Youth Exchange in Triplicate


Some 20 years ago, Rotarians in Glen Waverley were delighted to host Tammy, a Youth Exchange girl from the United States. Now she a is a mature woman with two rapscallions.

She came to Melbourne, lived as an Australian girl for a year and returned to her native country.

The story has three aspects:-

- her year in Australia broadened her horizons, education and understanding of a different culture;

- the friendships that she made are still very much alive and the families who hosted her still remember her with great fondness;

- we would also guess that those wider horizons will pass on to help her in the incredibly difficult task of parenthood.

Incidentally, Tammy, if you read this, there are a lot of people volunteering to pick you up at the airport if you come back to visit us!

 01 And so farewell

Just a few short months ago we bid farewell to Niklas from Germany. The Akubra Hat and Hawthorn scarf show the Australian influence.

Like Tammy, his year in a foreign country will be a lifelong influence in his developing life.

We hope he will remember it fondly as we remember him fondly.


Just a few short weeks ago, Ji-Woo came to the Rotary Club of Glen Waverley to be introduced to the members. The club are to sponsor her in a year in South Korea.

As with Tammy and Niklas, we hope this will be a fabulously enjoyable year for her, and one which will be of endless use to her in whatever career she chooses.

And so it is 'farewell' to Ji-Woo and we look forward to hearing your astonishing story when you return to Glen Waverley!



 What is RYLA?
The Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) is a week-long residential personal development program for young people aged 18 to 25, which focuses on yourself, leadership and community. The Rotary Club of Glen Waverley are strong supporters of this initiative and, each year, sponsor local young people to take part.

We always ask them to come back to the club and report on their experience. Their enthusiasm is mind-blasting!


 Objectives of RYLA

  • Give young people the chance to come together in a supportive environment to gain a better understanding of their own strengths and the unique qualities and abilities of others. 
  • Provide an opportunity for young people to develop a network of resources to facilitate their roles and development 
  • Facilitate learning about teamwork, communication, motivation and to develop the leadership skills of young people through experiential workshops
  • Create a greater awareness of social issues affecting young people

This group reported back last year on their experiences at RYLA. We have no idea what this strange salute means other than that they appear to have a wonderful time!


Mt Kenya Schools Support Programme


For Chris Ellard, Africa is a magical place. A keen photographer, he had gone there on a safari (of the camera variety).

 It is a place with a strong spiritual presence.

It is a place to fall in love with.

And so he came to Kihato under the shadow of Mount Kenya. The mountain itself was a photographer's dream.

He was not prepared for what he was to find.





Some of the realities proved to be less attractive.

It is a semi-arid land where the villagers live from subsistence farming:maize, beans, potatoes and some livestock.

Luxuries are few.

Standards of living, quality of life and prospects for the future are at a very basic level. Education, the passport to a better life, is almost totally absent.



The local school does what it can. However, provision of basics such as books, teaching materials and display materials is difficult as funding is not available.

Even more important was the vital issue of ensuring that the children had a nourishing meal: most did not.

Chris felt that he had to do something. The parents were key. He worked with them to plant trees, to develop a vegetable garden, to lay down vital plumbing and refurbish the classrooms. 'ABCD', a Rotary project, provided books.




The Rotary Club of Glen Waverley is very proud to have backed Chris and to have helped him in his valuable work.

Through the Rotary International organisation, RCGW was able to arrange for Chris to offer tax-deductability to donors. Tax-deductibility is extremely important for fund raisers as it can lead to great increases in the amount of funds been donated.

As these photos show, books are now finding their way into the hands of some very needy children. In the case of Africa this is particularly important for girls (below left).

As far as the clientele is concerned, they photo below right says it all.