Picture – Michael McQueen
Strengthening Rotary’s membership is not just important for incoming district governors, it’s critical. That’s the message they received from several key speakers at their training event, the 2015 International Assembly in San Diego.
For membership to grow, leaders must be willing, for example, to ease stringent club meeting protocols and make other efforts to accommodate a younger, digitally oriented demographic.
Seventy percent of Rotary members are 50 years or older, while half of the world’s population is under 30, according to Rotary leaders. The contrast shouldn’t be something to fear, but rather something to embrace, said Rotary member Michael McQueen, a bestselling author who studies social change, youth culture, and cultural issues and whose consulting firm, The Nexgen Group, specializes in demographic shifts and social trends.
To engage this young demographic, McQueen says that staying relevant is crucial. He shared three key ways that enduring organizations can do that: re-calibrate, re-engineer, and re-position.
But relevance does not involve compromise, McQueen stressed; the values, priorities, and commitment of Rotary should never change. “Any organization that is willing to compromise its DNA in order to stay relevant never lasts. After all, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” said McQueen, a member of the Rotary Club of Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia.
RI General Secretary John Hewko expressed a similar view when he addressed the assembly. He said it’s clear that members have been able to accomplish a great deal, but asked what they are “willing to do” to make Rotary stronger.
“So I’m asking all of you, in the coming year, to be voices for doing everything we can in Rotary, not just everything that’s comfortable or easy or the way things have always been done,” he said. “Be advocates for thoughtful, positive, and lasting change. We have a great tradition in Rotary, but it’s our tradition. We made it, we own it — it doesn’t own us; if it no longer serves its purpose, we can change it.”
McQueen suggests adjusting some of the traditions, processes, and protocols that “could be the very things that cause us to lose relevance.”
In McQueen’s native Australia, the Rotary Club of Toronto Sunrise, New South Wales, has three members sharing leadership responsibilities for a year as co-presidents. The club reports that having the skills and ideas of three leaders is prompting other changes, and has already resulted in a 25 percent gain in membership.
According to McQueen, change and innovation are led by people with fresh perspectives. Rotary members can draw new ideas from new members, guest speakers, family members, even children who tag along to club meetings.
“The beauty of people with fresh eyes is that they don’t know how things have always been done because no one has told them yet,” said McQueen. “They have no trouble thinking outside the box because no one has told them what the box even looks like.”
And young people, he said, “represent an enormous opportunity for this organization from a membership point of view. They are an ambitious bunch of natural networkers who, contrary to popular opinion, have a strong sense of civic duty.”
Change is never easy, McQueen conceded, but Rotary members must be open to it. “We must avoid the trap of ever feeling we have arrived at the winning formula, which we then set in stone. After all, the moment you think you’ve made it, you’ve passed it.”
Growing membership is a major goal of Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang. Engaging youth, inviting more women into clubs, and embracing change are all important to increasing and keeping members, Huang said.
Sometimes, he noted, adding a member is as simple as asking someone to join. Since he took office on 1 July, Huang has recruited several dignitaries while traveling, including Ed Royce, a U.S. congressman from California; Mulenga Sata, deputy mayor of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital; and Beatrice Lorenzin, Italy’s minister of health. All of them, Huang said, praised Rotary’s work before being asked to join.
RI President-elect K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran applauded Huang’s tireless work, calling him a “one-man army” promoting membership.
“All of you are going to be busy people next year, and I urge you to make a habit of asking other busy people to join. Don’t leave them out,” said Huang, “Maybe some of them will say no, and that’s OK. But I don’t want any of them to say they are not Rotarians because nobody ever asked.”
He added: “Our membership and services are what make Rotary powerful and strong. To keep it strong, membership recruitment and retention have to be a priority for every incoming Rotary leader.”
Welcome to the new Rotary year.
Start of new Rotary officers’ year of service this month with a focus on:
- Tree Plantation
- Reduce, Re-Use, Re-Cycle Waste
For our Club we need to ensure that all officers are aware of their responsibilities for the coming year. All officers will be sent by email their respective manuals that document their area of focus and responsibilities.
At our meeting held 25th June 2019 it was decided to adopt a new meeting concept where the meeting is emailed in PDF format one week before our ZOOM meeting. This will assist those who have slow internet connections and allow them to view video and powerpoint presentations at their own leisure.
We intend for members and those wanting to makeup that they follow the meeting including videos so that at our ZOOM meeting we can discuss any points or questions arising from the presentations. You can view our meeting concept at:
As a trial at this meeting we used a very powerful speech made to the by Rebecca Fry who discussed Public Image and Rotary Core values at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego (January2019) in front of an audience of over 1500 people.
Rebecca is a member of the Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley but resides in Sydney, Australia. She is Government Affairs and Community Specialist at Johnson & Johnson, Sydney, Australia and is currently Social Media Manager for Rotary International. In additions she is Past Chair & currently Head of Public Relations with Rotaract Australia.
Please view her presentation by clicking on the link below:
We would appreciate any comments about our new meeting concept.
Our E-Club supports Orkeeswa Secondary School in Tanzania, where the poorest students are receiving a high quality education to become leaders in their community. At Orkeeswa, classrooms are designed to be engaging, collaborative and student-centred. With construction almost complete on the newest classroom, furniture and equipment are needed to turn this building into an engaging space. If you would like to know more or contribute to Orkeeswa’s growing campus, see https://www.ieftz.org/roomtolearn.
2020-21 Rotary International president
By Ryan Hyland
Holger Knaack, a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mölln, Germany, has been selected to serve as president of Rotary International in 2020-21.
The Nominating Committee’s decision follows the resignation last month of President-nominee Sushil Gupta due to health reasons. Knaack will officially become president-nominee if no other candidates challenge him by 31 May.
To build a stronger membership, Knaack says Rotary must focus on increasing the number of female members and transitioning Rotaractors into Rotarians.
Knaack believes that the People of Action campaign offers new public awareness possibilities for Rotary. “This campaign conveys our global image while still respecting differences in regions and cultures,” he says.
A Rotary member since 1992, Knaack has served Rotary as treasurer, director, moderator, member and chair of several committees, representative for the Council on Legislation, zone coordinator, training leader, and district governor.
He is an endowment/major gifts adviser and co-chair of the Host Organization Committee for the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg.
Knaack is the CEO of Knaack KG, a real estate company. He was previously a partner and general manager of Knaack Enterprises, a 125-year-old family business.
He is a founding member of the Civic Foundation of the City of Ratzeburg and served as president of the Golf-Club Gut Grambek. Knaack is also the founder and chair of the Karl Adam Foundation.
Meet a few of the women in Rotary playing a pivotal role in the effort to eradicate the disease.
Story Written By: Audrey Carl
Feb. 28, 2019
In every corner of the world, women in Rotary are leading the charge to make polio history. They are fundraisers, volunteers, polio survivors, and advocates from all backgrounds and walks of life with one thing in common: working to ensure that no child ever has to suffer the devastating and paralyzing effects of polio. In honor of International Women’s Day, we highlight the work of 5 of the many women in Rotary leading the way in the fight to end polio.
Diment, of the Rotary Club of Maidenhead Thames, England, leads Rotary’s UK advocacy efforts, and is a passionate fundraiser and International PolioPlus Committee member. In 2017, she led Rotary’s efforts to create champions for polio eradication among UK political leaders, resulting in the country committing an additional £100 million to the global initiative. “On International Women’s’ Day, I salute the frontline women health workers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria for their dedication and commitment to ensure that all children under five are vaccinated, often risking their lives on a daily basis.” Hear more from Diment here.
Ijeoma Pearl Okoro
Ijeoma Pearl Okoro is a member of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Nigeria where she directs End Polio Now activities throughout sub-Saharan Africa. She leads efforts to build awareness around the fight to eliminate polio from Nigeria and engages other Rotary members and the public through events and promotional endeavors. Through a range of activities, like government advocacy, celebrity engagement, and fundraising, Okoro’s leadership helps ensure that polio eradication is a priority and every child is protected from the disease. “Until the last child is reached and immunized, no child in the world is free. Let us all support the cause to end polio now.”
A member of the Rotary Club of Islamabad (Metropolitan), Pakistan, Gul runs a Rotary-funded health center in Nowshera, working with teams of female vaccinators help reach neighborhoods of ethnic Afghan refugees displaced by conflict in tribal border regions. Gul’s teams use cellphones for daily data reporting on immunization progress, which helps health organizations analyze data and report back in real time. “I just contribute my part as a Rotarian. I’m happy to work in remote areas, especially with women, motivating them to play their role in society,” Gul says. Read more about Gul’s work in Pakistan.
Ann Lee Hussey has led Rotary volunteers on nearly 30 trips to places like Pakistan and Nigeria to immunize kids against polio, the disease that has affected her since she was 17 months old. A member of the Portland Sunrise Rotary Club, Maine, USA, she is an outspoken advocate for polio eradication and immunization in general and has testified at state legislative hearings in Maine on the importance of vaccination. In January, Hussey spoke of her experience as a polio survivor and her Rotary service at Rotary’s International Assembly, highlighting the role of frontline polio workers: “Without question, the many health workers around the world—80 percent of whom are women—are the unsung heroes on the polio front. Without them, we would not be where we are today.”
Richmond-Ahoua joined the Rotary Club of Abidjan-Biétry, Côte d’Ivoire, in 1991, making her one of the first female Rotarians in Africa. When a general canceled a national immunization day during a 1999 coup in her country, Richmond-Ahoua appealed directly to the general’s family, pleading that innocent children had nothing to do with the war. Shortly afterward, the general granted her request and presided over the opening of the rescheduled immunization day. Richmond-Ahoua coordinates national polio immunizations and serves on the Africa Regional PolioPlus Committee. She also spoke at last year’s World Bank International Women’s Day event.
The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.
Your donation makes a difference to those who need our help most. More than 90 percent of donations go directly to supporting our service projects around the world. It can save a life.
A child can be protected from polio with as little as 60 cents. Our partners make your donation go even further. For every $1 Rotary commits to polio eradication, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $2.
Please consider making your donation to our Club Service account for the Rotary Foundation.
Please make you donations as below:
EFT Payments please make out to:
Account Name: The Rotary E-Club of District 9700 – Service/Projects,
Reference – Name plus ‘TRF’
BSB: 032769 Account: 697413
Cheque Payments by post make out to: Rotary E-Club of District 9700-Serving Humanity
Reference – ‘TRF and your name’, and mail to:
Rotary E-Club of District 9700-Serving Humanity,
PO Box 25, YACKANDANDAH, VIC 3749
At our last meeting held Tuesday 11th December our fellow member Rev. Mal Dunnett delivered a Christmas message titled
wantok (plural wantoks)
(Melanesia, Papua New Guinea) A close comrade; a person with whom one has a strong social bond, usually based on shared language.
Usage notes: May be used to casually address a friend: Hello wantok.
Noun wantok 1. a close friend, to whom one gives complete loyalty 2. any person with a shared set of Melanesian cultural values, usually based on speaking a closely related language.
Mal explained to us that in the Solomon Island Christmas is celebrated with the knowledge that although Jesus was born with nothing to poor parents, however he was rich as he had wontok. He was loved by his family and he had mercy, compassion and he cared for others. Wantok is belonging and being loved and valued within the family and extended friends. Mal suggested we use Christmas to celebrate our wantok.
Thank you Mal for your effort.
Mal also told us about his plans for another trip to the Solomon Islands in September 2019 with a team of 8 Indigenous members, 4 members of Anglicare, 4 teachers and 1 CPA. There is room for more participants. If your interested contact Mal.
This is my first post as President. Firstly, I must thank you all for your encouragement. I am very proud to be part of this club and to be working with such fine people. It is a pleasure to be part of such a club in it’s formation years. To be a member of a club with members who have been such experienced Rotarians with other clubs in D9700 , who then took the major step to become Charter Members of this E-Club is an absolute pleasure and their advise and encouragement is valuable to me. I have admired these members for many years, it is a privilege to work alongside you all.
I am a new Rotarian with many years as a partner of a Rotarian and I am still amazed that I now can be part of the District working alongside such dynamic people. To all our members who a relatively new to the club, although you have many years experience in International Projects, it is a pleasure to have met you and hear your stories, I know together we are going to have such an informative year and we will work hard to complete the next steps to ensure the growth of our club.
My major goal is to grow the club and ensure that we can work as a cohesive team with our projects, and hopefully include some ideas to help you feel proud of your club to give you confidence to engage with others in “your little corner of the world”, and hopefully have them join us.
The major ideal of this club is to continue to do community and international service, however, make the meeting schedule and club demands easier and less time consuming for members. Our club is achieving this ideal and yet we have achieved so much in our service.
We need to search out others in the community who would like to be Rotarians who don’t know about the our E- club and who would be suited to the less demands of the club and encourage them to be a part of this new club format. We, the members, fully understand, that time is precious and I am a firm believer in the saying,” If you want something done, ask a busy person”.
I am aware that our members are all busy with their own projects, work and family and yet together we achieve so much with relative ease. I believe this club format is perfect for today’s lifestyle.
Meeting fortnightly is easy and our club is not demanding, and yet we are able to achieve successful outcomes, along with having such fun and our fellowship is so enjoyable.
For those who a reading this message and are interested or curious about E-club’s, don’t hesitate to contact me, either by email or phone, I will be happy to answer you questions.
Everyone, members and non- members are welcome to join our meetings, the next one is on the 28th August, 7.30pm. If you would like to join us , contact me and I will send you the link.
Take care and stay well.