Our club meets at:

Belgian Beer Café, 5 Riverside Quay, Southbank

Please check our club meetings & events schedule for more information


Posted by Jasmin Dhillön on 22 August 2020
Early this month, Elle Brooker presented at the Rotary Club of Southbank about 'hacking for change' to collaborate digitally to find innovative solutions to community issues.

Broadly speaking, hacking is creative problem solving, it need not involve technology or have the aim of creating an app as an outcome.  A hackathon is any event of any duration in which people come together to solve problems and most run parallel workshops, Elle said.

Some of the goals of hackathons include:
  • Strengthen the community that the hackathon is for.
  • Be welcoming to newcomers to the community.
  • Provide an opportunity for participants to learn something new.
  • Provide a space and a time for participants to make headway on problems they are interested in.
Some questions that are useful in exploring a hackathon and problem solving in the current environment is to consider (SWOT analysis)

1)    What are we good at?

2)    What has COVID done?

3)    What else do we want to do?

It was suggested that hackathons and design-thinking are a modernised and more sophisticated version of the simple 'suggestion box'. It was also highlighted that more mature/senior/seasoned individuals are getting involved in start-ups and entrepreneurship and bring immense wisdom. It was further noted that Rotary may have a role to play in bringing lived experience of problem solving in community issues to the start-up sector who may have tech skills but lack application in the real world (or could lead such initiatives).

The Rotary Club of Southbank look forward to organising/participating in a hackathon for change soon. Stay tuned!

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Week 6 of the new Rotary year

Posted by Jasmin Dhillön on 21 August 2020
Week 6 of the new Rotary year
Welcome to edition two of our newsletter.

We are 6 weeks into the new Rotary year and 3 weeks (half-way) into Stage 4 lock-down in Melbourne, Victoria.

The consensus is that this second round of lock-down has been harder on most than the first round.

We are trying to provide some support to the community at this tough time by way of connection.

One such initiative is the In Balance Wheels of Wellness Webinars that was launched at the start of round two of lock-down.

Additionally, this week we offered our first free live mindfulness session. These sessions will be run weekly by Dale Cosgrave during lock-down. We hope this additional support will provide our community and ourselves with more tools to get through this challenging time. This third week of Stage 4 restrictions started to take a toll on me as there are a lot of stressed out people out there and the pent up negative energy from others (isolation) can affect us. It is important to stay calm and breathe and focus on our sphere of influence and control and on self-care, inner peace and gratutide and a good night sleeps works wonders too. This week I had to infuse more positvity and motivational readings into my routine and get more sleep. I took this selfie yesterday after putting on some make-up for the first time since face-mask wearing became mandatory and it felt good to experience the normality of that daily ritual again (self-care).

Another initiative we launched recently in the face of the current pandemic is the face-mask fundraiser.

We are selling Rotary branded face-masks for $12.00, and they are good quality and much more affordable than most cloth face-masks on the market and will help us fund some future club projects. Please share the below link with your networks and encourage them to purchase a Rotary branded face-mask from us. We are offering discounts for bulk orders.  https://www.southbank.org.au/face-masks.html.

Last week members from Rotary Club of Southbank participated in a trivia night hosted by North Side Provisional Rotary Club and helped raise funds for Steps Outreach and we also attended a meeting hosted by the Rotary Club of Subang, Malaysia. Rotary International President-Elect Shekhar Mehta was the guest speaker at Rotary Club of Subang and spoke about various topics and initiatives in the membership space given its membership month. One initiative he introduced at the meeting was 'each one, bring one', that encourages each member to bring another person to Rotary each year in an effort to grow membership.

We are currently scoping a range of projects including international projects and have some exciting meetings and presentations coming up. Now more than ever we will continue to be people of action, in innovative and exciting new ways.

Posted in: President's Update About Rotary Southbank   0 Comments

Rotary in the Southbank News

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 15 August 2020
Rotary in the Southbank News

Our own President, Jasmin was recently featured in the Southbank News talking about club and how we are supporting the community during lockdown

Check out the article here 


Posted in: About Rotary Southbank   0 Comments

Northside Trivia for Youth Homelessness

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 14 August 2020

On the 13th August 2020, members of the Rotary Club of Southbank, and our satellite club of Southbank Orbit joined the Rotary Club of Northside for their trivia night. It was a night of fun and laughs with prizes for the best dress-up and a well organised trivia competition with all proceeds going to Steps Outreach Service. There were a number of auctions with both Jasmin and Bishan successful in their bids including some Tupperware, which Jasmin donated back to the Steps Outreach Service.

Anne Mitchell, manager of Steps Outreach Service (and also a member of the Rotary Club of Carlton) spoke to us between rounds about First Steps and some of their projects and the support that they provide for the homeless. During Covid they continue to provide support to the homeless by ensuring they have accommodation and food and also through virtual connection.  They are doing some amazing work Check out their story here 

Our team name was 'Lockdown Lovers 2.0' and we started off strong but got a little stumped on the movie round so didn't take home the crown. It was however a lot of fun and a great way to connect virtually with other clubs. Some of questions had us needing to be creative with our answers!

Over $2000 was raised in total for the Steps Outreach Service which is fantastic. You can still donate to the cause here


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Toilet Warrior - Mark Balla

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 12 August 2020
Toilet Warrior - Mark Balla

On the 11th Aug we had Mark Balla join us, better known as the Toilet Warrior. Mark is the current President of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central. After a trip to India Mark's eyes were opened to the fact that most schools in India didn't have any toilets and this was preventing children, particularly girls from attending school. It was also causing concern for female teachers who had no bathroom to use the whole day.

At the RI Convention in Seoul in 2016 Mark was elected to the board of WASRAG (Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group). He is a Global WASRAG Ambassador and member of the Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Experts.
Mark taught us how much toilets can make an impact on underprivileged children in India. 75% of schools don't have enough toilets. By changing this, enrolment has increased for girls and the number of girls dropping out of school when they hit puberty has decreased.

His book 'Toilet Warrior' has just passed 20,000 copies with proceeds going towards the Rotary foundation. He has also featured in a TEDX talk called 'Toilet Humour is serious business'

Mark has recently started his own podcast which can be found here

Purchase his book

One toilet can affect so many lives

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Lilian's Kitchen

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 12 August 2020
Lilian's Kitchen

Self-care is essential whilst we battle stage 4 restrictions in Victoria at the moment and we are all coming up with new ways to look after ourselves and learn something new. 

Our very own Lilian Ndarukwa has recently cooked up Chakalaka, a South African dish and it looks delicious. 

Try out her recipe below and let us know how you go!


4 Carrots, peeled, tailed and shredded
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Sweet Onion (White Onion)
1 tsp Ginger, grated
1 tsp Garlic, grated
1 tsp Tomato Puree
1/2 Cup Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 Cup Baked Beans
1/4 tsp Cameroon Pepper
2 tbs Curry Powder
1 tsp Salt
3 tbs Vegetable Oil

The first thing you need to do is prep your vegetables; cut peppers, onions & tomatoes into little cubes, peel and grate carrots, grate/chop garlic and ginger into byte sizes.
In a pan, heat up Vegetable oil, add onion and allow to saute, add garlic and ginger, stir for 2 minutes
Add Curry, green and red peppers and fry for 2 more minutes.
Next add carrots and fry for another minute
Now add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, cameroon pepper and combine. Allow to cook for 3 minutes while stirring frequently.

Add Baked beans, and combine. Leave it on the cooker for a minute or two before turning it off.  Chakalaka is ready! I told you it was easy! 

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In Balance - Wheels of Wellness

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 31 July 2020
In Balance - Wheels of Wellness


Dale Cosgrave, Wellness Coach & Counsellor, and one of our newest members at the Rotary Club of Southbank has created the below video series to help support our community in looking after our well-being. Dale shares his journey of substance abuse and provides tools to stay grounded and balanced in tough times.

As a club, we continue to provide support and connection to our community and we are delighted to share the first series of 'In Balance' - wellness webinar with you.

Watch Video One Here 

Watch Video Two Here  

TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains information about substance abuse and may cause triggers for some viewers.

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Orbiters Help Make Rotary Southbank

Posted by Orbit Satellite Club on 20 July 2020


A group of young Rotarians have banded together to form the ORBIT young leadership board, harnessing the power of diversity to transform the way they view and tackle social and community issues.

The group of eight believe the blending of traditional Rotarian values with a progressive new approach, will form a solid foundation for conversation, commitment and collaboration.

Rosie Prosenik, chair of Rotary Orbit says the new club aims to redefine the way they think, co-operate and lead others. "Empowered to become change agents in our community we hope to pave the way for the next 100 years.

"Our efforts in fundraising will ensure that the whole team works together, as Rotarians do all the world over to alleviate social, economic or medical issues among those who are vulnerable," she concluded.

The group of young Orbit leaders see mental hygiene as a critical problem within the community and will focus efforts to provide support where we they can.
Posted in: Rotary Public Image News   0 Comments

Centenary year begins

Posted by Jasmin Dhillön on 20 July 2020
By Jasmin Dhillon, President Rotary Club of Southbank

Welcome to the 2020/2021 Rotary year.

It has been a challenging start to the year and we have been adaptable and responsive and looked for opportunities to be of service. We will continue to be of service and impact as needed. It is an exciting year ahead celebrating Rotary's Centennial year in Australia and New Zealand.

Below are some examples of our recent impact:

  • Together, we recently collaborated with the Rotary Club of North Melbourne and raised much needed funds for residents of the high-rises who experienced an immediate lock-down.
  • The face-mask making workshop we ran in April 2020 is more relevant than ever with the soon to be mandatory face-mask wearing in Victoria. If you are keen to help us make some please email: president@southbank.org.au, as Launch Housing has been in contact and are keen for us to donate some additional masks to them.
  • Our millennial satellite club is an inspirational and innovative think-tank that we can leverage to connect to more young people in these hard times and currently they are trialling new collaborative digital tools.
  • We are launching a Wellness Webinar this week, hosted by member Dale Cosgrave, to help our community learn tools to stay calm and centred during these uncertain and challenging times.Together, we recently collaborated with the Rotary Club of North Melbourne and raised much needed funds for residents of the high-rises who experienced an immediate lock-down.

We are well placed to be of impact and to open more opportunities for Rotary and our community and have an exciting few weeks ahead, including:

Let's stay ready, open, optimistic and focussed on creating more opportunities for those in our orbit.

Posted in: President's Weekly News   0 Comments

Southbank Rotary Changover - 7th July 2020

Posted by Jaqui O'Donohoe on 20 July 2020






On the 7th July we celebrated our changeover and welcomed in the new team for 20/21 including Jasmin Dhillon as President. Whilst we could not be together in person it was a fun event with many joining on zoom to celebrate. The date was also significant because it was exactly 2 years since Jasmin was also inducted in the club, along with our treasurer Lillian, who was one of the emcee's for the changeover night.

There was a raffle prize, which was a box of Shiraz 2010 (RRP $200) donated by Richard Stockman from Stockman Wines -  A very worthy winner was Martin Taurins!

Our new Vice President, Liam ran a live auction, and did a great job of running this virtually! Wendy Bennett was the winner taking away a wine tasting tour for 10 people in the Yarra Valley, valued at over $600!

We welcomed in the new board members, as well as our board mentor, Wendy Bennett The 20/21 board is included below along with a short line on what each board member is excited about for this upcoming year:

President: Jasmin Dhillon

President Elect & Director (Public Image & Communications): Jaqui O'Donohoe
"I am keen to create connection and I am excited about getting our newsletter up and running, as well as increasing our social presence to share our stories with fellow Rotarians and also the broader public".

Vice President and Director (Club Service): Liam Jones

"I am looking forward to making this year a great one, particularly given these most unusual of times.This may be our chance to increase our reach globally as well as on boarding new members that may be looking for ways to curb their social isolation."

Immediate Past President: Sally Page

"Firstly I would like to congratulate our new club President, Jasmin Dhillon! I know you will lead us and encourage us to continue to do meaningful things that help our community. I am looking forward to getting involved as much as I can, especially in projects that help the most vulnerable in our community, like the homeless, victims of domestic violence, the elderly and people who are struggling with mental health issues".

Secretary: Stuart McArthur
"No idea is too high or to challenging to bring to the table I look forward to working with you all to bring together all contributions from members of the club in this unique opportunity to be the home of the District Governor in 2020-21. Let's not only celebrate the centenary of Rotary but remind everyone of the uniqueness and diversity that represents all Southbank Rotarians".

Treasurer: Lilian Ndarukwa
"I'm excited to see what this extraordinary year has for us very curious as well as making new connections beyond borders".

Director (Vocational Service and Membership): Nick Kane
"I am excited about our new Orbit Satellite club and mentoring this group as well as making a positive difference to the way we introduce new members. I am also looking forward to being the sergeant at arms for our meetings this year which hopefully will be back to face to face soon".

Director (Youth Service & Community Service): Craig Howie
"I am excited to get community participation, to educate and remove isolation in innovative ways using technology".

Director (Foundation): Steven Aquilina
"I'm excited about challenging and motivating ourselves as a club to redefine "service above self" in this era of the "new normal" to find new and innovative ways to connect with one another in the pursuit of inclusive engagement and service to our communities.  I would like to see us all share our unique talents, skills and passions to create opportunities to make the world a better place for those most in need during these uncertain times."

Director (International Service): Judy Parslow
"This is the time to encourage and engage the assistance of our young ,the internet and social media savvy ,such as the Millenniums and Rotaractors. As never before, it is a wonderful opportunity to get young people involved in Rotary. Rotary needs their skills and passion.

Southbank Rotary Club has through the media of Zoom, already shared meetings and Changeovers with Malaysia and we have the opportunity through our Sister Clubs and by association their Sister Clubs to extend our communication with Rotary Clubs in India ,Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, London, Norway, Bali and Vanuatu to name a few.

The doors of opportunity are open to extend our Rotary International Family and share our passion and desire to make our world a better and safer place"


We all look forward to a successful year ahead for Rotary Southbank 

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President: Jasmin Dhillon

Secretary: Stuart McArthur

Our club meets at: Belgian Beer Café, 5 Riverside Quay, Southbank (or Online during Covid-19)

Please check our club meetings & events schedule for more information