The Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour will again be participating in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) this year, and we have been lucky enough to be able to sponsor two candidates to attend the RYLA week, Jessica Burns and Madalanne Taylor. As with previous years, the young individuals we're sponsoring are already stellar representatives of young people. Jessica heads a global development team at Macquarie Bank, and is involved heavily in Surf Life Saving and professional mentoring. Madalanne is engaged as a Student Support Officer at Tranby Indigenous Education and Training College, providing quality educational and vocational support to members of the Indigenous community, to help them thrive in their endeavours. RYLA is one of the longest standing youth initiatives that the Club is involved in, and is a part of how our Club is able to play a part in people growing into the best versions of themselves. We really look forward to hearing about how Jessica and Madalanne experience RYLA, and we look forward to seeing their continued good works in the future.
On the 1st of December in a lovely Italian restaurant on Sydney's Darling Harbour, the Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour held it's Changeover. Long-delayed by Covid, this evening gave us an opportunity to reflect on the two years of Mel Lane's Presidency, and our accomplishments during these unusual and unprecedented times. Mel's speech from the evening is listed below, and details her many accomplishment in her two years as Club President. Thanks for everything Mel. You've left some large and very shiny shoes to fill.
On the 24th of November, Kevin Watene from the Salvation Army presented to our Club about the Salvation Army's response to homeless in Sydney. Homelessness is and always has been a key concern for the Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour, making it especially poignant to hear Kevin's experiences of individuals without a home, and especially heartening to hear about the Salvation Army's robust network of services designed to provide support to individuals and families facing this challenging situatio
In November 10th, Anne Christie from the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove presented to our Club about the 2021-2022 District Governor Partner Project, the Aboriginal Child and Family Health Initiative.
This week, the Club was lucky enough to be visited by Vimla Hayman from the Rotary Club of St George Next Gen, who spoke to us about Interplast's work in supporting teams of volunteer plastic and reconstructive surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals to provide life-changing surgery in 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Vimla spoke to several examples of the important and life-changing work that Interplast does, in providing hope and support to individuals who have suffered life changing injuries, and young children born with cleft lip and palate, or serious scarring. The Club was moved, in seeing the dramatic before and after photos of the recipients of Interplasts support, and the volunteer spirit and generosity that goes into making their important and challenging work possible.
Last week, members of the Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour heard from David Pointon, founder of The Men's Table. The Men's Table is 'a place where men can talk about what's really going on and how they're feeling'. Groups of about 12 men meet once a month over dinner, with the aims of: being heard; creating a trusted peer group; and creating a sense of belonging and community. Over the last two years, The Men's Table has also seen the introduction of virtual tables and forums, and this year, celebrated its 10th anniversary.
The Rotary Club of Sydney Darling Harbour has 15 projects underway at the moment, which have all had a long-lasting and significant impact on the world around us. We've used Kiva to empower entrepreneurs in other nations, provided books to nearby schools, helped provide clean drink water in Nepal, scrubbed graffiti off of buildings and supported the development of young people into the best versions of themselves. It's an inspiring and encouraging list, which was first documented by Mel Lane. The project page has been given a bit of a face lift recently, to make it more engaging and easier to find out how to get involved. Check it out at https://rotarydarlingharbour.org.au/projects/
Polio has gone from a rampant and destructive just a few decades ago, to a virus that is 99.9% eliminated, with just two cases being reported in the past year. However, though we're almost finished, until Polio is entirely eliminated it can come back, squandering all the progress we've made thus far. PDG Bob Aitken has started the Clem Renouf End Polio Now Club, which is striving to see Clubs have EVERY member donate just $10 to Rotary’s Polio fund to mark World Polio Day in 2021/22. We'd love to have you involved.
The RYLA program is going ahead from the 3rd-9th of January 2022 at Stanwell Tops. RYLA is an amazing program and is one of the most important ways in which the District invests in the next generation, so please reach out if you would like to nominate someone. Further details and the Registration form are now on the District website at https://www.rotarydistrict9675.org/page/ryla.
Rotaract District 9675 will be holding its District Conference live and in-person next year, on the 20th of March. It will be held at the Warwick Conference Centre in Warwick Farm (near Liverpool), and feature an exciting line up of guest speakers, an exhaustive presence of Rotary projects and the elusive friendly faces of our fellow Rotarians, who we have not seen in person for far too long. If you, like me, are already counting down the days, please purchase your tickets at https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=808939.