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RARE Annual Report 2023

    (formerly Donations in Kind)

    Central Region     Annual Report 2022 – 2023

    It is my pleasure to present my thirteenth annual report as Manager for Rotary Australia Repurposing Equipment (RARE) Central Region for the 2022-23 year. This year has been a slightly less challenging than previous years with the impact of the Covid19 pandemic although availability and cost of shipping is still impacting operations.

    Summary of Activities

    The above components are discussed in detail below, but first, some summary statistics:

    Container projects completed: 3.

    Destinations: Kurdistan, Mongolia and Uganda.

    Standard containers shipped: 4 (20 foot equivalents)

    Nominal value of goods shipped: A$150,000

    Other international projects assisted: 16, including Sri Lanka, Uganda, Philippines, Congo, Ghana, Fiji, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Tuvalu and Ukraine

    Local bodies assisted:  41

    Donations collected: 153                                                 Donations in progress: 33

    Donations not collected: 48

    Value of donations picked up by Rotarians: $12, 950

    Club/district presentations: 5                                           Club working bees (at warehouse): 5

    Logged volunteer hours: 2706                                         Total value of volunteering: $93,123

    In summary, we continue to take steps to achieve our strategic goals. We have continued to reduce stock levels with the scrapping of obsolete, damaged or unserviceable stocks, and having a general cleanup of the warehouse facility. Donations continue to be assessed prior to collection to minimise cost and effort and to focus on goods needed to service requests of needy communities. Financially RARE Central is in a sound position. Sufficient funds were provided for all container projects. Donations, sale of goods and scrap metal covered operating expenses for the year. More details are contained in the following sections, set out under our strategic outcome headings.

    Effective System of Collecting Goods

    A total of 153 donations were collected during the year, with another 33 yet to be assessed/collected and 48 that were either declined or went to another charity. This equates to 4.5 donations to manage each week. Donations varied in size from multiple truckloads to individual boxes. The major donation of 7 dental vans for SA Dental involved considerable effort, including OK from RAWCS National to accept registration of the vans as a body corporate. We are in discussion with four different groups potentially interested in one of the vans each. The generosity of donors does challenge us in coordinating assessments and collecting goods. We have continued to ensure that goods are assessed prior to collection to minimise wasted effort in collection as well as disposal of unusable goods.

    On 18 occasions, we have had donors deliver their donations which greatly helps. Otherwise we have continued to call on Rotarians to assist in collecting donations on 129 occasions, involving 382 volunteer hours and saving approximately $12, 950 in collection costs. We thank all those who have assisted in this endeavour. A hire truck/trailer was utilised on 14 occasions.

    I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Largs Bay for their ongoing support in collecting wheelchairs, repairing the chairs and then delivering them to our warehouse. The time effort and cost of replacement tyres is very substantial and we are most appreciative of their involvement in this over past decades.

    Goods are Stored Ready for Shipping

    Major effort continues to reduce excess stock levels at the warehouse facility. Substantial amounts of goods have been sold or scrapped which has reduced the clutter within each building as well as the volume of goods outside. Scrap metal netted $1120 in revenue during the year with lower metal prices compared to previous years.

    Rationalisation of electronic medical/dental equipment has been possible with the invaluable assistance of medically/technically trained volunteers.

    We continue to work collaboratively with RC Mt Barker with their Repurposing Playgrounds project. A shed and additional space has been allocated for that.

    Promotion and Liaison Protocols

    The pandemic has limited presentations being given to clubs – only 34 this year. The presence at the District 9510 District Expo in June 2023 and the District working bee/RAWCS Open Day in November 2022 at the warehouse were a significant opportunities to meet many Rotarians in person and promote the RARE operation. Otherwise liaison and promotion to Rotarians and others has largely been through their attendance at the warehouse with working bees and container loading days. 9 clubs and other organisations were involved in these activities.

    The RARE Facebook site continues to be regularly populated and is another significant avenue of disseminating information about RARE activities.

    The RAWCS Board has changed the name of Donations in Kind (DIK) to Rotary Australia Repurposing Equipment (RARE). This has precipitated disturbance in our communication with donors, sponsors and Rotary clubs. Changing of labels and signage of the buildings and road signs has been necessitated. RAWCS has provided the majority of funding for new signage which has now been installed (July 2023).

    Effective Shipping System

    The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the amount of goods being shipped out due to the global impact on shipping availability and cost. Costs were twice or even three times what they were before the pandemic but slowly reduced during the year. These cost increases are difficult for Sponsors to cover in times where fundraising is also impacted by COVID19 restrictions and economic downturn. Major delays to shipping through the Singapore trans-shipping hub put many months of delay onto transit times. Over the year only 3 containers have been sent.

    Goods, mainly medical, have also been provided to individuals and organisations to go overseas in projects outside RARE. Destinations include Sri Lanka, Uganda, Philippines, Congo, Ghana, Fiji, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Tuvalu and Ukraine.

    We have again supported many other Rotary clubs, other organisations and individuals locally and nationally with the supply of domiciliary and medical equipment, furniture and other items that has assisted needy individuals. Some 41 instances of this aid have occurred this year from RARE. We have developed a partnership with the Playford Community Fund, a local organisation that helps needy folk set up housing for them. Many of the items that we get offered but we can’t really utilise, such as domestic furniture, are often needed by the Fund.

    Good Governance

    Having a long term lease agreement facilitates us being more able to commit to substantive effort and costs to other site improvements. Work continues on putting coverings over the storage containers on site to provide protection from rain and heat.

    Financially, RARE Central Region is in a very sound position. Financial figures for the operations at DIK provided by RAWCS show operating project line (RAWCS Project 54 2013-14) with an opening balance $38,613 and closing balance of $41,475.

    The Royal Adelaide Hospital project (RAWCS Project 53 2013-14) was closed at the end of 2021-22 year.

    Cash donations from clubs help to cover the out of pocket expenses running the programme. With the pandemic, most clubs are not as flush with funds as previous years. During the year we have received cash donation from four Rotary clubs totalling $1968. In the middle of the year, a budget of $7200 pa was provided by RAWCS for administration expenses for the RARE Central operation. Of that, $3760 was expended within the timeframe.

    Costs for waste disposal continues to be minimised through a variety of measures. The regular weekly kerbside collection, along with free Council vouchers for hard waste disposal, have reduced our waste costs to effectively zero. Monies received from scrap metal totalled $1120 for the year.

    With RARE – Central Region’s Work Health and Safety Management System in place and implemented there has not been any injury claims or reportable incidents again this Rotary year.

    Sustainability of Operations

    A log-in process is in place at the warehouse facility for volunteers. For 2022-23, the tally of hours of RARE (Central) volunteering totals 2706 hours. This includes an estimated 382 hours of time in collection of goods from donors by Rotarians and 500 hours Rotary Club of Largs Bay in repairing wheelchairs. The commitment of these volunteers to this work over so many years is quite extraordinary. The RARE committee input substantial time and effort which is not recognised fully in these attendance sheets. A summary of volunteer hours by club is included below.

    The support provided by clubs during working bees is a vital part of keeping our head above water in terms of physical management of goods on-site. Unfortunately, we have not had as many working bees at the warehouse facility from clubs this year compared to previous years. The RARE project is arguably one of the most dynamic programmes of Rotary in District 9510.


    This year has been another productive year in the life of RARE Central. It has promoted the Rotary brand, highlighting the trust that the community has with Rotary. It has also showcased RAWCS and RARE capacity to undertake complex high-volume projects in a timely manner delivering humanitarian aid across the world.

    Even with the demand on resources and volunteers during the year, all this has been done safely and effectively with again no injuries to report. The RARE Central Committee and regular volunteers are to be commended on outstanding performance, persistence and dedication. I would also like to thank all other volunteers and supporting Rotary clubs who have assisted us in our RARE operations. We would not have been able to achieve what we have without this physical and financial support.

    We continue to provide valued humanitarian service to a great many needy communities throughout the world and aim to continue this service in the future both internationally and locally. We also provide a valuable environmental service in reducing landfill by utilising otherwise serviceable goods to those less fortunate.

    Recently, the RAWCS Board has decided to change of name from Donations in Kind (DIK) to Rotary Australia Repurposing Equipment (RARE). This is a major change and something that has significant implications for our volunteers and donors to come to terms with after 30 years. There are also significant costs and effort required to replace existing road and building signage.

    I look forward to another year at the helm of RARE and our further improvement of RARE operations and ongoing humanitarian service.

    Dave Cockshell

    Rotary Australia Repurposing Equipment, Central Region

    Manager, July 2023

    0401 995 996