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Each month, Rotary features a different theme. Seven are based on the Seven Areas of Focus of Rotary and the remainder carry different messages, some for external readers and some for club members.
Maternal & Child Health is one of the Seven Areas of Focus. Rotary sees that a healthy woman is likely to raise a healthy child. It also recognises that women have a significant impact on the way in which a child develops.
To this extent, clubs develop or support programs that focus on women's health and childhood development.
Rotary Geelong East - Supporting Women's health and Child Development Projects
Rotary Geelong East has supported Community Care Chemists Newcomb store to cover the cost of one more series of Blister Pack recycling boxes.  As a result, of Rotary Geelong East’s support, all Community Care Chemists are now involved in the scheme.
Part of the arrangement was that the club, the pharmacy group and Pharmacycle would all apply pressure to drug manufacturers to support the scheme for the long term.
Chairman Environment & Sustainability Interest Group, Warren Norton & Service Director, Janine Koch joined with the CEO of Community Care Chemists to launch this second round of the recycling of blister packs.
Rotary Geelong East - Working with others to save the environment
Volunteer Week is celebrated in Australia in the week commencing 20th May and 26th May.
Huge numbers of people volunteer in all sorts of areas from Carers looking after those who cannot look after themselves, those who take care of the environment cleaning it up, planting trees, removing invasive weeds, those who feed the hungry in kitchens around the country, people who care for the homeless and so many more areas of support given freely.
Every Rotarian is a volunteer. Not only do most volunteer for Rotary based activities (which could be local, national or international projects) designed to create a better world.
We know that there are many others who would like to volunteer, but cannot see a way to do so. Things that stand in their way include work and travel, time, family to care for, their own health limitations, concern about the skills they may need and many other concerns.
Rotary clubs have a great flexibility and are able to help people into the volunteering space which is so rewarding. An example of this is a project that is very important to those going through mastectomy or Thoracic surgery - to help reduce pain, Cancer Cushions are made. In different situations, small groups get together weekly, monthly and work on cutting, sewing and stuffing the cushions. Others do one part or complete cushions in their own time and at their own pace. This is extremely important and yet time-wise can be managed to suit a volunteer's needs.
If you  have a desire to volunteer, but don't know what you can offer or what commitment you can make, talk to a Rotary club and ask.
Rotary Geelong East - People Volunteering to improve our world
We often hear or use the phrase "Youth are our future" and they are.
Rotary through many Youth programs aims to create a safe environment for our youth, to educate them in cultural differences and to learn to respect those differences.
Rotary Youth Exchange is one of the best known youth exchange programs in the world. Young people spend twelve months in another country and attend school, live with a local family, learn knew languages and begin to understand the difference in cultures. It is a powerful program that has changed the lives of many of our youth.
Interact is either a school or community based club for youth 14 -18 years old and provides the opportunity to learn about service and caring for others. Interactors run fundraisers, visit the elderly in nursing homes, have speakers who inform them of career opportunities and needs both within their local and the international community.
Rotaract caters for young people 18 - 30 and much like Interact they carry out projects such as feeding the homeless, maintaining gardens of elderly people still living in their own homes, travel overseas to carry out projects in underdeveloped countries and many other activities.
Rotary believes "Youth are our Future"
Rotary Geelong East was fortunate to have two Guest Speakers from MELI, talk about their Program (ROAR) for women who have or are subject to domestic violence. The acronym stands for “Reclaiming and Retelling Our Acts of Resistance”
Participants share and exchange stories, strengthen one another and help to build positive futures. The program was co-designed by women who had been previous clients (and had therefore first hand knowledge of domestic violence).  The contribution made by the women included not only content that should be covered, but also how the program should be run.
ROAR is designed to build women’s resistance and strengthen empowerment and creates a platform for changing future stories. It is run over eight weeks. Topics include: Sharing our hopes and our futures, Patterns of Violence, Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships, Financial Counselling and Cyber Awareness, Children, Legal Rights, Healthy Boundaries and Changing the Story and Self Care.
The two Guest Speakers were Katie Wheeler a facilitator of the program and Celina Bagley who spoke about the benefits of the program.
Rotary says "No to Family Violence"
World Immunization Week holds a special place in the hearts of Rotarians.  While the week itself is about promoting vaccinations for all types of diseases, Rotary has a special project of immunization that has been running since the mid-eighties and is very close to eradicating a disease.
Australian Rotarian, the late Clem Renouf proposed a project of immunizing children in the Philippines agains Polio. It was considered impossible and a waste of money. Still, Queensland Rotarians picked up the project and were successful.
At the time that Renouf became the International President of Rotary, between 350,000 and 480,000 children were contracting Polio every year. Some died, some had limb deficiencies (short legs or arms), many would never walk, some lived in Iron Lungs for life and few got away from Polio with no long term effects.
The World Health Organisation joined with Rotary as did UNICEF. Later, the Centres for Disease Control, vaccine maker Gavi and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. All came together as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to rid the world of this horrific disease.
Rotarians have individually and through their contacts with governments of the world, the United Nations and corporations have raised billions of dollars to tackle Polio and to give its eradication as a 'gift to the children of the world'.
On this day (18th April 2024), only two endemic countries exist - Pakistan and Afghanistan. Afghanistan has had one case of Wild Polio Virus and five positive environmental samples while Pakistan has reported no cases and twelve positive environmental samples. These few, down from hundreds of thousands in the mid 1980's.
The work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative has provided much more that the eradication of Polio, as important as that is. The laboratories set up in countries that have poor medical assessment infrastructure have been and continue to be used for identification of other disease outbreaks. These include: Ebola, Covid 19, Avian Flu and Marbug virus among many others. The legacy of the Polio Eradication is ongoing and serves poorer countries well.
Rotary - End Polio Now
Inspector (Amy Scott) who showed great bravery in Bondi, received a Rotary Police Officer of the Year award in 2019 - she truly is a hero and saved many lives.
In 2019 Inspector Scott was recognised at the Rotary Club Police Officer of the Year award ceremony when she received the Demonstrated Courage and Devotion to Duty Award.
Australian Rotary Clubs Thank Inspector Scott for her latest heroic act that undoubtedly saved more lives
Each month, Rotary carries a different theme. April is when the focus is on creating awareness about our Environment and its importance to humanity.
Rotary Geelong East will be planting more trees on National Tree Day in a few months time. This is something we have done over many years. In the last two years alone, we have planted over 1,000 trees. While this is not the only Environmental activity the members carry out, it is considered extremely important.
Other Environment and Sustainability activities we carry our include: Walk Against Waste (monthly activity collecting rubbish), Recycling batteries, plastic bottle tops, blister packs, container deposit scheme among other recycling activities.
One of the most important has been the provision of air conditioning and aids for a Sensory Room at Newcomb Primary School. This allows students with problems some 'alone space' free from interuptions and allows them to get back into the right frame of mind to go back to class and continue their education. This is an Emotional Environmental project and it has worked extremely well.
Rotary Geelong East - Environmental Warriors!
Three of Geelong’s Rotary clubs took part in a delayed Clean Up Australia Day activity.
Two of the clubs had commitments on the actual day set aside for Clean Up Australia campaign. They decided to join together and invite another club to take part on 19th March. The clubs involved were Rotary Bayside Geelong, Rotary Geelong East and Rotary Club of Corio Bay.
With fifteen people (including one non-Rotarian) working for one and a half hours, the clean up was conducted around the Limeburners Point at the bottom of the Eastern Park Gardens. Most of what was picked up was general rubbish, with small amounts of glass and other recyclables. Seven large bags of rubbish were collected and disposed of.
Members followed up with a coffee at Merci in the Eastern Gardens.
Rotary Geelong East conducts monthly clean ups, known as Walk Against Waste. The same process is followed and the area worked on changes regularly. Members, family and friends take part and follow up with a coffee together. Members of the general public are free to join us. If you wish to do so, please make inquiries through the Rotary Club of Geelong East Facebook page:
A few of the Rotary volunteers before setting off to clean up Limeburners Point.
Rotary – Keeping Australia Clean
Rotary was originally a 'Men's Only' club.  In 1989, Rotary International at its Council on Legislation, voted to admit women to the organisation. It was not simply that men suddenly felt happy to admit women, but that the United States Supreme Court ruled that Rotary International could not revoke a clubs Charter if they chose to admit women as members.
Since that time, women have made an amazing difference to Rotary clubs all over the world. Their contribution has been enormous and something that clubs are proud of. In the Rotary year 2022-2023 the organisation had its first female International President, Jennifer Jones, (Canada). In the Rotary year 2024-2025, the second female International President will take office, Stephanie Urchick (UA).
Rotary recognises the great contribution that women and men make to the organisation.
Rotary - Celebrating International Women's Day
Each month, Rotary has a different focus in addition to the many projects and programs clubs all around the globe take.
March focuses on Water availability for all and suitable for drinking, Sanitation for all to prevent the spread of disease and Hygiene so that people do not inadvertently catch diseases.
Healthy people = a Healthy World.
Rotary Geelong East - Focused on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Friday 23rd February marks the 119th birthday of Rotary International. Started in Chicago on February 23rd, 1905, the organisation was formed by a small group of business people who wanted to be able to do business with people with good ethics and business practices (remember that this was when Al Capone was demanding 'Protection' money from and tax rorts were commonplace).
From one club that grew rapidly in Chicago, Rotary International now exists in over 200 countries and territories. Rotary is a non-religious and non-political organisation. As such, it is respected by governments, the United Nations  and religions of all types.
Today 1.4 million Rotarians around the world do an incredible amount of work to make the world a healthier and more peaceful place.  There are seven Areas of Focus that Rotarians work within.
Rotary Geelong East wishes all Rotarians and Rotary International a Happy 119th Birthday
At times like this, it can seem as though the world will never have peace.
Rotary, it's clubs and members do not buy into that belief. Everything that Rotarians do within their communities, nationally and internationally has an end objective of bringing about more peace.
If we as individuals are at peace with ourselves, we can be at peace with our families and friends. It we are at peace with each other, we can build peace within our communities and if we can do that, we can build peace within our nation. Then, we work on the world.
Peace starts with each of us, you included.
Rotary Geelong East - Building Peace in our Community
Rotary is an organisation strongly focused on Peace. Every year, scholarships are offered on a competitive basis to people who meet specific criteria. The study is done at one of seven universities in different parts of the world. The whole course is made up of people there for the same reason - they want to learn about Peace & Conflict Prevention.
There are two types of Fellowship. The first is a two year Masters degree and the second, a one year Post Graduate diploma.
Are you the right person for this type of study? One way to find out is to go to the link below and check if you meet the criteria and learn about the 1,700 others who have done the courses.
Rotary Geelong East - Working with others toward a Peaceful World
There comes a time in most people's lives when they want to give back and help improve their communities, locally, nationally or internationally. With over 1.4 million members in over 200 countries and territories, Rotary provides that opportunity.
Whether your interest is in addressing Mental Health, the Environment, Basic Education &Literacy, Women & Children's health, Disease Prevention &Treatment, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Community Economic Development or working toward a more Peaceful World, Rotary can provide opportunities for you.
Consider what you have to offer as an individual (skills and knowledge) and what a difference you could make. Then consider the support you could gain from joining with others in our community and then, consider the impact you and others could have in different countries with different needs to ours.
It is pretty simple really - the difference Rotary has is it's members and you could be one of them.
Rotary - Changing the World for the Better
Be a part of it!
On Saturday 25th November Rotarians across Geelong and District combined with ZONTA Home | Zonta Club Geelong (zontageelong.org.au) and undertook an awareness walk finishing in Johnstones Park.  Although numbers were small, ZONTA was very happy with the turnout – building on previous years annual awareness walk numbers and community coverage. 
During the 16 Days of Activism (25 November – 10th Dec) 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 2023 (who.int)  activities and awareness campaigns are happening across the world.
In Geelong local Rotary Clubs have contributed to the awareness walk, purchased Rotary themed t-shirts, and will be assisting with a Lived Experience Art Exhibition at Deakin University Project Space at waterfront campus – launched Wednesday 29th November – through to end January 2024 (further details will be provided).
Many Clubs have also raised funds, donated goods or had local guest speakers along to their clubs. 
Rotary Geelong East is providing a grant of $1500 to a Women’s Lived Experience program operated at Meli (previously Bethany Community Support) to enable them to continue their programming and support of women in 2024.  We are also working closely with Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence Committee  Barwon Area Integrated Family Violence (baifvc.org.au) on Family Violence training for Rotarians and community members, planning promotional material for our region and also understanding the current services and supports available in our Geelong region for Women and Children experiencing Family Violence. 
Rotary - Working with others to rid the World of Violence
Rotary Geelong East has supported ShelterBox, a partner of Rotary International.
ShelterBox, as the name suggests provides shelter (10 person tents), utensils, water purification tools and other basic necessities for people in disaster situations from civil war, earthquakes, floods and the like. The various needs vary from situation to situation. Heavy blankets would not be sent to a country with hot temperatures.
Rotary clubs throughout Australia have provide over 400,000 ShelterBoxes
Rotary Geelong East has just been presented with a Bronze Champion recognition for it's ongoing support. Non-Rotarians can contribute to simply by contacting a local Rotary club.
At Newcomb Primary School this year, Geelong East Rotary sponsored the Story Dog program that is designed to assist reluctant readers to become confident, enjoy reading and improve their literacy skills.
Koby and his master Graeme visited the school weekly and spent one-on-one time listening to stories read by selected students.
The Principal of Newcomb Primary School, Rachael Buck, reports that the reading data for all four students has improved. In the Principal’s own words, Graeme and Koby are the absolute best!!!!
The students said:
Liam: I love when Koby and Graeme come and we read together. My favourite book has been Dog get Lost. I think Koby likes dog books.
Nikita: I like reading with Koby and Graeme and I think my reading has improved because I have been reading more.
Scarlett: My favourite thing is reading with Koby and Graeme and seeing them when they get here in the morning. Graeme always brings good new books to read like Pig the Pug.
Leslie: My favourite thing is picking out a new book to read and spending time with Koby.
Obviously, Story Dogs has achieved its aim at Newcomb Primary School.
Rotary, Graeme & Koby working to improve literacy!
Everything that Rotary clubs do, has one objective in mind - Peace.
Projects of Community Building, Healthcare for Mothers & Children, Literacy, Environmental work and many other seemingly unrelated projects all lead to more peaceful communities and consequently, a more peaceful world.
Rotary has partnerships with the Institute of Economics & Peace, with thousands of Rotarians and Rotaractors undertaking Peace studies.  Since 2000, Rotary has trained over 1600 Peace Scholars in Peace & Conflict Prevention at seven universities around the world and joined forces with the Peace Corp to promote peace through joint activities.
Rotary - Working toward a Peaceful World for all
Among those who fought and died and those who fought and lived very different lives, were many Rotarians. Rotary as an organisation has a very strong focus on Peace, so that no one has to fight and die, be incapacitated or mentally scared in future. To this end, we have trained over 1,600 Peace Scholars in Peace & Conflict Prevention. These people now work in many organisations from the UN, governments and NGO's to bring about peace in all parts of the world.
We will always remember those who fought for our future.
Rotary clubs throughout District 9780 are taking part in the "Say No to Violence" campaign. Clubs all around Australia are also involved and each club or group of clubs have their own approach to how they are doing it.
In District 9780, clubs are taking part in the "16 Days of Activism" to raise attention to the issue and to determine what actions are required to reduce (preferably eliminate) Domestic Violence in all it's different forms.
The Rotary Foundation, Rotary International's charity, has been recognised for 15 consecutive years by Charity Navigator as the top charity for it's management of funds and it's low cost structure.
The Rotary Foundation disperses grants to Rotary Districts, Natural Disasters, Major Projects, Training of Peace Scholars and manages the funds required for the End Polio Now campaign.
Projects range across the Rotary Areas of Focus which are: Peace Building & Conflict Prevention, Disease Prevention & Treatment, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Maternal & Child Health, Basic Education & Literacy, Community Economic Development and Environment.
Rotarians are very proud of their Foundation and in particular, it's recognition as a trustworthy charity.
Mark West Foundation Donation
The Rotary Club of Geelong East donated $1,500.00 to the Mark West Foundation during the senior game of football at St. Albans ground.
The funds will be used to assist disadvantaged children from missing out on the opportunity to play football. In the 2019 season, there are sponsored children playing at 25 Geelong clubs, due to the assistance of the Mark West Foundation.
The Mark West Foundation was established following the tragic death on the football field of Mark West at the age of 19.  Mark had played football at all levels of club football and began coaching at the age of 17.  A very talented footballer and someone who believed that he had to give back to the game, for the enjoyment he gained from it.
The Foundation has two Mission Statements:
To ensure no child in the greater Geelong region misses out on being able to play Australian Rules football due to financial reasons.
To strengthen the legacy of Mark West who set an amazing example of how to make a difference to those around him through participation, community involvement and striving to be the best you can be.
Details on the Mark West Foundation can be found at the website: http://www.tmwf.org.au/the-foundation
The Rotary Club of Geelong East – Connecting with Other Community Organisations
Barwon River Safety Marker Project
The Rotary Club Geelong East, together with the City of Greater Geelong and the Corangamite Catchment Authority, launched the Barwon River Safety Markers.
This six year start-to-finish project was the brainchild of Rotarian Keith Dawson of Rotary Geelong East. The idea of the project was to TRANSFORM and make SAFER the activities areas along both sides of the Barwon River. Safer for Walkers, Runners, Riders, Tourists and Families.
A total of 46 double sided Location Marker signs were installed along the Barwon River on both sides. Along approximately 10 kilometres of river on both sides stretching from the Breakwater to the Ring Road.
The two most important pieces of information during a Triple Zero call is the nature of the emergency and its location. When an incident occurs at a specific street address, it is generally easy for emergency services to find the caller. However, if it takes place in large open-spaces, walking trails or beaches where no obvious reference points exist, it takes extra, valuable, life saving time to identify and verify the specific location and vehicle access point.
Another Community Service of The Rotary Club of Geelong East
Dinner Auction Recipients
River’s Gift and Sailability were the recipients of a combined $15,000.00 from the most recent Rotary Club of Geelong East Dinner Auction.
River's Gift is the largest source of funding for laboratory-based SIDS research in Australia. To date, River's Gift has generated over $1 million to save babies lives, by funding scientific research, delivering Safe Sleep Education and raising awareness of Sudden InfaMaster Logo - Navy RG-Sky tagline-Sky hent Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Sailability is a “not for profit” organisation, volunteer-based, and through the activity of Sailing enriches the lives of people of all abilities – the elderly, the financially and socially disadvantaged as well as people with physical challenges.
The Dinner Auction attracted 150 Guests and was MC’d by media personality and Rotarian, Gary Newton and the auction was conducted by Joe Grgic.
Dozens of local businesses supported the auction by donating goods and services to be auctioned on the night and the club thanks them.  The club’s Dinner Auctions are held every two years.
Rotarians working in the Community
Canadian Visitors
The Rotary Club of Geelong East hosted ten Canadians visiting our District. Four couples and two single women travelled from Canada to Australia on a Rotary Friendship Exchange.  Ten Australians will go to Canada in August on the return leg of the Exchange.
The visitors were home hosted by local Rotarians both on their way into the District and again on their departure.  In Geelong they toured the Bollards, Narana, National Wool Museum, did a tour of Corio Bay, Anglesea Golf Club, attended an AFLW match at GMHBA Stadium, toured Queenscliffe and a Picnic in the (Eastern) Park.
They spent time in Portland, Warnambool, Grampians, Port Fairy and Drysdale.
The feedback from all, was that they thoroughly enjoyed their 14 days in the area.
The Rotary Friendship Exchange allows small groups of Rotarians to go to other countries and meet with locals and experience the culture and so see local sites of interest and animals.  A component of the Friendship Exchanges is creating greater understanding and friendships between people of the world.
Rotary Friendship - Worldwide
Rotary Convention Comes to Melbourne
It is with great excitement that we announce Melbourne as the host city for the 2023 Rotary International Convention, the largest conference secured this century for Victoria.
 Melbourne is a Big Events City! Set to deliver over $88 million to the Victorian economy, the Convention is the most valuable conference ever won for the state, with the four-day event anticipated to attract more than 20,000 Rotarians from around the world. The global spotlight will be on Melbourne and how we present ourselves to the world.
 The Convention will take place 27-31 May 2023 using superb venues; Rod Laver Arena and the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. All activities and events are within the Heart and Soul of Melbourne. Over 7000 hotel rooms over 50 properties across Melbourne. Our transport plan uses our famous trams, ferries and buses to quickly and easily move delegates between venues, hotels, event and restaurants. And of course, Melbourne is a very walkable city with many interesting routes and laneways to tantalise visitors.
 In addition, the Victorian visitor economy will be bolstered with expenditure from thousands of visiting Rotarians utilising transport, hospitality, entertainment, venues, attractions, tourism services, event planning, freight customs broker services, technology rental, security and various other members of the local business event and tourism supply chain, as well as the flow on benefits across regional Victoria for pre and post touring. Rotary has a business heritage as well as community service. We are proud to make an impact on local business and create jobs.
Rotarians Supporting Victoria
Making the World a Better Place
Rotary world-wide, is dedicated to making the world a better place for all.
Through its 32,000 clubs, the organisation and its 1.2 million members work in their local communities, internationally, through youth and professions to do those things that will lead to a more peaceful world.
The illustration below shows Rotary’s Six Areas of Focus.  Working to improve five, will help the world move toward the sixth, Peace.
Rotarians - People of Action
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The Rotary Club of Geelong East Inc.
Geelong East

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