Home' Rotary Down Under : November 2017 Contents l GLOBAL k GRANTS
District 9685 has had great success with The Rotary Foundation,
however, this didn’t simply happen. We don’t push donating in
isolation, but, rather, have taken steps at district level to become
involved in a united way.
Our goal is to have clubs want to work with The Rotary Foundation
(TRF), not tell them they should,” district Foundation chairman PDG
David Rands said.
We have a strong belief that
education is the key to our goals, and
to that end run many training sessions at club meetings, at district
level and at Rotary Leadership Institutes. We ensure all Rotarians
understand what we donate to the Foundation comes back to us in
the form of grants, giving our projects a multiplier effect as a result.
We showcase successful grant projects and demonstrate how clubs
can do bigger and better projects by accessing TRF grants. We also
help those new to Rotary understand the many other areas of TRF –
such as polio eradication, scholarships and more – knowledge many
long-term members take for granted.
Planning is everything – and we need resources to
carry out our plans. So, we start with our District
Foundation Committee – which consists of sub-committees covering
grants, scholarships, polio, Centurions, Paul Harris Society – Major
Donors, bequests, alumni, plus a team of Foundation reps. Each rep
is responsible for four to five clubs and has the task of keeping a
good level of communication with them on Foundation matters and
visiting at least once every year to share the Foundation message.
The district teams are there to help all
clubs and provide guidance on all things
Foundation, including grant preparation and more. We also stress
the benefits of donating to TRF – one of the highest-ranking
charities in the world, delivering outstanding results with a minimal
amount spent on administration so more can go to areas where help
is needed. However, we also encourage contributions other than
monetary amounts – Rotarians can provide mentoring or expertise in
areas of need.
THINK LONG TERM:
Donations made now will come back to assist us down the road.
We take a long-range view of the value of our scholars or other
Foundation program participants – they may not change the world
today, but over time they will make impact. They also often speak
at district and club events, feeding back into our education and
training programs. We want all Rotarians to feel comfortable with
the Foundation being an intrinsic part of their Rotary.
Through a global grant, Samra Naz has travelled
from Pakistan to undertake a $US66,000 three-
year PhD in neuroscience at the Asia-Pacific
Centre for Neuro-modulation (APCN). Based
at the Queensland Brain Institute, University of
Queensland, APCN is a world leader in using deep
brain stimulation to revolutionise the diagnosis
and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Samra will work with APCN co-directors
Professor Pankaj and Professor Peter Silburn to
develop a usable atlas of brain regions relating
to Parkinson’s disease and other neurological
disorders. This atlas will be available to other
clinicians and researchers and is vitally important
for deep brain stimulation, which relies on placing
electrodes on precise areas of the brain.
The Rotary Club of Southport, Qld, acted as
the host club, with the Queensland clubs of
Broadbeach and Hope Island, and Maclean, NSW,
as secondary hosts. The Rotary clubs of Tai Po
and Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, offered the required
The PhD scholarship was advertised worldwide
in newspapers, university gazettes and social
media under the auspices of the University of
Queensland, with assistance from District 9640.
Samra was selected by a committee, including
members of the Queensland Brain Institute and
PDGs Graham Jones and Sandra Doumany.
Samra has already completed a research
Master’s degree in engineering focused on
biometric detection, macular degeneration and
driver-fatigue. She has outstanding technological
skills in medical imaging, image processing,
machine learning and 3-D processing, which are
essential to the research scholarship.
Her work alongside Professors Pankaj and
Silburn will provide new theoretical and technical
knowledge in the field of brain research, with the
potential to help more than 10 million people
worldwide suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
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