HI Everyone
Thought I would give you an update, and a proper WELCOME to 2020!
While many were using the last few weeks as a welcomed holiday, many others were thrust into activities none could have anticipated or expected. The efforts of clubs and Rotarians across the District has been phenomenal, and I cannot thank you all enough. Whether your support has been physical in terms of your RFS activities, or providing sustenance and support to those fighting fires, or wildlife respite, or emergency accommodation or fundraising for those in need. Our Rotarians seem to have been everywhere creating opportunities to support those who are, and will continue to be, in need.
Help has come from many directions:
  • RAWCS have enabled their single account to be used for both national and international donations, which has assisted immensely with the many international enquiries flooding in. Fundraising (including pledges) had hit $292,169 at time of writing, which is fabulous!
  • A Santa Barbara based and privately funded charity have advised RC Melbourne that they are prepared to donate up to 500,000 P2/N95 Face masks / respirators to Australian communities dealing with the hazards of smoke and poor air quality associated with the unprecedented bush fires in South Eastern Australia.
  • While visiting your clubs I mentioned the national plan to perform the ‘nutbush’ at 11am on Feb 29.
    • The national DGs have now agreed to channel the funds from this event to the Bushfire efforts.
    • DG Di North has reached agreement with www.tickets.com to provide the ticketing at no fee!
    • So please get practicing in your clubs and round up as many bodies as you can to make this a real national fundraiser for the bushfire victims.
Help will take many forms over coming months, and where possible will be managed nationally as well as locally. So thank you all for all your efforts and interventions and ingenuities in supporting those so badly affected by the fires.
In the last week, the 2020 RYLA program was conducted with 60 enthusiastic and innocent attendees walking in the door, and 60 wiser and emotional graduates walking out. It was a privilege to see how far they had come in just a few short days. There cannot be enough praise for Kiera and her team of facilitators, as well as John Steele and his band of supporting Rotarians, including retiring Mum and Dad – an amazing team producing miracles before your eyes!!
After many long years ensuring D9685RYE is the most successful in the country, stalwarts Sue and Ray Rice are stepping down from their roles as coordinators. They have put their heart and soul into this project, ensuring that all logistics, training and operations were properly established and easy to administer. As a District we cannot thank them enough for everything they have done to ensure this program is so very successful – thank you Sue and Ray!! Thankfully they will still hover in the background with their amazing knowledge and support for the RYE team!
AN OPPORTUNITY – we now have the chance to fill these very big shoes, and so D9685 seeks candidates who would like to take on this challenge and embrace the operational excitement that is RYE. If you would like to be involved and lead this amazing team, please contact our District Youth Director John Brown by email and organise to have a chat with him. Jd44@optusnet.com.au
We welcome a new guru to the role of D9685 Membership Director for the remainder of the year!
The work commitments of PP Bruce Nicholls have forced his retirement from the role prematurely, and we thank him for his innovation and support of the many initiatives he has brought to our district.
The new Director is Epping legend PP John Fenessy, whose ability to think outside the square is legendary, and whose dedication to Rotary and its future is his passion. Welcome John!!
Overall, I hope you all had time to welcome in the New Year, and to smell the roses a little (if they were not already scorched!) before our Rotary year gets back on track! I cannot thank you all enough for your support over recent weeks to minimise the stress in so many communities both local and further away – you are all legends!!