Meet our members

Brian Allen

I am a Rotarian for one specific reason. To be able to provide, through my service, for those who need support.
I was invited by Doug Helleren to join and have been given the opportunity to travel overseas to assist with a number of projects in developing countries.

Heather Barton AM

My interest in Rotary goes back to 1999 when I was nominated to join the Rotary Club of Melbourne. Since moving permanently to the Peninsula and taking up full time work at Seawinds Community Hub (Rosebud West), my membership was transferred to Rosebud-Rye in October 2015.
My life in Rotary has focussed almost entirely on Community Service, with involvement in projects to address homelessness, poverty and assistance for disadvantaged young Victorians.

I am a Board Member for the School of St Jude in Tanzania, and on a District 9800 project – Rotary Connects – which aims at helping Clubs make their community service projects more effective.

Claire Burns

Joining Rotary has been such a rewarding experience for me. Seven years ago, I moved to Rosebud. I knew no one until I joined Rotary. Now, seven years on, I have come to know so many people within the community, the district, nationally and internationally.

For me Rotary is all about opportunity! I have valued the opportunity to:

  • contribute, in a very personal way, to making the world a better place
  • get to know members of the community whom I wouldn’t have otherwise met
  • join with other members in a huge team which extends to countries around the world, and make a contribution to massive projects such as the eradication of polio, building schools and improving sanitation and water supplies in third world countries
  • make new friends & learn new skills
  • meet inspiring people who have achieved so much in their lives
  •  get involved in projects which will improve the lives of other.

Coming together, working together and having fun with fellow Rotarians has enriched my life in so many ways. I am so glad I joined Rotary.

Mandy Clarke

I joined Rotary to help others in the community and in doing so I met a great bunch of like-minded people who enjoy making a difference.

As I have gone along I have learned all the things Rotary is involved in and I am proud to be a member of an organisation that gives so much, not only to the local community but globally as well.

Barbara English

I joined Rotary while living in Port Douglas.

Many of my community minded friends were long time members, so I was involved in their fundraising events and projects, covering the region from Townsville to Cape Tribulation, North Queensland, involving schools, hospitals and aged care.


I returned to Melbourne to “The Rotary op shop” and joined up with the Rosebud-Rye Rotary Club.

Col Gibbons


I was invited to join Rotary by our family doctor in 1985.


In 1988/89 Royce Abbey a member of the Rotary club of Essendon was elected Rotary International World President. His theme for his year was, Put Life Into Rotary — Your Life. Rotary changes the theme each year, yet 'Put Life Into Rotary — Your Life, is the one that always stuck with me and I have always endeavoured to apply myself to this slogan to become a worthwhile productive Rotarian.


My personal experiences in Rotary have been varied and many. Rotary gives ordinary people the opportunity to do extraordinary things.

Ern Jennings

Ern joined Rotary in 1961 and has been a member of Sorrento, Rye and Rosebud Rotary clubs. During his over 50 years of “Service above Self” he has held most positions in these clubs.

Always interested in youth, Ern was on the committee which formed the Rotaract Club of Rye 1978/79. He has acted as counsellor to six students in the Rotary Youth Exchange program and his family have “home hosted” students from South Africa, Sweden, USA, India, England, Japan, New Zealand and Canada. Ern was also active as a “Santa” for over 20 years in the highly successful “Dial-a-Santa” project conducted by Rotary and Rotaract.

During his term as President of the Rotary club of Rosebud in 1999/2000 he was instrumental in the establishment of “The Rotary Opportunity Shop” and “The Rotary Opportunity Warehouse”. These enterprises raise the funds that are passed on to worthy local projects as well as projects Australia wide and overseas.

At district level, Ern has served on the Rotary Foundation committee and also the Youth Exchange committee. Over the years he has attended more than forty District Conferences as well as the three World Conventions held in Australia, two Pan-Pacific conferences and many more Rotary Information Meetings and has visited more Rotary clubs than he cares to remember.

In 2002 he was selected as Rye Community Citizen of the Year. Ern has also been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in 1987, his first Sapphire Pin in 2008 and the second 2014.

Darren McGrath



I was invited to join Rotary by Judy Phelan in 2015 and, after attending several meetings, I was inspired by the work that Rotary do both in our community and worldwide. The opportunities offered to our youth and those in need are amazing.



I am proud to be part of such a team of highly driven members of Rotary Rosebud-Rye because what this club achieves is important to the well-being of so many in our Peninsula community.


My family and I look forward to contributing to the many and varied aspects of Rotary.


Simon Offor


Over the years I have met a number of Rotarians and been really inspired by their selfless work. After recently moving down to Rye I heard about the fantastic work being done by Rotary Rosebud-Rye and attended some meetings. I must say I felt very honoured when invited to join and I jumped at the opportunity.



For me Rotary is a very practical way to make a difference, to give back to the community and improve people’s lives here and overseas. Rotary has also provided me with a unique opportunity to connect with other passionate and committed people sharing the common goal of making our world a better place.



I am very proud to be a member of Rotary Rosebud-Rye and look forward to doing my bit to be of service to the community in the years ahead.


Barry Osborne

I was asked by a friend to come along to a Rotary meeting, which I did and enjoyed so much that I became a Rotarian October 1983.
As I had my own Plumbing business it gave me the opportunity to network with other Rotarians and friends. Over the many years I have been chairman of many committees helping to organise projects for the local, national and international communities.

I have travelled overseas on two Rotary projects giving aid and support to their community projects. I have enjoyed being a Rotarian and have made many long life friends here and overseas. When travelling overseas I try to attend as many Rotary Clubs as possible and make new Rotary friends.

At our meetings we have the change to enjoy some good fellowship with other Rotarians and guests and listen to some of the best guest speakers on many varied subjects.
To me Rotary has been a big part of my life.

James ‘Jimbo’ Patten


Why I became a Rotarian? Well, to be honest, it was far from my thoughts as there are so many similar types of clubs in the area. But becoming a Rotarian just means something a bit more special.


After meeting Lee Stanford at the Rosebud Plaza and several phone conversations between here and Curtis Island QLD, I felt I had something to offer and the persuasion was too great to not consider. 


After attending a few meetings and meeting a magnificent group of people who were all on the same page — HELPING OTHERS IN NEED. Volunteering and raising funds to help and support others in need, that excited me and it’s something I wanted to be a part of. Now I am one!

Judy Phelan

Once upon a time I was being driven home from Hydro Therapy chatting away with my driver/ carer, Mandy. I must have mentioned Rotary. Mandy knew my husband Ian had been involved in Rotary for very long time (in fact he has been a member of the Rotary Club of Oakleigh for some 30 years), so I felt that I was qualified to answer, when she asked me “What does Rotary do?”

As we neared home after 30 minutes of information, Mandy said “I wouldn’t mind doing that, but not if I didn’t know anyone”. I couldn’t let that comment go and boldly replied. “OK if you join, I will join”. (The mind is often more willing than the body.) I felt I still had something to offer with over 25 years catering and servicing special events experience, have been living with Parkinson’s for 15 years I did not want to stay home and go stale!!

It is now 16 months down the track and Mandy Clarke has become a very valuable young member at the Rotary Club of Rosebud-Rye. I still have number of ideas to bring to life, after all “Old caterers never die, they only lose their functions”.

Pat Sansonetti

“Pat the Sausage Man” is the epitome of Rotary’s motto “Service above Self”. When you see him cooking up “the best sausages in town” please help Pat to raise funds to help others.

The end of October 1978 Past President Klaus Eickmyer, Frank Moffat and Ern Jennings left Sorrento Rotary Club and they were looking for new members to form a Club in Rye. Pat joined in 1979 as a Charter member.

Pat relates: “The week before when I was asked to join the Rotary Club, the Rotary Wheel was flashing in my heart and meant a real lot to me. After the charter night I was asked to become director of International. I did not know what to do at that time, but it did not take me very long to learn the rules of Rotary and start fundraising for people less fortunate than us.
The best Rotary year for me was when District Governor Perce Hosking asked me what project I was doing. I managed to bring to Rye Hotel 29 different nationalities and 29 different types of food.

A very successful night. Thank you to Rotary.

F. Lee Stanford

I was an exchange student to West Chester, Pennsylvania (Pa) in 1970. My father was a past president of Rotary. On return to Australia I became involved with Rotaract being both Secretary and President.

On moving to Rosebud I found Rotary again as my children were all independent and living away. I wanted to meet new people and give back to the local community.


Rotarians are leaders and compassionate people who put others first. What Rotary achieves internationally is overwhelming – Go Rotary!

Zoe Sterling

Initially I joined Rotary to continue a family tradition.

My late father was an enthusiastic founding member of a Rotary club and involved his family as much as possible. As it was then a men only club I never thought I would be able to continue the engagement. Years later, I was delighted when Rye Rotary was the first Peninsula club to admit women and I was invited to join.

Becoming a member myself was even more rewarding. I have had great fulfilment from being involved in a wide range of club activities, while enjoying the fellowship of Rotary. Being able to attend Rotary meetings state wide, interstate and overseas has been a wonderful bonus.

Not only have I followed in my father’s footsteps but I have forged my own small links in the great Rotary wheel.

Neil Stitt

Joined Rotary in 1998.

I enjoy supporting the local community, having some fun doing so and meeting some fantastic people in the process.

I particularly enjoy cooking sausages at the Rye Foreshore Market and the annual week long bike ride the district does before the district conference each year"

Elizabeth (Libby) Wilson

My initial involvement with Rotary began in 1998 when I was invited to join Rye Rotary Club.


The support and community knowledge shared by other members was invaluable to me in my role as manager of the local hospital during a fairly turbulent time in its history.

Following a lengthy absence to attend to family commitments, I was pleased to be invited to join Rosebud-Rye Rotary in 2013. My respect for the contribution of Rotary to improving the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves continues to grow as I learn more about the activities of clubs both locally and world-wide.

One of the things which I really like about Rotary is that by each (individual or club) doing a bit towards common goals, a far greater outcome is achieved compared to individuals all acting alone. And we have the benefit of making friends and having fun along the way!


Aristotle could have been envisioning Rotary when he said, many centuries ago: “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.