Distict 9685 DG's Newsletter

January 18 2024

Happy New Year!!
Rotary family and friends
Welcome to 2024! I hope you had a lovely Christmas surrounded by friends and family and your new year’s resolutions were arrived at safely and with enthusiasm!
The past 6 months were busy! I visited 63 clubs feeling that it was important to connect as early as I could with Rotarians in our District, to meet and chat, provide support where I could and share my vision and goals for 2023-24 to Create Hope in the World. Thank you all for your hospitality and friendship during my visits and the many messages of encouragement.  It’s now time to get back on the road and set the direction for the next 5 months.  In saying that I encourage you to mark important Rotary dates in your club calendar: specifically, the 2024 District Conference on the Central Coast 15 and 16 March. President-Elect Learning and Development (PELD) 23 March, District Assembly (DA) 4 May, and the District Changeover Saturday 29 June. Other dates will be advised as the new year takes shape.
Queensland RAWCS Flood Appeal
I encourage you to donate either individually or as a club to the RAWCS Appeal to assist those in Northern Queensland (Cairns, Port Douglas area) as they struggle to get their lives back together following the recent devastation caused by Cyclone Jasper.  Use this link
On Sunday 14 January I was present and opened 2024 RYLA at Knox Grammar, Wahroonga. The 2024 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards is a unique week-long program designed to empower young leaders. With 72 participants sponsored by 48 of our 62 Clubs and 19 Facilitators, the RYLA program got off to a great start under the Directorship of Sam Glazebrook. We are fortunate to have a dedicated District RYLA Committee chaired by Tony Durbin. My sincere thanks to everyone involved in making 2024 RYLA a reality and my best wishes to the new RYLArians whose lives may well change this week!
Our District Membership is down to 1518 following the loss of 39 members at the end of 2023. Some clubs are shrinking, others are stagnant, and some clubs are growing. Congratulations to those that have welcomed new members so far this Rotary year. What are you doing to make Rotary an attractive prospect for potential members? How are you promoting Rotary? Are you open and welcoming? Are your processes helping or hindering? Azita Abdollahian as Membership Chair is willing and able to assist you to promote membership, be guest speak at your club and look at your membership engagement experience. Surveys show that non-engagement and the club’s culture are the main reasons people leave. What is your membership plan?
Poetry Competition
For the new year I draw to your attention the International Rotary Poetry Awards - will one of the winners come from our very own District?
The award winners will be announced at the Singapore Rotary Convention in May by President of Rotary consort Heather McInally, but the actual awards will be handed over locally (unless the winner is in Singapore) and should we be so lucky, I will be the host for such a presentation at an event in our district.
There are 5 category prizes plus the main Rotary Poet of the Year Award plaque.
To ensure every Rotarian, Rotaractor, friend and relative has an opportunity to enter, I would appreciate your assistance in distributing the attached invitation with competition information to every member in our district.  I am inviting you to get personally involved so we can celebrate and promote Rotary worldwide creating hope. Anyone can enter. For more information, view the poetry competition flyer.
Australia Day
Is your club gearing up for an Australia Day event? Many groups of clubs are with the support of a National Australia Day Committee grant. I wish you great success and I encourage all members to join in, and have a fun experience, together as Rotarians.
In closing I would like to welcome home from Rotary’s International Assembly held in Orlando, Florida, DGE Niranjan Deodhar and his wife Vinita all primed and ready to begin serious preparation for taking the helm of this District for the 2024-25 Rotary Year and exploring “The Magic of Rotary”!
DG Christine Owen
District Governor 2023-2024
I am filled with gratitude for the wonderful festive season that I trust each of you had, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends. As we step into the New Year, I extend my heartfelt wishes for happiness, health, and prosperity to you and your loved ones.
In the spirit of the season, I hope one of your resolutions involves contributing regularly to our Foundation's annual fund. Your support enables us to provide district grants, DDF and encourages your club to actively participate in Our Foundation programs. A special thank you and congratulations are in order for the President, Foundation Chair, and the members of Rotary Clubs of Nepean and Wahroonga for achieving a remarkable 100% giving to Our Foundation and earning the Every Rotarian Every Year Banner.
Amidst our holiday celebrations, I'm thrilled to share some uplifting news. Two global grants sponsored by our clubs have successfully concluded their missions in December 2023. The Rotary Club of Wyong Tuggerah's global grant in Southern India addressed various eye defects prevalent in rural populations. The grant facilitated screenings for conditions like Glaucoma, Refractive error, Pterygium, Conjunctivitis, Cataract, Corneal FB, and Stye. Patients identified during these screenings will receive free-of-cost treatment, surgery, or medicine at The Eye Foundation, along with transportation. (See the attached Club Buzz for more on this story)
Similarly, the Rotary E-Club of Greater Sydney sponsored a global grant to provide an endoscope to the District General Hospital in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka. This equipment, delivered in December will have a profound impact on the lives of 150,000 individuals in the community and an additional 50,000 from outlying areas. The hospital's enhanced ability to conduct endoscopy procedures is now a reality, benefitting around 300 inpatients and 600 clinic attendees daily. These stories are shining examples of how your donations are creating hope and making a positive impact on lives around the world.
A big thank you to the clubs that have completed their district grant projects. If your club is still progressing, please remember that the final report is due by May 31, 2024. Showcase your projects in Rotary Showcase and let the world see the positive change you are making. As we embark on the year ahead, remember that the glass is still half full. If your club is in need of a guest speaker on Our Foundation programs or if you wish to learn how you can contribute to humanity, you have a choice of speakers to choose from. Reach out to me or consult your district directory under the Foundation Section.
I cannot sign off without acknowledging our shared goal – a Polio-Free World. We are on the brink of achieving this dream, and your contribution will play a crucial role in making it a reality. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this eNews, and your unwavering support for Our Foundation is truly appreciated. Together, we continue to make a positive impact on the world through Our Foundation - Our Charity.
PP Haran Ramachandran
District 9685 Rotary Foundation Chair
0419 980 529
PP David Rivett 
Grants Subcommittee Chair
0418 410 106
R. Gordon R. McInally
R. Gordon R. McInally
President 2023-24

January 2024

In difficult times like these, it’s impossible to avoid feeling heartbroken over the devastation and loss of life caused by war and destruction. 

Rotary always stands against harming and displacing civilian populations and using armed aggression instead of pursuing peaceful solutions. We advocate for the observance and respect of international law. We believe in strong action to defend and promote peace, even in the darkest of times.

But we also take our position as an international, nonpolitical, nonreligious organization seriously. To respect the global perspectives and experiences of our members, and to work most effectively in our peacebuilding efforts, we do not choose sides in conflicts. 

Rotary is made up of 1.4 million people in communities all over the globe who are united in our commitment to building a peaceful world. We strive to ensure that our words and actions prioritize the health and safety of our global membership and the communities where we live and serve.

Our members seek to offer humanitarian assistance to those affected by conflict, and our global reach requires that we promote peacebuilding and conflict prevention with cross-cultural, cross-border connections and friendship through Rotary.

For decades, Rotary has harnessed these connections to carry out service projects, support peace fellowships and scholarships, and establish programs like Rotary Peace Centers to help build lasting peace. Our members also take action to promote Positive Peace, addressing the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Rotary members who wish to wage peace can use district grants and Rotary Foundation global grants to support projects with other Rotary members that help refugees and displaced people, provide medical support, and more worldwide. Members can also work with or join peace-focused Rotary Action Groups, Friendship Exchanges, Fellowships, and intercountry committees. And District Designated Funds or district cash can support our peacebuilding and conflict prevention efforts.

Members and nonmembers alike can learn more about peacebuilding through the Rotary Positive Peace Academy, a free online course available to anyone with an internet connection. You can find it at

There is no denying that incidents of violence and atrocities being perpetuated around the world seem to be escalating. Global peace is fragile, and the stakes are getting higher.

Still, we know that it is possible to bring all people together to work toward a shared goal. Rotary members do so every day in every part of the world. May our ability to unify in common purpose be a spark that helps light the path out of these dark days.

Together, let’s Create Hope in the World.

Rotary Community Groups (RCG)
Thank you all again for telling us how you like to operate as a club – this really helps when deciding how our future will work. Draft Community Groups in our District will shortly be submitted for review before we get the chance to select the Leader of our own Community Group.
  • So who will that be???
  • Is that person YOU??
  • Or is it someone that you know??
Come Feb 2024 we will seek your input, so please have a think about the trendsetters in your area when nominations open!! Details are on this web page – scroll to the bottom for the Position Description.
Latest Updates
While we are all recovering from Christmas celebrations, December was a very busy month for many activities related to Regionalisation. The best way to stay in touch is checking out the Latest Updates page where you will find 3 links to the December activities:
For more details or information:
And have YOUR say at
PDG Kalma McLellan
DISTRICT 9685 AND BEYOND NEWS 18th January  2024
1. 2024 Rotary Action Plan Survey coming in January/February
Rotary members have an important role in shaping our organization's strategic plan. In late January and early February, Rotary will send a survey to a sample of our members to learn more about how you feel about our current strategic direction and what you want to see from Rotary in the future. Your insights will help guide Rotary leadership's decision-making about the Action Plan, governance, and more.
If you receive an email with a link to the survey, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.
2. RI Directors declared for 2025-27 - if you missed this news at the end of last year.

The Rotary International President Gordon R. McInally declared on 4 December seven Rotary members to be RI directors for 2025-27. RI Bylaws provide that if the general secretary does not receive a duly proposed challenge to the selection of a zone’s nominating committee for director by 1 December, the president shall declare the selection of the nominating committee to be the director-nominee from the zone. There were no proposals of additional candidates from the following zones. Therefore, in accordance with the RI Bylaws, McInally declared the following Rotary members to be the directors-nominee from their respective zones to serve on the Board beginning on 1 July 2025:

Zone 8
Jennifer Scott — Central Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia
Congratulations, Jennifer.
3. Rotary International Assembly 2024: GS1 - RIPE Stephanie Urchick Announces 24-25 Presidential Theme
2024-25: The Magic of Rotary
At the International Assembly for District Governor's Elect 2024 -2025, the RI President-elect Stephanie Urchick is celebrating the magic of Rotary with the next annual theme for RI. She says members create that magic with every project completed, every dollar donated, and every new member of Rotary.
2024-25: RI President-elect Stephanie Urchick’s speech (PDFwatchvideo download)
Please do not use this theme until 1st July. The current annual theme must be used on Rotary materials until then.
4. RAWCS Appeal to Assist the Flood Victims
A RAWCS appeal has been set up to assist the flood victims in far north Qld. We have been in contact with the AG there and she says they are in dire need. Pam Hudson is calling her as we speak to see if they need a pallet of cleaning equipment and Bass from Carlingford is lining up Star Trek if this should be the case.
However, the best way to help is via the RAWCS Appeal and they will be grateful for any funds raised.
5.  World Water Summit, 24th May in Singapore
Increase your knowledge, take action! YOU MUST LOGIN TO RECEIVE THE MEMBER PRICING
  • NON-MEMBER: $125 USD (includes annual membership)
  • Rotaractor: $25/WASH-RAG member, $50/non-member (includes annual membership)
  • Virtual Attendance: Plenary Sessions and Breakout - WASH-RAG Member: $10 / Non-Member: $25 (includes annual membership)
For inquiries about your registration or the event, please email or visit our website.     Register Now!
6. Zone 8 Conference 2024 – Dream, Dare, Deliver - as listed in the last newsletter of 2023.
1st to 3rd November 2024 in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Friday: 1st November
Business session 2pm to 4pm
Official Opening at 5pm, followed by 7pm Class dinners around Queenstown restaurants.
Saturday:  2nd November
Institute Time: 9am to 4pm
Sunday: 3rd November
Institute Time: 9.30am to 1pm
Staying There
We are leaving the accommodation to everyone to book themselves. We do however have an amazing discounted 15% at Rydges & QT for the dates of 31st Oct through to 3rd Nov 2024 inclusive. (where our Conference will be held). We would recommend booking accommodation early, as Queenstown is very busy & we do another large group will be there around our dates. A good idea is to use the likes of & book with a 100% refundable room rate, so if your plans change, you won’t be out of pocket, but at least a bed organised.
Getting There
Air NZ are also offering a great discount to those travelling from anywhere in Australia to Queenstown during this period.
More info to follow on this.
7. UNICEF Thanks Rotary on  Polio Eradication Efforts - Two Emails Sent to our District
  1. UNICEF thanked Rotary for the dedication and help throughout the year as we work together to see poliomyelitis eradicated completely from the globe. We finished the year with only 12 cases of wild polio virus in the two remaining endemic countries and half the number of cases of vaccine derived polio compared with last year. Rotary’s efforts have not gone unnoticed as can be seen from the following message from UNICEF USA to Past RI President John Germ, the Chair of Rotary’s Countdown to History Committee. John has asked that the message be shared in Rotary circles. Also, I am passing on a video message from Kitty van der Heijden, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF,  in which she expresses appreciation for Rotary's invaluable role in the fight to end polio and its unwavering commitment to the well-being of children and communities. 
The video was recorded during COP28.  As well as our partnership in the eradication of polio, her comments are relevant to our work with UNICEF in the Give Every Child a Future program. Please share the video and letter within your club and to anyone you think may appreciate them.
Murray Verso
Zone 8 End Polio Now Coordinator  2022-2025
Mobile: +61 417 595 217
     2. Email to Past RI President John Germ, Chair Rotary Countdown to History Committee
Date: December 19, 2023 at 10:07:50 AM EST
Subject: A Thank You Video from UNICEF USA
As we reflect on 2023 successes, you are at the top of our list of people to be grateful for. Thanks to you and Rotarians around the world for standing with UNICEF once again this year in our mission to relentlessly pursue a more equitable world for every child.
With your help, UNICEF was able to achieve the following:
  • Deliver more than 1 billion doses of oral polio vaccines.
  • Provide 356.3 million children under 5 – more than ever before – with programmes to prevent malnutrition in all its forms.
  • Vaccinate 77.9 million children against measles, over 27 million in countries affected by humanitarian crises.
  • Help 39 million people access WASH services in humanitarian emergencies.
  • Support 25.2 million children, adolescents and caregivers access community-based mental health and psychosocial support
Supporting children’s health yields lifelong dividends. Thank you for being there for every child. We look forward to building on these successes together in 2024. As an expression of our appreciation of your support, we are happy to share a video made just for you. We wish you joy, good health, and prosperity in the upcoming year.
With gratitude,
The entire UNICEF USA team
    "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 18.01.24, click HERE. It contains the following news and events for Clubs in District 9685.
    Rotary Club of Terrigal - Creative Arts Workshops
    Rotary Club of Beecroft and Carlingford - Australia Day
    Rotary Clubs of Kincumber, Terrigal, Erina and Kariong Somersby - Australia Day
    Rotary Club of Woy Woy - Opera in the Arboretum
    Rotary Club of Wyong Tuggerah - Vision On Wheels Project
    Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains - Australia Day
    Rotary Club of Castle Hill - Australia Day
    Rotary Club of St Ives - Save the Date
    E Club of Greater Sydney - DOSA Night Fund Raiser
    Rotary Club of Erina - Movie Fund Raiser
    Rotary Club of Carlingford - Theater For A Cause
    Rotary Club of Northbridge - Super Lottery
    Rotary Clubs of Blue Mountains - Australia Day
    Rotary Clubs of Belrose - Borgnis St Christmas Lights
    Rotary Clubs of Ku-ring-gai, St Ives, Turramurra, Wahroonga, Upper Northern Beaches - Bobbo Classic
    A heads up about the Rotary District 9685 Conference 2024
    Check out the website (see below) for details of the conference registration and accommodation bookings.
    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
    Click on the image above to go the Conference website.
    Download the Convention Promotion Kit here

    Top reasons to register early for the Rotary Convention

    Posted on  in Rotary Voices
    Ferris Wheel seen from the Gardens By the Bay

    By Rotary staff

    Daydreaming about a trip on your calendar is one of life’s small rewards. All the more so if the destination is the 2024 Rotary International Convention in Singapore, Asia’s dazzling garden city,
    rich in culture and unique attractions. Here are just a few of the reasons to register early.
    Give yourself a vacation to look forward to. Whether you’re making the trip of a lifetime or a return visit, you’ll find inspiration and wonder in Singapore.
    Save significant money. The last day for the early registration discount is 15 December. You won’t get a lower rate.
    Have your pick of airfares and hotels. It’s the right time to lock in a good airfare rate before prices almost certainly go up closer to 25-29 May.
    You’ll have more room choices when you book your hotel at a special rate. Looking for a deal? A city view? Enough space for your kids? Check your options.
    Book a special experience. Exclusive excursions for Rotary members can sell out, and organizers have curated tour packages to see hidden gems in Singapore and nearby countries.

    Leave time to gather your entourage. Veronica and Johnny Yu, of the Rotary Club of Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines, committed to Singapore while still in Melbourne and have been encouraging others to take advantage of early registration. “You can only believe in the magic of Rotary if you go to the convention,” Johnny Yu says. No two conventions are the same, so even if you’ve been before it’s a chance to reconnect with friends and be inspired. This convention is when members turn ideas into actions for Sharing Hope With the World.

    Register now


    This month's theme is Vocational Service Month

    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
    2023-2024 Theme logo - English
    District 9685 Governor
    Christine Owen

    Monthly theme for January is Vocational Service

    In Memoriam
     PP Graham Price - RC of Windsor
    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
    Rotary Youth Leadership Award Camp
    Knox Grammar School
    Jan 14, 2024 – Jan 20, 2024
    Cluster Meetings for AG's with Presidents
    by Zoom
    Feb 02, 2024
    G Train Meeting
    by Zoom
    Feb 03, 2024
    8:00 am – 8:30 am
    COTA Meeting
    by Zoom
    Feb 03, 2024
    8:30 am – 9:30 am
    Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course #78
    Feb 09, 2024 5:45 pm –
    Feb 11, 2024 4:00 pm
    District 9685 Club Presidents Meeting
    by Zoom
    Feb 10, 2024
    9:00 am – 10:00 am
    Summer RYPEN
    Sydney Academy of Sport (SAS)
    Feb 16, 2024 4:30 pm –
    Feb 18, 2024 3:30 pm
    AG's and District Executive Meeting
    by Zoom
    Feb 17, 2024
    8:00 am – 8:55 am
    District Team Meeting
    by Zoom
    Feb 17, 2024
    9:00 am – 10:00 am
    Call for District Awards to be Returned via AG's
    Feb 27, 2024
    Call For District Award Nominations
    Feb 28, 2024
    District Conference 2024
    Mar 15, 2024 6:00 pm –
    Mar 16, 2024 5:00 pm
    PELD 2024
    Mar 23, 2024
    8:30 am – 4:00 pm
    COTA Meeting
    by Zoom
    Apr 13, 2024
    8:30 am – 9:30 am
    District 9685 Assembly 2024
    May 04, 2024
    8:30 am – 4:00 pm
    Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Course #79
    May 17, 2024 5:45 pm –
    May 19, 2024 4:00 pm
    COTA Meeting
    by Zoom
    Jun 15, 2024
    8:30 am – 9:30 am
    View entire list
    9th to 11th FEBRUARY 2024
    by Zoom
    To view the RLI brochure, click HERE
    RLI is a training course offered to Rotarians to develop their skills in leadership and management within Clubs to improve performance, knowledge and enjoyment in leading or helping to lead Clubs in the District. 
    The courses consist of three parts over one weekend, all delivered by Zoom. Course materials will be sent to registered participants directly.
    The RLI Convenor for 2023-2026 is Amanda Barnes.
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • The Cadre of Technical Advisors is a relatively unknown, underutilised and yet valuable resource
    • Since 2007 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has partnered with Rotary International in the fight to eradicate poliomyelitis from the globe.
    To read, click HERE
     JANUARY 2024
    Great articles such as:
    • Recruit Rotary Peace Fellow candidates 
    • Resolve to increase your Rotary knowledge
    To read, click HERE
    12th JANUARY 2024
    Great articles such as:
    • Rotary partners with United Nations to focus on waterways
    • How Rotary is working to prevent cervical cancer
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Planning to Acieve Your Goals
    • Offer an unparalleled club experience to your members
    To read, click HERE
    JANUARY 2024
    Great articles such as:
    • Learning Center Highlights
    • What's Happening in Rotary
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Fight preventable diseases
    • Use your professional expertise for service
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Message from the Chair
    • Patient Updates
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as:
    • Over 4,200 clubs participated in World Polio Day
    • Polio update: Closing in on zero
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as: 
    • The fight to stop variant poliovirus  
    • Supporting Pakistan’s efforts to end polio for good 
    To read, click HERE
    DECEMBER 2023
    Great articles such as: 
    • ANNUAL Report 2022-23
    • NEW Upcoming Events
    To read, click HERE
    JANUARY 2024
    Great articles such as:
    • Make 2024 the year to start your service-learning journey
    • Have an upcoming youth programs event?
    To read, click HERE
    Great articles such as:
    • WASH-RAG on the global front!
    • "Every day is World Water Day for the WASH Rotary Action Group"
    To read, click HERE
    Foundation - Rotary District 1260
    Contact Details
    6-8 Phyllis Avenue
    Thornleigh NSW 2120
    Phone    +61 2 9481 9400
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    District eNews is reviewed weekly for publication on Thursday at least every two weeks. Content provided and all rights reserved by Rotary International District 9685 Inc