At our first meeting in March, PP Garry Higgins OAM shared his vision for our club's 2021-22 Rotary year. Garry wants us to consider moving from a service committees based club to a local project based based club so that we might re-invigorate our image in the community and attract new members. See "Read more..." for details.
PP Garry reminded members that given the age of our club members, our club might not survive beyond five or six years. We desperately need some younger members who will start to shoulder some of the service load. However, the feedback from younger people is that they don't want to be part of the traditional type of Rotary club with it's typical list of committee based service projects. Garry is proposing that our service committees become project based with a set of 3 or 4 major projects that will make a real difference in our local community and therefore be attractive to potential younger members. The hope would be that local younger people would feel challenged and interested in helping out with the projects, and as they got involved, they will be then be more inclined to want to actually join the club. Garry actually shared some possible ideas for suitable projects such as "Family Violence", "Say Yes to Literacy" - a project promoting literacy in the whole community, "A Peace and Harmony Park on Bristol Hill" - featuring a silo art type painting of a local aboriginal elder painted on the tower itself, and the "Academy of Excellence" - a project highlighting the talents and achievements of ex-Maryborough people as a way of raising local feelings about our community and possibly linked with a "Local Ideas Festival".
The idea would be that instead of having our four current service committees of "Community", "Vocational", "International" and 'Youth", we would have 4 "project" committees, one for each of the community projects mentioned above (or other projects that the club might choose, instead). This would essentially mean that all the service projects currently conducted by our service committees would be replaced by the 4 major community projects. Where possible, the community projects would involve some of the current aspects of the traditional Rotary service committees. e.g. The Peace Park would attempt to engage all of the ethnic communities with international backgrounds in our community, they would hopefully engage youth in some aspects of the work, they might even have some vocational components as well.
Please note that the 5 current Governance committees (Administration, Membership, Public Image, Rotary Foundation and Fund Raising) would continue to meet and conduct the same sort of operations as they do at present - to keep the club ticking over and meeting our commitments. All Fundraising activities (apart from Foundation) would, of course, be aimed at supporting one or more of the 4 community projects conducted by the club. So every member will be asked to be a member of a Governance committee, as at present, and also a member of one of the 4 project committees. All members will also be expected to assist with Fundraising activities (as at present) and to get involved with the "hands-on" side of the community projects - where possible.
Garry added that the first thing we need to do as a club to prepare for this diagnostic reset is to conduct a "Skills & Contacts Audit" of our members - which essentially means asking all members what their vocational background is so we can get an idea of the skills and interests available in our club to help determine which community projects would best suit us as a club. We also need to know the business and interest contacts that our members have which may be of use with our community projects.
After the audit, we need to conduct a new strategic plan to finalize our chosen community projects and put in place the steps required to launch them in Maryborough. If you have questions about the proposal, Garry is happy to answer them.