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Bob Aitken


Fifty plus years in journalism and media management – 27 of which were spent ‘flying the flag’ as managing editor of Rotary Down Under – saw Bob well prepared to enjoy the role of Executive Director of Rotary Down Under Inc, specialising in public relations and corporate development in his final three years as leader of the Rotary region’s premier media organization.

Bob retired from Rotary Down Under on July 1, 2014, and immediately launched his own small media company, Bob Aitken Media, to ensure his retirement was well motivated.

He continues to hold leadership roles on District PR and Polio Committees, and has been Chairman of Rotary’s NSW Graffiti Removal Day project – in partnership with the NSW Government for five years. He also assists with promotion of favoured Rotary projects in Australian Rotary Health and Dream Cricket. He has enjoyed a promotional role as one of several roving Ambassadors for Australian Rotary Health, reminding clubs and Districts of the vital nature of the research and that this amazing ‘home grown’ project can only survive with ongoing financial support.

In 2017/18, Bob continues his role as Chairman of District 9685 Polio Committee; and that of Chairman of Graffiti Removal Australia Ltd. RI President ian Riseley also invited Bob to continue his service as END OF POLIO Coordinator in Zone 7B and part of Zone 8 in 2017/18.

Bob nurtured his media experience during twenty-one years in country newspapers, before joining the staff of Rotary Down Under in 1984.  He has since absorbed a myriad of Rotary leadership experiences. 

He completed two terms as  Chairman of the Rotary World Magazine Press Advisory Group and advisor to the RI Communications Committee on July 1, 2016. He previously served as Chairman of the RI Communications Committee (two terms) and General Coordinator of the RI Public Image Resource Group (four terms) – along with many other RI special committees/Groups. Bob was Moderator of the Rotary World Magazine Press Seminar in Montreal in 2009 and is the proud recipient of RI’s Service Above Self Award and the Australian Rotary Health Medal. He is a Past Governor of District 9685 and a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.  He and his wife Ann have served as the RI President’s personal representatives at District Conferences on eight occasions and was Vice Chairman of the Host Organising Committee that delivered the outstanding Sydney 2014 Convention.  Most recently, he was chairman of the Committee that organised an outstanding 2016 Combined Zone Institute for senior Rotary leaders in the South West Pacific.

Bob was Media Manager of the Sydney Olympic Games Hockey Tournament in 2000 and, in 2007, he was named a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia Queen’s Birthday Honours List – for services to sport and the community through Rotary. 

Bob joined the Rotary Club of Parkes, NSW, in 1975 and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Lower Blue Mountains in District 9685, NSW, since 1984. 

Married to Ann for 50 years, they enjoy theatre, music and quality time with family – especially grandchildren Jordan, Annie and Max. He is a Life Member of the NSW Parents and Citizens Association.

After a successful representative cricket career, he has dedicated many years of community service to coaching cricket and hockey teams at all levels. He is a life member of Hockey NSW, and a life member of District Cricket and Hockey Associations in Parkes, NSW.