On March 2, 1987, the Provisional Rotary Club of Port Phillip-Melbourne met for the first time in the Duke of Edinburgh Room of the RACV Club. Twenty-one days later the Officers and Directors were elected under the leadership of Charter President Terry Cocks. They determined that the Club would meet weekly, for breakfast, at 7.45 am for 8.00 am Monday mornings.

On April 3, 1987, the Rotary Club of Port Phillip-Melbourne was admitted to Rotary International. On May 1, 1987, at a banquet dinner for 300 guests at the Southern Cross Hotel ballroom, the club was chartered with 35 founding members.

Since 1987, the Club's membership has grown to more than 60 female and male professionals and business people, dedicated to serve the local and international community on a voluntary basis and with intention, also, of sharing fellowship with a network of friends and colleagues within and outside Melbourne's Central Business District.

Under the management of 29 Presidents and variety of Officers and Directors the Club has become respected in Rotary District 9800 for its many achievements, its initiative and professionalism, and its ability to successfully organise major events.

The club has contributed substantially, both financially and through the active hands-on involvement of its members, to community needs including the homeless and disadvantaged, youth development, disaster relief, the disabled, families in need, the elderly and ethnic citizens; internationally to hospitals in Mongolia and Borneo, to rice and leather mills in Bangladesh, to TB diagnosis programs in Indonesia and to the installation of water storage tanks in the PNG highlands and West New Britain and most recently school projects in Laos.

During its history, the Club has been awarded a number of District trophies and many of its members have served with distinction at District level.

On March 3, 1998 the Club chartered the Rotaract Club of Central Melbourne with 21 young enthusiastic members but regrettably this has been inactive since 2004.

In July 1998 the club resolved to change its name to Central Melbourne-Sunrise Inc to better reflect its area of influence as an early morning breakfast club within the central business district of the City of Melbourne.

In April 2001 some 22 members and partners visited Osaka, Japan to participate in the 10th birthday celebrations of our Sister Club, the Rotary Club of Osaka Hommachi.

On November 29, 2004 the meeting day was changed from Mondays to Tuesdays to encourage new members and improve attendance of current members with family and weekend obligations.

In June 2006, a formal Sister Club Agreement was signed with the Rotary Club of Echuca-Moama in District 9800.

In February 2007 the Club updated its published history entitled "The First Twenty Years of Service" and celebrated its 20th Anniversary on May 1st, 2007.

In that year a special three-year programe was initiated and launched in conjunction with the Victoria Police. This vocational programme involved 20 Rotary Clubs and offered network mentoring to senior police leaders and an opportunity to gain an insight into the corporate business world and into a large voluntary organisation such as Rotary.

On 23rd June 2009, our Club chartered the Rotary Club of Docklands at a major function inducting 30 enthusiastic new members.
In April 2011 ten members and partners visited Osaka, Japan to help our sister Club celebrate it's 20th anniversary.

In May 2012 the Club celebrated it's 25th anniversary with a lunch attended by 95 members, partners and friends, including three members of the Rotary Club of Osaka Hommachi.
During 2014 we joined with the Rotary Clubs of Kew and Brighton North in presenting the Garden DesignFest. This continued in 2016 and 2018 is a major fundraiser for all three Clubs.
During 2016 we commenced the process to again change the name of the Club to better describe who the club is and for the name to to simpler, clearer and more contemporary. After a detailed review of the process by which this could be achieved and a series of communications and discussions with members and other stakeholders the proposal to change the name to Rotary Central Melbourne was put to members in June 2016 and approved by Rotary International and Consumer Affairs in July 2016.
In March 2018 we signed a Sister Club Agreement with the Rotary Club of Rabindra Sarobar, Kolkata, India.
In June 2021 we signed a Sister Club Agreement with the Rotary Club of Cork, Ireland.