District projects

Site: Rotary District 9675 My Learning
Course: Introducing new members to Rotary
Book: District projects
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Thursday, 30 November 2023, 6:42 PM

1. Introduction

There are many projects that Rotary is involved in locally, nationally and internationally. They are divided into:

  • Community
  • New Generations and Youth
  • International
  • New Generation and Youth Service
  • Vocational service

In this resource you can have look at the projects available and this will give you a great understanding of the extend of the service Rotary provides.

2. Community projects

Community projectsThere are a wealth of community projects available and there is a district team who support and coordinate these projects. 

Your club may be involved in some of the projects or they may have community project/s in your local area. 

Have a look and see what may interest you and then talk to the director in your club who is responsible for community projects. One of the strengths of Rotary is the incredible work a local club does to support its community. 

2.1. Environment and sustainability

Rotary International has begun to seriously consider Environmental Sustainability as a 7th Area of Focus,  for Rotary projects worldwide, qualifying for Global and District Grants. So, in 2020, our District will establish its own Environment and Sustainability Committee to encourage and support Club projects, throughout and beyond the District. These projects could include:

    • Planting trees and restoring forests,
    • Reducing plastic pollution and carbon footprints, 
    • Initiating renewable energy projects,
    • Building community gardens, and
    • Advocating for a low-carbon future. 

The Committee will make an inventory of the sustainable projects already underway in the District. It will also make presentations and suggest how individual Clubs can contribute to this new Area of Focus, with Sustainability Awards to add onto Club Citations.

We also believe that this will enable Clubs to attract new members who see Rotarians addressing climate and environmental issues with commitment.

Watch the following video clip to find out more:

2.2. Adopt a Town

The Rotary Adopt-A-Town Project began as a way of City Rotary Clubs reaching out to our country cousins to support the farmers and their towns.  

It involves:

  • Working Rotary to Rotary, Town to Town
  • Reaching further through Rotary Clubs 4 hours away who can reach further
  • Visit the town and stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, shop in shops
  • Sit down and talk to the Rotary Club and the farmers to find out what they want and how Rotary can help
  • What Projects can be done together?
  • Look at bringing families to the city for a holiday
The devastating bush fires along the East Coast of Australia, South Australia and Western Australia have promoted the expansion of the Project to now include all natural disasters:

  • Rotary will be there for the recovery
  • Form long term links to provide financial, material and emotional support
  • Run joint projects with multiple city Rotary Clubs to help areas affected
  • Look at running events in drought stricken and fire torn areas to attract tourists
Cathy Mansons presentation on Adopt a Town
PDF Version
PowerPoint version

Find out more

2.3. Dolly Parton Imagination Library

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Australia is a free book gifting program devoted too inspiring a love of reading in the hearts of children everywhere. Each month, enrolled children receive a high-quality, age-appropriate book in the mail, free of charge. Children receive books from birth to age five.

Find out more


Dolly Parton Imagination Library

2.4. Dream cricket

DreamCricket was initiated by Dr Roly Bigg of the Movement Disorder Foundation in concert with the Rotary Clubs of the Southern Highlands and the Bradman Foundation. The aim was to provide primary school students with special needs an opportunity to play cricket activities on Bradman Oval. The DreamCricket program has grown to encompass schools and children throughout Australia and internationally.

Find out more


Children playing

2.5. Graffiti removal day

Graffiti vandalism costs the NSW Government and residents more than $300 million every year. The aim of Graffiti Removal Day is to highlight the problem of graffiti across NSW and encourage people to volunteer their time to remove and prevent graffiti. Since Graffiti Removal Day was established in 2012, volunteers have removed 141,000sqm of graffiti, saving our community about $10.40 million.

Rotary Clubs across the District support Graffiti Removal Day and some Clubs have a local Graffiti Removal Team.

Find out more


Graffiti Removal

2.6. Solar lights

The aim of the project is to provide solar lights to people of the world who don’t have the benefit of being on an electricity grid and do not have access to clean lighting.

Listen to Jay Thorogood talk about Solar Lights

Find out more

Solar lights

Solar lights

2.7. City2Surf and fun run volunteers

Rotary organises volunteers for events, in particular the City2  Surf which is organised every year. To find out more contact the coordinator, Russell Paine-contact details or in the Organisational Chart at the start of this topic.

City to Surf

2.8. Australian Rotary Health

Greg Lill is the Director of Australian Rotary Heath. The programs under Greg's portfolio are Indigenous Health, Lift the Lid Fundraiser and Rural Mental Health.

Find out more about Australian Rotary Health:

Australian Rotary Health

2.9. Rotary Inspirational Women's Awards - RIWA

These awards recognise service to the community across all sectors. Directed at the non-Rotary community, it is about commitment, dedication, perseverance and proactivity in improving the lives of others across NSW and the ACT.

Often women, especially in country and regional NSW and ACT are the "quiet achievers" whose actions inspire others and make a difference in their communities.

The Awards cover 2 key categories inclusive of Rural, City Urban and Volunteer for each category:

  • Young Inspirational Woman of the Year for the 18-30 years 
  • Inspirational Woman of the Year for the 30+ years 

Finalists are selected from each category, resulting in 2 overall winners:

  • Young Inspirational Woman of the Year
  • Inspirational Woman of the Year

An exemplary number of applications ensured the panel of independent judges from Rotary Districts were challenged as they assessed the three key criteria:

  • Community service which best exemplifies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self 
  • Achievements
  • Personal attributes

Rotary Inspirational Women's Award

3. International

International serviceDistrict 9675 has proud history of being involved in a variety of different international projects. 

International Service encompasses efforts to expand Rotary's humanitarian reach around the world; through Rotary’s avenues of services and aligning with the Rotary Foundations areas of focus, the clubs in our district are supported to research, design, implement and review projects globally.

3.1. International special projects

International Special Projects 2020-21

Team Leaders: Vimla Hayman

Special Projects will be working to lift the profile of our District in the international arena.  We are aware of a number of Clubs who have undertaken work internationally and we want to expand this effort.  

First step, will be to develop a strategic plan or map, in consultation with Clubs.  This will include a list of projects (international or within Australia) which we can develop, support and encourage to apply for grants.

Our District will be following the RI platform for both international work and those projects chosen to benefit the Australian population (particularly in our Indigenous population).  The team will concentrate on the six areas of focus:  

    • Clean water, sanitation and hygiene
    • Fighting disease
    • Savings mothers and children
    • Supporting education
    • Growing local economies
    • Promoting peace
We would encourage Clubs and individual Rotarians to get in contact with us to capture any ideas they believe have merit in any of these areas. Those who are interested in exploring Global and District Grants from our Foundation follow the link below:  https://www.rotary.org/en/our-programs/grants

3.2. Shelterbox

ShelterBox teams work with disaster-hit families  around the world, offering emergency shelter and other essential items to support them in rebuilding their lives. 

Every disaster is different and so is every community, so we spend time with those affected to make sure we can offer the right support at the right time to help them recover

Find out more



3.3. RAWCS

Rotary Australia World Community Service Ltd. (RAWCS) was formed to enable Australian Rotarians, Rotary Districts and Rotary Clubs to assist disadvantaged communities and individuals through humanitarian aid projects.

RAWCS has a financial infrastructure system that facilitates fundraising for projects that deliver humanitarian aid and charitable support in Australia and overseas. Projects are registered through Rotary Australia Overseas Aid Fund (RAOAF), Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) incorporating Rotary Australia Compassionate Grants (RACG), Rotary Australia Relief Fund (RARF), Donations in Kind (DIK) and Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM).

Find out more



3.4. ROMAC

ROMAC provides surgical treatment for children in Australia and New Zealand from developing countries from our Pacific region in the form of life giving and/or dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in their home country.

Find out more



How to donate

4. New generations and youth

These projects are very important to Rotary, supporting our youth by by improving their life skills to ensure a better future, while recognising the diversity of their needs.  All clubs are encouraged to undertake projects that support the fundamental needs of the New Generations: health, human values, education, and self-development.

Young people

4.1. Interact

Interact clubs bring together young people ages 12-18 to develop leadership skills while discovering the power of Service Above Self. Find out how serious leadership can be seriously fun.

What are the benefits?

    • Connect with leaders in your community and around the world to:
    • Take action to make a difference in your school and community
    • Discover new cultures and promote international understanding
    • Become a leader in your school and community
    • Have fun and make new friends from around the world
Find out more

Interact: Guide for Rotary Club Sponsors and Advisors



4.2. MUNA

The Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) is a significant international Rotary youth program. Senior high school students develop an awareness of the United Nations and the countries they represent at a simulated UN Assembly. The event provides an excellent forum for students to develop and practice their public speaking skills whilst debating on topical world issues.

Each participating team is sponsored by a Rotary Club or District.  Teams are made up of two or three Year 11 or 12 students, with each team representing a nation at a simulated Model United Nations Assembly. Teams debate topics of international concern such as world peace, environmental issues and human rights.

Before attending, students will have familiarised themselves with the nation they represent by studying its history, politics, economics, people, geography, international alignment and real life stance on world affairs. 

Benefits: - The students develop an awareness of the working of the United Nations and of the country that they are representing. They have an opportunity to practice and develop their public speaking and debating skills, and gain a better understanding of the international positions of other countries.

Model Unite Nations

4.3. NYSF

The National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) is a not-for-profit organisation that runs a number of residential programs to encourage young people in their passion for science. Our programs show the wide variety of engaging, rewarding and inspiring study and career options available in science, technology and engineering fields.

The flagship program is the NYSF Year 12 Program, which runs in January each year for students about to enter year 12. Since 1984, more than 12,000 young Australians have progressed through the NYSF Year 12 Program (including those run under the organisation’s previous banner, the National Science Summer School (NSSS)).

Rotary is the Founding Partner of NYSF and today the 21 local Rotary districts across Australia continue to conduct selections for the NYSF Year 12 Program on behalf of the NYSF.

Find out more


NYSF Website

4.4. Science & engineering

The project was instigated due to the identified chronic shortage of scientists and engineers in Australia. Rotary supports and encourages young people who have started into a science oriented career via the well known Science and Engineering Forums. This new program is aimed at Year 9/10 students and its objective is to encourage young people to consider adding science subjects to their list for Years 11 & 12. This is achieved in an environment that involves fun, excitement and competition.

The Challenge was conceived at Newcastle University and has been developed, in conjunction with Rotary clubs, over the last five years. It has spread widely throughout country New South Wales and has spread interstate as far as Tasmania, Northern Territory and Western Australia. In 2005, 9840 students from 332 schools took part. In 2006, even more regions are becoming involved. In fact, as both teachers and students talk about it to their peers, there is a rush to become apart of the Challenge.

Schools are invited to send classes, on a chosen day, to a suitable venue where they compete, in teams of three or four classmates, against teams from up to seven other schools. They are assigned to take part in one or two of a large range of scientific or engineering projects during a specified time. All the materials and equipment are supplied. The Challenges are all hands-on. They require common sense and logic and, while all are based on basic scientific principles, students do not require scientific knowledge to complete them. All are measurable, so winners can be identified.

At the end of the day, school scores are totalled and the regional winner is announced. Later in the year, the 56 Regional winners are invited to attend and compete in a Super Challenge and the winning teams from this are then invited to take part in a Grand Challenge.

Adapted from District 9865

Science and engineering logo

4.5. District Rotaract

Rotaract is a global organisation that empowers students and young professionals to create positive and lasting change in themselves, their local community and around the world. Rotaractors help, learn, and enjoy. They help those in need, learn through professional development opportunities, and enjoy social activities.

Partnering with Rotary International, the over 70 Rotaract Clubs across Australia are part of a worldwide organisation of 250,792 individuals in 10,904 clubs covering 184 countries.

Rotaract Members share a unique passion for taking action through not only ideas but planning and execution of projects and events. Where others see problems, we see solutions.

Find out more


Rotaract website

4.6. RYDA

RYDA is more than a program, it’s partnership which supports teachers on the journey as they provide their students with the tools and understanding they need to see themselves as active, responsible road citizens. Taking, largely, a student inquiry learning approach, RYDA becomes part of the school culture from the first to last day of a young person’s high school life. Beyond that, RYDA provides students with the tools, habits and motivation to take action and stay safe on our roads a both drivers and passengers throughout their lives.

Long term change will only be realised where educational materials support each-other and key messages are repeated over time. RYDA, a program professionally developed by leading learning organisation, Road Safety Education Limited (RSE), is designed to complement the high school curriculum.

RYDA features a highly engaging and memorable one-day workshop which front-loads students’ understanding of road safety. The workshop sessions are designed to be held in small classroom sized groups (approximately 25 students) and are led by a team of trained facilitators including Police, driving instructors and other community sector specialists.

The RYDA Program is coordinated locally through our community partner Rotary. To learn more about how a Rotary Club can get involved in RYDA. 

Find out more

RYDA website

RYDA and Rotary 

RYDA website

4.7. Rotary Youth Exchange

Rotary Youth Exchange Australia provides an opportunity of a lifetime for Australian high school students to live & study abroad.

They spend up to 12 months living and studying in a foreign country, learning a lot about themselves and the culture of their adopted host families.

Find out more


Rotary Youth Exchange Website

4.8. RYLA

RYLA stands for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. RYLA is a leadership program coordinated by Rotary Clubs around the globe. Each year, thousands of young people participate in this program. Young people ages 19-25 are sponsored by Rotary Clubs to attend the event run by the club's district committee.

 It is all about Rotarians working with youth in leadership development. It is an intensive training program for young people who are chosen for their proven or potential leadership abilities.

Find out more


RYLA website

4.9. RYPEN

The Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN), is for young people aged 14 to 16 years and caters for teenagers who have shown qualities of decency, courage, persistence, sincerity, and application in everyday life, which deserve further development.

RYPEN uses the common bonds of learning, co-operation, and friendship to design activities which facilitate trust and self esteem. RYPEN seeks to broaden each participant’s horizons culturally, socially, and academically, providing the inner foundations for a strong future.

Find out more

District 9675 Website


4.10. U Turn the Wheel

The "U Turn the Wheel" program is a one-day in-school road safety program that is delivered to Year 11 students in High School. "U Turn the Wheel" is coordinated by local Rotary Clubs. Expert presenters talk to students about the issues facing young drivers, and discuss strategies to deal with them. The program reinforces the messages that parents are trying to get their young drivers to heed – that the decisions and actions made by drivers on the roads are their responsibility alone, and can often lead to unforeseen and tragic consequences.

U Turn the Wheel graphic

5. Vocational service

Vocational Service programs offer excellent opportunities for involvement with local business community. This involvement can lead to creating a raised awareness of what Rotary stands for, to support and sponsorship of your club's other programs, and to membership growth. Many Vocational Programs can be undertaken by a small group of Club members over a relatively short time frame, and at low cost. Most Clubs have a number of Vocational activities that they support on a continuing basis, which we encourage you to continue. 


5.1. Rotary Emergency Services Community Awards - RESCA

Rotary District of NSW Emergency Services Community Awards (RESCA) is the only time all Emergency Services personnel, both paid and volunteer, are recognised in a combined awards program.

The Awards are open to all, Emergency Service Agency (ESA) Personnel stationed in NSW, serving in either a paid capacity or Volunteer:

    • Fire and Rescue NSW
    • Marine Rescue NSW
    • Surf Life Saving NSW
    • NSW Ambulance
    • NSW Rural Fire Service
    • NSW State Emergency Service
    • NSW Volunteer Rescue Association

These awards were developed in 2009 by a few dedicated and passionate Rotarians in the Illawarra who recognised the value of not only our paid, but also our volunteer Emergency Services Personnel. A pilot was hosted by 9 Illawarra Clubs over 3 years, moving to a State Project in 2015.

Find out more

RESCA website


5.2. Services Officer of the Year - SOOTY

This program is supported by Clubs and recognises the work of local Police, Fire, Emergency Service, Ambulance and St John members.


5.3. Police Officer of the Year - POOTY

The Rotary Police Officer of the Year Awards is the most prestigious event in the NSW Police Force calendar year. The program recognises the NSW Police Officers under the major categories of:

    • Metropolitan Field Operations Police Officer of the Year, which recognises policing excellence for sworn officers performing duties within the Metropolitan Field Operations Commands
    • Regional NSW Field Operations Police Officer of the Year, which recognises policing excellence for sworn officers performing duties within the Regional Field Operations Commands
    • Investigations and Counter Terrorism Police Officer of the Year, which recognises policing excellence for sworn officers performing duties within the Investigations and Counter Terrorism Commands
    • Corporate Services Police Officer of the Year, which recognises policing excellence for sworn officers performing duties within the Corporate Services Commands and Youth Capability and Performance Commands
Find out more

Police Officer of the Year

Police Officer of the Year

5.4. WorldSkills Australia Vocational Training Awards - VET

WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes skills drive the future of young people, and of Australia. The organisation is part of an international WorldSkills movement.  The organisation has been enabling young people to showcase their trade and skills talents since 1981.

The skills-based competitions operate at regional, national and international levels, and are aligned to National Training Packages, Apprenticeships Australia and Jobs Australia schemes. The National Championship is Australia’s biggest vocational education and excellence competition.

WorldSkills promotes and builds a skills culture, celebrates excellence and showcases vocational education and training. They achieve this by engaging in research, promoting skills, building careers, focusing on education and skills training in Australia, fostering international cooperation and development, and running skills competitions and leadership programs.

Find out more

WorldSkills Website

WorldSkills Australia

5.5. Police Citizens Youth Clubs - PCYC

PCYC NSW is a not-for-profit organisation delivering a broad range of youth and community activities and support. We focus on empowering young people to be the best that they can be through personal development programs in partnership with NSW Police Youth and Crime Prevention Command. Offering over 15 Youth development programs and over 100 sport, educational, vocational, creative and recreational activities, our clubs are welcoming and accessible reflecting the community they serve by offering classes and programs to suite all ages and lifestyles.

Founded in 1937, and with more than 63 clubs and centres across the state, PCYC NSW is one of Australia’s leading youth organisations.

Listen to the CEO of PCYC talks about the importance of the program

Find out more

PCYC website


5.6. Supporting & Linking Tradeswomen - SALT

The organisation Supporting And Linking Tradeswomen (SALT) started in 2009, it has become slightly easier for women to gain apprenticeships, but there is still a long way to go until there are equal opportunities for women in the trades. SALT is a non-profit incorporated organization, which began to provide a support network for tradeswomen, apprentices and women who wish to enter the trades.

Find out more

SALT Website


5.7. Vocational Training Team - VTT

Vocational training teams are groups of professionals who travel abroad either to teach local professionals about a particular field or to learn more about their own. Teams can be funded by district grants and global grants.

In 2017, District 9675 sponsored an Emergency Services VTT to Vanuatu. This project increased the capacity of Vanuatu Emergency Service Agencies through training and maintenance of donated rescue equipment

Planning is underway for a VTT to Tonga: Emergency Services. Partnerships being established with South Australia Emergency Services, Tongan Government and Rotary, Rotary Districts in NZ & Japan. The Grant applications are being developed.

Benefits of VTTs

VTTs build on the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to vocational training. Activities vary from one team to the next but may include training medical professionals on cardiac surgery and care, sharing best practices on early childhood education, or explaining new irrigation techniques to farmers. A successful VTT increases the capacity of the host community to solve problems and improve the quality of life.

Find out more

Facts about vocational training teams

My Rotary

Vocational training teams