Let's talk progress

I have had an outstanding Rotary experience over the last 16 years that I have been with the Rotary Club of Berwick. That comes with joining an active, vibrant and fun club, full of characters, ambitious ideas, and the energy to take on the workload to make it all happen. As we age, the edge comes off, we do less, and we go from setting the world on fire to just getting by. Some of our active members turn from doers to passengers. I have seen this scenario play out in many service, volunteer, hobby groups, and clubs. Let's face it; volunteering takes commitment because all you get are feel good credits. Paid employment could quickly go the same way, except money puts food on your table.

Cool story. 

In my business life, there is no room for passengers. If something isn't working, looking for a life vest isn't an option when your ship is about to sink. Fix the leak, change direction and re-invent. Stay ahead of the game. Pull the plug and start again, if that's what it takes. Money puts food on the table and increases the level of motivation. How can you transfer that motivation to a volunteer organisation?

In my younger days, I used to be a rock climber. You know, climbing cliffs for fun. At the bottom, you would plan your path to the top. About half way up, you might see a better way to go (funny how getting close to what you are doing creates more opportunities), but when you are close there is a possibility you might be wrong and some paths lead to a dead end (yes DEAD END). Try stepping off a cliff for a better look!! The climb is thrilling. If you make all the right choices and make it to the peak, you are a winner. If you get it wrong and come off, it is going to hurt and you might come home in a body bag. Making the right choices in the face of unknown outcomes is what I do (if Judy says it is OK - LOL). Oh, and I can be wrong!

Our Club strengths are:

  1. Our contribution to the people of the City of Casey is increasing. 
  2. Our portfolio and variety of projects are multiplying.
  3. Our relevance in our cluster group is good.
  4. We are building alliances with other groups to help meet our goals.
  5. Our active members are phenomenal, resourceful and adapting.
  6. Experienced active members are voluntarily mentoring less experienced members.
  7. Our active members are creating new projects in areas that are most likely to attract new members.
  8. Our Club is adapting and taking on fresh opportunities.
  9. Our Club is creating positions in the Club that are suitable for new suitably motivated members.
  10. We are supported by two respected sponsors, Beaconsfield District Community Bank and St John of God Hospital.

Our Club weaknesses are:

  1. We have failed to engage 28% of members, even though we have decreased our fees, meal costs and are back to physical meetings. The same people who say Rotary is too expensive and don't like Zoom are still not contributing. 
  2. We are not meeting our attendance obligations for our fantastic venue.
  3. We have allowed inactive members to remain inactive.
  4. We have not moved quickly enough with the changing times.
  5. We have not kept our Club vibrant and have not created a hotbed for growth over recent years.
  6. We have not engaged, captured or retained some brilliant members.

If we know where we are weak, there is room to fix it. If we know our strengths, we can capitalise on them. If we plan our future and are prepared to alter our course as needed, there is a good chance of success.

A Satellite Club is in the wind.

Please consider the idea of a proposed satellite Club of the Rotary Club of Berwick.

This idea has been floated around for years, but now we have a serious proposal on the table. According to the proposal, no Rotary Club of Berwick members are directly involved, or proposed members. There are eight people, mostly current Rotarians, that want to create a new club. Eight is too low to get going in their own right, but enough to make a Satellite of another Club. I would think that 72% of our Club members who are active. will remain with the Rotary Club of Berwick. Some inactive members may skip over to the satellite club, which is OK, as our Club doesn't seem to be ringing their bells and they are not contributing to the Club's prosperity. 

I have canvased the Board and four main concerns have emerged. 

  1. Workload for the existing Board to maintain/involve and mentor the new Club.
  2. Leakage of active members to a more flexible format.
  3. Eroding our ability to keep our venue by undermining attendance.
  4. Our Club is making good progress in becoming active in the community again. A satellite Club may take that focus away.

I have no argument with any of these concerns.

Then there are the positives:

  • We are helping Rotary by adding to its membership (and indirectly ours).
  • It’s a project of the RC of Berwick, not a competitor
  • It is great publicity for RCB as our name will be in correspondence and public image.
  • We can work with them in our projects as we age
  • It will boost our membership in the meanwhile while we continue rebuilding our Club
  • It will provide a sound home for some disenchanted members while they rebuild their interest in Rotary
  • New members will be attracted to Rotary that wouldn’t normally
  • Most of the mentorship is already within the proposed membership 

Like anything our club tackles, we look at as many angles as possible to make sound decisions. Remembering that I have 135 projects and functions of the Rotary Club of Berwick on my radar at the moment, I am not looking at adding a distraction, UNLESS it provides a bonus to our Club.

I want to make my view clear. 

  1. A Satellite is not robbing our Club of members. 
  2. Our current members need to know everything about Rotary; we need to be the winning team and set the example.
  3. Competition motivates us all to do better.
  4. Mutual respect can bind us and extend our reach if we are willing to work together.
  5. We are all part of a bigger picture. It is not a turf war.
  6. Rotary is a respected organisation and is prepared to move with the times. We must accept that our current Club model is not in keeping with some potential Rotarian's lifestyles.
  7. Our Club is better to embrace and learn, than to be scared of the unknown.

We have accepted the challenge of many opportunities this year. We have forged new possibilities in areas previously unchartered. We are looking to find strength and purpose in everything we do. We want to be satisfied that we have been the best we can be. 

I want the following for my club: 

  1. To be seen as a leader in our Rotary District, 
  2. 100% member engagement, especially in the running and management of the club.
  3. Recognised in our community as a respected organisation, 
  4. The Board is creative, balanced and proactive
  5. The Treasurer is always happy
  6. The annual report is long and interesting, with stories of challenge and success across all Rotary areas of focus.
  7. We have several good Public Image activists, who promote our causes.
  8. We are inviting the right people into our club, who share our vision and are willing to work towards our goals.
  9. Our club is prepared to evolve as society changes to meet the needs of future Rotarians.

There are many paths we can choose, and none of them might be the right one. Who knows until you have a go! I apologise for so many dot points in this article. I would love to discuss your opinion on the Satellite proposal at the next available opportunity. You may contact any current Board member listed on this bulletin to discuss further, if you wish.

Clean Up Australia Day Event on Sunday
Posted by Sam McCurdy
Jen Marshall has organised our Club's involvement in the Clean Up Australia Day proceedings to be held on Sunday 7th March at 10:00 am. 
The Club is formally registered on the Clean Up Australia Day web page, so others can join us if they want. 
In fact, we will have company, as 25 Cubs and 10 parents from the Berwick Central Cub Group will be joining us to help complete this project. For members who just want to sleep in, GET OUT OF BED!!!!! Rotarians are "People of Action". 
Important information:
Date:Sunday 7th March
Buchanan Park, 72 Clyde Road Berwick          
 (Opposite McDonalds)   
Time:10:00 am onwards
Please wear your Rotary shirt to promote the Club. 
Although bags and some gloves will be provided by the City of Casey, it is recommended that you bring your own gloves to ensure that we have enough. For personal safety, participants are also advised to wear close-toed shoes and bring tongs.
A beautiful day is forecast with a maximum temperature of 27o Celsius. Therefore, it is recommended that you bring your own sun cream, hat and re-usable water bottle (Not single-use plastic).
We will clean up, then grab coffees/teas from McDonalds across the road, to have with morning tea and enjoy some fellowship. Morning tea will be funded by the City of Casey.
This is another project aligning with Rotary's 7th area of focus, namely: "Supporting the environment". We engage and develop relationships with other organisation to do more work than we could do alone. We are happy for others to take credit before ourselves. We are happy to drive change and create opportunities for others. We set an example for others. This Sunday is where you show your leadership.
Friends and family welcome - many hands make light work!
Art Screen delivery team active in Sorrento
Posted by Sam McCurdy
On Wednesday 3rd March, a team of Rotarians gathered at 'The Shed' at 4:30 pm to organise a delivery of all our Art Screens to Sorrento for their Art Show.  A convoy of two cars with trailers and David Button's truck then set off to Sorrento, arriving there at 6:00 pm as scheduled.
The team consisted of Gus Dominguez, David Nutter, Tim Moore, David Button, Russell Fellows, Andrew Somers, Andy Merrill, John Rosenthal, Garry Cooper and Sam McCurdy.
Unlike previous deliveries to Sorrento, the Art Screens were simply unloaded and placed against the wall of the venue, leaving members of the Rotary Club of Sorrento to assemble them within the venue, as per their planned layout.  This meant that our work was finished very quickly and we were able to sit at the barbeque tables and enjoy hot chips, which were kindly provided by Diana Nutter.  Thanks Diana, they were very  welcome.
Once the chips were consumed, the convoy made its' way home and the trailers were delivered safely to 'The Shed' by 8:00 pm.  This is a very successful and profitable project for the club.
As always, the fellowship between the Rotarians along the way was important, As the Irish say "the Craic" was good and several of the world's problems were almost solved.
Clothes sorting team in action
Posted by Sam McCurdy
 A team of six Rotarians met at Alameda Homestead Nursery on Thursday afternoon to sort through 3.5 pallets of boxes of clothing, which were donated by a large retail business through 'Donations in Kind' to the Rotary Berwick & District Benevolent Society.
The team consisted of David Button, Laury Gordyn, Graham Johnstone, Garry Cooper, John Rosenthal and Sam McCurdy. 
They were joined by Vanessa Shillito and Lidia Gruszka from Casey North Community Information & Support Service (CNCISS), who provided advice on which of the clothes were suitable for distribution to the community.  Those clothes with recognisable logos were considered to be unsuitable for local distribution.
Over a period of three hours of concentrated effort, the team managed to make up 2.5 pallets of suitable clothing for distribution to those in need within the local community. The clothes will be passed on to CNCISS in batches, for distribution over a period of time.
Issue  33
3rd March 2021

Join our meeting

Each Wednesday at
The Beaconsfield Club,
Holm Park, Beaconsfield, 
Victoria, Australia

Enquire by Email:
Visitors and Rotarians are welcome.
Take us for a test drive!
Book into a Meeting
Coffee Club
Mar 06, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Clean Up Australia Day
Mar 07, 2021
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Coffee Club
Mar 13, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Coffee Club
Mar 20, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Coffee Club
Mar 27, 2021
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Vocational Visit: Alameda Homestead Nursery
Alameda Homestead Nursery
Mar 31, 2021
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Rotary Foundation Chair
International Service Director
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Public Image Chair
Ex Officio Officer
Youth and New Ideas
Ex Officio Officer
Avenues of Service Chair
Fundraising Chair
Club Protection Officer
On to Conference
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jane Moore
March 4
Sharmaine Squire
March 5
Di Scheepers
March 10
David Nutter
March 13
Bob Lay AM
March 20
Gus Dominguez
April 19
Fred Edwards
April 25
Garry Cooper
April 26
Jennifer Marshall
April 30
Spouse Birthdays
Wendy Boon
March 1
Jane Moore
March 4
Rosaleen French
March 4
Michele Somers
March 9
Ann Kraan
March 13
Cynthia Merrill
April 1
Mary Town
April 5
Pat Wingrave
April 7
Carol Evans
April 23
Steven Marshall
April 24
John Rosenthal
Helen Rosenthal
March 11
Di Double
Geoff Double
March 13
Geoff Double
Di Double
March 13
Greg Lee
Sharon Verbi
March 23
Jim Wilson
Josie Wilson
March 26
Sam McCurdy
Pat McCurdy
March 31
Garry Cooper
Marlene Cooper
April 11
Laury Gordyn
Kate Gordyn
April 16
Fred Edwards
Pat Edwards
April 21
Join Date
Mark Caulfield
March 16, 2000
21 years
Anand Amarnath
April 5, 2017
4 years
Di Scheepers
April 12, 2017
4 years
Rob Wingrave
April 17, 2003
18 years
Di Double
April 26, 2007
14 years

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For the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai International, Thailand, virtual meetings were a lifeline.


Here’s how joining a Rotary club helped enhance Ashley Holmer’s work


In a challenging time, Rotary members and partners have shown drive in overcoming challenges.


What it’s like to survive polio and

ClubRunner Mobile
Mary Anne Burr presented with a Paul Harris Fellow
Posted by Sam McCurdy
PP Bruce Shaw, Mary Anne Burr and PP Isobel Caulfield
On Monday 1st March approximately 30 people gathered at St John of God Hospital in Berwick to say 'Goodby' to Mary Anne Burr, who has retired due to ill health.  Little did they know that Mary Anne was to be presented with Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) by PP Isobel Caulfield for her service to the hospital and to members of the local community suffering from cancer.
Ask anyone who has had treatment at the Oncology Centre at the hospital in Kangan Drive in Berwick and they will confirm that Mary Anne Burr is one great lady, who deserves recognition for the service that she has provided to so many local people .
Mary Anne established the Oncology Centre at the hospital and has now retired, but not without first having to use the services of the Centre herself.
Congratulations Mary Anne.
Bowl Me Over Social Night
On Wednesday the 17th of March, we are off to Berwick Bowling Club to have a lovely evening playing lawn bowls. Our rivals will be the Rotary Club of Monbulk.
This is one of the best nights of fun on our calendar.
We have played horribly over the last couple of years, so now it is time to step up!  Bring friends and family who can play (or pretend to play), to give us a fighting chance of getting that trophy back!
We will be well catered for by the Inner Wheel Club of Berwick ladies. Cost to join the meeting for dinner only is $20.70. Cost to play is $5.00 (Bowling Club Green fee). Drinks will be at Bowling Club bar prices. Bowls will be supplied. A booking form will be available early next week.
Be there and have some fun.
Low Level Scholarship Grant
The Board has decided to pursue two low-level scholarship grants aimed at Nossal High School. I would love to see Rotary taking the lead to help build better people and this is one way of achieving that goal.

Our recent engagement with the school has uncovered an opportunity to make a difference to two students from struggling families. Each grant requires $500 from the Club and is matched by $500 from the District.

For those members who are unfamiliar with this type of grant, here are the guidelines:

Guidelines for Scholarships:

  1. The students may be enrolled in any year of secondary education in Victorian State High School, College, or similar.  
  2. The scholarship may be used for students located on different campuses of the one institution. 
  3. Scholarships are to be paid directly to the school. 
  4. The scholarship can benefit one to four students, as determined by the school. 
  5. Scholarships are intended for financially disadvantaged students, to assist and encourage them to more fully participate in the normal school curriculum.  
  6. They are not to be used for rewarding the student. Nor are they for use in connection with extra-curricular activity, or any activity outside the normal school program. 
  7. The school will need to account for the full $1,000, so that a statement of the scholarship expenses can be provided for each student.  
  8. Copies of relevant invoices and/or receipts are required to accompany the Club's Report. 
  9. Note that the scholarship grant funds will be paid electronically to the Club by District, following successful completion of the Scholarship Grant Report form with receipts. 
  10. Clubs should be sensitive to the fact that many students and their family shun receiving charity, so the confidentiality of beneficiaries may have to be observed.
Disaster Aid Australia Update
Posted by Sam McCurdy
The following information has been extracted from the recent Disaster Aid Australia Newsletter.
Aid Delivery
After flight delays the next 15 SkyHydrants are now on their way to Bhutan.  There are now just 15 units remaining to complete the Bhutan 2020 target of 120 installations and they are planned for shipment in late April.
Distaster Aid Response Team (DART) News
Although Qantas is indicating that it hopes to start international flights in October, we believe this will only be to countries that have a very high rate of vaccination, and will exclude the vast majority of developing countries until 2022.
Our YouTube Channel
Please check out the channel and subscribe to keep up to date with the latest videos: Disaster Aid Australia Channel
This month we uploaded the following videos
Further videos will be released in the coming months
Disaster Aid Australia Conference
We have starting planning for a Disaster Aid Australia 2021 Conference, with the intention of holding it on the 2nd of October.
International Women's Day Event
Posted by Sam McCurdy
Interact District 9820 Conference
Posted by Sam McCurdy
The Interact Clubs of Rotary District 9820 are having their first ever Interact District Conference! If you're keen to learn more about Interact Clubs or Rotary's Youth Programs, come along on Saturday 27 March.
Register HERE
Fellow Rotarians,
We are extremely excited to announce our very first Interact Conference for District 9820, to be held on March 27th 2021, at Nossal High School in Berwick. We have been able to secure Kate Wilde, from the Human Development Workshop to facilitate the day. With Kate’s experience in delivering State-wide Victorian Student Representative Council Conferences, working with student leaders to build leadership skills, community links and Student Voice, we know we have the recipe for a successful day!
We would like to invite all Rotarians in our District, to attend an information session, which we will be running on the day.
At present, our District has 4 Interact Clubs. This is a great start! However, over the next couple of years and with your Club’s support, we would love to see this number continue to grow. You may be surprised to learn that some Districts in Australia have 30 Interact Clubs and 13 Early Act Clubs (District 9600 in Queensland). With your support, our District could have that many Clubs, too.
This is an opportunity for you to learn about Interact and Early Act, to find out how your Club can set up and support one of these clubs at your local schools. You can be inspired by our Interact clubs, as they share with you their current projects, their experiences as Interactors and their plans for their Clubs in 2021.
We encourage all Rotarians, teachers, parents and students who are passionate about Rotary Youth in Action, to attend this Conference to learn more about Interact and Early Act in District 9820.
Please fill out the registration form if attending on the day.
For further information please contact Josie Wilson at
Family Fun for Everyone!
We have been apart for a long time, but now it's time to catch up at
Rotary District 9820's
Gumbuya World
Family Fun Day on 28 March 2021.
Bring your family, friends, neighbours, and club members to this great Rotary event.
Prices are exclusively discounted for Rotary friends, and family:
Adult (14yrs+) $42.00pp
Child (3-13yrs) $36.00pp
Senior (60yrs+) $33.00pp
Under 3 admission free (must register due to COVID restrictions)
Annual Pass Holder free (must register due to COVID restrictions)
4WORLD (Season) Pass Holder free (must register due to COVID restrictions)
is a generous sponsor of 
Rotary District 9820

so show your support by coming along on 28 March!
Thank you to our sponsors.