President's Message
Mark Daniel Maloney
President 2019-20
March 2020
March is the month we celebrate Rotaract — and this has been quite a year for our young partners in service.
Last spring, the Council on Legislation elevated Rotaract in our constitution: Rotary International is now the association of both Rotary clubs and Rotaract clubs. Then in October, the Rotary Board of Directors eliminated the artificial Rotaract age limit and took other steps to break down barriers that were preventing Rotaract from growing in some parts of the world.
These steps were long overdue, because Rotaract is a vision of what Rotary must become. Not only do we need to open our doors to our young colleagues, but we also have to open our ears and minds to the Rotary experience they find most engaging. That is one of the best ways we will meaningfully grow Rotary.
When I say grow Rotary, I mean it in many ways. We need to grow our service and to grow the impact of our projects. Most importantly, however, we need to grow our membership, so that we can achieve more. Rotaractors provide this opportunity, not only because they can transition to Rotary at the time that is right for them, but also because they understand what it will take to attract others like them.
Business as usual will not work for us anymore. Bringing in more members to replace the ones we lose is not the answer. It is like pouring more water into a bucket full of holes. We need to address the root causes of member loss in many parts of the world: member engagement that is not what it should be, and our member demographic that skews steadily older.
It is time to make some fundamental changes. We already know what the barriers are to an engaged and diverse membership. It is time to act on what we know: creating new membership models, opening new paths to Rotary membership, and building new Rotary and Rotaract clubs where the existing clubs do not meet a current need.
New club models represent an opportunity to connect with a more diverse group of individuals — particularly those who are unable or unwilling to join our traditional clubs. While new club models have been emerging for some time, it is up to district governors to make them a reality. In January at the International Assembly, our incoming district governors took part in an exercise called Build Your Own Club Model. It was a wonderful experience that put them in the right frame of mind for the work ahead.
Ultimately, however, it will be up to Rotaractors and young Rotarians to create new club models that are most meaningful to the next generation. We may think we know what young people want from Rotary clubs in the future, but I am confident that what young people say will surprise us. It will be our job to support their innovation, for it will help us grow Rotary as Rotary Connects the World.
From the Governor
The focus this month, of course, will be the last D9700 District Conference in Temora. For those who haven't registered yet here is the link to the registration page. And I am told by those in the know (ie the Temora Club) that there is still accommodation available for those who are quick. If you haven't had a look at the program go to the Conference website here and you can download the speaker bios and the program for the weekend.
We have been fortunate to have support from sponsors and the ones involved so far are shown in the picture.

For those who might have missed it the Saturday night Conference Dinner has as its theme the South Pacific and if you want to wow your fellow Rotarians and guests with your flair for getting into the vibe you might consider the following suggestions for dressing up: casual beach, surf and resort wear, celebrating islands of the ocean, sarongs, muu muus, historic ocean explorers, fish & fishing, shells, mermaids, yacht racing, SCUBA divers and anything coastal as we join the new Rotary District. Remember there will be prizes awarded for categories such as best costume; the table group that best reflect the theme of the night; lucky door prize.
As we move to forming our new District 9705 the first official activity for D9705 was held in February, the President Elect Training. I attended both sessions at Wagga and Goulburn and was impressed with the engagement of the PEs with the process and the positive comments about the experience and the learning happening. It bodes well for next year. Also, the Special General Meeting to approve the change of name from D9700 to D9705 was passed and this will commence the administrative actions to start the new district on 1 July. The next D9705 event will be the District Assembly on May  9th in Young.
District Governor Elect at international Assembly

International Assembly 2020 San Diego USA

“Rotary Opens Opportunities” was the theme announced by incoming International President Holger Knaack for the 2020-21 Rotary Year. Present were over five hundred District Governors Elect from around the world. Combined with partners and the training teams, meant that there were nearly fifteen hundred people at the Hyatt Manchester Grande Hotel in San Diego. Overwhelmingly the “opens opportunities” theme was well received.

Discussion around the different ways of interpreting the theme was to be part of the training as District Governors Elect (DGE). So much was learnt from each other in the facilitated discussion groups. Parallel programs were run for DGE partners and, as Past President of the Rotary Club of Canberra, Helen felt very much at home in this Rotary learning environment.
A regret for me was that I had not done this training earlier in my career. So many of these lessons were applicable across many aspects of life. Although delivered in the context of Rotary, there was an emphasis on good government, managing people, understanding law, interpreting regulation and rules, financial management and strategic planning .
Another emphasis was on the importance of having fun in Rotary, building friendships and strengthening networks. Along with these was building new models of the way we do Rotary. Changes within clubs, different styles of clubs and being innovative were key messages considered by DGEs. Additionally, Holger Knaack was keen to ensure that clubs would have at least one strategic planning meeting in his year as President and would take special care in selecting new members and looking after them.
In the context of “opening opportunities” one of the greatest opportunities for Rotary is to complete our decades old campaign to End Polio. Rotary deserves the credit and should be letting our communities, and people further afield, know about our successes. We should also let them know how much we have appreciated the more recent support of the Gates Foundation, GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) and the World Health Organization. However, it has been a Rotary initiative. It’s why we raise funds at BBQ’s or other events.
In a nutshell, the message is that having fun, doing good work and appreciating the local, district, national and international fellowship are just some of the opportunities open to Rotarians.
Rotarians against Malaria Annual Conference
News from Australian Rotary Health

ARH Funded Program Helps Dyslexic Children Cope Better

A recent Australian Rotary Health (ARH) funded study has revealed that a new mental health program is effective in reducing the use of unhelpful coping strategies among children with dyslexia.
Dr Mark Boyes and his team at Curtin University were awarded an ARH Mental Health Research Grant in 2018 to conduct a pilot trial of the ‘Clever Kids Program’, a mental health program for primary school children who struggle with reading and spelling.
Forty children with dyslexia were recruited to the trial, with twenty participants receiving the Clever Kids program compared to twenty participants who were part of a wait-list control group.
Dr Boyes said after attending Clever Kids, children reported improved coping skills.
“They were much less likely to use unhelpful coping strategies like avoiding problems, not telling people about their problems, and blaming themselves for their problems,” Dr Boyes said.
“There were also promising findings for self-esteem, emotional problems, and peer problems. After attending Clever Kids, children reported higher self-esteem and parents said their children had fewer emotional and peer problems.”
Dr Boyes noted however that while these findings are promising, these changes were substantially smaller than the changes in coping skills.
“These changes were smaller than the changes in coping skills, and we need to do a bigger study to confirm if Clever Kids improves self-esteem and reduces emotional and peer problems,” Dr Boyes said.
Another strength revealed from the trial was that children with dyslexia reported that they liked the program and found it to be helpful.

The Four Way Test
The Four Way Test is a fundamental part of Rotary and has been since it was first formulated by Herbert Taylor, a Rotary Club of Chicago member and 1954-55 RI president, to guide his attempt to save a faltering
aluminum company. Rotary later adopted it, and it underscores Rotary’s value of integrity. The Four-Way Test has long served as an ethical guide for members to live by in their personal and professional relationships. An interesting discussion of the purpose of the Four Way Test has been written by PDG Martin Postic Jr and you can read it here.
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