Chairman's Message

My Friends in Rotary and the many ROMAC  supporters,

Life works in many ways and sometimes we question why!

Just when Rotary Clubs are returning to normality following the COVID challenges, the east coast of Australia is deluged with constant rain, causing damaging floods.  We in Australia have faced bushfires, COVID, and now floods!  I sincerely hope that all those affected by the recent disasters are now safe and well.

The ROMAC Board and all volunteer members of the ROMAC team have been working hard during this period, vising Rotary Clubs either in person or via Zoom, as well as supporting Clubs in organising fundraising functions and other special events.  However, due to the inability of many clubs to fundraising by holding events, barbecues etc, they have limited funds to distribute, which has caused a large drop in income for ROMAC.

Recently I travelled to Canberra and met with the Minster for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Zed Seselja, together with Julian Lesser, MP, Federal Member for Berowra, NSW to seek their financial support of ROMAC and enter into an ongoing partnership.

As there are still three months to the end of the Rotary financial year, I encourage you to invite a representative from ROMAC to join your club meeting as a guest speaker.  Contact me on or 0411 044 691 and I will organise an appropriate ROMAC volunteer to present to your members.

Stay safe, and stay well.

PDG Harold Sharp OAM



Photo: Julian Lesser MP, Member for Berowra with ROMAC Chair, Harold Sharp OAM.

ROMAC is very fortunate to have the support of Julian Lesser, Federal Member for Berowra in Sydney's northern suburbs.  Julian is an honorary member of the Rotary Club of Berowra and actively promotes the work of ROMAC at every opportunity.  It was through Julian that ROMAC Chair, Harold Sharp, was granted a meeting with Senator the Honorable Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific at Parliament House in Canberra on 17th March.

Harold firstly met with Julian in his Sydney electoral office to update him on ROMAC's activities since the beginning of the pandemic. This is Julian's Facebook post following the meeting:

Julian Leeser MP  January 20 

Harold Sharp is a past District Governor of Rotary in this local district. I am currently a member of the Rotary Club of Berowra and have previously been a member of the Rotary Club Pennant Hills.

When I first joined Rotary I attended a leadership day that Harold ran. It was the single most helpful and useful event I have been to in terms of training leaders for volunteer organisations. Harold has influenced hundreds of people who have come through Rotary and the other organisations he has worked with throughout his life. He is a wonderful Australian.

He currently Chairs Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC)  and came to see me about how ROMAC is helping bring children with medical needs from the Pacific to Australia for specialist operations.

Thanks Harold for the great work that you and Rotary continue to do.

Julian subsequently delivered a speech in Federal Parliament on 15th March on ROMAC:

"Recently I met with Harold Sharp OAM, a past district governor of Rotary in the Berowra area and chairman of the Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, to understand more about ROMAC's work. ROMAC commenced in March 1988 out of the actions of an Australian Rotarian who, with a group of surgeons, visited Labasa in Fiji. They discovered childhood mortality rates as high as 25 per cent, caused by the lack of medical and surgical facilities and skills. ROMAC, which is run entirely by volunteers, enlists assistance from medical experts, hospitals, nurses, physios, pathologists, radiologists, airline sponsors and other supporters. Today, ROMAC provides surgical treatment to around 50 children from Oceania every year.
Vincent, a two-month-old from the Solomons, required urgent surgery to correct a blockage between his oesophagus and his stomach. Mourine, a 14-year-old girl from a small island in the north of the Solomons—where they live a subsistence life, without electricity—had a massive growth on her neck and chest. Verzi, a 15-year-old girl from the Solomons, in 2015 had rheumatic fever which eventually meant she needed a valve in her heart replaced. ROMAC's work has brought hope to over 500 children like Vincent, Mourine and Verzi, from more than 20 developing countries. Rotary members from districts across Australia provide rostered support on a daily basis for over 10 months, taking the kids grocery shopping, showing them how to use Western appliances and accompanying them to medical appointments.
Thank you, Harold, for all the great work that you and ROMAC have done and continue to do to provide support and medical care to children in our Pacific family."


Meeting with Hon. Zed Seselja

Photo: Julian Lesser MP, Federal Member for Berowra, ROMAC Communications Chair PDG Gina Growden, Senator Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, and PDG Harold Sharp OAM, ROMAC Chair.

A meeting between ROMAC Chair, Harold Sharp and Senator Zed Seselja, Minister for International Development and the Pacific took place in Parliament House, Canberra on Wednesday, 17th March.  Senator Selselja was very interested to learn about ROMAC's involvement with the Oceania nations and is investigating how his Department may be able to support the program both financially and in other ways.


Caloundra Pacific Quiz Night a Great Success

The Eleventh Annual ROMAC Trivia Challenge organised by Brian Mason from the Rotary Club of Caloundra Pacific, which was held on 4th March, was a huge success.

273 Rotarians and friends attended and a total of $13,536.00 was raised on the night.  This figure is expected to increase with five clubs who were unable to attend pledging a donation.
Eleven Rotary Clubs from the Sunshine Coast provided 103 participants of the 273 who attended.  ROMAC Treasurer, Michael Carrigan (pictured at head of table, at left, below) organised a team from his Club, Buderim.  
The ROMAC Trivia Challenge was first run by the Rotary Club of Surfers Paradise West in 2010 - this being Brian's first club in Queensland.
The winner of the 2021 ROMAC Trivia Challenge was the Rotary Club of Caloundra (pictured on right, below.)

Congratulations, Brian on a wonderful successful evening, and thank you to all who participated in the Challenge.


Club Presentation on ROMAC