Peter Lamers RIP

We were deeply saddened at the news of the death of Peter Lamers. Peter was a dear friend, and hard- worker who had a “heart of gold.” Sadly, Peter died from complications of a heart attack, far too young. Comments from fellow Rotarians included…
 “ “Basically Peter managed the Children First Foundation ( Retreat in Kilmore) mowing and gardening. He had his way of doing things and always worked using his talents, and despite our occasional differences he was always good fun.…..”
“ …..Give him a job to be done and it was done. Learning from his Dad, he was capable with any tool even to driving equipment to repair a dam wall at Kilmore. He enjoyed his mates and was very loyal to them all….”
“ He was a great human being. He had his ways but he had a big heart…..”
“ a wonderful spirit of generosity….”
“ some people come through your life and they touch you very deeply….. some people fly under the radar and they don’t blow their own trumpet… that was Peter.”
RIP Peter Lamers. Our heartfelt condolences to Gerry, and all the family.


It was wonderful to have Honorary Member of Rotary Preston, Margaret Smith, ( Deputy Chairperson Eva Tilley Memorial Homes, Patron & Chairperson of Lamers Foundation Board,  & Noel Baker, Member of Rotary Southern Mitchell, and generous benefactor  to the Children First Foundation share in our “Remembering Peter Lamers” time recently.
Both Noel and Margaret shared some of their memories of Peter adding to the rich spirit of the occasion.
We thank them both for joining us.

DARDI MUNWURRO (Strong Spirit) 

Based in High Street Preston “is a specialist Aboriginal family violence service…. ( their vision is to) “Build stronger families and safer communities by delivering a range of family violence programs to break the cycle of inter-generational trauma in Aboriginal families and communities.”

It was a powerful experience to visit Dard Munwurro recently, together with the Rotary Club of Eltham. Senior Sergeant Mark Van- Rooyen from the Reservoir Police Station was also in attendance, and his aim was to  invite discussion with the men to find ways of building bridges between Vic Police & First Nations’ People.
     The Rotary Clubs of Preston and Eltham cooked up a BBQ, and following open and respectful conversations between the Police and the men present, it was great to share lunch together. Meeting Founder of Dardi Munwurro, Alan Thorpe, and some of the Elders was inspiring. What wonderful mentorship and fellowship Dard offers to folk who have been through tough times.
    We look forward to learning more.



A community event to celebrate the engineering feat of the Preston Railway station was held recently, and Rotary Preston were invited to cook 800 sausages as “give- aways” to the public. 1200 sausages later, we tiredly packed up, after a day of music, lots of fun, and a rich spirit of camaraderie.


While some of us have been enjoying the delights of our wonderful coast- line this Summer, (President Ruth) a number of our stalwarts in the Rotary Club of Preston have been doing a great job- raising much needed funds via BBQ’s at Bunnings for the many worthwhile causes we assist. Even in searing heat in mid Jan our workers raised nearly $2000. Terrific effort!

Jacob’s Well Foundation

Rotarian Joan Roose whose Jacob’s Well Foundation which provides clean water and Education for Children in poverty is a cause close to the Rotary Club of Preston’s hearts. Over January, some of our members & friends banded together to clear office equipment  & furniture to be shipped over to India via Rotary’s Donations In Kind. Another fantastic effort!

Children First Foundation Gala Ball- is coming up!

The Children First Foundation is another organization close to our hearts. Providing children the means to be flown to Australia for highly specialized Paediatric Surgery, supporting their families and providing important respite and rehabilitation, the annual fund- raising Gala Ball is a great event. Always inspiring, is to hear directly from Specialist Surgeons what they are doing to save the dignity and lives of otherwise impoverished families.

RIMERN ( Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network

Is going from strength to strength.
It really is inspiring to know that all  donated household goods are going directly to people who desperately need them. Volunteering with RIMERN brings immense satisfaction. There are no- ‘Middle- men”- no one is profiting by this excellent Rotary venture- like all things Rotary- all efforts are voluntary, and people in desperate need are being assisted by having their homes furnished.
RIMERN’s fundraiser of a mixed dozen bottles of wine is a much needed source of funds.
Please purchase if you can!!


Uphold the Right - Community Police Awards.

“ See under ‘Stories’ the wonderful women were were ‘Highly Commended’ & ‘Winner” of the 2022/2023 Annual Community Police Awards

Coming up: 30th November:  Club Visit to Community Radio Station 3KND.

Rotarian, Gerry Lyons, aka "G- Man" is the General Manager of 3KND, and he & his team will be showing us around this hard- working station.  We will meet at KND @12:30, and we'll have a bite to eat while we're there.



Genuine care & support for our members is a hallmark of our club. If we know someone is not travelling all that well, be it health, emotional stress, we reach- out. Rotarian Joe contributes much to our club, and is often first cab off the rank to help with any of our
community outreach.
Recently recovering from BIG surgery, Joe surprised us by turning up at our regular Wednesday meeting.
We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to present Joe with some BIG balloons, especially since it was his Birthday too!


The Focus on Mental Health this month has been across all sectors- & Rotary Clubs throughout the world do great work in raising awareness and funds for Mental Health.
The theme,” Building Resilience with Communities & Connection” readily feeds into what Rotary is all about. Mental Health Authorities cite that Mental Health has worsened dramatically with the impact of the Covid pandemic, and is still being felt.
Quick tips to improving mental health:
Get a good night’s sleep
.engage creativity
. stay hydrated
.limit media coverage doom & gloom
. exercise- doesn’t have to be aerobic or punishing- walking daily or more, for example.
Last week our Rotary club had a ‘playful’ meeting. We all wore silly hats- & the mood was one of optimisim and hope for good things to come. We were joined by several members of the Reservoir Probus Club, and it was great to have them.
Rotarian, Joe Morris collated many items of sports memorabilia over past months, and a Silent Auction was held on the day, yielding well over $1200- all which is going towards Mental Health.

VACCHO: Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

FLOOD RELIEF DRIVE: Based at 17-23 Sackville St Collingwood, VACCHO are collecting warm clothes, childrens clothes, toiletries, insect repellent, jackets, jumpers… to distribute to flood affected families in regional areas.
VACCHO have their own delivery trucks & Volunteers.
Please drop off donated items to the above address.
Go to their website for further info.
Rotary Preston are delivering many boxes of new jumpers/jackets sourced from Donations In Kind Warehouse, and 500 Toiletry packs to VACCHO. Good to see we in the city can be of help.

"Fall in love with the Earth again!"

"Fall in love with the Earth again!" .... & how! Our Environment committee were keen for our  Rotary club  to  visit this beautiful urban farm in the heart of Melbourne's north. For some of our members who had not had the "Ceres experience" it was magical! -" Ceres is an environmental  education centre, community garden, urban farm, & social enterprise hub spread across four locations linked by the Merri & Darebin Creeks in Wurrundjeri country Melbourne." 
Our visit was to the East Brunswick location, with a wonderful guide, Chloe, whose passion for the environment & sustainable solutions was very evident. It  was inspiring to hear how Ceres engages community in fostering connection to the earth. Beautiful produce all meticulously farmed organically, - just a feast for the eyes!  Lunch at the Merri Cafe was delicious, and some of us couldn't resist shopping in the organic grocery store, and nursery at the end of our tour. Folks.... "do yourself a favour" & get down to Ceres.

Improving Darebin’s Biodiversity!

Our third planting session this year of Indigenous tube- stock at the Ray Brahbam gardens in Preston. Ben Smith, Manager of Environment & Sustainability is passionate about improving the Biodiversity to our urban landscape. Green spaces are vital, & by “re- wilding” our landscape we can respond at a local level to the global challenge. Nearly 400.000 Indigenous plants have gone into the earth. Rotarians, Pat & Heather from the Rotary Club of Pascoe Vale, joined Preston Rotarians recently in planting 1000 of these little beauties! Such a great feeing!



A fantastic night was had by all- well we think we can safely say that! It was wonderful to meet up with the President of Coimbatore Smartcity Rotary Club, Aparna Sonku, all the way from Tamil Nadu, India. Aparna is visiting Melbourne briefly, and we thoroughly enjoyed her company. Great food, wine was flowing, and we all agreed we were overdue to enjoy a good old knees up!




Pathways to Employment Grants : Inner North Community Foundation

Rotary Preston greatly admires & supports the work of Inner North Community Foundation. Attending the ‘Pathways to Employment Grants’ recently highlights the innovative approach the Foundation has to removing barriers people face on their journey to work. Foundation Chair, Carolyn Phiddian writes: “ This year celebrates the start of a new partnership between the Darebin, Moreland & Yarra City Council, the Inner North Community Foundation and IntoWork Australia to address disadvantage through employment opportunities in the inner north of Melbourne… This year 10 community organisations across Darebin, Morleand & Yarra will receive a grant of $20,000.. We all have a role to play- business, not- for- profit, & individuals – in supporting local communities to thrive.,,Our communities are much more resilient and caring as a result. Some of the projects included: Free to Feed: Commercial Cooking Training & Employment, Sisterworks Inc, Resilience & Wellbeing to Employment for CALD Women, CERES: Green Gap Year, & many more. Wonderful stuff!!


“How to Thrive”

a powerful documentary recently was shown at the Westgarth Cinema: a fundraiser to aid the Merri Outreach Support Service; MOSS. This film will be on general release later this year. The harrowing stories from people describing their struggles with mental heath may trigger issues for people who are dealing with their own challenges. MOSS CEO: Mark Goodie noted: for the Homeless, many folk live from pay week to pay week.
Mental Illness features alarmingly for those who are homeless, and MOSS as an organization are constantly looking for ways to garner support for those experiencing Homelessness. MOSS Ambassador Uncle Jack Charles opened the night and referenced the turn- around in his own life when he was assisted in being housed in permanent accommodation. Housing stability meant he found a way through drug addiction to finding meaning & purpose in a wonderful career in acting & Indigenous advocacy.
.It’s important to take action around our own mental health
.Thriving is a learnable skill!
.Early intervention is key- as it gets harder to treat mental illness as it evolves
.Mental Illness doesn’t respect job titles!
THRIVING: can be helped by: Caring for one’s self
Exercise is important
Connect with Nature
Connect with other people
Focus on things which are good: life enhancing
We all have the ability to thrive in spite of struggle.


Global garden of Peace

The Excellent Sue Stephenson, visited Rotary Preston recently. Sue gave an inspiring talk to our club several weeks ago regarding the planned Global garden of Peace, for the Ventilator Accommodation Support Service home in Thornbury.
She highlighted an upcoming Film Night & Fundraiser at the Thornbury Theatre: more details to follow shortly.

Changeover Night

A big week for our club this week as we celebrate “Changeover Night” on Wednesday 6th July, where we farewell outgoing President Chris Shields, and welcome 2022-2023 President, Ruth McCall.
Chris has had a challenging year with months spent in lockdown in 2021, thus curtailing face- face meetings, and the fellowship that we always look forward to in that space. Zoom meetings continued the momentum however, and enthusiasm remained strong. Chris assiduously guided us  throughout that time with his usual sensitivity and warmth. In his Induction speech last year, Chris noted, “For my club I want our club to continue being an ageless club that it is. A club where age does not matter. Where people of all ages are drawn to join us in our quest to make a better world A better word locally, a better world nationally, a better world internationally.” We thank Chris most sincerely for his Presidential year, and for all his work in providing “Service to Save Lives.”


The ongoing humanitarian disaster & destruction of Ukraine is wreaking havoc, and great trauma to that country. Many Rotarian Clubs, as is our club  are getting behind Ukraine, and actively supporting them with financial & material aid.
For more information to donate:
Every little bit helps! 

INVITATION to The Rotary Club of Preston 2022 - 2023 Changeover Dinner

Wednesday 6 July 2022
Celebration of President, Chris Shields 2021 - 2022 Rotary Year Induction of Incoming President, Ruth McCall 2022 - 2023


The RYLA ( Rotary Youth Leadership Award) will be back this year – the first since 2019. RYLA is an intensive program for people 18-30 years old and will be held for the week 20th-26th November at the Doxa Youth Foundation Camp Site in Malmsbury.

        Rotary Preston is keen to support & sponsor applicants, and assist in transport to the Kilmore, where participants are then taken by bus to Malmsbury.
      RYLA gives participants the invaluable space to reflect on themselves,  to develop leadership skills, & develop self confidence  The program brings together a selection of experts in their fields to deliver topics and interactive sessions. It’s an opportunity to make connections with others, and have fun!
      Formal and technical skills are only part of the requirements for modern employees. RYLA works to develop ‘soft skills’ and personal attributes that are shown to be just as important to success. The values of these soft skills are outlined I a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics & Deakin Co.
    RYLA gives young leaders and emerging leaders the opportunity to serving their own communities and beyond.
For more information :


Another busy month for our club, and its been great to welcome some visitors to meetings.
Reservoir Neighbourhood House Foodbank support continues, with Rotarians assisting with the fortnightly delivery of much needed food. Angie Fay, CEO of RNH described demand for assistance with food & hygiene products as being “overwhelming”. For the month of March alone, over 1300 families were assisted with food donations.



RIMERN  ( Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network )

Volunteers from Rotary Preston will be lending a hand at the Brunswick East Warehouse in the coming week. A wonderful outreach to assist those in crisis in setting up home with a large range of good quality donated goods.
Donations of goods & $$ for RIMERN are very welcome!



Rotary Preston deeply values contributions by First Nations Peoples, and encourages their membership.  Member Gerry Lyons, GM of Indigenous Radio Station 3 KND continues to give us great insights into the challenges, resilience and creativity that makes up  Indigenous communities. As a club we proudly endorse our First Nations Statement, recently ratified by club members.


RIMERN: Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network

Desperately need to purchase a Van to pick up and deliver goods to clients. How 'bout purchasing some "Van Rouge" or " Van Blanc"- what a terrific fundraiser for a totally "Volunteer- driven" cause! 
& YES! ROTARY PRESTON are joining forces with RIMERN helping with much needed funds, and a willing team of Rotarians assisting in this great outreach. More info coming soon! 


April has been a busy time for Rotary Preston. Members, Elaine Price, Police Convenor for Rotary, and Geoff McIlvenna, attended the official opening of the Reservoir Police Station.

As our club is very proud of our tradition of sponsoring the Annual Police Awards and Service to Community, this was an occasion close to Elaine & Geoff’s hearts!

Reservoir Police Station has moved from its old Edward Street site, to Mahoney’s Road.

It is a new, purpose- built facility, carefully designed to accommodate the complex and diverse requirements of contempory policing.

Elaine noted, “ the facility gives Police and those detained, greater separation for safety, and it’s a great environment to work as Police Officers, and the community members with which they serve.”

The Sallyport area, which is a safe & secure area to transport suspects into custody, and private areas in which to meet members of the community, along with high quality staff facilities are impressive.

This is Police Station designed to meet future growth. It houses the Reservoir Uniform branch, Family Violence Investigation Unit, Victim Support Service Areas, & Darebin Taskforce Team.

Special Guests to the Opening included, Wurundjeri Elder, Norman Terrick, Police Chief Commissioner, Shane Patton, State Police Minister Lisa Neville, Federal MP for Cooper, Ged Kearney and Senior Sergeant Mark Van Rooyen.




Last year Chairperson of RIMERN, Susie Cole, spoke to our club about this Rotary initiative which re- homes donated household furniture, and goods to people in desperate need. This includes folk who have been recently released from prison who are being re- housed, families escaping domestic violence, - you name it! Referrals come far & wide, - mostly from agencies, such as Neighbourhood Houses, Salvo's Vinnies, etc. The warehouse is located in East Brunswick, and Rotarians pay to  rent the warehouse, and put in numerous hours to sort donated gear. It is all highly organised, and RIMERN is doing an AMAZING job. 
Rotarian Ruth McCall was contacted last Wednesday by fellow Rotarian, Gerry Lyons from Radio 3 KND. A newly arrived team- member from N.T. - due to unforseen circumstances, required furniture and household items ASAP. RIMERN was contacted, and immediately responded. A team from Rotary Preston were at the Warehouse Thursday morning, the client was invited to tour the facility and select everything she required. A Rotary truck was sourced from the Rotary DIK ( Donations in Kind warehouse in Footscray) by the ever- resourceful, and dedicated, Geoff Mcilvenna, and Preston Rotarians loaded up the truck and literally moved & helped to set up the person's new home that day. Great outcome, and inspiring effort. Shows what Rotary can do! 



Angie Dickinson, CEO of Reservoir Neighbourhood House is no stranger to our club. Angie recently briefed the club on the latest news regarding the incredible outreach the RNH provides to the community of East Reservoir. With demand for food assistance soaring during this protracted Covid Pandemic, RNH distribute 2 tonnes of fresh fruit and Veges to the community per month, together with 12
pallets of food from Foodbank. This has been actively supported by Preston Rotary in a very hands- on way.

Angie highlighted a number of other initiatives aimed to support community, such as the Rezza Nu Du Hairdressing services for folk on low incomes; Orange Sky Mobile Washing & drying services for people sleeping rough;they host ITAG- an interactive Activity Group for mentally unwell people; there is a Tab Tech for young folk on the Autism spectrum… the listgoes on.

The Community Services Committee were very happy to donate $500 towards the RNH excellent work.


Rotary Preston were delighted to welcome & induct our newest member, Natalie Au.
Natalie comes to us with a big heart, and shared values around contributing to a more just & equitable world.
Great to have you with us Natalie!

District 9790 Annual Conference: March 18, 19, 2022.

Preston Rotarians were well represented at this years District Conference held in Marysville.
The theme “Embracing Change” was augmented by a great range of speakers and topics, providing much inspiration and education for all.
Hilarity & fellowship ensued as the club got together each evening at the Duck Inn for some cheer!
- A proud moment also for the club was the Preston Rotary Club’s nominee and
- Awardee for the 2021 Peter Toomey Community Police Award. Catherine Morgan was awarded the District Award in recognition of her excellence.
And…. Our club was recognised for being the 3 rd highest contributor in the District towards the Rotary Foundation Charity Annual Fund for 2020-2021.


A humanitarian, and environmentally savvy program involves the recycling of Play equipment.
The program known as RORP- Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds is a wonderful way to re- purpose play equipment which would otherwise go into landfill. Play equipment is
dismantled, all parts coded, and sent to countries in need. RORP Chairperson, and driver of this multi- district Rotarian effort, Peter Cribb writes, “it’s a win- win… It’s also an
opportunity for the local community to see their local Rotary Club engaged in recycling and benefiting less fortunate children at no cost,:
Recently Rotarians, including Preston’s Peter Peyton and Julie Morris put in hard yakka to dismantle play equipment in Sunshine. This is the 150 th such unit Rotary clubs have pulled apart, and the Sunshine unit is destined for East Timor. Great work!!


It's great to welcome new people into our Rotary family, & the year has started off with great energy & enthusiasm.
There is no doubt that Rotary expands one's horizons, and in the few short weeks we have reconvened, we have heard from Esther Boateng from Ghana, Bruce, from Benalla, representing ROMAC- 'Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children', & we hosted the 10th Community Police Awards!! Plus, members & visitors alike, are enjoying the Preston Rotary Vibe!!!
Lots more to come in the near future!!!


Club meetings are held each Wednesday 1230 for 1245 at Darebin RSL, lunch followed by Guest Speaker.
Coming Up: 
- 9th March Exciting Plans for Reservoir Neighbourhood House - with the delightful Angie Fay.
- 16th March: 'International Needs Australia.'


It was with great sadness we said "adieu" to Rotarian, Peter McGuiggan.
Peter has been with our club for 3 years, and as a wonderful Salvation Army Officer, he brought with him compassion, warmth and empathy,values all congruent with Rotary. Peter moves to Sydney shortly. It was great to have Peter as Chairperson of the newly established Environment & Sustainability Committee, with  the encouragement  & support from P.P Lisa Defazio. Peter leaves a big imprint on our club. We wish him & his family our very best wishes.

Friends of Merri Creek Labyrinth

Rotarians, Lisa & Ruth recently assisted the Friends of Merri Creek Labyrinth in some serious weeding." This beautiful Labyrinth - the only one in Melbourne situated in parklands is located along the bike/walking path in Clifton Hill. It is a community resource built by the community for the community 20 years ago.
Rotary Preston is keen to get involved in Environmental Projects locally & more broadly. Enhancing our environment is in everyone's best interest, and gives such pleasure.
Great to meet some dedicated volunteers through Friends of Merri Creek Labyrinth!

early Christmas Lunch

Hosting an early Christmas Lunch for some of the Darebin RSL committee & auxillary was a delight. Great to all be in one room together, sharing a meal and some laughs.

Rotarians were in full- flight!






The Melbourne Awards’

The city of Melbourne’s highest accolade, ‘The Melbourne Awards’ now in its 19th year recognises and celebrates 8 key areas identified to reflect the way in which programs and organisations contribute to Melbourne as a thriving, forward thinking capital city.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp stated, “ we were thrilled to recognise and celebrate the inspirational people who make a valuable contribution to our city. Award finalists are a testament to our passionate and innovative community.” 

The Rotary Club of Preston congratulate ‘the TORCH’ – this years winners of the Melbourne Aboriginal 2021 Awards, “Kommargee Ketherba” (Rise up Together)

“The Torch provide art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex- offenders in Vic. The aim is to reduce the rate of reoffending by encouraging the exploration of identity and culture through arts programs to define new pathways upon release.” 

Rotary Club of Preston were also thrilled to learn that Indigenous Radio Station 3 KND, – well known to our Rotary Family were finalists. Both amazing organisations that help to make our world a better place.



Congratulations also to Preston  Rotarian, & Vocational Service Director  Tim Weir on being awarded the Rotary International  Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

Tim’s generous contribution to Foundation, the hallmark Rotary Charity will be of enormous benefit, and we thank Tim for all that he contributes to our club and the broader Rotary community.


Celebrating a special Birthday

We always enjoy helping the team at Reservoir Neighbourhood House with the regular foodbank delivery. Recently we had the extra bonus of celebrating a special birthday of Rotarian Joe Morris. Joe's wife Julie insisted we all wear party - hats, and after a prolonged period of lockdown, it was great to enjoy one another's company, lovely cake, and excellent Barrista- made coffee from the Birds & Beans Cafe @RNH. Congrats Joe!!


A Great day to walk in the local neighbourhood with our "Lift the Lid" Mental Health Awareness week T- shirts- raising awareness for Mental Health Week.  Great to combine our "silent- auction" fundraising efforts with a great walk in our 'hood.!