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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What do you do when you travel to a country just to meet up with a friend, but end up meeting families just barely surviving in an environment which is commonly described as a shanty town, perpetually in drought, where their homes are made of whatever they can find locally. A place where family domestic violence is rife, where children with disabilities have very little support and when girls and women are violated there is no-one who wants to listen.
At the International Assembly for then District Governors Elect in San Diego in January this year (2017) our District 9800 Governor Peter Frueh took the initiative to invite the upcoming District Governor of District 3232 in Chennai India, Radhakrishnan Srinivasan to visit Melbourne along with his fellow District Rotarians for a Friendship Exchange.
One of the greatest – but little known – Bendigo yarns of recent times took a new twist on Thursday, October 26th, when the Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst formally opened the new base for its East Timor Knitting Project.
The project, which has been running for 10 years, will officially move into its seventh (and hopefully last) home when it throws open the doors of its new facility at the California Gully Mechanics Institute.
To stop polio for good, we need everyone’s help and involvement. Together, we can make a difference on World Polio Day and help End Polio Now.
What would you do with $100,000?
Well Donation in Kind's Bob Glindemann didn't have to think twice. The new van has arrived complete with new upto date livery and is set to make collecting donations even easier.
Our Model United Nations Assembly team has again wowed the judges at the National Assembly held recently in Canberra.
Finishing a close second to the team representing Japan, our speakers Catherine Zhou, Lachlan Pham and Lillian Gonzales represented Iran and performed very strongly. Lillian was in fact selected to summarise the day one at the formal dinner on Saturday night.
Making real change in our communities sometimes often comes in very unexpected places.
Whether initiating a game of Ping Pong or creating a whole new format for our fortnightly Networker Newsletter, opportunities to make a difference are all around us.
Across the Rotary world, August is the month of Membership and New Club Development.
Membership growth and retention is the highest internal priority in Rotary, across the world and in our District. New members are the lifeblood of our Clubs, bringing their vocational and other skills, energy and passion for “Making a Difference”.
The Rotary world was shocked on July 14th after hearing that Rotary International President Elect Sam Owori had died following complications from surgery.
Sam, who had been elected to serve as president of Rotary International in 2018-19, would have been the second African Rotary member, and the first Ugandan, to hold that office. He joined Rotary in 1978 and was a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala, Uganda.
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.