A Short History of Rotary Northbridge

Rotary Northbridge – or to use its full name, the Rotary Club of Northbridge – received its charter from the Rotary Club of Perth (in what was then District 945) in 1984. At its inception it boasted nearly sixty members – five of those members remain with the Club as serving members today, with two more remaining as Honorary Members – drawing members from the Perth and North Perth Rotary areas.

From the outset, the Club has always had a strongly Italian flavour, reflecting the cultural diversity of the Northbridge area. Its ranks in the early days boasted some of the area’s best-known businesspeople including Carl Torre (the Charter President of the Club) and Harry Ferrante, to name but two.

Northbridge Panorama

Other members in those early years included Steve Irons (the serving Federal Member for Swan) and Gary Marocchi, former Socceroo and inaugural Perth Glory coach who remains an active Club member today.

The Club’s meeting locations during this period are part of Northbridge folklore – Vino Vino (on the corner of Lake and James Streets, the present-day site of Midori) was the Club’s usual haunt – and the meetings were by all reports entertaining, if not rowdy affairs.

Despite that, a lot of serious Rotary work was done by the Club. In particular, the Club is proud to have spearheaded the cause of prostate cancer awareness in Western Australia at a time when very little publicity was given to the potentially deadly disease.

The guest speaker list at the Club during its history reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of prominent Western Australians and Australians including many Federal, State and Local Parliamentarians (including at least two serving State Premiers), top bureaucrats, sportspeople and captains of industry.

In more recent times, the Club has made its home at the WA Italian Club and Oliver’s Restaurant in the Cinema Paradiso Building, and is currently at the Perth Soccer Club in Dorrien Gardens – the venue of our inaugural Italian Car Day in 2007.

Today, the Club continues to work diligently to support its projects with Ruah Community Services, Manna Inc and other community organizations, and the annual Rotary Italian Car Day is a focal point for Club efforts. It is proud to boast a membership with active members ranging in age from the 20’s to the 70’s.  Another first for the Club was welcoming one of its former Rotary Youth Exchange students, Jessica Brass, as Club President in 2016/17.

With a group of dedicated and enthusiastic members, we have no doubt that the Club will continue to prosper.

Rotary Northbridge Club Office Bearers 2018/19

President: Charlie Russo

Immediate Past President: Luke Bayley

President-Elect: Andrew Murray

Honorary Treasurer: Colin Ryniker

Honorary Secretary: Peter Nevin

Club Service Director: Merilyn Adamson

Vocational Service Director: Norm Smith

Community Service Director: Robyn Penny

International Service Director: Joy Northover

Membership Director: Jessica Brass

Club Sergeant: Luke Bayley

Attendance Officers: Frank Mondello, Peter Vecchio

Property Officer: Frank Mondello

Newsletter Editor: David Moir

Webmaster: Peter Nevin

Club Public Relations: Andrew Murray

To speak to any of the above, please use our contact form.

Rotary Northbridge Projects

The Club currently contributes to the following organisations and current specific initiatives:

  • Ruah Community Services

    Ruah Centre, Northbridge

    Ruah Centre, Northbridge

    The Club has a long-standing and successful relationship with Ruah Community Services, contributing both time and funds to assist them in their projects in the Northbridge area and throughout Perth.

    Ruah Community Services is a not-for-profit community service organisation, committed to working in partnership with citizens marginalised by mainstream society to enable them to overcome their disadvantage, improve the quality of their lives, enhance their spirit and participate more fully in the community. Ruah is also committed to advocacy in areas of social policy to enhance the social fabric of our society.

    The Club contributes to the Kambarang Place crisis accommodation service for Aboriginal women and children.

  • Tourism Student Exchange

    Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo

    Rotary Club of Kelowna Ogopogo

    For several years, the Club has worked with honorary Northbridge Rotarian Mark Dixon, a member of the Rotary Club of Kelowna-Ogopogo in British Columbia, Canada (District 5060), to facilitate the Rotary Adventures in Tourism student exchange between Australia and Canada to foster international fellowship and to promote tourism studies.

    In each calendar year, the Club works with the staff of Central TAFE in Northbridge to select a student from their tourism course, who is then sent at the Club’s expense to Canada to study and experience their tourism industry. Likewise, a young Canadian tourism student travels to Australia each year to learn more about our country. Students participating in the exchange have described it as ‘amazing’ and the ‘trip of a lifetime’.

  • Breakfast Club

    Breakfast Club, Forrestfield Primary School

    Breakfast Club, Forrestfield Primary School

    The Club presently pays all operating costs for the operation of a ‘Breakfast Club’ at Forrestfield Primary School, a State school in Perth’s south-eastern foothills, as part of a project designed and instigated in 2011 by Manna Inc. This initiative is designed to assist the children of disadvantaged families by ensuring that no child at the School has to go without breakfast on each school day.

    Reports from the first years of operation, both anecdotal and formal, suggest that academic performance and classroom behaviour has improved as a result of this excellent project.

  • Bali Schools and Water Projects

    Water Purification Plant Opening, Bali, Indonesia

    Water Purification Plant Opening, Bali, Indonesia

    With the co-operation and assistance of our friends at the Rotary Club of Bali Taman in Indonesia (District 3400) and the private contributions of Club members and friends of the Club, we have been able to fund the ongoing education of many elementary school students on the island of Bali to the north of Western Australia.

    The Club has also funded five water purification systems for installation in schools and towns in Bali.  This has helped to greatly improve the lives of children in our nearest neighbour, many of whom lack access to clean water on a daily basis.

    Water purification plants have been installed at the 10 Jl. Soka Kesiman Denpasar Elementary School and 7 Batubulan Elementary School in Bali, as well as at other locations.

  • Shelterbox

    ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.  If there are families in need of emergency shelter, ShelterBox does everything it can to help them rebuild their lives.

    ShelterBox delivers the essentials people need to begin rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of a disaster. When they send boxes, each one is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for a family, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, a basic tool kit, mosquito nets and a children’s activity pack.

    In the past few years, Rotary Northbridge has paid for several boxes to be sent to disaster areas.

  • Interplast

    Interplast is a not-for-profit organisation working to improve the quality of life for people with disability who are disabled as a result of congenital or acquired medical conditions such as cleft lip and palate or burn scar contractures. They do this by sending fully qualified Australian and New Zealand volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to the Asia Pacific region to provide free surgical treatment for patients who would otherwise not be able to afford access to such services.

    Rotary Northbridge has contributed to this worthy project for several years, enabling many medical practitioners to carry on work in Asia and the Pacific.

In addition to the above, the Club supports such worthwhile causes as the McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, the Cancer Council Western Australia and St Vincent de Paul’s Passages project with donations.

For more information on any of the above projects, please contact us.

Rotary Northbridge Fundraising

As with any Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Northbridge works hard to gather funds to support its projects on an annual basis. In addition to the levying of fines at each meeting and donations to the Club by members and friends, the Club conducts the following annual fundraising projects:

Rotary Italian Car Day

Northbridge is proud of its Italian heritage, and many Northbridge Rotarians are active within the various car clubs in Perth. So, when the Club was considering an appropriate project for its major fundraising activity, it seemed a natural fit to draw on these resources and host a display for the finest Italian automobiles that Perth has to offer.

From its humble beginnings at Dorrien Gardens in 2006 and following its move to Mulberry on Swan in the Swan Valley in 2009, the Rotary Italian Car Day has continued to grow in size and stature as both a fundraising event and an enjoyable day out. Thanks to the kind ongoing support of Perth’s Italian car and cycle clubs, visitors can see cars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Fiat as well as motorcycles from Ducati and Moto Guzzi and scooters from Vespa (to name a few). Visitors can also sample some Italian pasta, an espresso or gelato while viewing the vehicles on display.

For more information, see the Italian Car Day page.

For more information on any of the above activities, please contact us.