Posted by Wesley Sim
It was good to catchup with Rotarians from all over WA over the weekend, starting with lunch at Cottesloe Golf Club on Friday and finishing off a series of very encouraging seminars and discussion in the Rotary Office on Sunday morning.
Regrettably, perhaps I did not do a good job promoting the District Conference to our members as it would have been beneficial for our entire membership. I believe it would probably have seen our club grow strongly over the next couple of years had the information from the weekend been more widely shared. This will be my job next year!
Our enthusiastic as always member, Darren Lomman, was there to promote the good that Greenbatch is doing in Perth and setting the example for the rest of Australia. Anyone following Greenbatch on Facebook would already know that last Saturday’s Drop-off Day at the Mount Claremont Recycling Centre saw a 50% increase from 180 to 272 people turning up with their plastics. Well done Darren and his team of volunteers. Lookout for the invitation for a Rotary visit to the centre in May. We will be able to see for ourselves how the little support so far has taken this project and how much more can be achieved if Rotary in WA worked together.

Ray Simpson and his team of volunteers for the Path of Hope were also busy on Friday evening and Saturday promoting the Gala Ball. The word was definitely getting out. On several occasions, when Rotarians from other clubs see me approaching with a flyer in their direction, I will inevitably hear “Yes, I know… 18th May at the Crown”. Job done.. and I didn’t have to say a word!

Rebecca Tolstoy and the Vocational Training Team presented a video that had been recently produced by volunteers from Curtin University before hurrying off to pack for their trip to the U.S. Over the next couple of weeks, they shall be exchanging ideas with the professionals there in addressing Family Domestic Violence. Have a productive trip Bec and team!
Anita Bourke from Rotary Club of Dalkeith, our project partner for Nokor Tep Hospital in Cambodia, brought us an update of the situation since the new hospital started admitting patients 3 weeks ago and explained the continuing needs that have to be met. It certainly makes a difference having a doctor explain the situation and the issues! With her decades of experience with women’s health, she just knew the issues and what’s required to address them on the back of her hand. Definitely a much better presentation that if I had just rattled off statistics and stumbled over big medical terms to convince Rotarians that we need to do something.
There was much focus over the weekend on youth and the next generation of Rotarians. I believe this is still an area our club is very weak in and should seek to address. It is not necessarily just finding younger members as many of us have focused on in the past, but capacity building of the whole of Rotary in WA and of our nation as well. Perhaps we need to change the way we think and reassess the projects we support. On more than one occasion over the weekend, it came out that “Who we are shouldn’t change… what we do may have to”. Of course I would have heard the speakers filtered by my personal bias and you could have heard something else. But you’d probably agree that to move forwards, we need to keep asking ourselves: What is Rotary’s purpose? What are Rotary’s objectives? Why do we do what we do?
I’ll leave it at that for now and encourage everyone to think about them. Rotarians have been doing this for 114 years now and we will continue to do it. Together we make the world a better place.
Yours in Rotary,
Wesley Sim - President - Rotary Club of Perth 2018/2019

If you missed the conference you can watch recordings of some of the proceedings on the Rotary in Western Australia Face book page.