Engagement key to Rotary’s future

WELCOMED VISIT: Rotary of Mount Gambier Lakes member and Group 1 assistant governor Ian McKay welcomed Rotary 9780 district governor Philip Beasley and wife Judy to the region this month. Judy - a decorated Rotarian - holds the Centenary Baton, marking 100 years of Rotary in Australia in 2021.

DELIVERING locally relevant and effective projects must be a key focus for Limestone Coast service clubs, according to Rotary 9780 district governor Philip Beasley.

Visiting the region earlier this month, Mr Beasley met with Rotary volunteers to discuss membership, public profile and resourcing, as well as the impact of COVID-19 on service clubs.

The 9780 district spans from the Geelong area – where Mr Beasley resides – west to Millicent and as far north as Swan Hill, encompassing 56 clubs and around 1600 Rotarians.

It is tradition the district governor visits each club during their tenure, with Mr Beasley and wife Judy finally reaching the Limestone Coast this month after two aborted attempts due to border restrictions.

With three clubs in Mount Gambier, Mr Beasley said it was important volunteers understood the community viewed Rotary in the “Big R” way.

“They don’t always see the individual clubs – Mount Gambier, Lakes and West – they see the actions of Rotary,” Mr Beasley said.

With many clubs facing issues around ageing members and dwindling attendance, Mr Beasley implored clubs to improve their public profile by meeting the needs of the community they serve.

“In order for us to be attractive we need to be developing projects which people can relate to,” Mr Beasley said.

“Due to COVID, clubs have not been able to raise the normal level of funds to support their projects,” he said.

“It is a good opportunity to reset goals and look at what the emerging opportunities are.”

Following the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Mr Beasley said clubs would need to undertake staged planning to guide their direction.

“It is about having a plan about what Rotary is going to do in the next 12 months, the next year, two years, and beyond,” he said.

A Rotarian since 1988, Mr Beasley encouraged community members to attend a meeting or discuss Rotary with a Rotarian to learn more about the service clubs.

Group 1 assistant governor and Mount Gambier Lakes Rotarian Ian McKay thanks Phil and Judy for visiting the region.

“It is always good to have the district governor visit because it does focus local members a little bit on the bigger picture of Rotary and what Rotary is achieving in other parts of the district and around the world,” Mr McKay said.

“It is always an important part of the Rotary calendar.”