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Club Management & Fellowship Vice President’s Report 2008-2009

Vice President, Club Management & Fellowship - Robin Syme

Thank you President Pauline. Perhaps I should first thank you all for coming.  To attend VP's Report Day in a city dubbed last week by the Australian Newspaper as the swine flu pandemic capital of the world must surely rank as an example of service above self of a very high order.

But to business.  I am the Vice-President responsible for Club Management and Fellowship.  These are the critically essential but mostly low key areas of the Club in the sense that when they are working well they are hardly noticed and they have certainly worked well this year.

As I touch on each area of my portfolio, I will ask the relevant director to stand.


Accordingly, if I can ask Sue McCarthy to stand.  Sue is the Director, Membership, a vitally important area for the Club which has to keep membership numbers up if it is to remain viable and have enough money to carry out its important projects.

The Committees that Sue has been responsible for are Membership Development chaired by Peter Rogers, which works on keeping the flow of members up, Membership Involvement chaired by John Shaw, which aims to get new members involved in the Club, and Membership Review chaired by PP Peter McCall, which gives the final imprimatur to prospective new members.  All these Committees have worked hard this year and to very good effect.  With the induction today, we are at the 299 members mark.  However, there are some resignations to take effect from the end of the year which will reduce this figure somewhat.

The introduction of new members has been good this yea - but the ones we lose are a continuing challenge.  Alas, we can do nothing about deaths; but we all have a role in the retention of members.  Too often, we lose potentially good members because of what seems to have been a failure to keep them interested enough to attend Club meetings.  The Groups have a particular role here.  If there is one single message that the Membership Committees would like to send to all Rotarians, it is this: when a new member is assigned to your Group, please make an all-out effort to draw that member into the life of the Club.

Please thank Sue and her team for a job very well done.


If I can now invite Mike Flavel to stand.

Mike is the Director, Communications, and, as we have just heard, has had a pretty busy Rotary year.

Communications effectively covers three Committees this year.  Archives is John Kendall's one man band.  John looks after the binding and maintaining of our Club's Annual Reports, Club Bulletins, Board Minutes and the like, and the extremely important function in the life of our Club of drafting obituaries and Paul Harris citations.

The Club's Information Committee is chaired by George Koczkar.  George has used Jill Hibbins to identify, secure and brief our three minute speakers such as "Member behind the Badge" and this has generally been a very successful segment of our lunch programs.

John Tozer has continued to provide his considerable expertise as Club photographer.

Alistair Urquhart has been giving the Club great service for a number of years as editor of the Bulletin.  He is planning to stand down at the end of June and has been training-up Anna McDonald to take his place.  Very grateful thanks are due to Alistair for his excellent work and to Anna for taking on this very important job for the Club.

Phil Bowley is our Website Chair.  Early in the Rotary year the Club had a nasty shock when Rotary International gave us rather short notice of its intention to discontinue its support for the RI-CAS membership data base that our Club had been using.  The Board accepted the recommendation of Phil Bowley and Stephen Lake to combine our membership data base with our existing website provider eKnowHow.  The contributions of Phil and Stephen in completing a complex transition within a very short time frame has been outstanding.

Please thank Mike Flavel and his team for a great contribution this year.


If I can invite Mary Barry to stand.  Mary took over from Ros Williamson half way through the year as Director, Fellowship, and has been doing a sterling job.

Chris Wang has been Captain of Groups for the year.  Most Groups have been very active and provided excellent fellowship.  Central Group led by Peter Rogers and Gary Fowler was established during the year.  It now has 27 members and has been functioning well.

One of the highlights of the year was the District Conference in Launceston attended by 31 of our members.  Our On-To-Conference Chair was David Dunoon who proved an excellent organiser.  The Conference had a range of most interesting speakers including two of own members, Bob Fels and Jane Munro.  David Dunoon organised a wonderful Club dinner at the excellent Fee & Mee Restaurant on the Friday night.  The Conference was adjudged by many of the old hands as just about the best ever and DG Jim was certainly looking a very happy man after the final afternoon session.

Another important committee in Mary's bailiwick is Inter-Club Visits chaired by Bruce Davidson.  There was a successful visit by this Club to the Rotary Club of Toorak and we enjoyed visits from the Rotary Club of South Melbourne and the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne Sunrise.

Please show your appreciation for the work of Mary and her Committees.


If I could ask Daryl Hawkey to stand.  Daryl is the Director, Corporate Issues, and his Committees include Public Issues, Acclaim Awards and Fundraising.

Public Issues chaired by Cal King has had an active program.  Possibly it’s most important initiative was to form an Indigenous Sub Committee which has been meeting with representatives of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and the Department of Planning and Community Development to discuss how the Club could get involved in assisting our local indigenous citizens, particularly in the education of indigenous children.  It is still early days, but there could be some exciting projects for the Club here.

Another of Daryl's Committees is Acclaim Awards Ltd, a joint venture with the Rotary Club of Cheltenham to assist gifted Australian opera singers including, up until now, provision of a scholarship to work with the Puccini Foundation in Italy.  Contact with the Puccini Foundation has recently been terminated and Acclaim Awards is seeking a new arrangement with La Scala Opera.

The other Committee in Daryl's portfolio I will mention is Alan Trumble's very important Fundraising Committee.  He has been involved with a number of fundraising or fundraising/fellowship activities during the year.  These included the wine sales, footy day, Cup Day and Museum of Sports evening. Significant sums of money were raised, albeit less than Alan had hoped for.  David Wittner's successful bushfire appeal and the emptying of our pockets for this worthy cause in February and March has rather curtailed several activities that Alan had planned for the latter part of the Rotary year.  However he has certainly worked hard and effectively for the Club this year.

Please show your appreciation for the work of Darryl and his Committees this year.


Jan Moffatt, who is an apology for today, is the Director, Club Meetings.

We tend to accept the venue, the set-up, the arrangements and the conduct of each lunch meeting as something that just happens.  It doesn't just happen of course without a great deal of work.  A real test of the system this year came in January and February when President Pauline was ill and much to the great relief of VP Peter and me, the arrangements for the lunch meetings did not miss a beat—banners were in place, the reception desk was manned, grace givers were there to deliver thoughtful and provocative graces, the speakers were on time and mostly good.  This all reflected great credit on Jan and her team.  

The Lunch Organisation Committee with its chair Murray Campbell, who must have occupied every office in this Club and many of them more than once, our long-standing Music Chair, Barry Rawlings and his deputy, David Kram, who has added so much to the cultural life of this Club.

The Program Committee and its Chair, Greg Romanes which has done an excellent job in providing us with high quality speakers.

The Reception Desk led by Cynthia Edgell provides a cheery greeting to us all and has been a model of efficiency.  Our Sergeant at Arms, Austen Burleigh, has been an important contributor to our lunch meetings working so well.

Finally I mention in the Club meetings context, for want of a better context, our Office Manager, Jo Mavros.  There was a period this year when I had to work with Jo rather a lot.  She was cheerful, efficient, full of common sense and a delight to work with.

Please thank Jan and her team.  They have certainly done the Club proud this year.

That concludes my report on Club Management and Fellowship activities for the year.  Thank you to all members of Club Management and Fellowship Committees.  It has been a privilege to work this year with President Pauline and the Board.

I now hand over to my co-VP Peter Bearsley to give his report.

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