Posted by Vocational Services Chair, Sarah Overton

Sarah Overton, Rotary District 9800 Vocational Service DirectorI’m often asked the question: “Why Rotary?” I am of a generation that tends to support causes, not join clubs.  I have a full-time job and a busy household with a husband, two young kids, and a dog who believes twice-daily walks are the only cause worth considering. 

Also I am passionate about my “me time” for reading, exercise, or quiet contemplation.  So… why make time for Rotary?

Part of the answer is that, back home in Florida, I have parents who raised me to believe in the importance of community involvement.  My dad, who is a longstanding member of Rotary, instilled in me a belief that grownups volunteer.  Service is vital to a well-rounded life.
When I finished my studies, moved to Melbourne, and started working professionally, it was a natural step to join the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne.  I felt good about being involved with an organisation that makes the world – and my own neighbourhood – a better place through impactful projects.
But another, richer answer to “Why Rotary” has to do with what I get back in the form of personal and professional development.  Constantly I pinch myself at my good fortune, especially as a newcomer to Melbourne, that I can access a network of extraordinary business and community leaders.  These leaders freely share their experience and knowledge, helping me expand my own leadership capacity and develop skills which translate back into my career and family life. 
I’ve been formally and informally mentored by senior business and community leaders who I never would have met if not for Rotary – and who, graciously, never fail to return my calls.
Through Rotary, I have led projects and formed teams with people whose professional and life experience wildly overshadows my own – and yet these talented people give me space to step up.  They coach me gently, and they are invested in my growth. 
And I have opportunities to mentor others, completing a virtuous cycle of how Rotary fosters the next generation of community leaders.
I gain skills, I use them to give back, and that is "Why Rotary" for me.
Rotary membership offers personal and professional development advantages to volunteers aged in their 30s and 40s. Lets’ connect with these motivated volunteers and grow our clubs to make a bigger difference for our community.
Read more about Rotary's vocational advantage
Rotary membership offers fantastic benefits that employees may not experience in their workplace
Nominate for the District Governor award for effective mentorship
We’re seeking nominations by younger members being mentored by a more experienced Rotarian of their effective mentorship
Find out more about the simple actions your club can make today
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About Sarah
Sarah Overton is Director, Strategy and Growth in the Risk Assurance practice at KPMG Australia. She works with business leaders to design and execute growth-oriented strategy based on market & customer insights – drawing on her background in research, public policy, marketing and sales to deliver outcomes that benefit both people and the bottom line. In addition to her career, Sarah is a wife and mom of two, and she volunteers as Vocational Service Director on the Rotary District 9800 Leadership Team. Sarah holds a Masters in Marketing from the University of South Australia, a Graduate Certificate in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide, and a Bachelors in Political Science from Dartmouth College in the United States.