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Congratulations Past President Mary Barry.  Mary is seen here after receiving the inaugural David Wittner Mentoring Award from Michael Wittner. She spoke from the heart about David and his interest in her idea of a Mentoring Program and how honoured she felt and how thrilled David would have been.  David was loved for his quiet mentoring of so many of our Members and remembered by all with great fondness.

In memory of Past President David Wittner AM

The Rotary Club of Melbourne Mentoring Award recognises a Rotarian who has excelled as a mentor and advocate for Rotary. The award was inaugurated this year honouring the memory of Past President David Wittner AM. The Board recognised David’s extraordinary commitment to Rotary spanning 54 years until his sudden passing in 2018 and his willingness to mentor many members, and indeed beyond in the community at large. The perpetual trophy of multi-faceted design is a reminder of the breadth of character that was David Wittner.


Mary Barry joined Melbourne Rotary in 2006 and has served on the Board as a Director and then as a Vice President. She was also a Director on the Board of District 9800 for two years and headed up the Strategic Planning and Risk portfolio. Mary was President of Rotary Melbourne in 2017-18 while also busy professionally as CEO of Our Watch.

This year Mary has single-handedly developed a Mentoring Program for all members coming into the Club for the first time, and for others who feel they would benefit from it. The purpose is to help people fully understand Rotary, to find their way around what can be a complex organisation, and to ensure that they become engaged in ways that best suit them. Mary has taken a dozen or so senior members through a mentor training program, and matches each mentee with the most suitable mentor using a questionnaire/profiling technique.

Since August 2018, 20 people have been through the Mentoring Program, and a quarter of them will have leadership positions in the 2019-20 year about to start. That alone speaks for the success of the Mentoring Program, and makes Mary a worthy recipient of the inaugural Rotary Club of Melbourne Mentoring Award in memory of David Wittner.

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