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What is Rotary?

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad. Over 35,000 clubs worldwide act to make a difference under our guiding principles of service, friendship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.

How do I become a member of Rotary?

Simply tell us you are interested by clicking CONTACT US at the bottom of the homepage. You can then join us for dinner without any obligation to become a member.

What are the qualifications for membership?

Membership is open to any adult who has an interest and desire to be an active participant in Rotary’s community service activities.

How does Balwyn Rotary finance its community service?

The club raises more than $1m each year directly from its operation of the Camberwell Sunday Market. All the money raised at the market is used for charitable purposes. Unlike many charity organizations, there are no deductions for administration or club overheads. To date, more than $14m has been raised in this way.

All Rotary Clubs run two separate accounts: A Club Account which is money we spend on ourselves and a Grants Account which is money we spend on others.

The Club Account receives money from annual fees, sponsors, meal charges, social events and the like. It spends money on meals for members, Rotary International and district affiliation fees, social functions, club website and minor things such as name badges.

The Grants Account receives income from fund raising activities and spends it purely on charitable projects. Rotary is perhaps unique in being able to claim that apart from direct expenses—and excluding Rotarian labour—there are no overheads at all.

What would my commitments be if I join Balwyn Rotary?

Essentially, you are committing to being a useful member of the club to the extent of your abilities and the time you can spare.

Perhaps the most important contribution you can make is to bring passion to a project. Many of our best projects come about because a member cares enough and is prepared to put in the drive and effort to get it off the ground.

Every member is given a role within the club which may vary from being involved in one of the club’s committees—management of projects, project evaluation, club logistics, market management—or being responsible for some of the logistical tasks that keep the club going. The variety of roles is extensive and you have the chance to be involved in something that interests you.

Committee meetings are usually scheduled before or after the weekly dinner meeting at the same venue. Some committees may meet as often as monthly while others may meet less frequently.

All members are asked to help at the Sunday Market and are rostered on, typically about five times per year, from 7am to 1pm. Market duty is interesting, entertaining and fun. There is much fascination in the wide range of extraordinary personalities who attend the market—some there every week year in, year out—and the rosters are specifically arranged so you get to move around a lot and talk to those on duty with you.

You are also expected to attend a reasonable number of the regular dinner meetings. Whilst there used to be a fixed minimum number of meetings to be attended each year, this is no longer a fixed expectation and the system is more flexible in recognition of the busier lives most of us lead.

Can I terminate my membership if I find it is not for me?

Yes, there are no contractual obligations.

What is a Rotary Dinner meeting?

This is where the business of Rotary meets the social side of Rotary. We meet each week on a Tuesday around 6.15 to 6.30 in the evening, have a couple of drinks, eat a good meal whilst enjoying the company of other members and guests. Partners are always welcome so please feel free to bring yours along particularly if the guest speaker is of special interest.

During dinner, the President gets up to have a bit of a chat and various “business” announcements are made.

This is followed by the introduction of the guest speaker (most, but not every week) who will address us for about 20 to 30 minutes. After this address and questions, the meeting ends typically around 8 to 8.30.

The dress code is anything from smart casual to business suit.

What about diversity?

We welcome all adults regardless of gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation or religious and political beliefs.

Can I visit a few clubs to meet people without making a commitment?

Yes, Rotary meetings at all clubs are open to anyone who has an interest and wants to explore opportunities.

How much does it cost join the Rotary Club of Balwyn?

No joining fee applies and the annual membership fee is currently $350 of which over half goes to Rotary International. New members only pay a pro-rata portion of the membership based on the date of joining during the July to June Rotary year.

Our meetings include a two-course meal which currently costs $33. Drinks are available at bar costs.