Do you want to become involved in a local community group?

The Rotary Club of Malvern acts as a community service group by engaging with the local community in many ways but most importantly in the areas of community health, community support and the environment. It would be reasonable to suggest that community service is the main reason why many of us choose to join an organisation such as ours. To combine it with fun and really making a difference is a powerful combination!

As a community service group involved with health the Rotary organisation administers a country wide program called the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, known publicly as Australian Rotary Health (ARH). Within this program the Rotary Club of Malvern conducts Mental Health Forums designed to focus on the emotional and mental well being of individuals. The forums are designed to create an awareness and understanding in the community that is the realisation of a person's potential and the sense of wellbeing that assists people to live fulfilling lives. The ARH also provides the opportunity for assistance with indigenous health by providing an Indigenous Health Scholarship which is designed to assist Indigenous students with their day-to-day expenses whilst undertaking a course in a wide range of health related professions.

The ARH Research Fund was established 27 years ago and today it is one of the largest private research funds in Australia having already allocated about $70 million. One of its great successes was the funding of a Tasmanian professor to research Cot Death. His research has lead to the dramatic decline of Cot Death around the world. Unlike many forms of funding ARH funds for 3 years and funds are provided in many forms such as Research Grants, Scholarships, and being a Funding Partner.

As a community group involved in housing, We support the community  such as our work with the Abbeyfield Society. Abbeyfield is a community based, not for profit organisation which provides housing for people in need, residents mostly have low incomes and few assets and range in age from 55 years to those in their 80s and 90s. Abbeyfield Australia provides accommodation for 230 residents in 23 houses and supported accommodation for 94 persons in 3 hostels. We have a house in our locality in Malvern which is an adaptation of two adjoining older-style family houses, indistinguishable from their neighbours, with a shady garden in a quiet suburb with flat tree-lined streets. A tram passes the door and stops at the nearest railway station.

At the Malvern residence we donate our time to assist the Abbeyfield society with the clean up of their garden. The Rotary Club of Malvern community service group volunteers bring their own gloves, small gardening equipment and warm clothes (sometimes in winter). As a reward for our efforts the residents at Abbeyfield provide a delicious morning tea.

As a community service group involved in hospitals We also have a long standing relationship with the Alfred Hospital and have raised significant funds over many years to support major projects such as the hyperbaric unit and the Burns facility at this world renowned hospital. We have been commended for this work by having a ward named in honour of our club.

 The Shine on Awards are an Australia-wide Rotary Awards initiative that recognises outstanding service by persons in a community service group with disabilities who disregard their disabilities in reaching their goals to serve others. The Rotary Club of Malvern can nominate someone with a disability that has served the community in a significant way, a person who has shown significant ability despite a disability. We have had great people show such a positive attitude despite what others might see as a disadvantage.

As a community service group involved in rural and regional affairs We support our friends in the country regions  with two targeted programs, Adopt a Farmer and the Stonnington Cares Drought Relief Program.  The Adopt a Farmer program raises $250 for each drought affected farmer and provides an account at their local supermarket so that they can purchase essential items.  The Stonnington Cares program is an arrangement between the Rotary Clubs in the City of Stonnington, the Rural City of Benalla and the Rotary Club of Benalla in NE Victoria. The Rotary Club of Malvern provided a weekend of relief, fun and enjoyment for drought affected families from the Benalla region to spend some time together at the beach. While the participants had a great time so did our club members that attended and we are all that much wiser about the challenges our country friends have to endure on the land.

Finally, as a community service group involved in  the environment we are involved in a tree planting project to offset the affects of salinity and degradation. We ferry our participating club members up to Broadford to work with the local community and the Department of Primary Industries to help repair the environment. We also have plans in place to become a ‘green’ Rotary Club so that we can role model our actions and behaviours for energy conservation in the local and wider community.