My Rotary Days

The Beginning

Some 10 years ago in 2009, I joined the Rotary Club of Melbourne.

Rotary is an international service organisation whose primary philosophy is SERVICE ABOVE SELF. Rotarians live by the 4-way test

  • Is it the Truth?
  • Is it Fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
  • Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

But most importantly Rotarians provide services to the community in the aim to making a difference in our world. The most notable international project being the End Polio Now. And our more local projects Give Every Child a Future, and End Trachoma. And many more projects in our local communities.


My Commitments

In the past 10 years I have taken on some leadership roles, as the Director of Youth Services 2015 – 2017, and currently as one of the Vice Presidents to Melbourne Rotary (2018-2019)

However this week, in my capacity as ‘Architect’ and member of the Arts Committee, I lead an Architecture Walk through the city, focusing on the ‘Top End of Collins Street’.

This was the 6th of our annual Architecture Walks, which take a couple of hours and culminate in a dinner for all participants to celebrate our wonderful city.

Previously exploring the areas

  • Spring st, Bourke st, Little Collins st and Exhibition streets
  • Flinders Street Station
  • Melbourne University
  • RMIT Precinct
  • Melbourne Cemetery

These walks give me an opportunity to share my knowledge of Melbourne’s development focusing on a small group of buildings and ‘special places’. All participants agree that they now look at the buildings they sometimes pass daily with increased appreciation and knowledge.


Appreciating Melbourne

Since Melbourne was first founded by John Batman in 1835, we have seen residential communities and their buildings develop in the City and surrounding areas in a variety of ways; Houses for the establishment and pastoralist families, workers and visitors.

The period of the Gold Rush from 1851,  saw rapid growth in population and wealth, and the establishment of our Parliamentary and Public buildings. By the mid 1880’s Melbourne was one of the richest cities in the world.

The crash of the local property market in 1889 caused the first Depression in our city’s economy (sound familiar). However, development didn’t stop. Melbourne’s population has continued to grow. Now at 4.8million the population is increasing by some 3.7% – some 185,000 per year, and all these new people need somewhere to live.

On this year’s walk we discussed these buildings, which represent different stages of Melbourne’s’ development and economic situations.

  • The Old Treasury Building
  • The Treasury Gardens
    • The JFK Monument
    • The new proposed Emergency Services monument
    • The old toilet block built for the first Melbourne Floral Festival in 1939
  • The Premiers’ statues
  • Parliament house
  • Collins street
  • 61 Spring Street/1 Collins street
  • Alcaston House, 2 Collins street
  • Anzac House, 4-6 Collins street
  • Portland House, 8 Collins street
  • Victor Horsley Chambers, 12 Collins street
  • 15 Collins street
  • Collins Place, 45 Collins street,
  • The Melbourne Club, 36-50 Collins street
  • The Lyceum Club, 7 Ridgeway Place, and
  • Monaco Place, 22 Ridgeway Place

There were others who were able to assist with more knowledge along the way, and some on the spot ‘googling’ about the faces that appear on the Spring street Façade Alcaston House.

All of our members are true Rotarians, giving their time to Make a Difference in the world. This was our opportunity to share each other’s friendship, and learn about our city.

Attached small information sheet that gives you the bare outline of the ‘walk’.

Rotary Architecture Walk Booklet


You can Help

So as part of our ongoing fund raising efforts to make a difference in our pacific regions I gently ask if you could please make a donation – by way of purchasing raffle tickets to our Give Every Child a Future, campaign.

Moneys raised will assist to immunise 100,000 children in 9 pacific island countries. A very worthy cause.

Barbara Yerondais

25th March 2019


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