• Club Number 18039
  • District 9685
  • Chartered 1946

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District Governor John Dodd - November Newsletter

Regular readers of this missive (yes, both of you) would have noticed its absence last fortnight. I admit I have been a smidgen busy and it fell off my radar. Just to indicate I have not been slacking off entirely, the events and meetings I have attended in the last month include:

Rural Pride of Workmanship at Kariong Somersby, Penninsular Presidents meeting, Policeman of the Year, Carlingford's 40th birthday, Eastwood meeting with their local member, Sydney Peace Prize Presentation, Redistricting Committee, Conference Committee, Zone and Membership Mentor AGs' meeting, the ROMAC concert, Youth Exchange Outbound briefing and the Pride of Workmanship at North Rocks.

In between times, I have assisted both of my daughters to buy alternate apartments,  James has his 21st last weekend and Janelle is laid up at the moment having had an arthroscopic clean out of her ankle. I am not feeling the best about the last as I had to leave Janelle at home for the surgery so I could come to Adelaide (see below). I have also run a dozen court cases, including a full week in the Supreme Court. Pretty long excuse for missing one newsletter.........

I am writing to you from the Australian Rotary Institute in Adelaide where I will be for the week. The last few days have been full on in the DGs' Symposium where I have been very pleased to have adopted the changes to the Probus South Pacific Constitution I have been working on for the last six months, a concept for and Australia wide Media and Marketing Unit for Rotary, and I even had the head of the National Insurance Committee conceded that the committee has not sought one alternate quote for our Public Liability Policy for more than six years, resulting in a directive to his committee to get and provide some alternate quotes - may not seem much, but may save Rotarians across Australia $50,000 to $100,000.

Each of these issues has required a lot of back room work and politicking to get accepted. I am lucky with my legal and insurance background as most Rotarians simply have no grasp of these issues. I felt I was of some service being able to distill down the issues and present them in intelligible form. A significant development has been the start of the "G-train", with there being a real emphasis on continuity between DGs, DGEs and DGNs. This is essential to ensure long term perspectives are taken on vital issues (and gives rise to many jokes involving "G-something"). We also approved a long term membership plan which I will be briefing my team with straight away.

Tomorrow is your last day to get the early bird pricing for the Conference next year. It only needs a deposit of $50 to book. The program is almost complete with Past RI President Bhichai Rattakul to give two major addresses, Professor of Peace Studies at Sydney University Stuart Rees to speak on Peace through Service, many more keynote speakers and all the usual events of Vocational Excellence Award, 4-way Test Speaking Competition Final and  GSE presentation. We have a great MC in Chris Jocselyne (who MCs about six conferences each year) and the Night at the Museum dinner/dance giving your club the opportunity to dress up as their favorite historical characters. Please take the opportunity of the early bird discounts: I fear the numbers could be limited.
After returning from the Institute, only another dozen events before the end of the year, including the Christmas Presidents' Meeting on 7 December (make sure you have checked in with Gina). Then, I must admit I am looking forward to a bit of a break, so I can catch up with the paperwork.

Yours in Rotary

John Dodd
District Governor 2012-13

District Governor March Message

Greetings my fellow Rotarians

This month is Literacy month in our Rotary calendar.  The purpose of declaring a Literacy month is to draw attention to the significant impact literacy (education) has on the success of our humanitarian projects.  It has been found that all community service projects will have improved outcomes if it is supported with efforts to improve literacy.

 In more recent years Literacy is one of the six areas of focus that Rotary has chosen to focus on in its humanitarian and educational work.  Helping the disadvantaged people in the world to become literate is absolutely critical in helping them out of the traps of poverty and hunger.  Unless people can read they cannot get jobs, cannot gain equality of opportunity, and cannot easily be taught the fundamentals of nutrition, hygiene and the other basic essentials of healthy lives. Also, the ability to read and write has a miraculous impact on a person’s self image!

Recent publications suggest that 15% of the world’s population lack basic literacy skills. Of the world’s children, 113 million do not go to school and 500 million women are uneducated. Two-thirds of the world’s population cannot read. To make this even worse, in the developed world, 17% of adults are functionally illiterate; that is to say they cannot read well enough to function effectively in our complex post-modern society. Rotary’s Literary Resource Group helped us to develop many tools to share in developing literacy projects.  

All of these tools and guidelines are still available and functioning.  One of these, CLE (Concentrated Language Encounter solution), developed in Australia 30 years ago, has spread to all of Rotary.

It is difficult to quantify the number of clubs involved in literacy projects within our district.  However we do know that a number of clubs support Stay in School programs. Others provide computer or other technical equipment and support and donate dictionaries.  We have a proud tradition of building schools and classrooms in schools in developing countries, and more recently several clubs have really focused on the building of toilets in schools.  Getting girls along to school will improve their chances of becoming literate and moving their lives and the lives of those around them forward.  I am impressed that our district continues to support improved Literacy as an important part of Rotary’s involvement across the world.

Two weeks ago I mentioned Anne’s library project in Timor Leste, Biblioteka Ermera.  And we continue to thank the clubs for the great support they have been and continue to be in supporting this important literacy project.

This will be my last chance to encourage you to register for our District Conference where we will be Going for Gold at the Gong.  Registrations are still coming in, but we have to close registrations at the end of the week as catering must be finalised.

 You will experience lots of information, lots of fun, lots of Rotary and lots of fellowship and networking.
A MUST for newer Rotarians.  Less than two weeks away now, so while time is running out there is still provision for last minute registrations for another few days.  Please come and join us for a wonderful and inspiring weekend.  If you have any difficulty at all in registering, please contact Les Walsh, our Editor and the conference registrar and he will give you immediate assistance

 Anne and I look forward to greeting you in Wollongong as we share a wonderful weekend of fellowship and learning.
 
Kind regards
 
David Rands
Governor 2011-12

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