We were delighted to again host the Returning Youth Exchange dinner on Friday 07-Feb-2020 on behalf of the Rotary District 9685, for the 29th year.

Through the Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotary International hopes to create a more interconnected and understanding world. One of Rotary’s primary goals is promoting peace around the world, and through the Rotary Youth Exchange, it aims to make the world a more peaceful place one exchange at a time. This rationale follows the logic that if students experience different cultures and meet people from all around the world, they will be more understanding of foreign people and countries in the future. Rotary expects that this understanding will lead to a more interconnected and peaceful world.



On July 7, two new members were inducted to Rotary Club of Carlingford:

Martha Jabour and Dr Munjed Al-Mudheris

Martha and Dr Al-Mudheris both make huge contributions to the community with their vocational work. 

Martha Jabour, OAM

Martha Jabour, OAM

Martha Jabour has been the Executive Director of the Homicide Victims’ Support Group (Aust) Inc. since 1993. She was employed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in 1993 to co-ordinate and to set up the support group, providing counselling, support and referrals for the family members of homicide within the counselling section.

Martha trained as a grief and trauma counsellor after the death of her second son Michael to cot death at the Bereavement Care Centre and the National Centre for Childhood Grief. She acquired experience within the areas of Grief, Trauma, Policy Development, Strategic Planning and responding to crisis management whilst working both in a voluntary and paid position with the Sudden Infant Death Association of NSW. Her interests are to further promote victims’ rights and needs, with a special focus on crime prevention, particularly in the areas of domestic violence, mental health and juvenile justice.

Dr Munjed Al Muderis

Dr Munjed Al Muderis

Dr Munjed Al Muderis

Dr Munjed Al Muderis is an orthopaedic surgeon and clinical lecturer at Macquarie University and The Australian School of Advanced Medicine.

Dr Al Muderis studied medicine at Baghdad University and as a first year resident, fled Iraq as he refused Saddam’s regime brutal orders to surgically remove the ears of soldiers who had escaped from the army. After getting on a fishing boat, Dr Al Muderis ended up at Christmas Island and then transferred to Curtin Detention Centre. From his release, he travelled across Australia doing various work until he got his first job as a Doctor in Mildura, Victoria.

Now, Dr Al Muderis is a world leading surgeon in the field of osseointegration surgery and also a pioneer in helping people who have lost their legs to walk again.

Read more:

From refugee to pioneering surgeon: Munjed Al Muderis


On Saturday 6 July 2019, Dr Phouc Vo was awarded The Graham Turnidge Shield for Vocational Excellence at the Rotary District 9685 Changeover.

The Graham Turnidge Shield for Vocational Excellence is rewarded to an exemplary Rotarian who has enhanced the image of Rotary through commitment, integrity and excellence in their vocation and service to Rotary. The award honours the late Graham Turnidge, President of the Rotary Club of Carlingford in 1976/77 and our only District Governor to date in 1982/83. This year’s award was presented by our Honorary Member Elaine Turnidge.

Rotary Carlingford Club were proud to nominate Dr Phouc Vo for his outstanding service to Rotary and providing free direct health services and humanitarian aid to those in need, especially those in disadvantaged and remote areas in Vietnam. 

Dr Phucc Vo awarded with The Graham Turnidge Shield for Vocational Excellence

Dr Phuoc Vo awarded with The Graham Turnidge Shield for Vocational Excellence

About Dr Vo

Phuoc Vo was born in Vietnam, where he completed his Medical Degree. After witnessing unjust policies at the hospital he was employed, he decided to flee the country and endured a frightening seven day voyage from Vietnam to Malaysia. After time at a refugee camp, he was selected by Australian Immigration Officials and sent to Sydney on 13 May 1981. Able to speak only broken English, penniless, alone and with only a shirt, shorts and shoes, he was told by immigration officials it would be impossible to work as doctor in Australia and he was given work at BHP, shovelling coal for $3.80 an hour.

After one year with BHP, a newspaper advertisement detailing university courses prompted him to study medicine again. Overcoming a number of difficulties, he convinced the University of NSW to let him study medicine and he graduated in 1986. After working at Westmead Hospital for a year, he set up his own general practice in Cabramatta which he has continued to run to this day. He has been actively involved in educating and supporting medical professionals in providing palliative care in ethnic communities. 

About Dr Vo’s work

In 2002, Dr Vo organized a medical mission with a small number of like minded professionals, to travel to Vietnam to provide free medical services in a remote rural area of Vietnam. 

He has led that team each year since then and has grown the number of volunteers and range of services provided. 

In 2015, the AusViet Charity Foundation (AVCF) was formed with Dr Vo as its Chairman. Their vision is to bring together passionate and dedicated Australians to work in collaboration with local Vietnamese professionals to provide free medical and dental treatment to disadvantaged areas of Vietnam. 

The 2018 AVCF mission to the village of Tra Cu in the Mekong Delta area of Vietnam lead by Dr Vo was an outstanding success. The team of approximately 100, comprising GP’s, dentists, nurses, ophthalmologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and civilians, including Rotarians, combined in one week to achieve the following amazing results: 

  • 450 eye examinations 
  • 104 cataract operations 
  • 746 dental examinations with more than 1000 dental treatments 
  • 1061 medical general examinations 
  • 5422 medical prescriptions dispensed 
  • 40 onsite physiotherapy 
  • 270 hearing aids provided to the hearing loss people 
  • 386 reading & sun glasses given 
  • 37 ultrasound scans 
  • 95 blood tests 
  • 1200 education & hygiene gift packs distributed to disadvantaged children 
  • 45 education sanitary packs for teenage girls (Days for Girls kits) 
  • 300 humanitarian gift packs donated to impoverished families 
Dr Phucc Vo, on a medical mission to Vietnam

Dr Vo with two patients the morning after cataract surgery in Tra Cu village, Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam in August 2018.

Dr Vo providing a medical examination to a patient in Tra Cu village, Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam in August 2018.

Dr Vo providing a medical examination to a patient in Tra Cu village, Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam in August 2018.

These results would not have been possible without Dr Vo’s vision and dedication in seeking the volunteers and the generous support from donors and sponsors, including the Rotary Club of Mt Lawley in Western Australia and Rotary Club of Carlingford. His dedication to his vocation has inspired the Rotarians with whom he is associated, and as a result more members of Rotary Club of Carlingford have volunteered to accompany Dr Vo to work with the poorest of the poor in Vietnam again in 2019. As a Rotarian he has supported the Club projects and fund raising activities to enable the work of helping others in all areas of life to continue. As our photo above illustrates, Dr Vo wears the Rotary emblem on his shirt with pride, thus promoting the dedication, generosity and integrity of all Rotarians to those he encounters. 

Source: ‘Carlingford Rotary supports Coonamble Drought-Busters’, Coonamble Times, 31 January 2019

Coonamble Times article featuring Rotary Carlingford Club

Source: ‘Vouchers ease Drought pain’, Coonamble Times, 31 January 2019

Coonamble Times article featuring Rotary Carlingford Club

Carlingford Rotary Club recently supported this year’s AusViet Medical Mission to Tra Cu Village, Tra Vinh Province, Vietnam, about 5 hours drive south of Ho Chi Minh City(Saigong).

The mission was led by Dr Phuoc Vo, a member of Carlingford Rotary Club with Mike and Carol Morgan travelling as non-medical volunteers.

In the 3 days of operation, a team of medical volunteers from Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Vietnam achieved some amazing results to assist some of the poorest of the poor in a rural village situated in the Mekong Delta region.

Their achievements were:

  • 450 Eye examinations
  • 104 Cataract operations
  • 746 Dental examinations with more than 1,000 dental treatments
  • 1061 General medical examinations 
  • 40 Physiotherapy treatments 
  • 5422 Medical prescriptions dispensed 
  • 270 Hearing aids provided to the hearing loss people 
  • 386 Reading and sunglasses given
  • 37 Ultrasounds
  • 95 Blood tests
  • 1200 Education & hygiene gift packs distributed to disadvantaged children 
  • 45 Education sanitary packs for teenage girls 
  • 300 Humanitarian gift packs donated to impoverished families 

If you wish to hear most about this mission, come to our Rotary meeting on Tuesday 25th September at 6.15pm.

Contact us for more information.

Back to Trending News

Ride to End Polio - Rotary Carlingford Trending News

by PP Pamela Lawrance Foundation Director

RC Carlingford & President Trish & Foundation director Pamela answered the call.

The challenge was to raise A$1 million in our District, towards ending polio, by collecting money at Carlingford Court during the same day as the train ride.- 28th September 2018.

We had a well decorated stall and a number of volunteers from 9am-4pm and hopefully achieving our aim of A$500…we will know on Tuesday !!!

Thank you to everyone who was able to assist me on the day- President Trish, IPP Dexter. PP Ed, R Norrie, R Joseph (photographer extraordinaire) and PP Geoff .

We had budgeted to give Polio A$1500 and any money that we raised on the day will also be sent.

Joseph , Norrie and myself took our cheque to the Carlingford railway station for the 5.30pm train and presented it to Mark Anderson from TRF, who was leading the challenge.

We all had a great day meeting past Rotarians, friends and generous folks throughout the day which really gives one a buzz. The only downside was a rather long wait in the rain, as the train was late …but we soldiered on!!!!! In true ROTARY fashion.


A visit was made to Samoa in March 2018. Both islands (Upolu and Savaii) were visited. This was our 20th visit to Samoa since 2008. On this visit, clinics were held for four days in the Ear Nose and Throat section of the impressive new hospital in Apia, with the help of the local Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon. There has been considerable interaction with the Rotary Club of Apia and we attended a meeting of the Apia club, where we described the project.


The work was carried out with staff from the SENESE Centre for Inclusive Education in Apia, Samoa. After our last trip with an audiologist from Attune Hearing, Suzi Marcos, she made several useful suggestions about the project. As a result, a dedicated laptop computer has been set up for us to take with us to store patient data and to program hearing aids. Attune audiologist have also been collecting used hearing aids for us to use with some of the children.

Spare parts, batteries and consumable items and hearing aids were purchased from a grant from the Rotary District 9685 and the Rotary Club of Carlingford. Funds were also provided for custom-made earmoulds for children, which were essential when fitting very powerful hearing aids. We were also able to pay children and parents’ travelling expenses (some children live on the island of Savaii which is over an hour away from ferry from Savaii where we run the clinics). This was essential for families too poor to pay the bus and ferry fares.


This trip made by my wife Cristy Newall, Sarah Love (an audiologist who works at the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children) and myself was really successful. We are all audiologists and over 50 children were tested and 35 were seen in the hearing aid clinic. We had four new children who had severe hearing losses and we saw faces light up when they heard sound for the first time. Sarah Love, who is an expert on cochlear implants, reprogrammed the cochlear implants of three children.


Another aspect of the trip was the kind donation of dental equipment by John Green the Carlingford Club– a chair, a dental X-Ray machine and other items. Our club provided funds for shipping and the Rotary Club of Apia helped with Customs clearance and local transport. John Green and his wife came with us on the trip and John checked out the location at the hospital in Savaii where the equipment will be installed


We are very grateful for the support from our Rotary club and the District team, which is helping many hearing-impaired children in Samoa.


Philip and Cristy Newall