The History of the Rotary Club of Melbourne

The Rotary Club of Melbourne is the oldest and largest club in Australia. Founded on 21 April 1921, the Club has implemented community service projects ranging from establishing the Claremont Home for the Elderly to helping children with life-threatening illnesses by assisting to launch the Very Special Kids program.


The Club has had a great international impact as well, sponsoring health care and education programs in Southeast Asia, carrying out an Australian-Vietnam Health Care and Health Education program, and other important initiatives. In 1993, the Club hosted the Rotary International Convention.

The history of the Rotary Club of Melbourne is rooted in the values of service and altruism with a foundation in friendship and fellowship. Since its inception in 1905, Rotary has grown from fellowship among a small group of businessmen to a force of good in the community to an international presence. While Rotary and the Melbourne Club have adapted to changing times, the values of altruism and service and the foundation of friendship and fellowship are like a golden thread running throughout its history from generation to generation.

How Rotary Began