BEFORE THE FORMALITIES: pensive Melodie Kevan and cheerful Laurie Smith.
THE importance of partnerships between Rotary clubs and other groups was emphasised by District Governor Melodie Kevan when she visited Rockingham last week.
“Rotarians are generally very busy people,” she pointed out. And they should consider how to make the best use of their time and limited resources.
She suggested community partnerships were the way to go, noting that the Palm Beach club was already doing so.
The upcoming district conference would follow the theme “Be a gift to the world”, laid down by Rotary International’s  2015-16 president, K.R. “Ravi” Ravindran, of Sri Lanka. Mrs Kevan said we should be a gift to the world through district partnerships.
The three Bunbury clubs were putting in much time and effort to ensure this year’s state conference was great, she added.
The event would be based at the upgraded Bunbury Entertainment Centre and the dinner would be at the Italian Club, which could accommodative more diners than last year’s dinner venue.
Something special was being organised for first-time attendees, she added.
Reverting to her partnerships theme, Ms Kevan pointed to a collaboration between Rotary and St Vincent de Paul, providing support to young people who were suddenly without it.
Sailing for Life was supported by Rotary in Perth, Bunbury and Mandurah and used to be supported in Rockingham.
FoodBank would like Rotarians to volunteer help in Perth and  country centres, she said. 
Rotarians were also supporting ShelterBox.
The major international project in the coming year would be in northern Sri Lanka which had lost a huge amount of infrastructure during 20 to 30 years of “disruption” (civil war).
Global grants would be closed out soon
Ms Kevan asked Rotarians to consider community initiatives such “DonateLife” and said conversations with family about your desire to be an organ donor were vital. She told the story of a father she knew who made a living donation of a kidney to his little boy.  
DonateLife Week ⎯ the national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation in Australia  ⎯  will be held from Sunday, August 2, to Sunday,  August 9.
The international polio eradication program was another example of a Rotary partnership  achieving much more than the organisation could on its own.  There had been no new cases in Africa in 10 months so eradication was very near, she said. 
RI president Ravi wants to establish a Rotary member benefits program, Ms Kevan reported.  “None of us become Rotarian to get benefits ,” she commented.  But president Ravi feels discounts on hotel bills etc  might be an encouragement to Rotarians and help them feel appreciated.
Ms Kevan feels talking the strain off some over-loaded Rotary officers might help prevent some departures from the organisation.
She had a string of other ideas including developing guidelines for $5000 grants to Rotaract clubs and getting involved in local child literacy programs.
Palm Peach president Laurie Smith thanked Ms Kevan and noted the Mandurah clubs work closely together.  
“We are  not quite up to their level,”  he admitted.  But there has been enthusiastic help from Kwinana for our club’s major fund-raiser in September.