22nd Nov 2022
  • Next Meeting
  • 30th Annual Paul Harris Breakfast
  • From The Last Meeting
  • President's Announcements
  • Christmas Hamper 2022 Appeal
  • Batman Cluster Meeting with DG Amanda on 14th Nov 2022
  • Garden DesignFest 2022
  • Gallery

Meeting Responsibilities

CHAN, Alison
Greeter/Zoom Host
DURAS, Peter
Bulletin Editor
Social Media
LIM, Daniel
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Next meeting will be Paul Harris Breakfast. 

Members can use this Humanitix link for all future face to face meetings. This link will be published in the bulletin every week going forward.
Online meetings are scheduled on the last Tuesday of each month. Members can use the following Zoom link to attend these meetings. For security reasons, the password for the Zoom meetings will be circulated in a separate email closer to the date of the next online meeting

On behalf of Rotary Central Melbourne's Foundation Committee I would like to invite you to the 30th Annual Paul Harris Breakfast.
This year we are joined by guest speaker Jeroen Weimar who will be speaking on the career transitions he has navigated and the influencing factors behind his changing path.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Victoria 2026 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Jeroen was
Commander of the COVID-19 Response in Victoria, working with a team of clinicians, public health experts and operations specialists to protect the Victorian community. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer for Public Transport Victoria and VicRoads following a career as a town planner.

Along with this we will discuss with Jeroen how Rotary, and its members can contribute to making the 2026 Commonwealth Games the most successful and inclusive games we have seen yet. This is an excellent opportunity to bring along partners and other guests who might either be considering joining Rotary or are interested in listening to our eminent guest speaker dive into the unfolding of his professional path
DATE: Tuesday, 22nd November 2022 

TIME: 7.15am for 7:30-9:00am 

VENUE: The RACV City Club
Level 2, 501 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
To secure you place, please book via

Please scan the QR Codes below to bid for the silent auction and raffle tickets.
We look forward to hosting you at this hallmark Rotary event. 
For further information feel free to contact me  
Elias Lebbos - Chair, RCM Foundation Committee
0411 721 744
RCM President Rohan Williams opened the 30th annual Paul Harris Breakfast to a full house in the Club Pavilion room at the RACV Club, Melbourne by welcoming all attendees and acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the meeting was being held. 
President Rohan made special mention of two international visitors at the breakfast: 
Donna Allen from the Rotary Club of Laurencekirk & District, Grampain, Scotland; and Charly Gerlmaier from the Rotoract Club of Munich, Germany. 
District Governor Amanda Wendt then proposed the toast to Rotary International
While the hot breakfast was being served to the tables, the D9800 Foundation Chair - PDG Grant Hocking - delivered a presentation on the work of The Rotary Foundation and the financial contribution made by D9800 Rotarians and Clubs during 2021-22. In total A$505,000 had been contributed from D9800 during the past Rotary year, an average contribution of A$175.43 per Rotarian in the District. PDG Grant sincerely thanked all involved for that effort. He also noted that for the past 14 years The Rotary Foundation had achieved the highest available governance rating (4 stars) from the Charity Register monitor (USA), while 91% of all funds contributed to The Rotary Foundation go to financing service projects. 
PDG Grant also acknowledged the attendance at the breakfast of two participants in the Peace Scholar program
  • Ayase Ishizuka (from Japan) - studying at the University of Melbourne 
  • Kris Tay (Aust DFAT in Myanmar) - selected to study at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, but the course has been suspended and will not run in 2023. 
PDG Dennis Shaw was then called to the podium to be presented with a Distinguished Service Award from The Rotary Foundation - the highest possible award from the Foundation - in recognition of distinguished service over a sustained period. After presenting that award, PDG Murray Verso announced that PDG Denis would also become a Trustee of The Rotary Foundation for a period of four years commencing on July 1, 2023. 
RCM's Koren Harvey introduced Guest Speaker Jeroen Weimar, recently appointed as CEO of the 2026 Victorian Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee. Prior to that, of course, Jeroen had been a familiar public face since mid-2020 as a key member of Victoria's response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 
Jeroen gave a polished and entertaining address on the challenges and lessons of leadership, illustrated with examples from his career with Transport for London and in his various roles since moving to Australia eight years ago - including assuming responsibility in July 2020 for the mass CV19 testing system in Victoria at the start of the 'second wave' in our State
His leadership address covered four main themes: 
  • Making decisions in crisis situations with very limited information, in the face of clearly competing human priorities and with a lack of preparation or pre-planning for a system-wide response. 
  • The need to understand the substance of what you are dealing with and whom you are dealing with, to be able to connect and build trust with those you are seeking to lead. 
  • Own and acknowledge your mistakes, plus have a thin-enough skin to realize what is going on in the external environment and adjust your strategy and actions accordingly. 
  • Dealing with the media: simplicity and clarity of message, the need to be authentic, recognition that there will be good days and bad days, so resilience is required. 
During the Q&A session following his address, Jeroen observed that: 

From local and overseas experience with Covid 19, 18 months is about the limit of community acceptance of drastic disruptions to normal life from Government "crisis" interventions, vs transitioning to individuals taking responsibility for adjusting to the changed circumstances. Personal motivation comes from the importance and relevance of whatever you are doing. Lessons from the pandemic regarding the need for a system (whole of Government) response - vis individual Govt department responses - are visible in the management of the current severe floods in Victoria. 

The raffle was then drawn, with the winners being Trevor Mackay, Tom Callander, John llott, Phil Mortimer, Neville Taylor and Kerry Hicks. 

President Rohan thanked the guest speaker and all attendees. Before formally closing the meeting, Rohan advised that amount raised for The Rotary Foundation through the 30th annual Paul Harris Breakfast was approaching $10,000. However, the final total would not be known until bids in the silent auction closed at 12 noon that day. 

  • Eight members from RCM attended the Batman Cluster meeting with DG Amanda Wendt on Monday 14th November. Amanda specifically acknowledged Peter Duras for his 49 years of Rotary service as well as Charter members Tom Callander, Herb Greenwood and Frank O’Brien for their continuous service.
  • DG Amanda has introduced a new Mentorship Award for support to newer members.  RCM proudly has three recipients of the inaugural award – Neville Taylor, Elias Lebbos and Rob Hines.
  • The notice of RCM’s annual general meeting for 29th November has been circulated to members. Rohan reminded members of the call for nominations for officers and directors for 2023-24.
  • The board is conducting a member engagement survey over two weeks, commencing 29th November. The outcome of the survey will guide the board’s actions in the second half of this Rotary year.
It is that time of the year again when we launch the Christmas Hamper Appeal for 2022. We will be again providing hampers to homeless youth through Steps Outreach Service recipients, and refugee families through the Lentara Uniting Asylum Seeker Project.
Please find attached a flyer containing information about the types of hamper contents that has been recommended. As noted in the flyer, please inform me on my email ( or on 0421 093604, how many hamper bags you need and I will arrange for them to be brought to the in-person meetings. If you are unable to attend meetings please let me know and we will make other arrangements.
Kind regards,
Rebecca John

Photos taken at the Red Emperor Restaurant at Southbank for the District Governor’s official visit on Monday 14th November.
After two years of Covid delays, the Garden DesignFest Organising Committee, from the three Rotary clubs of Kew, Brighton North and Central Melbourne, was finally able to put on display a range of gorgeous gardens over the past two weekends. And apart from the weather, everything went off without a hitch. We bravely embraced 21st Century technology, taking payments via Squares in all the gardens (thank you Rob for training a large number of technically challenged Rotarians from all three Rotary clubs). We watched the skies with trepidation leading up to the first weekend, with 13 gardens on display in Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula. But Saturday turned out to be a fine sunny day and on Sunday the storms stayed away until evening. The weather was less kind the next weekend for the 20 country gardens, with two gardens closed on the Sunday due to torrential rain the previous day. On Sunday morning in some gardens the rain lashed down, the winds howled and volunteers hung on to the shelters to prevent them from blowing away. Not surprisingly, attendance figures were less than expected in those gardens badly affected.

All the gardens on show were interesting, some were really impressive. A standout garden at 9 Barnsbury Road, Deepdene impressed by its sheer size, with huge old trees set around a magnificent old home. In Brighton, another historical garden at 23 Asling Street featured 100 year old trees and vegetables in gardens beds throughout. On the second weekend, the four gardens at Euroa were magnificent, exemplified by The Falls with its waterfall, enclosed espalier orchard and scenic lake. Garden DesignFest cannot happen without volunteers to organise the event, buy and sell raffle tickets and staff the gardens over the two weekends. I wish to acknowledge and thank all of you who helped, in particular those who accepted the added responsibility of being a Garden Captain.

Garden DesignFest has two key objectives – to give people the opportunity to look at wonderful gardens and, in the process, raise money for charity. Just seeing the smiling faces on visitors confirms success of the first objective. We are still in the process of finalising numbers prior to distributing funds, firstly two our headline charity Youth Suicide Awareness and then to the Rotary clubs. However, I am delighted to advise that over the two weekends Garden DesignFest raised, in total, over $100,000 for distribution to charities. 

Roger Thornton
Chair, GDFOC
Group Photo
President Rohan
Chair Therese Robinson
Guest speaker Lesley McCarthy
Doug Robertson
Allan Driver
Kevin Love