Monthly Archives: October 2014

Meet Anthea, Our District Rotaract Representative

Anthea Charlotte McCormick is the District Rotaract Representative (DRR) for our District 9465. The DRR has a leading role in a Rotaract district and is responsible for providing support to clubs.

In this conversation with Anthea we cover a range of issues, including what she sees as turnoffs for young professionals seeking to move from Rotaract to Rotary. Clubs that throw open their doors, provide mentoring and offer early access to board roles will be seen as attractive places to be.

Here’s our interview with Anthea:

Dee Roopun: My Life-Changing LEAP

Dee Roopun was an academically gifted and high-achieving 24 year old,  who felt that she was drifting through life and lacked goals.

Dee Roopun
Dee Roopun

All that changed for Dee when she attended the LEAP development program in Los Angeles in 2014. Dee had been through plenty of training courses and personal development programs before, but this one was different.  Her exposure to high achieving young fellow students, along with content that challenged and mentors who inspired, lifted her out of her rut.

A key outcome of the program was driving out fear and instilling new form of self-confidence that has Dee looking forward to experiences that would previously have terrified her.

Hear the story from Dee:

 

Let’s Use Our Social Media to Defeat Polio Fatigue!

Recently I was chatting on Facebook with a friend who is a very committed Rotarian, and the topic of polio eradication came up.  I was a little taken aback when my friend told me that he had polio eradication fatigue, due to the seemingly incessant calls for donations.

That got me thinking.   The campaign against polio reached a crunch point during the horrible polio epidemics in the developed world of the 1950s, when fear of the disease drove people from public places. The breakthrough came when Salk produced his lifesaving vaccine. That vaccine and the later oral version developed by Sabin eventually made polio history in the First World.  Parents could breathe easier.

A child in a wheelchair with 4 adult men

Parents in the western world can breathe easier.

Polio was still rampant in the Third World in 1987, with 35,685 cases reported by 168 countries. As a consequence of this ongoing tragedy, Rotary International declared war on polio as part of a global campaign to eradicate the crippling disease.   Steady progress was made over the years, but as with similar eradication campaigns, the last 1% is the hard part.  We seem to have been saying “this close” about our efforts to eradicate polio for ages.

That can be very frustrating.

There have been recent exhilarating successes. The declaration that India was wild polio-free in 2013 gladdened the hearts of all who have contributed to the campaign.

Just when we thought we were getting there, so came the recent reverses. Civil war, poverty and social unrest have created opportunities for polio spot fires to ignite in Syria, Somalia and other places.  These serve as a constant reminder that the main line of defence is a fully protected populace. That requires caring people on the ground delivering vaccine to vulnerable children, often in remote locations and where vaccination teams are sometimes at high personal risk.

Fundraising is key to the ongoing battle with polio.  Two fundraisers that really seem to have captured the collective imagination are:

  • Paul Wilson and the Rotary Club of Grantham built their Swimarathon into an annual global success story that supports swimming events globally.  The Swimarathon has raised nearly $1m for polio eradication since 2012.
  • Past District Governor Mukesh Malhotra and PP Susanne Rea developed the World’s Greatest Meal into an innovative and winning concept. Since WGM kicked off, more than 654 WGM events have seen 23,400 meals served, raising  more than $338,000 .

Globe surrounded by 13 happy faces

Why do these fundraising campaigns work so well?   Social Media!

Paul and Mukesh know their social media stuff and the results are there for all to see.  Success!

These fundraisers and many others have raised millions for polio eradication.  Rotarians have also been in action at the sharp end of the eradication program, too, traveling vast distances to personally  deliver lifesaving droplets of vaccine straight to the mouths of at-risk kids.

The 26 years since the Rotary polio eradication campaign started has seen huge progress made.  We’re down to the last, most frustrating  bit and yes, the glamour wore off ages ago. But that’s why we’re Rotarians – we take on the tough jobs.

And as Bill Gates said: “As long as polio threatens even one child anywhere in the world, all children — wherever they live — remain at risk. The stakes are that high.”

Let’s finish the job.

Natalie Jupe: The Importance of Interact

Past President Natalie Jupe of the Rotary Club of Queanbeyan is part of the dynamic new generation of Rotary leadership that is transforming the century-old service club. Jupe, the Interact Chair for Rotary District 9710, sees the young members of Interact (12-18yrs) as vital members of the Family of Rotary organisations. She speaks fondly of the very positive impression her young charges made at the June 2014 Rotary International Convention, held in Sydney.

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interact offers young people who want to do good in our world the opportunity to come together and make a difference in a volunteer organisation tailored for them. With the option of school or community-based clubs, Interact can help bring together the youth of diverse elements in a community.

Jupe sees Interactors as the Rotarians of the future. Judging by the fundraising efforts of Telopea Park High School, who raised $114,000 for an international project, Interactors are already setting a fine example for the broader Rotary community.

Get the full story about Interact from District 9710 Interact Chair Natalie Jupe here: