December 2016 – Governor’s Message
Since mid-July, Rebecca and I have been visiting our wonderful Rotary clubs and experiencing the amazing variety of things you are all doing to make a difference to the lives of others. It is inspiring to be part of an organisation whose unique structure enables us to work locally, in our Districts, across the State, around the country and all over the world, helping those who didn’t get our opportunities. We do things that others don’t, we achieve what Governments cannot and this is largely due to our diversity of skills, our ethical core values, our acceptance of diversity in culture, religion, ethnicity, gender age, and we owe no favours to any lobby group. The opportunity to serve is a great one, and everything we do matters, especially to those we help.
This year’s Rotary theme of Rotary Serving Humanity is perhaps more relevant during the celebration of Christmas as we connect with family and friends. But every day in Rotary is like Christmas, where our gifts of time, knowledge, experience, passion and talents are packed together in projects, where we do what we can, when we can, giving whatever time we have to help others. I believe that Rotary is an organisation that can achieve anything, particularly when we work together.
This is why it is so important for every Rotarian to be involved in making sure our clubs are stronger than ever, that we are vibrant and active, and our members are engaged in interesting projects. I want my children and grandchildren to know what it is like to be part of this when there time comes to join, so to paraphrase Edward Hale - I am only one person, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. So, with every one of you helping to do all you can for your club to be these things, don’t just think about it – do something, and if you need help, just ask.
In April this year, I joined leaders from around Australia including the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, the Chief Justice of Victoria, Marilyn Warren, and industry and professional leaders, to recognise the achievements of people who identify with disability at the inaugural Inspire Awards®. The awards are an initiative of Woodend Rotarian Miranda Bain on behalf of Funds in Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria. The awards provide an important opportunity to raise awareness about disability issues more broadly across the community and, ultimately, to support the development of an inclusive Australian society. Preparation has now commenced for next year’s awards and I am delighted to announce that we are again working with Miranda, Funds in Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria to find suitable candidates for Rotary International’s Best Achievement Award in Community Volunteering. I think that nominees for the community based Shine On Awards may well qualify for the Inspire Awards®.
In 2017 it is anticipated that the awards will again be showcased in the press, radio and social media. There may also be some television coverage. Photos and information about the 2016 awards can be found on the Funds in Court internet site: http://www.fundsincourt.vic.gov.au/inspire-awards-2016/. The Inspire Awards® are scheduled for 20th April 2017. A nomination form will follow your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Miranda is also available to attend your club’s meeting in the CBD and surrounds, or your next Cluster meeting in regional Victoria to talk about the awards. Please note that all nominations should be emailed to Miranda before 27 January 2017.
Rebecca and I send our warmest best wishes to you and you families, for a peaceful and happy time at Christmas. Let’s keep in mind that this is not always the case for some, and in true Rotary form, let them know we are thinking of them. Thank you for all that you do and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Until then, take care.
District Governor 2016-2017