Graeme's Message, 9 July 2015

Dear Rotarians and friends

Our club changeover occurs this Thursday and this is my final “Presidential” letter to you all.

Gary Huang, RI President, set the theme “Light up Rotary” for 2014-15 and my aim was to ignite and illuminate the activities of the Rotary Club of Footscray. A Club Vision exercise held in October 2013 challenged us to consider how the club should be perceived in 2016. An outcome of the exercise was the following vision statement :

“The Rotary Club of Footscray is a friendly, vibrant, multicultural community service organisation leading positive change for people  in the local community and internationally”

With a year to go, I believe we are well on the way to achieving our vision. We certainly are a friendly club and each week visitors are warmly welcomed and in all activities the friendships that exist between members is evident.

Our membership does have representatives from various ethnic backgrounds but given the diversity of the community, there is room for improvement in the multicultural mix of our membership. However, it is pleasing that we have inducted 5 new members during the year.

The various activities of the club certainly indicate we are vibrant and serving the community locally and internationally. We have continued to support local schools with scholarships, participated in student exchange, built toilets in schools in Bangladesh and progressed the planning for an oral health program in Ethiopia.

Over the last twelve months the new initiatives include:

  1. Evan Phillips Scholarship for local apprentices
  2. Establishing the Community Bike Shed
  3. “Support for Diabetes” project in association with Western Health
  4. A corporate membership category

Throughout the year I have had great support and encouragement from all members and particularly the Board; for that I am most appreciative and thank you all.

As I hand over the role of President to Angus Scott-Walker, I extend my  congratulations and wish him well as Rotary continues to be  “A gift to the world”.