Home' Rotary Down Under : July 2014 (International) Contents 10 Issue 563. July 2014
100 million reasons to thank Australian Rotarians
As all Rotarians around Australia should now know, the
Hon Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, announced
in his opening address to the 105th Convention of Rotary
International in Sydney on June 4 that the Government
has approved a commitment of $100 million to the Global
Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Contributions will be at
the rate of $20 million per annum and will commence in
the year 2014-15 for a five-year period.
During the 2013-14 year, Rotarians throughout the
country were asked to write to their local members
inviting their support by encouraging the Government to
make a commitment to the GPEI. A senior Minister has
confirmed that this advocacy by Rotarians throughout
the country had certainly been a contributing factor in
convincing the Government to reach this decision. To all of
you who made the effort to write to your local members I
would extend sincere thanks. Could I respectfully suggest
that it might be appropriate if you were to write a further
letter to that same member expressing thanks for his/her
support in helping achieve this wonderful result?
I have had the privilege of serving as National Advocacy
Adviser for over 20 years, during which time we have
managed to obtain support from Governments of both
political persuasions, and we have always been grateful
for this. But the recent announcement, coming as it did at
such a critical time in the campaign, may well prove to be
the most significant.
Those who were at the Convention would have been
privileged to hear the update on the Global campaign
by Dr Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director General of the
World Health Organisation. One sobering factor in
Bruce’s address was that there is still a substantial funding
shortfall for the period through to 2018. For this reason,
Rotarians throughout Australia are asked to continue with
their fundraising effort so we can be part of the final
push in this wonderful humanitarian program. The added
incentive is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
have agreed to give $2 for every $1 we raise up to $35
Thanks again for your wonderful support in 2013/14,
particularly in your approach to your local members. I urge
you to continue this support so we can reach our ultimate
goal of a polio-free world as our gift to all of the world’s
National Advocacy Adviser, PolioPlus
Rotary shoots itself in the foot
I was a volunteer at the International Convention
in Sydney and must say that I thoroughly enjoyed
the total experience.
The House of Friendship was a real eye
opener for me and no doubt for every first-time
attendee. The range and breadth of Rotary
projects on show was just amazing and this brings
me to the point of this letter.
I was talking with a Past Governor from my
District and he said something that really shook
me. He said something like, “Rotary has shot itself
in the foot again. Every delegate should be able
to bring in a couple of potential members to see
what we do”. Boy did that have an impact on me!
He went on to say that here was the greatest
opportunity to show potential members what
Rotary is all about. Here were almost 20,000
Rotarians ready to show anyone what they do.
The House of Friendship should be renamed the
Exclusive Club, because that is what it resembles.
The Sergeants manning the front doors were,
I suppose, acting under instructions, but they
reminded me of the green coats that used to
man the members’ entrance at the SCG – single
minded and ruthless in their checking of passes.
It was only at the last minute that someone saw
common sense and allowed passes to be issued
for volunteers not registered as delegates. I was
tasked to the House of Friendship one day and
was challenged for my pass. One report I heard
was that a woman was asked if she had a pass
for a 12-month-old baby in a pram. That can’t be
true, can it?
This is nonsense. I would have loved to have
asked a couple of my great friends in Sydney to
come and see what we do. They might not be
candidates for my club, but I am sure I would be
able to point them in the direction of a club near
I wonder if this subject was broached during
one of the many sessions during the Convention
that dealt with increasing membership.
Rotary Club of Parkes, NSW
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