Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. Dr. Seuss
Three years ago my life changed considerably when I was selected to be a District Governor in Rotary. People often wonder how the process of selection works and indeed it seems that in our District past and current leaders take it upon themselves to approach people they believe will do a good job! After two years of such approaches I decided to nominate and secured the support from the members of the most amazing Club, Wyndham Rotary. A rigorous selection process conducted by a panel of seven past District and Club leaders determined that this country girl who still goes to school would be a District Governor in the largest District in Australia.
Once selected, a wonderful journey begins with two years of training at a Zone Institute, a visit to Australian Office of Rotary International in Parramatta and then the much anticipated International training week in San Diego where 530 “soon to be “ District Governors come together for intensive work and valued networking. Of course at local District level, many hours are taken to select and prepare one’s own District Leadership Team and Club Presidents. At all stages I was encouraged and supported by those who have gone before me, family and you my friends. I will always be so grateful for the work done to prepare for the District Changeover Event and I still cannot believe that was over a year ago!
It is fair to say that through all this I had some doubts as to whether I would meet the expectations that I felt others had of me and indeed I had of myself. But these moments faded as I began to select and plan with a wonderful District Leadership Team to develop aspirational goals related to membership, public image and Foundation. Armed with a Mantra of, “it’s all about the Clubs”, and with a promise of Service Leadership from the District Leadership Team, I began to visit clubs. The warmth of welcome, interest in my thoughts and pride in club projects and programs affirmed my respect for Club leaders and Rotarians in our great District.
A highlight of the Rotary year is of course the annual Conference and the most generous and hardworking Conference Planning Team lead by Chair Gary Willson ensured that a memorable Conference occurred in Bendigo with record attendance, fabulous speakers and entertainment. It is still being talked about with segments such as the Youth Exchange and Family Violence noted as special.
To initiate District Programs such as The Group Vocational Exchange with District 3800 in the Philippines and a new Vocational Training Team to Cambodia was satisfying. The Royce Abbey Change Champion initiative, along with participation in the inaugural Inspire Awards is a highlight, and to see membership increase and goals related to raising the profile of Rotary achieve success warms the heart and augurs well for the future.
The recent decisions related to Rotary made by the Council on Legislation gives me supreme optimism for the future of our great organisation and I see a bright future for clubs embracing flexibility whilst staying true to our values and that ever important 4 Way Test.
I was privileged to work with a very supportive District Secretary and Treasurer and along with a Board and Leadership Team, I believe that we have set the scene for continued success. I am grateful to Adrian Nelson for teaching me the value of embracing social media and his initiative in establishing an enduring District Governor Facebook Page enabled me to share my journey and all those chicken dinners!
I now take on a role as District Learning and Leadership Facilitator and I will be responsible for the Leadership Development of future Presidents, organising seminars for new members, future leaders within and beyond the club and the Rotary Leadership Institute program. I am a member of both the District Membership Team and Foundation Team where I am responsible for the Vocational Training Team Program. I will also enjoy the role as Wyndham Youth Service Director.
I am so looking forward to getting back to my Club but will also remember the wonderful time in my life where I had the privilege to be your District Governor. As always………..Ubuntu: I am, because you are.
Enjoy Rotary as you always bring your gifts to our Rotary world and Serve Humanity.