Rotary Round Up
February 2nd 2023
Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create
lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.
Greetings fellow Rotarians,
It is great to see our clubs back in action after the holiday break, especially so on Australia Day. So many Rotarians throughout the district gave their time to provide activities for their communities and I sincerely thank you for that effort. It was certainly a hot one! It’s interesting to see what a big role Rotary plays on this day, a day that is becoming more and more controversial and may evolve into something else in the future. Whatever the outcome, I’m sure Rotary will be still there providing opportunities for neighbours and friends to gather and relax.
A huge congratulations goes to PDG Jennifer Scott who has been recognised with an AM. We all know how much effort Jennifer commits to Rotary both locally and internationally so it is well deserved. A posthumous OAM was also awarded to the late Ross Rocca, formerly of Ryde. Tony Mylan (West Gosford) was awarded an OAM. Wahroonga Rotarian Peter Kirkwood OAM, was awarded the Pennant Hills Rotary Club’s annual Australia Day Award. Peter is well known for his long-time work with PCYC as well as his invaluable commitment to Rotary. And congratulations to Paul Rapp, Kenthurst Rotary, for being awarded the Senior Citizen of the Year of the Hills Shire District. Beyond our District, significant Rotarians well known to us were also awarded honours. Ian Riseley was awarded an AM, and Greg Ross, former Chair of Australian Rotary Health, was awarded an OAM. Congratulations to all for the recognition received for outstanding contributions to the community.
Please let us know of any club members who received Australia Day awards or any other awards so that we can recognise them also.
Last week I attended the dinner and closing ceremony of RYLA 2023, a huge success thanks to RYLA Chair AG Liz North and the wonderful facilitators who put so much heart and soul in to this program of Rotary. Thank you also to the many Rotarians who participated and attended in differing roles to establish that Rotary connection. All sixty-two participants thoroughly enjoyed the time there and I know they will go away better people for the experience. Thank you to all of the clubs who sponsored RYLA participants. Please make sure that these inspiring young men and women come back and report on their experience and, stay in touch with them. Add them to your newsletter mailout list and call on them when you need an extra hand and, start searching for participants for 2024.
Still on the subject of youth, we farewelled three very excited Youth Exchange students at Sydney airport recently, bound for Brazil and four students from Brazil have arrived here. Thank you to the sponsoring clubs Mosman, The Entrance, Turramurra and Windsor, and the YE team for the tremendous work you are doing to organise this exchange after the Covid hiatus.
COTA (our district board) has approved the establishment of a Disaster Response Plan. After the great work initiated by Pam Hudson, Pennant Hills Rotary it has become clear that a ‘go to’ person would be good to have so that individual club efforts can be coordinated. I am very proud of how our district rallied to assist Eugowra and it was this leadership from Pam, AG Paul Rogers and others that made it efficient and streamlined. If you are interested in this role please contact me.
Early in February I will be attending the Regionalisation Summit for DGs, DGEs and DGNs so I hope to hear more about where we’re headed. There are also several D9685 people working on various committees to thrash out strategies. It is an exciting time for Rotary in our region as we look to the future – remember ‘you don’t imagine yesterday, you imagine tomorrow’.
And finally, here is a brief summary of the state of the District as at 26th January:
  • Membership 1652 (+18 from July 1)
  • 33% Women in Rotary *
  • Annual Fund donation $76K (-37K this time last year).**
  • Polio donations - $33.58K (+ 5.79K this time last year).
  • Club visits completed – 56
  • Conference registrations – approx. 206.***
* Yes! We have achieved our International President’s goal. Now for 50%!
**Please continue to give to our Foundation so that the great work our District is doing can continue.
*** Register now for a great weekend in Cowra, 17th- 19th March. If you have any trouble registering contact Marilyn Kenney.
Do you know the answers?
  • What does COTA stand for?
  • What are the four objects of Rotary?
  • What is TRF and why should you donate?
  • Who is our District membership Chair?
Mina Howard
District Governor 2022-2023
Do you know someone worthy of a special honour?
Over 1000 people were recognised on the Australia Day Honours List for their achievements spanning community service, science and research, industry, sport, and the arts, representing the strength and diversity of Australia.  However, there are many more “unsung heroes” worthy of recognition in our communities.
Rotary provides a way for clubs and individual Rotarians to recognise people in the community by way of Paul Harris Fellow Recognition.  Recipients receive a pin and a Certificate proclaiming them as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Named for Rotary’s Founder, Paul Harris, this recognition can be used as a tribute to a person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation, which sponsors the award. 
Donations by individuals and clubs to The Rotary Foundation each year accumulate “Paul Harris Recognition Points.” Each US Dollar donated equals one point, much like your Woolies Everyday Rewards or Coles Flybuys.  Once your balance reaches 1000 points, not only does the Rotary Foundation send you a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition for your support, it also enables you to award a Paul Harris Fellow Recognition to another person of your choice!  You actually get “double points” when you make a personal contribution.
Your club can also recognise people as Paul Harris Fellows using the points accumulated by the club for its donations to The Rotary Foundation. 
Many individuals and clubs in our district have accumulated thousands of recognition points that are sitting unused.  Unfortunately, they can’t be redeemed for a set of steak knives or cash back on your groceries, so please consider recognising special people in your community.
To learn how many points you personally have available as a result of your donations to The Rotary Foundation, sign into and click on this link.  To find out how many points your club has available, please ask your Club President or Treasurer to download the Club Recognition Summary Report or call me for assistance.
The US Dollar value of our donations to Rotary has improved significantly over the past few months, so now is a great time to make your contribution to Our Foundation. 
It is quick and easy to make a personal contribution online.  Just click here!
Please contact me (0412 798 526) or our Grants Chair, Haran Ramachandran (0419 980 529) if you have any questions about District or Global Grants.
PP David Dean
District 9685 Rotary Foundation Chair
0412 798 526
PP Haran Ramachandran 
Grants Subcommittee Chair
0419 980 529
1. A Report on Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, RYLA 2023 (See also separate article after the Latest News)
Today I represented DG Mina on the closing day of 2023 RYLA. Wow, how impressive is D9685 RYLA! In quick conversations with many of the Rylarians I was delighted to find that each one of them was absolutely convinced this was the best investment they had made thus far in their careers. I met a doctor, nurse, brand manager, safety compliance officer, teacher, criminologist, athlete and many more and they were ‘over the moon’ about the experience. Congratulations and thanks to the RYLA faculty comprising past Rylarians led by Kiera North, and her mum Liz North our D9685 RYLA Chair. Mark and Judi Cooper as RYLA Mum and Dad were held in absolute awe by the attendees. 
You know when a project has been a success by the buzz in the room and I would rate this as a totally over achieved event. I encouraged the graduates to share their experience with colleagues and friends and suggest they promote 2024 RYLA, as some clubs struggle to find candidates, and I find this difficult to comprehend. This is a ‘money can’t buy experience’ for these young leaders and we should be oversubscribed. Don’t let the opportunity pass to have these 2023 Rylarians speak to your club, join Rotary or Rotaract. This is a highly motivated and intelligent cohort of future leaders and we need to harness their enthusiasm and skills. Also don’t miss sponsoring candidates for RYLA 2024. It will be just as well received as indeed RYLA has, since its inception in 1959 in Brisbane. Well done and thank you to all involved.
PDG Lindsay May OAM
Saturday 21 January 2023
2. Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away, Turn it up, turn it up, turn it up, up, adieu, ooh, ooh (Enya) - PDG Lindsay May OAM
On Australia Day PDG Lindsay May departed on Kialoa II to help sail her back to the UK via; NZ, Cape Horn, Antigua, Azores to Falmouth UK to complete her circumnavigation.
Then they will race in the 22 July Fastnet Yacht race and Tania and Lindsay expect to return at the end August.
You can follow us on      (PDG Lindsay had given a few, the incorrect url as .org.)
The Rotary Youth Exchange Program has recommenced in District 9685 after a 2 year COVID-related hiatus, with three students departed for Brazil on 22 January sponsored by RCs Turramurra, The Entrance and Springwood, and four students from Brazil arriving in late January/early February to be hosted by RCs Mosman, The Entrance, Windsor and Turramurra. These amazing clubs are facilitating the experience of a lifetime for seven young people, to live life in another country and community, learning about the world and themselves as well as a new language! Rotary Youth Exchange builds world peace with the ripple effects from investment in one young person at a time. 
Applications are NOW OPEN for students in Years 9, 10 or 11 in 2023 to go on exchange for 12 months in 2024, to countries such as Japan, Czech Republic, Chile, Denmark and Switzerland. Think about your club contacts with young people (local high schools, MUNA, RYPEN etc) and encourage them to consider the Rotary Youth Exchange Program! If you would like some printed or electronic brochures to share, contact Michelle on All the information is on our website at District Committee will be approaching clubs over the next few months to consider hosting an inbound student from overseas for 12 months, from July 2023 or January 2024. Feedback from regularly hosting clubs is that students bring more life and zest to a club, as well as being a potential avenue for new members through host families and local schools. If you'd like to find out more, please contact District Chairs John and Susan Wakefield on with your phone number for a chat! 
Michelle Westlund, D9685 RYEP Committee Secretary, (m) 0418 474 377, (e)
4. Rotary Down Under - Permanent Full Time Position Monday-Friday 35 hours
Reception/Despatch Clerk/General office duties
We are a service club organisation located in Hills District with a vacancy for a full time Receptionist/Despatch Clerk. Main tasks include processing online orders, answering phone enquiries, uploading phone orders plus general office duties to support small team. Our staff have many years of service and looking for the right person to fit with our team.
Duties include:
  • Packing orders from our online shop
  • Parcels are collected daily by Australia Post agent and parcel handling is minimal and nothing too heavy
  • Stock control
  • Stock ordering
  • Identify opportunities to add stock lines
  • Liaising with suppliers eg embroiderer, screen printer, engraver
  • Serving customers both in person and on phone.
  • Responsible for answering reception phone and directing calls.
  • General office duties.
What we need from you:
  • Be a well-presented team player with superior communication skills both written and verbal
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Organised and strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of Big Commerce is preferrable.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft packages including Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Full time in our office from 9.00am to 5.00pm
  • 1 hour lunch break
A competitive remuneration package is offered based on experience and skills.
5. District Conference 17th to 19th March 2023
Reminder: Early Bird fees end on 31.12.22. It is going to be a great Conference so REGISTER NOW.
More on the Wine Tours at Antonios' Wines.
If you would like to do one of the 2 wine tours (Friday 17th, and Sunday 19th, please book with Antonio's clicking HERE. Quote that you are attending the Rotary Conference to get the special price of $10 per person for the tour and tasting.
Antonio's Wines Tours
Friday pm and Sunday pm
Normally $25 pp. 
Rotary Price $10 (no redemption from cellar door purchases)
Maximum 25 people per tour
1 hour duration with expert guide and sampling of at least 4 wines
To book for the tour, please click HERE
Buses from the Accommodation
Conference 2023 Bus From Motels to Venue -  for the Saturday Sessions and the Saturday Conference Dinner
Buses have been organised from Motels to the Conference venue. You will need to book and pay for the $10 return tickets. The two links are below - one for the Saturday sessions, one for the Conference Dinner.
2 buses have been organised for the Conference Dinner so that attendees can be transported from Motels in Cowra beyond walking distance from the venue, and return at the end of the Conference Dinner. 
The cost is $10 per person RETURN
Pick Up time between 4.30 to 5.00 pm for 5.30 pm arrival
Return times from 9.30 pm (early bus) and 11.00 pm (late bus)
To book the buses for the Saturday sessions - Click HERE
To book the buses for the Conference Dinner - Click HERE
6. The Timor Leste Update 16-23 January 2023, from Libby Bleakley - to read about this fantastic Rotary program, click HERE.
7. D9685 District Governor 2025-2026 Applications - REMINDER
OFFICIAL APPLICATIONS OPENED on January Tuesday 31st 2023
All Rotarians who have served a full term as a Club President are encouraged to apply for this exciting role.
To assist in any decision, an Information Pack is available, and you are invited to attend an Interest and Information Meeting to be held at Rotary Down Under, 25/1 Maitland Place on Sunday 19th February 2023 from 10am.
  • If you wish to receive an information pack or just want to know more about the role, and also to register for the Information Meeting on the 19th Feb. PLEASE contact PDG Dave Clark
  • Formal Applications to be sent to the Chair PDG David Clark and must be received by Friday 31st March 2023.
  • Interviews will be held on Sunday 23rd April 2023.
For further details, please contact: Chair of the Nominating Committee, PDG David Clark, 0414 364 812    (Please note there is no (i) in davd in the email address)
RYLA 2023
On Sunday 15th January 2023, after a three-year hiatus ,D9685 RYLA was finally able to be hosted, and the event certainly did not disappoint! With over 60 applicants joining in the experience from across the District the magic of RYLA was not lost after what felt like an eternity of roadblocks! RYLA was held at Knox Grammar (Wahroonga) and participants were treated to state of the art facilities, with beautifully prepared meals and dormitories. An outstanding venue to complicate an equally as outstanding program. Feedback from participants highlighted the life changing nature of RYLA and complimented the caliber of the D9685 RYLA program. A huge congratulations to all of the participants for taking a ‘leap of faith’ and investing in their own self-development. There was a moment there where the future of D9685 RYLA hung in the balance, facing a global pandemic and the shutdown of our long standing and loyal venue, at Elanora Heights. However, in true Rotary fashion D9685 RYLA weathered the storm to come back bigger and brighter than ever with a rejuvenated and passionate program! A huge thank you to all of the sponsoring D9685 clubs that pulled together to make this program a reality, without your tireless effort and support of the RYLA program the outcome may have been very different. It goes without saying that the lives of 60 + young leaders within the District have had their lives shifted for the better. A final thanks goes to the facilitators of the program who made the running of the week seamless! RYLA 2023 has set the trajectory for RYLA 2024, and we encourage clubs to keep the momentum up to ensure the longevity of this once in a lifetime experience for the young leaders of tomorrow! 
Kiera Piper RYLA Coordinator
"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 2.02.23, click HERE. It contains the following news and events for Clubs in District 9685.
Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches - Art Show
Rotary Club of Balgowlah - Charity Golf Day
Rotary Club of Woy Woy - Opera in the Arboretum
Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains - High Tea for Australian Rotary Health
Rotary Clubs of Ku-ring-gai, St Ives, Turramurra and Wahrooga - Bobbo Classic
Rotary Club of Brisbane Water - High Tea For a Cause
Rotary Clubs of  Dee Why Warringah - Comedy For a Cause
Rotary Club of Erina - Living
Rotary Club of North Sydney - Pig on a Spit
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
  • Build Your Future Today...Changing Lives In Cambodia
For these latest podcasts, see "Read More"
The Club Hiking Stick Challenge - Raising funds for Australian Rotary Health
The Cowra Breakout Conference Team is throwing out a challenge to all clubs. They want you to:
  •  Design a hiking stick and bring it along to the Cowra Conference, 17-19 March 2023. 
  • The sticks can be decorated using any design or method limited only by your imagination.
  • The attendees will be asked to vote for their favourite stick by putting in a minimum of a dollar donation per vote.
  • The stick that raises the most money will win a PHF for their club to award to an outstanding member of their community.
  • All entries must be available for sale to attendees.
  • The club whose stick sells for the most money will also be eligible for a prize.
  • All proceeds will be donated to Australian Rotary Health.
One entry per club.
So get cracking and see what you can come up with!

A heads up about the Rotary District 9685 Conference 2023
Click HERE or on the poster below to go to the Conference website
Click HERE for the costs of Conference registration packages 
or use the QR code below
Click HERE
Dates are 27-31 May 2023.
An International Convention on our doorstep –  this doesn’t happen very often.
Join the anticipated 25,000 Rotarians attending and experience the internationality of Rotary.
There are over 12,000 registrations to date with 130+ so far from our District.
Everything you need to know is here >>>
While the early bird price has ended there is a still a good promotional offer that is US $100 less than full price and with the better exchange rate available at the moment still represents excellent value.
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.
There is much to do in Melbourne in addition to the convention.  You will see updates in RDU magazine for supporting events like the ‘Night at the Museum’ and the ‘Melbourne Cup day’.  Keep reading.
And there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer also.  Visit the host organising committee website for more details on volunteering and the Convention.
“I’m going to Melbourne.  Are you?”
PDG Peter Ward
Today, over 70 million people are displaced as a result of conflict, violence, persecution, and human rights violations.
Half of them are children. We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life.
Rotary projects provide training that fosters under-standing and provides communities with the skills to resolve conflicts.
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
 PP Albert Blatch - RC Penrith
Please email 
to let us know of any bereavements you would like published.  
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.
24th to 26th FEBRUARY 2023
by Zoom
The next opportunity is RLI 73 which will be held on-line.
To view the RLI brochure, click HERE
There is still time to register for the RLI 73 Learning Opportunity.  Past RLI courses concluded with great success and rave reviews. Don't miss out .
Register Here Icon Png , Free Transparent Clipart - ClipartKey
A brief but informative newsletter with an article on:
  • Gabriella makes a great recovery
  • Plus a review of ROMAC Communications
To read, click HERE
Great articles such as:
  • Amrauli Overview - Spotlight on Geeta
  • Aussie BREW Fellowship!
To read, click HERE
27th JANUARY 2023
Great articles such as:
  • Timely triage
  • New video inspires members to take action
To read, click HERE
Great articles such as:
  • Supporting students in our new reality
  • From an exchange, then around the world, and then sharing in a Nobel Peace Prize
To read, click HERE
Great articles such as:
  • New Skills for a New Year!
  • NEW Infographics for Leaders Preparing for their Role!
To read, click HERE
  • Great articles such as: Thirteen Projects that Create Change – ARH Funds Children’s Mental Health in 2023
  • The 2023 Facts Booklet
      To read, click HERE
Great articles such as:
  • Data-driven projects
  • A new resource for district leaders
To read, click HERE
Great articles such as:
  • Fan Favorite:
    Interact Club of Guang Rong Junior High School!
  • Share your Interact story
To read, click HERE
DG 2025-2026 Applications Now Open
Feb 01, 2023 9:00 AM –
Mar 30, 2023 5:00 PM
Summer RYPEN
Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation
Feb 03, 2023 4:00 PM –
Feb 05, 2023 3:00 PM
Presidents' Meeting No. 4
On-Line by Zoom
Feb 11, 2023
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
DG Nominating Committee Interest Meeting
Rotary Down Under
Feb 19, 2023
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Rotary Leadership Institute #73
Feb 24, 2023 5:00 PM –
Feb 26, 2023 4:00 PM
Assistant Governors' Meeting
On-Line by Zoom
Feb 25, 2023
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
District Team Meeting
On-Line by Zoom
Feb 25, 2023
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
President Elect Learning and Development Day (PELD
St Josephs Conference Centre
Mar 04, 2023
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
President Elect Learning and Development Seminar 2023-2024
Mar 04, 2023
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM
District 9685 Annual Conference
Cowra Showground Pavilion
Mar 17, 2023 – Mar 19, 2023
District 9685 Conference 2023
Mar 17, 2023 6:00 PM –
Mar 19, 2023 5:00 PM
G Train Meeting No. 5, 2023
On-Line by Zoom
Apr 01, 2023
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
COTA Meeting No. 5, 2023
On-Line by Zoom
Apr 01, 2023
8:30 AM – 9:30 AM
District Assembly 2023
Apr 15, 2023 9:00 AM –
Apr 16, 2023 4:00 PM
DGN 2025-2026 Interviews
Rotary Down Under
Apr 23, 2023
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute #74
Apr 28, 2023 5:00 PM –
Apr 30, 2023 4:00 PM
Winter RYPEN
Blue Gum Lodge, Springwood
Jun 16, 2023 – Jun 18, 2023
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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