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Rotary International chartered the Rotary Club of Heirisson in November 1990 and the charter was presented to the Club at its first official meeting on 16 February 1991.
We think Heirisson is a special Rotary club. Many visiting Rotarians and guests also think so. We have a great sense of camaraderie; we get involved; and have a great deal of fun doing so. As a Club we try to embody the Object of Rotary, and act by the Four Way Test.
The Rotary Club of Heirisson is part of Rotary District 9455, the largest (in area) Rotary district in the world. We’re one of very few Rotary Clubs named after a historical person rather than a town or city.
What makes Heirisson different?
Well, we’re a great bunch of people! We were the first mixed gender Rotary club in WA, and the first to have a female (and youngest) president, a sexologist … Needless to say; we do things a little differently.
In an interview with Harvey Deegan on 6PR, Past President Allan McLean outlined his experience. If you wish to find out more about our club and Rotary generally – this five-minute interview will help you to understand what we do as a club. Allan_McLean_speaks_about_Rotary_on_6PR.wma (5963 kb)
The club’s name derives from François Antoine Boniface Hérisson, a French mariner and cartographer, who explored the Swan River (Riviere de Cygnes) in June 1801. Louis de Freycinet named Hérisson Iles, now Heirisson Island, after him. In 1990, Heirisson was the electoral Ward of the City of Perth where the club was to meet each week.
Sub-Lieutenant Hérisson was an officer on the French ship le Naturaliste, part of the Nicholas Baudin scientific expedition (1801-1804) that mapped most of the coast of what has become Western Australia, and much of southern, eastern and northern Australia. It returned to France with one of the largest botanical and ethnological collections ever made.
In June 1801, Hérisson skippered a longboat up the Swan River, past where modern Perth now stands, well into Middle Swan’s wine region, and drew the first recognisably modern chart of the Swan River. It is now held in the Battye Library.
The Hérisson Isles, now Heirisson Island, in the middle of the Swan River, supports the Causeway that carries vehicle traffic into and out of the city each day.