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What is Rotary?

The Object of Rotary

What Rotary Does

Avenues of Service

The Four-Way Test


Moving toward the future

Who we work with

Rotary WA's Centenary Gift to Western Australia

To Join the Rotary Club of Attadale

A History of Rotary - by Gail McCulloch


What is Rotary?

Rotary is a worldwide volunteer organization of more than 1.2 million people. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are over 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto "Service Above Self", Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.  The organisation initiates humanitarian programs that address today's challenging issues such as disease, hunger, poverty, illiteracy and peace.


The Object of Rotary

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;

  • High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;

  • The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;

  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

What Rotary Does

The main objective of Rotary is service in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world. Rotary International has developed a broad range of programs designed to assist clubs to carry out this mission. Some of these programs have been in operation for many years, while others have been developed more recently to meet emerging needs.

Rotary’s Community Development Programs address many of today’s most critical issues, such as hunger, the environment and literacy. Rotary International also offers programs that focus primarily on young people, including service clubs for young adults (Rotaract), leadership training workshops (Rotary Youth Leadership Award and Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment), and the very successful overseas student exchanges for twelve months (Youth Exchange).

The International component of Rotary programs enables clubs to assist Rotary’s efforts abroad and to share information and arrange exchanges with Rotarians in other countries. Vocational concerns figure in many club projects, designed to promote high ethical standards in the workplace and to help young people and others become and remain productive members of society.

For further information visit the Rotary International website at http://www.rotary.org.


Avenues of Service

Based on the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:

  • Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.

  • Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.

  • Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.

  • International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.

The Four-Way Test

The test, which has been translated into more than 100 languages, asks the following questions:

Of the things we think, say or do

  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.


Moving toward the future

In 2001-02, Rotary International began developing a strategic plan to guide the organization as it entered its second century of service. In June 2007, the Board of Directors approved the RI Strategic Plan 2007-10, which identifies seven priorities:

  • Eradicate polio.

  • Advance the internal and external recognition and public image of Rotary. 

  • Increase Rotary’s capacity to provide service to others. 

  • Expand membership globally in both numbers and quality.

  • Emphasize Rotary’s unique vocational service commitment.

  • Optimize the use and development of leadership talents within RI.

  • Fully implement the strategic planning process to ensure continuity and consistency throughout the organization.

Who we work with

Rotary's work with the UN and other organizations

Throughout its history, Rotary International has collaborated with the United Nations, governments and nongovernmental organizations to improve the human condition.

The greatest example of Rotary’s effective collaborations is its flagship program, PolioPlus, which aims to eradicate polio worldwide. Working with spearheading partners UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, Rotary has contributed over US$600 million and countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children against the crippling and often fatal disease. Learn more

Cooperative efforts are also a key element of Rotary’s local service. Rotary clubs in Toronto, for example, have worked with Habitat for Humanity to build houses for deserving families in the community. Similar collaborations have helped Rotary’s 1.2 million club members promote goodwill, service, world understanding, and peace in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary and the United Nations

Rotary and the United Nations have a long history of working together and sharing similar visions for a more peaceful world.

In 1942, Rotary clubs from 21 nations organized a conference in London to develop a vision for advancing education, science, and culture after World War II. That event was a precursor to UNESCO. In 1945, 49 Rotarians went to San Francisco to help draft the UN Charter. Rotary and the UN have been close partners ever since, a relationship that’s apparent through PolioPlus and work with UN agencies. 

Rotary currently holds the highest consultative status offered to a nongovernmental organization by the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which oversees many specialized UN agencies. Rotary maintains and furthers its relationship with a number of UN bodies, programs, commissions, and agencies through its representative network . This network consists of RI representatives to the United Nations and other organizations.

Learn more about Rotary’s local and international work through Rotary: Navigating the Global Network .

Read and register about the 2008 Rotary Day at the United Nations


Rotary WA's Centenary Gift to Western Australia

Rotarians in Western Australia have celebrated the centenary of the world’s first and greatest service organisation by unveiling a unique gift to the current and future generations of the state.

The Rotary movement has committed to raise $5 million to enable the establishment of a public cord blood bank in Perth.

The fund-raising appeal was formally launched at a special combined conference in Perth in 2005 of the three Rotary districts in WA. The highlight of the launch at Perth Convention Centre was the presentation of a cheque for $1 million from Lotterywest. Philanthropist Mr Haruhisa Handa had also donated $500,000.

It is planned the Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank will be managed and run by the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. It will be the first public cord blood bank in the state. At present, apart from commercial facilities that store cord blood for private use, WA patients requiring cord blood must have it sourced from the eastern states or overseas.

What is cord blood?
Thanks to advances in biomedical science, blood from the placenta and umbilical cord can now be reused. At present, the placenta and umbilical cord are discarded after birth.

Cord blood is obtained without affecting the baby or mother. It will be collected by trained cord blood bank staff from mothers who have given their permission. After processing and testing, it will be frozen and stored in a purpose-designed facility at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service headquarters in Wellington Street.

Cord blood is rich in stem cells. A small amount of cord blood contains sufficient stem cells to replenish a patient’s bone marrow with all the cells of the entire blood and immune systems.

The Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank service will be available free of charge to patients needing cord blood transplants. These are patients suffering from leukaemia and other malignant and genetic diseases.

Between a third and a half of patients requiring a bone marrow transplant have no donor either within their family or through the worldwide bone marrow donor registries. The availability of cord blood provides the potential of immediate benefit for a matched patient in need of treatment and offers the chance of survival for patients who have no other treatment option.

Cord blood transplants have also opened up a new world of hope and promise. Scientists believe current research may one day enable stem cells to be used to cure conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, heart disease, liver failure, cystic fibrosis and arthritis.

What is the ethical position with cord blood stem cells?
Cord blood stem cells should not be confused with embryonic stem cells. There is no ethical controversy about cord blood transplants and major church leaders commend this project.

Cord blood is collected outside the delivery room after the birth, and does not interfere with the birth in any way. The mother’s informed consent is obtained prior to any blood being collected, and the donations are anonymous.

Before being frozen and stored for future use, the cord blood is tested to the same rigorous standards as blood donations.

Why is Rotary involved?
Fifty years ago, there was no medical school in WA. Young Western Australians wishing to become doctors had to travel interstate to study.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Rotary, the state’s Rotarians undertook the fund-raising campaign in 1955 that led to the establishment of the University of Western Australia Medical School.

When it began planning for the 100th anniversary of Rotary International, the three Rotary districts invited nominations of a project that would have an equally profound impact on all Western Australians. From a number of nominations, a committee of eminent WA residents (all non-Rotarians) chose this.

Mr John Iriks, governor of Rotary District 9460 (southern Perth and south-western WA) and chairman of the Rotary WA Centennial Celebration Committee, said the Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank perfectly met the criteria of a project of significance to the whole of the state. “A cord blood transplant can mean the difference between life and death for current and future sufferers of disease throughout the community.

“The Rotary WA Cord Blood Bank will be a high-profile and lasting gift, something that will say to the people of WA for generations to come: ‘This is Rotary at work’,” he said.

Mr Iriks expressed the gratitude of the Rotary movement to Lotterywest and Mr Handa for their outstanding support of the project. As well as direct appeals for support, many Rotary clubs around the state are beginning campaigns to raise the rest of the money.


To Join the Rotary Club of Attadale

To join any Rotary Club, you must be nominated by a member.  If you are interested in joining the Rotary Club of Attadale, please contact  Martin Houchin (Mobile: 0409 334 809; Email: martin.houchin@hotmail.com). You will be invited to one our Monday evening dinner meetings to meet other members of the club and see how our club operates.  You will be made very welcome.