Friday, 24 April 2015

The biggest and most exciting job in my Rotary life. (DG News March 2015)


 
The Rotary Club of Hindmarsh Island was the last club chartered in our district, but sadly, it is also one of seven clubs to hand in its charter over the last ten years, along with Reynella, St. Marys, Glen Osmond, Morphettville, and most recently Marion and Lameroo.
Rotary continues to grow at a staggering rate in some parts of the world, including India, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil and in many smaller African and Asian countries. But for much of the western world, it is more common for clubs to disappear than to charter. But every now and then an opportunity presents itself, even if not overtly.
As a long-time resident of Adelaide’s outer southern suburbs, I have watched the urban sprawl rapidly creep ever closer to Sellicks Hill, the southernmost point of the Adelaide plains where the coast and the hills meet, the point at which the sprawl will one day stop, or must at least slow down.
In this time I’ve seen the coastal region from Seaford down to Aldinga grow to become a busy and thriving, yet family friendly community, nestled between the hills, the vines of the McLaren Vale region and the pristine beaches where my kids have splashed joyously. They have also participated in gymnastics at the Seaford Recreation Centre, have floated down the end of the Onkaparinga River where it winds gently into the sea at Southport Beach, and they’ve climbed all over the massive wooden playground at Jubilee Park in Port Noarlunga South. It really is a fabulous community, but there’s just one more thing that could make this community even more special. A Rotary presence.
I am delighted to announce that we have commenced the process of chartering our district’s newest Rotary club in Seaford. The Seaford/Aldinga region is the second fastest growing in South Australia, second only to the massive growth around Munno Para and Smithfield to the north of the city. But unlike Adelaide’s outer northern suburbs which lie in District 9500, the expanding south is part of D9520, and the perfect region to launch a new Rotary Club. The recent completion of duplication work to the Southern Expressway and extension of the Noarlunga train line to Seaford have helped make the region more attractive to those travelling into the city and inner metropolitan suburbs for work.
It is customary for new Rotary clubs to be sponsored by existing Rotary clubs, but this initiative will be taken on directly by the District Membership Committee. We are under no illusions with regard to the scale of this task. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us, but we are driven and committed to this exciting venture. We need to find 25 new members before we can even approach RI to charter the club, but we will give this one hell of a crack. We want to build Australia’s newest and most exciting Rotary club, and it may not look like what we’ve come to expect of a Rotary club.
There will be some dedicated Rotarians working to make this happen, but I want to pay tribute to a special person who will be critical to the success of this venture. Cecilie Cardwell is currently the secretary of the Rotaract Club of Flinders, and District Rotaract Representative. But Cecilie has agreed to take on one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs in Rotary, that of Charter President of a yet-to-be-formed club. She was a RYLA graduate in 2012, RYPEN director in 2013 and RYLA director in 2014, and I am confident there will be a massive return on the investment Rotary has made in Cecilie through these amazing youth programs. Originally from Norway, Cecilie has now lived in Adelaide for 5 years and recently completed her Bachelor of Nursing at Flinders University and is currently working for a nursing agency. As a former Rotaractor, I am so very proud that Rotaract continues to produce our future Rotary leaders.

 

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