Vocational Service                                                         

Sarah Overton

Central Melbourne
                                                                                           
sarah.overton@rotary9800.org
 
While Rotary is rightly renowned for the vocational service we deliver for our community, this capability also represents our greatest advantage in our greatest challenge – converting volunteer participants into members. Rotary membership offers fantastic benefits that younger professionals may not experience in their workplace. In addition to clubs continuing their vocational service projects, consider how you can also leverage this capability to convert volunteers into members.

Rotary’s vocational advantage

Rotary clubs are renowned for delivering vocational services to members of their community. Within clubs, this same expertise nurtures younger Rotary members into their succession planning, develops the next generation of community leaders, and engages and retains more experienced Rotarians. Interviews with Rotary members aged 30-45 consistently report three practical benefits of Rotary membership that influence their decision to keep volunteering and renewing their membership with Rotary over other community organisations:
  • Not-for-profit board experience in a supportive environment
  • Mentorship by more experienced Rotary members
  • Online self-guided development resources such as Rotary Learning Center and growmyclub.org
This is our opportunity to grow our clubs' service capacity by converting more volunteers into members, and partner with employers to supplement their employee value proposition, all while engaging and retaining our more experienced members.

I'm in my 30s and this is how personal-professional development ensure Rotary is valuable to me

I’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? It's the vocational advantage of leadership opportunities, mentorship and development resources.

Mentorship Award

District 9800 Governor’s award for effective mentorship of Rotarians

Rotary District 9800 is celebrating the relationship between a mentor and protégé that makes for effective mentorship, develops community leadership and instills our next generation of leaders with Rotary values. We’re seeking nominations by younger Rotarians, who are being mentored by a more experienced Rotarian, of their effective mentorship. Both protégé and mentor must be members of a Rotary club of District 9800 (ask your club secretary if you're not sure). Nominations will be evaluated by the District Vocational Service Chair Sarah Overton (Rotary Central Melbourne) and District Governor Amanda Wendt (Rotary Melbourne) with successful candidates awarded at Official District Governor Cluster Visits.

Read more and nominate growmyclub.org/mentorship-award

An action plan to grow your club membership

Read more on how your club can leverage its vocational capabilities to convert more volunteers into members, grow your vocational service and engage and retain more experienced Rotarians with simple actions drawn from successful Rotary clubs. Find out more in our Growth Action Plan for membership.

Read more growmyclub.org/membership

 

Other online resources

To serve others

The application of one’s vocational skills to serve others is a core value of Rotary.  Club Vocational Chairs work with Community, International and Youth Service Chairs to identify service opportunities that match the vocational strengths and interests of their members.  (Refer to Skillsbank under District Programs).   Resources to assist in developing promising opportunities are available through organisations like RAWCS for International Service, RABS for Community Service, Rotary Connects in Community Service, and online in My Rotary.

To empower others

The websites listed above offer a menu of programs that recognise and build on occupations that contribute to the community - be it through professional development through work placements, mentoring or exchange programs, recognising excellence in corporate social responsibility, awarding excellence in customer service, etc.  These programs often overlap club programs in Community, International, and Youth Programs.  This simply demonstrates how Vocational Service underlies everything we do.

To inspire others

Leadership around ethical behaviour is an important element of every Rotary position.  This is clearly expressed in the Four Way Test and the Rotary Code of Conduct.  Clubs can do much to reinforce this value in its internal affairs and in its local business community. Rotary International and in Australia through the above websites have provided a rich list of programs currently used by clubs around the world to promote ethical behaviour.
 
 

District programs

 

To serve others

Be collective  
The emphasis here is to provide meaningful vocational experiences for participants in a flexible format. Typically organised by clubs, Vocational visits are developed in conjunction with an overseas club or district, have a clearly defined service objective in one of the Rotary Foundation’s areas of focus. Visits may be incoming, outgoing or both in a reciprocal arrangement. Such visits may lay the groundwork for a Vocational Training Team. District provides support in appropriate governance standards and Rotary Foundation grants may be available to complying programs to help defray the costs.
Contact – Mary Barry (Melbourne)
 
Vocational visits
The emphasis here is to provide meaningful vocational experiences for participants in a flexible format. Typically organised by clubs, Vocational visits are developed in conjunction with an overseas club or district, have a clearly defined service objective in one of the Rotary Foundation’s areas of focus. Visits may be incoming, outgoing or both in a reciprocal arrangement. Such visits may lay the groundwork for a Vocational Training Team. District provides support in appropriate governance standards and Rotary Foundation grants may be available to complying programs to help defray the costs.
Contact – Mary Barry (Melbourne)
 

To empower others

Mentoring
Mentoring for personal and professional development is a powerful tool for empowering others and many clubs have forms of mentoring within their service programs.  Rotarians have a great breadth and depth of knowledge in various professional fields along with life experiences and are often available to take on mentoring roles in their broader communities. Rotarians interested in assisting as mentors are encouraged to contact the Vocational Service Committee.
Contact - Mary Barry (Melbourne)
 

Victorian Police Leaders Mentoring Program

Victoria Police, in association with Rotary Districts across the state and the business community have established a successful partnership to deliver the Victoria Police Leaders Mentoring Program. It is a structured 12 month development program that partners a Police mentee with a business or Rotary mentor in order to further develop the Police members’ leadership skills relevant to their role in the Force.
 
Experienced Rotarians in D9800 who also have a business background and an interest in personal and professional of others are encouraged to apply to become a mentor in the 2018 program which commences in October.  Online application forms will be sent to Clubs in August 2018.  Mentors will also sought from clubs in other Victorian Districts depending on the mentee’s work location.
Contacts – Kevin Love (Central Melbourne)
 

Ambulance Victoria Leaders Mentoring Program

Building on the success of the Victoria Police Leaders Mentoring Program, Ambulance Victoria are partnering with Rotary in Victoria to establish a similar program.  Commencing in April 2018 the new program will involve all Victorian Rotary Districts. As with VicPol, it is a structured 12 month development program that matches an Ambulance Victoria mentee with a Rotary mentor in order to further develop the AV members’ leadership skills relevant to their role in the service.
 
Experienced Rotarians in D9800 who also have a business background and an interest in personal and professional of others are encouraged to apply to become a mentor in the 2020 program which commences in May 2020.  Online application forms will be sent to Clubs in February 2020.  Mentors will also sought from clubs in other Victorian Districts depending on the mentee’s work location.
Contacts – Alan Seale (Central Melbourne), Brett Jones (Central Melbourne) and Maryla Juchnowski (Melbourne)

Rotarians as Mentors

A sound mentoring program builds an ability to mentor effectively and consistently. To ensure that Rotary’s mentoring programs share a well designed model, Yarra Bend Rotary has developed and delivered a mentor training program. This program taps into individuals’ informal mentoring capabilities and develops these skills into formal and structured approaches to mentoring. In doing so, it builds confidence in the mentors to deliver the mentoring program to a wide range of mentees in a variety of professional or pre-professional settings.
Contacts - Edda Williams (Yarra Bend) 
 

New Generations Service Exchange

The NGSE Program is a relatively new program of Rotary International.  It is a short-term customizable program for university students and young professionals up to the age of 30. Participants can design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project.  They can make connections with service-minded community leaders in another country, learn another language and gain international experience whilst exploring another culture.
 
Organised on a district to district basis, exchanges can last from a few weeks to 6 months.  Costs vary by Rotary club or district.  To reduce expenses, host Rotary clubs provide home hosting, arrange no-cost internships or job shadowing programs and may offer financial support.
 
University students and professionals up to age 30 including current and former Rotaractors, RYLA and Youth Exchange alumni are encouraged to apply. If you know a young adult who you believe would benefit from this program or f you would like to host an inbound NGSE participant, contact us.
Contact - Alan Seale (Central Melbourne)