The Rotary Club of Camberwell is part of Rotary International.

Rotary International is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million people. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in their vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Clubs are non-political, non-religious, and open to everyone. Rotary's motto is Service Above Self. Rotary’s main objective is service in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

Each Rotary Club carries out service to their community, whether it be to the sick, the under-privileged, the elderly or to the youth. In the international arena, clubs sponsor students overseas in exchange programs, post-graduate scholarships and business study groups. The Rotary Foundation contributes approximately $22 million annually to educational programs.

Rotary, through its Polio Plus program, has set the goal or eradicating Polio from the world. Rotary has so far provided 235 million doses of vaccine against polio in 15 countries. Rotary helped support the immunization of 170 million children on a single day in India!

How we spend Art Show proceeds

Your attendance and purchases at the Art Show support good causes. In 2015 we raised just over $100,000 which went to projects such as:

  • Polio eradication
  • Foodbank Victoria
  • Victorian bushfire relief
  • Boroondara Cares drought relief program
  • Royal Children’s Hospital
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation
  • Camp Getaway
  • Desks and computer equipment to Africa and Asia
  • BASS aged care facility
  • Youth suicide research project
  • Friday Night School
  • National Youth Science Forum
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

History of the Camberwell Art Show

Since its beginning the aims of the Art Show have been to:

  • Raise money for the charitable use of the Rotary Club
  • Provide a venue for artists to display their works
  • Provide a community artistic event

The first Art Show and Competition was held in 1966 at the Camberwell Grammar School having been preceded by two Antique and Art Shows. The 1966 Show featured 1042 artworks. One of the principal objectives was the acquisition of artworks as a basis for a collection for the City of Camberwell (now City of Boroondara) and its citizens.

In 1969, the Show moved its location and featured in the official launch of the new Camberwell Town Hall. Free entry to the Art Show was sponsored by the City of Camberwell. The exhibition featured 1357 works.

By 1972, the Show had over 2,000 entries. In that year Study Grant Prize was instituted in 1972 and David Taylor, whose works are now well renowned, was the first winner. The Art Show’s entries peaked at over 4,000 in 1983.

By 1990, over 50 artworks had been donated to the City of Camberwell and Rotary International awarded its first district ‘Significant Achievement Award’ to the Rotary Club of Camberwell.

In 1993, Melbourne businessman, arts benefactor and philanthropist Harold Mitchell AC became Patron of the Camberwell Rotary Art Show.

Art Show judges have included Sir William Dargie, Paul Fitzgerald, Harold Freeman, Karlis Mednis, Herman Pekel, Robert Wade, David Taylor, Ern Trembath, Kath Ballard, Colin Johnson, Carole Milton, Gillian Peebles and two international judges, Ian Houston and Richard Stone.

The City of Boroondara has supported the Art Show since its inception. In 1999 The Herald Sun, became the Art Show’s major sponsor following the demise of the Herald Sun Outdoor Art Show. In recent years, the Art Show has attracted up to 7,000 visitors annually.

Due to redevelopment of the Art Show’s traditional venue, the Camberwell Centre, the 2010 and 2011 Camberwell Rotary Art Shows moved to the Caulfield Racecourse. After the two successful shows in 2010 and 2011 the opportunity arose to take the 2012 Art Show back to its roots in Boroondara at the Hawthorn Town Hall. Major renovations at the Town Hall lead to yet another move in 2013, this time to the Swinburne University Advanced Technologies Centre. The ATC building at Swinburne with its massive glass edifice and impressive facilities is popular with artists and customers and will again host the 2016 Art Show.

The online entry of art also continues to be refined.  A Selection and Judging Panel now reviews and assesses all works by viewing images submitted and decides which works will be invited to exhibit at each Art Show. This relatively new process has enhanced a strong relationship with artists and customers as well as continuing to enhance the status of the Camberwell Art Show.

The success of the Art Show can be attributed to many corporate sponsors, Club members plus a legion of friends who volunteer their time to ensure it remains a premier event on Melbourne’s art calendar. In excess of $2.3 million has been raised for local, national and international humanitarian and charitable projects.