How Club Members are staying connected

Club Members are finding ways to stay connected and make the most of Club life, despite the impact of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

Club Members Astrid and Hans van Lierop try to live life to the full. Even with the challenges of rolling lockdowns, they have made the most of every opportunity to visit the Club or stay at a RACV resort.

In July, they enjoyed several dinners at Healesville Country Club & Resort, including the Moulin Rouge dinner hosted by celebrity chef Gabriel Gaté and Club Sommelier Christian Maier, as well as a matinee performance of Frozen the Musical with their granddaughter.

The couple purchased their tickets for Frozen the Musical through RACV Club Events, which curates exclusive Box Office experiences and packages for Club Members to attend Melbourne’s major musicals.


A professional still from Frozen the Musical

The Ballroom at Healesville Country Club & Resort was transformed into a Moulin-Rouge style venue for the Gabriel Gaté dinner in July.

The show was a big surprise for their granddaughter. Astrid and Hans took her to lunch at City Club and revealed the news only a few hours before the matinee performance. Astrid says her granddaughter was in awe when they walked into City Club: “She repeated several times ‘Oh, this is fancy’.  She really enjoyed the concert and kept referring to the program. She was so excited. We had the CD going all the way home. I’m glad we fitted it in before lockdown.”

Astrid says seeing the musical as a Club event also made it very easy. “We ended up sitting next to a couple, from Yarra Glen, who were with their granddaughter. They had also booked tickets through Club Events”.  

The next night they went to Healesville Country Club & Resort for the Gabriel Gaté dinner, which is an annual event exclusively for Club Members that sells out every year. This year’s theme was Moulin Rouge, and the ballroom was transformed into a mini-Montmartre cabaret venue. Gabriel and Christian entertained guests with stories of France and French food and wine.

They were on a table of eight guests, and one couple knew Christian. “The event was held in true Club Event style,” Hans and Astrid say. “The food and service were exceptional, and the Moulin Rouge dancers were simply wonderful.”

The couple have booked to stay at RACV Torquay Resort this October, and again in March 2022. They are also looking forward to visiting Riddell’s Green, the new indoor/outdoor sports bar at Healesville Country Club and Resort, when the RACV Club reopens in line with government guidelines.

Facebook connection for young professionals

RACV Club’s Young Professionals group know how to be agile, whether it’s work or Club life. 

When Melbourne’s latest lockdown put the kibosh on their plan to meet for social drinks at Sojourn on 11 August, they simply reset and organised an online meeting via Zoom. Their virtual drinks took place on 18 August and, with drinks in hand, everyone shared their latest news. 

“Oddly for a young members’ group, we discussed estate planning,” Club Member Nathan Rayner says. “Since COVID, some young members have made a will and this led to an exchange of stories about the best time to make a will, and examples of wills being challenged and the legal chaos that followed. It’s probably not what you’d expect us to be talking about, but we tried to keep it light and talk about anything but COVID-19!”

The group has kept in communication this year through WhatsApp and their dedicated Facebook page

“It has helped keep people together, and when we are doing something it gets the word out there,” Nathan says. “There is 100 people in the group, but we know there are lots more young members out there who don’t know about the group and events.”

He says the Young Professionals group is a great way to expand your social circle and professional network.   

“After finishing university, you don’t get many opportunities to meet new people and expand your circle,” Nathan says. “We all have the Club in common, and that’s what brings us together. There is a wide range of people from different professions and walks of life. It’s a good cross section.”

If you’re a Club Member and young professional, you can join the Facebook group at or contact the Club Events team on


Nathan Rayner

Astrid and Hans van Lierop

Rob Hartnett

A way to build resilience

Club Member Rob Hartnett says City Club has been like a home away from home for him for many years. 

“It is such a great spot for a relaxing, yet business-like lunch with colleagues and clients,” he says. “I snuck in a great lunch at the Club back in February, with my colleague and one of Australia’s best motivational speakers Peter Thurin. You can always count on great service from the staff.”

Rob runs leadership breakfasts around the country, but these have been disrupted by the repeated COVID-19 lockdowns. 

“We had a leadership breakfast planned for 1 September at the City Club, which is our preferred venue for face-to-face leadership development workshops and events in Melbourne, but we’ve had to reschedule for 23 November,” he says. “We are determined to hold it and get people back to our wonderful Melbourne CBD. It’s all sold out, so we are keen to see our wonderful clients in person.”

During one lockdown, Rob ran an online workshop for Club Members about his 2019 book It’s All Possible, which outlines ways to embrace change and achieve seemingly impossible goals.

“I connected with many Club Members that way, and I have kept in touch via the newsletters and the occasional getaway to one of the RACV Club's regional venues.”

He says it’s vital to be kind yourself and give yourself time to reflect during these turbulent times.  

“In 2021, I published a journal to help with this, and it asks you to consider some questions each day. Here are three: What made you happy today? Who did you make happy today? What are you grateful for today? I guarantee if you ask yourself just those three questions each day your life will be better, and it will build the resilience you need for this uncertain world.”

RACV Club Members enjoy a thriving community full of value, entertainment and benefits. Whether you’re at home or at the Club, RACV Club is here for you. If you’re an existing Club Member and looking to upgrade your membership, or if you’re interested in becoming a Club Member, visit our Club Membership page to find out more.

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