Rotary Tenterfield is continuing its run of youthful leaders with Skye Stapleton handing over the presidential collar to Caitlin Reid for the 2018/19 year at a changeover dinner on Tuesday, June 25. Cameron Bolton steps up into the position of president-elect, ready to take over next year.
Past-president Harry Bolton, who becomes District Governor just days later, said the club has put in a fantastic effort over the past 12 months under Ms Stapleton's leadership. It's been active on both the local and international fronts, welcoming and dispatching exchange students (Tsumiki Katsuragawa and Aaron Blackler respectively) and sending Josh Moylan off to the Philippines for a group vocation exchange in April.
A number of local teenagers have also been sponsored by the club to attend Rotary youth camps, emerging better for the experience.
- Rotary exchange student enjoys a slice of Aussie culture
- Rotary district governor visits Tenterfield for a special dinner
- Rotary Trivia Night 2019 | PHOTOS
- Rotary street stall raises an impressive sum for local farmers
- Rotary's Halloween Party 2018 raises the bar on costuming
- Our Bavarian friends leave behind memories of laughter and dance
Highlights for the year include the Bavarian Brass Band visit, and regular calendar entries like the Halloween Dance, Christmas Carnival (in conjunction with Lions) and the trivia night, all raising money for worthy causes.
Ms Stapleton said much of the club's fundraising efforts have been coloured by the ongoing drought and then bushfires which hit the community. Rotary has a current project to get potable water to dry Mingoola households but also supported bushfire recovery efforts in conjunction with the Salvation Army and BlazeAid.
The Tenterfield club also did its bit towards Rotary International's efforts to eradicate polio, with just pockets of the disease now remaining in Afghanistan and Pakistan. RI's $1.9 billion investment, plus countless volunteer hours, has reduced the number of cases by 99.9 per cent, and another $102 million will be invested again this coming year.
Perhaps reflecting the membership's growing youthfulness, Rotary Tenterfield now has its own website and has become more active in promoting itself and its issues through social media. These days the weekly guest speakers are also occasionally supplemented by digital TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Talks, which are short, expert talks on a range of topics.
As incoming president Ms Reid has no intention of dropping the pace. In addition to the regular activities her goals in office include an additional event for Polio Day and another to raise the club's profile in the community.
Thanks to Mr Bolton's governorship the club will host the District 9640 conference in March, welcoming around 400 delegates to town.
Ms Reid also aims for the club to become more involved in a local community project, and she has chosen the WWII tank traps on Mount Lindesay Road, cleaning up the tourism site and perhaps installing interpretive signage.
"You can all expect an invitation to come equipped with chainsaws and clippers," she warned her fellow members.
She fears the club's involvement in drought relief efforts will be required for an extended time, saying Rotary has a key role to play. She's keen to engage with alumni of the Rotary youth camps to keep them connected with the club, and a key goal is to establish a Rotoract Club.
"This will be a social group, with opportunities to give back to the community," she said.
On recalling her arrival in Tenterfield and her first Rotary meeting 5.5 years ago, Ms Reid said she couldn't have imagined still being in Tenterfield now let alone becoming club president.
"You've given me a family, and you're the reason I'm still in town.
"I'm looking forward to a fun, productive and amazing year."