MULGRAVE'S Alfred Sung didn't expect to be dropped in the middle of Mildura when he asked his grammar school principal to help with a transfer.
It was the '60s and for the teenager who had spent most his life in Hong Kong, the move to the Australian countryside was a shock.
He arrived in Australia in 1960 as a 17-year-old to study at Box Hill Grammar School.
But his father, who he fondly describes as a blue collar worker, was only able to afford the fees for one year.
In a bid to continue his education, Mr Sung, 70, went to the school principal — a Rotary Club member — and asked for help to get into a public school.
"He talked to his club and they sponsored me as an exchange student to Mildura," Mr Sung said.
He spent the next year living with Rotary members and their families who helped pay school fees, supported him and even found him a job.
They also made sure he did some extra homework.
"They knew I didn't speak English, so they tried to make conversations with me all the time.
"Also, I wanted to learn. That made a difference."
When Mr Sung left Mildura and settled in Mulgrave, he left with more than what he had come to Australia with.
In 1981, when he was offered the chance to join Rotary by the club's Mildura district governor, he jumped at the opportunity.
After 30 years as a loyal member, Mr Sung has taken on the presidency of the Rotary Club of Wheelers Hill.
As the new head, he'll continue to support the running costs of two school buses at St Jude's College in Africa.
Another project in East Timor supports the training of local women to use sewing machines.
Closer to home, Mr Sung hopes to improve club membership and is a considering a project to install adult fitness equipment at a nearby park.
He said he has never forgotten the kindness he received from Rotary.
"I just want to repay back what Rotary did for me.
"I just want to repay back and help the local community."