Whether you’re searching for a pre-loved or hand-crafted gem, the Rotary Camberwell Sunday Market is synonymous for uncovering unique items but many of its devotees may not know how far their donations go to help communities.
The sound of gold coins as they rattle in the Rotary volunteer’s tins sets the scene for the Melbourne tradition of looking for treasure in the converted carpark on Sundays.
The generosity of market fans continues to make a difference to thousands of families and people both locally and internationally.
Small donation, large impact
A gold coin donation when you enter the market is a small ask, but when you consider that each year the Rotary Camberwell Sunday Market hosts more than 250,000 locals, tourists, thrift shoppers, collectors and bargain hunters, it adds up.
Since 1976, the Rotary Camberwell Sunday Market has raised more than $16 million for many different causes.
The local community benefits from the generosity of patrons, through the Boroondara Community Strengthening Grants program, which supports 80 – 90 local community service projects annually.
Other causes that receive support include the Box Hill Miniature Railway, Camcare, Fareshare, Autism Centre, Cerebral Palsy Education Project, community housing and Violence Free Families.
Your gold coin donation has a far greater reach with Rotary International projects, including those that support Timor Leste, New Zealand Earthquake rebuilding, Nepal earthquake relief, a dental health project in Vietnam, artificial limbs for kids in the Congo, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Helping those in need
Children and young people are often the focus of the gold coin donations, like the youth development grants of the Rotary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships and Swinburne University of Technology scholarships for asylum seekers and refugees.
Secondary school public speaking competitions and national youth science forums also receive funding.
The program has provided medical research and equipment grants to help organisations such as Australian Rotary Health, Box Hill Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
A local’s gold coin
In her book, Sunday Service: The Balwyn Rotary Camberwell Sunday Market, author Leah Annetta writes about the Rotary Camberwell Sunday Market’s irresistible lure.
It’s a place full of hidden treasures, whose value might be sentimental or actual, and where it is rumoured Kylie Minogue picked up her infamous gold hot pants.
But it’s another kind of gold that Annetta holds dear to her heart.
“Most of us drop our gold coin into the yellow cup… and plough headlong into the market on the trail of whatever takes our fancy.
“Few realise the ambitious charitable causes that these coins have funded over the past three decades”.