District AGM 2021

Our club was represented at the District AGM & Combined President's Meeting on Friday, 26th November by President Connie Day (online), President Elect Allan Petersen (online) and Secretary Angela Porritt (in person).  The meeting was held at The Warwick in Cabramatta and saw Presidents and Club representatives come together from across all of District 9675 from Greater Sydney to the Illawarra to celebrate the past year.

Foundation Awards

Foundation Awards were presented first with President Judith Humphrey's of the Rotary Club of Camden receiving The Rotary Foundation Award.
The Rotary Club of Concord was recognized as one of a number of Clubs which made significant contributions of funds to The Rotary Foundation from programs run by the club (excluding members individual donations) receiving a Level One Club Donor certificate.  Secretary Angela accepted the award on behalf of the Club from Past District Governor Warwick Richardson.  Also making significant contributions were the Rotary Clubs of Bondi Junction, Botany Randwick, Campsie, Engadine, Fairy Meadow, Holroyd, Ingleburn, Koggorah, Liverpool West, MacArthur Sunrise & Rockdale City.
The Top 3 Clubs receiving Banner Recognitions for the highest per capita giving were the Rotary Clubs of Sydney, Parramatta City and Narellan.
Clubs receiving Every Rotarian, Every Year Awards included the Rotary Clubs of Parramatta City, Camden, Liverpool West and Wollongong.
Receiving awards for donations greater than $1,000 USD to End Polio were the Rotary Clubs of Camden, Concord and Kings Cross presented by District Foundation Chair Keith Roffey.
An announcement was made that the End Polio Train ride for 2022 had been rescheduled to take place on 23rd February 2022.

District Enviro Awards Introduced

A new category of awards for Rotary's 7th Area of Focus - Environmental Sustainability was announced and it was noted that the 5 consecutive Past Presidents of Rotary International have all supported the environment as an area of focus which provided Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta the opportunity to speak at the COP26 summit in Glasgow about Rotary‚Äôs key focuses as we join the fight against climate change. You can read about it here on the website of Rotary Great Britain & Ireland as well as Why it is important that Rotary is at COP26.
The District Enviro Awards are being managed by Thelma Raman from the Rotary Club of Sydney who Chairs their Climate Action Group.  The awards have been adapted from a UK program and have been designed to encourage Rotarians to be catalysts for action in their communities, to recognize Club's Environmental initiatives, incentives clubs to further develop their Environmental Initiatives, increase engagement with new and existing members, increase income through community grants, develop new partnerships within the community and local businesses.   Prizes will be awarded to Clubs based on the level of activity and they have in Environmental initiatives in Bronze, Silver and Gold categories.  There are no restrictions on the projects that can be undertaken, applications for an award must be submitted to the District Environment Officer. Succssful Clubs will be presented with an award at the District 9675 Changeover for 2022 by the District Governor who will grant final approval of awards to Clubs.

Membership Growth Awards

A number of Clubs were recognized for the achievements they have made so far this year adding new the most new members to their Clubs in a given month.  District Governor Jeremy Wright presented the following clubs with membership awards for Club of the Month:

  • Fairy Meadow - July
  • Sydney Darling Harbour - 4 new members in August.
  • Sylvania Waters - 3 new members in September.
  • Sydney Cove - 6 new members in October.

The Rotary Club of Strathfield also received a Membership Award for having added 5 members to their club for the year so far.

Rotary Regionalization Plans

Finally Past District Governor Phil Whyte PHF from the Rotary Club of Cronulla presented the case for Regionalization of Rotary.  PDG Phil will be our District Representative for Regionalization and will be working with current and future District Governors to establish a mechanism to consult and communicate with Clubs so we can provide input and feedback into the structure, function and impact of the Regionalization plan.  

The ultimate goal of the Regionalization Plan is to make Rotary more flexible and cost effective, make resources more accessible, improve communication, grow membership, attract more community, corporate and government sector support.  To enhance leadership and personal activities, foster more diverse perspectives and reduce the burden of administration face by upcoming leaders.

The need for change is underscored by the decline in membership which has continued over the last 10 years despite 1,369,118 new members being recruited worldwide in the same time frame the number of existing Rotarians sits at 1,162,763.  The picture is the same for Zone 8 having recruited 33,311 new members with the total membership remaining at 31,670.

Yet despite the overall downward trend the Rotary Clubs of Asia have been able to reverse this trend in their area and have experienced a 26% increase in membership since 2011.  This has been attributed to an embracing of new types of membership and clubs that include Family and Corporate Memberships, eClubs, Passport and Satellite Clubs.   In addition trends are being seen in the number of women joining Rotary both in Zone 8 and worldwide underscoring the need for Clubs to engage in activities that will attract and retain female members.

Other statistics of note: worldwide 62% of members are over 50 with 72% of senior leaders (RI Directors and TRF Trustees) at least 70 years old.  78% of Presidential appointees, 72% of Regional leaders & 70% of District Governors are at least 60 years old.  No one under the age of 40 has been selected to serve at the regional level.

In April 2022 the Council of Legislation will vote on whether to initiate the Regionalization Plan.  May 2022 Zone 8 will vote.  If the vote is successful the Regionalization Plan will begin in July 2023 with each District being given the right to participate or not. 

In the words of Arch. C. Klumph.  "Rotary will not go backward nor can it remain stationary.  It must push forward."

Rotary Adopt a Tree Project Announced

The Rotary Adopt-a-Tree Project launch was announced for Australian Day, 26th January 2022.

This is a District project that will involve an education program that Clubs will be able to roll out to schools.  Trees will be planted in bush fire ravaged zone and donors will be able to track the progress of their actual adopted trees by scanning a QR code which will take them to a website where they can view photos and drone video footage of the physical tree(s) they have adopted.

All banners and supporting material needed to run this project will be provided to interested Clubs by District Representatives leading up to the event as will further information as we draw closer to January.