Highlights From The Rotary District 9675 CONFERENCE


“Foundations For Success “

10-12 March Novotel Wollongong Northbeach

Rotary is simply “Fellowship” and service to our Community whether “Locally”, Nationally or Internationally

Patrick Roberts OAM a Past District Governor and Member of The Rotary Club at West Wollongong received Rotary Internationals Highest Award at the start of the Conference “Service Above Self” for this Rotary work and his work with the Cram Foundation

Noel Travaskis OAM – Rotary International Director

2 Highlights

    • Within 3 years, we’ll see the last case of Polio
    • 100 years of The Rotary Foundation in 2017 – 2018

Why Do People Join Rotary?

    • To make new friends and do good in the community whether “Locally” or “Internationally
    • Why Do People Leave Rotary?
    • DIDN’T make friends
    • DIDN’T get to do worthwhile Community Works
    • DIDN’T know any more about ROTARY when they left, than when they joined
    • “Attendance” doesn’t mean anything anymore
    • Clubs LOSE members because we don’t look after them or care for the them
    • 90% of Club Members NEVER ask friends to come along and join Rotary

It’s imperative we make a New Member feel welcome and GET THEM ENGAGED
Our first priority in the years ahead is MEMBERSHIP! – we must bring in new members

By 2020 – Rotarians will start leaving Rotary involuntarily
The Best Advertisement For Getting Someone Interested in Joining Rotary is :

You tell them WHY YOU joined Rotary and that you are STAYING in Rotary!

The “Elevator” speech is OK – but it is YOUR PERSONAL STORY that matters
Remember – invite new people to your club, but make sure your Club looks after them!


Keep this date in your diary now.
The Rotary International Presidential Peace Conference 2018, will be held on March 17th 2018 at The Sydney Town Hall.

Curtis McGrath – Paralympian “Motivation and Overcoming Adversity”

Curtis was a solider but lost both legs stepping on a mine in Afghanistan.
Did of his time as a soldier, losing his legs, becoming an Australia Paralympian Champion. (Look up Google – You Tube to see more of Curtis).

Sarah Brown – CEO of the Purple House “Passion and Purpose”

Sarah works in the remote parts of Australia.
The Purple House is an organisation run by Aboriginals providing Dialysis Services to remote communities – and now they have a mobile truck!
Check them out on Facebook “The Purple Truck Dialysis”
“Like Us” on Facebook.
Key Takeaway Messages From Sarah

  • Watch your Facial Expressions – it tells a story!
  • Deal with your “Dead Cats” quickly i.e. get your problems out of the way quick smart!
  • Doesn’t matter if you tell a story 1000 times – but each time, tell it like it is the FIRST time you’ve told it. TRY NOT TO BE BORING
  • It may be the ONLY TIME and chance you’ll have to get your message across

A Quick Solution to Solving a Water Problem: – Helene “Bo” Morse

Did You Know

  • In 180 countries – you can’t drink the water!
  • 3.5 million people worldwide have dies of water born illnesses (more than wars)
  • 900 children a day under the age of 5 die of water born diseases

Bo’s organisation is putting water filtration systems (SKYHYDRANTS) into countries like PNG, India, Nepal, Fiji, Haiti, and The Philippines

“ROTARY INSPIRED ME” – The Thoughts of 3 Young Rotarians

Key Takeaway Messages

  • Ask yourself “What Does Rotary Mean to Me?
  • It is important to support and nurture youth
  • We must continue to support The Rotary Exchange Program
  • It’s important Rotary Club’s bring in new generations e.g. Schools
  • If not YOU? Then WHO?
  • If not NOW – then WHEN?

Marcus Akuhata – Brown “Lifting The Lid”

Marcus is a New Zealander, a qualified teacher. He’s regarded as an emergency leader and inspiring international speaker with a powerful message.
His talk inspired us all to hit higher levels of performance

Key Takeaway Points

  • “The Fly” Story
  • Flies are born to fly.
  • Put them in a glass jar with lid – they only fly as high as the glass lid. Takeaway the lid – they’ll still only fly as high as the glass lid had it been there still.
  • i.e. They were conditioned by their environment. They had low expectations.
  • Decisions you make today – determine you future tomorrow and the rest of your life!
  • Staying in your comfort zone – denies you the opportunity to grow as a person.

Child & Adolescent Mental Health – Professor Michael Sawyer OAM

Key Points

  • There is a prevalence of Mental Disorder amongst 4-17yr old’s
  • 14% of Young People
  • 560,000 individual children and adolescents

The 3 Main Mental Disorders Among 6-17yrs Olds?

  • ADHD – 298,000
  • Anxiety Disorder – 278,000
  • Depressive Disorders – 125,000
    1 in 5 Australians suffer from some sort of Mental Illness or Substance Drug Abuse.
    Australia Rotary Health – Why The Need For Research?
  • Gain knowledge and improve treatment and service delivery
  • Promotes High Professional Standards – Fosters Good Culture
  • Helps Attract Staff and Retain Health Staff
  • Enhance Teaching
  • Improves medication management for children
  • Helps parents of pre-school children
  • Helps reduce suicide in Australia
  • Australian Rotary Health Supports Healthier Minds, Bodies and Community through Research, Awareness and Education.


Key Points

  • Down to 37 cases last Rotary Year 2015 – 2016
  • Fingers crossed total eradication of Polio should be completed within 2 years
  • Only Type 3 Polio is still around
  • Only 3 Countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria


  • Still need $1.24 billion in funds
  • Fundraiser – Club Goal to be $2,650 in this Centenary Yar
  • $26.50 per Member
  • 400 million children still need to be vaccinated


  • Continuing raising awareness in The Media, Social Platforms, Special Events, Celebrity Endorsements
  • Tie in with World Polio Day (is in October)
  • Tie in with Rotary Birthday (is in February Each Year)

Addressing Boys Mental Health – Melissa Abu – Gazaleh

Melissa was the 2016 NSW Young Australian of the Year – Illawarra Young Entrepreneur of the Year – recently named in the Australia Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence
Melissa established Top Blokes Foundation – A Leading Boys Social Education Organisation improving boys Mental Health & Well Being.
Key Takeaway Messages
Today’s Young men …………

  • 3.5 times greater than women to die (whether by suicide, self-harm, drug overdose)
  • $387,000 per hour is the cost to the Australian Economy of combating young Men’s Mental Health
  • 49% of “King Hits” are done by males 18-23yrs
  • 46% of Young Men get into a Physical Fight
  • The first time boys watch porn is 11 years old

The Top Blokes Program Led To

  • 91% learnt strategies about looking after their own mental health
  • 84% of teen boys changed their opinion about alcohol and drugs
  • 75% learnt new techniques of conflict resolution and anger management
  • 85% saw their self-esteem improve

“Every YOUNG Person is just one caring adult away to being a success story”.

Changing Times – Changing Rotary – Jessie Harman PDG

(Jessie is the Project Lead For The Regional Membership Plan For Zone 8)
Key Takeout Messages
The changing Nature of Volunteering

  • Rise in “Digital” Volunteering i.e. internet and social media
  • Rise in “Skills Based” volunteering e.g. “Medicines Sans Frontier” “Engineers Without Borders”
  • Rise in “Workplace” volunteering i.e. workers give back to the community e.g. Uni’s, Banks
  • Rise of “Cause Based ” volunteering – especially with young people e.g. against poverty, hunger, shelter
  • Rise of “Episode” volunteering i.e. those that dip in and dip out of volunteering as their lifestyle permits

People want more meaningful volunteering roles and flexible volunteering roles i.e. when and where!
Examples from clubs of how they might be responsive and relevant.

  • Discard some Club Rituals like saying Grace, having a SAA
  • Change Meeting Formats e.g. “MEET” THEN “EAT”
  • Change Committee Structures e.g. President Rotates every 3 months
  • Engagements over Attendance
  • Foster ‘Friends of Rotary”
  • Develop Rotary Community Corps e.g. Nepalese
  • Community Development with other Groups e.g. Ballarat Swap Meet
  • Youth Focused Rotary Clubs
  • New types of Clubs e.g. E-Clubs, Satellite Clubs, Hybrid Clubs where face to face clubs combine with an E-Club
  •  Cause based Rotary Clubs e.g. Those whose passion is water and sanitation
  • Vocational Service & Business Ethics
  • Core Values
  • Focus on Youth Programs – They are the pipeline to the future
  • People will mobilise around “The Money”

ORGAN DONATION – Donate Life – Debbie Roberts

Debbie is from The Rotary Club of Narellan and is passionate about promoting awareness of Organ Donation.

Key Points – Did You Know

  • One donor can transform the lives of up to 10 people.
  • 69% of Australians are willing to become a donor.
  • 1,600 Australians are on a National waiting list.
  • Almost anyone can donate.
  • Most of us know we need to discuss our Donation Decisions with our family members and in the workplace.
  • Let others know of your intentions.

Attributes of a Good Leader? Noel Travaskis

Respect – Trust

Defining Rotary’s Brand – PDG Wendy Gaborit

Wendy is the Public Image Co-ordinator for Zone 8 2015 – 2017.
Defining Rotary’s BRAND
Why Rotary’s Public Image is all about Membership.
There is a Perception of Rotary as an “Old Boys Club”


  • A modern diverse group that gets things done and makes a difference in the community.

The Rotary Wheel – People Do Recognise The Wheel.

  • Couldn’t tell what organisation the wheel was associated with.
    At Rotary
  • We exchange ideas
  • We grow our Professional & Personal Horizons
  • We are in the company of/ with other leaders
  • We take action and make a difference
  • Rotary is “People of Action” Feeling Good – Doing Good
  • Use Social Media to connect people to your cause
  • Project to end Trachoma (Eradicate Trachoma)

Will commence in 2020.

This will be Rotary’s Centenary Project


Ideas : purchased washing machines, hygiene kits, clean pools etc

Public Image Photos Competition

Send a photo that shows the promotion of Rotary – Taking Action, The Purpose , and Exchange Ideas.

4 Cameras to be …….

Go to the “My Rotary” website for all the details.

(Bruce is The Manager of The Rotary Foundation Sth Pacific & Phillipines)

Take Away Messages

  • 1 Billion People are living in distress.
  • We should all complain LESS and DO MORE!
  • The Foundation is only as good as the support it gets from Clubs, Districts and Rotarians.

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