Friendship Exchange Co-ordinator:


PP John Willing (Lois) Orange Daybreak
6366 5033 (home) 0418 223 007


The Rotary Friendship Exchange program is an activity of Rotary International that gives Rotarians and their families the opportunity to host and visit Rotarians around the world.   


In June 2017 a Rotary Friendship Exchange Team of 14 people representing District 9700 travelled to District 1200 Somerset, West Dorset and West Wiltshire, in  England. The team spent two weeks in District 1200 visiting several clubs, experiencing towns and villages and visiting Rotary clubs, tourist sites and having a wonderful time.
The Rotary Friendship Friendship Exchange is an international exchange programme for Rotarians and their partners that provides participants with the opportunity to experience other cultures by staying in the homes of Rotarians in other countries.
The aims of the program are:
• Advance international understanding and peace through personal contact across borders.
• Meet Rotarians from other countries and learn about their culture first-hand
• Arrange international service projects directly with Rotarians in another country
• Develop personal and long-lasting club and personal relationships
The exchange from the UK  to Australia and return involved over thirty Rotarians who not only had a wonderful time but in keeping with the ideals of Rotary passed on and received information on projects and initiatives within their districts that have benefited all concerned.
2018 holds promise of at least one Rotary Friendship Exchange with another in planning. Rotarians are invited to send an expression of interest to be involved in an Exchange between District 9700 and District 9940 in New Zealand. At this stage a team from New Zealand will come to District 9700 in September 2018 with a return team following.  
In 2019 an exchange is being planned  to visit from India, District 3011 to District 9700 in April / May 2019 with a return visit from District 9700 to India, District 3011 in November 2019.
These trips are usually filled early so Rotarians and their partners are invited to contact John Willing to indicate their interest or enquire for further information at or 0418 223 007 
The Rotary Friendship Exchange Program is an opportunity to share a wonderful experience with fellow Rotarians. If you are interested in being involved please act soon.


RFE Report D9700 Canada/USA September 2017
In September 2017 a team of nine from D9700 had a great Rotary Friendship Exchange to D5020 – covering Vancouver Island in Canada and The Pacific Northwest USA.
The group comprised Geoff Beecher (team leader) and Mary-Anne Lattimore (Leeton), Val Samuelson (Wagga Wagga), Brian and Ann Murphy (Young), Peter and Helen Byrne, and Keith and Ro Sheardown (all from Orange).
The exchange began in Vancouver BC Canada, where we travelled on the Tsawassen ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. During the first week we were hosted at three locations on the island by Rotary clubs from Comox (Strathcona Sunrise, Comox and Courtenay), Parksville and Qualicom Beach, and Sooke. We were wined, dined and entertained brilliantly in restaurants, clubs and Rotarians homes, in an interesting itinerary coordinated by Neil Flynn from Sooke.
We met some wonderful people and saw some great projects that the Vancouver Island Rotary Clubs have been involved with, including wharves, playgrounds, a skate park, nature conservation projects and a school garden. Highlights included visits to Mt Washington in Strathcona National Park, 40 Knots Winery, the Deep Bay Marine Research Station, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, First Peoples culture, a yacht cruise, the magnificent Butchart gardens, whale watching in the Juan de Fuca Strait and a tour of the beautiful city of Victoria, the Capital of BC Province. We also enjoyed some lovely social evenings at the Qualicom Beach Club and the homes of our hosts.
From Sooke, the Coho ferry took us to Port Angeles in Washington State USA for our second week of the RFE. We were hosted by the Sequim Sunrise, Olympia West, Longview, Longview Early Edition and Gig Harbour Midday Clubs. The Sequim Sunrise Club took us to the historic town of Port Townsend, provided a brilliant BBQ by Master Chef Brian Garret, and showed us their Rotary Foodbank Project, before driving us to the Washington State Capital, Olympia. 
We were privileged to be taken on a tour of the majestic State Capitol building by the West Olympia Club who also hosted us for lunch and provided a wonderful walking tour of the city. The Longview and Longview early edition clubs took us on a tour of the Columbia River and Port of Longview, the Cowlitz Museum, a small winery, and provided tours to Astoria Oregon and to Mt Rainier WA. Our final hosts at Gig Harbor provided an historical walking tour, a distillery, a yacht/boat cruise and wonderful luncheon at President Marilyn Hoppen’s house. The group left Gig Harbour by bus or in one case, on a ferry to Seattle with their hosts.
We found our hosts to be extremely generous and friendly, and enjoyed seeing the places and meeting the locals that you don’t normally do as a regular tourist. It was also great to meet other club members, many of whom had visited or worked in Australia. We also found that wearing our Rotary jackets prompted several people to speak to us spontaneously about what a great organisation they thought Rotary was.
Our sincere thanks go to D5020 for an extremely well-coordinated and interesting tour and for the generosity of our host clubs and families. We now have many new friends both in Canada, the USA, and from D9700.
We look forward to hosting a reciprocal team from D5020 in November 2017.
Image: A warm welcome to D5020 on Vancouver Island by the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club