The following pages are a series of Tributes to Anton a tireless worker for the Ideals of Rotary, a true believer in this year's theme":- Rotary Connects the World. 
His family have requested that in lieu of flowers that a donation to:- Donations in Kind  (DIK) would be appreciated. A special account has been established for this purpose.
Rotary Club of Geelong
BSB        633 000
Account Number              169 078 631 Label: Anton DIK
Alternatively send cheques to Rotary Club of Geelong  PO Box 8024
Newtown VIC 3220
If you would like acknowledgement of receipt of donation please email
The following tribute in dot point form summarises some of Anton’s Rotary achievements. We have not included all the special times spent with him at restaurants, film nights, District Conferences, and overseas’ trips that we can reflect on ourselves. We also acknowledge the wonderful support from Isobel and his family.
  • Anton was inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Geelong on 23 May 1999 and it was exactly 21 years later to the day, on 23 May 2020, that he passed away.
  • Anton was President of the club in 2008/09 and spent many years as a member of the International Committee chairing it in 2004/05. He received a Paul Harris Fellow recognition in 2004 and had one sapphire pin. In 2011, Anton was awarded “The Avenues of Service Citation” which is the highest a club can make to a member. In January 2015, Anton received an Order of Australia Medal for service to the community of Geelong.
  • Anton’s great passion was Papua New Guinea (PNG) and he started leading teams to the Oro Bay area in 2001 and over several years succeeded in putting on a water supply and water treatment system to St Margaret’s Hospital in Oro Bay.
  • Following Cyclone Guba in 2007, Anton was instrumental in developing and implementing a plan to relocate and rebuild Sariri Village near Popondetta in PNG after it was demolished by the cyclone. A multiyear project which continued for well over 10 years. Anton took annual teams to PNG many times to assist in the construction of a new school, cyclone-proof houses, water and sanitation systems and solar power to the village.
  • This was facilitated in 2011 by bringing Elijah Sarigari from PNG to Australia on a Rotary Royce Abbey Scholarship for three months to receive training in timber, agriculture, and business.
  • Anton helped coordinate the purchase of a portable Lucas sawmill with the help of several clubs in the District to enable the village to establish a timber cutting and milling business to support the project under Elijah’s direction. Anton also sourced a playground from the City of Greater Geelong and relocated it to the school and facilitated setting up a village committee to manage the business.
  • Anton’s strong leadership has undoubtably been a key factor in improving and establishing ongoing improvement to the living standards of thousands of people in many third world countries together with those in his own community.
  • In 2014 Anton facilitated the development of Eco-toilets designed by an industry group coordinated by Barwon Water. A composting toilet, built in modular form (by GTech apprentices), was constructed and shipped as a flat pack to Sariri in 2015.
  • Overall, this enabled Sariri Village to grow and become increasingly independent and self-sufficient.
  • In 2005 following the devastating Tsunami in South-East Asia, a committee of local business leaders in Geelong (InterAct) was set up, chaired by Anton, which coordinated and funded a new medical centre in Vilankulam in Sri Lanka in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Trincomalee. In addition, water and sanitation facilities were provided to the village and a container of medical equipment was sent from DIK for the centre. Anton went to Sri Lanka to do the preliminary project appraisal and then followed up with a final inspection.
  • Anton also participated in many local Rotary projects in Geelong. The major project he coordinated the building of the White Cottages at the McKellar Centre. Stage 1 of the project was initiated in 2008 and involved the development of two self-contained one and two-bedroom residential units with disability access for visiting families at the McKellar Centre facility (palliative care). It was completed in 2012.
  • In 2013, Stage 2 of the project was initiated to design and build two motel style units from three unused rooms located behind Units 1 and 2 specifically designed for Doctors’ overnight stays at the McKellar Centre. This was completed and handed over to Barwon Health on 1 July 2014.
  • Anton managed both these stages himself including designs, approvals, sourcing materials, contractors labour and funds. These were much needed facilities and are now having close to full occupancy.
  • Anton was always active in all club activities including operating pie warmer at the football, delivering hams, operating Old Geelong Gaol and using his extensive practical skills at working bees.
  • Anton’s strong leadership has undoubtably been a key factor in improving and establishing ongoing improvement to the living standards of thousands of people in many third world countries together with those in his own community.
  • Anton was a member of Donations in Kind (DIK) Geelong for over 20 years and Chairman for the last 13 years and was District DIK Chair in 2008/09 and 2013/14. He was D9780 RAWCS representative from 2007/08 and was District Chair in 2008/09 and 2013/14.
  • He was instrumental in the shipping of containers of donated goods to many Pacific Island countries as well as Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and many other countries.
  • Since beginning, DIK Geelong has sent more than 340 containers to many varied destinations with all goods being shipped as requested by the recipients. Anton conservatively estimated that the value of goods is in the order of $45,000 per shipment making a total of $15.3m being distributed to needy countries. Most goods have been donated through Rotary Clubs in District 9780.
  • Financial turnover from DIK is approximately $80K to $100k p.a.  Most of the fundraising was driven by Anton - by correspondence and visits to Clubs.
  • Goods were well received with most of the countries making many repeat requests. Anton made several visits to countries to enable container receipt, establishing a strong network for receipt and distribution.
  • Anton was a strong advocate for DIK/RAWCs and ensured the ongoing nature of these projects by maintaining local/district support and funding.
  • He was also a strong advocate supporting DIK and other international projects within the Rotary Club of Geelong.
  • Small DIK depots were set up within the District to collect goods which were then shipped to Geelong.
  • On a local basis Anton provided many volunteering opportunities in Geelong, at DIK, in the preparation of goods and container loading and despatch. This included both Rotarians and non-Rotarians. The positions were extremely well received and provided community support and participation for many people.
  • DIK Geelong assisted many Clubs and organisations outside of the District to distribute goods to THEIR destinations.
  • All goods from DIK for distribution, were checked to ensure they were in good working order. This was of huge value to the recipients.
  • Contact was made with hospitals and schools for the collection of valuable second-hand goods. for hospital beds and equipment, books, school furniture, computers and household goods were of great value to needy recipients. Indeed, several Four-wheel drive vehicles and a tractor were sourced and transported to PNG.
  • Anton drove the activities of DIK in Geelong, and many people in needy countries have benefited from his and DIK’s activities.
  • Anton actively lobbied politicians such as the Parliamentary Secretary Pacific Affair and local Federal Members to get support for DIK and International Projects.
  • Anton’s activities cannot be quantified in dollars, however the recipients and communities certainly have appreciated and benefitted greatly from DIK.

Reflections of Anton Van Doornik

The Warrnambool team

Anton’s dedication and passion for helping the people of PNG fulfilled the Rotary moto of Service above Self.

Anton, with Isobel, spent many years helping the people of PNG. Anton’s belief and vision was to identify a need then supply the means and know how to achieve the goal and provide the education to ensure sustainability. From the highlands to the coastal villages on Oro Province Anton built a reputation of being someone you could trust, was reliable, was willing to go that extra mile and kept his word.

As a mark of respect and the esteem that Anton was held, in 2015, the 7 Sariri Village Chiefs made Anton an honorary Chief. This is the first time a non-national in Oro Province has been honoured in this way.
 The honour and respect that was held for Anton was evident by the fact that people walked for 2 days through the jungle crossing rivers and once at Sariri slept on the ground to be present and witness the important ceremony.
We were fortunate to witness the ceremony, take part in the feast and be kept awake all night by the drumming and dancing that followed. This dedication and the trouble people went to showed us how highly Anton was thought of and respected amongst the PNG people.
Anton was a great man but there were moments when the PNG team raised their eyebrows and shook their heads in disbelief.  Anton loved to drive the 4wd vehicle the 115 kilometre trip through the jungle to get to Sariri. The trip took on average around 5-6 hours. It was always hard and rough going and rarely an uneventful experience.
Anton probably wasn’t the best off road driver your likely to come across. We clearly remember him stalling and bogging the vehicle many times on the rough bush tracks. One of the more memorable was when Anton stalled in the middle of a river and we had to get into the river to push it out. 
Andrew Thornton will no doubt remember another occasion when Anton bogged the vehicle. Andrew positioned himself between the vehicle and trailer to help push. What he didn’t figure was Anton wasn’t going to stop when he got moving and Andrew was trapped and forced to jog between the vehicle, trailer and the head high grass along the side of the road until Anton decided to stop.
All good fun and good memories.
For many of us who are reaching our more senior years it is a time to sit back, relax, partake in a hobby and enjoy family and friends around us. For Anton it seems he was continually thinking, planning, creating and building for the betterment of others. Rotary was his hobby. Besides Isobel and immediate family, Donation In Kind and PNG were also his family. He surrounded himself with friends that shared similar values.
To ensure commitment into the future, Anton built a team that would provide ongoing support for PNG. We are proud to have known Anton and we’ll try to ensure his PNG passion will be carried on. We will miss you Anton but we assure you we will remember you.
The PNG Kudu drums will be beating loudly at the moment, as the message is sent from village to village informing them that a great and true leader is now resting.
Rest in peace Anton
  (Chris, Ian & Tony). 

Elijah Sarigari.

On behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, the Anglican Diocese of Popondetta, the Division of health and Education Services, the recipient communities of the Rotary Community Service, the Clan Chiefs and people of Sariri Village, my family, particularly Peterson, Simon, Mitten and my wife jenny and son Sumbaro, I write our deepest tribute to Anton Van Doornik for his life and dedicated services to PNG.  His passion, love and care will forever linger in our hearts.
It was in 2003 when my former school headmaster Donald Johnston introduced Anton and the Rotary volunteer team to the Martyr’s Memorial Secondary School staff of which I was a member.
In 2004 when Anton returned to continue the work at St Margaret’s Hospital we met again and formed a strong and enduring personal relationship that has lasted until now.
Some of Anton’s PNG accomplishments include: The St Margaret’s Hospital refurbishment and establishment of a reticulated water system, the ongoing provision of aid containers through the Rotary Club of Geelong’s Donations In Kind and the donation of vehicles to the Martyr’s School, the Anglican Education & Health Services. However, for us, the accomplishment that he will be most remembered for is the Sariri project.
After the 2007 Cyclone Guba disaster I asked Donald Johnston who was now retired and living in Geelong and Anton if there was any possibility of Rotary support for my people who lived along the Bariji River who had been devastated by the floods that followed the cyclone. Both Anton and Donald Johnston came and saw the devastation and put together a proposal for a village rehabilitation and sustainability development project. This was the beginning of the Sariri Village Project.
In order for the project to be successful it was seen as necessary for a PNG National to be mentored and trained in modern building and farming techniques. I was fortunate to be chosen and was brought to Victoria in 2010 for 3 months training at the Creswick Timber Training College. I also attended many businesses and farms to broaden my knowledge and understanding.
Anton strongly believed that the Sariri Project would be seen as a “Model Village” that could be adopted by others.  This vision is gradually becoming a reality in a very remote village called Embessa.  People from Embessa saw the work in Sariri and are slowly following the example in their village.
Through the work setting up the Sariri Project the 7 clan chiefs from the Bariji and Baruga tribes that came together to establish the village felt so deeply in their hearts that Anton loved what he was doing for their people that they decided to make him an Honorary Chief in 2015.
Anton was always accompanied by his wife Isobel and was loved and respected by the Sariri people. The people called Isobel “our big mother”.
Anton’s last trip to PNG was in 2016.
Anton has always been a great mentor and father to me in his charity work. He jokingly said to me PNG needed more Elijah Sarigaris at the grass root level. I replied “.. Daddy continue to be my light on the other side where my help will come from.  So shall I say to my mentor now, my Daddy, you left a legacy of friendship, kindness and good work behind.
May your soul rest in peace.
Elijah Sarigari.

The Peter Nathan Loco Foundation PNG.

On behalf of the The Peter Nathan Loko Foundation PNG and its volunteers in PNG, Brisbane, Melbourne, UK and Sydney, and students of Lese Oalai village school in the Gulf Province, Sariri Village in the Oro Province.

We send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Isobel Van Doornik and family.

We have lost a great, inspirational and kindhearted man. A man whose heart was for the people of Orokaiva, Papua New Guinea.
A man whose love for the people had started the Sariri Village Pilot Program in 2009. Anton stepped in after cyclone Guba flooded and destroyed the village in 2007 and 2009. An initiative which he took upon himself to help the people of Sariri village in the Oro Province of Papua New Guinea.

This pilot program in 2009 was to support and re-establish the Sariri village.
Anton's passion and determination to help improve the lives of Sariri people, and bringing together modern technologies and traditional ways. Making it a huge difference in terms of access to clean drinking water, education and sanitation packs to the women and girls of Sariri village and other surrounding villages, amidst harsh and primitive environment.
It has been a privilege and honour to call him my mentor, our friend who I have known for long 9 years.
I will miss him dearly. He has shown that we can do this if we put our hearts and minds into achieving in making a huge difference in people's lives.
The people of Sariri and Oro Province will surely miss this man, a man whom they have adopted as their own Oro.

We will continue to make that huge difference that Anton had shown us. I will miss you my friend.

Tenk yu tru wantok blong mipela

'Naso jo mi atergurena ‘ (PNG Oro language meaning goodbye with all my heart) ❤



We will miss you dearly
Lucy Loko

President – The Peter Nathan Loko Foundation Inc. Papua New Guinea