Submitted by John McLaren - Chairman, Rotary Australia World Community Service Limited
Rotary Australia World Community Service Limited (RAWCS) remains operational. However, in accordance with Government directives:
  • All interstate and overseas travel has been ceased until further notice.
  • All face-to-face meetings have been cancelled until further notice.
  • All Donations in Kind (DIK) operations are suspended and warehouses are closed from COB 28 March 2020 for all deliveries and sorting until further notice.  Where there is a request to access donated materials, (typically health and medical supplies required by government) these will be dealt with on a case by case basis with each warehouse manager.
The current environment will significantly impact RAWCS projects and the activities of Rotary Clubs for the foreseeable future.  RAWCS is reviewing its budget with a view to containing costs to essential expenditure only.
Your communities need Rotary now more than ever so please take this opportunity to consider those in need in your community.  RAWCS supports people of action.
Stay safe and do what you can for others.
Submitted by PDG Janne Speirs - Rotary Club of Traralgon
As D9820 Emergency Management Chair, I would like to make a few comments on the wonderful and practical work being done by the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid Committee on behalf of all Rotarians in the District;…. and on your behalf, we are currently working on the initial stages of a number of significant Global Grants which, if brought to fruition will be of huge future benefit in the region. Here’s hoping – first reactions have been positive.
Geographically, the recovery task is huge and of course the issues we and indeed the whole world face now with COVID-19 is intensifying the challenges being faced.
Where possible, people are continuing to receive assistance in many forms, regardless of the pandemic, and your Committee has been working tirelessly to make life easier for those who have suffered so much. We have also been able to assist some individuals through our District Trust and this has been much appreciated.
On the Labour Day weekend, DG Adrian and I spent time in Mallacoota, talking with a number of Community leaders regarding ways in which we as D9820 may be able to assist with the rebuilding of their Community. We were given a very thorough tour of the town, which was extremely sobering, but also showed how incredibly lucky the town was not to have suffered far more than it did!
One thing I became very conscious of was the fatigue being suffered by people in hospitality within the town – they went through the trauma, but then almost immediately had to cater for those who were dropped in – Emergency Services, Military etc.   Then, with those returning to rescue caravans etc and eventually new holiday makers returning to the area.
The upshot is they have had no time to actually process their own emotions and reactions and therefore some are feeling quite ‘overcome’, even those who had no physical losses.
For me though, the highlight was visiting a gentleman in Genoa, who was so grateful to receive shopping vouchers and some of the work wear. He had a typically Australian laid back approach to the whole thing, but has been impacted quite severely.  In fact to top it all off, when he took his wife up to Southern NSW to get away from it all, her car was washed away in the floods!!!!
As I conclude I would just like to thank PDG Jane Cox for donating a number of Resilience Diaries from Australian Rotary Health – they have been very well received.
Submitted by Pearl Findlay-James, EGRFC Chair and President of Bairnsdale Sunrise Rotary
As Chairperson of the East Gippsland Rotary Fire Aid Committee, I must acknowledge the work of the whole committee working as a team, each with a specific skill set, we have achieved an amazing amount of work over a very short time frame.  I am very proud to lead this team of dedicated Rotarians.
The Rotary family of District 9820, 9800, 9810 and all other districts within Victoria and beyond have also assisted, with financial donations along with ‘man/woman power’ in the form of working bees, they have certainly contributed to the recovery program.
Friday, March 13th, was an exciting day for us all. Kaelene De Laney of Sarsfield accepted delivery of the first shipping container donated by District 9800. Kaelene lost her home and all shedding on her property in Sarsfield, where Kaelene’s Mum also lived with her. Kaelene presently lives in rented accommodation several Km’s away. 
The arrival of the shipping container allows Kaelene to leave all her donated work tools and personal items in a securely locked up container ‘on-site’, while she commences her recovery journey.
Money Vouchers
The Rotary money vouchers have proved to be a great success, with over $100,000 being distributed to fire affected survivors so far. The vouchers are providing a source of income for the retailers locally during this very unstable time economically. Committee members visit the family or individual referred to us, carry along a Rotary fruit cake to share over a cuppa (so there are a couple of expanding waistlines !!). There are also follow up visits to present the vouchers, clothing or other needs, as determined during the initial visit.
Hay & Fodder Distribution
Hay & fodder distributions are continuing in preparation for the onset of winter and we are eagerly awaiting the delivery of a container load of ‘star pickets’, which will assist our hobby farmers with their challenges of fence lines being replaced.
GIVIT - An Amazing Partner Organisation
DG Adrian Froggatt, PDG Janne Speirs & I attended an information day for Registered Charities hosted by East Gippsland Shire. While attending, we were introduced to a young Lady from GIVIT. Who/what is GIVIT you ask? We asked the same question. GIVIT partner with the ACT, NSW, QLD & VIC State Governments with Disaster & Emergency Recovery Service.
Rotary International is a registered charity, which allowed me to register on their website for assistance.
I cannot sing their praises highly enough, we had a few items on a ‘wish list’. I uploaded to their website and within days our wishes were granted. A big shout out, ’Thank you Lisa & team’
Community Barbecues
Another community BBQ day was held, this time at Cann River. The weather was a little cooler, however, the Melbourne Army Band kept everyone moving and swinging their hips to a vast selection of music, in fact they did a ‘Pied Piper’, walking through the Main street of Cann River, returning with interested followers to see what was happening in town!
We met several travellers from the caravan park, who also enjoyed the activities, how can you not like free fairy floss, popcorn and a BBQ lunch expertly prepared by Orbost & Bairnsdale Rotary Club members.
This is a very brief snapshot of the activities undertaken over the past couple of months. King Gee work clothing and donated furniture continues to be distributed, as we move into uncharted waters with the current health crisis.
We will continue to assist our fire survivors, while keeping ourselves safe.
We demonstrated this by holding our first ZOOM committee meeting on Thursday 26th March & we all survived!!
We may have slipped from the headlines, however, we are still in the thoughts of many by continuing to receive donations. We expect to take delivery of a few refurbished caravans shortly. These will be new homes for those currently living in tents on their properties.
Thank you all, for assisting us to assist those in desperate need here in East Gippsland.
Please note photos were taken prior to the COVID-19 Coronavirus restrictions.
Article submitted by PDG Janne Speirs - Rotary Club of Traralgon
While we are unable to physically start looking at the role clubs can play in fire recovery over the next few months, these post cards may give us a different way of interacting with and supporting our East Gippsland Fire survivors.
These packs of postcards have been developed by a lady who lost three family members in the Latrobe Valley fires on Black Saturday. As a way of healing for herself and giving support to communities in fire recovery, she developed the idea of creating packs of 12 postcards which one per month would be sent to a family in the current fire zone.
Could you please contact me at, or on 0409 356 469, if you would like one of these packs either as a club or as an individual. I will then ask the EGRFC committee to give you the address of your personal fire impacted family and for the next twelve months you can send these cards out.  
Please consider this - it is a way of still reaching out to our fire survivors at a time when all of us need to be physically isolated, but desperately need social connection.
In consideration of the Federal Government and health professionals' recommendations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, Rotary International recommendations, and discussions with the District Governor, the MUNA committee has taken the decision to cancel MUNA 2020, which was due to be held at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort in May this year.
It is our intention that we keep monitoring the situation and, if the opportunity arises, we hope to re-schedule the event later in the year and run a modified version of MUNA.
This decision was not taken lightly but we feel that the health of all participants is important and should not be compromised.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need to discuss and we look forward to your participation in the next MUNA Assembly
Yours in Rotary,                                                                                                                     
John Caruana PP PHF+2                                  Di Harrison PP PHF
MUNA District 9820 Co-Chair                           MUNA District 9820 Co-Chair
Article submitted by Janet Pugh - Chair of Public Image Group, Rotary Club of Mount Martha
Seeking new members for the Rotary District 9820 Public Image Group.
Are you looking for a different way to contribute to Rotary? Why not join the District Public Image Group next year and help us promote the activities of the District?

We are keen to recruit new people to manage our social media (Facebook), the District newsletter and the Website. Your time commitment would be 1-2 hours week with monthly Zoom meetings with the team.
The current team will provide support and guidance, so this may be a great learning opportunity for you!
If you are interested, please contact:
Jane Moore
District Secretary 2019-2020
Rotary International District 9820
m: 0418 175 878
Rotary Rosebud Rye is supporting Health Services, in South East Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
Some months ago the Rotary Rosebud Rye Furniture Warehouse in Rosebud,  received a generous donation of many boxes of disposable gloves used for cleaning and food preparation and were donated by Mark Phelan General Manager of Bunzl Outsourcing. These gloves were stored “until needed” by the Rotary club. 
The COVID 19 Health Crisis has created significant demand for protective gowns, masks and gloves etc. Many health care professionals, and hospitals need increased supplies of these items. Rotary Rosebud Rye has just donated 20,000 disposable gloves to a network on the Mornington Peninsula . The network is sourcing these items for distribution to Health Care Services, in the 10 local government areas South East of Melbourne CBD, to Dandenong then through the Mornington Peninsula to Sorrento.  The Gloves will find their way into Medical Centres, Nursing Homes and Hospitals throughout this region.
Article submitted by Mike Whitehouse - Treasurer, Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS)
As the current shareholders and 2020/21 shareholders of RAWCS Ltd, we are seeking your help to identify within your District, a retired Rotarian to take on the voluntary role of RAWCS National Treasurer. The current National Treasurer, Mike Whitehouse, will retire from the position after the end of this financial year.
The ideal person will be a Chartered Accountant or CPA who has worked as a chief financial officer in a major corporation or business. The position role is the day to day financial management and accounting of RAWCS Ltd and its three operating funds RARF, RAOAF and RABS, as well as providing high level strategic advice to the RAWCS Board of Directors and active participation in the RAWCS Board Executive Committee.
An average of 20 hours per week is the time commitment and includes monthly visits to the RAWCS office in Parramatta. All out of pocket expenses incurred in undertaking the position are reimbursed by RAWCS Ltd.
I will provide a copy of the RAWCS National Treasurer’s position description, on request to
A robust handover and training period is envisaged so that there is a seamless continuation of this important RAWCS function.
Please encourage interested retired Rotarians to contact me on 0448 710 882 for background information, or provide me with their contact details.
Thank you for your assistance.