About Us

The Rotary Club of Woolgoolga was formed in 1988 and is active locally, regionally and internationally. Our club is flexible and changes with the times to suit changing lifestyles: for example, as of Jan 2017, just under half of our members are women, 3 of the last 6 club Presidents were women, and our membership includes two with Indian Sikh heritage, reflecting diversity in our local community.  We have relaxed our meeting schedule from the previous rigid weekly one, and the old Rotary focus on meeting-attendance has been replaced by an emphasis on participating and contributing.  We also place great importance on making our meetings and social events fun, interesting and rewarding.

Our club is focused on outcomes – we want to make a difference, both in the local community, and where we can, internationally.  Our track record over the past 29 years [which you can read further down this page] makes impressive reading. You can read our 2015-2016 annual report here, as well as this summary of what we do with the funds raised.

Of course to make these projects happen requires money. Our fundraisers not only raise the required funds, but also provide fun and fellowship for members:

  • Monthly Goods Auction – Our largest fundraiser. We collect goods donated by the community throughout the year. On the first Saturday of every month (except January) we auction them off at our premises located next to the Ex-Services Club, behind the CWA [see map on our Home Page]. This is a great way to get the community involved in raising money for local charities and is an effective way of recycling – “one person’s trash, another’s treasure”.
  • Helicopter golf ball drops, Christmas in July, and other occasional fundraising events.
  • Curryfest – assisting at our major local festival in April is a fantastic way to mingle with the local community whilst joining in all the fun. This festival continues to grow every year.
  • Profits from sales of the reprint of Neil Yeates’s Woolgoolga: The History of a Village
  • $2 curry powder packs (a great souvenir of Woolgoolga)
  • Fish Auction – Until recently, held annually in conjunction with the “Blue Water Deep Sea Diving Classic”.
  • many ad hoc fundraisers

If you’ve made the key decision to live in the Woolgoolga/Northern Beaches area, consider joining Rotary to meet others with an interest in making a difference in our community. Don’t know anything about Rotary and like to check us out? Come and join us at a meeting. It’s a great way to meet people, get to know your hometown and contribute to your community. See the meeting schedule on our Home Page. We meet at Woolgoolga C.ex (Bowling Club), Monday evenings 6.00pm for 6.15pm; Tel: 6654 7700 first, All Welcome.


Updated in Jan 2017

The Rotary Club of Woolgoolga held its Charter dinner on 21 June 1988 at the Woolgoolga Bowling Club. A provisional club had been started earlier that year, under the guidance of the Rotary Club of Coffs Harbour. The club celebrated its 25 years of service in mid-2013. The Club’s contribution to the local community has been so strong that only the main highlights can be listed here. The Heritage Walk and the reprint of Neil Yeates’s Woolgoolga: The History of a Village were two such contributions in that anniversary year, 2013. In 2017, the club will reach 29 years of service.

Woolgoolga facilities for senior citizens

Woolgoolga Seniors Centre is a major achievement, described on a separate web page. Separately, over $95,000 was contributed to help build the Woolgoolga Retirement Hostel (now Woolgoolga Retirement Village), mainly in 1988-1992.

Other contributions to local community and to youth

Monthly auctions of donated goods since 4 Nov 1989 had raised approximately $651,000 by Jan 2017. Apart from raising funds, the auction provides an important resource for local needy and those setting up households, as well as recycling goods. Other volunteer organisations assist with the auctions and receive a share of the proceeds. Annual fish auctions have often added significantly. Annual dinner auctions (1989-2002) raised over $250,000. Recent examples among many other fundraising efforts include Helicopter golf ball drops, Christmas in July, a bush dance for the Heritage Walk, an Africa night, raffles, and souvenir curry powder packs.

Using these funds, the Club’s projects have included major contributions toward Woolgoolga Community Garden, and construction of Yeates Hall at Woolgoolga Public School, the netball courts, High St. sporting fields, basketball court and clubhouse, skateboard facility, shade sail at the Out of School Hours Centre (in partnership with Lions), former St Vincent de Paul Residence, and a toddlers’ leisure pool at Woolgoolga Swimming Pool. Examples of other local projects include a bus shelter for long-distance coaches; 62 local projects in 2000 under the “Work for the Dole” Program; equipment and outdoor covered table at Woolgoolga Art Gallery; and a sensory garden at Rainbow Cottage Preschool. Support to many local organisations, estimated at over $840,000 total, has included six Rural Fire Service Brigades; Corindi Woolgoolga SES; Marine Rescue Organisation; Surf Lifesaving, Scout and Guide Groups; schools and school P&Cs, Northern Beaches Care, sporting groups, preschools, Rock Eisteddfod, Woolgoolga Youth Initiative, Hope for the Children, Woolgoolga Dance Studio, Youth-in-Search, LifeHouse (formerly All Nations) Community Cafe, and until 2004 the former Red Cross Blood Bank.

Bowelscan, a screening program for bowel cancer that saves lives, has remained an important priority since undertaking it 28 years ago. We support Australian Rotary Health via a $50 donation for each guest speaker. Pride in Work (formerly Pride of Workmanship) Awards have been made since 1992. The club also established the Woolgoolga Ladies’ Probus Club, and founded an interact Club at Woolgoolga High School (1988-2003).

In more recent times, the club’s focus has shifted further toward local youth. A high-priority annual commitment since 2009 is the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) day for Year 11 students. 2017 will bring the third of our Science and Engineering Challenge events, involving six regional high schools. The club also initiated Getting Out There Day for Year 12 students in 1998, and continues to help fund this. Small scholarships were developed to assist students to attend a course or program that will enhance their opportunity to achieve, and to contribute to their community, especially in leadership or management. Other youth and leadership programs have included Honeywell Engineering Summer School, National Youth Science Forum, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment), Model United Nations Assembly (the club hosted MUNA in 2010 & 2011), public speaking competition, Rotary Youth in Agriculture (Equine, Dairy and others), Rymarine, and The Conoco Phillips Science Experience.  Persistent Commitment to Education Awards for local schools started in 1989.

International service

This summary focuses on the club’s contribution to the Woolgoolga area, but equally strong is the club’s international track record, including Rotary Australia World Community Services (RAWCS) activities in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands & Vanuatu. For over a decade, we provided stationery resources to Vanuatu children via “Kits for Kids.”  Memebers are involved in the Rotary Small Grants scheme in remote parts of Indonesia, and in Rotarians Against Malaria. Very active in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program (YEP), the club has hosted 24 inbound students from 15 countries, while 27 local outbound students have gone to 15 countries across the world. In some years, the club offers a scuba diving course to District YEP students. Members on Rotary Friendship Exchange have visited Poland, France, USA, Scotland, Denmark and South Africa, and overseas groups have visited Woolgoolga. Support for PolioPlus, Rotary’s flagship campaign, included a vaccination visit to Hyderabad, India. Disaster relief (including ShelterBoxes) and Schools and orphanages (Nepal & Kenya) are other examples. The club truly aims at one of the most apt past Rotary International themes, “Building Communities, Bridging Continents.”