BY assistant Prof Bruce Baer Arnold
ROTARY district governor Monica Garrett is poised to launch a “satellite club”, within Rotary Club of Canberra Sunrise, as a new a program aimed at increasing and retaining Rotary’s membership with people over 30.
“We are keen to capture people once they have turned 30 and have them come into Rotary,” she says.
“The satellite club will appeal to the younger members and provide them with the experience in Rotary and serving the community that is congenial to them and suits their arrangements better.
“Like many organisations we are eager to increase of membership, particularly young people.”
As district governor of the region’s Rotary clubs, Monica has just completed her official tour of all the 47 clubs that stretch from the south coast to the Southern Highlands and the Tumut region, including 17 clubs in the Canberra region.
And she’s given them all a gold star!
Monica says she was impressed by the good work being carried out and the impressive and creative fundraising projects being held from trash and treasure markets to a billy cart derby.
“Our clubs respond to the needs in the community, with funds going back into their community,” she says.
Monica’s family was a recipient of the generosity of Rotary when her son was selected and sponsored to go to Switzerland as part of Rotary’s youth exchange program in the 1990s.
“It amazed me that Rotary was prepared to do so much for my family, and didn’t ask for anything in return,” she says.
“The club made it clear that I was most welcome to join, but at the time I had a busy job and my children were here at home.
“I joined in 2001 when I was looking at taking an early retirement and wanted to start transitioning from my demanding job.”
Monica says she enjoys the camaraderie of Rotary and the opportunity to work with like-minded people to do good in the world.
Rotary’s achievements on both a global and local scale are impressive. Its international eradication of polio campaign has been a huge humanitarian success and, Monica says, the latest report shows that now only two countries in the world – Pakistan and Afghanistan – are classified by the World Health Organization to still have the polio virus epidemic.
“This past year, there were only 53 cases of polio in Pakistan, down from 306 in 2014. In Afghanistan, there were 19 cases down from 28 cases in 2014.
“Nigeria was declared polio-free this year and removed from the polio epidemic list, which is a huge milestone,” she says.