Riseley set to lead Rotary to newer heights This is only the fifth year in the 112-year history of Rotary International that there has been an Australian president elected.

Rotary Nowra’s president elect Polly Hill (right), International Service Director Julie Ludlow and Rotary International president-elect Ian H S Riseley.
Rotary Nowra’s president elect Polly Hill (right), International Service Director Julie Ludlow and Rotary International president-elect Ian H S Riseley.

The recent Rotary District Assembly gave existing and new Rotarians an insight into the hundreds of service and fellowship activities that take place in Rotary District 9710.

The event was held in Canberra recently. The Assembly stretches south to Bombala, west to Tumbarumba and north to Gerringong and includes the ACT  (Australian Capital Territory).

Rotarians from all over the Shoalhaven attended and were very impressed by the quality of the guest speakers and the wide range of local and international stories that they were told about, especially Rotary’s humanitarian projects and programmes.

Unfortunately for personal reasons the incoming District Governor, who is instrumental in organising the Assembly, resigned.

However, without missing a beat, the Board of Governors asked the current popular District Governor, Steve Hill, if he could extend his appointment for another year.

Steve accepted the 2017-18 DG role without reservation and conducted the Assembly with great enthusiasm and vigour.

Each year a new Rotary international president is elected to oversee the activities of 34,000 Rotary, Rotaract and Interact Clubs and their 1.3 million members in 200 countries around the world.

RI presidents can come from any of these countries and this years Assembly was privileged to have the 2017-18 Australian RI President-elect, Ian H S Riseley, of the Rotary Club of Sandringham, Victoria, address them.

This is only the fifth year in the 112-year history of Rotary International that there has been an Australian president elected.

Rotary all around the globe is in for a great year with Ian’s confident, charismatic personality and light hearted Australian humour permeating down through the organisation.

Guest speakers over the weekend included John Anderson from Berry Rotary with Planning a Community Event, John Britton from South Nowra Rotary with International Youth Exchange and speakers from Rotary and other organisations talking about child protection, social media, visioning, youth driver awareness and NSW Emergency Service Awards.

A highlight in the speaker’s programme was the glowing testimonies of three teenage international exchange students from Europe who explained, with great humour, how they have been blown away by the caring attitude and hospitality of their host families and their friends, and the wonderful experiences they have had in the amazing Australian landscape.

Throughout the weekend, Rotarians had breakout sessions where they interacted with Rotarians from all around the district and shared their ideas in the many service and fellowship activities in which Rotary is involved.

The friendly environment continued at a great dinner on Saturday night. 

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