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Susan Wakefield
District Governor, 2018-2019
District 9685
The Rotary year 2018-2019 The Year to Be the Inspiration was an extremely busy and productive year for Rotarians and Clubs in District 9685.
I do not propose to reiterate what I said at the changeover in July tonight. I have had plenty of time to reflect on the year and I can safely say I would probably not do anything really different if I had my time over again. The district team was fantastic, they worked together in fun and friendship to achieve the many goals that were set by R.I and myself. I once again thank all of them for their friendship and support during a most enjoyable year.
We were asked by President Barry Rassin to be audacious in our work and to be more in the public eye. To strengthen our public image and use our digital tools to maximise our reach.
If we take a look at the programs and activities of our clubs, I think we can safely say we were in the public eye. In all parts of the district events and programs received good coverage in the local press and 2 projects were feature on the Channel Nine News the Turramurra flight and the launch of the Dementia Café.
The work on improving our public image continued and is still continuing, the change to the correct logo was slow but it has happened in many parts of the district.
President Barry’s idea behind the improvement of our reach was that we would attract more individuals who want to be part of and support a membership organisation that accomplishes so much good in the world. We did attract many new members during the year but sadly we lost more members than we attracted. We had 35 members die during the year and no amount of exit interviews or retention programs can combat that. We do need to work harder at retaining our members that we work so hard to attract.
The big news was that we did charter a new club on the Central Coast and we kept our promise to President Barry that we would work on improving Rotaract in our district,2 new clubs and many revitalised clubs plus a new Interact club as well.
The best news of all was that D9685 was the best performer in all the Australian Districts in relation to overall Foundation Giving. We were awarded the Riseley Shield at the ANZ Conference in Christchurch N.Z. in September . Congratulations to PDG David Rands and his district team for the hard work in encouraging Rotarians and club to donate to the Foundation. Without our personal and club donations, the major events to raise funds and promote the goals and objectives of the Rotary Foundation we would not be able to Do Good in the World.
This achievement was all the more surprising and special considering the outstanding and totally awesome amount of funds raised and donated to the Drought Appeal during 18/19. The total amount comes in at $475,000. I am so proud to have been your governor during this year and to have witness the efforts city Rotarians have gone to, to offer the hand of friendship to our country folk. You are all to be applauded.
We also collaborated with D9675 on 3 major initiatives the RIWA, RESCA and State Police Officer of the Year Awards. While the management of these awards was mostly from D9675 many D9685 Rotarians were on the committees or judging panels.
The conversation around the possibility of an early merge with D9675 was handled in a democratic manner and the decision to not continue the conversation has been respected. We do need to be aware that sometime in the future we will have to have this conversation again.
I would like to close by quoting President Barry
“The spirit to change is possible because you’ve been more than spectators, you’ve been true people of action. You have taken the challenge to be the inspiration personally, and have helped set Rotary on a new course.”
Susan Wakefield
District Governor, 2018-2019
District 9685