A summary of the awards presented at the Change-Over dinner. 

Full citations are included in the complete report available at

Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions:

  • Therese Robinson.

  • Allan Driver – Second Sapphire..

President’s Rotarian of the Year Award

  • Frank O’Brien

Royce Abbey Award

  • Rhys Williams

Family of Rotary Award

  • Leonie Greenwood

Special Recognition Awards

  • Rob Hines

  • Brett Jones

  • John Ilott

AWARDS FOR YEAR 2021-22 2022-07-01 14:00:00Z 0


Posted by Roy GARRETT

As always (Covid/Zoom excepted) we met for our annual event.  This year we were at Amora Riverwalk again and were well looked after with ample nibbles and drinks to set the scene, followed by a sit-down dinner plus the formalities of our annual presidential baton-change.

MC Michelle, who also carries the mantle of President Elect, ran the show in her usual warm and articulate form. She opened with welcome to members and guests, including:

  • District Governor, Amanda Wendt and Greg Harbour. As a brand-new District Governor, this was Amanda’s first official function in a year destined to contain a great many official functions

  • Assistant Governor, Murray Anderson and Lindy

  • Visiting Rotarian, Uttam Ganguli past District Governor D3291, Past President of our sister club, Rabindra-Sarobar and most important of all, father of our members Suvam and Puja.

  • Honorary Members, Lorraine Meehan, Heather Walklate and Marjorie Gerlinger, Aris Imbardelli

  • President Elias and Niki

  • President-elect Rohan and Sue

Michelle then made a very moving Acknowledgement of Country, with a level of truth and insight beyond this reporter’s expectations.

As expected, Michelle then exhorted us to buy raffle tickets.  “Every time you buy a drink, buy a ticket”.  No pressure….

DG Amanda Wendt then proposed the toast to Rotary International.  Amanda said that our club has once again contributed to District very fulsomely with several members of RCM involved in District activities.

President Elias was called to review the past year - a full copy of which is referred to elsewhere in this special BULLETIN.

MC Michelle then invited President Elias to formally hand over the Presidency. Elias asked President-elect Rohan and Sue to come forward and then read the Induction Charge.  The President’s collar was passed on to Rohan who also received his President’s lapel badge, new meeting badge and theme pin.

Job done, Rohan asked Niki to join Elias and then presented him with his Certificate of Service.  Elias has served as President during an exceptionally difficult year.  He has shown a warmth and calmness in this time which has kept our club moving forward with the same commitment, same directions as always.  Sue thanked Niki for her support and contribution and instead of presenting her with the customary flowers, announced instead that a donation had been given to Doctors Without Borders.

Rohan then outlined his thoughts for his coming year of service, firstly by announcing the Board members and presenting them with the 2022-3 theme badge.

He then went on to talk about his own thoughts, ideas, plans, starting with an introduction concerning Maurice Sedak, who as a young American boy in 1940 went to see the Disney film Pinocchio.  The appearance of Jiminy Cricket in this film and his song “When you wish upon a Star. (Makes no Diff’rence Who you Are)” influenced him greatly to later write the story “Where the Wild Things Are”, a book for children about growth and survival.

That song and its message is strong for Rohan and Rotary and says a lot about directions to take and destinations to target.

Rohan also spoke about the value of members inviting and encouraging their friends to come to Rotary events – maybe relevant club meetings, maybe club activities.  A useful way to grow the reach of our Club and Rotary overall, but also undoubtedly a vehicle for club recruitment.  We can all remember the realisation coming that “Rotary is a thing I want to be involved in.”

During a break in the meal we were entertained beautifully by the Harambee A Cappella vocal group.

After a necessary adjournment for dessert, Michelle called upon Herb Greenwood to draw the raffle.  Naturally this was not destined to be a simple process of plucking tickets from a big ticket-bag, but also involved a secondary pluck from another small bag to match the first pluckage with one of the mysterious prizes located at the other end of the room.  It seemed to work quite well and lucky recipients seemed well-content.  Of course the club was most content when Herb announced a fund-raised tally of about $1,500!

So ended another memorable handover evening.  Many members stayed on to chat but by about 11:00pm we had all headed for home.





"Imagine Rotary"  is the 2022-23 presidential theme.

 RI President Jennifer Jones is asking Rotary members to dream big and take action: “We all have dreams, but acting on them is a choice. Imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.” 

The logo for the theme was designed by Riki Salam, an Australian artist and graphic designer specialising in contemporary Indigenous art, design, and communications. He also created the 2023 Rotary International Convention logo which will be held in Melbourne.

ROTARY THEME AND LOGO for 2022-23 2022-07-01 14:00:00Z 0
THE YEAR THAT WAS. 2022-07-01 14:00:00Z 0


Posted by Roger THORNTON
On Sunday, April 10, in perfect sunny weather, a small but happy group attended the annual Peninsula Barbecue, hosted by Lorraine Meehan at her home in Mount Martha.  (Lorraine reminded us that the first of these barbecues was held in 2002, in the house that she and John previously owned up the hill).  With fewer numbers, everybody had the opportunity for a good catch up.
The barbecue meat was paid for by Lorraine and there were plenty of delicious nibbles, salads and desserts for everyone to enjoy.
All in all, a tremendous day out.
Thank you Lorraine.
PENINSULA BBQ REPORT Roger THORNTON 2022-04-13 14:00:00Z 0
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course 2022-02-04 13:00:00Z 0

Tuesday 23rd November - 29th Annual Paul Harris and Business Leaders Breakfast


Georgie Harman - CEO, Beyond Blue: "Leadership, resilience and hope in a time of crisis"

Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman shares her personal story of leading through crisis, offering her vision for a post-Covid future where we all have a role to play in building mentally healthy communities.

Georgie was appointed as the CEO of Beyond Blue in May 2014 where she has driven a substantial expansion of mental health service delivery and programs with results in service innovation, suicide prevention and digital solutions.

Georgie has extensive and broad-ranging leadership, policy and service delivery experience in the community, public and private sectors.  She is an accomplished speaker with an extraordinary story about the organisation that barely existed 20 years ago and is now a world-recognised mental health and suicide prevention organisation.

Georgie will also explore the alignment between Rotary International and the community work funded through The Rotary Foundation and Beyond Blue.  Come along and hear about how we work to mobilise the community to change lives.

The Paul Harris Breakfast is a fundraising event for Rotary Central Melbourne.  All funds raised will be used to support Rotary Foundation projects that make lives better in your community and around the world

  • The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International has received 12 consecutive 4-star ratings, the top rating, from Charity Navigator as at January 2019.

  • Charity Navigator also rates The Rotary Foundation as Number One in their list of the 10 of the Best Charities Everyone's Heard Of.

  • It also received an A+ from Charity Watch its highest rating in 2017 (the most recent rating).

  • The Association of American Fundraising Professionals named The Rotary Foundation as the outstanding Foundation for 2016.

We look forward to welcoming all Rotarians, partners, friends and colleagues to this special event.


When: Tuesday, 23rd November 2021

Where: Zoom event

Tickets: $25

BOOKING CLOSE: 22nd November 2021

Time: 7:30am for 7:40am to 9:00am

Download flyer



Phone: 0447 751 137

Tuesday 23rd November - 29th Annual Paul Harris and Business Leaders Breakfast 2021-10-15 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by David JONES
A memory from six years ago:
"Congratulations to the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Sunrise [now Rotary Central Melbourne] on receiving a 2014-15 Significant Achievement Award from Rotary International. A district governor may nominate only one eligible club from his or her district for the award which recognises a club project that has addressed a significant problem or need in the local community and involved the club’s members in personal rather than monetary service.
The Award given to RCCMS acknowledges the club’s exceptional Community Village  program."
Receiving the award from DG Murray Verso are Neil Salvano, the late Richard Stone OAM and Alan Seale.
MEMORABLE David JONES 2021-07-14 14:00:00Z 0


Posted by Mary VOICE
If I could go anywhere: a world through the eyes of botanical artist Marianne North at Kew Gardens
Victorian-era adventurer and artist Marianne North, photographed at her home in Ceylon by Julia Margaret Cameron around the 1870s.

Have you ever entered a gallery, cathedral or grand old ballroom and drawn breath with surprise? Usually, it is opulence, vastness or one stunning painting or sculpture that evokes this response — think Michelangelo’s David, or Chartres Cathedral or the hall of mirrors at Versailles.

In London, an extraordinary gallery draws gasps because there is none like it anywhere else. It is like entering a giant “globe” covered in paintings of faraway places and plants. You can walk from South America to North America to Asia in a few paces.

IN CONVERSATION WITH... MARY VOICE Mary VOICE 2021-07-03 14:00:00Z 0


Posted by John ILOTT
10 October 1945 – 13 June 2021

Written by John Ilott – Rotary Central Melbourne

How does one do justice to a life of service with a few words?  Words cannot adequately describe the impact Bernie Gerlinger has had on the lives of so many people in the Rotary world and beyond.
Bernie began his life of Rotary service 30 years ago in January 1991 when he joined the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne.  From that time he worked tirelessly with Marjorie at both club and district level until they retired to Queensland in July 2019.  He and Marjorie remained honorary members of Rotary Central Melbourne until his all-too-early death in June 2021.
VALE. BERNIE GERLINGER John ILOTT 2021-06-18 14:00:00Z 0


A sensational $1707.55 was an amazing ‘swan song’ result for last Monday's fundraising at Bunnings, Port Melbourne.
Peter summed up;  ‘this result, one of the best we’ve had in the last four years was boosted by lots of customers at Bunnings, selling lots of drinks previously purchased by Herb, and the unrelenting efforts of a very efficient RCM team’.
‘Thanks to Team RCM for the day; Sally, David, Rhys, Leonie, Herb, Stuart, John and Sue).  It was exciting for me to finish my tenure at Port Melbourne on such a positive note, and I thank each of you so much.’
Photo -  "....... would you like a sticker with your sausage?"
SENSATIONAL SWAN SONG David JONES 2021-06-14 14:00:00Z 0

St Vincent's Foundation "Wrapped in Kindness"

Posted by Rohan WILLIAMS
The St Vincent’s Foundation in partnership with Caulfield Grammar and Rotary District 9800 donated, packed and distributed 780 bags of winter clothing and 780 bags of toiletries to ease the burden during the cold winter months in Melbourne and regional Victoria via the “Wrapped in Kindness” campaign.
We delivered our allocation of the donations to the following charities:
  • Winter clothing to Youth Projects CBD who support young people experiencing homelessness
  • Toiletries to Good Samaritan Inn Preston who provides short-term accommodation to women and children suffering domestic violence
  • Toiletries to Exodus West Heidelberg who provide long-term support to families in necessitous circumstances.
Thanks to Rebecca and Neville John, David Jones, Neil Salvano, Alan Seale, Peter and Sue Duras, Frank O’Brien and Rohan Williams for playing our part in this great initiative.
St Vincent's Foundation "Wrapped in Kindness" Rohan WILLIAMS 2021-04-23 14:00:00Z 0


Congratulations to Sarah Overton, David and Adelaide on the safe arrival of Henry on Monday 8th March 2021. We look forward to meeting you all sometime soon.
WELCOME, BABY HENRY! 2021-03-12 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by David JONES

For our Picnic at Cruden Farm, Past President Warwick Cavell seconded PP John Ilott to present the last of the Awards from Warwick’s 2019/20 Presidential Year.  We must acknowledge Covid 19 conditions did make a face-to-face presentation difficult for the past eight months.


Frank O’Brien was the patient recipient of the Award “In recognition of many years of outstanding service”.


Congratulations Frank.




Posted by Tony THOMAS
Rotary Central Melbourne (‘RCM’), Rotary Echuca-Moama (‘REM’) and Bearbrass Probus had a great social day at Cruden Farm, Langwarrin on  Monday  March 1.
In all 73 attended, members, partners and friends. The outing to the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s property was instigated by REM’s Teresa Carlson and implemented largely by sausage sizzle maestro, Frank O’Brien and TryBooking guru Rob Hines.
It was a real experience to see the gorgeous Lemon Scented Gumtree-lined drive and the white-colonnaded “Gone with the Wind” style homestead. Around the corner by the stables, sausages and hamburgers were flipped by Frank and Peter Duras, served by Pauline O’Brien and REM’s Mike Stansbury and we lunched under gracious shade-umbrellas.
Best treat was a talk by Dame Elisabeth’s former private secretary Hennie Lanting (Teresa’s cousin) who worked for Dame Elisabeth from 2003-2012. Hennie told how the fabulously wealthy Dame Elisabeth didn’t know the price of a litre of milk or a parking slot in the city, but would spend all day answering letters that were seeking donations for all sorts of causes. Hennie, on typewriter, would take dictation for 40 or so letters onto the finest quality paper plus cheques, while Dame E. would hand address the envelopes. Sometimes Hennie would ask, “Shall we give this charity $25?” and Dame E. might reply, “Yes, that’s right. $25,000.”
Dame Elisabeth had no idea that after ten years her pay rate for secretaries was a “bit obsolete” and Hennie eventually wangled her pay rise after her boss responded, “Well what’s the going rate?”. Dame Elisabeth was such a workaholic that morning and afternoon tea was always skipped, even during Bridge days with her friends. She would typically start her day at 5.30am with a briefing of the head gardener.
The only security in past years was that doors were locked. A security light system was installed but possums kept triggering it so it was abandoned. Today there is good security on the property.
Dame Elisabeth never expressed the slightest interest in new escorts after being married for 24 years to Sir Keith Murdoch. Sir Keith, as a 40-year-old, courted the mere schoolgirl at Clyde School Woodend. He married her at 19 when he was 42. She was widowed in 1952 and took the view for the next 50+ years that Sir Keith’s charms could never be surpassed.
Sometimes Hennie would answer the phone and Rupert was on the line. Dame Elisabeth would say to Hennie “lovely dear” and retire for a long chat. The Murdoch family units would often holiday on the property, with the younger generation enjoying the family accommodation units. But, being all strong-minded and confident, when it came to decisions the family could “never agree on anything”.
Thanks again to organisers for a perfect day!
PICNIC AT CRUDEN FARM  Tony THOMAS 2021-03-03 13:00:00Z 0



Rotary Walk with Us to End Polio

Following a very successful event in 2020 Rotarians, friends and the community are encouraged once again to take action from October 1st to 31st to raise awareness, funds, and support to end poliomyelitis, a vaccine-preventable disease that still threatens the children of the world today. As a founding partner of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary worldwide has helped to reduce polio cases from an average of 1000 cases per day in 1987 to a total of only 140 cases in 2020, a 99.9% reduction.
The Rotary Walk With Us campaign throughout October is a fun way to raise awareness and funds to End Polio Now.
Using Rotary’s friendly website (, you can register to walk and set distance and fundraising goals. Alternatively, you can donate to someone who is walking. For the walkers the total distance you have set for the month is accumulated over the entire month of October. So you can walk when, where and with whom you want in a COVID-safe way. Each walk is logged on the website along with all donations. It’s easy.


ROTARY WALK WITH US TO END POLIO 2021-01-23 13:00:00Z 0


Posted by Tony THOMAS
Our club is sponsoring and launching Melbourne Bearbrass Probus at the Dock Library, Docklands, at 10am on Wednesday February 12.
It’s the first Probus Club launched within District 9800 for four years, and the first new Probus Club for inner-Melbourne since RCM launched Melbourne Sunrise Probus in 2011. That club is now full with about 120 members.
We’ll shortly provide our members who live in city towers with flyers for the launch, in the hope they can arrange to get the flyers onto their tower noticeboard. Meanwhile could every member please pass the news about the new club to any active senior or retiree who may want to join?  [Not restricted to Docklands dwellers]
Please help spread the news to prospective seniors. Inquiries:
President Warwick and Tony Thomas will brief members on the Bearbrass project at our January 21 meeting. (In case you’re wondering, “Bearbrass” was a suggested name for the settlement that became “Melbourne”. There’s also a Bearbrass Restaurant in Southbank).
The venture is enthusiastically backed by Probus headquarters in Sydney, which coordinates more than 1500 Australasian clubs and 125,000 members.
Probus Headquarters is paying for display ads in local city newspapers, and providing other marketing. Robert Renshaw of District 9810 is giving us his substantial expertise and will manage the launch meeting. Robert has launched eight Probus clubs in the past three years and currently is helping five potential Probus Clubs get started.
Probus Clubs are for active retirees who want to extend their friendship networks and enjoy stimulating monthly speakers. Interest groups include dining, theatre, films, arts, sports, books, walks, and local and overseas expeditions.
More  - please click on Read More -->
RCM LAUNCHES NEW PROBUS CLUB  Tony THOMAS 2019-12-28 13:00:00Z 0