Lyn Brown prepares a patient. (photo: Ellen Smith)
 
Whereas early Rotary projects tended to get started with initial funding from a philanthropist, the typical club in the twenty first century seldom has access to such resources. Hence there was a new reliance on the skills of Rotarians to achieve the funding of projects.
An opportunity arose when The Rotary Foundation, when inaugurating its Future Vision plan for grants, selected 9940 as one of the 100 Districts world-wide to trial the plan over a 3-year period. Thus, there was an opportunity to make an early application for a Global Grant. 
The Rotary clubs of Wellington North, Pencarrow, Hutt City, and Johnsonville joined forces under PDG Morris Robertson to initiate the safe surgery Project at the National Hospital in Dili, Timor Leste. A perioperative nurse with experience in Dili, Lyn Brown, volunteered her time to plan and implement the project over a four-year span. Other specialist nurse trainers from Wellington hospitals and the School of Nursing also volunteered their time, with the support of their employers.
The four clubs provided seeding money totalling $7,200. A District Grant and a similar contribution by a partner District in Queensland provided the leverage to apply for and obtain a Global Grant of $80,000, the first for New Zealand. This funded air fares and accommodation, the purchase and installation of sterile theatre fittings, freight costs, workbooks translated into Tetum, laptops and subscriptions to specialist on-line material. As well as the Global Grant, the project was substantially boosted by donations in kind from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Wellington merchants and hospitals.