STRATEGIC PLAN - 2020/2021
A famous person once said “I have a dream”. I wouldn’t go that far, but I am eager for Fitzroy Rotary Club to expand its involvement in the local community.
What is the best way for the club to maintain and promote its links with the local community? Rotary’s motto for 2020- 2021 is Rotary Opens Opportunities. Can our members create opportunities by identifying entities whom we could help?
Hopefully our club and its activities will encourage friends of members to participate and new members to join. Fitzroy club is part of the Heritage cluster with Carlton, Melbourne Park, Richmond and our “founder” Collingwood. Vijay Susarla will be our Assistant Governor and he looks forward to being introduced to and assisting our club.
Ideally clubs within the cluster will unite for fundraising and service projects. Some of the presidents elect are interested in holding joint club meetings.
What is already happening and what ought to be maintained
- · The MS Swimathon. Annie Davie, a past president of this club, current honorary member and stalwart in the MS Swimathon, has advised she will not be participating next year and beyond. The current board agreed we would maintain our role as “caterers” for the event, which is held at the Fitzroy pool in February, with perhaps some shortening of hours during which the food tent is manned.
- · The MS Go for Gold. Again the current board has agreed we would assist in a scholarship lunch by providing waitressing services, at the Fitzroy Bowls Club. In the past, this event has usually been held on a Sunday in October.
- · Step up for Downs. I hope the club’s participation will continue in this annual BBQ, however participants must have a Working with Children Check card.
- · Geeks Challenge Cup soccer BBQs at Atherton Gardens. Our club has manned the bbq occur three or four times a year. Again, participants must have a Working with Children Check card as this event is primarily for the benefit of the children from the Ministry of Housing estates.
- · Sporting scholarships for local children. Hopefully this will continue under the guidance of Peter Hille. I would like to engage the parents or guardians of these children as friends of Rotary and when the next scholarship awarding dinner occurs, I would like the club to promote this endeavour by distributing information sheets to each of the adults present. It is possible some of the adults, as well as some of the older children, will help with events, such as the MS Swimathon, thus promoting the involvement of community members with Rotary.
- · Music scholarships for students. At the end of last year this event was held in conjunction with the bowling club, and I think the football club, at the Fitzroy Bowls Club. It was an extremely successful event, with considerable funds raised by those attending, donations, and matching funds by Bendigo Bank.
- · Christmas in July for the scouts. Each year Beverley has organised a dinner raising about $500 for the scouts. Their representative, Lachlan is enthusiastic to continue the event, which will, this year become Christmas in ???.
- · Solar Smiles. Phil and Claire have been championing this project for the delivery of dental services in Timor Leste with, Kim and now, Albert Park Rotary (I think). This is not a Fitzroy Rotary project, per se, but one where members can provided services.
- · Have I left anything out? All suggestions welcome.
What can we do for the future
- · In May, Anthony Lewis CEO of Footscape Incorporated spoke at a club Zoom meeting. Members should have received a synopsis of the information provided during this talk in the minutes emailed on 7 May 2020 and information from Footscape emailed via me on 10 June 2020.
Footscape focuses on foot care for homeless persons, Aboriginal person and asylum seekers who are confronting complex health needs and have difficulty prioritising foot health, despite the risk problems. Anthony requests a financial contribution from the Rotary Club of Fitzroy to support the purchase of foot care kits. Each kit costs $20. I would like the club to consider donating an amount, of say of at least $1,000, for the purchase of foot care kits, however, we also volunteer to make up these kits, and we include a business type card in the kit acknowledging Fitzroy Rotary Club. One thing I have learned from attending the Rotary training seminars, is that Rotary want the clubs recognised. The idea is, if Rotary publishes its projects, more people become aware of our work, encouraging an increase in membership resulting in more funds for more projects. If Footscape Inc is agreeable to our club’s involvement, I would be very happy to host the packing session at my home and all the packers can bring whatever refreshment they might require (except tea, coffee and water), and we can make an afternoon of it. Although the benefits of this program would extend beyond our district, it is a very worthwhile cause IMHO (in my humble opinion). I note the money in their Term deposits and cash at bank, so our donation need not be great in monetary terms.
- · Footscape maintains a hall in Rosanna where they store donated goods, such as shoes and socks. Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, I am happy to make enquiries to see whether Footscape could use any of our members as volunteers to sort through the products, as was mentioned by our speaker.
- · Connect with local schools in Fitzroy – Fitzroy Primary School and Sacred Heart. Both of these schools educate a number of children from the high rise flats and might benefit from the assistance of our club members. I thought there could be scope for our members assisting in reading programs with the children who need assistance, and/or we could provide small awards to encourage children in their academic endeavours. I note from their website that Fitzroy Primary and Sacred Heart have a joint arts project through the City of Yarra Council. I recall years ago, well before I was a member of Fitzroy Rotary that members helped on projects such as painting the Fitzroy Primary School. I am terribly excited about undertaking tasks which should be funded by the State Government, but these are issues I would like our club members to discuss. In the interim I will approach the schools and ask how we could help them.
- · Connecting with Fitzroy High School; Rotary District is offering 10 scholarship of $1,000 to year 10 students, which will be paid in years 11 and 12 on the proviso the Clubs inject the same amount. We would have to move quickly to qualify for this grant given only 10 are available. If we don’t qualify for funding, we could consider proceeding with the project in any case.
The Centenary Projects
2021 is the 100th anniversary of Rotary in Australia and each club has been requested to have a centennial project. I would like members to be thinking about what we can do.
A Cluster Project
Carlton Rotary has invited other clubs in the cluster to apply for a District grant to fund a project – Promoting Early Literacy to Disadvantaged families with Young children.
I have indicated to the AG and cluster I would take the proposal to the club, if the book distribution would extend to Fitzroy AND if some of our members could so hand- on work. It is a condition of the District grants that members are involved with the project. Our involvement in this project may hinder our request for scholarship funding as we can only make one request in the first 6 months.
A Garden Seat
Another thought is a garden seat, somewhere in the community, perhaps along Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. I will send photos of a largish area on the south east corner of Brunswick and Westgarth Streets in Fitzroy where there is, currently, a rather derelict novelty bike rack, which is in urgent need of renovation and a large space which could accommodate a bench seat which the Rotary logo. On the opposite corner is a stylish tiled seat obviously created by an artist. If the club would like to fund a seat would we like the “garden variety” (excuse the pun) seat or one created by a local artist. This would need local council approval.
I would like to encourage more local businesses to become involved with the club, financially and possibly with staff participating in fundraising events.
So these are my thoughts and I encourage all members to contact me if there are any issues they would like to raise or suggestions they may have for the direction our club can take in 2020/2021.
Cheers for now.
The Rotary club of Fitzroy was founded on 8th August 1968 and has always been committed to the ideals and principles of Rotary, www.rotarydistrict9800.org.au
The club continues to reflect the special characteristics of Rotary in Australia, www.rotarydownunder.com.au
The club continues to be active within its Rotary District, many of whose projects it supports, www.rotarydistrict9800.org.au
The Club has always embraced change and consistently strived to find new ways to make a positive difference in local and international communities.