Friends of Merri Creek

Join Ann and Bruce McGregor who have been tireless environmental activists in the local area for more than 45 years.
They will speak about how they managed to convince 8 Councils along the creek to form what is now the Merri Creek Management Committee in the 1970s. These Councils cooperated in building a pathway and revitalising the creek and its environs, which transformed it from an industrial drain with weeds and rubbish into a great recreational and environmental asset.
When: Thursday 9 May 7.00 pm
Where: Glenroy Community Hub Library, 50 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy

Jacob’s Well Trivia Night May 31st 2024

The date for this event was postponed and is now scheduled for May 31st
Jacob’s Well is a fantastic organisation whose mission is “ 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.”
  • Preston Rotarian Joan Roose invests heart, soul, and many months each year living and volunteering  for Jacob’s Well in rural India in a remote school. Joan gives us first-hand insights into how impoverished many areas in India are in terms of providing education and support for chidren.
  • We hope many can support this fundraiser.



Rotary “Change-over” Night is rapidly approaching where we farewell our fabulous 2023-2024 President Kannan Subramanian, and welcome 2024-2025 President -Elect Wayne O’Neill. ( who will no doubt be terrific!)
Changeover Night is always a great opportunity to reflect on all we have achieved in the busy Rotary year. We share stories, an evening of great food and wine, and enjoy the fact that after 60 years our club is making a difference in many peoples lives.
     We look forward to Rotary International President Stephanie Urchick whose chosen theme, “The Magic of Rotary” will no doubt keep on inspiring Rotarians around the world.
Dinner: Melbourne Polytechnic Preston Conference Centre
              Building U, 67 Cramer St Preston
              6:30 for 7:00PM
              RSVP:  Tuesday 18th JUNE


  • Yes, -this annual event that Rotary Preston takes part in by way of offering hospitality ,- that is, egg & bacon rolls for the public, is on again.
  • A great morning, and the breakfast seems to  be very much appreciated by the locals.
Set up- @4am, Service @6am, then serve breakfast. Packup at 0800, & we adjourn to Delganis for a strong coffee!!
A great morning!!


An open invitation to attend the Florey Institute 30th April  @ the Ian Potter Auditorium 5:30-6:30pm
Discover the breakthrough in research into brain and kidney complications, heart failure and surgery, as shared by Associate Professor Yugeesh Lankadeva and a distinguished panel of speakers.
Hear directly from these specialists and gain valuable insights into developments in this vital area of heart health.
Registrations are free but essential.
THE FLOREY 30 Royal Parade Parkville.
Light refreshments provided.


 A wonderful fundraiser for the excellent Children First Foundation.
An opportunity to hear first hand of the incredible work the Foundation actions.
Key note Speaker  is Dr Ruth Mitchell. Nobel Prize winner and Chairperson of Children First Foundation. She  will be speaking on “Global Health.”
Dee Dee Dunleavy, media personality, and Children First Ambassador will be M.C.
A 2 course lunch with drinks package is included in the ticket price.


Rotary Preston each year is  committed to supporting and awarding a   first year apprentice  at Preston’s Melbourne Polytechnic campus for diligence and excellence in their training.
At our recent club meeting Annabelle Barrow, an apprentice Painter & Decorator was the 2024 recipient of the ‘Pride of Workmanship’ award.

Upcoming Events



Reservoir Neighbourhood House Foodbank delivery

This very important community outreach by our club very much valued by the community.
It is sobering to see the increased  volume of people lining up in desperate need of food and groceries.

Fundraiser BBQ at Northlands Bunnings Sat April 13th

- a key fundraiser we do each month. All funds raised go to supporting the many areas of need both locally and internationally. Please contact Club Secretary Geoff to be involved.


A very pleasant way to support CFF and the excellent work they do with bringing children from developing countries for major surgery.
The event will be at the Kooyong Tennis Club
$152/head for a scrumptious lunch
Dress Code: Smart Lunch attire
Rotary Preston has invested many hours, lots of heart, blood, sweat and tears in CFF and it’s wonderful to get a table together and help the coffers for this excellent organization.


Our next Foodbank Delivery to Reservoir Neighbourhood House will be Tuesday 12th March.
This amazing service is providing well over 100 families with much needed fresh fruit, veges and groceries, and as we unload the truck we are seeing how important this outreach is to the local community.
    We encourage Rotarians to join us in this event which occurs fortnightly. Lunch follows and it’s a time for catching up and connecting with one another.


Join us for our next Foodbank delivery to Reservoir Neighbourhood House as we unload our precious cargo of fresh fruit & veg, and groceries for an ever- growing number of locals in desperate need of help. Our Rotary team enjoy lunch together under the trees in the RNH garden.


Thanks to President Heather Harris ( Rotary Club Pascoe Vale) for registering and promoting this important environmental action.

Join us as we help CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA!
De Chene Reserve 193 Urquhart St Coburg
Participants will need to sign up by registering at

Watch this space for the official OPENING of the VASS Food Forrest !!! Coming Soon!!



Fundraising BBQ- Bunnings 14th October

This all- day event rolls around each month, and is a much needed revenue raiser for all the excellent causes our club supports.

We are a NOT- For- PROFIT community organization, so it’s vital we keep this going!!



Each year the Rotary Club of Preston commits to supporting this excellent program offered to secondary school students throughout the Northern suburbs in Years 9 & 10.
The program runs over the course of a day and involves powerful lectures and videos around safety issues when driving a vehicle. Highlighting issues such as mobile phone use being a major distraction and cause of a high incidence of accidents, and sadly, fatalities. Speed, ignoring traffic signals- “running the amber light”- alcohol and drug use and its effects whilst driving, - so much is covered throughout the day.
   Feedback from students and teachers  is encouraging, as it highlights how necessary it is to get the message across to young adults when they are at highest risk of being involved in motor vehicle accidents.
   Our club sends a team of ‘volunteers’ to assist teachers in marshalling students from one information hub  to another as the presentations and videos are efficiently coordinated.
Always compelling is to hear from a “survivor” of road trauma, and hopefully, this reinforces the importance of driver awareness and safety.
Another great initiative heartily supported and endorsed by ROTARY!

Sat, 10th of September 2023, Keeping Australia Beautiful!

PLANTING ALONG MERRI CREEK- all are invited to help improve Biodiversity along our beloved Merri Creek. Rotarians are encouraged to help Darebin Council & Friends of Merri Creek to plant indigenous shrubs between 10am- 12 midday September 10th.
Planting is the western end of Warrk- Warrk bridge, Beavers Rd Northcote.


Shipping container

We unpacked, then packed again- the shipping container going to India – more specifically to the Rejoice School  that Rotarian Joan Roose is closely connected with. This rural school in Orisha will be receiving playground equipment all the way from Preston and Thornbury Melbourne, along with boxes AND BOXES of books, hand- knitted jumpers, office shelving, computers, bicycles…. you name it. A miracle we got it all in- and a terrific team effort from Preston Rotarians, along with friends and supporters of Joan’s mission.  Great work Rotary, and our thanks to Joan and friends. Fantastic to be part of such a worthwhile cause.





It was fantastic for our club to recently celebrate two wonderful Rotarians, and members of the Rotary Club of Preston
Peter Peyton – 50 years a Rotarian, and Wayne O’Neill 30 years. Both have contributed so richly in their humanitarian outreach. Much loved members of our club, and over a terrific lunch catered by Darebin RSL.- it was a day to be remembered.  Go to   Stories for more detail on Peter & Wayne)




An absolute humdinger! We had a BALL! Superb venue, great food, the band was excellent. Most of all, a great success in raising $$$ for the CFF.  A number of Rotarians from Preston were present, and it was delightful to get on the dance floor too! Even better was to see some of the young children who had received complex and life- saving surgery having a jive too. Not to be missed next year- same again please!!


Celebrating the Rotary Anniversaries of two fantastic Rotarians.

Celebrating the Rotary Anniversaries of two fantastic Rotarians.
Wayne O’Neill is to be congratulated for his 30 years of Rotary membership, and his great work in assisting our club in its major fund- raising venture.
Peter Peyton will have been a Rotarian and member of the Rotary Club of Preston for 50 YEARS!!!!! True!! Peter is a dearly loved member, and always, always supportive of whatever we are doing.
On May 3rd, we will be hosting a special lunch to celebrate these fine fellows. District Governor, David McPherson will be in attendance.


    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
  • 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.