Posted by Rae Heston

Kev Says Thanks

IN his final report, outgoing president Kevin McDonnell said: “I was fortunate in my role as president to have the support and mentoring of many club members but some individuals stand out from the crowd.
“One such club member was president-elect Donna McDonald.
“Her support for the president and the club has been outstanding and she was an exemplary president-elect, aways calm and efficient and with the type of problem-solving skills needed in a crisis. 
“Her capacity to contribute and take on work seems endless.
“PE Donna made my life as president much easier and I am eternally grateful she was able to take on the role as president-elect of the club and step in as chair of the Rockingham Beach Cup  Committee.
“Thank you Donna and may you have a great year as president.”
“Her capacity to contribute and take on work seems endless.
“PE Donna made my life as president much easier and I am eternally grateful she was able to take on the role as president-elect of the club and step in as chair of the Rockingham Beach Cup  Committee.
“Thank you Donna and may you have a great year as president.”

Donna elected and awarded

SATURDAY night was Donna McDonald’s night.  She was inducted as president of the Rotary Club of Palm Beach and presented with the club’s Rotarian of the Year award.
This made her eligible for the new Erwin award — named in honor of outstanding Willetton Rotary Club member, the late Erwin Biemel— for being Rotary District 9465’s most outstanding Rotarian in the past year.
Outgoing president Kevin McDonnell said: “We had five nominees for Rotarian of the Year this year, so a whole of club vote was called for and I was given the privilege of being your returning officer.”
The five nominees were Donna McDonald, Mick Le-Cocq,  Rae Heston, Andrew Whall, and Laurie Smith.   
Donna won “with a solid majority”.
Kevin added he thought our Rotarian of the Year has a good chance of winning the inaugural Erwin Award. 
The Erwin award is tp be given for outstanding work in one of the five avenues of service: club, vocational, community, international, or youth. “Our Rotarian of the Year and Erwin Award nominee has excelled in almost all of these areas,” he said. 
DONNA is currently president-elect at the Rotary Club of Palm Beach and is a past president of Cockburn Rotary Club. She has fully supported the club president and her years of Rotary experience was crucial to the club’s success in this Rotary Year. Her mentoring and advice to the president and the club was exemplary.
She has been an excellent club service officer organising dinner meetings, guest speakers, home meetings, and inter-club meetings with Kwinana, Rockingham, and Baldivis Rotary Clubs. 
Donna also directed the club service monthly committee meetings and mentored her committee members in their work.  
Her negotiations with our current meeting venue managers led to a much-improved business relationship, better meals, and very happy club members.
Donna is currently chair of the club’s Rockingham Beach Cup Committee (RBC). This event was an outstanding success again in 2019 attracting over 16,800 people. 
Donna assumed the responsibilities of chairperson at a very difficult time, when the former chairperson resigned some seven weeks out from the even’s start date. 
Donna’s outstanding leadership brought the committee together and she and her team managed this magnificent event, with an allocated budget of around $400,000, to a very successful conclusion. The substantial profits from the event were then shared with our nominated charities. 
Since that successful event, she has continued as  RBC committee chair and has been the leader in negotiations with:
    • the Honorable Paul Papalia CSC MLA (Minister for Tourism; Racing and Gaming; Small Business; Defence Issues; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests), 
    • Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA),
    •  the City of Rockingham and with 
    • other interested community groups in the further development of the Rockingham Beach Cup as an ongoing event in the City of Rockingham. 
This event generated an estimated $1.3 million for the city in 2019 and is now to be developed into the annual iconic event at Rockingham and possibly at other beachside locations in WA.
DONNA is the principal of Thornlie Senior High School and her involvement in that community is very well known. 
Her work at the Rotary Club of Palm Beach involves organising meetings with WA State Government, local government officials, corporate bodies and other community groups on behalf of the Rotary Club.
In the 2019/20 Rotary year, Donna assisted in negotiations with the Rockingham Senior High School to help our Market Committee set up a Saturday Market in the school car park. She was hands-on at the club’s sausage sizzles and three-car park fund-raising events. 
During the recent Covid19 crisis, Donna has assisted in setting up club Zoom meetings and has organised combined physical and zoom meetings at our meeting venue, The Clipper Hotel. This ensured that all club members got the chance to attend meetings in either capacity.
AS president-elect, Donna has supported the club’s commitment to the Timor Leste East water projects.
THE candidate’s vocation skills are apparent in all aspects of her club activities, in her willingness to mentor club members on committees with their work and her leadership and calmness in getting projects back on track as exemplified by her bringing together the Rockingham Beach Cup Committee during a somewhat stressful time in its planning and development.
DONNA assisted the youth director in negotiations with the Rockingham Senior High School (RHS) in setting up the club’s inter-club partnership in the RIDE program with RSH.

Newest Paul Harris fellow

FORMER journalist Rae Heston became Palm Beach Rotary Club’s latest Paul Harris fellow at the annual changeover dinner on Saturday night. 
She was recruited to the club by past district governor John Simmons, when he heard she was retiring to Rockingham from Collie about seven years ago. 
Since joining the club, Rae has produced the club bulletin (which won the Rotary District 9465 bulletin award in 2016-17), helped with public relations, and took on the vocational services directorship last year — a portfolio she retains this year. 
She also helps on the Rockingham Beach Cup committee, taking meeting notes for committee chairwoman Donna McDonald. 
This job became necessary when Michael McCafferty resigned from the chairmanship unexpectedly just seven weeks before the 2019 event. 
Donna — then committee secretary — took over the chair but couldn’t take notes and run meetings at the same time. Funny that! 
Newest Paul Harris fellow