Thoughts from the DG – Week 37 – Report for Conference Club Visits.
By far the most important and enjoyable part of my role as Governor to date has been meeting our Rotarians in our district, and getting to know their clubs. And the diversity of our clubs is amazing; each has their own focus and all have as their goal, a desire to do good in their community and in the wider world, and they are doing it is so many different ways. It is impressive and heart-warming.
This diversity is matched by the differences in our regions, from the coastal towns to the highlands and out to the far flung areas of the west; each has their own areas of interest. The Drought
The year has been marked by drought, and one of the largest RAWCS projects ever undertaken in our country. It started with the Channel 9 Drought appeal, controlled by the National Farmers Federation. We set up two RAWCS projects; the District 9650 appeal, managed by RAWCS chair, Reg Pierce, and the ‘Neighbours in Need’ appeal in Narrabri, managed by Darrell Tiemens and his team.
We raised $249,000 in our District RAWCS Drought Relief account. All but $24,000 has been acquitted, and is held in reserve for those who might ‘fall through the cracks’. We received $250,000 from the Telethon; all was acquitted and distributed to our clubs in drought areas.
Then came the Federal Government funds to be given in two tranches. On the national front, $2,166,666 was distributed by 4 Districts in drought. Our district received $600,000 in the first tranche of the $1 million allocated by the Federal Government. This has been acquitted to the satisfaction of Eastern Region RAWCS and the Federal Government. We have now received the second tranche of $400,000, and everything is in place to distribute these funds by way of Debit cards. To date, our District appeal has disbursed $1,075,000; this will rise to $1,475,000 with the disbursement of the 2nd tranche.
In Narrabri Shire in the Neighbours in Need project, total donations from Channel 9 appeal, Rotary Clubs, the community, Federal government and public was $790,652. They retain $49,690 of this; the rest has been acquitted. Money granted by the Federal Government to date is $500,000; all has been distributed and acquitted.
What mustn’t be overlooked are the hours of work that has been undertaken, not only by Reg, Darrell (and Bruce Pyke, Mal Donaldson and David Grellman), but also by our Rotarians out in these drought areas to help our farmers, farm workers and farming communities.
And let’s not forget, that some of these people are farmers themselves, going through the same issues. Some of the stories have been heartbreaking; others have been hearteningly uplifting, all recipients of the much needed funds have been so, so grateful.
It’s a project that has been out of our comfort zone; a tough and time consuming job, but through it all, I believe that the name of Rotary has come shining through for the good we are doing in our communities. The Rotary brand flies high.
Our District owes a huge vote of thanks to Reg, Darrell (Bruce, Mal and David) PDG Jo Wilkin, AG Neroli Bevan, AG Dimity Betts, AG Bruce George, AG Carol Barnden and all the Presidents and Clubs (too many to name) who rallied to the cause.
Not to forget all our clubs who raised funds to support our clubs in drought areas; this was a mammoth effort as well. And those funds came from within and outside our districts; clubs visited drought towns, staying for the weekend; spending money in the towns, and attended Rotary meetings. The strength of Rotary and Rotarians was on show.
It has been a huge eye-opener for me to discover how many Rotaract clubs we used to have in our District – almost one in every town. We even had a Rotaract club in a little town like Warialda. And as I spoke about Rotaract, I discovered we had a few Rotarians who were once Rotaractors, and more than one met his wife at Rotaract. Our one and only Rotaract Club, Hastings Rotaract, were so supportive of my drive to form more clubs, and they’ve been on a few ‘Rotaract Road Shows’ to help Rotarians develop a club. Hopefully, before the year is out, we will have a club in Tamworth, Inverell and Armidale (New England). They are, in my view, our Rotarians of tomorrow, and we will have a few of them at conference. Group Study and Friendship Exchanges
In September we sent a GSE team to Denmark. And we have the return GSE team from Denmark with us for the conference. We also have a return Friendship Exchange team from Sweden with us. It really highlights the Internationality of Rotary, to know so many of us are working in our communities with Rotary at the heart of our endeavours. We have a Friendship Exchange team going to Sweden in September, and before then, there will be a team going to Germany prior to the International Convention in Hamburg. I was able to connect with my cohorts in Denmark and Germany at the Homestay in Florida before the International Assembly to arrange both these events. Our Nepal project; Mothers and Babies Hospital in Charikot
Another connection I made at the Assembly was with David Hare in District 7680 in the US, who took up the challenge to support this wonderful project driven by Dr Ray Hodges and supported by his Rotary Club in Port Macquarie. David rallied his district clubs to support our Global Grant to outfit the hospital once it is built, and will contribute $20,000 in DDF and a further $1,100 US; all 58 of his clubs are supportive of the project. We are in constant contact with David, and Dr Ray plans to go over there to visit David in the second half of this year. Dr Ray Hodges book, Heartbreak in the Himalayas is out now and will be on sale at the conference. All proceeds will go to the hospital, and Ray will be there to talk to us. Time has caught up with me this week. For those of you who are coming to the conference, the weather forecast is Thursday, 14 – 17 degrees, Friday 14 – 26 degrees, Saturday 14 – 28 degrees and Sunday, 16 – 29 degrees, with a chance of patchy rain throughout. None of us will complain about the rain; bring it on.
I hope to see many of you at the conference. I hope you will enjoy it.
PS Don’t forget to get your changeover dates to Rob Anderson.
Rotary Youth Leadership Award
19 - 27 year old leaders of the future 30th March – 6th April 2019
Yarrahapinni Adventist Youth Centre (Macksville)
Brochure & applications on website www.rotary9650.org.au/RYLA Applications due soon!!
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) and in the coming weeks a venue (somewhere in Sydney) will be announced along with cost (no more than $200).
Image above: Some of the rotaractors who attended ACT/NSW board training in 2018.
Report from Rotary Friendship Exchange in Central India
Another RFE draws to a close as the D9650 team travels through D3040 in Central India, travelling through such cities as Indore, Bhopal, Nagda and on to the famous city of Udaipur to finish.
The hosts have been such loving and caring people and we have been welcomed so warmly! RFE is recommended to all Rotarians as one of the greatest experiences.
I enclose some photos for your enjoyment.
Team leader, Louis Hayward, Rotary Club of Port Macquarie West.
Our Partner’s Project deposit details
Rotary International DG Partner’s A/c
BSB: 721000 a/c: 100143137 Please forward copy to email@example.com
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.'