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Daniel’s patient wait for transformative surgery

After many years of waiting, last year Daniel from Samoa finally had his bilateral cleft palate repaired by a visiting Interplast team. It was a great outcome for the young boy, opening up a brighter future that will include less chance of social exclusion, better speech development, ease of eating and drinking, and more. But his story illustrates the challenges of treating conditions that are dealt with quite early in a child’s life in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

Find out more in this story on our website.

Trekkers start preparing for their Base Camp adventure with Turia

We’ve had a fantastic response to our upcoming Everest Base Camp Trek with Turia Pitt, with 31 trekkers now signed up for the adventure of a lifetime. They’re all training hard, and making a great fundraising effort to reach our team target of $200,000. Examples include Sam Taylor, whose young sons (pictured) have been selling snacks to help their mum out, and Ella Ravell, who has been selling succulents and hosted a movie night. Can you help them out? Head to the Turia’s Everest Trek website to donate and push Turia and our amazing team past their fundraising goal!

Special thanks to our sponsor, Mountain Designs, for their generous and ongoing support of Interplast and our trekkers.

Programs get started for the New Year

The start of the New Year is a very busy period at Interplast. We kicked things off with a surgical mentoring visit to Vanuatu and a craniofacial surgery mentoring program in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which was also attended by a Nepali surgeon who travelled from Kathmandu.

Later in February, a head and neck surgical mentoring program will also be delivered in Colombo. Three full general plastic and reconstructive surgical programs will be delivered in Laos, Tonga and the Philippines. The Laos and Tonga programs will also include an allied health component, with either a hand therapist or a physio supporting the surgical team with the follow-up of patients and providing training to local staff.

The next six months are looking very busy as we aim to have delivered about 80 programs by the end of the financial year, and we will soon be starting our program planning for 2017-18.

Interplast included in Bendigo Rotary showcase

We were delighted to be part of the first leg of the 2017 Rotary Showcase Roadshow in Bendigo, northern Victoria, on Australia Day. About 15,000 people walked the circuit around Lake Weerona to learn about the many ways that Rotary is working for a better world. The most frequently heard comment was “I didn’t know that Rotary did all of these things”. Pictured you can see the local Chinese dragons dancing past the Interplast stand. View a gallery of images from the day here. Two more showcases will be held, one at Melbourne’s Federation Square in February and the other at Echuca, Northern Victoria, in June.

Our thanks to the Rotary clubs of Bendigo and region, and the District 9800 team.

Find out more about the important partnership between Rotary and Interplast here.

Thanks to your support, breast cancer education to continue in Solomon Islands

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our Breast Cancer Education Appeal – you’re helping to educate women in the Pacific about breast cancer and making a difference for them and their families.

The next nurse education program that will include breast care education will be taking place in Honiara, Solomon Islands, in late May. The team will include three nurse educators, including Leah Lynch-Rurehe, a breast care nurse who will be returning to Honiara after her previous visit in June 2016. She will aim to continue breast self-examination training and provision of educational resources to the six remaining Honiara City Council clinics, along with education sessions in local churches. She will also provide education about a range of cancers as part of the Interplast nurse education program at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.

We hope to extend these types of programs to other Pacific countries soon.

You can change futures across the Asia Pacific today

Your ongoing financial support allows us to continue our work to repair bodies and rebuild lives. Please make a secure online donation via our website donation page.

RAWCS Rover magazine February 2017

Hello ,

Please click to view February RAWCS Rover”.  

We hope you can join us at the next RAWCS meeting in Canberra 25th and 26th February. Details in the Rover.

YIR sue

PP Sue O’Neill, RAWCS Rover Editor

Are you ready to meet St Jude’s newest ambassador?

Gemma and Dorice are coming to Australia

Hi Everyone,

I’m so excited about my next visit to Australia that I can’t wait any longer to tell you about it! I will be back on Australian soil next March and April and this time I will be bringing a very special guest – one of our first St Jude’s graduates!

Meet DoriceI’ve always wanted to bring one of our students to Australia so you can see firsthand the change you are making possible.

As you can see from the photo above, Dorice was over the moon when I visited the government school she is volunteering at to tell her she had been selected.

She can’t wait to tell you about how St Jude’s changed her life, her dream of becoming a doctor and helping the women of Tanzania and the rewarding work she has been doing volunteering at her local high school during her Community Service Year.

We want to share Dorice’s story with as many people as possible, so let us know of any conferences or major events we can speak at.

Contact our organiser in Australia about booking an event before our schedule fills up!

Look forward to hearing from you,


P.S. In the coming months, keep an eye on our events calendar because we will be adding events in your area.

Ian Riseley is selected as 2017-18 Rotary president

Ian Riseley is selected as 2017-18 Rotary president

Ian H.S. Riseley, of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, is the selection of the Nominating Committee for President of Rotary International in 2017-18. He will become the president-nominee on 1 October if no other candidates challenge him.

Riseley says that meaningful partnerships with corporations and other organizations are crucial to Rotary’s future.

“We have the programs and personnel and others have available resources,” says Riseley. “Doing good in the world is everyone’s goal. We must learn from the experience of the polio eradication program to maximize our public awareness exposure for future partnerships.”

Riseley is a practicing accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., which specializes in advising local and international businesses, and has a strong interest in international affairs. He received the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in 2002 in recognition of his work in Timor-Leste. He also received the Order of Australia medal in 2006 for service to the Australian community.

“Governments see Rotary as positive representatives of a civil society,” he says. “We should work with them to advocate for peace and conflict resolution, just as we are advocating for polio eradication.”

A member since 1978, Riseley has served Rotary as treasurer, director, trustee, RI Board Executive Committee member, task force member, committee member and chair, and district governor.

He is also a former member of the Australian Polio Eradication Private Sector Campaign and a recipient of The Rotary Foundation’s Service Award for a Polio-Free World. He and his wife, Juliet, are Multiple Paul Harris Fellows, Major Donors, and Bequest Society members.

The Nominating Committee’s members are Ann-Britt Åsebol, Rotary Club of Falun-Kopparvågen, Sweden; John T. Blount, Rotary Club of Sebastopol, California, USA; Hee-Byung Chae, Rotary Club of Seoul West, Seoul, Korea; Serge Gouteyron, Rotary Club of Valenciennes-Denain aérodrome Nord, France; Frederick W. Hahn Jr., Rotary Club of Independence, Missouri, USA; Stuart B. Heal, Rotary Club of Cromwell, New Zealand; Paul Knyff, Rotary Club of Weesp (Vechtstreek-Noord), Netherlands; Masahiro Kuroda, Rotary Club of Hachinohe South, Aomori, Japan; Anne L. Matthews (chair), Rotary Club of Columbia East, South Carolina, USA; Michael D. McCullough, Rotary Club of Trenton, Michigan, USA; David D. Morgan, Rotary Club of Porthcawl, Mid Glamorgan, Wales; Gideon M. Peiper, Rotary Club of Ramat Hasharon, Israel; José Alfredo Sepúlveda, Rotary Club of Pachuca Plata, Hidalgo, Mexico; P.C. Thomas, Rotary Club of Nilgiris West, Tamil Nadu, India; Alceu Antimo Vezozzo, Rotary Club of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil; and C. Grant Wilkins, Rotary Club of Denver, Colorado, USA.

Rotary News


District 9650 Weekly enews #3 17 July 2015

From District Secretary Elizabeth Tollis, email: Please circulate this information to all club members. The archive of this communication is available on the District website
•18 July: 27th Annual Rotary Cartoon Awards 6.00pm Cartoon Bunker John Champion Way Coffs Harbour – MC is Jean Kitson. Contact Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City
•18 July: Woolgoolga Christmas in July Nepal Earthquake fundraiser 6.00pm “Mud Hut building
•25-26 July: NYSF Interviews Walcha
•1 and 2 August: NAB Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge , contact Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour City
•2 August: Gloucester Golf Day Gloucester Country Club contact Valda 6558 2992
•2-9 August: DonateLife Week to support organ and tissue donation
•25 August: District Lunch with RI Zone Director Guiller Tumungan 12.30pm Waterfront Room Exchange Hotel Taree
•30 August: Public Speaking Competition Clubs to have held selections for next round
•5 and 6 September: National Rotary Success Conference Canberra
•8 to 11 October: RyMarine Coffs Harbour Daybreak
•On or about Friday 9 October: Hat Day – all clubs , Australian Rotary Health
•17 and 18 October: District Muster 17 and 18 October in Tamworth
•Friday 6 November: RCs of NSW Police Officer of the Year Awards, Darling Harbour Sydney
•15 November: Coffs Harbour City Rotary Charity Golf Day 11.00am start
•28-29 November: Nambucca River Festival joint project of Macksville/ Nambucca Heads clubs
•19 March 2016: Opera By the Lake Rotary Club of Great Lakes
The Rotary Club of Great Lakes is staging Opera by the Lake on 19th March 2016. Tickets sales on-line will be available through Great Lakes Tourism on 20 July 2015. There has already been considerable interest and currently 55% pre-booking ticket sales are being held. If you are interested in coming you should book sooner rather than later. Go to the website and the Club’s Facebook page. Let them know that you “like” the event. “This is going to be a fabulous day listening to great music in a beautiful setting” writes Brian Bruton, President of the Rotary Club of Great Lakes.

Lightning Ridge Drought Relief Fund The Rotary Club of Lightning Ridge is asking every club in District 9650 (and beyond) to dig deep and make a donation to their Drought Relief Fund. The aim is to assist 50 families with a gift of cash to ease their financial situation after 3 years of drought. They need help to pay the bills and put food on the table. The Club has already assisted with “hay drops”, handed out bags of dog food, and “Pamper Packs” which have been most gratefully received. Now the request is for cash . Cheques can be forwarded to the Rotary Club of Lightning Ridge – Drought Relied Fund, P O Box 1029 Lightning Ridge NSW 2834 or Direct Deposit to Westpac branch Lightning Ridge, BSB 032561 A/C number 209839, specify for the Drought Relief Fund and provide your identity.

Australian Rotary Summit 5-6 September 2015

Headline News from ROMAC Margie Abbott, wife of the Prime Minister Tony Abbott, has accepted the role of Patron for ROMAC (Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children) and will be featured in an article in the August edition of Rotary Down Under. ROMAC Chairman Brendan Porter has described ROMAC as one of Rotary Down Under’s Jewels and he looks forward to the support for this program from all Districts in 2015-2016. Mrs Abbott wishes to be an active patron and you can read about this in the RDU magazine next month.

Minutes from the last GoToMeeting 19 February 2015

1. The Structure of the Club was discussed. Should be like any other Rotary Club meeting. John Mackay to develop a short survey to ask some or all of the following questions:

a) What do we want from the Club?
b) What do we want from a meeting?
c) What sort of structure do we want from the meetings online?
d) What projects can we consider?
e) Who are our target audience?
f) How can we develop our own character?

2. Some suggestions were made:
a) Happy Dollars as a fund raiser?
b) Fellowship technique?
c) How do we organize our finances so that we pay something each meeting?
d) Donation tins on the website?
e) Choosing sister clubs that can assist with our formation?
f) When and where are we going to organize a changeover in 2015?

3. Dorothy Barwick to do’s:
a) representing the Club at the District Conference and the Annual General Meeting in Inverell
b) will go to PETS from the Club
c) will host a member’s night at their home next meeting 5th March
d) to contact Richard Varnish in Newcastle  0455203292

4. Invite other Rotarians to join us with GoToMeetings on the front page of the website

5. Consider using Basecamp with one project for the Club


This week’s Illuminator 16th January 2015

Important Dates for your Calendar in 2015

  • District Leaders Training – Taree – 14th-15th February 2015
  • District Management and District Finance meetings – 15th February 2015
  • Port Macquarie Sunrise – Amazing Mystery Tour – 22nd February 2015
  • Cluster 5 Celebration Dinner – Armidale February 25th 2015
  • Polio Plus Movie Night February 26 2015 – Tamworth 26th February 2015 Forum 6 Cinema – Sawtell 26th February 2015 Birch Carroll and Coyle Coffs Harbour Tickets $20 – Laurieton 26th February 2015 Laurieton Plaza Theatre
  • New England Tech Fest Armidale – 4th- 6th March 2015
  • District Conference Inverell 13-15th March 2015
  • RYLA – Yarrahapinni 21st-28th March 2015 (Rotary Youth Leadership Award)
  • RYAG Sheep – Walcha 25th- 29th March 2015 (Rotary Youth in Agriculture)
  • MUNA – Inverell 16-17th April 2015 (Model United Nations Assembly)
  • PETS – Tamworth 18th-19th April 2015 (President Elect Training)
  • District Assembly – Port Macquarie 3rd May 2015
  • District Assembly – Gunnedah 24th May 2015
  • Rotary International Convention Sao Paulo Brazil – 6th-9th June 2015

DG Jottings

Preparations are going very well for the District conference to be held in Inverell from 13th to 15th March 2015 with the Conference committee under Phil Goddard’s able captaincy putting the final touches to the program, they have worked hard and done a great job . All of the speakers and arrangements have been made as well as a great selection of meals and lunches/morning teas so I am sure we will be catering to everyone’s requirements.
Registrations have started to roll in and I would like to thank those who have done so already. Be sure to register early so as to avail yourself of the early bird discount. Many clubs and members have told me they have booked accommodation already so well done. If you are thinking of coming to this conference, slip onto the website and take a tour through the extensive program , I am sure you will be impressed. Max Walker and others will keep us very entertained. Hope to see you there.
Over the next few months, our District has an impressive array of youth activities which will be a benefit to the candidates and clubs involved. Long Term Youth Exchange Program  is happening now with Outbounders heading off on their exciting journey and inbounders arriving as well as students returning home. Make sure if you have a student that you have them along to the club and other clubs to hear their story.
Other programs that are happening now include National Youth Science Forum and we have a number of students attending Canberra . These students will return home so invigorated and positive and knowing what they will pursue in life. Great program.
Model United Nations Assembly , Rotary Youth Leadership Award , Rotary Youth in Agriculture SHEEP and other program are being presented over the next couple of months so look for the dates in the Illuminator or on the website calendar and please support these great program that are so beneficial for our kids. Support for these programs is essential so that they can continue to be viable
Presidential citation forms are something that should be dusted off as we come into the final 5 months of our rotary year .See how you are going with your club goals, and I am sure that your members would be delighted to receive this award.
Many club members will be undertaking District and Presidential training over the next few months. Presidents Elect and new club board members attending District Assemblies should be given support from their clubs for the work they will be doing. Good luck to all those becoming involved at club level, especially for the first time, you will really enjoy the ride.
The final six month period will be a full and rewarding time for all clubs, and a time that your club goals will all come together. Check them off and work on your club citation, you will be pleased when you receive your reward.
Greg Moran

Club Invoicing changes

We are aware that there have been, and will continue to be, many changes for clubs to adapt to. One of the largest is the change in the Club Invoicing that comes into effect with the January 2015 invoice.
To assist your clubs through the requirements, our office has prepared a presentation on the New Club Invoice and the changes that will be occurring, together with the inclusion of Rotary Down Under magazine subscription costs on the RI invoice.
The presentation is in the form of PowerPoint with an audio commentary, and can be viewed on YouTube at
If clubs have any questions regarding this process they should contact our office on +61 2 8894 9800 or email to Regards Joy Walker Acting International Office Manager Manager, Club & District Support South Pacific & Philippines Office Direct: +61-2-8894 9820 P.O. Box 1415 Parramatta 2124
Level 2, 60 Phillip Street Parramatta NSW 2150 Australia

ShelterBox Australia update

Current deployments: Gaza, Niger, Iraq, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone and Syria. See
details below.
· There has been flooding in many displacement sites in South Sudan, causing many families to
have to relocate. The team is discussing a potential response with the relevant clusters.
The team has had a request to provide aid in Cameroon to around 45,000 families. Some of these families are refugees from Nigeria, others have been displaced due to conflict within the country. The operations team is currently working through the paperwork and then intends to send an initial 200 tents to Cameroon.
· The operations team has been talking to Plan about the ongoing Ebola crisis. ShelterBox is now looking at the possibility of sending tents to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The intended use for these tents is not currently within ShelterBox’s remit and the legal team is waiting to hear back from the Charity Commission to see if this can be changed to accommodate the request.
· The team has received a request for 400 tents in the northern areas of North Korea to help people affected by flooding and are currently planning to send Flex 3 tents and winterization kits.
· The operations team is monitoring the situation in Sri Lanka, as the country was hit by the same bad weather as Malaysia, but there is no immediate need for aid.
· The team is currently considering a request to provide aid to internally displaced people in Somalia.
Malaysia – flooding
Overview: Extreme monsoon rains have caused severe flooding in the north east of Malaysia and around 200,000 people are reported to have been displaced as a result.
This is ShelterBox’s first deployment in Malaysia, yet within days of the first team’s (Todd and Martin) arrival, they had been welcomed by Najib Razak, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, who has given his full support to ShelterBox.
Current team: Todd Finklestone (US), Martin Strutton (UK), Andrew Clouting (AUS), Jack Bailey (UK), Mike Peachey (NZ), Dave Nichols (USA), Per Dahlstrom (CAN) and Jimmy Griffith (NZ), Sam Hewitt (UK), Andrew Clark (UK), Torstein Nielson (NOR) and Ben Julian (UK)
Team 2 (Andrew Clouting and Jack Bailey) helped to establish a camp of 100 tents in Gua Musang in the north-east of the country.
The majority of the volunteers are now assessing the need for aid in the neighbouring district of Kuala Krai. Todd and Martin will be leaving Malaysia at the weekend.
Gaza – conflict
ShelterBox has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development to provide aid to people in Gaza following on-going conflict in the region.
250 boxes have been packed this week and will leave Cornwall on Monday. This batch will serve to test the pipeline before a further 250 boxes are sent.
Niger – flooding Last updated: Today
Overview: Heavy rains and subsequent flooding have affected Niamey, Tillaberri and Dosso regions amongst others.
ShelterBox are working with Plan who originally requested 2,000 ShelterBoxes. So far, 200 have been distributed, with more due to be drip-fed from prepositioned stock in Accra, Ghana.
ShelterBox signed an MOU with Plan and a shipment of 200 ShelterBoxes has been distributed in country. 368 ShelterBoxes have now arrived in Niger and are due to be distributed soon.

Pakistan – flooding
Overview: Areas of southern Punjab have suffered severe flooding throughout the last few months and a request was made to ShelterBox to help people through the winter.
1,000 shelter repair kits and 224 ShelterBoxes are en route by sea to Pakistan to assist flooding survivors.
Philippines – Typhoon Haiyan and Hagupit
Overview: Typhoon Haiyan, the largest storm ever to make landfall, struck the Philippines on 8 November 2013.
After the need for emergency shelter diminished, ShelterBox turned its attention to providing other types of aid to help communities rebuild.
ShelterBox is working in partnership with the international agencies Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Handicap International, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) on four separate projects to than 8,000 vulnerable people with a safe, durable home.
Toby Ash reported that all of the ongoing ‘build back stronger’ projects have stood up really well against Typhoon Hagupit. now back in the UK.
Plan has now distributed almost 2,000 tarpaulins to families affected by Typhoon Hagupit.
Iraq – conflict
Overview: Conflict in numerous governorates has displaced huge numbers of Iraqi people.
ShelterBox has prepositioned stock in Iraq and is working with ACTED to establish a camp to provide shelter for internally people (IDPs).
There are around 1,900 tents in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, which have all now been distributed.
The ShelterBox operations team is making provisions to supplement the existing stock of shelter Iraq with winterisation Sierra Leone – Ebola
Overview: Sierra Leone is one of three West African countries that have an outbreak of Ebola. Around 100 cases of the being reported daily in the country.
60 yellow and black ShelterBoxes have been used to contain foodstuffs on the private ship MV Gypsum Centennial. In SchoolBoxes have also been transported on the vessel, which will be delivered to the Sierra Leonean educational charity The mixture of items will then be distributed to people within areas affected by Ebola.
Syria and bordering countries – crisis
Overview: It’s been more than three and a half years since conflict broke out in Syria. Over 9 million people have been The majority remains within the borders.
ShelterBox has ensured distribution of aid through implementing partners including Hand in Hand for Syria (HIHS). Shelter kits, more tents, mosquito nets, water filters, water carriers, blankets, groundsheets, SchoolBoxes and solar lamps have sent to assist families in the region.
HIHS are continuing to distribute aid throughout the country including to areas in the Aleppo governorate and the Syrian/border.


This week’s Illuminator 9 Jan 2015