The Rotary Club of Sydney

List of regular weekly and monthly activities



As a multi-dimensional club the Rotary Club of Sydney has a Weekly Club Lunchtime Guest Speaker’s programme plus a wide range of monthly meetings.This enables members to network and socialise with fellow Rotarians as well as engage with one or more of the Club’s extensive list of activities or community service projects at times that fit their work, social and family life.

Guests are always welcome.

Weekly Club Lunchtime Meeting for members and guests to network and listen to an outstanding line-up of guest speakers Every Tuesday 12.30pm for 1.45pm to 2.00pm. Cello Room, 4th Floor, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street (between Market and Park Street) Sydney. Chair and contact for meeting: President Alex Shaw. For cost and bookings:
The Peace Building Group is composed of a group of Rotarians committed to promoting peace. The meeting often includes a guest speaker. 1st Thursday of the month 6.00pm to 7.30pm. Find out more about this group. Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. See notice in foyer on arrival. Chair and contact for meeting: Vice President Chris McDiven AM There is no cost to attend. Drinks can be purchased at the bar. Meals are available from the bar for those who wish to stay after the meeting.
Business Breakfasts, generally with modern business practices, business technology or social media as the theme. The meeting usually includes a guest speaker. 2nd Thursday of the month at 7:30am to 8.45am Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. See notice in foyer on arrival. Chair and contact for meeting: Director Tony Benner. For cost and bookings:
Rotary Means Business is the premier networking event in Sydney for Rotarians, their friends and business associates. The Last Tuesday of the month at 6.00pm to 7.30pm Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. See notice in foyer on arrival. Chair and contact for meeting: Director Tony Benner. There is no cost to attend. Drinks can be purchased at the bar. Meals are available from the bar for those who wish to stay after the meeting.
Service and Awards Committee 2nd Wednesday of the month 7.45am to 8.45am. Find out more about this committee. Shaw Partners, Level 15, 60 Castlereagh Street, Sydney Chair and contact for meeting: Director Rob Clifton Steele. There is no cost to attend.
Youth Committee 1st Wednesday of the month 5.30pm to 7.00pm. Find out more about this committee. Level 10, 65 York Street, Sydney Chair and contact for meeting: Director Brigette Sancho. There is no cost to attend.
International Service Committee 1st Tuesday of the month 11.30am to 12.30pm ( before the Weekly Club Lunchtime Meeting). Find out more about this committee. Board Room, 1st Floor, Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, 169 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Chair and contact for meeting: Director Carolyn Fletcher AM There is no cost to attend.

A stellar line-up of guest speakers
The Rotary Club of Sydney meets for Lunch on Tuesdays 12.30pm to 2.00pm at
The Castlereagh Boutique Hotel Cello Room, 4th Floor, 169 Castlereagh Street
(between Market and Park Street) Sydney NSW 2000.
Guests are always welcome. 
Past speakers at club events have included:
His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK, MC
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC, DSC (Ret'd), Governor of New South Wales
The Honourable Mike Baird MP, Premier of New South Wales, the Minister for Infrastructure, & Western Sydney
The Honourable Thomas Bathurst QC, Chief Justice NSW
Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO, Governor of New South Wales
The Honourable Scott Morrison MP, Treasurer of Australia
The Honourable Arthur Sinodinos AO on migration to Australia the values of Australian citizenship
The Honourable Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Leader of the Federal Opposition
The Honourable James Spigelman AC QC, Chair of the ABC and former Chief Justice and Lieutenant Governor of NSW
His Excellency José Ramos-Horta, former President and Prime Minister of East Timor
Commissioner Andrew Scipione APM, NSW Police Service
Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM, NSW Rural Fire Service
Ron D Burton Rotary International President 2013-14 at the opening of the Rotary Life Skills Centre.
Jan Utzon, Architect, celebrating The Opera House's 40th Anniversary
Deng Thiak Adut, 2017 NSW Australian Of The Year
Gail Kelly, CEO of Westpac
Wal King AO, on A Life in Construction and Engineering - Myths and Reality"
Paul Scurrah, CEO and Managing Director of DP World Australia, Australia’s largest Port container handling company
Jim McIlvenny, Senior Vice President, Dow Chemicals
Bernie Brookes, CEO of Myer
Catherine Livingstone, AO President of the Business Council of Australia
Dr Ziggy Switkowsk, Chairman of the NBN, Chancellor of RMIT, Chairman of Suncorp and past CEO of Telstra & Optus.
Dr Charlie Teo AM Neurosurgeon, Sons and Daughters evening
Cameron Kerr, Chief Executive Taronga Zoo at the Australiana Dinner
The Honourable Justice Tricia Kavanagh former Justice of the Industrial Court of NSW and Deputy President of the IRC
Air Marshall Geoff Brown AO, Head of the Royal Australian Air Force
The Hon Michael Kirby, AC, former Justice of the High Court
Dr Elizabeth Coombs, NSW Privacy Commissioner
Stephen Page, Bangarra Dance Company
Professor Larissa Behrendt, Prof of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning, UTS
Dr Mark Westman, Founder of Pets in the Park
Nick Farr-Jones, captain of the Wallaby side who won the World Cup in 1991 on The Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup
Prof Gillian Triggs, President, Australian Human Rights Commission
David Levine Inspector, Police Integrity Comm & NSW ICAC
Stepan Kerkyasharian AO, President of the Anti-Discrimination Board
Belinda Hutchinson AM, Chancellor of the University of Sydney
David Gonski AC, Chancellor, University of NSW
Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney
Professor Barney Glover, Vice Chancellor of University Western Sydney
Professor Attila Brungs, Vice Chancellor UTS
Professor Shane Houston Deputy Vice-Chancellor Sydney University, Indigenous Strategy and Services
Professor Michael McDaniel, Pro-Vice- Chancellor, Indigenous Leadership and Engagement, UTS
Professor Peter McMinn, Bosch Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Jennifer Burn, on Slavery and Human Trafficking
Associate Professor Dr Melissa Green on Schizophrenia
The Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, NSW Treasurer, and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health
The Honourable Adrian Piccoli MP NSW Minister for Education
Charles Tarbey, Chairman of Century 21 Australia
Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney
Clyde McConaghy was one of the founders of the Global Peace Index; the leading measure of national peacefulness. 
Her Excellency Kirsty Sword Gusmão, Timor-Leste’s Ambassador for Education and wife of the Prime Minister
Catherine Burn, Deputy Commissioner of Police
The Hon. Victor Dominello MP, the NSW Minister for Communities and Citizenship
Caroline O’Hare Counter Terrorism & Special Tactics Command
Harkan Harman CEO Community Relations Commission
Mark Tedeschi AM, QC Senior Crown Prosecutor, Academic, Author
Craig Laundy MP, Business and Politics
Phillip Adams AO Broadcaster - Vocational Service Award
The Honourable Jason Clare MP on The Mateship Treks
The Honourable Nick Greiner AC, Infrastructure NSW
The Honourable Kevin Humphries MP, Minister for Natural Resources Land and Water; and Minister for Western NSW
The Honourable Dr Brendan Nelson MBBS, MRACGP, FRACP (Hon.), FAMA, Director of the Australian War Memorial
John Brogden AM Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Rear Admiral Ian Crawford AO AM (Mil) RAN (Rtd)
Margaret Cunneen SC Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor in NSW
Jihad Dib Lakemba MP and formerly principal of Punchbowl Boys High School.
Lucy Brogden on both Womens’ Issues and on Mental Health
John Barilaro, MP, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Skills and Minister for Small Business 
Jennifer Hewett, National Affairs Columnist, The Australian Financial Review
Michael Knight, former NSW Minister for the Olympics
Frank Howarth, Director, Australian Museum
Jim Maxwell, ABC journalist
Tanya Hosch, Deputy Campaign Director RECOGNISE & Chair, Bangarra Dance Theatre
Jane Singleton, CEO of Sydney Peace Foundation Mongolian Ambassador
Tim Wilson Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner
Dr Chris Bourke MLA, First Indigenous Australian Dentist
Dr Michael Schaper Deputy Chairman ACCC
Peter Debnam Soils for Life Board Member
Carol Cooke AM, Gold Medal winner at the 2012 London Paralympics
Hugo Llorens, Consul General of the USA
Les Murray AM, Australian Sports journalist and broadcaster
Ann Knight, Honorary Secretary and member of Management Board of NSW Rape Crisis Service
David Williams, President NSW Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Veterans Services Association
Steve Price, announcer radio station 2GB
Professor Jack Beetson, Aboriginal philosopher, teacher & only Australian to receive the UN’s "Unsung Hero" Award, 2001
Sam Romaniuk, CEO, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Luke Naish, CEO, BBQs Galore
Tracey McCann, Head of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children's Teleschool
John Winning, CEO of The Winning Group and Founder of Appliances Online
Holly Kramer, CEO of Best & Less
The Honourable Pat Farmer AM, multiple world record holder for endurance running and former Federal MP 
Ros Strong, Chair, Sydney Community Foundation
Prof Cyndi Shannon Weickert, Macquarie Group Foundation Chair of Schizophrenia Research, University of NSW
The Honourable Shaoquett Moselmane MLC
Simon Balderstone, Chairman Australian Himalayan Foundation
Julie McKay, Executive Director, Australian National Committee for UN Women
Richard Woolcott AC, former Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Mike Chilcott, Linchpin Environmental
Professor Mary O'Kane, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer
Angela Vithoulkas, Councillor, City of Sydney
Wendy Machin, President NRMA
Pastor Ray Minniecon, Indigenous School Council member, St Andrew's Cathedral School
Martin Holzberger CSC, Warrant Officer of the Royal Australian Navy
Dr Andrew Young, Director, Centre for Social Impact, University of NSW
John Skinner Director, Centre for Oral Health Strategy Justice
Alex Greenwich, member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly seat of Sydney
David Morris, National Director Australian Republican Movement
Norman Gillespie, CEO UNICEF Australia
Dr Kim Jaggar, Principal Sydney Boys High School
Cheryl Bart, on The Explorers Grand Slam
Vic Ahladeff, Chair of Community Relations Commission NSW on journalism in South Africa during Apartheid
Dr Simon Longstaff, Executive Director St James Ethics Centre
Dr Wayne Johnson, Archaeologist, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Professor James Weirick on the design of Canberra
Major Paul Moulds AM, The Salvation Army , on partnering with the club to support the marginalised and homeless
Kel Gleeson, President UNAA NSW on his role in UN Peacekeeping Operations in Rwanda,
Patrick Winston Medway AM CEO and Honorary Secretary of the Australian Wildlife Society
Noel Trevaskis OAM, an Australian-based Board Member of Rotary International.
Mike Dureau AM, on Future Energy Security - Options And Trends"
Dr Happy! AKA Dr Tim Sharp at the Rotary Hat Day Launch
Annette Edis, author of ‘Retire and Live the Dream’
Bill Salter, District Governor Rotary International District 9675
H.E. Mr. Gian Ludovico De Martino di Montegiordano, Ambassador of Italy to Australia
H.E.Dr Milan Balazic, Ambassador of Slovenia to Australia and New Zealand
Gloria Carter, on Parkinson's disease
Keith Jones, Affinity Wealth
Robin de Crespigny, author 'The People Smuggler';
Martin Welsh, New Zealand Consul-General
Donald Hector, President The Royal Society of NSW
Niels Marquardt, US Consul General
Jackie Gambrell, National Stroke Foundation
Ryan Bulger, Indigenous Sports teacher, St Andrew's Cathedral School
Rob Laurie AM, former Australian High Commissioner to India
Lynda Ben-Menashe, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies
Barry Antees, District Governor Rotary International District 9675
Tracy Howe, CEO of NSW Council of Social Services of NSW
His Excellency Mr. Ravdan Bold, Ambassador of Mongolia to Australia
Kylie Gwynne Director, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Peter Wilkinson, television journalist
Michael Noetel, Sport and Exercise Psychologist
Amanda Doring, YMCA’s ‘Heartmoves’ preventative health
John Bale, Founder of ‘Soldier On’
Michael Smith, radio journalist
Jesper Lowgren, author
Julian Todd, Wine merchant & business model.
Brad Manera, Historian & Curator, ANZAC Memorial
Maha Abdo OAM, President Muslim Women’s Association
Andrew & Renata Kaldor & Melanie Noden, Centre for International Refugee Law
Louise Walsh, CEO Philanthropy Australia
Darren Black, CEO PCYC
Reg Richardson AM, Philanthropist
Mark Anderson, Rotary Foundation
Dr Jamal Rifi, Muslim community leader
David Schwartz MD & Founder, Board Direction
Dorothy Hoddinott AO Education
Dr Keith Suter, Terrorism, technology & regional power
Hans-Dieter Steinbach, Consul General of Germany His Ex, Gen,
Brad Copelin Services stories from a Veteran
Dr Stavros Kyrimis Greek Consul General
Carolyn Fletcher, AM on Opportunity Cambodia
David Holm, Architect, Churchill Fellowship
Paul McPhun, Executive Director of Medecins sans Frontières
Mathias Kopp on ‘Business Angels’
Craig Carter on the Resilient Landscapes Project
Troy Grant MP, Deputy Premier of NSW, Minister for Justice and Police, Minister for the Arts
Her Excellency Ambassador Belen F. Anota, Ambassador of the Philippines
Miss Gulseren Celik Consul General of Turkey
Professor Dr. Floricel-Paul Mocanu, Consul General of Romania
Abel Guterres,  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Timor-Leste
Garry Browne AM, District Governor, Rotary International District 9675
Martin Butterworth, Managing Director, Space Syntax Australia
Claire Moffat, CEO of Connected Media
Stephen Humphreys, District Governor Rotary International District 9675
Professor Shirley Kaye Randell AO On Rwanda’s first Economic Development and Poverty Reduction
Rabbi Zalman Kastel Directo Together for Humanity Foundation
Dr Dana Cordell from Institute for Sustainable Futures UTS
Professor Peter Schofield, Executive Director and CEO of NeuRA and Prof of Medicine at UNSW.
Ted Plummer, Head of Government and Community Relations at Sydney Airport
Professor Joerg Eberhard MME, Chair of Lifespan Oral Health in the Faculty of Dentistry and the Charles Perkins Centre
Ron Delezio founded of Day of Difference Foundation
Peter Lazar AM, on How to Reach People with a Message
Geoff Hukker; Founder and CEO, Beyond the Orphanage
Heath Ducker CEO of Youth Insearch
Dr. Raji Ambikairajah, COO of Women in Banking and Finance and Sydney Chapter Leader for Room to Read 
James Castrission, an Aussie Explorer constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance
Carole Schlessinger, co-founder and director of Kids Giving Back
Tim Power, CEO of 3P Learning 
Roxy Lee, Music Photographer & Founder of the Blue Guitar Project
Graham Wilson, District Governer Rotary International District 9675
Kristian Kolding and members of Australia's Skillaroos team
Ric Smith AO PSM on China Today: Politics and Economics
Dan Blatch, founder of Blatchy's Blues
Michele Rumsey, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Development at UTS
Prof Caroline Homer, Director of the Centre for Midwifery, Child and Family Health & an Assoc Dean Faculty of Health, UTS  
Peter Price OAM, Vice-President Crime Stoppers International
Fayez Nour, Australian Rotary Health
Nick Harrington, Sustainable development
Laurie Glanfield, NSW Department of Finance and Services, NSW Department of Justice and Attorney General
Ellissa Nolan, Synergising business, technology and communities

Improving the lives of children is among the highest priorities for the Rotary Club of Sydney. Our programs are designed to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of young people; Programs that are literally life-changing.  This year, the Club’s major project is the “Rotary Take Charge of Your Life Program” (RTCYL) helping foster children leaving foster care.
Our major international program is Polio Plus which aims to eradicate this debilitating disease from the earth.   In addition, other international programs we currently support include

  • Opportunity Cambodia, providing education and training for Cambodia's poorest and most vulnerable children so they become healthy, self-empowered and self-sustaining members of their society; 
  • the Adrian Golding Gift of Life, funding major surgery in Australia on children from the Pacific region,
  • East Timor Health, a five year program to eradicate lymphatic filariasis from the country
  • Manjeri School and Hope Road School two education developments in Africa.

Our programs for Sydney children include

Since 1921 the Rotary Club of Sydney has created a number of services for children which flourish today.

Opportunity Cambodia

Opportunity Cambodia (OC) provides education and training for Cambodia's poorest and most vulnerable children so they become healthy, self-empowered and self-sustaining members of their society. OC is progressing well and working on an extension to support 30 girls into the first 3 years of secondary school. There is also an outreach program to help a poor local community of 60 families. OC has purchased some land suitable for a pond to provide permanent clean drinking water for that community. During the last year the children at our Education Centre have continued to make great progress, despite the challenges and limitations of life and education in a traditional rural village far from a major city. The children have really benefited enormously from initiatives such as our hiring an English teacher from Siem Reap for several days a week, donation of computers and introduction of computer classes, retaining a sports teacher to train the children in football and volley ball so that they can compete with teams in Siem Reap, a vocational awareness program, and leadership training for a small group of years 8 and 9 students.  None of these facilities are available in our local commune and schools.  In September the four oldest of our children will go to Siem Reap to go to High School (years 10-12).  These children have been with us for 8 years so it is very exciting to see them now finally entering the senior years of their education and heading towards vocational training, college and university.

We recognise the critical role of girl’s education in breaking the cycle of poverty and child labour. The majority of rural girls who reach the end of primary school do not continue their schooling mainly due to poverty.   Over the last 18 months we have conducted a pilot program enabling nine girls to go to secondary school.  The pilot has been really successful with the girls getting great results at school, and determined to continue to high school and on to college for nursing, teaching and other vocations.   We are now seeking funding for an expanded program of secondary school support for girls. We have also continued to make great progress in working with one of the desperately poor communities where many of our children's families live.  This community had no clean drinking water or sanitation, and little water at all during the dry season.  We have just completed digging a large water storage dam adjacent to the community, and have now provided most of the families with water filters.  We plan to start an early childhood education program in this community and encourage the mothers take part in hygiene, nutrition and baby care training programs.

Adrian Golding Gift of Life

Through Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC), the Rotary Club of Sydney will fund surgery on a young East Timorese child. 8 year old FRINALIYA Soares dos Santos has a cardiac ASD (hole in the heart), and once she is examined by doctors, at The Children's Hospital, Randwick, a decision will be made as to whether repair can be made by catheter, or possibly open heart surgery. It is estimated that total costs, including hospitalisation, treatment and travel costs, will total somewhere around $35,000.

Manjeri School

The Manjeri School Project is a youth run international development organisation that seeks to empower rural Ugandan communities through education and sustainable development practices. The team has developed a 300 student primary school in the Buikwe district of Uganda and is simultaneously developing income generating businesses in the community to subsidise the school. The school provides access to high quality education to some of the poorest children in the area with 20% of the children being orphans. To date the team has established a 2500 bird chicken farm enterprise, a honey bee cooperative, a matatu taxi business and is presently implementing a 15 acre mixed farm. Sustainable development and local ownership is at the core of the organisation’s strategy and so with the community we are working towards 100% sustainability of this first school by 2018.

The Rotary Club of Sydney lit the school up in 2014 by purchasing a complete solar electricity unit which allows the classrooms to be illuminated and the recently acquired laptops to be charged. The addition of power to the school has had a profound impact on the education of the children as the school is now running after revision and homework sessions for students who do not have positive study environments at home. This also means that children are spending less time working on the family farm and more time learning and playing at school. The Manjeri School Project team humbly appreciate the support of the Club and the International Committee who have provided great support.

Hope Road School

The Hope Road South project, auspiced by Australian organisation Sudan Orphan Education Inc (SSOE), is building a primary school for girls “The Anek Mathiang School” in Abyei Ajok, a poor rural community in Cueibet County in the Lakes State of South Sudan. The plan is to build 8 classrooms, a teachers’ room, and separate blocks of latrines for girls and boys. Already a well and security fence have been funded and all of the bricks for the school have been made by the local community. The first classroom block will be constructed in the dry season, from late 2015 to early 2016.
The major activity this year was the Hope Road walk by the President of SSOE, Zacharia Mawat Machiek, between Tweed Heads and Sydney, to raise funds for the project and to connect with the South Sudanese communities on the North Coast of NSW. The walk was supported by Rotary Clubs along the route, commercial sponsors and a wide range of private individuals. Hope Road is supported by RCS and RAWCS.


Over the next three years, The Rotary Club of Sydney will provide a scholarship at the University of Technology, Sydney for an indigenous person to study a degree course.


RYPEN is a fantastic opportunity for young people aged 14 to 17 to rapidly transform their lives during a 3 day seminar. RYPEN is based on authentic relationships and trust, where participants step up to new personal challenges.


The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is a week-long residential personal development program for young, aspiring leaders aged 18 to 25, which focuses on yourself, leadership and community. Young people keen to exercise their leadership potential participate in a range of formal and informal activities, which promote leadership skills as desirable qualities.


Northcott was established as The NSW Society for Crippled Children in 1929 by the Rotary Club of Sydney in response to the growing number of children left with the effects of illnesses such as polio and tuberculosis. Today, Northcott helps more than 13,000 children and adults with disabilities, their families and carers across NSW and the ACT by providing more than 100 services and programs. Northcott's purpose is to build an inclusive society by assisting people with disabilities to develop their skills, achieve their goals - including their potential for independence and ability to participate in their communities.

PCYC (Police Citizens Youth Club) was established in 1937 by Police Commissioner William John Mackay and the Rotary Club of Sydney. It was a partnership forged with the community to provide young people with a safe and positive alternative to the streets. Over 75 years later that vision has grown and Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW is one of Australia's leading youth focussed organisations. An extensive and varied range of fun, safe activities are provided for young people and the wider community. The focus is the reduction of crime by and against young people and on the promotion of citizenship within communities across the state.