Welcome to the Rotary Club of Eltham

 
                                     
 
 
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group who share your drive to give back. 
President:  Jill Ramsay
 
 

Rotary Club of Eltham

Eltham

Service Above Self

Thursdays 6.15pm for 6.45pm start
Enquiries: Secretary Erita Songahid 0410 520 324
Heidelberg Golf Club
8 Main Road
Lower Plenty, VIC  3093
Australia
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Rotary is a global network of over 1.2 million volunteers who share common interests in helping to create sustainable change – across the globe and within our own communities.
 
Locally, the Rotary Club of Eltham is an active and inclusive group of people committed to supporting those in need. We work on projects that support our local community, we support young people through education, self-development and student exchange programs and we also support international projects that address poverty, disadvantage and disasters. 
 
In 2017-18 our club members completed over 3,000 hours of volunteer service. With funds raised, we supported over 40 organisations financially or in-kind and donated in excess of $70,000 to local and international programs. 
 
Our club has 60 members, comprising men and women of all ages from a diverse range of backgrounds. We meet weekly for dinner at the Heidelberg Golf Club, have an active and stimulating program of guest speakers along with a number of projects on the go at any one time. And it’s not all hard work as we have plenty of friendship and fun too!   
 
If you would like to find out more about Rotary and the Rotary Club of Eltham, please contact us as we would be delighted to chat with you and invite you to a weekly meeting where you can meet others, enjoy a meal and learn more about what Rotarians do. 
 
President:       Jill Ramsay         0421 318 580
Secretary:       Ernita Songahid 0407 535 042
Membership: Jules Aussems   0415 108 440 
Treasurer:       Michael Martin   0416 238 640
 
A single mother of three children living in St Helena contacted the Club. Her middle child, Chloe, a nine year old, has autism, cerebral palsy, suffers from epilepsy and is non-verbal. To attend the Diamond Valley Special School her mother has had to carry her and she currently weighs 20 kilos. Her Occupational Therapist recommended that they get a DoBuggy to wheel her to and from school. A friend at the school suggested that the mother should contact a Rotary Club to see if they would help.
 
The request was taken up by our Community Service Director, Paul Kelly, and a DoBuggy obtained, it is capable of carrying a person of up to 60 kilos and so should last her until she is 16 or 17. The DoBuggy was delivered to Chloe and her mother by President Jill and Paul Kelly. When they bent down to talk to Chloe who was sitting in the DoBuggy she held their hands, which her mother said was most unusual as she did not normally make tactile actions.
 
 
During his 2013/14  Presidential  year, then Rotary Club of Eltham President Ken Paynter had a priority to address male mental health issues in the Eltham area. Ken had become aware of the need for the men of the Eltham area to have a means of socialising and sharing their trials and tribulations with cohorts of like and varied minds. He saw the establishment of an Eltham Mens Shed as the perfect conduit for satisfying this need. In November 2013 a public meeting was facilitated by the Rotary Club of Eltham to gauge the extent of interest by Elthamites in establishing a local Mens Shed. Not surprisingly the meeting was very well attended by both men and a few women (obviously keen to get their men out of the house). Out of this meeting a willing Steering Committee was established. Even though the group didn’t immediately have a traditional Mens Shed “home”  with guidance from the Australian Mens Shed Association and tapping into the Rotary Club of Eltham local community network, a process began to bring a Mens Shed to fruition. The process included the provision of support, advice and seed funding by the Rotary Club of Eltham, the Nillumbik Shire Council and a Rotary District 9790 Grant.
 
 
Thanks to the generosity of the then Melbourne City Mission, the group took up residence in early 2014 in a small former manager’s residence in the Misson owned Eltham Judge Book Memorial  Village. In August 2014 the Eltham Mens Shed (EMS) was incorporated with 18 foundation members. Whilst limited in the nature and scope of activities it could offer to potential members, the commitment and enthusiasm of the founding committee and members confirmed that there was a need and place for such a group in the area. In July 2015 St Vincents Care Services assumed ownership of the Judge Book facility and graciously continued the commitment to allow the EMS to occupy premises on their site.
 
 
Since 2014 the EMS membership has grown to 62 as news of the obvious ‘bon homme’ traits and social/ mental health benefits spread through the community. While only limited activities continued at the St Vincents Care site, the members have been active in developing special interest groups, interacting with the local community on projects and fund raising in anticipation of eventually obtaining their own premises.On 12 April 2018 the vision of PP Ken Paynter and the dreams of the EMS members were fulfilled when long- time supporter Nillumbik Shire Council allocated former kindergarten premises in Wattletree Rd,  Eltham to the group. Utilising self-raised funds and a long established Victorian Government Mens Shed Program grant of $60,000, the group is in the process of transforming the Wattletree Rd buildings /site into a “real Mens Shed”. Communal meeting/social areas of the building will be made available for use by other community groups. Additional public/private funding will be sought to facilitate the construction of a workshop.
 
Over the past 5 years the Rotary Club of Eltham in conjunction with Council has continued to liaise, advise and support the development and activities of the EMS. This support will continue! The establishment of the EMS will bear long lasting testament to the contribution which Rotary can make to local communities.
 
 

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