Posted by Ray PHILP on Jun 13, 2020
This week's guest speaker was Janette Etherington, Interplast's Rotarian Engagement Coordinator, who ZOOMED in from her home in Victoria.
Interplast was started in 1983 by a Rotarian who replicated it from an organisation in America.
The model is sending teams of volunteers across developing nations in the Asia Pacific.  They only go to where they are invited and respond to specific needs.
Teams are made up of volunteer anaesthetists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, nurses and allied health professionals.  It is about restoring function as well as dignity and some examples are cleft lip, burns and injuries that haven't healed.
Janette took us to meet some of  the patients through a series stories demonstrating the skills of the volunteer medical teams and the life changing outcomes for some of Interplast's patients.
Interplast also provide training to build the capacity of local health professionals within the countries where they work, ensuring the ongoing sustainability of their work. 
Recognising that Interplast is currently unable to deploy teams they are priortising virtual mentoring and digital training.  In the context of COVID-19, this allows local health professionals to get advice and expertise from Australia and New Zealand.
Janette concluded by saying - "Interplast can’t do what we do without the support of Rotary clubs and Rotarians like all of you. Rotary across Australia and NZ currently provides approx. 25% of Interplast’s funding. We would greatly appreciate your support – whether as a club, or from individual Rotarians".
Janette suggested that individually we may like to donate one of our meal costs that we are saving since meeting on ZOOM.  Excellent idea, if you would like to do this donations can be made as follows -
•On website
•By Cheque
•By EFT  Interplast Australia & New Zealand
     BSB: 033 364
     Account Number: 36 1633
     Reference: Your name or Rotary Club
Please send a quick email to with your name, club and donation details so that we can thank you.
For further information:
•Email me: