Our District Magazine Networker features stories about the latest Rotary events, projects and news from across Rotary District 9800 and beyond. Click on any of the past issues below.
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District 9800 Changeover
When Rotary International President John F. Germ developed the 2016-2017 theme – Rotary Serving Humanity, he provided us with the opportunity to strengthen our clubs, focus on humanitarian work and showcase what we do in our communities and the wider world to help make them a better place. As John was quoted to say, “the only difference between a small opportunity and a great one is what you do with it”.
The proverb “Birds of a feather flock together" has been around in the English language since the mid-1500s. When applied to people, this phrase means that people who share similar interests tend to spend time with each other. Members of Rotary are like-minded people working together doing what we can with the time we have, to help others. Along the way we build friendships, some life-long.
May is Youth Service Month and like Sir Angus Mitchell, I believe that many of our actions should be directed towards helping our young people prepare to effectively manage the future. To help them be the best they can be, by supporting the development of skills in the areas of communication, leadership, driver awareness, resilience and self-esteem, and in furthering their career aspirations. We can nurture them by sharing how Rotary and they can make a difference for the better. That’s one of our more important responsibilities.
In 1948 while preparing for his year as RI President, prominent Melbourne Rotarian, Sir Angus Mitchell had the foresight to see the importance of investing in the next generation. Rotary District 9800 Youth Service Committees offer clubs a wide range of opportunities to nominate students to participate in various programs. Leadership is a pivotal aspect of Rotary and we offer a number of very effective programs to help young people develop their leadership skills, show them how to serve their communities, build friendships, and increase their world understanding. It’s worth iterating the programs offered and their purpose:
For more than 100 years, Rotarians have joined together from all continents, cultures, and industries to take action in our communities and around the world. With a commitment to achieving lasting change, we work together to empower youth, enhance health, promote peace, and most important, advance the community. While Rotarians can serve in countless ways, Rotary has focused its efforts in six areas, which reflect some of the most critical and widespread humanitarian needs. The area of focus for the month of April is Maternal and Child Health.
You will also read articles in this edition related to ending trachoma, and lowering the morbidity rate at childbirth in Timor Leste. These are just two of many projects initiated by Rotarians and clubs and supported directly or indirectly by The Rotary Foundation. I am so proud of the work that we do in Rotary and the outcomes we achieve. You know what I’m going to write next - that every Rotary project starts with one person’s idea that they leverage using Rotary’s powerful network. So, what are you waiting for, there’s work to be done out there as we take this years theme of Rotary Serving Humanity to the community.
The conference theme ‘Connecting Communities – Serving Humanity’ focused on social cohesion, inclusion and community resilience. We know why these things are so fundamentally important to the wellbeing of our society, and we know that generations of Australians have worked hard over many years to build a reputation for being inclusive, welcoming people who give others a fair go and are generous in helping those less fortunate.
In this second "Networker" for March, we continue the month’s theme with articles relating to clean water and sanitation, and Malcolm Baird continues his alarming dissertation on slavery, one of the continuing evils in the world. Dorothy Gilmour reports on the International Women’s Day Breakfast, narrowly beating Tony Thomas to the deadline. Tony is off to Amsterdam for a well-deserved break, and no doubt will fill us in on his return. Among our other reports, Lindsay Jolley comments on the GVE Team in Bendigo, so we have lots for you to read.
Clean water and sanitation is a human right. When people, especially children, have access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, they lead healthier and more successful lives. We don’t just build wells and walk away. Rotary members integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene into education projects. When children learn about disease transmission and practice good hygiene, they miss less school. And they can take those lessons home to their families, expanding our impact.
The countless times I have heard ‘why doesn’t Rotary promote itself better?’ Well, here is your chance to support something you’ve asked for by putting on your Rotary blouse, shirt, cap or whatever, and coming along for a while on Saturday 25 February between 9 am and 5 pm, to help us showcase Rotary and what it does. If you can be there between 11am and 12.30 pm the Choir of Hard Knocks and mob photo will be happening.
Rotary International’s stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. The month of February brings Rotary’s focus on Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution.
Great Australia Day Swim
Australia Day Rotary Showcase in Bendigo
Happy New Year!
Well-known philanthropist Dick Smith has announced his donation of $1 million towards alleviating the suffering of Australians in need. Dick joins the likes of world-renowned philanthropist Bill Gates as a major supporter of Rotary and its various programs worldwide. Dick highlighted the fact he considers Rotary one of the most trusted and respected charities in the world, and thus his choice to assist him in providing support for Australians suffering personal hardship due to accident, illness or misadventure.
The funds will be distributed via a specific Rotary program developed for the cause, administered by the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS), with eligibility criteria determined by Dick and Pip Smith. RABS has previously assisted Wayne Greenhalgh, Sharon Chan and numerous other Australians victimised by domestic violence, disease and poverty. - See more at: http://rotarydistrict9800.com.au/news/21923/dick-smith-donates-1million-for-rotary-to-continue-their-work-in-australia/?no_follow=1#sthash.t9HnoR1z.dpuf
Rotary's top priority is the eradication of Polio, but our members take on far greater responsibilities to fight disease. We set up health camps and training facilities in undeveloped countries and in communities struggling with HIV/AIDS and Malaria.
We design and build the infrastructure for doctors, nurses, governments, and partners to reach the one in six people in the world who can't afford to pay for health care.
And we engage local people right in in our own back yard.
This week's Networker features these and many other projects as well as the Garden Design Fest which has now run for the last 14 years.
“Foundation Month” has a special focus in this Centennial year of The Rotary Foundation, which has shined a spotlight on its architect, Arch Klumph who was RI president in 1916-17. He has been perhaps less well known than he should have been, although he his name is enshrined in The Arch Klumph Society, which recognises those who donate more than US$250,000 to The Rotary Foundation.
THis weeks's Networker celebrates the achievments of a number of key projects run by our district icluding the upcoming awarding of a Responsible Business Award to Melboourne Rotarian Stephanie Wollard and the successful running of our annual Paint your Pinkie day for World Polio Day and Australian Rotary Health's 'Lift the Lid' on Mental Illness.
Vale Max Walker. Over many years Max freely gave his timeto help raise awareness and funds for many life saving surgeries conducted by Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, which assists children in need from developing countries. Max was more than an ambassador, he was a dream maker. One of those people who gave others hope and dignity through being part of Rotary's huge powerful network. Rotarians in District 9800 acknowledge Max for all that he has done to help others. Our condolences to the Walker family.
Economic and community development is one of Rotary’s six areas of The Rotary Foundation’s focus.
Nearly 1.4 billion employed people live on less than $1.25 a day. Rotary members promote economic and community development and reduce poverty in underserved communities through training, well-paying jobs, and access to financial management institutions.
Projects range from providing people with equipment to vocational training. We work to strengthen local entrepreneurs and community leaders, particularly women in impoverished communities.
In the world of Paul Harris, before building a public toilet in Chicago, his Rotary Club passed around a hat to raise funds for their first community project in 1906. Fellow Rotarian Dr Clark Wilder Hawley, collected $150 at a club meeting to purchase a horse for a needy young doctor whose horse had died to enable him to continue to make home visits. Today, just as doctors no longer use horses to make home visits, our world has changed in many other ways.
In this the centennial year of the Rotary Foundation, We also celebrate the work the clubs achieve through their fundraising efforts. And none more comes to mind than the work of the Rotary Club of Camberwell with the annual Art Show which is now in its 51st year.
Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Ray Klinginsmith addressed district governors at the 2016 International Assembly in relation to the celebration of the Foundation's centennial year, 2016-17. Since the Foundation was established in 1917, it has spent more than US$3 billion on programs and projects to improve the lives of millions worldwide, said Klinginsmith. The centennial celebration oﬃcially kicked oﬀ in May 2016 at the Rotary Convention in Korea and culminates at the 2017 convention in Atlanta.
Each new Rotary year all Rotarians confirm their commitment to Rotary’s official motto of ‘Service above Self’ and there is a different theme to provide a new focus and inspiration to support the work of Rotarians. Every Rotary year builds on the year before it and is a base for the next. The District Changeover lunch on 26 June from Julie Mason to me was a wonderful occasion and demonstrated the close working relationship of our Governor train, which ensures consistency in the implementation of the District strategic plan and the support provided to our clubs.
Three years ago my life changed considerably when I was selected to be a District Governor in Rotary. People often wonder how the process of selection works and indeed it seems that in our District past and current leaders take it upon themselves to approach people they believe will do a good job! After two years of such approaches I decided to nominate and secured the support from the members of the most amazing Club, Wyndham Rotary. A rigorous selection process conducted by a panel of seven past District and Club leaders determined that this country girl who still goes to school would be a District Governor in the largest District in Australia.