Unfortunately, the Coronavirus pandemic has grown at such a pace that the world has been forced to cancel most public events where this virus can spread.  The District Governor has cancelled the 9700  District Conference for the benefit and safety of all those attending.
Also  the scheduled District Technology Training (DisTec20)  in Young on April 19, 2020 has been cancelled.
The District 9710 Clubrunner Training scheduled for the first week in April has been cancelled.  However, the 9710 ClubRunner Training will be held as an online video training session on Tuesday April 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 pm.  Register online here or click on the Rotary District 9705 menu screen.
D 9705 District Assembly scheduled for Saturday May 9 has been cancelled.
District Changeover for D 9705 has also been cancelled.
Rotary Youth Exchange has been suspended meaning no inbound or outbound students for the forseeeable future.
Mark Daniel Maloney
President 2019-20
March 2020
March is the month we celebrate Rotaract — and this has been quite a year for our young partners in service.
Last spring, the Council on Legislation elevated Rotaract in our constitution: Rotary International is now the association of both Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs. Then in October, the Rotary Board of Directors eliminated the artificial Rotaract age limit and took other steps to break down barriers that were preventing Rotaract from growing in some parts of the world.
These steps were long overdue, because Rotaract is a vision of what Rotary must become. Not only do we need to open our doors to our young colleagues, but we also have to open our ears and minds to the Rotary experience they find most engaging. That is one of the best ways we will meaningfully grow Rotary.
When I say grow Rotary, I mean it in many ways. We need to grow our service and to grow the impact of our projects. Most importantly, however, we need to grow our membership, so that we can achieve more. Rotaractors provide this opportunity, not only because they can transition to Rotary at the time that is right for them, but also because they understand what it will take to attract others like them.
Business as usual will not work for us anymore. Bringing in more members to replace the ones we lose is not the answer. It is like pouring more water into a bucket full of holes. We need to address the root causes of member loss in many parts of the world: member engagement that is not what it should be, and our member demographic that skews steadily older.
It is time to make some fundamental changes. We already know what the barriers are to an engaged and diverse membership. It is time to act on what we know: creating new membership models, opening new paths to Rotary membership, and building new Rotary and Rotaract clubs where the existing clubs do not meet a current need.
New club models represent an opportunity to connect with a more diverse group of individuals — particularly those who are unable or unwilling to join our traditional clubs. While new club models have been emerging for some time, it is up to district governors to make them a reality. In January at the International Assembly, our incoming district governors took part in an exercise called Build Your Own Club Model. It was a wonderful experience that put them in the right frame of mind for the work ahead.
Ultimately, however, it will be up to Rotaractors and young Rotarians to create new club models that are most meaningful to the next generation. We may think we know what young people want from Rotary clubs in the future, but I am confident that what young people say will surprise us. It will be our job to support their innovation, for it will help us grow Rotary as Rotary Connects the World.

International Assembly 2020 San Diego USA

“Rotary Opens Opportunities” was the theme announced by incoming International President Holger Knaack for the 2020-21 Rotary Year. Present were over five hundred District Governors Elect from around the world. Combined with partners and the training teams, meant that there were nearly fifteen hundred people at the Hyatt Manchester Grande Hotel in San Diego. Overwhelmingly the “opens opportunities” theme was well received.

Discussion around the different ways of interpreting the theme was to be part of the training as District Governors Elect (DGE). So much was learnt from each other in the facilitated discussion groups. Parallel programs were run for DGE partners and, as Past President of the Rotary Club of Canberra, Helen felt very much at home in this Rotary learning environment.
A regret for me was that I had not done this training earlier in my career. So many of these lessons were applicable across many aspects of life. Although delivered in the context of Rotary, there was an emphasis on good government, managing people, understanding law, interpreting regulation and rules, financial management and strategic planning .
Another emphasis was on the importance of having fun in Rotary, building friendships and strengthening networks. Along with these was building new models of the way we do Rotary. Changes within clubs, different styles of clubs and being innovative were key messages considered by DGEs. Additionally, Holger Knaack was keen to ensure that clubs would have at least one strategic planning meeting in his year as President and would take special care in selecting new members and looking after them.
In the context of “opening opportunities” one of the greatest opportunities for Rotary is to complete our decades old campaign to End Polio. Rotary deserves the credit and should be letting our communities, and people further afield, know about our successes. We should also let them know how much we have appreciated the more recent support of the Gates Foundation, GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) and the World Health Organization. However, it has been a Rotary initiative. It’s why we raise funds at BBQ’s or other events.
In a nutshell, the message is that having fun, doing good work and appreciating the local, district, national and international fellowship are just some of the opportunities open to Rotarians.

ARH Funded Program Helps Dyslexic Children Cope Better

A recent Australian Rotary Health (ARH) funded study has revealed that a new mental health program is effective in reducing the use of unhelpful coping strategies among children with dyslexia.
Dr Mark Boyes and his team at Curtin University were awarded an ARH Mental Health Research Grant in 2018 to conduct a pilot trial of the ‘Clever Kids Program’, a mental health program for primary school children who struggle with reading and spelling.
Forty children with dyslexia were recruited to the trial, with twenty participants receiving the Clever Kids program compared to twenty participants who were part of a wait-list control group.
Dr Boyes said after attending Clever Kids, children reported improved coping skills.
“They were much less likely to use unhelpful coping strategies like avoiding problems, not telling people about their problems, and blaming themselves for their problems,” Dr Boyes said.
“There were also promising findings for self-esteem, emotional problems, and peer problems. After attending Clever Kids, children reported higher self-esteem and parents said their children had fewer emotional and peer problems.”
Dr Boyes noted however that while these findings are promising, these changes were substantially smaller than the changes in coping skills.
“These changes were smaller than the changes in coping skills, and we need to do a bigger study to confirm if Clever Kids improves self-esteem and reduces emotional and peer problems,” Dr Boyes said.
Another strength revealed from the trial was that children with dyslexia reported that they liked the program and found it to be helpful.

The Four Way Test is a fundamental part of Rotary and has been since it was first formulated by Herbert Taylor, a Rotary Club of Chicago member and 1954-55 RI president, to guide his attempt to save a faltering
aluminum company. Rotary later adopted it, and it underscores Rotary’s value of integrity. The Four-Way Test has long served as an ethical guide for members to live by in their personal and professional relationships. An interesting discussion of the purpose of the Four Way Test has been written by PDG Martin Postic Jr and you can read it here.
On behalf of District Governor Ron Degenhart and District Governor-Elect Merewyn Wright, District 9550 extends an invitation to join Timorese Rotarians and Rotaractors at the inaugural Zone 8 Rotary Timor-Leste Project Expo in Dili, Timor-Leste at the Timor Plaza Hotel on the 14th -16th of August 2020.
The Rotary Timor-Leste Project Expo is an opportunity for Rotary Clubs, Rotary Districts, and other NGOs active in Timor-Leste, to display their projects, seek partners and funding opportunities, and network with people with an interest in the community development of Timor-Leste.  Rotary Districts, Clubs and individual Rotarians are invited to Showcase their successful projects and explore the opportunities for new projects that will be on display, and meet the people involved.

Over the last eighteen years over 120 RAWCS Projects and many Rotary Foundation Grants have been activated in Timor-Leste.
To register please go to the Expo web site www.rtlpf.org.au .  Stall-holder registration includes a display table, two chairs and the registration of two people.  Individual registration and information about accommodation venues are also available on the website.
A number of tours, both pre- and post-Expo, have been organised to assist visiting Rotarians in gaining a better understanding of Timor-Leste, its people, and its needs. These are all small group tours and will fill quickly. Details of the tours are on the website.
We look forward to welcoming you to Timor-Leste in August.
Kind regards,
PDG Phil Dempster
Timor-Leste Project Expo
Mob. 0402253673
Email: lad@iig.com.au

Can you help us?

At this end of the Rotary year all clubs are deciding how to spend the dollars raised from the community.

Food Plant Solutions has an urgent need for funds as we have country groups waiting on our educational materials that we cannot fill without funding. We all know that children are dying from malnutrition every minute around the world. Many of those are in communities that are wanting our educational materials, to build gardens and ensure food security in that region.

Below is a list of requests that we have received, with information about each group. A club could choose an area to support or think about a Global Grant to work with one of these groups.

Thank you for your support in a year when “Rotary connects the world”

Yours in Rotary


PDG Una Hobday OAM PHF

Chair, Food Plant Solutions RAG
The December End Trachoma by 2020 Newsletter is now available!
Many good things have been achieved in the last 12 months and Rotarians and their communities have made great efforts to ensure improvements in health and eye care are both delivered and sustainable.
Please take the time to download the Newsletter and share it with your Club.
Did you know there has been a steady decline in the number of communities at risk of this infectious disease, from 244 classified communities in 2010, to 120 in 2018, as reported by each state and territory!
You can find the full copy of the newsletter on the ET by 2020 District page and by this link

What does your roadside sign say about your club?

Is your Roadside sign looking worse for wear or displaying the wrong meeting information? 

Then it's time to replace it. 

Making sure our roadside signs are in good condition and use the correct branding is an important, and easy, step we can take to help create the right impression about our Clubs, and our organisation. 

The Rotary Club of Manly’s transformation to a new sign is a great example of what can be done. 

If you can only afford to do one thing to raise your Club’s public image this year, updating your roadside signs is the way to go!

Article by RC PDG John Prendergast 
We regularly seem to hear the complaint that Rotary is too expensive, and that this cost is a deterrent to attracting new members. 
So, what does Rotary cost us each year? I reckon about $1,680.32. 
My Club subscriptions are a very low $200 per year – consciously kept low because we have a number of members on fixed incomes. We are able to have a low sub because every year we deliver telephone books around our city, and the funds we earn from that project are used to offset some of the costs of running our Club. 
So, $200 a year doesn’t seem like a deterrent to attracting new members. 
Established in 2007, the Food Plant Solutions Rotary Action Group creates publications that help people understand the connection between plant selection and nutrition, and empowers them to grow a range of highly nutritious plants which have different seasonal requirements and maturities.  The work is underpinned by a database of edible plants for all countries of the world.
2019-20 Rotary Theme
2019-20 District Directory
2019-20 District Directory
Click on the above directory to download a full copy.