Make 2023 the best year ever! The opportunity of a lifetime for Australian students aged 15-18 to study abroad. Rotary District 9640 Youth Exchange Program.
It was a pleasure to welcome Rotarian John Campbell and his daughter Emily Campbell to our Rotary Breakfast on Friday 14 January, 2022, where John provided us an overview of the current and future Youth Exchange Program of Rotary District 9640.
John went to Denmark for a year on a Rotary Youth Exchange program in 1992 and became a Rotarian for Life. He is still in touch with his host families and returns to Denmark to catch up as often as possible.
Emily was also a Youth Exchange Student, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads, and spent a yearlong adventure in Italy in 2019! She is now actively involved with Rotary’s Youth Exchange Program for District 9640 here on the Gold Coast, through her membership of Southern Star Rotex (
When John returned home to Australia, he joined Surfers Paradise West Rotary Club and became involved in the Youth Exchange Program for District 9640 and has also been involved with RYPEN and RYTS, other very worthwhile youth programs of Rotary.
John is currently a very active member of the Rotary Club of Burleigh Heads.
In every day life John, a graduate from Bond University, is a lawyer specialising in mediation. He works as an International Mediation and Dispute Resolution Consultant & Nationally Accredited Mediator, providing mediation and conciliation services, in-house dispute resolution training and strategy development and peer mediation within schools. He is a Panel Mediator for the Dispute Resolution Branch (Department of Justice & A-G), QCAT (Retail Shop Leases panel) and the Queensland Small Business Commission (QSBC).


John on behalf of the District has taken on the mantle of energizing the Youth Exchange programme.
Both he and his daughter have been on RYEP and were proudly sporting their Rotary Blazers with all the PINS attached. By volume of PINS, Emily obviously had a better time!! Seriously, I don’t think they had to say anything – the blazers were enough and spoke volumes.
The programme is the oldest Rotary programme commencing in Denmark in 1927 and Australia joined in 1958. There have been 1650 from / to our District and based on an estimated multiplier effect of 25 per participant have arguably touched 41250 people in 30 countries – big footprint.
The biggest change to the programme under John’s leadership is that candidate selection will be pushed back to the clubs with strong support and logistics provided by the District with new website, logo, social media and marketing resources. Clubs will have to have a person responsible for any nominated students. There are 3 programmes.
  1. 8 – 12 week virtual programme  which could lead to and extended programme.
  2. Short programme of 6-12 weeks which is usually and exchange from club to club, family to family or school to school. NZ / Aust quite strong on this.
  3. Long term 12 month programme with multiple hosts in each location whether outbound or inbound. It takes 12 months to approve and prep a young person for the extended programme. Aspirationally the District hopes to see inbound students from July onwards and outbound from January 2023 because of the year long assessment and briefing process.
John commends hosting to members and he himself seems to have hosted one or two students every year.

Here is the link to Rotary's new Youth Exchange Program website to make 2023 the best year ever! The opportunity of a lifetime for Australian students aged 15-18 to study abroad. Click the link to apply:

And links to the program videos: