Home' Rotary Down Under : February 2016 (International) Contents | 30 | ISSUE 580 FEBRUARY 2016
Club Confidential is focused on helping Rotary clubs achieve more. From increasing membership to securing sponsorships,
ideas for fun meetings or building community engagement – this will be your go-to place for ideas. Every month we will
feature a variety of clubs from our region and what they have been up to so you may gain insight, ideas and inspiration.
This month we focus on YOUNG PEOPLE: THE FUTURE OF ROTARY
In December a good friend of mine
celebrated 50 years as a Rotarian.
Peter Kaye from the Rotary Club
of Mundingburra, Qld, says he has
had some tremendous experiences
in his 50 years of Rotary. He has
been involved in a wide variety
of Rotary programs that have
benefited people in his community
as well as the international
As a Rotarian, Peter has been
making a difference to people’s
lives, but Rotary has also been
life-changing for Peter. And it only
happened because someone asked
him to join Rotary 50 years ago
when he was in his early 20s.
I wonder what his life would
have been like if someone hadn’t
asked Peter to join Rotary?
Rotary has gained from him
being a Rotarian.
With their fresh new thinking,
the young Rotarians who met in
Canberra at the Youth Summit in
September 2015 will also make
a difference to Rotary and to
communities around the globe.
The young people in our clubs
are our future leaders, they need
to be encouraged to take on
leadership roles ... and quickly.
There are many young people in
our communities who would join
Rotary, but, like Peter, we need to
identify them and ask them to join
us. Rotary will be stronger with
them as Rotarians and leaders.
RI director elect
ENGAGING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE
PDG Jessie Harman Zone 7B and 8 (part)
How do we engage more effectively with young people? Rob
McDougall’s Burning Question (RDU Issue 579, Dec-Jan
2015-16) is an important one. Indeed, some would say it’s
Rotary’s most important membership question, with the
future of Rotary in our region dependent on us finding
We know that the nature of volunteering is changing,
particularly among young people. According to Philanthropy
Australia, young people are more likely to engage in
informal volunteering and to volunteer in an ad hoc fashion
in accordance with their interests. Young people want to
volunteer alongside their peers, in “youth specific” areas, and
they want to do it in ways that are fun and contribute directly
to their professional development. They take online media and
social networking completely for granted.
Drawing on the same research, the Youth Affairs Council
of Victoria (YACVIC) recommends that not-for-profits can do
a number of things to support the continued development
of young people’s volunteering. These include developing
resources (both online and print) that inform young people
about volunteering, identifying and creating meaningful
volunteering opportunities for diverse groups of young people,
promoting volunteering programs in educational institutions,
and developing capacity to use online media and social
networks to engage with and support youth volunteering.
As I travel around Australia and New Zealand in my role
as Rotary coordinator, I see clubs doing a range of things
to engage with younger people. I see clubs reaching out to
alumni of past Rotary programs like Rotary Youth Leadership
Awards (RYLA), Rotaract and Group Study Exchange, and
involving these young people either formally or informally
in Rotary activities. I see clubs reviewing their rituals and
traditions, meeting practices and club structures to make
them more attractive to younger people. And I see
clubs implementing programs like mentoring and
even financial assistance, which are clearly targeted at
a younger demographic.
In the past decade we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the
use of online and social media tools and, more recently, the
emergence of youth-focused Rotary clubs, either chartered in
their own right, or as part of Rotary’s satellite club initiatives.
These youth-focused clubs provide potentially important
insights into the way Rotary must evolve to meet the needs of
In the next few pages, we explore some of the ways Rotary
clubs around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific are
engaging with younger people.
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