D9700 WELCOME ADDRESS AT CHANGEOVER DINNER
DG Michael Milston has also set some goals for District 9700. He alludes to some in his speech at the Changeover Dinner.
Governor Michael Milston’s Welcome Address
In welcoming you to the 2016-17 Rotary Year I acknowledge and pay my respects to the Wiradjuri elders past and present on whose country we celebrate this great Rotary tradition.
Through our International theme of ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’, our year has a two-fold challenge: to engage with more people in our communities, and to help club Rotarians to achieve their endeavours.
Over 110 years Rotarians have developed, assisted in, and funded projects to meet local, regional, national and international needs. Our actions, as Rotarians, have motivated others to help and to contribute, and have seen many join Rotary, in pursuit of “making the world a better place”.
I believe that we have a challenge, on our own doorstep, to engage with more people in our communities. This engagement could be professional networking and service-oriented, to encourage more of our community to see Rotary as a way to help and serve; and it could include learning about, engaging with, and developing projects collaboratively with our Aboriginal brothers and sisters.
The media has given play to many reports, not only recently, but over many years, that demonstrate that policies and projects over decades have failed to “Close the Gap”.
We now find our communities, compared to previous years, often suffering worse employment rates, worse health outcomes, worse education levels, and disproportionately high incarceration of Aboriginal people.
Are we up for the challenge to do something?
Our Rotary District is in a unique position as our geographic district is wholly enclosed in Wiradjuri country. This provides us with a great challenge and opportunity to reach out to our local communities, to listen, to learn, to understand, and to think how we can collaborate to help bring about change.
NOW IS THE TIME TO START LOOKING AT HOW WE (ROTARY) CAN BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE IN OUR OWN LAND, IN THE LAND OF OUR FIRST PEOPLES!
Rotary has great networks, great youth programs, good service planning models, an international focus on health and education, on literacy, and on conflict resolution and peace.
We Rotarians from the first world fall over ourselves to support projects in Africa, Asia and other less developed countries. Let’s see what we can do in our country.
Rotary International President John Germ asks us to “Serve Humanity” I know you will and I hope you might also join the process in Wiradjuri country.
You know in our club we start the 4 Way Test with the statement, The 4 Way Test has been translated into over 100 languages, well tonight I can proudly inform you that the 4 Way Test is now in Wiradjuri:
In the things we think, say and do …
Marra marra Marang Mala-yarr
It is now my pleasure to present to you the District Leadership Team – Directors, Assistant Governors and the Learning & Devt Coordinator:
Immediate Past District Governor Garry Roberts
District Governor-elect George Weston
District Governor-nominee John Glassford
District Secretary John McKenzie
District Treasurer Doug Conkey
Director-Administration Sue Gordon
Director-Communications and Public Image Jenny Somerset
Director-Foundation David Kennedy
Director-Membership/Club Sustainability Russ Martin
Director-Service Projects Peter Gissing
Director-Youth Lauren Slater
Learning and Devt Coordinator Lynette Bullen
Assistant Governors Don Jewell Group 1
Michael Horth Group 2
Ray Pluis Group 3
Julie Poplin Group 4
Bryan Short Group 5
Miles Hedge Group 6
In closing I want to thank some very important people:
- Past District Governors, would you please stand – you provide us all with balanced opinion and often sage advice, thank you
- Those amongst us who are Presidents in our year, please stand, you are the key leaders in your club and in your community, we are grateful your commitment and wish you well
- The Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak – these are the noisy ones. This is a great club and is now 21 years old, over which time they have been a great force in serving humanity; and their support of me in this role and of the District is outstanding – thank you
- The other Rotarians across the District, some of whom are here tonight, your contribution to our collective well-being is stunning and I look forward to serving you all this year
- Lastly, but by no means least, our partners, our family and our friends – could you all stand. You all provide us with the strength to continue, you assist in our many programs, you balance our crazy yearn to do much more than is possible and you console us when things go awry – thank you
- I want to make a special mention of my family– they have travelled from interstate to be with us tonight, such a massive effort and you’ll never know how much that means to Ann and me.
- And then there is Ann [Ann Dib is Michael’s partner]. Ann put much thought into agreeing that WE go on this journey, and I sometimes think she feels it was the wrong decision. So far we have survived – just – and I just want to say to you, Ann: Thank you for everything you have done and will do to make our year memorable and, as a fellow Rotarian, to serve humanity.
Mung-dung-gool …Good evening