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