Rotary Round Up
May 4th 2023
No photo description available.
Greeting Fellow Rotarians.
This is my penultimate message to you as District Governor for 2022 -23. I can’t believe that the year is drawing to a close. I completed my final official visit last Tuesday at St Ives and was honoured to induct a new member as well. You would think that things are winding down but no, it is always a mad rush to complete all of those tasks that get put off because you think that there’s still plenty of time. However, I am looking forward to attending the many events that are coming up such as RYPEN, MUNA, The Science and Engineering Challenge, Pride of Workmanship and other events. May is indeed a busy month for most clubs.
On Sunday I attended the inspiring Beecroft Rotary Youth Awards. Beecroft Rotary have a team of young leaders who are doing Rotary proud. Madeleine Sherwood, the President and Daniel Dummer the Youth Director and his team of young leaders organised a community event recognising nine, mainly Year 12 students for a variety of achievements including young entrepreneur, textile design,  performing arts, environment, journalism, volunteering and more. The best part was that these students weren’t just recognised, they were awarded prizes that would allow them to advance their talents and continue to excel. When we see a club, where older Rotarians step back and take a chance on their young members leading, we see a club that projects an image of Rotary being a relevant, vibrant and active organisation within their community.
I also recently attended the Peace Pole Dedication Ceremony a Blackheath Public School. There are quite a few Peace Pole installations now in schools. This is a relatively inexpensive project of Canberra Burley Griffin Rotary that you might consider for your local school. I can provide you with the information if you are interested. Installing a Peace Pole provides a constant reminder in the playground that peace starts with every student. It also provides an opportunity for Rotarians to carry out a small ceremony each year on World Peace Day to remind the students of this.
The recent District Assembly plenary session was another great opportunity for us to be inspired, meet up with friends, make new connections and launch DGE Christine’s year. It was well attended and 2023-24 looks to be a year of action with a focus on “Say (ing) No to Domestic and Family Violence’. I see this as an opportunity for Rotary Clubs to be project leaders rather than funders of other organisation’s projects.
Our clubs need to work with partners but we need to be seen as the lead organisation. There are many environmental projects that you could do that have the potential to attract the younger generation and our Environment Chair Melanie Lewis will assist you in this focus area. If you are looking to support an Indigenous project Bob Selinger will advise you and Bob Kaye-Smith can let you know about Australian Rotary Health’s Indigenous Health Scholarships. These team members can be found in the district directory along with a wide range of other projects that your club could get involved in.
I’ve asked Community Service Directors to do a stocktake on current club projects. Are your projects still relevant, are they making a significant impact and are they sustainable? The answers to these questions will help you to decide what’s worth keeping on doing and what might need revamped or wound up.
Thank you to those who have already registered for the District Changeover. Christine, Niranjan and I are looking forward to a celebration of this Rotary year and what possibilities Regionalisation might hold for our zone. We also have the PDGs, Presidents and District Team lunch on the 10th of June so please make sure you come along to that if you can.
Enjoy your club celebrations this month and make sure every member has a role to play as we get ready for the changing of the guard.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. |  Einstein, Einstein quotes, Imagine
Mina Howard
District Governor 2022-2023
Thanks to Adrienne Isbister (RC of Blackheath), we have some great photos of the Cowra Conference. Scroll through all of the photos ove a fe pages. Click on the link to view and download.
Rotary International District 9685 Changeover
DG Mina Howard and DGE Christine Owen invite you to join friends and leaders from across the District as we celebrate the service and accomplishments of Rotarians over the past year, and begin to grow Rotary together in 2023-2024. 
Thank You for Supporting The Rotary Foundation!
Each year, your Club President and Foundation Director are asked to set a club goal for support of The Rotary Foundation’s Annual Fund and Polio Fund.  I’m delighted to advise that your total donations as of April 2023 have ALREADY reached the goals you set!  Donations to the Annual Fund have passed $US 150,000, and donations to the Polio Fund have passed $US 41,000.
That’s the Good News! 
However, the Bad News is that there’s more work to be done.  Last year, our members and clubs donated almost twice these amounts by the end of June. 
My guess is that we set our goals low to make sure we can exceed them! 
Our support of The Rotary Foundation is essential to enable clubs to carry out District Grant and Global Grant projects, which help us continue to “do good in the world!”
District 9685 is Amazing!
The 1600+ Rotarians in our District account for only about 5% of all the Rotarians across Australia and New Zealand.  However, we make up more than 10% of all Centurions, Paul Harris Society members, Bequest Society members, and Major Donors, and donate over 10% of the funds each year.
Your generosity has been crucial in the fight to end polio, support a huge variety of District Grant projects, and enable our District to carry out the highest number of Global Grant projects amongst the 21 Districts in our Zone. This year we were allocated $US 163,000 to support District and Global Grants.  This was approximately 50% of the total donations we made to the Annual Fund three years ago.  The other 50% has been used by the Foundation Trustees to support our projects as well as to fund other major projects and cover the Foundation’s operating expenses. Navigating the complexities of the Foundation’s rules and regulations is not easy. Our Foundation Committee Grants Chair, Haran Ramachandran, has done an outstanding job in developing relationships with many districts around the world, and in advising our clubs on how to prepare their applications for Global Grants. 
We have now committed our full allocation for this financial year and are now encouraging clubs to apply for District and Global Grants for the upcoming Rotary year starting in July.
Please let me or Haran know if you have any questions about The Rotary Foundation.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
David Dean
PP David Dean
District 9685 Rotary Foundation Chair
0412 798 526 
PP Haran Ramachandran 
Grants Subcommittee Chair
0419 980 529
Jennifer Jones
President 2022-23

May 2023

I believe it is a time in our world for brave, courageous, intentional leadership.

Last month, in this column, you heard from my dear friend Anniela Carracedo. She is an amazing member of our Rotary family, and as a past Interactor and now Rotarian, she is this kind of leader.

Anni shared a very personal story about coping with a panic attack, something that I have also experienced. The outpouring and response to this story have been tremendous and punctuate how critical it is that we acknowledge not only our strengths but our vulnerabilities too.

When we talk about finding space for one another — creating comfort and care within Rotary — we're describing a club experience where we can all feel comfortable sharing like Anni did, and we can all empathize with and support one another. Whatever we are facing in life, Rotary is a place where we know we're not alone.

We spend so much time helping our world, whether it's working to end polio, cleaning up the environment, or bringing hope to communities that need it most. Sometimes we can lose track of the need to apply some of our energy and care to our fellow members and partners in service.

The comfort and care of our members is the single greatest driver of member satisfaction and retention. We need to ensure that it remains a priority — and that we further strengthen these bonds by performing service that helps reduce the stigma of seeking out mental health treatment and expands access to care.

That is why I'm so heartened by President-elect Gordon McInally's wonderful vision to help improve the global mental health system, not only for Rotary members, but for the communities we serve.

When Gordon announced our focus on mental health at this year's International Assembly in Orlando, Florida, he reminded us that helping others benefits our mental health by reducing stress and improving our mood. Studies show that performing acts of kindness is an effective way to improve your own mental and physical health. Rotary service brings hope to the world and joy to our lives.

Our new focus on mental health will take some time to do right, and yet it builds on something that has been part of who we are for 118 years. We are People of Action, and behind that action is care, compassion, empathy, and inclusion.

Becoming champions of mental health is not only the right and kind thing to do, it is a tool that can Create Hope in the World, Gordon's inspiring theme for his upcoming year as president.
If we serve our members, we serve our communities, and if we can meet people where they are and lift them up, they will imagine Rotary in a new light and come to fully understand our value and our infinite potential.

Introducing Stephanie A. Urchick
RI President-nominee
Rotary Club of McMurray, Pennsylvania
Stephanie A. Urchick retired as partner and chief operating officer of Doctors At Work LLC, a consulting and training company, in 2022. She holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She is active on numerous community boards and committees, and has been honored by organizations including Zonta International and the Sons of the American Revolution.
A Rotarian since 1991, Urchick first joined the home club of Past RI President Chuck Keller, who served as her mentor. Urchick has served Rotary as Rotary Foundation Trustee and RI Director. She has served RI in numerous capacities, including training leader, Regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, and RI president’s representative. In addition she was a delegate and member-at-large for three Councils on Legislation. She has also served as a member of various RI committees, including Rotary’s Election Review Committee, the Operations Review Committee, and as chair of the Rotary Strategic Planning Committee and The Rotary Foundation’s Centennial Celebration Committee.
Urchick has participated in a variety of international service projects, including National Immunization Days in India and Nigeria. In Vietnam, she worked with clubs to help build a primary school and traveled to the Dominican Republic to install water filters. The speaker of several Slavic languages, she has mentored new Rotary members in Ukraine, and coordinated a Rotary Foundation grant project for mammography equipment and a biopsy unit for a hospital in Poland. Urchick is currently helping to partner clubs and districts in the U.S. with Rotary clubs in Kosovo, Albania, and in Ukraine for humanitarian and educational services.
Urchick wants to see 100,000 more Rotary members in 2024-25. She believes that the magic of Rotary happens at the club level, where the people are serving their communities.
“We need to make our club experiences simply irresistible,” says Urchick. “We want people to feel that there’s value in getting involved in Rotary to create changes in themselves, in their communities, and in the world.”
She is a Major Donor and a member of the Bequest Society of The Rotary Foundation.
1. Important Events in the District Calendar
  • RYPEN June 16th to 18th
We are more than excited to be bringing back Face to Face RYPEN for the Winter Camp this June. From 16th-18th June we will host participants from around the district in the first f2f camp in our district for 3 years.
Please see the links below for the full information packs and application forms:
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Camp Director Amand Barnes at
  • District 9685 Changeover 2023 - Saturday 1st July from 12.00 pm to 4.00 pm at Rydges Norwest, 1 Columbia Court, Baulkham Hills.
2. D9865 News Learning and Development UpdateDistrict Learning and Development | District 9810
a. PELD and District Assembly Thanks
District Assembly is complete! Thank you to all members who attended, and a special thanks to all District portfolio chairs for sharing their knowledge with attendees, and for providing myriad links to additional information and contacts for further investigation! If you missed any sessions related to your role or any role of interest, the content (both presentations and recordings) can be found on the District 9685 web page : enter your ClubRunner password to login, then click on PELD 2023 or District Assembly 2023 to access all files as they are loaded over coming days. Congratulations to everyone for being part of this great event!!
b. District L&D Awards
Has your club conducted a great L&D event which might contribute to your overall score at the annual awards coming up at Changeover?
All clubs have the opportunity to contribute a submission for additional points. This submission will inform the District L&D team of internal learning and development that has been given within the club, and need only be a paragraph or two describing the subject, content and the who, what, when and where of each training event undertaken. NB: This must be more than just having a guest speaker on a topic of interest, this must be full or majority of club events/programs which allow members professional, personal or Rotary based learning. Submissions will be reviewed by the District L&D Committee, ranked and then points added to the clubs existing totals, with the committee decisions final. 200 pts for first, 100 pts for second and 50pts for third placed submissions. So get your submission in to the L&D Director ASAP as submissions close May 30th.
c. Learn About Rotary's Action Plan
Learn how Rotary's Action Plan can help your club increase its impact, expand its reach, better engage its members, and keep adapting to a changing world. Our research shows that clubs that develop and follow a strategic plan are stronger than clubs that don't. Their members are more satisfied and view their clubs and Rotary more positively. Learn more in the Rotary's Action Plan and You course. Email with questions.
d. Changeover Training from ClubRunner
Another excellent source of information for Club abnd District roles is a series of webinars recently presented by ClubRunner Suppoprt. The Changover series of recorded webinars can be found at
3. Flag Bearers for the Melbourne Convention
Would you like to be involved in one of the most memorable moments of the Rotary International Convention Opening Ceremony? 
We need approximately 200 volunteers to represent flags of the world. The flag ceremony will be held on the morning of Sunday 28th May at Rod Laver Arena, and there will be a dress rehearsal on Saturday 27th May. Flag bearers will need to be able to carry a flag and circle around the main arena for approximately 20 minutes. They must be registered to attend convention (the exception being Interactors). We want to showcase the terrific diversity of our Rotary members, so we encourage people of all ages and abilities to apply. Let us know if you have accessibility requirements. Limited places available. 
To register your interest go to
Any questions, please email
(Photo:  Keely Small at the 2018 Youth Olympics )
4. Monthly Themes for Rotary International
As mentioned in the last newsletter, there has been a slight rearrangement of monthly themes. For the next three months the themes are:
  • May 2023 Youth Service Month
  • June 2023 Rotary Fellowships Month
  • July 2023 Maternal and Child Health Month
5. World Wide State of Membership - Rotary and Rotaract
While membership incrementally stalled 2020-2022 (in large part due to the pandemic), we’ve recouped membership losses and continue to add modest gains with new clubs and members across the world. Declines in Rotaract club membership was expected as RI issued the first annual membership dues invoice to Rotaract clubs in January 2023.  The Rotaract figures now provide a more accurate reflection of the active Rotaract members and clubs around the world. 
6.  The Science and Engineering Challenge
The Science & Engineering Challenge is a one day event designed to show Year 10 students that science isn’t just for nerds. It can be fun so should be considered for their year 11 and 12 curriculum. Each school sends a team of 24-32 students to compete against teams from 7 other schools. The activities involve the involuntary application of principles of science, engineering and technology with a minimum of introduction and theory.
There is no cost to students or schools. Invitations are sent to all high schools in March for events held at various venues in May, June and July.
District 9685 Science and Engineering Challenge Contact for more information is Rotarian Gavin Ralston
Visit for more information.

The 2023 State Finals are being held in :

Event NameLocationDates
New South WalesNewcastle22-24 August 
QueenslandGold Coast15 Aug
South AustraliaAdelaide6 September
TasmaniaHobart22 May
Western AustraliaPerth19 May

The National Final

The 2023 National Final will be held in Sydney, NSW on Friday 27 October. This is being financially sponsored by the Rotary Districts 9685 and 9675.

7. "It all starts with WASH" Event Image
The theme, "It all starts with WASH" underlines the critical importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene to community health, economic growth, food security, and the alleviation of poverty. Join us in Melbourne! Everything starts with WASH! From education to disease prevention to peace, water, sanitation, and hygiene are requirements. Join us to be inspired and learn about all things WASH! Thanks to amazing support from our sponsors we've greatly reduced pricing for WWS15. (If you registered earlier we will issue a refund.)
  • Registration is now just $75 USD (includes 1 year membership)
  • Rotaractor registration is just $25 (includes 1 year membership)
  • Virtual Attendance - Plenary Sessions and Breakouts - $25
For more information, click HERE
For inquiries about your registration or the event, email:
    "The Club Buzz" is where you will find some exciting and relevant programs or events happening in our Clubs and in District 9685.
    To view the Club Buzz Design Guidelines for Clubs to provide information for Club Buzz, click HERE.   
    To view this week's Club Buzz 04.05.23, click HERE. It contains the following news and events for Clubs in District 9685.
    Rotary Club of Brisbane Water - Dementia Training Course
    Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains - Fabulous Finds Dinner
    Rotary Club of Northbridge - Teddy Bear's Picnic High Tea
    Rotary Club of Brisbane Water - Rock n Roll Trivia Night
    Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney - Save the Date
    Rotary Club of  Mosman - A Short History of the  Jig Saw Project
    Rotary Club of Epping - Insurance information
    Rotary Clubs of  Lane Cove - Car Boot Sale
    Rotary Club of Blackheath - Spaghetti Western Night
    Rotary Club of Norwest Sunrise - Wine and Cheese Night
    Rotary Matters
    Triple H 100.1 FM
    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
    • Organic Farming - Improving Lives In Senegal
    Only one this week due to transmission issues.
    For this latest podcast, see "Read More"
    A heads up about the Rotary District 9685 Conference 2024
    2024 Conference dates: 
    Friday 15th March 2024 to 
    Saturday 16th March  2024 

    Our Locations: 
    Friday: Crowne Plaza, Pine Tree Ln, Terrigal NSW 2260 
    Saturday: EV Church, 331 Terrigal Dr, Erina NSW 2250 

    How to  Book: 
    Scan the QR Code  
    or go to our Website 
    or use the QR code below
    Everything you need to know is here >>>
    Plenary sessions are held at Rod Laver Arena.  Breakout sessions and House of Friendship will be at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) or Rod Laver Arena unless otherwise indicated.
    And there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer also.  Visit the host organising committee website for more details on volunteering and the Convention.
    See "Read More" for :
    • the Latest Convention News, and
    • a letter from Ian Riseley about "Golf at the Melbourne Convention" 
    In addition, there is an Offer for a Program for Non Rotarians.  Click HERE to view
    “I’m going to Melbourne.  Are you?”
    PDG Peter Ward
    In the spirit of reconciliation, Rotary District 9685 acknowledges
    the Traditional Custodians of country throughout our district,
    and their connections to land, sea and community. 
    We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and
    extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
    Australia Printables for Primary School - SparkleBox
    District 9685 Governor
    Mina Howard
    In Memoriam
      Maurice Schokman - E-Club of Greater Sydney, formerly RC of Northlakes Toukley
    Please email 
    to let us know of any bereavements you would like published.  It would be much appreciated if you also sent a short biography and photo for an information link in In Memoriam.
    You may also inform your Assistant Governor, the District Secretary, or the Governor.  Remember to also update your club's member database on the District website.
    Please note that this is the monthly theme. The themes for some months have been rearranged, and there will be more information in the future.
    2nd to 4th JUNE 2023
    by Zoom
    The next opportunity is RLI 75 which will be held on-line.
    To view the RLI brochure, click HERE
    There is still time to register for the RLI 75 Learning Opportunity.  Past RLI courses concluded with great success and rave reviews. Don't miss out .
    Register Here Icon Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • The State of Rotary’s Membership
    • Our 2023 convention
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Empowering women and ending polio
    • "Consequential geographies" are the key to success in 2023
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Where Society Goes, Rotary Must Follow To Stay Relevant 
    • What Type Of Organisation Would We Create If We Had A Clean Sheet Of Paper?
    To read, click HERE
    21st APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • How polio effort is helping battle malaria 
    • Convention speakers envision a more peaceful world
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Partner with a Rotary Action Group to protect the environment
    • Rotary’s young leaders champion diversity, equity, and inclusion
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as: 
    • Promote World Immunization Week
    • Attend the Cultivating Effective Projects webinar series
    To read, click HERE
    April 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Leaving no child behind
    • Creating positive change  
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • WASH in Healthcare Facilities Webinar #1
    • What are our WASH WARRIORS doing?
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Really great articles such as:
    • Message from the Chair
    • Patients Updates 
    To read, click HERE
    MARCH 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Tips for applying for a Programs of Scale grant
    • Video inspires members to take action
    To read, click HERE
    APRIL 2023
    Great articles such as: 
    • Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains held a High Tea to raise funds to support an Indigenous Health Scholar
    • Emerald Companion Award presented to
      Mark and Karen Hancock
    To read, click HERE
    Rotary Leadership Institute #75
    Jun 02, 2023 5:00 PM –
    Jun 04, 2023 4:00 PM
    Western Sydney MUNA
    Nepean HS
    Jun 03, 2023 9:00 AM –
    Jun 04, 2023 2:00 PM
    Winter RYPEN
    Blue Gum Lodge, Springwood
    Jun 16, 2023 – Jun 18, 2023
    District Changeover, 1st July 2023
    Jul 01, 2023
    12:00 PM – 4:00 PM
    District Team 2024-2025 Training
    Nov 18, 2023
    8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
    View entire list
    The 2022 version of the Manual of Procedures has been released. Click on the image below to view/download a copy of this very informative and valuable document (login to My Rotary may be required).
    Contact Details
    6-8 Phyllis Avenue
    Thornleigh NSW 2120
    Phone    +61 2 9481 9400
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