Rotary Club of Forest Hill

 Youth Service

Our programs have been developed and chosen to provide enriching opportunities for young people in the community, from preschoolers to young adults.   

In 2017/18 we have supported 

  • 12 students to participate in the Primary Schools Speech Contest (PSSC) for yr 5&6 students
  • 1 student in the 3 day Rotary Youth Programme of Enrichment (RYPEN) for 14-17yr olds
  • 12 students in our club's Youth Achievement Awards (YAA)
  • 2 students for the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) for yr 11 students
  • 2 students for the ConocoPhillips Science Experience, a 2/3 day programme for yr 9 students
  • 5 students for the club's Youth Citizenship Awards for year 8 students
  • 4 students for the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) a weekend of debating for yr 11 students

We have partnered with local primary and secondary schools, the Whitehorse Council, Science Institutes and environment groups.   Our chosen students have participated in the following (see photos and details below)

Ford Davis Endeavour Awards

MUNA- Model United Nations Assembly.   Designed to help Year 11 students learn more about the UN 

NYSF – National Youth Science Forum for Year 11 students.   This program helps students who aim for career in Science.

RYPEN – Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment  - for Year 9-11.   Designed to develop and enrich potential and success

The Science Experience for Year 9 and 10 students.   To encourage interest in science /technology 

RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Award – for 18-30 years old.   An intensive leadership training course

Year 10 Four Way Test – Public Speaking Contest.   To promote public speaking skills, organizing and presentation 

PSSC- Primary Schools Speech Contest  for years 5-6 usually.   To develop speaking and presentation skills in 10-12 yr olds 

YAA – Primary Schools Youth Achievement Awards.   Acknowledging  Year 6 students who are local  ‘unsung heroes’. 

Breakfast Club at Forest Hill College

YCA - A Citizenship award we give to secondary school students who have been inspiring in their support to the community

Forest Hill College HARPER GALILEO AWARD 2017/18
Jonathon was the proud winner of this year's award and was presented with his scholarship and certificate on Friday 8th December at the school assembly

Gary Davis presented a cheque to Principal David Rogers at the school Assembly on behalf of the Davis brothers, Roger, Peter & Gary.   This was to fund the Ford Davis scholarships to James and Zoe who were chosen by the school.   Ford Davis was the founder of the Rotary Club of Forest Hill.  
YAA Youth Achievement Awards 2018-19

Twelve primary schools from our local area again took part this year in our unique program – the RCFH Youth Achievement Awards.   Our club initiated this idea in the District 34 years ago and to date we have handed out 336 awards.   These students are chosen by the school for their hard work, enthusiasm in helping others and their overall contribution to school life.   Our Speaker Thomas Yakubowski, a year 11 student at Box Hill High, captivated the audience, congratulating the students on their achievements at such an early age.   He suggested the students investigate all programs Rotary offer and see what they can use to their advantage.   Thomas and his team member Aashna Shah won District 9810 MUNA 2018 (Model United Nations Assembly) and then came third in the National MUNA competition. This has opened up all sorts of opportunities for them.   The 12 wonderful awardees were Mitchell (Livingstone), John (Burwood Heights), Amy (Orchard Grove), Jenny (Whitehorse), Abby (Rangeview), Oscar (Vermont), Xavier (Mt Pleasant Road), Thomas (Blackburn Lake), Kate (Weeden Heights), Sheena (Vermont Special School), Rhys (St Timothy's), and Jonte (Parkmore).   The Rotary Club of Forest Hill gave each student a framed certificate, the school worded citation and a voucher.   Our District 9810 Assistant Governor Joan Young handed out the awards watched by an enthusiastic audience that included the parents of the students, their siblings, other family members, Rotarians and their partners.   Each of the citations was read out and was greeted with very warm applause.  Official photographs were taken and later distributed to schools and parents, but there were also plenty of photo opportunities for others, both during and after this friendly ceremony. 

Ford Davis Endeavour Awards (2017/18)
Each year, three students from Box Hill High School receive an award to help and encourage them to further their education.  They each receive $1,000 at the start of yr 11 and another $1,000 at the start of yr 12.  
This year the awardees were Ashley Beh, Anita Nguyen & Rock Wilkins.   Since 2010-11, 21 students have received this award.   It is financially supported through the Gysi-Davis Trust in fond memory of Ford Davis, a foundation member of our club paid for by his three son's who attended Box Hill High School.   Gary Davis was present at out club meeting on the 27th March to speak to the students and hand out the awards.   Gary described the awards as "the red hot go award" encouraging them to make the most of their opportunities.  Each student then spoke on how the money would be used.  

 Breakfast Club every Tuesday at Forest Hill College prepared by the Rotary Club of Forest Hill

 Glenys, Robbie, Ben, and Sonali dishing up a healthy breakfast for students at Forest Hill College.

The photos below show
  • MUNA 2018
  • Primary School Speech Contest 2018
  • Youth Citizenship Awards 2018
  • ConocoPhillips 2017/18
  • National Youth Science Forum 2017/18
  • Opening of the "Great Wall" Blackburn Lake Sanctuary 2015
  • Larry the Lorikeet Book Launch 2014

 Primary School Speech Contest 2018

                  3rd Rachel       1st Andrew         2nd Anju                Winning school Mount Pleasant Charlotte & Andrew
Here is a photo of the 2018 DISTRICT 9810 Speech Contest FINAL.    Andrew (6th from the right) came 3rd in a very close call.   The first three were separated by a very narrow margin.

Mount Pleasant Primary School won the sixth Primary School Speech Contest our Rotary Club has organised, run on the night by MC Bill Marsh and our Youth Committee.  Once again Toastmasters (a big thank you Marlene Sinclair co-MC, chief judge Cate Press, & judges Lilian Poke, Judith Talanoa ) provided the adjudication.   As last year's winner, Mount Pleasant Primary School hosted us with fourteen students from seven local schools, our largest gathering todate, spoke on a variety of topics for 3 minutes. The children amazed the audience with their poise, confidence, and preparation - many speaking without notes, and some with objects (elephant, bars of chocolate! and a slide show background).

Andrew (Mount Pleasant) was the winner with Anju (Blackburn Lake) the runner up and Rachel (Burwood Heights) 3rd.   Topics included • Was that a spaceship, What food would you like to eat for every meal, and My secret life as a heroine.  The winners respectively received prizes of $50, $40, & $30 vouchers plus a certificate.   The winner also received a trophy while the school gets to display the Perpetual Trophy for a year.   Presentations were made by the Rotary District Elect Shia Smart and the club's Assistant Governor Joan Young.

Note:   Andrew won last year as well as a grade 5 student!

                  Andrew (the winner in 2017)
For the 20th time since the first MUNA event held in 1999, we were fortunate to be able to hold MUNA in the magnificent Legislative Assembly Chamber of the Victorian Parliament House.  We should never underestimate the impact on the students of this elegant historical building, the atmosphere of the place, and the fact that the students are actually sitting and working in the seats occupied by our lawmakers. This year 38 teams took place representing 38 countries in. The Rotary Club of Forest Hill sponsored two teams from Box Hill High School.  The one representing Jordan was judged as the best performing team of the weekend. They will be attending the National MUNA event held in Canberra in August.  Our second team represented Myanmar also did very well.
Other teams which won awards were from PLC (North Korea- runners up and best costumes), St Bede's (Pakistan- District Governors Award), Salesian (Thailand-best student resolution).
Action in the Legislative Assembly Chamber of the Victorian Parliament House

Winning team (above) are Thomas Yakubowski & Aashna Shah from Box Hill High.  They represented Jordan and were presented with their awards by Malcolm Chiverton, District Governor.   They won two awards -Best Team Contribution as voted by the students and Best Overall Team as voted by the Judges

Lewis Douketis and Diego Marchillanda, above, represented Myanmar. They received their Certificate of Participation from DGE Russell Gurney. 


 This year the Rotary Club of Forest Hill presented its 326 award since inauguration to deserving District Youth Achievers, or ‘unsung heroes’.   

Each year since 1978 the Rotary Club of Forest Hill has presented awards to one student in Year six at each Primary School located in the south east corner of the City of Whitehorse. This year twelve awards were given out. The Youth Achievement Award is given to a student who is unique in that they have not so much achieved academically or on the sporting field, but more likely have been a contributor to non-academic activities within the school and presented as a role model to other students. This award is unofficially called the ‘unsung hero’ award.

The 38th year awards were made at the Rotary Club of Forest Hill meeting on Monday November 28th at Buccatini restaurant. The Guest Speaker was Thanushi Peiris, who was Whitehorse Young Person of the Year.  Her message was Seek Opportunities, Go Outside your Comfort Zone, if you Fail then Keep Trying.

Bill Marsh read out citations, while President John and Assistant Governor Alma Reynolds congratulated each awardee and presented them with a framed certificate and a $50 voucher.  The awardees parents and grandparents, brothers and sisters were also present to share in their achievement.

Award winners were:

Jamie- Blackburn Lake Primary School; Lachlan- Burwood Heights PS; Sarah– Livingstone PS; Suha– Mt Pleasant Rd PS;   Mitchell– Orchard Grove PS; Cameron– Parkmore PS; Mitchell– Rangeview PS; Lyta– St Timothy’s; Anastasia– Vermont PS; Neil-Vermont Sth SS; Ella– Weeden Heights PS; Sujandeep- Whitehorse PS

 Youth Citizenship Award June 2018

Our fifth Youth Citizenship Awards night was held at Bucatini restaurant on 4th June, 2018 (see below).   Over 40 members, partners, parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings and friends attended. President Bill then explained the Youth Citizenship Awards, which is an award for unsung heroes in the school community. It is unique to our Club and aimed specifically at Year 8 students to help fill a perceived small gap in the wonderful and very comprehensive District Youth program.   Certificate giving then proceeded, with each school’s staff member reading out a citation on the Awardee explaining why the school had chosen them. This was a wonderful moment and brought tears to the eyes of some listeners. The Awardee was then presented with a framed certificate from DGE Russell Gurney, a laminated citation from AG Graeme Aspinall, and a $100 gift voucher.   Award winners were: 

- Blackburn High School’s Lizzie Cooper, supported by Ron Brooks

- Box Hill High School’s Maria Mafi supported by school representative Justin Bond

- Forest Hill College’s Kayla Chatley supported by school representative Greg Heaton

- Kingswood College’s Grace Robertson supported by school representative Sula Tyndall

- Vermont Secondary College’s Kate Tong  supported by school representative Peter Henderson  
Speaker Jemma Frisina told us about the fantastic 2 day residential Rotary program RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) that she attended, and how it impacted and focused her thinking and way of life.  She said "I feel incredibly privileged to have been able to take part in this wonderful program. This year after being chosen to be a student group leader I can’t wait to help more participants like me to reach their full potential through RYPEN! I can’t speak of it highly enough"

Guest speaker: Jemma Frisina                                                               Five "unsung heroes" with Jemma

National Youth Science Forum 2017/18

The NYSF organised by Rotary gives a few select top science students the opportunity to follow their dream of spending two weeks at a science workshop at the Australian National University, Canberra.   Siddant Arya & Rock Wilkins are candidates sponsored by our club  for 2017/18  

ConocoPhillips Science Experience 2017/18
Lewis Douketis & Prajah Sivayoganathan have been chosen by our club for the 2017/18 intake

Larry the Lorikeet Book Launch 

Larry the Lorikeet officially flew into the hearts and minds of Victorian young children in August.   Larry is the central character in a colourfully illustrated and cleverly written book designed to increase awareness of protecting the environment.   Symbolically, the tale traces the flight around Melbourne's iconic Blackburn Lake, preserve of a lorikeet who is forced to flee his home in the face of developer's bulldozers which have destroyed his habitat.

The project was initiated, project managed and financed by the Rotary Club of Forest Hill, supported by Whitehorse City council.   Forest Hill College led by Marianne McEwen, ran an art competition to decide the book illustrator.   This was won by 14 year old student Zena who produced the book artwork.   The story line and text came from Box Hill College student Adam with help from Liam and Brad.   

The book was launched at Nunawading Library by President Bill Marsh from the Rotary Club of Forest Hill in the presence of Mayor Cr Sharon Ellis, other councilors and State dignitories.   An audience of over 100 people listened to Lucy Menzies, The Lake Education Officer, read the book.   Rotary distributed the book free to all local schools and libraries and Blackburn Lake where it will be used in the eduction program for pre schoolers.   We encourage you all to read the book, and take your families to Blackburn Lake.   




President Bill Marsh presenting a copy 

of the Larry the Lorikeet book to 

Burwood Heights Primary School for 

their library.


On Friday 13th Feb 2015, we helped at the official unveiling of the "Great Wall" of Blackburn on the Lake Road retaining wall.   Local artist Lucienne Noontil designed the mural and students from Nunawading Christian College, Blackburn Lake Primary School and Forest Hill College created the murals.   There was an excellent turnout of students, parents, Rotary Club of Forest Hill, Melbourne Water and Blackburn Lake Sanctuary personnel.   The Lord Mayor Andrew Munroe welcomed everyone to this great community event.