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Thoughts from the DG – Week 40

Introducing your new DGND, David Mayne and his wife Heather

A Rotarian at Port Macquarie club since 1998, David has held the positions of President, Assistant Governor and district director. He met his wife Heather through Rotary and together they have headed up many cluster activities including the Tsunami appeal and the Carnival of the pines.
Although they are members of different Rotary clubs, they both share a passion for the community and the important place Rotary plays within it.

“It is a great honour to be selected as District Governor Nominee Designate. I fully understand that with this honour comes responsibility but also enormous opportunity.
( continued next column ->)

"I have been fortunate to have wonderful Rotary friends and mentors over the years and feel it is a privilege to work alongside the current Management team and am certain that our District will prosper in many ways. "

"Heather and I look forward to the opportunity and adventure ahead and I look forward to being your District Governor for 2021/22."

I know you will all join with me in wishing David and Heather well, as they begin their journey towards the governorship of our District.  It only seems like yesterday that Dennis and I were starting that journey; the time has flown.
Below is the link to the RI Newsletter from the South Pacific & Philippines office
March 2019 issue. 

Rotary Foundation Grants Seminar at Assemblies – a message from Foundation Director

Clubs are reminded that we will be running a 2.25 hour Rotary Foundation Grants Seminar at the 3 District Assemblies at Narrabri Sunday 5 May, Port Macquarie Sunday 19 May and Armidale Sunday 26 May. Clubs need to have a representative (ideally their Foundation Director) at one of these seminars to qualify to make applications for District or Global grants from the Foundation during the 2019/20 year.

69 members from our district have made individual donation to the Foundation as at February this year.  Many thanks for that support but our aim is to have 1500 members – virtually everyone – make an individual donation to the Foundation by 30 June. Everyone can afford something and remember that clubs in our district are seeking funding from the Foundation at a level which is 4 times what we have donated on average over the last 3 years. So your donations are directly supporting the projects of clubs in this district.

Maurie Stack , District Rotary Foundation Director

I’ve just taken part in a Rotary webinar called ‘Courageous Leadership’, and thought I’d share a few points with you. 

Sometimes it takes courage to turn against the crowd to do things differently, but it takes ‘change’ to re-invent ourselves. The question was asked – “instead of focusing on membership drives; how do we make our clubs irresistible to others, so people want to come to us; want to join us?”

One respondent cited their own club; it had declined to 22 members and is now back over fifty.  They did the usual surveys, but they surveyed former members and outside forces as well as their club members. They found comments like ‘meetings not vibrant’, ‘inappropriate humour’, ‘old traditions’, ‘projects not relevant’, so they decided to start with a clean page.  They came up with new projects that involved youth and the community – cooking lessons in schools started with girls and extended to boys.  This got the parents and the rest of the community involved. Their Interact club doubled in size.  We need to be brave and try something new – go back to the drawing board.

Insanity: Doing something over and over and expecting a different result!  This hit home to me.  Why do we hang on to things that aren’t relevant anymore?  Some of our old traditions must seem strange to the average person today. Have a courageous heart; create change; be tenacious and resilient leaders; volunteer doesn’t mean amateur; be open-minded, innovative and inclusive – all good advice. 
Instead of talking at people about your Rotary Club, why not ask them “what are your passions?” and see if you can’t match up some of those passions with what your club offers.  Club members need to feel welcomed, energised, engaged and nurtured. 

The five success markers to a vibrant business are:-
  1. Meaningful work
  2. Supportive Management
  3. Fantastic environment
  4. Growth Opportunity
  5. Trust in Leadership
This type of business doesn’t need to advertise; the right people will come looking for them. Look in the mirror and be realistic about what we see – do we need to start with a blank page?  Have the courage to go against the crowd? A Governor elect has decided that she is going to change her title to ‘The Leader of a Leadership Team’.  

She wants to focus on the ‘we’ of Rotary and not the ‘me’ of Rotary. And she is planning on sharing out her Governor responsibilities with her team.  (I don’t know about sharing out responsibilities, but she is right in that this is not about ‘me’ as your Governor, it’s about ‘us’ as Rotarians. It’s our year to ‘be the inspiration for change’ in our district).   

Our decline in membership is not the problem; it’s the symptom!  Make sure we do ‘exit’ surveys; find out why people leave, or find a former member and ask them the question.
Another club that was mentioned was an older traditional club of 140 members who came up with the idea of a satellite club.  They wanted to stick with their traditions, but their satellite club meets during the day and is young and vibrant.  We have a few satellite clubs that are working well in Glen Innes, Taree and Inverell.  Our Glen Innes evening club is a perfect example of our more ‘senior’ Rotarians who fostered a younger group in their Satellite club and it’s working really well for all of them. 

The Taree on Manning and Inverell satellite clubs meet for breakfast, and this works for them.  Should we look at more satellite clubs in our district?  They can meet for breakfast, lunch, or after work – anytime that suits them really and as often as they like.  Try different models, and it’s ok to try and fail. 

On the subject of smaller clubs (and we have many of these in our district) the advice was “don’t wear yourselves out trying to be all things to everyone.  Take a small number of things and try to be really good at them.”  Too many times we see our small club members wearing themselves to the bone to keep up with the demands they put on themselves.  Take a step back; ask members of your community for help with projects.  You might be surprised to find that leads to people who might want to join you. 

So, how do we make ourselves ‘irresistible’ to people in our communities?  Being seen in our community having fun with what we are doing is one way.  Being valued by the community for the work we do is another.  How many times do we hear “I haven’t got time to join Rotary”.  We are all time poor today, but how many of you think that the time you spend in Rotary is not of value to you personally?  Of course we enjoy the friendships we have; we enjoy our social get-togethers; we enjoy working on projects; we get huge satisfaction in seeing the results of our efforts both locally and across the world; we value the opportunities we are given – Friendship Exchanges; Fellowships to name a few.  Start listing all the things we receive from being a Rotarian and the list is endless.                       

Why then can’t we convince people that the ‘time’ they invest in Rotary is time they invest in adding personal enjoyment and fulfilment to their lives?   Let’s start asking about their ‘passions’ and line them up. 

Something to think about my friends?
And let’s start thinking about Satellite clubs and Family Clubs and the latest Passport Clubs, as well as Rotaract and Interact clubs – get the ball rolling and the conversations started.

Our Membership Director, Di Christian, also attended the webinar, and she is going to put together a District 9650 survey for all club members in our district to complete – so keep your eyes open for this, and make sure you complete it.
Also, if you have thoughts you would like to share on this subject, please send them to me for publication. 

Dennis and I are going down to the coast tomorrow for the opening of RYLA and the Laurieton Dinner event in support of Dr Ray Hodgson’s ‘Mothers and Babies’ Hospital in Nepal.  More on these events next week. 


The Armidale AM project – The Garden of Friendship in the Arboretum.

Every time we have a Friendship Team visit, we give them a Manchurian Pear tree to plant in our Garden of Friendship.  There is now a grove of 13 trees around our ‘Seat of Friendship’ in the garden. Recent visitors, The Swedish Friendship Team, are seen in these photos with AM club members on the seat, planting the tree and then admiring their hard work.

Calling all Rotaractors (current and emerging - you don't have to be in a chartered club to come!!)

You are invited to 2019 ACT/NSW board training! Delivered by the District Rotaract Representatives in NSW and the ACT the training is crucial to being able to fulfill your new positions in your club and on your incoming boards. 

The training is also a great opportunity for rotaractors to talk through any club problems with people going through exactly the same thing and brainstorm potential solutions. It is also a fantastic chance to get new ideas about how to do things better, more efficient and easier - you might even get inspired to try something new! 



The training will be a great mix of seminars, workshops, breakout sessions, hands on activities and fun.

The dates have been set May 10-12 (arrive Friday night and leave Sunday afternoon). It will be held at the Collaroy Centre in North Sydney and the cost is $170 (which includes meals and accommodation.)

For more information or to register head to the official Facebook event or contact D9650 District Rotaract Rep Laura via email at or via phone 0428 151 551.

Laura Telford

Dear incoming and current Rotary club officers,
We’re preparing the 2019-20 Official Directory of Rotary districts and clubs, and we need your help. We ask club secretaries to report incoming club officers to Rotary to help us compile this resource for Rotary members around the world. This will also ensure that incoming club officers receive vital information from Rotary. If you have not done so, please submit the names of your club’s incoming officers by the end of this month.

Submit or verify:

  • The names of your club’s 2019-20 president, secretary, executive secretary/director, treasurer, Rotary Foundation chair, and membership chair (the Official Directory will include only the first three positions)
  • Those three club officers’ contact details, such as mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone and fax numbers
  • Your club’s meeting details: place, address, day, and time
  • Your club’s contact information: a permanent phone number and, if you have them, a permanent email address and mailing address where all club officers can receive mail 



You can submit this information either through My Rotary (sign in and, under Manage, select Club Administration>Update Member Data) or by emailing it to Be sure to report current officers who will remain in their roles for 2019-20.
If your club submits membership data to Rotary through the RI-approved data integration software or local database, you can use that to submit officer information, too. Just verify afterward that information about your club officers is correct in My Rotary. 

Please note, incoming club officers may view club information through My Rotary, so please work with your current club officers to report this information if you notice that the 2019-20 club officers have not yet been updated in the club records.
Thank you for helping to keep our records current and accurate.
Thomas Woods
Data Relations Manager
cc: district governors-elect, assistant governors

Our Partner’s Project deposit details
Direct Deposits:
Rotary International DG Partner’s A/c
BSB: 721000       a/c: 100143137
Please forward copy to
Cheques can be made to: DG Partner’s Project 2018-19
Please send cheques and ticket stubs to:
District 9650 Treasurer,                 
PO BOX 217                                             Armidale NSW 2350

I thank you most sincerely for your support. Dennis
'Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create a lasting change—across the globe, in our community and in ourselves.'

RI President

Barry Rassin

District Governor

Lorraine Coffey

District Secretary

Rob Anderson (PDG)

District Treasurer

Graeme Andrews

District Trainer and Finance Chairman

Neville Parsons (PDG)

Assistant Governors

Peter Paff Cluster 1

Peter Lawry Cluster 2

Trish Affleck-Mooney Cluster 3

Murray Difford Cluster 4

Carol Barnden Cluster 5

Dimity Betts Cluster 6

Aileen Bell Cluster 7

Bruce George Cluster 8

Neroli Bevan Cluster 9

P R Director

Brian Beesley (PDG)

Editor: Inspirator

Andrew Maughan

Foundation Director

Maurie Stack (PDG)

Membership Director

Diana Christian

Youth Director

Kate George

Community Director

Debbie Loveday

International Director

Reg Pierce

Vocational Director

David Mayne

Club Administration

Debbie Loveday

District Insurance Ofcer

Bianca Adimari

Your GTrain Team

Lorraine Coffey


Phil Hafey

Governor Elect

Debbie Loveday

Governor Nominee.

Please remember to send all Club Bulletins to the three members of your GTrain!

Copyright © 2019 Rotary District 9650, All rights reserved.

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