Posted by DG Amanda Wendt on Oct 29, 2022
PDG Bronwyn Stephens, District Service Director Lili Teichman and myself were joined by Peter Mercer from Diversity Works and PDG Edith Chaney (D9920) to discuss what DEI means in the context of Rotary. 

Our conversation was anchored around the themes of ‘connect, understand and invite’ and the simple steps Rotary clubs can take to reduce barriers to participation so a diverse range of people can enjoy the benefits of volunteering so many of us get to experience.

It was fantastic to hear the experiences and insights of panel members as well as audience contributors, with the conversation spanning gender, age, sexuality, race, colour, physical or mental ability, and place of origin.

We also launched the video titled, 'I am not mad, I am not deaf' (, sponsored by Brighton North Rotary, which shines the light on people who suffer with aphasia.

While your club may have set out to provide service to a community group, not gain members from it, club membership can be exactly the right step to embed community leaders who have the purpose and insight necessary to grow your club’s initiative in the right way, as well as open a membership pipeline of more, similarly-motivated community members.

Some diverse groups in our community may not be extended this opportunity, often because of pre-conceptions of their preferences, requirements or capabilities. Many of these are erroneous, easily resolved, or worth the effort to resolve, by keeping in mind the three considerations: anticipate, communicate and accommodate. That is, leave enough time to check ahead with your guest or member for their requirements, and work with your venue to make arrangements.

We also shared how several volunteers at our monthly volunteer with the DG days have certain requirements, all of which have been easily accommodated allowing for even more people to get involved with Rotary. The message was loud and clear, DEI is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.

Find out how your club can grow your service and membership to make a better, bigger difference for your community, and be more representative of that community, with an action plan on how to connect, understand and invite more members of diverse community groups at