A night with World RI president Ian Riseley and Juliet at Plenty Ranges Convention Centre.
It was in the Rotary year 1988 – 1989 that District Governor Brian Bowen suggested to Rotary Club of Eltham member, PP Bob Eycken that the Diamond Creek community was deserving of a Rotary Club. The Rotary Club of Eltham accepted the challenge in 1990 and formed a committee to make it happen.
On 17 September 1991 an interest meeting was held at the Royal Mail Hotel in Diamond Creek and interest meetings continued into 1992 and with a list of over 30 potential members the first meeting of the Provisional Rotary Club of Diamond Creek was held on 5 February 1992 at the Abbey Restaurant. Interest meetings continued to be held and the club was chartered with 27 members on 3 June 1992. Rotarian John McCrohan was inducted as the Charter President by District Governor Ron Pearce.
The Rotary Club of Diamond Creek quickly embraced all aspects of Rotary service becoming very active in the local community and undertaking many community projects over the next 29 years, too numerous to mention here.
One of the club’s major projects in the early years was to re-site the War Memorial from the hidden parts of Collins Street, Diamond Creek, to a prime site within the town. This was a huge task. In 1997, the re-location of the War Memorial was finalised and subsequently its re-dedication took place.
Another significant milestone for the club was the induction of its first female member, Bev Baker, who was inducted on 28 January 1997. Bev remains a committed and active Rotarian today. The female membership of the club continued to grow with currently about 45% of the club’s members being female.
From its inaugural year the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek participated in the Diamond Creek Town Fair by running a range of activities at the fair – everything from a hole in one competition to a jam stall. Until 2001, the fair had been run by the Diamond Creek Progress Association but at this time, they felt that they were not able to keep it going, so handed over the responsibility for it to the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek who have been running it annually ever since. With activities such as the Grand Parade, the Carnival rides, hundreds of stalls and attractions, the fair has gone from strength to strength and is a highly anticipated event on the local calendar. It is not unusual for in excess of 40,000 people to attend.
In 2005, a truly major project, undertaken in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Preston, was to build the Bone Marrow Charity House. The house was built and auctioned with all proceeds of $175,000 raised going to help the Bone Marrow Donor Institute. This was a very successful project for the club and was one of the largest ever undertaken.
The building of a Pedestrian Bridge allowing access between Rotary Centenary Park and Marngrook Oval was a joint project between Nillumbik Shire Council and the club. It has become an important structure for Diamond Creek, providing a safe crossing for people walking east / west on the southern side of Chute Street. A huge project for the club, the bridge was officially opened on 15 August 2009 by the Mayor of the Shire of Nillumbik, Cr Bo Bendtsen and President Pat Millar.
The Rotary Club of Diamond Creek has always been committed to International Service from its earliest years, when its’ first project was to assist a small village in Fiji. Ongoing commitment to international projects has been strong with some significant projects including assistance of the purchase of a dialysis machine in conjunction with Rotary Club of Bursa Demirtas in Turkey in March 2000 after most of the hospitals in the area had been destroyed by an earthquake. In 2012, the club committed to supporting the Tenderfoot Self Help School in Tangemi, Kenya. This has been an ongoing project with the club providing major purchases for the school and also administering the school’s sponsorship program.
Since 2007, the club has been the District Representative club for Shelter Box, an amazing international project which provides emergency shelter and aid to families affected by natural disaster and conflict throughout the world.
Since its inception the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek has had a strong commitment to work with young people and every year it has supported youth through a variety of programs. It hosted its first of many Exchange Students in 1997 and every year it has continued to sponsor many young people to attend leadership and development programs.
Throughout its 29 years, the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek has been a strong contributor to the local community, spending many thousands of dollars on community projects. In 2018, it began the process of obtaining a retired W Class Tram for Diamond Creek, which has been restored, refurbished and turned into a community café. This ongoing project has been another huge one for the club.
The club’s hard work, commitment, determination and willingness to serve the community has been recognised throughout the years. It received a Rotary Changemaker Award in 2011-2012 for its extraordinary contribution to all Rotary Avenues of Service and has twice been named Nillumbik Community Group of the Year in 2010 and 2021 at their Australia Day Awards.
Building on such a strong history, the Rotary Club of Diamond Creek continues to go from strength to strength.