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President Thaya's Message

15 September 2021




My fellow Rotarians and friends of Rotary,

September is Rotary International's Basic Education and Literacy Month. Rotary supports activities and training to improve education for all children and literacy for children and adults.

The Rotary Foundation enables Rotarians to ensure that all people have sustainable access to basic education and literacy by:

  • Involving the community to support programs that strengthen the capacity of communities to provide basic education and literacy to all.

  • Increasing adult literacy in communities.

  • Working to reduce gender disparity in education.

  • Supporting studies for career-minded professionals related to basic education and literacy.


Our Strathfield Rotary Club's goal is to empower communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education and increase adult literacy. In order to achieve our goal, we are embarking on a program by preparing indigenous communities for the workforce through the Technical and Life-skills Training Program.

The purpose of the project is to help the indigenous community to get trained in beginner skills in the new digital and technological world. The demand for IT, technical or soft presentation knowledge has increased dramatically in the last few years. The skill-set requirements are high in understanding how to use computer apps and IT tools, how to deal with security, how to get access to mailboxes or any other general IT skills. Soft presentation skills are in demand to understand how to present yourself, how to pitch ideas, how to speak. Moreover, new technical skills are required to meet new standards in the digital world. Therefore, the Rotary Club of Strathfield is looking forward to structuring a technical training program, running it, and designing a pattern program for other Rotary clubs to be able to run and help the Indigenous community.

The community needs will be met by creating and defining a program of the seminars and classes, to identify how the materials can be distributed to the indigenous community, to find potential teachers who can help us validate the program, and to present this program to other clubs. The following community should be involved: indigenous community organisation representatives, teachers, students, and club members.

The program objectives are to teach and deliver the three main knowledge spheres:

  1. IT skills - Such skills will open the potential to understand the basic package of the program available on the market to open skills such as structuring CV, writing a cover letter, sending an email, searching on the internet and so on.

  2. Technical skills - For trade specialities, it will open the opportunity to learn about new tools, such as digital levels, understanding electrical principles, mobile apps for construction sites, managing types of machines and so on.

  3. Soft skills - It will link and open the basic skills of presentation, understanding people skills, understanding how to speak, how to use presentation materials and how to write cover letters.


The Rotary Club of Strathfield plans to run a 3-stage approach to delivering this program:

  1. Facilitate the structure of online courses and in-person workshops and seminars for entry-level students.

  2. Set collaboration with educational organisations such as TAFE or similar for further studies.

  3. Package  a guide for other clubs or institutional organisations to scale up this program.

The project is planned to be run on a yearly basis. The course materials would be available for distribution throughout the year to indigenous students. Students who pass the program will receive certificates. Their acquired technical skills will enable them to work more easily with modern technologies in the workplace and identify their passion and interests to further their technical education.

The main differentiators of this program compared to other similar educational institutions would be:

  • Collaborating with Indigenous Community Organisations, we will be going to the community instead of the students coming to the institutions.

  • Programs will be based on all three modes, online, face-to-face as well as hybrid.

  • Short courses designed to be the catalyst between the fresh students and the established institutions such as universities, TAFE and technical institutions.

  • Designed to enable the students to test their aptitude for education, including their passion, direction and career guidance and development.Professional career guidance and counselling will be integrated into our programs at a high level.

Our ultimate objective is to bring the underprivileged community to a level playing field and give them a platform to enter the workforce in Australia.

As I mentioned in our last week's bulletin, in order to take this program to the District level after piloting it from the Rotary Club of Strathfield, we approached our District Governor Jeremy Wright for assistance. We are glad to note that the DG Jeremy is looking at our request very favourably.

This ambitious program with a worthy cause will be led by our own experts, Vocational Service Director Alexey Prokopenko and the former TAFE College Principal PP Raymond McCluskie.

"Education is a universal human right, essential to bridging gaps in human well-being, equity and opportunity"


Gina Cosentino (Indigenous Peoples Advisory Consultant)


Yours in Rotary,


Thaya Ponnia    


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Last Update Wednesday September 15, 2021