I have written many columns on the many humanitarian activities that Rotary have been involved in over many years.  This month I would like to give you a brief history on this wonderful project that was started here in Australia. 

ROMAC began, like many other worthwhile humanitarian activities, as the idea of one person. A Rotarian from Bendigo in Victoria in 1985, was part of an outreach team of volunteer surgeons and backup staff which went to Fiji to treat local children with cleft lips or palates.  They also found many seriously ill children who were simply too sick to be treated by their own or visiting surgeons.

It soon became apparent that this was a problem throughout the developing countries of SE Asia and the Pacific. These forgotten children had life-threatening conditions, or were so severely disfigured by accident or congenital disorders that they were often kept hidden from society.

ROMAC, a significant Rotary program, was born when Rotary clubs in Victoria began sponsoring some of these children to be brought to Australia for treatment by some of our most eminent surgeons who generously volunteered their skills to transform these young lives.

The idea grew so that up to 25 children were being treated each year in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Every Rotary District in Australia agreed to ROMAC being recognised by Rotary International as a multi-District program, and shortly thereafter New Zealand Rotarians joined in so now all 29 Rotary districts throughout Australasia are involved in the program.

Now recognised throughout the region as Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, ROMAC uses skills of numerous (volunteer) surgeons in many fields of activity to transform, and often save, the lives of up to 50 children each year in all the major cities of Australia and New Zealand.

Over 300 children from 20 countries have benefited from treatment they could not otherwise have received, all this is due to the generosity of Rotarians who give their time and resources voluntarily to raise funds and tend to the welfare of our patients.


To provide hope where there is no hope

To restore dignity to human life

To save or transform the lives of children from developing countries

To provide the best possible medical and surgical expertise.

If you would like to be part of this amazing organisation or to find out how you could join the Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong, please visit our website, or contact our Secretary on 02 4861 6917