PDG Leslie Whitcroft AM, the man who ‘kick started’ serious fund raising for Rotary International’s PolioPlus program in 1986, passed away at his home in Turramurra, Sydney, on August 12 aged 97 years.
Les was an outstanding Rotarian, businessman and family man – and pursued a lifetime of community service.
With his friend Harry Tyrell, he founded National Can Australia in Fitzroy, Victoria in 1954. He was the driving force behind the success of the company in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Oceania over the next 60 years. He retired from the Company in 1981 to focus on Rotary and community service.
A generous and caring man, Les with his wife Shirley, established The Whitcroft Foundation to benefit many charitable organisations around Australia – including long term sponsorship of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ youth mentoring organisation in Blacktown, NSW.
Les enjoyed an amazing Rotary career and was the inspiration behind many outstanding projects –
  • Past President and member of the Rotary Club of Ryde for 43 years.
  • Past Governor of District 9685.
  • Founding Director of Australian Rotary Health.
  • Chairman of the Fund Raising Committee for the Rotary Wing at Westmead Childrens Hospital.
  • Past Chairman, long serving Director and benefactor of Rotary Down Under Incorporated. Les provided an interest free of $730k over three years to fund the purchase of the original Rotary Down Under House in Argyle Street, Parramatta, in 1985. The debt was repaid by the Rotarians and Rotary Clubs and Districts of Australia and New Zealand – and the building changed the course of Rotary in Australia by providing a solid base for administration of many programs over the next decade.
However, it was his service as National Chairman of the Australian PolioPlus Committee in the late 1980s that Les made an extraordinary contribution.  Rotary International set a fund raising goal of $125 million in 1986 and early progress was slow until Les and Shirley Whitcroft made a donation of US$250k to then RI President MAT Caparas at a Pacific Regional Conference in Adelaide. This single act provided great leadership to Rotarians and corporates around the world and donations began to flow in great numbers and amounts. Shirley Whitcroft was a key figure in the campaign – inspiring everyone by way of her own battle with polio. Shirley contracted the dreaded virus after she and Les were married and her youngest child was just 18 months old.
Les Whitcroft’s lifetime of service was suitable recognised when he was honoured with an AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in 1989.
He is survived by his daughters Prudence and Diana, son in law Michael, grandchildren Scott, Kirsty, Louise and Fiona, and great grandchildren Xavier, Joshua, Lachlan, Savannah, Eugenie and Josephine.
A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at  Christ Church St Ives, 1 Cowan Road, St Ives on Monday 21 August 2017 at 1pm.
Rotarians attending the service - parking is limited in the area, so carpooling and early arrival are advised.

Feel there are gaps in your Rotary knowledge?  Want to prepare for your Rotary Year?  Hungry for knowledge that goes beyond PETS and DA?  Want to share your experience of Rotary with others?


Then RLI is for you and there are plenty of spaces available on RLI 43;

RLI 43; Sundays; 10 September, 24 September, 8 October.

Register at rli.rotarydistrict9685.org.au

The cost for the full course is $75*.


The benefits of doing RLI are many; so boost your knowledge and skills, and share your experience by joining in.


The three part course is held  at our District Office, Thornleigh. Morning tea and lunch are provided.  Each day starts at 8:30 for 9:00am and finishes around 3:45pm.

Here is what recent graduates had to say about the Rotary Leadership Institute Course;


The course is by far the most educational, inspirational and motivational element of Rotary thus far. The people who deliver the course are not dogmatic, not zealous, but they do know their subject and can deliver it very effectively. Michael Sawczak., RC The Entrance, RLI 39


Excellent workshop, very beneficial to everybody;  Excellent! Time well spent; Eye-opening; Gives confidence in initiating a club project; The course is an essential activity for all members. Participant feedback from RLI 37.


* The fee covers direct participant costs.  Rotarians who have partially completed RLIs prior to today and wish to do individual parts should contact PDG Ian Scott for registration by response to this email; the cost for catch up sessions is $20.



Jeremy Carter, President of Norwest Sunrise Rotary Club has offered his company's training course for Board Members - for free to Rotarians and $50 for Non Rotarians.
Saturday 9 September 2017 - 8.00am-11.30am
8.00am Coffee & Registration
8.30am - 11.30am Training incl. Morning Tea
Register HERE by Tuesday 5 September 2017 for catering and room organisation purposes.
Advisory Boards – Unlocking success in your organisation
Having a great board of advisors is a powerful asset for your Rotary Club (or any organisation for that matter) to get objective advice, identify unexplored opportunities, open new doors and increase profitability and sustainability.
This workshop covers what you need to know in order to establish an effective Advisory Board from inception to succession. Unlike corporate boards, advisory boards do not have fiduciary responsibility and their advice is non-binding.
Topics include:
  • The importance of governance in organisations
  • How to setup an effective advisory board
  • Choosing the right people for the board
  • Setting objectives, expectations and compensation
  • Planning for Meetings
  • Running effective board meetings
  • Best practice communication strategies
We'd appreciate registration by Tuesday 5 September, so that necessary catering and room organisation arrangements can be made.
Castle Hill Rotary wish to announce that registrations for the “2017 Cross Country Challenge” are now open. Come along and get active for a good cause then spend the day enjoying entertainment, food stalls and much more. Register now and help us put an end to domestic violence at www.crosscountrychallenge.com.au
Top 5 Reasons to support EndTrachoma by 2020
Clubs around Australia support many worthwhile charities and projects. But EndTrachoma by 2020 is something particularly special for Rotary Australia.
Event Calendar
August 2017


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