Home' Rotary Down Under : February 2015 (NZ Pacific) Contents EDITOR’S MAILBOX
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I am over it. I am totally over it.
I’ve just given up another entire weekend for Rotary. This time to
run a membership seminar in a rural region of our geographically large
and diverse district. It required numerous hours of preparation and five
hours each way in the car, but I love Rotary and I’m happy to do it.
Sometimes, however, I wonder if our efforts are in vain. While I’m
working my butt off trying to help our clubs appear attractive to
younger people, we still have those who get hysterical at the thought
of a young person joining without a classification. While I’m trying to
increase the diversity of our membership base, there are still Rotarians
who are having trouble coming to grips with the concept of working
alongside women, 25 years after they were admitted to Rotary.
It’s hard to comprehend that in a global humanitarian organisation,
skin colour is still an issue for some within our ranks. It’s also hard
to comprehend that sexual orientation has at times been used as an
excuse to refuse membership, or that one’s religious beliefs are enough
to cause derision.
But it’s still happening, and I am totally over it. Of course, the
overwhelming majority of Rotarians I encounter are likewise totally
appalled by this sort of behaviour, but while there remain even the
smallest remnants of these bronze-age mindsets within our ranks,
Rotary cannot present itself as the epitome of humanity. I thought
Rotary was an organisation where disparate people could work
together with a common goal.
If we want to build goodwill and better friendships, we need to
stamp out this ignorance forever. It might be dying out, but nowhere
near quick enough. It’s not just our egos that need to be left at the
door, but our prejudices.
District 9520 Membership Chair
A refreshing cover
Sitting on a cash stash?
Women In Rotary
Wow! I thought I had somehow
subscribed to a new magazine when
I pulled the November issue of Rotary
Down Under from my letterbox - a
young face and a refreshing cover.
We need more of these Rotaract
images. I don’t mean to denigrate
we older, equally worthy members,
but seeing pictures of young people
involved in the Rotary family makes
me feel I am part of a vigorous
organisation, and negates the
negativity of the one page each
issue of letters devoted to discussing
Rotary Club of Lane Cove, NSW
I think we need a debate on what is a reasonable level of financial reserves a
Rotary club might keep. My club has what I had considered “quite a stash”
tucked away in fixed deposit. However, speaking to a Rotarian from another
club, I was told it has a couple of hundred thousand in reserve, which makes
my club very much small fry. Keeping high reserves while Rotarians are “out
there” working hard to raise money seems strange, so we decided a letter to
Rotary Down Under was in order to create a friendly dialogue.
Why should such high reserves be kept? What for? Waiting for a “big
project” that will bring kudos? (If so, then that is not what Rotary is about.)
Is there not sufficient need in the Australian and international communities:
tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, just to name a few.
More ShelterBoxes perhaps? More money for the polio eradication campaign?
RAWCS projects? Rotarians against Malaria? Interplast? ROMAC? Money to
fight Ebola? Increased donations to The Rotary Foundation? The list goes on ...
Rotary Club of Woden Daybreak, ACT
Women In Rotary has orchestrated
two science research grants offering
two young women fellowships worth
over $400,000 each for three years.
One award was presented at the
Women in Rotary 2014 International
Women’s Day Breakfast, while the
second fellowship will be presented
at the 2015 International Women’s
The fellowships aim to help
overcome the unique challenges
faced by female scientists in their
early and mid-career and promote
their progression into leadership
positions. Female scientists are at very
low numbers and support such as
this is much needed.
The 2014 grant was made possible
through funding from the Baker
Foundation in partnership with the
Royal Children’s Hospital. The 2015
grant will also be awarded from the
Baker Foundation and the Florey
Rotary Club of Albert Park, Vic
Women In Rotary
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