ROMAC is the acronym for
“Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children”
and it is a project of Rotary Districts in Australia and New Zealand.
ROMAC has been in operation for
over 35 years.
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.
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 our small running expenses are recovered from our investments.
ROMAC’s structure comprises a Board, Engagement Committee and an Operations Committee which includes the Regional Chairs across Australia and New Zealand. District Chairs and their committees work closely with local Rotary Clubs.
Our process begins with a referral of a child from overseas (or visiting Australia/New Zealand doctors) directly into the ROMAC database on this 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, our 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 our potential patients, organising medical checks and ensuring they are on time to board their plane.
ROMAC enjoys and appreciates the support of its patrons and ambassadors who generously promote the work and ideals of ROMAC – “To provide medical treatment for children from Oceania in the form of life saving and/or dignity restoring surgery not accessible to them in their home countries”.
Whether it be collecting a patient on arrival from the airport, taking a patient to an appointment, visiting a patient in hospital or making an arrangement for a patient to go on a recuperation trip to the country, there is always a volunteer to undertake the task in question.
The increased number of patients being treated has placed an increased burden on our Rotarian volunteers. Without exception, they are answering the call and attending to the needs of our patients. It is true to say that without our volunteers ROMAC could not continue to operate.
Our Non-Rotarian Supporters
Our non-Rotarian supporters are an invaluable part of our ROMAC organisation. These important contributors act as volunteers and also fundraisers for ROMAC.
Our patients, for the most part, come from countries such as PNG, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Timor Leste and Vanuatu. The communities resident in Australia’s larger cities of people who have migrated to Australia from these countries have become invaluable supporters of ROMAC.
The communities have organised major fundraisers bringing in amounts up to $25,000. In addition, ROMAC has had the benefit of members of these communities volunteering to transport patients to appointments, act as home hosts, translator etc.
ROMAC could not function without the humanitarian support of host families, volunteer Rotarians and of course the wonderful work of the surgeons and surgical teams in the many major paediatric and specialist hospitals across Australia and New Zealand. ROMAC is truly indebted to these great supporters.
ROMAC looks forward to continuing its humanitarian work with volunteer Rotarians, and compassionate surgeons. With the continuing support from Rotary clubs, the general public and the corporate sector one day, in the not too distant future, we hope to double the number of deserving children and their families whose lives we have changed and saved.