This is the first year that we called for nominations for the PRID Dr Ken Collins Award for Excellence in Rotary Service. We received 5 nominations, for PP Steve Weychan, PDG Ron Geary, PP Max Bird, PDG John Kevan and PP Matthew Pham. All 5 of these applications exhibited extensive service and leadership in Rotary, which made it difficult for the panel to agree on a winner!
The winner is: PP Steve Weychan, of the Rotary Club of Canning River.
Steve Weychan was approached by Ken Collins to become a charter member of the Rotary Club of Kenwick, which chartered in April 1982. Steve realised early on that he was best suited to fundraising and organising projects, though he has also taken on his share of administrative roles, including holding every directorship in the club plus 3 stints as club President.
In 2008 & 2009, Steve organised Climb For a Smile, which was a Tower Climb to the top of the Bankwest Tower. This involved over 750 participants with 12 other metropolitan Clubs coming on board, and a raffle that involved every club in the state. $110,000 was raised the first year and $90,000 was raised in the second year, to support Polio Eradication, the Cord Blood Bank and Interplast. Climb for a Smile was reinstated in 2014 and handed over to another Club who raised a further $60,000 dollars.
In 2016, Steve started a Direct Debit Fundraiser, which provides a platform for a club to easily raise funds. To date, this initiative has raised in excess of $1 million dollars for Interplast and over $100,000 for Rotary Club funds. As an acknowledgment of his support of Interplast, Steve was made a Friend of Interplast in 2019, and has recently been invited to be the State Coordinator for Interplast.
In 2020, Steve took on yet another fundraising avenue, through Containers for Change. Steve has collected over 1,500,000 returnable containers, which has raised $150,000.
Steve has travelled to Java to visit the Kenwick club’s sponsorship of an orphanage and northern Bali to open a Club water Project for the Village of Kapas Jawa. He has also initiated a project providing backpacks to children in care, and initiated and constructed the Gosnells Community Wall of Remembrance funded by a 2014 Anzac Centenary Grant.
During his time in Rotary, Steve has introduced 25 members into Rotary, and in serving on the District Membership Committee, successfully chartered the Rotary Club of Byford and District, which has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Steve has organised 3 district conferences, and in 41 years has only missed attending 2 district conferences.
Steve is a Rotary Benefactor. He has received a Four Avenues of Service Citation and 5 Sapphire Paul Harris fellow recognition.
Steve is a most worthy recipient of the 2023 PRID Dr Ken Collins Award for Excellence in Rotary Service.