President’s Comment – 14 Aug 16 (14 August 2016)

This is an inspiring story that offers hope in a community that has been subjected to  extreme horrors in the recent past. Rotary does some marvellous work!

African youth construct kitchen gardens for genocide survivors

Rotaractors take part in clean up

Rotaractors and guests clean up and create kitchen gardens in the village of Kinyinya, Rwanda.

By Peter King Oloo, a member of the Rotaract Club of Kie, Rwanda

Nearly 140 Rotaractors and guests from across the East African countries of Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda gathered in Rwanda on 26 March to participate in the monthly cleaning exercise in Rwanda called Umuganda.

The Rotaractors, through their award-winning annual project called REACT (Rotaract East Africa Impact), had organized a project to construct kitchen gardens and raise funds for medical insurance. Both these activities were geared toward helping the community of the 1994 Rwanda genocide survivors who were resettled in Kinyinya village in Kigali.

REACT-Fast-factsThese survivors were resettled under the Peace and Hope Initiative. We sought to carry out a project with some guests that would be sustainable and enable the people at this community to feed themselves for longer term.

The community was trained with practice to construct kitchen gardens in tight spaces and to balance their diet. By the end of the project, 50 kitchen gardens had been constructed.

Miss Rwanda 2016, Miss Jolly Mutesi, joined us and implored the young girls at the center to be hard workers and make wise choices. She told stories of girls who had listened to the promises of boys in the village, and then found themselves alone once they became pregnant.

We raised 500,000 Rwandan Francs for medical insurance, enough to cover 167 individuals for a year. The project was hosted by the Rotaract Club of Kigali City and the Rotaract Club of KIE and was the fourth annual REACT project after Uganda (2013), Burundi (2014) and Kenya (2015). The 2017 leg will be held in Tanzania and its concept is in development.

President’s Comment – 7 Aug 16 (8 August 2016)

This is Membership Month

Why don’t you invite a friend to join our Club? This may be the opportunity that some of your friends have been looking for. Please view the video below it may inspire you. Let see if we can get some more members.

Video on Membership – RIP John Germ

Through the Rotary community, you can exchange ideas and build lifelong friendships with like-minded people. Take advantage of the resources and activities available through your club, district, and Rotary International to make your experience with Rotary both rewarding and fun.

How do I start?

Get the most out of your membership by participating in club projects and activities.

Here are some ideas:

  • Serve on a club committee where you can use your skills
  • Identify a need in your community and suggest a hands-on project to address it
  • Work with a youth service program sponsored by your club, such as or
  • Host a student
  • Help organize your district’s programs
  • Recommend a colleague or friend for membership in your club

 A Fresh Approach

Give your members a meaningful Rotary experience by offering them opportunities to make a positive difference and connect with others. They’ll make valuable friendships and feel good about Rotary and the work we’re doing to make the world a better place.

Find ideas to help your club take a fresh approach with these resources:

President’s Comment – 31 Jul 16 (1 August 2016)

Thank you to all those members who have completed the Member survey and recorded your attendances. It would appear that most of the Club is starting to attend online as we intended. I will record your suggestions to the Club in  a future comment so that we can all consider the ideas put forward.

I think that the article below does not apply to most Australian Rotarians as we are known for getting our hands dirty and doing a bit of manual labour to achieve our goals. We have a reputation of volunteering to run BBQ’s to raise money for our projects. I think we operate as a third class, grass roots organisation in Australia.

So much is achieved by doing it yourself and motivating those around you. Please read on:

Are you willing to be third class, and serve?

Tiffany and baseball players

Tiffany Ervin with participants in a special needs baseball league her club sponsors.

By Tiffany Ervin, past president of the Rotary Club of Four Seasons – Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA

In the days of the American wild west, if you wanted to travel a great distance, you had to go by stagecoach and it was a very long trip. There were three different classes of passengers – first, second, and third class. The seats were all the same, but the prices were different. Here’s why…

  • First class meant you remained seated during the entire trip, no matter what happened or what conditions might be faced.
  • Second class meant you remained seated until there was a problem along the way, when you had to exit the stagecoach and walk alongside.
  • But third class passengers not only exited when there was a problem, they were also the ones who had to fix a broken wheel or even push the stagecoach along, through the mud, up the hills, no matter what came along.

So I began thinking about this when it comes to our involvement in Rotary. Let me ask you – what class ticket do you hold?

Pampered, or detached?
Too many of us hold first class tickets – we expect to be waited on and catered to – even pampered! We’re willing to ride, but not push. We just sit back and let the others do the work.

But there are also those in our organization who hold second class tickets – detached spectators who show up but don’t want to get too involved. Their name goes on the roster, they even include their membership on their resume…but that’s about it.

“Is success really remaining seated while others get out and push, or is it getting your hands and feet dirty? Is success being served or serving others?”

But thankfully, there are also a few who are willing to hold third class tickets – willing to get out and push when the going gets tough.

We tend to equate first class with privilege – exempt from doing any work. But is success really remaining seated while others get out and push, or is it getting your hands and feet dirty? Is success being served or serving others?

What it means to be third class
Third class ticket holders have a heart for service. They don’t mind working behind the scenes. They are people who have made a conscious decision to get involved or join an organization whose entire reason for existence is to change the world! They are people who are willing to get out and push!

If we just sit in our first class seat and expect everyone else to get behind and push, what will happen to Rotary? We’ll never reach our goals – to end polio, to prevent other diseases, to bring about world peace – every organization in the world already has too many first class passengers. We’re looking for a few more third class passengers!

What are you willing to do? Are you willing to be a leader instead of a spectator? Are YOU willing to be a third class passenger?


WILL YOU BE ATTENDING THE GoToMeeting –  Wednesday 3 August at 7.30pm EST


President’s Comment – 24 Jul 16 (23 July 2016)



Well done to those members who have successfully registered an attendance on our website.

This is still developing and we are waiting for Cameron our IT specialist and Administration Director to write a program that will record everyone’s attendance when you log on and log off. Only attendance longer than 30 minutes in one session will count. Some of this time may be used to post on your page on the website, make comments or suggest changes that we can adopt for our Club.

The website is interactive so you may post comments and give feed back to any of the posts made on the website. This is to be encouraged and hopefully we can all learn from doing this.

You will also receive an email from me this week with essentially the same message as appears here on the website. I want to encourage members to attend more regularly.


I will also post a survey on the website in the drop down menu under Member Login, that I want all members to complete in the next 2 weeks please. We require some personal details  and it will also relate to what you want to achieve in the Club and what goals we should be setting for ourselves.


Each year the Club executive set goals for the Club to achieve during the year. I am suggesting some goals listed below that I consider we should achieve in our first year of operation as an E-Club:

  • Increase our membership from 10 members to 15 members. The more members we have the easier it will be for the Club to function as the roles and tasks can be shared more. Each one of us should make a real attempt to introduce a new member this year.
  • Contribute to the Rotary Foundation a total of US$1000 both from the members and the Club.  We need to generate some income for  us to achieve this.
  • Support at  least two of  our overseas projects with funding and perhaps volunteers.
  • Develop our website to better reflect the requirements of Rotary International and improve our communication and fellowship as a Club.
  • A least one of our Club  working as a District Officer – We already have Lauren Slater who has taken on the role of District Youth Director.
  • A least one of our Club be a member of a Rotary Fellowship. I am a member of the International Fellowship of Skiing Rotarians (ISFR) and Carolyn and I will be attending the week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming USA during February 2017.

Please let us all know your thoughts on these by recording your comments on the website.

If we achieve these goals and any others that you might suggest our Club will be well on the way to becoming an effect E-Club and part of the wider community of Rotary.

President’s Comment – 17 Jul 16 (17 July 2016)



Welcome to our website. Every month Rotary International has a different theme to bring this to the attention of all Rotarians. July is Literacy Month, an area that has been the basis of many Club projects.

It may be as little as Rotarians conducting a project to offer their services to schools in their own community to children who are having difficulties in reading and just listening to and correcting their reading skills.

Other projects might be like Past Rotary International President Bill Boyd’s dictionary  project to supply primary school children in New Zealand with their first dictionary.

Worldwide, 67 million children have no access to education, and more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. Rotary Club’s support educational projects that provide technology, teacher training, vocational training teams, student meal programs, and low-cost textbooks to communities. Rotary’s goal is to strengthen the capacity of communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy.

Video on providing Computer tablets to remote school in Fiji.

All Rotary Clubs are encouraged to consider a literacy project during the month of July. Look at this Rotary Resource that explains some strategies.

Basic Education & Literacy Project Strategies – 618en


President’s Comment – 10 Jul 16 (11 July 2016)

Each year the Rotary International President sets the goals for  a Rotary Club to achieve a Presidential Citation for their Club. The Presidential Citation  criteria are listed below. As President I and the executive will be discussing our Club goals and setting them in Club Central. I am not anticipating we will achieve all goals but it is worth setting them and at least achieving some of them in our first year of operation as an E-Club.


The District 9700 Changeover Dinner was held in Orange on Saturday June 25th, and District Governor Michael Milston (front row 5th from the left) is pictured with his board and assistant governors.


DG Michael Milston has also set some goals for District 9700. He alludes to some in his speech at the Changeover Dinner.

Governor Michael Milston’s Welcome Address

In welcoming you to the 2016-17 Rotary Year I acknowledge and pay my respects to the Wiradjuri elders past and present on whose country we celebrate this great Rotary tradition.

Through our International theme of ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’, our year has a two-fold challenge: to engage with more people in our communities, and to help club Rotarians to achieve their endeavours.

Over 110 years Rotarians have developed, assisted in, and funded projects to meet local, regional, national and international needs. Our actions, as Rotarians, have motivated others to help and to contribute, and have seen many join Rotary, in pursuit of “making the world a better place”.

I believe that we have a challenge, on our own doorstep, to engage with more people in our communities. This engagement could be professional networking and service-oriented, to encourage more of our community to see Rotary as a way to help and serve; and it could include learning about, engaging with, and developing projects collaboratively with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.

The media has given play to many reports, not only recently, but over many years, that demonstrate that policies and projects over decades have failed to “Close the Gap”.

We now find our communities, compared to previous years, often suffering worse employment rates, worse health outcomes, worse education levels, and disproportionately high incarceration of Aboriginal people.

Are we up for the challenge to do something?

Our Rotary District is in a unique position as our geographic district is wholly enclosed in Wiradjuri country. This provides us with a great challenge and opportunity to reach out to our local communities, to listen, to learn, to understand, and to think how we can collaborate to help bring about change.


Rotary has great networks, great youth programs, good service planning models, an international focus on health and education, on literacy, and on conflict resolution and peace.

We Rotarians from the first world fall over ourselves to support projects in Africa, Asia and other less developed countries. Let’s see what we can do in our country.

Rotary International President John Germ asks us to “Serve Humanity” I know you will and I hope you might also join the process in Wiradjuri country.

You know in our club we start the 4 Way Test with the statement, The 4 Way Test has been translated into over 100 languages, well tonight I can proudly inform you that the 4 Way Test is now in Wiradjuri:

In the things we think, say and do …



Marra marra Marang Mala-yarr

It is now my pleasure to present to you the District Leadership Team – Directors, Assistant Governors and the Learning & Devt Coordinator:

Immediate Past District Governor                                 Garry Roberts

District Governor-elect                                                      George Weston

District Governor-nominee                                              John Glassford

District Secretary                                                                  John McKenzie

District Treasurer                                                                  Doug Conkey

Director-Administration                                                     Sue Gordon

Director-Communications and Public Image              Jenny Somerset

Director-Foundation                                                           David Kennedy

Director-Membership/Club Sustainability                  Russ Martin

Director-Service Projects                                                   Peter Gissing

Director-Youth                                                                       Lauren Slater

Learning and Devt Coordinator                                       Lynette Bullen

Assistant Governors                                                            Don Jewell                   Group 1

Michael Horth            Group 2

Ray Pluis                       Group 3

Julie Poplin                  Group 4

Bryan Short                  Group 5

Miles Hedge                Group 6

In closing I want to thank some very important people:

  1. Past District Governors, would you please stand – you provide us all with balanced opinion and often sage advice, thank you
  2. Those amongst us who are Presidents in our year, please stand, you are the key leaders in your club and in your community, we are grateful your commitment and wish you well
  3. The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak – these are the noisy ones. This is a great club and is now 21 years old, over which time they have been a great force in serving humanity;  and their support of me in this role and of the District is outstanding – thank you
  4. The other Rotarians across the District, some of whom are here tonight, your contribution to our collective well-being is stunning and I look forward to serving you all this year
  5. Lastly, but by no means least, our partners, our family and our friends – could you all stand. You all provide us with the strength to continue, you assist in our many programs, you balance our crazy yearn to do much more than is possible and you console us when things go awry – thank you
  6. I want to make a special mention of my family– they have travelled from interstate to be with us tonight, such a massive effort and you’ll never know how much that means to Ann and me.
  7. And then there is Ann [Ann Dib is Michael’s partner]. Ann put much thought into agreeing that WE go on this journey, and I sometimes think she feels it was the wrong decision. So far we have survived – just – and I just want to say to you, Ann: Thank you for everything you have done and will do to make our year memorable and, as a fellow Rotarian, to serve humanity.

Mung-dung-gool …Good evening


President’s Comment – 3 Jul 16 (3 July 2016)

Welcome to 2016-17.T1617EN_PMS-C

Congratulations to all who have contributed to having our Rotary E-Club of D9700-Serving Humanity officially recorded on the D9700 website with ten members.

We are small in number but I am sure we will grow. We have the potential to nurture some great international projects and develop some new directions that may be applicable to all Rotary Clubs.

DG Michael Milston and his wife Ann Dib are greeted by RI President John Germ and his wife Judy.

DG 9700 Michael Milston & his wife Ann Dib are greeted by RI President John Germ & his wife Judy.

Read a profile of John Germ                                      Visit the president’s page

Listen to President John’s speak on his theme for 2016-17

We have now started the new year and RI President John Germ has chosen his theme – Rotary Serving Humanity. We should be proud that we have chosen a similar name to his theme as we believe it aptly describes what our Club wants to achieve.

Our next Board meeting will held Tuesday 5th July on GoToMeeting at 7.30pm EST. All members are welcome to attend. If you have not already received the link let me know ASAP and I will re-send the invitation.

President’s Comment – 26 Jun 16 (26 June 2016)

Welcome this week to another new member – Rotarian  Jemma Hayward who is transferring to our Club from the Rotary Club of Wagga Wagga, D9700. She is relatively new to Rotary and due to work commitments away from Wagga Wagga was finding it difficult to attend he previous Club. We are now 11 in total number with still more prospects who have not yet committed.

Meeting Attendance

Our meeting attendance commitment is online and you can report your service or just browse our website for 30 minutes. Feel free to send any recommendations that you might have for our Executive or Directors. One other member has registered her attendance this week – congratulations to Secretary Debbie.

This is what I wrote in my meeting attendance post. When it is submitted it is sent to our Administration Director and myself.

“I attended a RAWCS Seminar at the D9600 Offices at Northlakes, Brisbane from 10.00am to 1.00pm Saturday 25th June. I presented a presentation and workshop on the RAWCS website for personnel from D9600 and D9630. It was well attended with 15 attendees who all learnt a lot about RAWCS and its programs.

What have you learnt that is new about Rotary this session?:

It is apparent that we need flexibility in our service requirements for Rotarians to attract and involve the younger member of our communities in the International and local service programs of Rotary.

We have the chance in our Rotary Club to learn and gain a lot of members and projects for our Club with this flexible approach to service and membership of Rotary.”

I encourage all of our members to register their attendance  and make comments each week. You can do it at any time of the day every day of the week. We want your involvement and participation.

Joining Fees

For those members who have not paid their joining fee of $30.00 we need it to be paid this week!

Please pay your dues (fees) by Direct Deposit or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT):

  1. Account Name: Rotary E-Club of D9700 – Admin A/C
    BSB:  032 769
    Account Number:  696 453
    Payment Reference: (Your Name) & Dues or Join Fee

Please all try and attend the next Board Meeting – GoToMeeting to be held Tuesday 5th July at 7.30pm. I will send the email with the link to all members on Tuesday 28th June.

Want members? Then get social!

160609_getsocialBy Evan Burrell

Did you know more than a billion people use social media every day?

Social media is readily accessible, instantaneous, cost effective and user friendly. It offers your Rotary club a fantastic opportunity to communicate more effectively with members and supporters and can energise the way you promote your club and find new members.

Here are just a few examples of ways your club can use social media:

  • Use Twitter to quickly advise members and the public of a last-minute change of venue for an event.
  • Let members and potential members know via Facebook when and where the next meeting will be and who the speaker is.
  • Use Facebook to start a discussion about a particular topic or issue at the club. Be prepared for positive and negative feedback and use it to improve your club.
  • Share details of your club’s new member recruitment session. When people “like” your post or retweet it, it shares the info with their entire social network.
  • Follow the Facebook pages of local businesses and organizations in your area. Comment on their posts; start a conversation.
  • Share stories and photos from your club service projects. When people see the great work your club is doing, they’re more likely to join.
  • Remember that social media is a conversation, so respond to comments, answer questions, and focus on the benefits of being a member of your club.
  • Once you get active on social media, stay active. The more you’re connected, the more likely you are to make connections – and get new members.

Most importantly, if you are using social media, don’t forget to let your supporters know you are!

Add social media buttons to your website, links on invitations, newsletters and emails, and display account information in recruitment and marketing materials.

Getting started on social media can help your club get the word out, especially where younger people hang out, and attract new members.

150209_burrellAbout the author: Evan Burrell is a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a former member of Rotaract. He has been involved with Rotary since he was 18. He currently manages social media for Rotary Down Under, the Rotary regional magazine of Australia. Follow Evan on Facebook.

President’s Comment – 19 Jun 16 (19 June 2016)

Welcome this week to another new member – PP Lauren Slater who is transferring to our Club from the Rotary Club of Murrumbidgee, D9700. She has great Rotary experience and is without doubt our youngest member. We are now 10 in total number with still more prospects who have not yet committed. Below is a great E-club that we can probably use as a model for our website and Club activities.

A great example of a Rotary E-Club

While Rotary may be a great ideological fit for those born 1980s to around 2000 (Millennials), it can present logistical challenges for young people who aren’t settled enough in their professional and personal lives to commit to regular meeting attendance.

That’s the problem that the founders of the E-Club of Silicon Valley – (please look at their website  – set out to solve when they established their club last year. “It was very much a conversation of how we can get people into Rotary who want to be a part of Rotary but always come up with the response of, ‘I don’t have the time,’” says 25-year-old charter member Yvonne Kwan. “These are people who want to do good. They want to help out. They want to give back to the community, but they just can’t make it out to the meetings every single week at a certain time.”

Kwan’s club posts its meetings online for members to “attend” at any time during the week. The club also hosts regular social gatherings – potlucks, happy hours, and, most recently, a hike in a natural area north of San Francisco. “We went out into nature, and we took a few hours and hiked up to Point Reyes,” she says. “It was beautiful.”

When members go online for meetings, they find engaging content, Kwan says. “We’ve made our meetings very visual-heavy with videos, pictures, a font that’s easy to read.”

Look at this example of a guest speaker from one of their meetings.

In addition to the standard Rotary business items, the e-club meetings feature videos of speakers from all over the world and a weekly “tech tidbit or life hack” that members may find useful or entertaining. Kwan recently posted a tip about a discovery she made when she temporarily lost her Internet connection: The Chrome browser has a game hidden in its connection error page. “It was the highlight of my day for that very treacherous time when I had no Internet,” she jokes. So she made a short video about it and shared it with the club.

Another difference between Kwan’s club and others: “We don’t have big service projects that we do as a club because we’re dispersed throughout the world,” she says. Instead, members are encouraged to partner with other Rotary clubs or nonprofit organizations, find their own opportunities, and report them to the club as service. “You can do your own service in your own time,” Kwan says. “It gives people more power to adjust their own schedules.”

Though the e-club’s meetings are online, Kwan considers the in-person interactions to be just as important. She usually invites potential members to a social event before they ever see an online meeting. “It draws them in and it piques their interest, and you get to know them a little bit more,” she says. “I think that’s really valuable. Millennials are looking for a place to give back to their community, but they need to feel like they are getting value as well.”

Ee, of the Los Angeles club, agrees. “It doesn’t matter how bad my week was. I always end it with Rotary, and I always leave with a little more good faith in humanity,” he says. “I’m really excited for the next 20 years – to see where Rotary’s going to go.”

Kim Lisagor is a freelance writer and co-author of Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and What Can Be Done to Help Save Them.

The Rotarian

President’s Comment – 12 Jun 16 (12 June 2016)

Graphic 1

We are getting close to our Charter date – we believe it will be 1st July 2016. We have now completed all the requirements to accept the charter of a D9700 Rotary Club that has decided to hand their charter to our Rotary E-Club of D9700-Serving Humanity.

Currently we have nine members who have completed their expression of interest in being Charter members. There is still time for YOU to complete your expression of interest and join us in this new initiative for our District.

If you want to be part of the wonderful Rotary community please join us by completing your expression of interest.

We are 1.2 million neighbors, friends, and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.

Our differing occupations, cultures, and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.

As an active member of our Club you are welcome to attend and make-up at any meeting of any other Rotary Club worldwide. You can become involved in the many International Projects that our Club members support. You can assist to develop projects here in Australia that will improve our communities and to assist those that are in need.

Graphic 4