Pictured: Stephen Knightley, of Corrimal, Leigh Robinson, of Wollongong, Michael Crowley, of West Wollongong, Sue Clark and district governor Garry Browne with David Swan, of Illawarra Sunrise, and Aidan Simmons, of University of Wollongong Rotaract Club, at Centro CBD in Wollongong. Credit: GREG ELLIS
The Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra have come together to welcome their new district governor, Garry Browne.
Wollongong club president Leigh Robinson said the night was about the city's clubs coming together for a visit by Mr Browne, who was inducted on July 1.
Mr Browne was also delighted to receive a donation to the Rotary Foundation from the University of Wollongong Rotaract Club.
UOW Rotaract president Aidan Simmons recently organised a Humans v Zombies (HvZ) fund-raising event for Rotary International's End Polio Now campaign.
"It is $1500 to go to the Rotary Foundation, which will get approximately 2500 children vaccinated," Mr Simmons said.
"A vaccine for polio is 60¢."
Mr Simmons said the HvZ world the club members created at the university involved 77 students participating in a game that has now spread to 650 university campuses around the world.
Nerf guns were used in the fight against the zombies.
Mr Browne said the university students had raised much more than they realised for such a great cause.
That was because Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates said for every dollar donated to the campaign to end polio, he would put in another three himself.
So that means UOW Rotaract's HvZ game in Wollongong will generate $6000 and provide vaccinations for 10,000 children.
"That's going to happen this year so these contributions are absolutely imperative," Mr Browne said.
The new district governor also spoke of the importance of the Rotary movement, which had existed so long doing good things in communities globally.
"We have a fabulous organisation in the worldwide fellowship of Rotary International," Mr Browne said.
"We have 33,000 service clubs around the world in 200 countries and the organisation is over 100 years old. We have over 1.2 million members who help us be able to achieve peace and humanitarian acts like no other organisation. It is organisations like ours that are so necessary in today's world. We love a challenge and the challenge is to be around for another 100 years."
And that would start at the club and district level.
"There is a whole new district in terms of the way we form from the 1st of July and because it is a much larger district the opportunity is to bring more Rotarians together to be able to share the experiences and be able to collaborate in a meaningful way," he said.
"There are 70 clubs in the newly named District 9675 with more than 2000 Rotarians."