Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children

President Clive thanks Guest Speaker, Philip Smith, for his presentation on ROMAC

Rotarians volunteer their time and expertise to run this Rotary project that includes all Districts in Rotary International Zone 8. This humanitarian project has provided life giving and/or dignity restoring surgery to over 500 children from more than 20 countries, with medical treatment not available to them in their own countries. It is assisted by many eminent Australian and New Zealand surgeons who generously donate their time for the treatment of patients.

The Team

ROMAC is quite a rare not-for-profit humanitarian organisation run entirely with volunteers. It has no paid staff and no leased offices and so, it has minimal fixed costs. Generally, every dollar donated goes to patient care and the small running expenses are recovered from the investments.

D9710 Chair Sandra Malhberg with Baby Fitz from the Solomon Islands
ACT Region Chair Sandra Goldstraw with Baby Fitz from the Solomon Islands

The process begins with a referral of a child from overseas (or visiting Australia/New Zealand doctors) directly into the ROMAC database on the website. From this single form, the Medical and Operation Directors evaluate whether the referred child meets the ROMAC guidelines and which Region may be able to provide the necessary surgery, in collaboration with specialist Regional Medical Consultants.

All in all, the team in Australia and New Zealand is nearly 200 totally voluntary individuals plus Rotarians and medical personnel who support ROMAC in the nations we serve. These are people who help with passport and visa applications, finding and communicating with the potential patients, organising medical checks and ensuring they are on time to board their plane.

ROMAC is a shining example of what can be achieved through the combined effort of selfless individuals. ‘Service Above Self’ at its best.