western NSW. They have enough books at the moment, so Erina Rotarians are looking for help from clubs in our District who might have connections with other Rotary clubs in NSW, to use the network to find schools in need.
If you club has a relationship with a rural or remote region of NSW that might be able to use the books, please let us know and we can follow-up. Please contact PP Monica Hart or PP Annona Pearse
2. RAWCS  Flood Appeal
Assistance to those impacted will get them back into accommodation and some normality of life quickly. Click the image below to donate.
3. Larapinta Trek for ShelterBox
District Governor 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

4.  Rotary Centenary Peace Symposium
You are invited to register for the Rotary Centenary Peace Symposium. Presenters will include Nobel Laureates and expert leaders in Peace initiatives around the world. Note the details of the various Workshops for your registration. Dates:21 April commencing  2.30 pm and 22 April, commencing 9.00 am - 1.00 pm. The Peace Symposium has been organised by the Rotary Club of Melbourne. Click on the image to the left to find out more information.
5.  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.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on this great night.
A Souvenir Program will be available on every table
To our Rotary Family,
We are delighted to welcome all past and present members and partners of the Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches (including past members from the founding Rotary Clubs of Terrey Hills, Narrabeen Lakes and Pittwater), to help us celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Club’s Charter (actually on the date of 61st after a year’s delay owing to Covid).  This date coincides with the actual date of the 100th Anniversary of the chartering of the first Club in Australia – Melbourne.
Please bring your partners & make this a most memorable night.  Meet up with old friends and remember the great fun and work we have achieved in the community.
We have tried to contact all past members but know that we have missed some, so please pass the word onto them.
Please make Payment to the Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches Inc., Commonwealth Bank, BSB: 062 205, Account: 0080 0190, stating your name in the Reference Section. 
Please confirm to Noela your attendance and any special dietary requirements
by ‘phone or email  (0419 414 065  or

HIP  and RAP – ever heard of them?

Canada’s “Honouring Indigenous People” (HIP)    is an organisation, now linked  with Rotary, that aims to “bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together for community well-being and advancing the next generation of leaders.”
Rotary in Australia convened a meeting last year which produced some guidelines to further these aims.
Check out these sites:
The meeting suggested four areas:
1.  The development of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAP) – District and Clubs 
2.  The building of relationships with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
3.  Collaborating on initiatives to Close the Gap through projects, grants and scholarships
4.  Developing awareness of Australia’s past but also focusing on present-day achievements. Developing awareness of the Uluru Statement     
     from the Heart, constitutional recognition and the Voice to parliament.
The question is: what are we doing? It’s a cliché but so true: the longest journey does start with one step. Has your Club had a discussion about Acknowledgement of Country? Several Clubs have let me know that they have had this and some are now starting their meetings with the Acknowledgement, including the name of the local Aboriginal people.
Rotary is often ahead of the game. We fight polio, we deliver Shelter Boxes, we change lives in far-flung places. It seems to me that now is the time to focus on ourselves.
Bob Selinger
Aboriginal Support Programs Coordinator
RI President-elect Shekhar Mehta encourages members to be changemakers and announces his theme for the 2021-2022 Rotary year, Serve to Change Lives. Shekhar Mehta also urged members to become more involved in service projects, saying that caring for and serving others is the best way to live because it changes not only other people’s lives, but also our own.
Happy Easter
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
The articles are excellent. eg.
  • Polio infrastructure supports contact tracing to control disease
  • Rotary remains committed to fighting polio and responding
    to COVID-19
To read, click HERE
The articles are excellent. eg.
  • How Africa achieved wild polio-free certification
  • Peacebuilding crosses divides
To read, click HERE
February, 2021
Great articles such as:
  • You can be an everyday peace builder
  • Resources and Reference
Click HERE
April 2021

The articles are excellent. eg.

  • Great information in the Membership Update from Barbara Mifsud
  • 3 Ingredients to Keep Members Happy

To read, click HERE

DG 2023-2024 Selections
Rotary Down Under, Parramatta
Apr 11, 2021
Assistant Governors / Presidents Meetings
TBA by AG's
Apr 16, 2021
District Assembly Part A and Part B
On-Line Event
Apr 18, 2021
8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Assistant Governors Meeting
Zoom On-Line
May 08, 2021
8:00 AM – 9:25 AM
District 9685 Team Meeting
Zoom On-Line
May 08, 2021
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Past District Governors Lunch Meeting
May 08, 2021
12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
RLI Course 62
May 14, 2021 5:00 PM –
May 16, 2021 4:00 PM
District Assembly Part C and Part D
On-Line Event
May 16, 2021
8:45 AM – 12:20 PM
Presidents Meeting/Present District Awards
Pennant Hills Golf Club
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 9685 Changeover 2021
To be advised by District Governor
Jul 04, 2021
12:00 PM – 3:00 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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