• PERSON BEHIND THE BADGE- Dr Carla Finocciaro

        What perfect timing that as we celebrated International Womens Day on 8th March, our
    “Person Behind the Badge” was Rotary Preston Member, Carla Finocciaro.
    Carla has been a member of our club for over 20 year, and is a Past- President.
    She shared some of her life story which was very moving. Born in Sicily, Carla married at aged 20, and studied to be a teacher. With 2 young children, Carla and her husband felt called to leave Italy and venture overseas and begin a new life. Darwin, 1970 was their new home, only to experience the terror of Cyclone Tracy, on Christmas Eve, 1974. In graphic and moving detail Carla described how her family huddled together as their house was dangerously close to collapsing like a house of cards. For many of us who were not in Darwin at that time, it’s difficult to imagine how frightening to be in the eye of such a devastating cyclone was. The noise is something Carla will never forget.
    Soon afterwards, Carla and her children, like many women and children, were evacuated to Southern states. Carla’s family settled in Melbourne, another baby was born, and Carla went on to gain her Phd in Education,and for many years taught in the Tertiary sector.
    We were privileged to hear some of Carla’s life story, and she is a delightful member of our club. Thanks Carla!!


    Aboriginal Advancement League in Watt St Thornbury is a seriously beautiful place.

    Meeting up with Deputy CEO Leigh Saunders, we are exploring the possibility of visiting International Rotarians being hosted by the AAL for an evening of Indigenous hospitality, and culture during the May Rotary International Convention.

    Watch this space!


    Jacob’s Well Foundation in India.

    More playground equipment being harvested and recycled to countries in need.
    Teams from Rotary Preston, Kensington- Flemington, & Glenferrie were active again this week, harvesting playground equip from Penders Park Thornbury.
    Together with the gear harvested from Wood Street Preston recently, these will be sent to the Jacob’s Well Foundation in India.
    Terrific effort by all!


    Christmas  ’22 High- Jinks!

    Well, we didn’t have our planned Christmas picnic, but we enjoyed much laughter & great food at the Darebin RSL. We channeled our inner child and sat on Santa’s knee, thanks to the good- will of Santa, aka Peter Sambell. Always happy to oblige is our Peter!


    Sunday 11th Dec- Christmas BBQ/Picnic at Children First Foundation Retreat in Kilmore. Please contact Secretary Geoff for further info.

  • Saturday 10th Dec- our penultimate fundraising BBQ @ Bunnings Northland
  • Thursday 1st Dec 10am- 12 midday at the Darebin RSL. The Pinchappoo Packathon! A team of us will be making up these fantastic toiletry packs for the charity ‘Pinchapoo’, as they have donated thousands to flood relief victims. Rotary Preston are proud to assist such a great cause.

  • Celebration of Indigenous Health Scholarship students
    6th December: Australia Rotary Health is hosting a celebration of Indigenous Health Scholarship students. Students will outline their area of study over a lovely meal. Australia Rotary Health is a vehicle by which Rotarians can provide practical support & help to encourage more Indigenous Australians to study at Tertiary level. 

    Join us as we raise money to support Mental Health services

  • SAT OCT 8TH 2022. BBQ @ Northland Bunnings
    Our regular monthly fundraiser to support the many programs we assist.
    See you there!
    The recently opened Narandjeri Sports Stadium in Thornbury was a hive of activity recently as the Koorie Basketball Academy hosted the first Treaty Cup Carnival.
    The curtain- raiser was a team of young children playing a fast- turn over game, with the children each giving one another to get a fair share of the ball. It was exciting to watch, and some of the children were especially fast.

    Head Coach of the Koorie Basketball Academy, Ricky Baldwin, spoke at our club a few months ago, and highlighted the importance of mentoring & inspiring young Indigenous youth to take pride in their identity. Ricky not only aims to develop sporting skills, and the
    love of basketball into children’s lives, but he weaves cultural awareness into every interaction.

    One young girl opened the day by singing the Australian National Anthem in Wurrundjeri language. Powerful indeed. The stadium resounded with the haunting music of the Didgeridoo. All in all, a wonderful day.


    1. Our meeting next Wednesday 28 th September will take the form of a walking tour of this wonderful local community hub. CERES is a farm, housing a nursery, bookstore, bakery, Organice grocery, wood merchant, & education centre.
    AND it has a commercial garden, urban farm, & social enterprise hub

    Rotary Prestons’ Environmental & Sustainability Committee are encouraging members to join us in what will be a fascinating exploration of how at a local level we can respond to the ecological & climate crisis we face.

    We will be meeting at 1pm at the Visitors Centre. BYO lunch, or have lunch in the café beforehand, and for those who are not time- poor, after the tour, stay for a coffee, brouse through the bookshop, or simply enjoy this unique environment.

    Cost: $10/head.
    Address: Corner Stewart & Roberts St Brunswick East



  • Koorie Basketball Academy are hosting a special Treaty Cup game this Sunday 18 TH AT NARRANDJERI basketball stadium, 12-5pm 281 Darebin Rd, Thornbury. Ricky Baldwin, Head Coach of KBA is excited about the line- up for the day. Some of the Aboriginal State team players, coaches,  young Koorie kids will be there. Smoking ceremony, Welcome to Country, Free BBQ & lots more will be happening. Rotarians from Preston will be there, along with our good friends Radio 3KND. Promises to be a great day. All are welcome.
  • International Entertainment Australia’s Circus Quirkus 2022 – is a contemporary take on your favourite, traditional circuses of ages past. Performances were held recently at the Thornbury Theatre, and enthusiastically supported. This is a major event sponsored by Rotary Preston each year, specially geared to families with special needs children.
    Performers included Acrobats, Clowns Jugglers, & Artistes- highly, highly skilled peformers- “delivering funny, hugely engaging and sometimes death-defying acts of unbelievable skill”! Volunteers from Rotary Preston are on deck with each performance to assist any families with access to the theatre.
  • Not to be missed!
    Film night at Thornbury Picture House: “Greenfinger”.
    This promises to be a great film- “heartwarming” & “funny”- & based on a true story.
    Monday 8th August  6pm.
    + Bamboo Socks for sale: Med & Large: $10/pair
    All to aid the Global Gardens for Peace project: Yooralla’s Ventilator Accomodation Support Service.
    Ticket & Socks purchased only at https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/932863
  • Fundraising BBQ at Bunnings Northland this Sat 23rd July. A great opportunity for us to raise
    much needed funds for all the excellent projects we support.

  • NAIDOC Week:

    So many events to choose from in this year’s NAIDOC week. Rotarian, Ruth McCall attended the Flag- raising at the Aborigines Advancement League in Thornbury. It was a lovely event followed by great hospitality.
  • “Oh what a night!”
    Our Changeover night in which our Club members, friends & guests came together to mark a wonderful 2021-2022 Rotary Year under the direction of President Chris Shields, and the great work of our club- to hand the baton over to Incoming President Ruth McCall. We enjoyed a time of celebration and reflection; honouring some precious lives lost over the year, whilst also acknowledging the amazing work our club has undertaken in such a challenging time. As our now Immediate Past President Chris noted, “ our club is undertaking great change and modernizing to be more relevant to our community today and for the future. Adopting our Diversity Statement & First Nations People Statement are great steps forward….”


    In part of her speech newly inducted President Ruth McCall reflected in part on the 2022-2023 Rotary Logo & theme: Imagine, quoting Rotary International President Jennifer Jones- “Imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference.” Ruth concluded her speech by saying,” Our theme is future- focused. We need to be open and dynamically respond to life around us if we are to continue to thrive…. We are all volunteers who give so much of our time, and I think we are rewarded three-fold!

  • Angie Davidson : Awardee Paul Harris Fellow Award
    The excellent Angie Davidson- well known to Rotary Preston as CEO of the Reservoir Neighbourhood House was honoured at our Change-over night with a Paul Harris Fellow Award. Angie has exemplified outstanding service to the community by her innovative leadership and compassion for community. Angie, who is well supported by an equally compassionate & hard working team at RNH shows time and time again diverse ways of meeting community needs. We are proud to present Angie with this recognition, for our association with all the team at the Reservoir Neighbourhood House.