Probus is a community service activity of Rotary Clubs, but is not a branch of Rotary, nor does Rotary control it. The first Probus Club was formed in England in 1965. Since then the popularity of Probus has resulted in its spreading to 23 countries, and there are now over 300,000 members in 4,000 Clubs. The first Probus club in Australia was formed in 1976. In May 2008 Australia had around 1800 clubs and 140,000 members. In Victoria there were around 600 clubs and 53,000 members.
There is only a very loose-knit structure linking Australian Probus Clubs under the umbrella of Probus Centre – South Pacific. However, all have a constitution embodying certain clauses intended to ensure that the character and objectives of the Clubs remain substantially uniform. Membership is open to retired and semi-retired professional and business persons, and others with a similar background. There are no upper or lower age limits. Each Club has the option of deciding for itself whether the membership will be male only, female only, or combined. We have chosen combined. Within the bounds of its constitution, every Club is entirely autonomous and has complete flexibility in deciding what activities it will engage in and how it will conduct its affairs. Probus Clubs are NOT service clubs, nor do they engage in fundraising.
For a 19 minute video illustrating the range of activities of Probus Clubs across Australia and New Zealand, please click here.