Rotary in Australia : Rotary Club of Picton

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Rotary in Australia

Rotary in Australia

Each of Australia's 30,000 Rotarians belong to a local Rotary Club. There's over 1100 Clubs in Australia, each Club led by a Club President and supported internally by a number of Club office holders. The position of President is rotated every July, providing ample opportunities for Rotarians to step up and gain leadership experience. Clubs operate independently, but often come together to work on joint projects and celebrate big events, or just do a particular something in the local area.

Each Club belongs to one of 21 Rotary Districts in Australia. Districts are geographically defined and sometimes cross state and even international borders. The head of the Rotary District is the District Governor.

Each District is part of 6 worldwide Zones, with Australia's being part of Zone 8, which includes oceanic nations like Australia, New Zealand, East Timor and Papua New Guinea.

And of course every Club is part of the wider Rotary International - a network of 1.2 million Rotarians in nearly 33,000 Clubs around the world, all dedicated to making the world a better place through promotion of peace, cultural understanding and service to the community alongside other like-minded community and business leaders. Rotary International is led by the Rotary International President, currently John Gordon McInally from Ireland.

Since 1905, Rotary has been making a positive impact in the world. Beginning in Chicago before spreading throughout the world, Rotary first touched our shores in Australia in1921, with the charter of the Rotary Club of Melbourne, closely followed by the charter of a Sydney Club and other Clubs around the nation. Since that time Rotary has grown all over Australia. There are currently 1100 clubs across 21 Rotary Districts in Australia that meet in the morning, at midday, and in the evening to organise and socialise – and to grow their knowledge of the local community and of Rotary itself.

In addition, there are Rotaract clubs and Interact Clubs: Rotaract brings together adults ages 18-30 to take action in their communities, develop their leadership and professional skills, and have fun. Rotary clubs sponsor them, but Rotaract members manage and fund their clubs independently. Interact gives students ages 12-18 the chance to make a real difference while having fun. Every Interact club carries out two service projects a year: one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding.

There are many aspects of Rotary these days, a diverse infrastructure that has grown to cater for the modern needs of communities worldwide. The Rotary Foundation is perhaps the lynch-pin for a plethora of life changing projects big and small - local, national and international; two major activities worthy of particular note are: the Rotary Polio Eradication Program and Rotary Peace Fellowships. The Rotary Foundation benefits enormously from the philanthropic generosity of Bill and Linda Gates who match dollar-for-dollar very contribution made to the Foundation by people across the world.

Rotary International provides local Rotary Clubs with a capacity to make a difference on a global scale through participation in existing international programs or through support for new ideas or initiatives that a club sees as worth of support. There are numerous conventions and assemblies that Rotarians can participate in to facilitate their desire to help, as well as programs to support the growth of our younger folk in our own communities and abroad which include scholarships and exchange programs that promote peace and goodwill across nations. You could say that if you want to help then Rotary can help you!

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