Rotary District 9800 is led by its District Governor. The Governor is directly responsible to the Board of Rotary International for the administration of the District.
The Governor is Chairperson of the District Board, which comprises the Immediate Past District Governor, the Governor Elect, Governor Nominee, District Secretary (Public Officer), Treasurer, Rotary Foundation Director, Governance Director, Membership Director, Director of Public Image & Communications, Co-Ordinator of Assistant Governors, Vice Governor, and District Secretary Elect.
Separately, the District Leadership Team includes the Governor, Governor Elect & Governor Nominee, together with the Secretary & Treasurer, Assistant Governors, District Directors, Avenues of Service Chairs, and Chair of Learning & Leadership Development.
The District also has the following District Officers: Auditor, Resolutions/Manual of Procedure, Protection, Insurance, Legal, and District Conference.
Read the latest message from our District Governor below.
My profession as an educator for over forty years enables me to say with absolute certainty that if we do not teach our children to read by seven years of age, they are at risk of underachieving for life. A big statement but none the less true!
District Governors' Message - Networker- Edition 5.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says: Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
In this year of being A Gift to the World we have a second District Vocational Training Team that will provide training in early literacy to over 160 teachers who work in remote village schools around Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in January 2016.
With realization of one's own potential and self-confidence in one's ability, one can build a better world. Dalai Lama
One of my favourite pastimes on a weekend is to read the Barefoot Investor article in the Herald Sun. Scott Pape is a young man who provides financial advice to his readers and as well as guidance on financial health and future planning, he regularly promotes the notion of helping others less fortunate in a “hand up, not hand out” manner. He promotes the notion of Micro Finance as a means to economic and community development. I should invite him to join Rotary as his ideas do resonate with in our quest to “Do Good in the World”!
'Literacy is at the heart of sustainable development' - Kofi Annan
I guess there is no disputing the obvious link between literacy and economic and community development. This is often seen in a most profound and life changing way in developing countries, and I must say that my experience in Cambodia changed my life. I found it interesting though, to hear about a project initiated by the Rotary Club of Footscray in February 2013 in partnership with The Aboriginal Literacy Foundation. The receipt of a Foundation District Grant facilitated this project and the good work continues.
The Rotary Foundation can be seen as the most magnificent means to an end. Such foresight was shown at the 1917 Rotary convention, by the outgoing Rotary International President Arch C. Klumph when he proposed to set up an endowment for the purpose of “doing good in the world”, with money that was unspent.
Julie Mason, Rotary District 9800 Governor
When visiting Clubs and talking about the Rotary Foundation, I have declared that, in fact the Rotary Foundation is my charity of choice, as I know with absolute certainty that all money given really makes a difference in the lives of others here and abroad.
I liken our Foundation in some ways to a bank, in that every year our District Clubs give a substantial amount of money that in due course comes back to be spent by you through District and Global Grants on projects that change and enrich lives. When you have an idea for a new project, I want you to think Foundation Funds and Rotary Australia World Community Service, and I want you to call John Wigley, District Director Foundation and Rowan McClean, District Chair international Service, to get the best advice and support available to kick start this project! We have money available and I want you to access it!
In the olden days people died through starvation, a lack of cleanliness and medical knowledge. Now we have plenty of food, we wash our hands with soap, go to the doctor when ill and use all sorts of technology to diagnose and treat conditions that effect our quality of life. However in the western world our desire to live longer and better, has created life threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes, cancer and coronary heart disease.
So, is there really a role for Rotary in disease prevention and treatment and will we as Rotarians live long and healthy lives to enable us to take on such a role.
District Governor Julie Mason
As I sit here thinking about the onset of the festive season, I can’t help but reflect on the past few months where I have experienced the very best of what Rotary stands for in the world. My visit to the clubs in our amazing District has opened my eyes to the breadth of projects that have been initiated as a response to the needs of the marginalised individuals and groups in our community, local and international.
In recent times where so many members of the Country Fire Authority and the State Emergency Services have been called upon to provide service at the front line of natural disasters it is useful to take time to reflect on and appreciate the work done by them to save and support others in need. I am sure that we all know many volunteers who give time to the emergency services and one such person is my nephew, who at a very young age joined the branch of Country Fire Authority in Koroit and for the past fifteen years has maintained his commitment to service when called upon. Whilst celebrating Christmas day in Bacchus Marsh he received a call out and immediately left to do his duty. Here is just one example of a fine young person doing “good in the world” and I am sure that you too will have similar stories to share!
Peace and Conflict Prevention/ Resolution
Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding - Albert Einstein
It seems that in the world today the role of Rotary to take a position of facilitation for peace is just so important. But how will this happen? Several District and club signature programs could in fact be seen as precursors for world peace.
Our District has an unbroken record of providing participants in the Rotary World Peace Fellows Program. At this time Peace Scholar Ellen Maynes is currently in Thailandand is participating in classes at the Rotary Peace Centre at Chulalongkorn University. The Rotary Peace Centre is a fantastic facility with the university a lush oasis compared to the chaos of Bangkok traffic and high-rise buildings.There are twenty other students participating in the program this year from around the globe - all have very diverse experience and credentials. Ellen has met her Host Counsellor from a local Thai Rotary Club and will get an opportunity to speak at hopefully several meetings. She has made contact with the Australian Embassy in Bangkok and has shared information about the peace program. In late January she was to visit the Mae Sot Refugee Camp on the Thai/Myanmar border and in March will travel to Nepal. It will be interesting to follow Ellen’s adventures and to see just how much her life changes as a result of the District 9800 commitment to the Rotary World Peace Fellows program.
This edition of District Governors' message will update you with the latest on:
You know I remember vividly one morning when I woke up, turned on the tap in the shower and …no water. Down stairs to see what might be happening outside only to find many neighbours already there discussing the impact of the situation! We couldn’t fill the kettle to make a cup of tea, no shower today, no washing of clothes or the car! Disaster had struck in this part of our world, and then of course the water began to flow freely again. Once you stop and reflect we are so very lucky compared to others in other parts of our world.
As part of the planning for Major Events in this year, where we are asked to Be a Gift to the World, I invited every club to celebrate the anniversary of our amazing organisation.
I am so pleased to let you know that your District Governor, subject to an appeal time of one more week, will be Bronwyn Stephens. Bronwyn will join the DGEN as the District Governor Nominee from the first of July, and up until then will be lovingly called The Designate!
I want to give a big shout out to the most amazing team of Assistant Governors that I have the privilege of working with and I will always appreciate their good will, hard work and personal support.
The Conference Themes of Our Youth Our Future, Golden Rotary Moments, Joined up Partnerships and Innovative Leadership set the direction for some memorable speakers and in turn some thought provoking messages.
The presentation from the Vocational Training Team that did some amazing work in Cambodia, the Group Vocational Exchange Team from the Philippines and the Youth Exchange students certainly showed the internationality of Rotary at its best and those in attendance will never forget “Pray for Paris”. Renowned speaker Phil Ruthven reminded us that organisations like Rotary will thrive in the future if changes are made to accommodate the needs of the next generation and we are fortunate that we have articulate young Rotarians who can show us the way forward.
District Governor Julie Mason
Hello everybody, I thought I'd take this opportunity just to say a couple of things to you and as we lead up to half way through our year together in Rotary. this year we're asked to Be A Gift to the World.
So as we embrace this new Rotary year together, you may be wondering what aspirations I have as your District Governor. No doubt your club President has spoken about future goals and every Rotarian that I have ever met has personal reasons for being and staying in Rotary. I have found that goals shared are more likely to be achieved and as we often say great projects have usually commenced with the idea and passion of one person. The projects have been successful and sustainable though with the work of many!
July 1st 2015
And so a new Rotary Year begins, a new theme, a time to reflect on achievements, maintain successful programs and projects, and embrace new ideas. After a wonderful District Changeover Dinner on the 27th of June Murray Verso handed over the Chains of Office to me and there is no great weight of dreaded responsibility, rather a sense of excitement and optimism as we continue to serve our local and world community in the name of Rotary. Murray and all Past District Governors have contributed time, energy, inspiration and quite amazing outcomes that define our Rotary District 9800. It is a delight to have so many mentors to call upon as I embrace the role as your District Governor.
Over the past month, Australians and New Zealanders have commemorated the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in many imaginative ways: historical displays, lectures, school projects, genealogical searches and the restoration of WW1 monuments. Larger crowds than usual attended the traditional dawn services and ANZAC Day marches in cities, towns and hamlets around the country. Many of our Rotary Clubs have embraced one or more of these commemorative activities.
Irene and I were privileged to be part of an 80 strong group of Rotarians, their partners and friends from around Australia and New Zealand, in the Rotary Club of Balwyn’s tenth annual Rotary Anzac Peace Tour to Turkey. It was a very special experience. We attended a meeting of Balwyn’s sister club, the Rotary Club of Goksu-Istanbul and a few days later joined them at a Rotary Peace Conference in Istanbul. In the town of Gelibolu, on the Gallipoli peninsula, the Rotarians from Goksu arranged for us to have a reception with the mayor, Mustafa Ozacar followed by a visit to the local school for the vision impaired where we were able to provide funds for much needed equipment. The Turkish Rotarians were exceedingly generous with their time with us, with their gifts and their understanding of our pilgrimage. We look forward to seeing them again when they come to Melbourne next November.
Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary,
“Being a Rotarian is a shared experience and like attending a Rotary club meeting, reading our Rotary magazine is an essential part of that shared experience.–Ron Burton, RI President 2014-2014
Last month, we celebrated Literacy Month and this month, we reflect on how through reading we can improve our knowledge of Rotary. Everything in our lives depends on consistent, accurate and constant communication. We receive Rotary communications regularly through our club bulletins, emails from various sources, our Club & District websites, this District Newsletter and most importantly our regional magazine, Rotary Down Under.
By Murray Verso, Rotary District 9800 Governor
For 110 years, Rotarians have served in countless ways and I continue to be amazed at the myriad of service projects planned and carried out by individual Rotarians and clubs. However, Rotary now encourages clubs to focus their efforts, particularly those involving international service, in six critical areas.
Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary,
“Rotary believes that the citizen who best serves his country is the one who wishes to know the truth about his neighbours, and who desires to replace hatred between nations with friendship.
–George C. Hager, RI President 1938-39
For most of us, December is usually a month of celebration. It is a month of merry-making, of greetings and gift giving, of colourful decorations and sparkling lights, of eating and drinking and lots of fun and laughter. The Festive Season is also an opportune time for Rotarians to reflect on how well off most of us are and what is important to us in life – our family, our friends, our work colleagues, our vocations, our personal comfort, wealth and material possessions. Perhaps it is our physical, mental and spiritual health.
But December is not the same for everyone. In many parts of the world people still battle daily with issues of conflict, poor economic circumstances, disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, lack of fresh water and poor sanitation.
Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary
“The world would not be where it is without Rotary, and it won’t get where it needs to go without Rotary. You have so much to offer. – Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 21 January 2009
During the month of November Rotarians set aside time to reflect on the importance of The Rotary Foundation. Through our Foundation’s six areas of focus, we distribute medical equipment, build schools, provide clean water, improve sanitation, control disease, provide microcredit, enhance literacy, plant seeds for food, restore dignity, assist refugees, and simply bring hope to the world. The list of Rotary projects is almost endless because the needs of the world are almost unlimited. Is it any wonder that Rotary’s great friend and partner in the eradication of polio, Bill Gates, thinks so highly of our organization?
District Governors October Message
Rotary Friends and Friends of Rotary
“The only unique feature of Rotary is vocational service; everything else that we do is repeated by some other organization. If we have a special message or mission in the world that is unique to ourselves, it lies only in the realm of vocational service.” - T.A. Warren, Past RI President 1945-46
Traditionally, Rotarians set aside October as the month to showcase our second avenue of service, Vocational Service. It is possibly the least understood of our five avenues of service and for this reason it is often overlooked as an area of activity within our club
District Governor Murray Verso's September Message
The former President of the Unites States Franklin D. Roosevelt once said “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” I often think of this quote whenever Rotary’s youth programs are discussed.
The years of youth can be an emotional, intense roller coaster. It is the stage of life when elation soars highest and frustration can swoop to its lowest depths. Young people need time to talk, to plan, to mature and to learn that their boundless energy can be transformed into something of benefit for those in need. Through its various programs, Rotary can play a valuable role in guiding and developing our young people.
Recently, I heard of a businessman from the United States who was staying in Melbourne for a few days. He happened to be staying with a Rotarian who took the opportunity to take him along to his local Rotary club. The American was impressed by the friendliness shown to him at the club meeting and was even more overwhelmed when he learnt of the breadth of the club’s service work. Surprisingly, he had never heard of Rotary before, and yet, he came from Chicago, the home of Rotary.
Rotary’s public image and membership development go hand in hand. Too many people – even well educated, well informed people – have no idea what Rotary is.
The District 9800 Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 has just been completed. It is modelled on Rotary International’s Strategic Plan and has three priorities:
Support and strengthen our clubs
Focus on and increase humanitarian service
Enhance our public image and awareness of Rotary
Strategic planning gives our District and our Clubs the elements needed for success: a shared vision, agreed goals, adequate resources, enthusiasm and commitment. I urge you to read the District 9800 Strategic Plan and use it as a basis for your club’s own strategic planning.