Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Future leaders are waiting to hear about Rotary.

In 2011 I had completed my MBA and was starting to think about what I would do with myself now that I could claim back many, many hours of personal time. I graduated in mid December after three long grueling years that included having a baby, working full time, and completing this programme of study.
Two weeks later I was attending the funeral of a dear friend’s father (Alan Roberts) who had lost the battle with cancer. I did not know him personally, but knew he would be missed terribly. I sat in the back row and listened as the eulogy and various tributes described a man who had strived to serve others, amongst other fabulous stories of his life. One story in particular made me sit up: he had been very involved in Rotary, as an achiever, leader, contributor, mucker-inner, and supporter of community projects. As I listened I realized that Rotary was what I needed to become involved in – I felt very strongly that now was the time to start giving back to the community, and the MBA had given me confidence to take my leadership in a new direction.
The following day I sent a note to the Karori Rotary general enquiries email address, and this was picked up and responded to by Coral Aitcheson. Within a couple of weeks I was attending my first meeting.
Since joining 6 months ago, I have completed the RLI programme, accepted the position of director of community/youth supported by two mentors who have previously held this role, and have successfully managed a working bee with Makara Model School, attended Karori Youth Awards, donated time to “So They Can” fundraising event, arranged donation of 40 computers to two low decile schools in the local area, and have begun receiving further requests for Rotary support based on our increased visibility.
I am excited about the prospect of further work to give back to the community, increase the visibility of Rotary, and seek opportunities to bring people together to perform meaningful work. I am also looking forward to the challenges that will come as Rotary evolves and the next wave of Rotarians connect in different ways, using different technologies and with a different demographic than when it first started. As a women in my mid 30’s I see real opportunity to be involved in this change and helping to shape the future of Rotary in our community.