President Merv welcomed special guests: District Governor Janne Speirs, her husband Past District Governor Charlie, Assistant District Governor Peter Dell and Drouin Apexians Ken Dawson and Wayne North.
District Governor Janne spoke on “The Year Ahead”. Janne’s desire for District 9820 is that all members have an exciting, energised, enthusiastic year looking as though all are having fun so that this excitement rubs off onto our communities and makes them want to join the organisation of Rotary.
Janne recommended that the Club hold a Rotary Day as per President Barry Rassin’s request. She challenged the District to lift their public presence by increasing positive visibility in their local areas. She said Rotary Clubs should aim to be Vibrant, Visible and Vital.
Janne addressed the issue of Membership first. She is well aware that many Rotary Clubs have declining and aging membership. One of her goals for District 9820 is to increase membership to 1500. She suggested that we must bring into our Clubs a diverse demographic that will allow Rotary to move forward into a successful, sustainable future. To increase membership, she felt Clubs could look at the vocational diversity within and search out people from new vocational areas in which the Club is lacking and invite them along to meetings. Janne plans to promote Clubs developing closer ties with their Cluster and the District.
Janne reminded Members of the importance of the work undertaken by Rotary Foundation to “do good in the world”, in particular that after three years the District gets back 50% of the donated funds for use on projects of the District’s choice. Rotarians can become Centurians by donating $100 per annum. She emphasised the success of the End Polio project and reminded everyone of the continued need for vigilance to ensure a complete eradication. Within Australia Janne promoted the need for financial support for the 2020 “eradicate Trachoma program”. Past Assistant Governor Sally Dell is leading our District with this project.
Finally, Janne urged members to attend the 2019 Conference to be held from February 15 to 17 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is a multi-District Conference of 4 of the Victorian Rotary Districts – registrations are now open.
Janne finished her talk by encouraging everyone to work together to “Be The Inspiration – Let’s Do It”.
And then it was Charlie's turn to share with us his Partner's Project for this year:
Past District Governor Charlie Speirs then took the floor to inform the Members of his project of choice as partner of District Governor Janne. Charlie has chosen The SkyJuice Foundation. The SkyJuice Foundation is a not for profit organisation incorporated in Australia. The Foundation’s charter is to provide low cost, sustainable water treatment solutions for humanitarian programs and for emergency and disaster relief efforts.
Charlie then swapped his hat, to his other role, as Chairperson of District 9820’s Rotary Foundation. It was his pleasure to present Centurian Certificates to the following:  John Tricarico;  Jo McKechnie, Ian Bennett, Tim Wills,  Roger Playdon, Jane Playdon and again, Ian Brooker.