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President Thaya's Message

6 April 2022






Rotary is still relevant because there is a greater need for Rotarians and Rotary clubs to help with the problems that humanity faces. We are facing many calamities: a health crisis due to COVID-19, an economic crisis as a result of the health crisis and rising geopolitical tensions due to egoistic world leaders. All these challenges are an opportunity for Rotary to serve to change lives; an opportunity for Rotary to be the catalyst between the haves and the have nots; a challenge for Rotarians to uphold our motto "Service above self".


Make no mistake, people want to do something that makes a difference, and making a difference will always be relevant. I would like to outline a few different events from last week to emphasise how the Rotary Club of Strathfield is doing everything possible to stay relevant together with all other clubs in our district 9675.


Rotary Fellowship

Rotary Fellowship provides opportunities for Rotarians to make lasting friendships and serves as an incentive for attracting new members to Rotary and retaining our existing members. Our Club Service Director, PP Arie Pappas, always wanted to focus more on fellowships for the very reason outlined above.


Although Arie allocated the last week of each month as fellowship to dine out and focus on fellowship and fun, COVID-19 didn't give us an opportunity to do so last year. However, the last few months, we have been dining out, and last week's fellowship dinner was a huge success. The seafood restaurant in Concord was an excellent choice by our Club Service Director, and we had Rotarians, their families, friends of Rotary, and young Rotaractors, as well as prospective Rotaractors. The food was exceptional, and the service was excellent.


Our sincere gratitude to Arie for his outstanding groundwork and of course, our ever-willing treasurer, PP Rod McDougall, for all his tireless work in the background.


They say in Rotary, "Service First and Fellowship Foremost". The Rotary Club of Strathfield exemplifies that.


Community Engagement

The Rotary Club of Strathfield's key to our longevity has been getting the community involved. And that means not just selling sausages or seeking donations but building meaningful partnerships with our community and being seen in their eyes as 'needed and relevant'.


As you all know, we have been engaging with our community during the last two weekends with a Rotary Information Desk at the "Street Festival" organised by Strathfield Council.


Despite the prevailing COVID-19 situation and the changing weather forecasts, it was encouraging to see our club members volunteering to man the booth. While we thank all the members who got involved, our special gratitude goes to our Treasurer, PP Rod McDougall, for leading the team in organising everything in detail.


We are also grateful to our club member, Chris Virgona, and his company, Richardson & Wrench in Strathfield, for sponsoring our raffle prizes: a Smart TV, Smart Phone, and Smart Watch. The draw will take place this Saturday, April 9th, 2022, on the final night of the Street Festival.


As we go into the future, we undoubtedly will face challenges, but as long as we are able to remain needed and relevant to our communities and look for ways to bring in new members from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences who, like us, want to join and make a contribution to the community, then our relevance and need into the future is assured.


International Peace and The Rotary Foundation

As a humanitarian organisation, peace is a cornerstone of our mission. We believe when people work to create peace in their communities, that change can have a global effect. By carrying out service projects and supporting peace fellowships and scholarships, our members take action to address the underlying causes of conflict. This includes poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.


Our Rotary District 9675 hosted an amazing evening "Pathways to Hope" - resolving intractable conflict from the Northern Island to the Middle East. It was held at the Bankstown Bryan Brown Theatre & Function Centre on Thursday, March 31st, 2022. The Rotary Club of Strathfield was one of the five hosting clubs from District 9675.


The evening highlighted the work done by PROJECT ROZANA AUSTRALIA, an international not-for-profit organisation that actively develops and funds:

  • Transportation of patients (mainly children) from the West Bank and Gaza, to hospitals in Israel.

  • Training Palestinian doctors and other health professionals in Israel, to improve healthcare in Palestinian communities.

  • Treatment for seriously ill Palestinian children in Israeli hospitals.

Our District 9675 also hosted a luncheon last Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, at the Strathfield Golf Club to recognise major donors' contributions to The Rotary Foundation and to acknowledge the good it brings to the millions around the world who depend on our support. The luncheon was a very successful function, with fifty distinguished guests, and the Rotary Club of Strathfield was the host club.


'Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves'

Paul Harris (Founder of Rotary Movement)

Rotary Service to You

Thaya Ponnia 

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Last Update Wednesday April 06, 2022