- Rotary Geelong East
Gary Newton contracted the poliovirus in 1954 just after his 1st birthday.
Born in Melbourne, he works as a volunteer with Polio Australia on their Board and as Vice President. Currently, he is also President of the Rotary Club of Geelong East.
Gary is heavily involved in helping educate health professionals and polio survivors in the management of the Late Effects of Polio. He also gives his time to help Rotarians understand the importance of continuing the fight against polio and works to assist Rotary in finding ways to help alleviate the consequences of the Late Effects of Polio amongst survivors.
Spent much of his working life in commercial radio in Australia as an announcer & voiceover artist but has also been involved in business ownership and sales, marketing & advertising.
Gary was MC of the very successful International Post-Polio Conference held in Sydney in September 2016 where his interest in Rotary began. He also regularly provides his time to speak at Rotary Conferences, Clubs and to various other community groups around Victoria and overseas.
Gary worked prodigiously for almost 2 years to bring together a group of Australian polio survivors (Gary’s Polio Project to India), raising over $60,000 in donations with the aim of the group visiting India to help the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and to support polio survivors in Australia and India.
In January 2018, Gary and 3 other polio survivors from Geelong spent 10 days working as volunteers on Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign vaccinating children in Delhi and supporting polio survivors in Vishakhapatnam, India.
Also, in 2018 from monies raised, Gary’s group donated $10,000 to TRF via District 9820 PDG Tony Spring. Tony arranged for District 9820 to match the donation which, with the support of the Gates Foundation, saw a total of $60,000 going towards polio eradication.
Gary has a clear understanding of polio through lived experience particularly its Late Effects and Post-Polio Syndrome (LEoP/PPS).
He also has an up-to-date perspective on both world polio eradication and the needs of Australian polio survivors.