Frequently Asked Questions
We are so excited that you would like to start a new club! The first step is to talk to your District Rotaract Representative, as they can assist your club on this journey. It is important to note that this will be a journey, as starting a new Rotaract club is not a one year project but an ongoing partnership between an existing club and a new club. Partner or Sponsor clubs should be prepared to offer intense mentoring and support for a minimum of 3-5 years, which is the amount of time a club takes to become sustainable.
Below are suggested steps to build and charter a new Rotaract club. This process may take a few months or over a year. As it is different for every group, there is no recommended time frame.
- Find club champions. These are young person who will drive the growth and development of the club in the start up phase. It is recommended to have more than one young person as a champion, to share the workload and to ensure continuity in the event that there are exams, holidays or other life events.
- Arrange an event to showcase what a Rotaract Club can offer young people in your area. Arrange for catering/food and invite everyone your club has sponsored, supported or knows who are in the demographic of about 18-30 years old. Do not rely just on social media posts. Send personal emails or other invitations to people you think would enjoy being in Rotaract (including neighbours, colleagues, family and friends).
- Hold the showcase event. At the event, arrange a time/location to next meet. At this next meeting, everyone can get to know each other. The champions can initiate a conversation about what causes or projects the potential members are interested in, and a plan can be created to start working on these. Other local volunteering opportunities, events and projects can be shared. These meetings are a good opportunity for potential members to try different roles, such as meeting chair, secretary (to make the agenda and take minutes), treasurer (to make a budget) or other roles (community director to liaise with local organisations).
- The group should continue to meet regularly and be involved in the events that local clubs are running. This is important as some potential members may decide it is not for them, and a critical mass of 10-15 committed members is recommended before submitting a charter application.
- Hold club board elections for the role of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Other roles may also be elected.
- With support from your DRR and district team, hold a meeting to create and approve club by-laws and Rotaract Constitution (constitution cannot be changed and is the same for each club in your state or regional area). Complete the Rotary International charter application.
- Hold a celebration to mark the clubs charter. Ensure all members are listed on MyRotary and any district membership software (e.g. ClubRunner).
Please note, until a club is chartered it is not covered in its own right by Rotary International insurance. The partner or sponsor club should ensure that all projects and events, including meetings, are attended by a Rotarian or responsible individual, are risk assessed and information provided to the District Insurance officer in advance. See the next question for more information.
- Rotaract Handbook: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/rotaract-handbook
- Rotaract Club Certification Form: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/rotaract-club-certification-form
- Standard Rotaract Club Constitution: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/standard-rotaract-club-constitution
- Recommended Rotaract Club Bylaws: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/recommended-rotaract-club-bylaws
- Report Your Rotaract Club Advisor: https://my.rotary.org/en/report-your-rotaract-club-advisor
- Rotary Code of Policies, Rotaract listed under Article 12: https://my.rotary.org/en/document/rotary-code-policies
Provisional” is not an official RI designation for a club. Until a Rotaract club has received its Charter from RI, the club does not officially exist. Therefore, none of the rights of Charter are afforded, nor will protections apply.
- Within Australia, a Provisional club is not covered under the Rotary Insurance policy which is organised for all Chartered Rotary and Rotaract clubs. As such, Provisional clubs will require the presence of a Rotarian, or other responsible individual, from the sponsoring club/organisation to permit them to operate under the sponsoring club’s/organisation’s insurance policy.
- If a group of volunteers operates under the name of Rotaract without communication with and the approval of a relevant authority, then there exists the potential for reputational harm to Rotaract and Rotary’s brand image. It is that brand that permits Rotary to operate with governments of all stripes, at all levels, and lead the efforts in wiping out Polio; so we should do our best to protect that brand, where possible.
A Rotaract club can be considered as a Provisional club if they have formed and started operating under their own name, but not yet received their Charter. Until then, the potential Rotaractors are effectively operating as a group of volunteers, either by themselves, or under a sponsoring organisation.
Not all clubs require incorporation or charity licences.
As rules and regulations regarding incorporation and charity licences vary between states, you must talk to your district team to ensure the club has the required state approvals to conduct fundraising activities.
If you are advised to become incorporated or to apply for a charity licence, the club must maintain all required records at all times. The club members must ensure this requirement is communicated in writing to all future board members. If an incorporated club decides to fold, there is a specific process that must be followed. This process varies between states and you must seek advice from your district team. Rotaract Australia MDIO cannot provide legal advice.
All provisional and chartered clubs in our member districts are welcome to get a complimentary club email address from the Rotaract Australia domain @rotaract.org.au. This will give the members access to Google Drive, Google Meet and other Google products. Rotaract Australia can also reset the password if needed.
To register your provisional or chartered club for a complimentary email address, please complete this form or email IT@rotaract.org.au with your club’s name, best contact details (phone and an alternative email) and current District Rotaract Representative’s name.
Send our IT director an email for competitive pricing options for web and domain hosting at IT@rotaract.org.au. This is charged to clubs/districts annually.
Find your DRR at https://rotaract.org.au/about/members/council/ and email them at DRR.email@example.com .
Folding Rotaract Clubs
We are so sad to hear that your club has decided to fold, but we understand that sometimes a club has done amazing things and the members are ready to move into a Rotary Club or new life opportunity. When a club is folding, it is really important to follow the club constitution and by-laws, and ensure all assets are properly processed and passed on. If the partner Rotary Club(s) would like to try and restart the club in the future, you may leave the assets to them. If the Rotary Club does not wish to do this, you may distribute the assets to other Rotaract Clubs or registered charities, or dispose of them. Members should not keep any physical or cash assets. Please talk to your partner Rotary Club and DRR if your members have decided to fold the club.
If your club has a bank account, is incorporated or holds a charity licence, there may be legal requirements that must be fulfilled when the club folds. Rotaract Australia MDIO cannot provide legal advice in this area so you must talk to your DRR and district team.
As Rotaract Australia is also made up of volunteers, we are not able to keep any assets from folded clubs. Please contact the partner Rotary club with all enquiries.
As per the Rotaract constitution, members must be at least 18 years of age. A friend of Rotaract may be under 18, but must have their parent or guardians permission to participate. Please liaise with your partner Rotary Club or district if you have a friend of Rotaract under 18 to ensure all child protection laws are followed.
Rotaract is for young community members who want to make a difference, learn new skills, make new friends and be part of a global community. There is no formal age limit to be a member of a Rotaract Club, however we have found that members in their early 30’s generally find they are ready to move to a Rotary club, or take a step back and focus on family/career for a few years before returning to the Rotary family as a member of a Rotary club. Clubs or districts are able to formally set their own age limit in their by-laws.
Congratulations to your new member for joining the Rotary International family! There is not a specific requirement as to how you can induct a new member. It is up to the club to decide how a new person becomes eligible for membership, how they are invited to join and how they are inducted.
Some suggestions are:
- Allow the new person to attend a few events, meetings or other activities to ensure they like the vibe of the club. If they don’t, please recommend another Rotaract or Rotary club they can visit.
- Invite them to join and complete a membership form. This could include their contact details and emergency contact information so you can add it into MyRotary.
- Share the club bank details so they can pay the membership fee (unless your club subsidises membership fees).
- At an event or meeting, officially induct them into the club. We suggest your President or another member conduct a short presentation as it is a very exciting occasion for the new members. Invite their friends and family to come along. The presentation could include what Rotaract is, what the clubs does, what they can expect as a member, the Four Way Test, and member behaviour expectations.
- You can present the new member with a certificate, name badge, hat, club shirt, Rotaract pin or other Rotaract or Club branded merchandise. Pins are particularly valuable as a member can wear them when out in the community or when visiting other clubs. Shirts are great if your club does a lot of hands-on volunteering.
Ensure that they are registered on MyRotary and any District membership websites so they can access all of the online resources available to them.
Rotary Down Under stocks a range of licenced, Rotaract merchandise including pins, hats and shirts. Order online at https://rdusupplies.com.au/youth/rotaract/ .
To get a custom branded badge or shirt (eg. with club name), contact your District Rotaract Representative, or Rotaract Australia, for some suggested vendors who can print these. Clubs are responsible for organising this themselves, including design, invoicing and payment. Please see ‘Branding’ for more information.
All members can login to MyRotary (https://my.rotary.org/en/) and access the Brand Centre. This allows you to create club logos that are compliant with our branding guidelines. Just like McDonald's restaurants around the world all have the same logo, it is important that our clubs all follow the branding guidelines.
Find Chats by Rotaract Australia on your favourite podcast apps, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts
To sponsor an episode, and help us cover the costs to publish each episode, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you know about an amazing project or event that may inspire all of Australia and the Pacific Islands, send us an email at email@example.com!
Yay! We are always on the lookout for new volunteers to join our team. Volunteer roles may include, editor, sponsorship coordinator, host or marketing director. If you would be interested in learning how to do this, and are good at working within a tight deadline, let us know and we can have a chat! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Projects and Events
A great place to get inspiration and new ideas is from other clubs in the region. You can look clubs up on social media and see past award winners on our website https://rotaract.org.au/events/awards/. You can also look for international inspiration on MyRotary.
Attending conferences and other local, national or international events are also great ways to get ideas and inspiration (and also are a great place to meet potential project partners).
Elevate Rotaract Information
Key decisions about Rotaract from the January 2020 Board meeting
In January 2020, the Board of Directors of Rotary International made additional decisions related to Rotaract, based on a survey of Rotaractors:
- Rotaract clubs will begin paying dues to Rotary International 1 July 2022 . The annual dues will be $5 per member for university-based clubs and $8 per member for community-based clubs. The $50 one-time fee for chartering a new Rotaract club will be eliminated.
- A Rotaract club may, but is not required to, set an age limit, if the club (in accordance with its bylaws) gets the approval of its members and, if applicable, its sponsor club . (This is a clarification of the Board’s October 2019 decision about the removal of the upper age limit for Rotaract clubs.)
Key decisions about Rotaract from the October 2019 Board meeting
In October 2019, the Board of Directors of Rotary International made several changes to the policies related to Rotaract, which were recommended by the Elevate Rotaract Task Force. To learn more:
- Review the details of the policy changes related to Rotaract
- Review the updated Standard Rotaract Club Constitution
- Review the updated Recommended Rotaract Club Bylaws
Changes to the Code of Policies — effective 1 July 2020:
- Rotaract clubs will be able to establish a new club with or without a sponsor.
- Rotaract clubs will able to choose other Rotaract clubs as their sponsors.
- Rotaract clubs will be open to all young adults at least 18 years old.
- Rotaract policies will be moved from chapter V, “Programs,” to a revised chapter II, “Clubs.”
- The Standard Rotaract Club Constitution and the Recommended Rotaract Club Bylaws will be amended to reflect these policy changes.
- Rotary districts are encouraged to include Rotaractors in every district committee.
Other key decisions:
- The RI president, the RI Board of Directors, and The Rotary Foundation Trustees should consider how Rotaractors might advise them on Rotaract matters.
- Rotary International has set goals for Rotaract to:
- Increase the number of Rotaractors reported to Rotary by 100 percent by 2022
- Increase the number of reported Rotaractors who join Rotary clubs by 20 percent by 2022
- Increase the number of reported Rotaractors to 1 million by 2029
Find out more about elevate Rotaract! https://www.rotary.org/en/rotaract-rising and https://my.rotary.org/en/recent-rotaract-policy-updates
FAQ’s for International Clubs
As Rotaract Australia is not a club, unfortunately we cannot partner with your club on a project or create a twin club agreement. Please reach out directly to our clubs. Their details can be found at Club Finder.
I still have a question
Please email secretary@Rotaract.org.au if your question has not yet been answered and we will endeavour to find the answer for you!
Updated June 2022