G ’Day everyone,
 
Well, 2020 has GONE! Let’s welcome 2021.

2020 certainly threw up some interesting challenges throughout the year, both on the working front and the home front. However, through this time we all seem to have managed to keep on doing good Rotary business, we all kept in contact with family and friends, importantly we continued to serve our communities and indeed through our support of the Rotary Foundation our reach was enabled to go much further across the world than we were allowed to go under those strict lockdown rules. The big question is, what will 2021 bring?  I have been rubbing the crystal ball furiously, but it is still very clouded! But I know this, we will continue to grow in both our personal and business lives. We as Rotarians will make a big impact on people’s lives.

Providing things continue to move as they currently are, we will be able to do more and more projects, bigger and better activities, and importantly we will be able to meet in ever increase numbers face-2-face.

We MUST however continue to conform the rules and guidelines as laid out by the proper authorities.
So, what can we do to help improve the lives of those around us? Well January is the perfect Rotary month for getting back into Rotary business. January is Vocation Service month.
 
What is Rotary Service month?
Vocational Service calls on us to empower others by using our unique skills and expertise to address community needs and help others acquire or refine skills and advance their professional opportunities. By bringing together people from diverse professions and backgrounds, Rotary recognizes the importance of all skills and occupations. A vibrant Rotary club reflects the businesses, organizations and professions in its community, embracing diversity in experiences and perspectives.
Your professional life and vocational service go hand in hand. Rotarians have a dual responsibility: represent their occupations within their club and exemplify the ideals of Rotary in their places of work.
January is Rotary’s Vocational Service Month, a great time to start leveraging vocational service!
 
As you can see from the quote above it is about us, Rotarians, helping others, by giving of our skills and expertise to empower them to do great things.
We often get the message wrong, we often do the work for people, when in fact we should be mentoring, teaching, supporting and developing those around us. When we empower others great things follow, we can then look back and say, we were a part of that person’s life and WOW doesn’t that feel great. We made a difference.

How can you take action?
Find local people and projects that we can assist with, since 2020 has gone, there are many opportunities and new issues that need to be solved, we do not need to look hard.

Work on a plan as to how we can support the people and project, remember what I said above, it is not about us doing the work, it is about us, teaching, training, mentoring, developing, supporting others. When we do this, people see Rotary in a different light to another organisation. They see Rotary as an organisation that cares for its communities and develops new leaders.

Have you thought about joining a Rotary Action Group?
Action groups offer their technical expertise and support to help clubs plan and implement projects to increase our impact, one of Rotary's strategic priorities. This support includes helping clubs find partners, funding, and other resources. Action groups can also help clubs and districts prepare grant applications, conduct community assessments, and develop plans to monitor and evaluate their projects. 
Anyone who wants to share their expertise to make a positive difference can join an action group. Only Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Rotary Peace Fellows can serve in leadership roles.

Have you thought about joining a Rotary Fellowship Group?
I have mentioned fellowship groups before, many Rotarians from our District belong to fellowship groups, snow skiers, 4-wheel drivers, caravan, whisky to name a few. These people get to experience Rotary in a very different light, they get to see Rotary in Action, and through there activities, they are supporting each other, working with and supporting other communities and importantly changing people’s lives.

What about volunteer on a Service Project?
Have you ever wanted to see firsthand how Rotary is changing the lives of those around us? Many Rotarians from our District have volunteered their time and skills in communities around the world, building infrastructure, building medical facilities, building schools, cleaning up farms, providing clean drinking water, giving those 3 drops of Polio vaccine. Some of these activities happen in remote parts of the world, but we go there to make their lives better.

There are many ways in which we can provide service, we each have our own special gifts to impart, we all have the ability to change a person’s life. During the month of January and now that we are moving out of restrictions, how can we/you deliver service to your communities that will help make them better stronger and inclusive.

Linda & I are both looking forward to supporting each and everyone of you over the next few months. We have visited many of you online, some of you in person. Over the remaining months we want to be a part of your club and your service projects, so please think of us as an extra pair of hands. We want to be part of your community so please invite Linda & I along, we already have many events in the calendar, so please give us plenty of time so we can book in as many opportunities to be there.
 
Rotary Opens Opportunities, we have many new opportunities available to us, lets grab them and change people’s lives for ever.
 
Mark