2012-13 PDG Greg Brown and Lyn

During the year the Clubs of Rotary district 9700 have each contributed to the ideals of Rotary Service both locally and to international communities.

The theme decided by Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka of “Peace through Service” was taken up enthusiastically by all clubs.

The Second Peace Communities International Conference in Wagga 21-23 Sep 2012 showed remarkable foresight by PDG’s Fred Loneragan and Ray King in anticipating the theme and setting the wheels in motion to plan and conduct this conference more than two years ago. The Conference was acclaimed by all who attended and the book of presentations put together by Ray King has been featured in “The Rotarian” magazine as well as “Rotary Down Under”. Ray has had a request from the United Nations for 10 copies. The Conference was a combined effort by all the Rotary Clubs of Wagga and due recognition has been given to the individuals involved at the various Club Changeovers.

The District Conference was hosted by both Leeton Clubs and attended by nearly 400 Rotarians and friends. Twenty six years between Conferences in Leeton is too long. Complimentary remarks from those attending should encourage more frequent District Conferences at the historic Roxy Theatre. The concluding ceremony of the Conference declaring Leeton as a Rotary Peace Community was a fitting end to a period of wider co-operation between Rotary and the wider community.

Membership - The district started the year with 1167 and is currently at 1149. This drop is consistent with the trend across many countries and highlights the need for clubs to work hard at revitalising themselves. There is no shortage of volunteers willing to help with projects and activities. Clubs must explore innovative ways to maintain regular contact and be willing to accept the time people can give to Rotary.

Rotary Foundation Programs GSE - A team from our district visited D5690 (Kansas) in October and we hosted a great group of young professionals in April. Most Clubs have maintained their level of giving to Foundation Programs.

District Service Projects – NSW & ACT Rotary Districts held the Rotary Inspirational Women’s Awards in early March. D9700 was well represented by nominees and attendees at the Gala Dinner in Sydney. The result saw Bec Ordish from Bathurst declared the NSW & ACT Rotary Inspirational Woman for 2013. Coolamon dynamo John Glassford has announced the formation of a Rotary Action Group for Endangered Species. The multi club Nepal Friendship project is developing further and will be able to take advantage of the Future Vision changes to Foundation Funding. Regular Market activities in most of our main towns have provided a varied source of funds and club activities.

New Generations Programs – RYLA moved to Camp Kurrajong under the direction of Wagga Wagga Murrumbidgee Club. 32 young adults from 20 clubs reported a life changing experience and highlighted the value of this program. The RYPEN camp attracted 53 participants from 19 clubs. MUNA continues to enlighten students to the issues concerning the wider world. The Science & Engineering challenge at 4 locations is well supported by the schools and has scope to be extended to the Leeton/Griffith area. Nominations for NYSF were pleasing and participants have reported a valuable experience. Youth exchange is having difficulty attracting candidates for the long term exchange program. There are presently 6 overseas students being hosted in the district.

District Administration – The District Website (hosted by ClubRunner) continues to be developed. There is scope to further utilise this versatile program as well as train clubs in the active use of Facebook as a means of maintaining contact with members.

Dream Cricket – This program, operating in conjunction with Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW, the Bradman Foundation and other sponsors, is an example of Rotary expertise being put to good use assisting the community. There is scope for it to spread to other centres in D9700.

Training Activities – D9700 is fortunate to have a highly motivated, experienced and competent training team. The Presidents’ Elect and District Assembly Training activities have been very well received by the club representatives. The program of sharing experience and knowledge amongst all participants is very positive. The inclusion of the Assistant Governors as an integral part of this team has helped all club representatives to gain inspiration in formulating their plans.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all Assistant Governors for their interest and willingness to assist the Clubs. Also my thanks to all Rotarians and friends of Rotary across the district for the effort put in to “Making the world a better place” this last year.

My thanks also to the District Board especially secretary Len Wade and Treasurer Bob Parsons, I wish Geoff Tancred and Bettye all the best for 2013-14.

PGD Greg Brown