Vocational Service                                                         

Warwick Cavell, Rotary Central Melbourne

District Vocational Service Chair 2023-24

Email:  warwick.cavell@rotary9800.org                                                                                   

Introduction to Vocational Service

Vocational Service is the essence of Rotary and the foundation from which Rotary began – the application of one’s vocational skills to serve others.
It is rooted in the second Object of Rotary which calls on Rotarians to encourage and foster:
  1. High ethical standards in business and the professions.
  1. The recognition of the worthiness of all occupations.
  1. The dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
We also see Rotary providing a unique opportunity for those on the way up in their careers to enhance their leadership and management skills, such as project management and mentoring, to name but two. Combined with the networking opportunities that Rotary provides this positions Rotary as a good career move for younger ambitious members of our communities.
Having said that, Vocational Service is probably the most misunderstood avenue of service in Rotary. It is not as clearly defined as the other avenues of service, often overlapping them, particularly Youth and Community. Partly because of this, many clubs do not currently have a Vocational Service chair.

Vocational Service Champions

Some years ago we developed a small but active Vocational Service Champions team for people who are interested in furthering Vocational Service projects, whether those projects be under the banner of Youth, Community, or any other avenue of service. Membership of this team is open to anyone in Rotary District 9800 who is interested in being involved in identifying, making accessible, and encouraging clubs to embrace impactful Vocational Service Projects.
The role of the Champions Team is to…
  • Identify successful scalable projects.
  • Ensure the projects are appropriately templated or codified so they can be picked up easily by other clubs in the district.
  • Promote/share templated projects with clubs.
  • Measure the achievements and impacts these projects are having.
A key outcome of this work has been the production of the Project Ideas Bank (PIB). The PIB lists a variety of projects that clubs can embrace, together with ideas on how to implement these projects at the club level (including access to templates for doing so).
The Project Ideas Bank can be found at:    Vocational_Service_Project_Ideas_Bank
If you would like to join the Vocational Service Champions Team or would like to find out more please don’t hesitate to contact me.

The Vocational Service Plan

The Vocational Service plan focuses on four main areas. These areas were identified by clubs as being the areas where they most see opportunities for Vocational Service and where they most want to be engaged.
  • Mentoring

Our Goal: To encourage the development of a variety of accessible projects of best practice mentoring opportunities with appropriate support for Rotarians.
Due to their life experiences, Mentoring is a unique standout capability for Rotarians. It is also a potentially convenient project for Rotarians to engage with given the growing use of online forums.
We have developed a website (www.rotarymentors.org.au) where you can find out more about and register your interest in mentoring programs, we are currently running…
  • Victoria Police Leadership Mentoring Program.
  • Ambulance Victoria Leadership Mentoring Program.
  • International Students Mentoring Program.
Because mentoring is in high demand in many organisations, we are anticipating adding more mentoring opportunities to the website over time.
We are also looking to add mentoring training to the website for those who either want to brush up on their mentoring skills or who have had limited experience in mentoring but feel they have something to offer.
  • Schools

Our Goal: To encourage the development of a variety of accessible projects to support schools in the development and recognition of teachers and students.
There are a number of Vocational Service Programs aimed at working with schools, including…
  • Public Speaking competitions – Wynspeak, Bayspeak, and Ainger Peck. These have been highly successful projects and are constantly evolving and growing.
  • Teacher Awards.
  • Mock Interviews.
  • Reading Coaches.
  • Year 6 Writing Competition.
Not only do these projects provide great value to the students, and teachers but they also raise the awareness and profile of Rotary in a vital part of our community.
Rotary Programs for Schools gives a concise summary of all these programs in one document which can be given to a local school to show them what Rotary offers for students.
  • Job Ready

Our Goal: To encourage the development of a variety of accessible projects that assist younger people (generally beyond schools age) develop the attributes necessary to successfully secure employment and make their contribution to community.
The types of programs we promote here include…
  • L2P learn to drive program.
  • Employment of people with intellectual disability.
  • Resume completion.
  • Job-ready training.
  • Mock interviews.
  • Community Leadership Awards.
  • NGSE – New Generation Service Exchange.
  • Business Partnerships

Our Goal: To encourage clubs build mutually beneficial partnerships with small to medium businesses in their communities, that help further the objects of Rotary.
While this is an area offers significant potential to create impactful community projects and raise the profile of Rotary it is largely untapped.
As a result it is a space that is rapidly evolving as we learn.
Some examples of projects fit under this banner include…
  • Victoria Police – Leadership Mentoring Program.
  • Ambulance Victoria – Leadership Mentoring Program.
  • Mentor Match – international student mentoring program.
  • Belonging Matters – Community Employment Program, seeking employment for those with intellectual disabilities.
  • Business Breakfasts.
  • Business Awards.
  • Developing the relationship with Toastmasters.
  • Vocational Visits.

If any of the above whet your interest, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.