Rotarians and friends of Rotary,
I have been to many Rotary District Conferences and a
few Rotary International Conferences since 1996. Last week's conference at
the "Warwick" was truly a "Changemaker" conference, as its theme goes.
my favourite authors and leadership gurus, John C. Maxwell, once said,
"There are five nonnegotiable characteristics that every effective leader
must have: a sense of calling, an ability to communicate, creativity in
problem solving, generosity, and consistency." At the conference, I could
very clearly notice all these characteristics amongst the leaders of Rotary,
community leaders who participated as guest speakers, and, of course, our
many of our club members were unable to participate, it is prudent to
summarise my takeaways from the conference.
promotes "Servant-hood Leadership"
of Rotary is "Service Above Self". This mindset also paves the way for us to
define our leadership style. I am sure all those who participated in the
conference will agree with me that it was a privilege for us Rotarians to
spend the weekend with the Rotary International trustee and our Rotary
International President's Personal Representative (RIPPR), Jessie Harman.
Harman is the first female from Zone 8 to be elected to the Board of Rotary
International. She is a trailblazer for Rotary in Australia, New Zealand,
and the Pacific Islands.
very evident that Jessie was not an ordinary leader. If one spends half an
hour with her, it will be very evident to notice that competency and
compassion were the virtues for her to serve in the highest body of Rotary
had the opportunity to listen to her 3 times, and she addressed a few hard
issues in Rotary and in life, such as changing with time to stay strong,
taking risks and learning from failures, the power of connections,
addressing mental health as a priority today, and having fun while serving
was as simple as a typical Australian, and she spoke with almost everyone at
the conference and took photos with at least half of them. She even acted as
the Governor of our district on the last day of the conference. In summary,
Jessie herself was a message to all of us Rotarians.
promotes peace at any cost
saddened by the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship being
inflicted on Ukraine. Our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and
citizens of Ukraine coping with the events that have unfolded in their
country. As one of the world's largest humanitarian organizations, we have
made peace the cornerstone of our global mission.
organisers of the conference devoted the whole Gala Dinner on Saturday
evening to raising funds for the victims of Ukraine. An added feature for
the dinner was a celebration of Ukrainian culture, with dances and a short
presentation, to honour and support all our Ukrainian friends. It was
heart-warming to watch the entertainment of Ukrainian kids.
all about empathising with the pain of the international community and
assisting them. Our district organisers were so considerate in promoting the
Ukraine appeal throughout the night.
the international community in calling for an immediate cease fire, the
withdrawal of Russian troops, and the restoration of diplomatic efforts to
resolve this conflict through dialogue.
promotes learning and collaborations
many prominent guest speakers at the conference. Dr Norman Swan, 'Who Gives
a Crap' Simon Griffiths, 'War on Waste' Craig Reucassel, and David Pointon
from THE MEN'S TABLE, to name a few.
view, the most suitable for an immediate synergy with the Rotary Club of
Strathfield would be The Men's Table. David's presentation was outstanding,
and it was needed at this hour. Synergy is the concept that the combined
value and performance of two institutions will be greater than the sum of
their separate individual parts.
MEN'S TABLE was established in 2011. Since 2019, this simple, accessible,
and proven model has been taken to the Australian community, with over 40
Tables now established. The Men's Table is a fast growing registered charity
supporting community building and preventative men's mental health.
partnership with the National Mental Health Commission, they have
investigated the evidence behind men's social isolation and loneliness, lack
of meaningful friendships, reluctance about seeking help, and the stigma of
outdated masculine norms and how these issues can be addressed.
bring a fresh, energetic, and real-world storytelling approach to the issues
and opportunities associated with men's mental health and community
building. Women strongly engage and relate to their stories. And they have
proven to be big supporters of men having safe spaces to share feelings and
connect authentically with other men.
district conference was a huge success and I would like to congratulate our
District Governor, Jeremy Wright, and his organising committee for their
excellent and exceptional efforts.
conference was very inspiring. It personally reminded me to understand
better what Rotary should be and how to walk the talk.
doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the
world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."