Category Archives: Rotary Foundation

Let’s Use Our Social Media to Defeat Polio Fatigue!

Recently I was chatting on Facebook with a friend who is a very committed Rotarian, and the topic of polio eradication came up.  I was a little taken aback when my friend told me that he had polio eradication fatigue, due to the seemingly incessant calls for donations.

That got me thinking.   The campaign against polio reached a crunch point during the horrible polio epidemics in the developed world of the 1950s, when fear of the disease drove people from public places. The breakthrough came when Salk produced his lifesaving vaccine. That vaccine and the later oral version developed by Sabin eventually made polio history in the First World.  Parents could breathe easier.

A child in a wheelchair with 4 adult men

Parents in the western world can breathe easier.

Polio was still rampant in the Third World in 1987, with 35,685 cases reported by 168 countries. As a consequence of this ongoing tragedy, Rotary International declared war on polio as part of a global campaign to eradicate the crippling disease.   Steady progress was made over the years, but as with similar eradication campaigns, the last 1% is the hard part.  We seem to have been saying “this close” about our efforts to eradicate polio for ages.

That can be very frustrating.

There have been recent exhilarating successes. The declaration that India was wild polio-free in 2013 gladdened the hearts of all who have contributed to the campaign.

Just when we thought we were getting there, so came the recent reverses. Civil war, poverty and social unrest have created opportunities for polio spot fires to ignite in Syria, Somalia and other places.  These serve as a constant reminder that the main line of defence is a fully protected populace. That requires caring people on the ground delivering vaccine to vulnerable children, often in remote locations and where vaccination teams are sometimes at high personal risk.

Fundraising is key to the ongoing battle with polio.  Two fundraisers that really seem to have captured the collective imagination are:

  • Paul Wilson and the Rotary Club of Grantham built their Swimarathon into an annual global success story that supports swimming events globally.  The Swimarathon has raised nearly $1m for polio eradication since 2012.
  • Past District Governor Mukesh Malhotra and PP Susanne Rea developed the World’s Greatest Meal into an innovative and winning concept. Since WGM kicked off, more than 654 WGM events have seen 23,400 meals served, raising  more than $338,000 .

Globe surrounded by 13 happy faces

Why do these fundraising campaigns work so well?   Social Media!

Paul and Mukesh know their social media stuff and the results are there for all to see.  Success!

These fundraisers and many others have raised millions for polio eradication.  Rotarians have also been in action at the sharp end of the eradication program, too, traveling vast distances to personally  deliver lifesaving droplets of vaccine straight to the mouths of at-risk kids.

The 26 years since the Rotary polio eradication campaign started has seen huge progress made.  We’re down to the last, most frustrating  bit and yes, the glamour wore off ages ago. But that’s why we’re Rotarians – we take on the tough jobs.

And as Bill Gates said: “As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, all children — wherever they live — remain at risk. The stakes are that high.”

Let’s finish the job.

Pushpa Pushpalingam receives the D9465 Rotarian of the Year Award from DG Erwin Biemel

Pushpa – Our Rotarian of the Year!

Awardee:  Pushpa Pushpalingam – Cannington Rotary Club

PDG Pushpa Pushpalingam was appointed with the approval of
the Board to the role of District Foundation Chair  (DFC) for a three year appointment from 2013-14 to 2015-16.

As incoming DFC,  Pushpa was instrumental in the roll-out of the
new foundation grants model formerly called “Future Vision”.

It fell to the District to design organize and run a qualification and
training session in November 2012 in preparation for the launch
of Future Vision. In addition sessions were organized for PETS and Assemblies to further train incoming Presidents and directors on how the new system will work.

Pushpa also attended training in San Diego in January 2013 incidentally after he ran the District Training for Future Vision.

Pushpa has worked closely with our Grants Chair Hugh Langridge in implementing the District Grants process and in calling for and reviewing submissions for grants. He has also worked closely with Clubs on Global Grant applications making countless phone calls at all hours to RI in Evanston to seek clarifications and sort out issues on applications for Grants.

The Global Grants system being in its first year of a full Global roll-out has presented many challenges as we have become
more familiar with the rules and requirements of this new system.

Pushpa was also tasked by the DG with the implementation of a $210,000 USD Global Grant to establish a Friends Cafe in Ethiopia . This project is a first of its kind in Africa with the aim of training orphans and disadvantaged youth in hospitality and to place them in employment in the rapidly expanding tourist industry.

The project is modelled upon the Friends International Restaurant model which is run very successfully in Cambodia and Asia currently. Friends International will provide the training module design and overview of the program . Hope for Children which runs two schools for disadvantaged youth in Ethiopia will run the new Cafe in that country. To make this Global Grant a reality PDG Pushpa pulled out all stops to gain the cooperation of 28 clubs and districts worldwide to raise the funds required . The project is currently expected to receive final approval from RI prior to changeover.

This year the District has received more matched funds in dollar amounts that funds contributed due entirely to the efforts of PDG Pushpa and the clubs of this district.

PDG Pushpa is a tireless worker for Rotary and a deserving recipient of this award.

The Ride to the Other Side Team with RI President 2013-14 Ron Burton at Sydney Convention

The Ride team with RI President Ron


The District Service Award was created to recognize Rotarians’
efforts to serve humanity and work towards world understanding
and peace through Foundation programs.  Ten club projects were recognized by way of these awards for the 2013-14 Rotary year.


Awardee: Craig Alford – Armadale Rotary Club

Craig Alford is driving a Hustler Super Z ride-on lawn mower around Australia to benefit charity. In 2012, he drove from Perth to
Kalgoorlie. In February 2013 he drove from Kalgoorlie to Adelaide
arriving at the Clipsal 500 motor race! In May 2014 the Ride left
Adelaide for Sydney and the Rotary International Convention, via
Melbourne, Hobart and Canberra! Craig is assisted by a group of
supporters. In 2014, the Ride benefits Australian Rotary Health’s
Mental Illness Research Program , Rotary Foundation’s End Polio
Now Program and the EJ Whitten Foundation for prostate cancer
awareness and research.

Cross-Continent Lawnmower Ride for Polio Eradication from Rotary International on Vimeo.



Awardee: Ron Mildenhall – Kenwick Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Kenwick Climb For A Smile fundraiser at Brookfields tower at 108 St Georges Terrace, Perth was a huge success surpassing all expectations and raising over $70,000 for Rotary causes.  The fundraiser supports End Polio Now, Interplast, Romac,and the The Smith Family West Australia.


Awardee:  Genevieve Carr – Kwinana Rotary Club

Genevieve organized a district wide Swimathon to raise money for Polio Plus .The event is a sponsored swim
organised by Rotarians to raise money and awareness for End Polio Now, organised by the Kwinana Rotary
Club together with other clubs worldwide in February each year.

Awardee: Brian Guest – Kenwick Rotary Club

Brian organized a district wide fund-raiser for Polio Plus which raised $2250.00.  Rotarians and partners from many clubs attended the film MONUMENTS MEN at the Carousel Hoyts Cinema.
The film was fantastic and we had a sell-out crowd in attendance.


Awardee: Jodie Sparks – Ascot Rotary Club

Jodie organized a high tea held at the Rotary Hall Sandgate Street South Perth to raise funds for foundation.  This was a great sell-out event which raised $1297.00 for Polio Plus.


Awardee: Raymond Heather – Armadale Rotary Club

The objective of the grant is to provide a clean, reliable year, year round water supply to residents of the Sibolong hamlet. Currently during the dry season the water supply is unreliable resulting in residents having to walk to a small spring to bathe and wash clothes. The project will deliver potable water to the homes of the villagers and eliminate the need to walk and take turns at the water source for bathing and washing of clothes. All members of the hamlet, approximately 750 men, women and children will directly benefit from the project.   This Global Grant project has a District DDF contribution of $11330 USD and a total budget of $36805USD.


Awardee: John Gray – South Bunbury Rotary Club

The project objective is to install water filtration systems in 17
schools in Lebanon that lack clean water, and whose current water
installations are old and rusted, which constitutes a health hazard
for the school children. The main beneficiaries are the school
children at the schools as well as faculty members and staff. Clean
water is essential to protect the children from many diseases
such as diarrhea, eye and skin problems, affecting children’s
growth and education. We believe that every children, rich or
poor, should have access to clean water. This will be beneficial to
the community at large, since this will reduce absenteeism and
sicknesses, as well as improve the learning ability of the students,
and reduce the medical bill on the community.   This Global grant project has a District DDF contribution of $10000USD and a total budget of $44220 USD.


Awardee: Max Bird – Kwinana Rotary Club

The project will provide potable water supply to four Timor-Leste communities. The project will involve four villages of approximately 400 families per village (minimum of four persons per family) gives an estimated direct benefit to six thousand five hundred persons. The villages are Laga;Nuniro; Salari; Rubila.  The inhabitants will be responsible for the maintenance of the project once it is completed
This Global Grant Project has a District DDF contribution of $10000 USD and a total budget of $39048 USD.


Awardee: Bob Phipps – Kenwick Rotary Club

To purchase reading books for years 1 , 2 and 3 primary students in Indonesia. Bob and his wife Kay have visited at their own expense the schools for which the books were purchased .Research by the Rotary Club of Bali Lovina indicated the need for appropriate books to assist students to learn to read Indonesian. After a trial three years ago the club is now committed to supplying these age appropriate resources to schools in the northern Bali area.
This District Grant project has a District DDF contribution of $4000 USD.


Awardee: Barry Mendaliwitz – Applecross Rotary Club

To create and fit out a new birthing room at the Clinic Cafe in Letefoho, Timore Leste.  This District Grant project has a District DDF contribution of $4200 USD

PDG Hugh Langridge receives the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service  from DG Erwin Biemel

DG Erwin Biemel presents PDG Hugh Langridge with the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service at district changeover on 5 July 2014

Rotary District 9465 Governor Erwin Biemel presented the Rotary Foundation Citation of Meritorious Service Award to District 9465 Nominee PDG Hugh Langridge of the Rotary Club of Ascot at district changeover on 5 July 2014.

The award citation reads as follows:

The Citation for Meritorious Service recognizes individual
Rotarians who have demonstrated outstanding active service to
The Rotary Foundation for more than one year.

Examples of eligible service include, but are not limited to:
• Service on Foundation committees at the club, district, or
international level
• Participation in Foundation grants or programs
• Support of Ambassadorial Scholars, Rotary Peace Fellows, GSE
teams, or Vocational Training Teams

Financial contributions to the Foundation, however notable, are
not relevant considerations for this award.

An individual may receive this award only once.

Awardee: Hugh Langridge Ascot Rotary Club

Hugh has formed a vital part of the District Foundation committee for 2013-14 as Grants Chair.

This role has required a focus on completing the reporting on outstanding grants from the old system and assisting in the implementation of the future vision grants model introduced on the 1st July 2013.

For the district to remain eligible for grants during 2013-14 it fell to Hugh to work with clubs and ensure
reporting of matching grants was completed to the satisfaction of Rotary International.

Hugh spent countless hours working with Rotary International Staff and Clubs to ensure reports were
appropriate and on time. The District remained eligible for grants at all times due to his efforts.

He brought his considerable experience to the fore to achieve the required deadlines on both the new and
old grants models.

He is called Mr Grants for good reason.

Hugh is a most worthy recipient of The Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service and the first
recipient of this citation in D9465.

He will join a distinguished list of previous recipients on the Rotary International register of awardees.

Hugh has served on the foundation committee over several years in the following roles:

• D9470 Foundation Committee Annual Fund Chair 2005-2006, 2007-2008 , 2008-2009 .
• D9470 permanent Fund Chair 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2008-2009,
• D9470 Foundation Chair 2008-2009, 2009-2010.
• D9470 Peace Fellows Chair 2008-2009.
• D9465 Grants subcommittee Chair 2010-2011
• D9465 Foundation Grants subcommittee Chair 2010-2011,
2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014.

Hugh has also been very active at district level over several years
in roles other than foundation including:

• District Extension Chair 2002-2003 , 2003-2004
• DG D9470 2004-2005
• DGE 2003-2004
• DGN 2002-2003
• RI Membership Zone Co-ordinator 2005-2006 , 2006-2007
• Committee member Rotary Blood Core Bank largest Rotary
project in Western Australia 2002- current
• D9470 District amalgamation committee.
• D9465 District Trainer 2011-2012, 2012-2013.

Hugh served as in several roles at club level including:

• Club President in 1996-1997
• Club Foundation Chair for several years
• Club Secretary for 2013-2014