District  Governor's eNews

January 7, 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.
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Hello My Rotary Friends.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all and I hope you had a wondrous Christmas with family and friends.
I am pleased to announce that we have decided to not charge anything for the District Conference so it will now be free for everyone in the District. As a sign of good faith, seeing the District expenses have not been as big as was originally budgeted, COTA decided that it will pay the extra money that was entailed in putting on the virtual (Rock the Boat) Conference on the 13th-14th March.
A few days ago, as I was culling ‘junk’ out of my office, and I discovered an item in a very old edition of the Rotarian magazine, dated February 1980: “Television History was made today on the evening of the 8th of December 1939, when the Rotary Clubs of Albany, Troy and Schenectady in New York City (USA) held a joint meeting by means of TV screens and cameras in each location. Founder Paul Harris and the then RI President Walter D. Head were there, and Walter said: ‘let us hope that, together Rotary and Radio and Television will help develop this world neighbourhood into a world brother/sisterhood.’ "  This sounds to me that it was the very first zoom meeting in Rotary’s history taking place 81 years ago, except there was no internet and no personal computers. It does underscore that innovation has always been a part of how Rotarians do business and the desire to build “this world neighbourhood into a world brother/sisterhood” is still a working belief, even and especially, in these trying times, and this year's theme (Rotary Opens Opportunities) is as relevant today as it would have been back in 1939.
Everyone who knows me knows that my passion for Rotary is boundless. They also know that I do not expect them to get involved in Rotary the way I have.  But I must admit, I have a little smile when I see them, or my family members, making what I think is the right choice, like when my daughter at 15 asked me if it was possible for her to attend a RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) camp which by the end of her weekend there, changed her life, and gave her so much more confidence to tackle her troubled teenage years, and my son at 24 asking to going to the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) seminar, and how that experience changed his life. He then went on to continue his Rotary journey by becoming a Winter RYPEN Mentor for a few years, until he moved overseas.
Some say that these programs are not for the children of Rotarians, and should only be offered to Non-Rotarian children or youth, but I say if you cannot offer these, and all of our Youth programs to our Rotary family to help them improve and grow in their own lives, then who are they for? Let us not be frightened to use our own Rotary Programs for our Rotary Family, and off course as well as for other youth in our community. Rotary’s programs for young leaders extends our ideas of service, friendship, and leadership development beyond the doors of our clubs to hundreds of thousands of young people each year. And when we serve with those young people, as sponsors, project partners and mentors – it brings out the best in us and brings out the best in Rotary. Even in this challenging time do not forget about all the YOUTH Programs that are available to every club. Look into starting an Interact or Rotaract Club, and congratulations to our newest Rotaract Club of Pennant Hills-Cherrybrook. The summer RYPEN camp is holding their Camp in February Virtually (Stay tuned I am sure we will hear all about this in the future). Rotary Youth Exchange is not happening for 2021 but we all hope it will be up and running for 2022.  RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), Winter RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) and MUNA (Model United Nations Assembly) will hopefully happen again in 2021 but always keep your eye out for candidates for all youth programs for the future.
Rotary Opens Opportunities which is this year’s theme, and no one knows what opportunities are out there until we open the doors, particularly to all the Youth in our area. For example, why not look at starting a new youth program in your immediate area.  Two programs running already in our District are:
  • My own Club holds a Primary School Excellence awards night where the teachers and the student peers, select someone in year 6 who goes beyond the normal, to help not only the teachers, but students in their school. It is quite amazing to listen to the stories the teachers tell when they are introducing that child to the Club to receive their award.
  • And a club in the Penrith area, brings down year 10 students from an outback West Wyalong school for a week of work experience in local businesses. They stay at Rotarian’s homes and are treated to a weekend of sight-seeing before they go home with a greater understanding of which career, they might like to pursue in the future.
These are just two examples of Rotary Opening Opportunities. What can you think of that you can do for our youth during these changed times? So, let us get out there and try to find new ways to open opportunities for all our Rotary programs and we will see Rotary survive and grow in District 9685. But we must open those doors of Opportunities.
In the words of our RI President Holga:
“Rotary is not a club that you join; it is an invitation to endless opportunities for others and for ourselves. We believe that our acts of service, large and small, generate opportunities for people who need our help, and that Rotary opens opportunities for us to live richer, more meaningful life, with friends around the world based on our core values.” Service above Self.
And Remember: If it stops being fun stop doing it.
David Clark
District Governor 2020-2021
Rotary District 9685
Hello Rotarians of D9685,
Lets hope we see the end of COVID, as we know it, this year!
In these COVID times, Club fundraising and personal giving are more challenging than in times past. However the USD: AUD exchange rates are now working in our favour. This has not happened for quite some time.
If you or your Club are in a position to make your TRF donation early in 2021 you will find that you will get more USD for your AUD giving than you did last year.
It is worth thinking about.
D9685 District Assembly will be held, virtually, on 18 & 24 April.
During the program a TRF Breakout will be held.
The attendance at this breakout by a Club representative is essential to gain accreditation for TRF grants in 2021/22.
Please make sure someone from your Club registers and attends.
It will be informative and not too onerous.
District Grant projects are being completed, Global Grant projects are progressing and new Global Grant applications are being submitted.
However, please remember that all grants must be closed by the submission of a final report. It is great if you can also supply some photos of your good work.
There are a number of final reports that are overdue.
A callout to those Clubs……please submit them ASAP.
After 9 January, hopefully life can return to normal – COVID adjusted.
My fingers are crossed…….
Thank you for reading. 
Stay safe.
PDG Bruce Lakin
District Rotary Foundation Chair 
Just a reminder that we are asking every Club to prepare a 3 to 5 minute video about what you have been achieving during 2020. The videos are due to the Communications Director by the end of January. The finalists will be featured at the District Virtual Conference in March 2021 and the winners will be awarded a PHF to give to someone of their choice. This is a bit of fun, a bit of a promotional opportunity for your Club and should be an enjoyable challenge for all.
Very recently, one of the Clubs in District 9685 was sent an email with the message that their club domain name was due for renewal. Of interest this notification is close to their renewal date. The Club's website manager suspected this might not be legit and referred it to the Treasurer who contacted ClubRunner. See the prompt response from the ClubRunner team below.  
Please note that since your club website's domain is managed by ClubRunner, the only valid email correspondence from us will come from, as in or  If the email you received from an external provider does not come from an  email address like this, it is very likely a spammer.
If you ever have any email where you are unsure of its origins, whether a domain email or any club-related email at all, please contact our CR support team, we'd be happy to verify the email for you.
District 9685 recently received a donation from the Club for $2500.00 for the 2020 Bushfire Recovery Program. Gratefully received with many thanks.
Police Office of the Year 2020 was a NON EVENT BECAUSE OF COVID-19 But we are hoping that we can start it up again in 2021.   This of course will depend on two major considerations, the local area Police Commander gives permission and the local Rotary Club wishes to take part in this programme.   Could those Rotary Clubs who are considering reviving the programme please get in touch with me, PDG John Wakefield OAM, either on email at or by phone on 0418411449 so that I can get in touch with those persons within the NSW Police to seek out further information on the continuation of the programme.
John Wakefield OAM
PDG 2002-3 D9690
D9685 Police Officer of the Year Awards
D9685 Youth Protection Officer
After my last newsletter editorial on being the Bank of Rotary, I have received numerous comments for and against the argument.
One particularly was extraordinarily strong on Clubs and members still donating to the Rotary Foundation, and I agree that this is one Rotary area for which we must keep up our contributions. But only when we can afford to do so.
Take me for instance I get $20 taken out of my bank account every month that is $240 each year and for some that might seem not enough, but with my other donations I give to other Rotary charities, that is a comfortable amount, and when I can, I increase it and I always buy Foundation raffle tickets in support of the program.
  • “The Trustees of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International recognize that the funds received from Rotarians around the world are voluntary contributions reflecting their hard work and dedicated support.  (TRF COP 34.010).  I’ve highlighted the word voluntary.  I never take it for granted when a Rotarian voluntarily contributes to The Rotary Foundation because donors have so many options for deciding how and where to direct their charitable contributions.
  • According to TRF COP, 50.020, “Clubs and districts are encouraged to develop initiatives or adopt programs to promote continuing annual contributions to The Rotary Foundation.
  • I haven’t found any indication in the COP that The Rotary Foundation tries to stipulate members or clubs have to give to TRF.
Most members of my club take great pride and satisfaction in contributing generously to local projects via our club foundation and contributing at a similar level to TRF’s programs.  Some members give more to one organization than another based on their own priorities and preferences.  I’m convinced that creating a culture of giving within the club results in more contributions across the board but let’s not criticize members who don’t give as much as you.
David Clark
District Governor 2020-2021
RI District 9685
6. THE 5 MOST-READ POSTS FROM 2020 (Source "Rotary Service and Engagement" Newsletter, December, 2020)
As we approach the end of 2020, let’s revisit the Rotary Service in Action posts that were read the most this year:
  1. Supporting frontline workers in the Philippines
  2. The important role of water in the fight against COVID-19
  3. Why join a Rotary Fellowship?
  4. Grant options to respond to COVID-1
  5. Virtually connecting young leaders through RYLA
Tell us how serving through Rotary has affected your life. Your story can help others plan effective and worthwhile projects. Find out how to contribute.
All Learning and Development materials have now been placed on a separate website linked to the District 9685 website. If you need any materials for learning and development programs within you Club, view the materials from the President Elect Training (now PELD) and District Assemblies over a number of years. Click here to reach the website . You need to set up an account for which you will receive an email confirming the set-up and also confirming your login and password. This is a totally confidential email automatically generated by the program, and as such has, and will, only be seen by you, the person setting up the account. For instruction on how to set up the account, click HERE
Registering for the District Conference can be done here:
Finding out more information about the Conference can be found at the District Website HERE
and the District Conference Website HERE
December 2020
PROJECT NO 33/2014-15
Wow what a year we have all had. We have survived 2020 and still have many challenges ahead. Timor -Leste has done very well protecting its people from Covid 19. There were only a few cases detected, borders closed and systems were quickly put in place. Our Centre was closed for a period of 3 months and since the centre re-opened our staff have taken every precaution to keep our members safe.
To see the most recent report from Libby Bleakley about the work being done in 2020 in Timor Leste, please click HERE.
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"

  • Preparing For The World Of Work….thanks to Belrose Rotary
Over the next few weeks Ian will be replaying some past episodes so there will no new ones until he resumes with new programs late Jan/early Feb. Keep on enjoying these broadcasts.
    For a slightly larger version, click read more.
    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
    The 2021 Rotary International Convention will be here soon — and it’s going to be an unforgettable experience. Taking place 12-16 June in Taipei, Taiwan, the convention will offer fantastic entertainment, motivational speakers, inspirational sessions, and uplifting energy. Enjoy all of it with old friends and new ones.

    We hope you’ll join us in Taipei to Feel the Energy. Don’t forget to invite your friends — download the promotional kit and share our official video about Taipei on your social networks.
    Opportunities for Peace
    Registration is now open. Learn more and invite
    a friend to join you.

    Monthly Theme for the Month of January

    26th to 28th February, 2021
    There is still time to register
    for this Virtual Learning Opportunity.  RLI60 has just recently concluded with great success. Don't miss out on this great opportunity .
    Register Here Icon Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey

    Great articles, eg.

    • Why I finally joined Rotary   

    • World Polio Day event focuses on achievements

    To read, click HERE

    December, 2020
    Great articles such as:
    • Vocational Service in Action
    • Connect Virtually with our Service and Project Partners
    Click HERE

    The articles are excellent. eg.

    • Rotary Fellowships, why not join one or two?

    • Regional membership update

    • Katey Halliday appointed to new taskforce on diversity, equity and inclusion

    To view, click HERE


    The Membership Resource Guide has been updated. The hyperlinked resources below (underlined) can be downloaded on by clicking on the hyperlink.  If you experience any trouble when downloading resources, please email

    Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 61
    Feb 26, 2021 5:00 PM –
    Feb 28, 2021 4:00 PM
    COTA Meeting
    To be advised by District Governor
    Mar 06, 2021
    9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
    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
    Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 62
    May 14, 2021 5:00 PM –
    May 16, 2021 4:00 PM
    Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course 63
    Jun 18, 2021 5:00 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
    View entire list
    Contact Details
    6-8 Phyllis Avenue
    Thornleigh NSW 2120
    Phone    +61 2 9481 9400
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