Our Club Information

The Rotary Club of Preston


Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Wednesdays at 12:30 PM
Darebin RSL Club
402 Bell Street
Preston, VIC 3072
We also meet on ZOOM at the same time. Please contact the Club for the ZOOM meeting link.
Contact us at the Rotary Club of Preston
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Club Directors
Vice President
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Community Service
Conservation & Enviroment Service
International Service
Vocational Service
Rotary Foundation
Youth Service
Photo Albums
Speakers at Our ZOOM Meetings
Jo Press
Sep 23, 2020 12:30 PM
Darebin Hard Rubbish Heroes
Let's Support The Rotary Foundation - Areas of Focus!

This is what Trachoma looks like. It causes blindness, when the eyelid swells and grows inward, covering the eye.

This is an illustration of the eyelashes growing inward, scratching the cornea following repeated infections.

All we need to do is to enable people to practise better hygiene. Contact: www.endtrachoma2020.org.au


The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

Since it was founded more than 100 years ago, the Foundation has spent more than $4 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects.

With your help, we can make lives better in your community and around the world.

Our mission

The mission of The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.

What impact can one donation have?

  • For as little as 60 cents, a child can be protected from polio.
  • $US 50 can provide clean water to help fight waterborne illness.
  • $US 500 can launch an antibullying campaign and create a safe environment for children


End Trachoma 2020

What does Australia have that the other developed nations of the world don’t?
Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness. It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and creates swelling under the inner eyelid. Repeated episodes of infection lead to scarring. The scars cause eyelashes to turn inward and scratch the eye, producing intense pain made worse by blinking. Eventually, if left untreated, the scratched cornea becomes cloudy, and irreversible blindness follows.
How it spreads Trachoma spreads by personal contact (via hands, clothing, towels or bedding), or by flies in contact with infected discharge from the nose or eyes of children’s faces. Where does trachoma exist?
Australia is the last developed country where trachoma still remains a problem. It isn’t found in mainstream Australia, but lingers in remote Indigenous communities, where there is poor sanitation, overcrowded households and low personal and community hygiene.
Young children are particularly at risk. Keeping every child’s face clean, and ensuring functional and appropriate wash facilities are available for the community is essential. Improving hygiene will also reduce other common, serious infections.  EndTrachoma by 2020 is an opportunity for all clubs around Australia to unite and support our least advantaged Australians. To get involved, visit: www.endtrachoma2020.org.au
Preston Rotary Club, in conjunction with the  the Pavilion School and Darebin City Council has completed a Skills Shed, which will help deliver accredited hands on training programs including Carpentry, Car Maintenance, bicycle building, furniture making, Mechanics, Life Skills and horticulture.
The benefits to having a skills shed at the Pavilion School
* Learn home maintenance practical tool skills
* Learn broad handyman skills as an important independent living skill
* Engaging Retirees in a  mutually beneficial skills training program
* Culturally safe space for indigenous students
* Accredited training delivered as well as soft skills sessions
* Reinforce the link between local employers via  engagement in programs
* link to employment programs.

20 minutes with Margie Barclay

Given that stories are meant to INSPIRE, to EDUCATE and, where possible, to ACTIVATE, Margie Barclay’s story is a perfect fit.
Currently stationed in midwifery at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Parkville, Margie had a long career as a Nurse Volunteer with MEDICINS SANS FRONTIERES - Doctors without Borders. In 1996, armed with her midwifery, maternity and child-care qualifications, she began that journey, serving with MSF till 2015. Her first appointment was to Tajikistan, a country far removed in every  way from comfortable Melbourne.
Medecins Sans Frontieres was founded in 1971 when a group of French medics branched off from the Red Cross. Their intent was to be totally independent financially, politically, militarily and religion wise. They saw this as giving them the full ability to collect independent data and to speak out nationally and internationally where the suffering have no voice. Today they work in over 70 countries, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare. See https://msf.org.au/
Margie described many emergency ‘cases’ in a long list of countries where she has been involved. Most of these were unimaginably life-threatening, physically exhaustive and emotionally draining. Her audience was totally silent! She has worked in Haiti after the earthquake killed over 100,000 persons; in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan; the bloody conflict in North West Yemen; Sudan with its ongoing massacres and child armies. The list continues.
Providing maternity and infant care often times in unsanitary and life-threatening conditions takes its toll. Margie related a strong memory of a woman who came to deliver her seventh child. She was close to delivery when bombing started, close enough to shake the buildings. Anxiety was high for her, the mother and child, and for MSF members. After a few minutes the baby came, healthy and everything was fine after all.
Margie said that returning home was always a significant challenge. This video help us understand the impact of this work on its fieldworkers.
Margie Barclay: Inspired. Inspiring.

How an Inflatable Hospital Works

An innovation borne out of the need for an instant medical centre to treat people with significant injuries after natural disasters and war / unrest. Medecins San Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) developed this concept for their aid work. http://msf.org.au

Coming together to help our indigenous community 

We achieve so much more together! 200 family packs of hygiene products, 200 female hygiene packs and 200 male hygiene packs were collected for 3KND this week to enable them to support indigenous folk in the area who are struggling during this challenging time. Bundles of blankets were added to the collection as well. 

The Four-Way Test

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.

The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians often reflect on it at club meetings:

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


3KND 1503AM, the “Voice of Indigenous Victoria Australia”, offers Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander community members from Melbourne and wider Victoria the unique opportunity to share their experiences, concerns, perspectives and information with the wider community and neighbours over the 3KND radio Airwaves and Internet.

Rotary Club of Preston member Gerry Lyons (aka the GMAN) is the General Manager of 3KND.

Following the cancellation of NAIDOC due to COVID-19, Gerry got together a mob of artists and with the help of Melbourne Arts Centre and other groups they played out the Victorian Naidoc Week Concert. Uncle Archie Roach was the star and the virtual national and international audience on the night numbered 61,000. Gerry sees the role of music in keeping oneself healthy, balanced and sane. Music can bring people together, it can revive pleasant old memories, it can relieve stresses, it can raise the spirit.


3KND GMan Rotarian Gerry Lyons spoke to the Club of the massive jump in domestic violence within the indigenous communities in these lock-down times. Children have been taken away because a parent has become unemployed, home food has diminished and connection with community has suffered badly.

People have been slow to call out for help. Gerry and his 30 person staff, permanent and volunteers, are seeking out those who have no-one to talk to, no voice to call out, no family to share with . . . During the weekend of the Concert there were no cases of domestic violence while currently his mission of being out there listening and sharing is having similar results.

This is one of the reasons that at Preston Rotary, we so strongly support 3KND and the GMAN.

Anne and Bruce McGregor have been sharing with us their journey towards the transformation of the Merri Creek through community action. With the establishment of the Friends of Merri Creek, a mechanism was activated to achieve that goal.

Flood control areas were established, and parkland created to replace rubbish tips and dump sites. Central Creek grasslands were also established to help change the face of what had been unsightly areas, to vegetated areas with walking paths for use by the community.
The Friends of the Merri Creek in the late 1980s defined Current and Future Challenges:
1. Define urban growth areas across the catchment to protect endangered species.
2. Water quality to be improved due to soil problems in the upper catchment. 3. Resources to be made available to allow improvement works to continue
4. Improvement of habitat by widening the corridor.
5. Upgrading infrastructure.
6. Create environmentally appropriate flood control.
7. Establish a management for Conservation Areas.
8. Keep abreast of Climate Change.
What is the goal now?
A mixture of Housing and nature. When the community reported that the quality of water was being affected by rubbish being dumped into the water. The community acted with tree planting along the creek banks and by getting school children involved in visiting the creek on education trips. Two primary achievements:
 transformation of the much degraded lower Merri Creek.
 protection of natural areas
Work continues.

Jacob’s Well Vision


Justice and hope for the desperately poor throughout the world by virtue of improved health, knowledge and quality of life.


Jacob’s Well hopes to break the poverty cycle by sinking fresh water wells in villages, establishing health and resource centres and providing life changing education for children from tribal villages and the slums.


To live a life of significance based upon Christian values, working together with all cultures, faiths and genders, empowering others to facilitate change and provide solutions to break the poverty cycle.



Jacob’s Well aligns itself to alleviate the root cause of poverty through the following Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger – Jacob’s Well aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger through provision of clean water, education, sustainable agriculture initiatives and skills training programs. MDG 1
  2. Achieve universal primary education – Jacob’s Well is taking education into the remote villages where there is no education and no hope. MDG 2
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women – Jacob’s Well ensures that all the boys and girls at Rejoice receive primary and secondary education. Girls are encouraged to go onto further education and become involved in their community transformation. MDG 3Sponsor_Child_Monkey_Bar
  4. Reduce child mortality – Jacob’s Well has provided clean water and hygiene education to assist in the reduction of infant mortality within those villages. MDG 4
  5. Improve maternal health – Through the medical, health and resource centres Jacob’s Well will provide maternal health, first aid programs and hygienic birthing kits to women throughout the district. MDG 5
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases – Jacob’s Well’s primary focus to combat disease is through education on preventative healthcare, management of common ailments and nutrition. MDG 6
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability – Jacob’s Well is implementing sustainability initiatives in remote villages where there are no resources and no hope. MDG 7
 Past President Paul has been heavily involved in assisting small businesses survive COVID-19 via the Darebin Business Network. 
He shares this news:
City of Darebin – Business Recovery Grants.
The Business recovery program is part of the $11.5 million package to provide immediate relief to local businesses who are experiencing disadvantage or who are in a state of vulnerability.
This Business program has two rounds of funding, the first round of grants opened on Friday 15 May 2020 and closed on Sunday 31st May 2020.
It was a lengthy process throughout the month of June to analyse and also make recommendations on all the 200 plus Grant applications that were submitted.
A second round of a similar amount will be announced in a few months.
Businesses had no option but to search for alternative methods of growing their business base.
Unfortunately this second round of COVID – 19 will test businesses once again.
Some statistics listed below.
COVID-19: Implications on Businesses in Darebin
Many Companies experienced significant downturn in business in the three months to June 2020.
Direct contact with the businesses confirmed sudden fall in sales that forced reductions in working hours.
50%, experienced a 70% reduction in sales that caused severe cash flow difficulties (Those that service Cafe and Restaurant have been impacted the most)
30%, moderate position and worked at 50% levels
20%,  maintained stable level of sales and employment
New Approach by Businesses in Darebin:
70% said they had changed how they delivered goods, on-line; ready meals, pick up, frozen packs 
30% said they have scaled up new product development, process innovation with their idle hours

  Preston Rotary actively supports the community outreach of Bridge Darebin (BD) and Reservoir Neighbourhood House (RNH), situated in Melbourne’s Northern suburbs.

Since March, Bridge Darebin and Reservoir Neighbourhood House have not been able to safely deliver their usual weekly food and social support services under the COVID-19 restrictions. Bridge Darebin normally runs a free weekly Friday lunch and Sunday dinner, with up to 80 attendees for each meal who also receive a second meal and some grocery items to take home.  Reservoir Neighbourhood House provide a daily community pantry with free grocery items and breads, monthly community lunches, weekly soup days and grocery support to local public housing estates via Foodbank.

Although both Houses were providing food relief, the introduction of COVID-19 meant community need for food support became next-level virtually overnight. At RNH, Angie Davidson, Executive Officer, opened her grocery giveaway the week of March 16th to a line of people stretching up the street. Numbers she had never experienced before, and social distancing was definitely not the first thing on their minds. Angie had over 150 people in need, without the building space and staff numbers to manage this demand.

Rotary Club of Preston were instrumental in supporting the very first community food relief initiative with Reservoir Neighbourhood House in the first week of lockdown. Together, they were able to support the sourcing and delivery of 200 meals within four days. The following week the program was extended to increase the outreach to vulnerable community members living in public housing estates in East Reservoir.

It was becoming extremely difficult to source bulk foods and keep social distancing measures in place whilst the need for more support for community kept growing. The neighbouring organisation Bridge Darebin assisted through their bulk foods store to support the program. Within a matter of days, donations had transformed their front community hall into a packing hub. In a remarkably short period of time both Neighbourhood Houses formed the Darebin Neighbourhood Houses food relief response for COVID-19.

With support from Preston Rotary and the Donations In Kind truck, collections from FareShare and Foodbank grew. 

By the beginning of April both Neighbourhood houses had distributed: 

  • 4,040 FareShare two-person meals 
  • 3,300 grocery bags (1,100 deliveries) 
  • 2 pallets of fruit and veg and 2 pallets of dairy products 
  • 400 hygiene packs 
  • Supporting 13 welfare/community organisations to access between 20 – 80 meals each week for their communities. 

From mid-May, the meals were estimated at 1400 per week. So as the need for food relief grew, Preston Rotary continued to support the Darebin wide program. Hygiene packs sourced from Pinchapoo have been greatly appreciated, along with donated fresh bread.  The Darebin Neighbourhood Houses have been resourceful in seeking other much needed donations, such as Halal meals, baby goods and nappies.

Rotarian Ruth McCall notes “As a relatively new Rotarian, I am continually inspired by my club’s readiness to assist in providing much needed relief to a vulnerable community. The response to the COVID-19 Pandemic rapidly enacted by Reservoir Neighbourhood House, and Bridge Darebin partnerships demonstrate a passionate commitment to their communities.”


The need for food relief assistance will continue long after COVID-19 lockdowns have been lifted. A fundraising campaign has been set up by Bridge Darebin and Reservoir Neighbourhood House to support the continuation and longevity of food relief in Darebin for as long as is possible. Whilst this support continues, so will the program.   

The program has attracted media articles, video diaries and social media posts;