President Thaya's Notes
30 June 2021
'Virtual Changeover' Zoom meeting 30 June 2021
President Thaya Ponniah's address
Governors, our Member of Parliament and, my fellow
Rotarians - ladies and gentlemen.
As most of you know, this is the second time I have become a President of a
Rotary Club. The first time was in another club, in another country.They say -
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
President Usha - you led our club well during this uncertain time with
Covid-19. Thank you. I also would like to thank the outgoing Board for the
excellent job our club did under their guidance. We innovated new programs like
the International Women's Day celebration and we responded to the worst pandemic
calamity in India with our Indian Covid Relief Appeal. These are just couple of
One of the key milestones of this year was developing a comprehensive
In short, we developed a few key characteristics for our club:
1. Truly DIVERSE MEMBERSHIP
2. Strong and sustainable FINANCIAL BASE
3. Powerful FUNDRAISING ENGINE
4. Genuinely warm and satisfying FELLOWSHIP
5. A PILLAR OF SERVICE LEADERSHIP in our community
6. A MODERN CLUB, leveraging technology to do good
Our club is ready to execute the Strategic Plan over the
period of next 3 years.
What inspires me is the generous spirit of our Rotarians.
Whatever the project is, be it a Foodbank for the homeless, a publicity
initiative amongst the locals, rehabilitating the war victims in Sri Lanka,
educating school kids in Colombia - our Rotarians contribute very generously -
not only with finance, but with time, talent and touch as well.
We have a great Board for next year, who will take the lead in
implementing our Strategic Plan. Thank you my friends for stepping out - however
busy you all are. We have a few experienced past presidents - and we have a few
capable future presidents. We also have prospective district governors on our
board. Immediate Past President Usha Garg is our link to last year. Our
President Elect will be Andrew Aravanis. A busy corporate leader, but he
has the heart to serve people. Our Secretary will be Nick Hamilton Kane -
our legal eagle who just completed as an excellent sergeant at arms. We three
will be part of the President's Train for the next 3 years in executing our
strategic plan. Our Community Service Director will be Assistant Governor
Rick Vosila. Despite being busy, Rick has agreed to lead community service
and introduce some landmark projects.Our Vocational Service Director will be
Alexey Prokopenko who has plans to work with the indigenous community this
year, in addition to our normal programs. Our Treasurer is Rod McDougal -
Rod is very tight with Rotary money, but very liberal with his time and efforts
for our club. As you all know, he is everywhere. Our International Service
Director is Roy Ellis. When I asked Roy to join my board, initially he
refused quoting his age, but after thinking about it, he accepted the position
happily and confidently. As you all know - he is an inspiration. Our Youth
Service Director will be our dynamic Peter Smith. As you all know Peter
has been unwell. Our energetic Ying Ho agreed to be the acting Director
of Youth Service. Ying brings many diverse talents into the club and to the
board - as a musician, music teacher, young lady member, relatively new
Rotarian; I can keep on going with the list. Finally, our Club Service Director
is - Arie Pappas - the man who introduced me to the Rotary Club of
Strathfield and the man who led our club as the 'Club of the Year' last year.
Governor Warwick - Thanks for leading our district this year. You are an
unassuming leader. The Strategic Plan you completed will help our club
immensely. We have clarity on increasing our impact, expanding our reach,
enhancing engagements, and increasing our ability to adapt.
The State MP Mrs Jodi Mckay - we are grateful for your involvement with
OUR Rotary CLUB. WE ALSO appreciate you promoting Rotary in the Parliament.
My Governor Jeremy - we are already encouraged and energised with your
leadership. We are looking forward to an exceptional year ahead. Please be
assured that you can depend on our club to turn any challenge into an
Past District Governor Di - thanks for all your
encouragement and your presence today. You always grace all our functions.
Gov Nominee and Governor Elect, in a few hours,
Janice, you as a District Secretary brought theclubs and the District much
closer. Thank you.
My Rotary mentor, PDG David - thanks for being there for me. Our monthly
luncheon will be
compulsory for the next 12 months.
My fellow Rotarians and FRIENDS OF ROTARY - As your new president, I assure you
that I will work for a cause, not for applause; I will lead our team to impact,
not impress; we won't strive to make our presence noticed, just make our absence
felt. We have great challenges and great opportunities AHEAD, LET'S DO
EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO BE THE CATALYST BETWEEN THE HAVES AND THE HAVE NOTS. And
with your help, we will make this year a great one.