Werribee Rotary members, partners and friends celebrated their Christmas Dinner in fine style at the Chirnsides by the River function centre on 11th December. The event focused on fun and fellowship mixed with a bit of formality.

Highlights of the evening were:

  • A wonderful debut singing performance by Charlotte Daddy, daughter of Therese and Jason. She received a standing ovation.

  • A special appearance from Father Christmas who distributed Kris Kringle gifts to all attendees.

  • Musical entertainment from the popular group The Barking Dogs.

  • Some audience participation on the dance floor with the Progressive Barn Dance.

  • Introduction of the 2018-19 Board by incoming President Brian Ahmed.

  • Announcement of Carlo Vimercati as the club's President for 2018-19.

  • A presentation of Paul Harris Fellows to two long-standing members, Ross Smith and Ian Hovey.

All in all it was a great night.

Click here to see many photos of the evening.



Based on the picture above, you would be excused for thinking that there is more giggle in the Cut, Giggle and Sew sessions than cutting and sewing. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The group of ladies have been congregating at the home of Mary Macaulay and working hard to make little gift bags from colourful scrap fabric and filling them with soap, make-up, lip gloss or lip balm. They have completed 100 bags and have donated them to Werribee Support and Housing to support their Santa Drive.

But wait. That's not all. The group has been collecting other recyclable items such as bottle tops, mobile phones, eye glasses and doing something useful with the collections to support Rotary projects and, at the same time, helping to reduce land fill. For example, the bottle tops will be donated to a local Werribee community project called Helping Hands to enable them to melt the tops to make prosthetic limbs for kids in disadvantaged communities throughout Cambodia.

Chief organiser Lyn Fava is proud of the work done to date by the Cut Giggle and Sew team and is hopeful that they will go from strength to strength. Lyn said that each session contains a good balance of skills, teamwork, companionship, fun and a sense of community spirit.

Thanks to Mary Macaulay for hosting the sessions and for the wonderful work of Therese and Charlotte Daddy, Micki Hovey, Marilyn Jeffries, Glenyce Denys, Anne Smith, Barbara Purdy and Lyn Fava.

And, of course, all who donated materials, and products.



Werribee Rotary member Michael Redding recently completed a visit to Uganda to catch up with Chris Ochaya and his family. Chris was the 2018 Royce and Jean Abbey Scholarship recipient. He was in Australia in 2018 to learn good farming techniques that he could use on his return to his country.

Michael said it was fantastic experience to see how Chris has utilised his new-found skills and knowledge and has started to transform the Tamarind community farm into a first-class sustainable agricultural showpiece that will support the local population.

Click here to read Michael's story.



This is the third year that Werribee Rotary has conducted the Year 10 Creative Expression Competition at Wyndham Central College.

There were ten students who submitted entries on the theme: 'How can you make a difference and help strengthen our community?'

The Year 10 students had to interpret this in a creative way, and entries included:  painting, drawing, photo series, comic book, photo essay and 3D painted model presentation.

The judging panel comprised Kim and Glenyce Deneys and Michael Redding who selected the following winners:

  1. Most Creative Entry (Prize $250) to Hayley Scott - essay/photo. Click here to view Hayley's entry.

  2. Runner-Up (Prize $150) to Nathnael Haile - drawing. Click here to view Nathnael's entry.

  3. Runner-Up (Prize $150) to Bizawit Mokenen - comic book. Click here to view Bizawit's entry.

School Principal Leanne Gagatsis-Halge expressed her thanks to the club on behalf of the school. She said the competition was a valuable opportunity for the students to express themselves about how they could help the community.


Pictured above - Past RI President Ian Riseley and PDG Juliette Riseley with President Graham Roper.

Werribee Rotary Club celebrated its 50th anniversary in fine style on Saturday 18th August at the Werribee Racecourse Function Centre. The evening was a good mix of fun, fellowship, formality, nostalgia and self-indulgence, all appropriate ingredients to make the night something to enjoy and remember. Guests even had a chance to dance in between meals and speeches.

Some of the highlights of the evening included:

  • A speech from Immediate Past Rotary International President Ian Riseley, Australia's 5th Rotary International President.
  • Presentation of a Paul Harris Fellow (Diamond) and crystal ornament to Past District Governor Colin Muir for his significant donation to The Rotary Foundation.
  • A presentation by President Graham Roper to the club's remaining charter members Past President Tino Ballan and Past District Governor Ian Knight OAM.
  • Music from the band Kartoon who got in the spirit of the occasion by dedicating their first bracket of songs to the 1968 era.
  • The cutting of a special 50th cake by the more senior members of the club, Tino Ballan, Ian Knight, Tom Lentini, Jeff Garfield, Peter Ross, Roland Wade and President Graham Roper.
  • The following video recordings that were shown at various times during the evening (click on the highlighted names to view the video):

Click here to view some photos of the evening. There will be more photos available in next week's edition of The Bulletin.

Click here if you would like to view or print a copy of the menu.

Special thanks to Lexie Smith, Ann Smith, Micki Hovey, Geoff Smith, Phil Purdy, Ross Smith, Roland Wade, Rob Fava and President Graham for all their hard work to make the function a great success.



Barry Rassin, the RI President for 2018-19, has sent the club a letter of congratulations for reaching 50 years.

In the letter, he said "Since your club was founded, you have had the opportunity to make a significant difference in our local and global communities. I know that you have devoted your time and effort to your club because you have felt what I have felt since I joined my own club in 1980: a true sense of fellowship and purpose. Your dedication to our organization has made all the difference...."

Click here to read the whole letter.

Thanks to everyone who attended and for making it a function to remember for the next 50 years.



In District Governor Bronwyn Stephen's mind, Rotary allows a person to take an idea to help another person, a community or the whole world and for like-minded people to join them to make it happen.

She speaks with great authority about the power of Rotary to realise your dreams of helping others. Several years ago, she identified a need for urgent support for village people in Cambodia who were dying of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and malaria. Inhabitants also suffered from hunger and malnutrition because they lacked the skills to sustain themselves. Bronwyn was instrumental in establishing the World of Difference project within her club which was specifically aimed at establishing better health practices and providing sustainability solutions for these remote villagers. This was an extremely successful campaign.

Her real message is that, if she can do it, you can do it.

Bronwyn was very complimentary in her praise for our club. She cited a few examples of our projects and activities including:

  • The High Tea which enabled us to connect with a school and to promote cultural diversity in our community.
  • The Uganda project which not only helped to educate Chris Ochaya in farming techniques but is now helping the local Ugandans to support themselves.
  • The Rotary Golf Day which is a major fundraiser and enables the club to contribute in a positive way to the Wyndham community.
  • The Barking Dogs are a real point of difference which promotes the club and Rotary.

Some of the projects that she would like us to get involved in are:

  • Donating funds towards the restoration of Rotary House which is the accommodation component of the Bone Marrow Donor Institute.
  • End Polio - Thirteen cases of polio have been detected this year which is a worrying sign. There was even one case in Papua New Guinea. We must keep going until we have total eradication.
She also supports some of RI President Barry Rassin's goals including:
  • Clubs involving communities in Rotary projects as much as possible. We shouldn't just continue doing things ourselves. Let's open it up to the community.
  • Each club chartering a Rotaract Club. This is where the future of Rotary will come from.
Thanks for visiting Bronwyn. Great to have you at our club.

Congratulations to the dedicated members of the club and friends of Rotary who, over a 9-year period, participated in five 200km charity walks around Victoria with the aim of raising $200,000 for the Royal Children's Hospital Palliative Care Unit.

A cheque for $202,732 was presented recently at a function hosted by the RCH Foundation to recognise this great achievement and the impact the project has had on the unit and the families they support. Rotarians Lyn, Lou and Mary attended and were, in turn, presented with a torch for our club symbolising the light and support this effort has given to the families caring for children with life-limiting conditions.

Pictured above is a group consisting of some of the walkers and support crew and senior staff of the RCH Palliative Care Unit at the cheque presentation.

Congratulations to all who participated in the walks. Your efforts were greatly appreciated.

The picture below shows club members Mary Macaulay, Ross Conley and Lyn Fava proudly displaying the cheque and the torch.


On Sunday 29th April, a large contingent of Werribee Rotarians and family members rolled up to a location in Heaths Road, Werribee with shovels and hammers to plant 750 trees. This was part of Rotary International's challenge to plant 1.2 million trees by Earth Day.

The challenge was for all Rotary clubs around the world to plant one tree for every member. Werribee Rotary decided to do better than that and plant a tree for every year of service of all members in the club. The club has 36 members with a total of 750 years of service. Therefore, the aim was to plant 750 trees and, after much back-breaking work, the goal was achieved in 3 hours. A fantastic team effort by everyone.

Chief organisers Jason Daddy and Kathryn Williams deserve credit for planning such a great day. But every participant should be very proud of their contribution to greening the world.

Click here to see photos of the day.



Peter Copp is the Executive Director of the Werribee Mercy Health Foundation and he was at our meeting to receive a cheque for $20,000 from President Ross.

Peter thanked us for the very generous donation which was made possible through funds raised at our Golf Day. The foundation target was $2 million and, with only several months to go, approximately $1.5 million has been raised. Peter is confident that, with a bit more publicity and promotion, they will reach their goal.

He said the funds will now make critical care in Wyndham possible. He cited a recent incident where, after giving birth in the birthing ward at the hospital, a woman fell gravely ill. The only available hospital with a vacant critical care bed was in Frankston where she stayed for 5 days before returning home to be with her new-born child and her family. In the future, this situation will not happen.

Peter explained that the new building is nearly finished. Here is an image of what it will look like.



Pictured above is the latest construction built by Chris Ochaya and his friends at the Tamarind Farm in Uganda. You will recall that Chris was in Australia last year as a Royce and Jean Abbey Scholarship recipient to learn farming techniques.

His previous project was the erection of a water tank stand and a pump house which is now functioning well and supplying fresh water for the local communities and for the farm.

The new building is a goat shed. When Chris was in Australia he learnt some valuable lessons about how goats should be protected and housed. Part of the erection includes a raised section where the animals can rest without wallowing in their own waste. The goats will be a very useful food source and will provide both milk and meat for the community. The milk will be an on-going donation. The meat will be a once-off sacrifice.

The poles pictured in the foreground of the photo will be used for the erection of the poultry shed which is the next big project on Chris's list.

Click here to see a few more photos of the goat shed.


Day:      Every Tuesday
Time:    6:30pm for 6:45pm
Finish:  8:00pm
Venue:  Italian Sports Club
             601 Heaths Rd
             Werribee Victoria
Rex Booth
Jan 22, 2019
Angel Flight Australia
Lynette Dawson and Wazih Razib
Jan 29, 2019
Learning for Employment Adult Migrant Education Program
Ian Guss
Feb 05, 2019
Converting Waste to Energy in the West
John Forrester
Feb 12, 2019
Werribee River Association
Monika Schott
Feb 19, 2019
Jackie Wrafter
Mar 05, 2019
Kianh Foundation Day Centre for Children With Disabilities in Vietnam
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Mar 26, 2019
Avalon Airport
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