1 July 2020
The big moment is here. It feels like
only yesterday but it was eight months ago that I received the call from PDG
David Croft. We were on the outskirts of Perth in a tourist bus and the
connection was not very clear. Just as well, because it gave me some time to
absorb the shock.
Although initially feeling inspired and excited, for the next few months, I did
wonder, with a club so full of talented and capable members, if I was the best
person to lead for this year.
That said, I now stand here feeling very honoured and privileged in accepting
the role of president of this club in its 50th year. While on the one hand I am
thinking of the huge commitment of time and energy which could be challenging at
times, on the other hand I also see this great opportunity to touch the lives of
I have been a member for six years and this is the start of my seventh year and
in these years Rotary taught me to come out of my favourite back seat to stand
here in front and fulfil my commitment to serve my community.
In this journey, my husband Dinesh has been with me, a constant companion,
providing encouragement and support wherever needed. Thanks also to my children
for their understanding when Rotary demanded most of my time.
In the last few years, I have also had
the chance to work with many capable presidents and experienced the joy of
working in different roles in the board and with many committees. Today I thank
you all for those wonderful experiences together and for all that I learnt from
you. Thank you also for your commitment to Rotary and for being with me today
and sharing our Rotary journey together.
Our club is blessed with members coming from many different professions and
occupations, all with high achievements and ethical standards of service.
Through this year, once again, I have the privilege and opportunity to honour
those skills by aiming to work together to bring change where it is most needed.
My experience in the recent past has shown me how efficiently we work together,
encouraging and bringing out the best in each other to achieve excellence in
what we do.
Rotarians work for the community and with the community. Through our membership
and their networks, we are introduced to people in the community who need our
help to change for the better and also meet people from the community who work
with us shoulder to shoulder to bring this change. We also meet people we would
never meet otherwise, which gives us a chance to grow.
Our primary goals and aims for this year will continue to be to bring longer
term change wherever we step in, change that we hope outlasts us when we leave
and move on. However we will also never shy away from charitable help in times
Rotary is not entirely about our DG, or about our club president. In the life of
the club we come in for a year, where no doubt we get a crash course in perhaps
what could be called the best leadership experience. But more than that to me,
Rotary is about our personal commitment and individual contribution as a member
that we make when we enter the fellowship and then work together to achieve our
This year’s theme: Rotary Opens Opportunities
This is a year that is asking us to open new choices, new doors and new
opportunities and create a new kind of change. With the prevailing climate
making it difficult to catch up with our regular events , it is definitely the
year for some creative thinking and doing.
The conditions are not ideal but our commitment to serve should remain firm
during this time. Some of our board members have already been very active in
providing support, solace and appreciation to workers in the community in these
In closing, I would like to digress and take some important words out of
our incoming RI president Holger Knaack's address:
"This is an interesting time to
come in as President after this pandemic and lockdown and in these
circumstances our primary concern is how we will continue functioning, how
we will raise money, how we will open our doors to charities, to friends and
to the public. We hope to take control of this situation by thinking outside
the box, through discussions and working together. Most importantly, we need
to keep our commitment strong to survive and thrive. And don't forget to
I love nothing more than a good
discussion, a good brainstorming session and I will always have the door open to
ideas. This just might be the year of new ideas.
Yours in Rotary