International Service

For my first – much belated – post as International Director I begin by thanking John and Marilyn for their tenacity in achieving the charter of Rotary E-Club of D9700 – Serving Humanity. Several years in the making, our slow and steady start predicts a long and steady future as we take the time to grow and evolve this new way of engaging to serve through the extraordinary organisation of Rotary.

10-14 hour days in a dynamic role in rural remote northern Queensland, along with limited internet connectivity, have prevented me from being active in my role of International Director – although John rejected my request for leave of absence…. Work will compromise my availability for some years however I aim to contribute when I can, beginning by introducing my Rotary journey for those who do not know me.

Desire to participate and give back to the community led me to join the newly chartered Rotary Club of Forbes Ipomoea over ten years ago. I knew nothing about Rotary. Anticipating boredom – not a change in my life direction – I enrolled for only one day of my first district conference. Shelter Box; life-changing medical and eye missions; near eradication of polio worldwide; Aussie Gemma Sisia who founded the School of St Jude in Tanzania with 3 students and now educates thousands – these are just some of the humanitarian and development achievements of Rotary that excited me that day.

In the following year I jointly led DGE John Glassford’s Kili 28/8 project (summiting Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania)  which raised over $100,000 with matching grants for AIDS and education projects in three African countries, including a generator for St Jude’s. Subsequently, I spent a year in Tanzania inaugurating governance systems for IEFT who opened Orkeeswa Secondary School on 14 April 2008 in an isolated Maasai area. On my return to Australia I enrolled in a Master of International and Community Development, which I completed in 2014 with an internship with the Alola Foundation in East Timor

In the meantime I spent four years as CEO of an under-serviced outback local government in Western Australia, with a predominantly Indigenous population. On joining the Rotary Club of Geraldton (two hour’s drive away), then President Di Gilleland – now a lifelong friend and an incredibly active Rotarian with more energy than anyone I know – urged RCG to sponsor Orkeeswa as its first international project. In 2013 I led a group of ten (including Di of course!) to visit Orkeeswa and other Rotary projects including Food Water Shelter. RCG subsequently raised funds to build new specialist classrooms for Orkeeswa, and intends to continue to fund-raise to assist Orkeeswa in its mission to educate the poorest students to become leaders and drivers of community-led sustainable development to address poverty.

Rotary E-Club of D9700 – Serving Humanity has attracted a high proportion of members who run or support international service projects in various countries including several in Tanzania. I look forward to keeping up with your news.

Yours in serving humanity always.

Sharon Daishe

President’s Comment – 29 Jan 17


We arrived safely in Vancouver on an extended Australia Day.

Thank you to those who attended the Gotomeeting last Wednesday. Secretary Debbie will be sending details of a new member application by Elizabeth Venz from Wagga Wagga to all members soon. It is great that we are starting to gain some new members and I encourage all to invite your acquaintances  to  join us.

Rotary to Support a polio free world

EVANSTON, Ill. (17 January 2017) —Rotary today announced $35 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, bringing the humanitarian service organization’s contribution to $140 million since January 2016.

Nearly half of the funds Rotary announced today ($16.15 million) will support the emergency response campaigns in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin (Chad, northern Cameroon, southern Niger and Central African Republic). Four cases of polio were detected in Nigeria in 2016, which had previously not seen a case since July 2014.

With these cases, funding is needed to support rapid response plans in Nigeria and surrounding countries to stop the outbreak.

While significant strides have been made against the paralyzing disease, with just 35 cases reported in 2016, polio remains a threat in hard-to-reach and underserved areas, and conflict zones. To sustain this progress, and protect all children from polio, experts say $1.5 billion is needed.

In addition to supporting the response in the Lake Chad Basin region, funding has been allocated to support polio eradication efforts in Afghanistan ($7.15 million), Pakistan ($4.2 million), Somalia ($4.64 million), and South Sudan ($2.19 million). A final grant in the amount of $666,845 will support technical assistance in UNICEF’s West and Central Africa Regional Office.

Rotary has contributed more than $1.6 billion, including matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and countless volunteer hours since launching its polio immunization program, PolioPlus, in 1985. In 1988, Rotary became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 35 confirmed in 2016, and no cases in 2017.

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To access broadcast quality video footage and still photos go to: The Newsmarket.


President’s Comment – 22 Jan 17

REMINDER of GoToMeeting – Wednesday 25th January at 7.30pm Eastern Daylight Time.

The email with the link will be sent to all members.


2017-18 RI President Ian H.S. Riseley announces his presidential theme, Rotary: Making a Difference

By Ryan Hyland

Rotary International President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley made the case on Monday that protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service.

Riseley, a member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, Australia, unveiled the 2017-18 presidential theme, Rotary: Making a Difference, to incoming district governors at Rotary’s International Assembly in San Diego, California, USA.

Environmental degradation and global climate change are serious threats to everyone, Riseley said. “They are having a disproportionate impact on those who are most vulnerable, those to whom Rotary has the greatest responsibility. Yet environmental issues rarely register on the Rotary agenda,” he said.

Environmental degradation is one of the major threats listed by the UN’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change.

Riseley added, “The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern. It is, and must be, everyone’s concern.”

The president-elect challenged every Rotary club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between the start of the Rotary year on 1 July and Earth Day on 22 April 2018. Trees remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which slows global warming.

“It is my hope that the result of that effort will be far greater than the environmental benefit that those 1.2 million new trees will bring,” Riseley said. “I believe the greater result will be a Rotary that recognizes our responsibility not only to the people on our planet, but to the planet itself.”

Securing Rotary’s future

In his address to the 2017-18 class of district governors, Riseley also urged clubs to improve their gender balance and lower the average age of their members.

Only 22 percent of Rotary’s members are women, up from 13 percent 10 years ago. At that rate, Riseley said, it will take another three decades for Rotary to achieve gender parity.

We know that we can do more together than we could ever hope to do alone.

“Three decades is far too long to wait to achieve a Rotary that reflects the world in which we live. We need to make it a priority now,” he said.

Noting that 103 of the 539 incoming governors are women, Riseley said they are the type of women we need in Rotary, “leaders who will help Rotary connect with, and represent, and better serve, all of the members of all our communities.”

Riseley also believes it is imperative that clubs find ways to attract and engage younger members. Today only 5 percent of reported members are under 40, and a majority of members are over 60, Riseley told the audience.

“Consider what Rotary stands to look like 10 or 20 years from now if we don’t get very serious, very soon, about bringing in younger members,” Riseley said.

Clubs will make a difference this year through their own decisions, said Riseley, but it will take teamwork on a global scale to move Rotary forward and secure its future.

“We know that we can do more together than we could ever hope to do alone,” he told incoming governors. “I ask you to keep that spirit of teamwork and cooperation always in your minds and to take it back with you to your districts.”


2017-18 Presidential Theme Address (RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley) (PDF)

Your Partners for Change and Strategy (RI General Secretary John Hewko) (PDF)

Strategic Planning and Empowerment (RI Strategic Planning Committee Chair Stephanie Urchick) (PDF)

Focus for the Year (Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul A. Netzel) (PDF)