What did District 9800 participants take out of the Conference in Canberra.
By Matthew Scott (Regional Networker Correspondent)
District 9800 represented at Canberra conference
Over the weekend of 5-6th September, Rotarians from around the nation descended upon the most apolitical city in the country to partake in the Australian Rotary Success conference and inaugural youth summit. District 9800 was well represented at the conference, not only hosting an induction on the main stage, but also by providing the Saturday night's dinner entertainment by way of RC Southbank's very own Jonathon Welch.;
There were several sessions and plenary guest speakers throughout the course of the weekend. However, for this conference it was the first time that a youth summit had been hosted concurrently for Rotarians and Rotaractors who were under 40 years of age.
Being a 26 year old Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Bendigo South, I took part in the youth summit. And I must admit, I was extremely glad that I did so! It was a tremendous opportunity to be able to meet up with and network with similarly aged people to myself, who also share a desire for a better community and embody our motto of 'Service above Self.'
Throughout the course of our youth summit, we discussed what it was that initially brought us to Rotary, as well as what it was that was keeping us a part of this great organisation. For those in attendance, it was heartening to see just how influential Rotary had been on shaping fellow young Rotarians, as well as the deep admiration that many (if not all of us!) hold Rotary in.
It was widely regarded by those in attendance that Rotary had a great marketing opportunity throughout its youth activities and opportunities to market Rotary to the next generation (who will hopefully become members). A communique was drafted by those in attendance at the youth summit, which will be forwarded onto RI for consideration when trying to attract newer members to our organisation. However, I feel that those of us in District 9800 are already setting a good example for attracting youth to Rotary, as is evidenced by the existence of Rotary Clubs such as Bendigo Next Gen and Melbourne Park, as well as similarly aged Rotarians as myself in existing Rotary Clubs.
I, like many of my fellow D9800-ers in attendance look forward to the next Rotary Success conference in two years time. Below are some 'member moments' from those who were also in attendance in Canberra at the Australian Rotary Success conference.
"It was exciting to learn from other clubs how they were successfully approaching membership development. Good examples were the Epping, Yass & Kununurra Rotary Clubs... The importance and value of Club Vision and RLI was again confirmed by many delegates. These are very strong in District 9800 in comparison to some other district. The Youth Summit was a great initiative and would be worth replicating in District 9800.There lots of networking opportunities."
"Mary Beth Growney Selene (Rotary USA) gave a good presentation on the importance of FUN, Friendly, Welcoming Clubs with Energetic, Engaged Members staying Relevant to their communities... If each one of the 250 members who attended the 4th Success Conference could take back and implement just ONE idea, I reckon we might just see very useful change... Loved the input at the final Plenary from the Youth Summit representatives as well as the challenging presentation from Andrew Macleod... Thanks to all who attended and contributed to a memorable weekend…80% of Success is Turning Up!!! The remaining 20% is about TAKING ACTION… then we might just move from a GOOD club to a GREAT club…and maybe even attain the 100% level!!!"
"The highlight of the weekend for me was the enthusiasm and dedication that all attendees showed to participating on the weekend.I was inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of all the presenters and participants...The weekend featured a number of keynote and breakout sessions where we discussed the opportunities for Club Vision, Satellite Clubs and e-clubs as well as membership recruitment strategies and culture building... The weekend also highlighted the diversity of ideas and strategies to increasing membership by giving everyone the opportunity to contribute ideas and feedback during each breakout session.
Finally, the weekend was topped off with the hard hitting advice from our guest speaker Andrew MacLeod (who was later inducted as a Rotarian) who clearly focused us all on our future and encouraged us to be relevant to our communities."
"I was very inspired by the ideas shared at the conference... The innovation and 'out of the box' thinking... Such ideas will make Rotary a more effective organisation to do our bit for the world."
Rotary youth from throughout Australia.