The Rotary Club of Camberwell


In July 1956, a meeting was held at the Camberwell Town Hall . At this meeting, presided over by District Governor's Special Representative Alan Patterson of the Rotary Club of Hawthorn, it was agreed that a Rotary Club should be formed in the City Of Camberwell.

A preliminary meeting of prospective members was held on Tuesday, September 11th, 1956 when territorial boundaries were decided, application forms signed and the entrance fee of eight guineas ($16.80) paid.

The initial meeting of the Provisional Rotary Club of Camberwell was held on September 28th 1956, at the Whitehorse Inn, Whitehorse Road, Balwyn and office bearers were elected. The Foundation President was Ian Hammond Barnes.

The Rotary Club of Camberwell  was chartered in November 1956 and since then, it has played a prominent role in promoting the welfare of the local community and the world around us.

We are proud of our club which has sponsored the Rotary Clubs of Lilydale and Balwyn, and the Probus Club of Camberwell.

Club activities

The Office Bearers of the Club are elected annually and include a President, President Elect, a Secretary, Treasurer and ‘avenues of service’ Chairs. To see the Rotary Club of Camberwell’s Avenues of Service click here.

These avenues concentrate on areas such as fundraising, membership drives, fellowship activities and establishing local and international community projects in which the Club is to be involved. The Club has contributed in various ways to many local, overseas and club projects which include:

  • Camberwell Art Show — Australia’s largest art exhibition.
  • Donations to local community centres
  • Homes for the aged and needy
  • The annual Business of Winning Luncheon
  • Support for Rotary youth leadership projects
  • Donation of soup kitchen van to St Vincent de Paul
  • Donations to the Rotary Foundation.
  • Sponsoring exchange students from overseas
  • Members providing overseas voluntary service


What is Rotary?

Rotary is a gathering of like-minded people who wish to do something for the benefit of the community.  And we enjoy lots of fun and friendships on the way.

What sort of charitable works does Rotary do?

The primary focus of individual Rotary clubs is their local community.  Charitable works can include assistance to the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged, the disabled and the elderly, to name a few.  Our assistance can be either financial or by the direct involvement of helpers for specific projects, or both.

Rotary also has involvement with regional, national and international projects.  This is usually done by teaming with other Rotary clubs.  Examples of our club’s recent wider activities include post-disaster relief assistance in regional Victoria, assistance to indigenous Australians and assistance to Rotary’s global program for the elimination of Polio.

Who can join Rotary?

Anyone over the age of 25 and who is of good character is welcome to join Rotary.

What sort of people are in the Rotary Club of Camberwell?

Our membership is comprised of men and women from diverse cultural, ethnic and employment backgrounds.  Our membership includes people from the public sector, retail, health services, small business, trades people, administrators, legal services, defence, police, accountants, retired people and others.

How many members are there in the Rotary Club of Camberwell?

We currently have almost 80 members.  But we always welcome more.

I’m very busy with work and family commitments. How could I possibly be of any assistance?

The contribution made by individuals, whether big or small, is always welcomed.  It doesn’t matter whether you can only provide a few hours of your time each month or much more.  Everyone’s input is appreciated.  Even just assisting with some paperwork or communications can be of great benefit to our activities.

How does the Rotary Club of Camberwell raise money?

Our two major fund raising events are our annual art show (you might have heard of the Herald-Sun, Camberwell Rotary Art Show which has been around for more than 50 years) and our Business of Winning Lunch involving numerous corporate entities. We also raise money by assisting at the weekly Camberwell Markets, providing weekend BBQs at outlets such as Bunnings and other activities as arranged. ALL funds raised are spent on charitable projects.  None of our charitable funds is spent on the club.

How often do you meet and where?

We hold weekly dinner meetings at Conochie Hall in Rochester Road, Canterbury each Wednesday starting at 6:30 pm.  We always have a guest speaker who will talk to an interesting topic for about 20 minutes. The duration of meetings is about 1 hour 15 minutes.

On selected nights during the year we hold special dinner functions at external venues with an emphasis on fun and friendship.

How much would it cost me?

There is a modest annual membership fee charged to cover club administration expenses. To attend each weekly dinner meeting the cost is $30 which covers the meal cost.

Can my partner or a friend attend meetings?

Partners or friends of members are always welcome to attend any meeting as a guest of a member. 

Does Rotary have any political or religious affiliations?


Our Board for 2019-2020

Officers outside The Board

  • President 2019 - 2020 — Geoff McCormick 
  • President Elect — Murray Anderson 
  • Vice President — Anne Hawthorne
  • Secretary — Fabienne Nichola
  • Treasurer — George De Souza
  • Art Show Chair — Ian McMillan
  • International — Kerry Ann Frost
  • Youth Service — Justine Paragreen
  • Community Service — Teresa Molella
  • Vocational Service — Richard O'Brien
  • Sergeant at arms — Steve Clark
  • Fellowship — Jon Oppy
  • Foundation Chairman — Graeme Hope 
  • Bulletin Editor — David Baker
  • Membership — Peter Gray