Rotary Club of Melville 
President Ponderings

It was wonderful to attend the International Rotary conference in Melbourne where are a lot of our club members attended and either assisted or participated in events at this international event or caught up with old Rotarian acquaintances and met and made new friends within the Rotary movement.

I thought the opening of the conference was particularly vibrant and introduced the Rotary World President - Jennifer Jones and her family to the Rotarians present at Rod Laver arena. This arena was packed with a variety of nations and people all with the same ideals. At the opening we heard of the possibilities that could be opened through imagining and saw a cascade of flags ( some of which I had no idea of ) where the presence of Rotary is a part.
I spent time working (well manning) the Mama Respond program kiosk to spread awareness of this program and stive to obtain interest from other clubs and Districts that could help to develop the program and assist a group of children who instead of being hidden due to their special needs would be provided the opportunity to have medical assistance, or educational development. It was a pleasure to assist in a small way.
Whilst the break out sessions were interesting, the house of friendship was the pivotal drawcard where there was a myriad of Rotary Programs on display. Shelterbox was one that I spent some time discussing with Mike Greenslade and now it seems that the shelter shed is gaining speed due to the rapid ability to erect the shelter and the low cost of production and freighting. A special tent was set up whereby you could sit inside and watch a 360 degree story on how a young lady assisted in an African Country to ensure the distribution of the Polio vaccine and the work involved to achieve this. It made you feel like you were in the location.
Social events were also good and Dixie and I attended the Walk the Streets of Melbourne dinner. This was a variety of foods available to try and you just randomly interacted with other Rotarians. I had a lengthy conversation with a lawyer who was involved in prosecuting sex traffickers to save young girls in foreign countries from being sold or exploited. Another enjoyable moment was spent with a South African District Governor and his wife who were promoting an orphanage they were heavily involved with. I must say there were a lot of colourful outfits but everyone I spoke to had a good reason to promote their cause and some were looking for causes to support.
I also had the good fortune to attend the MCG for a footy game which was an unexpected positive from a results perspective. Along with PDG Ed McKinnon and Jean we had a dinner with PDG John Crossingham and his wife Libby from Canada, who had hosted us whilst we were there.  It was fabulous to catch up. Even travelling on the tram or in the main street of Melbourne we became engaged in conversation with Rotarians from all around the world. The occasional raindrops did not stop this Rotary convention which was a busy six or so days. The organisers ought be congratulated on the way the convention was conducted.
The highlight for me was being able to speak to the ClubRunner staff at their stand in The House of Friendship.  I meet and spoke to Hailee (pictured left) and Zac to sort out many issues I have with the website.
I was also overwhelmed with the many speakers who gave so much information on what is happening around the world with Rotary.  Especially the fact that we only have four cases of Polio left in the world at the time of the convention.
Janice Pounder
What was the highlight? ………well I think listening to the various ideas of the Rotarians themselves was magnificent. Ultimately we were all after the same thing….. to provide hope, safety and advancement against disease and catastrophe whilst making the world just that little bit of a better place to be.
Imagine What’s Next The theme of the RI Convention in Melbourne
The theme provided a platform for an exciting, stimulating thought provoking week with opportunity to catch up with old Friends, make new ones and come away reinvigorated with hope for the future of our great organisation.
The theme of inclusivity ran through most presentations and the vitality shown by our international president Jennifer Jones was infectious and showed what can be achieved when we open our eyes and accept change that can positively our direction.
The emphasis on making clubs inclusive to all and membership support was inspirational and the speakers from all walks of life just showed what can be achieved when we are all on the same page.
Apart from great plenary and break out sessions the house of Friendship provided a great opportunity to absorb great projects from around the world as well as our own country and the peace park exhibition displayed what we can do locally to promote peace.
In Summary a fantastic Experience that reinvigorated and provided an exciting path or the future.
David & Marilyn Barton
This was my second RIWorld Convention and you will see from my list of breakout sessions the focus for me .
The pre convention WASH World Water Summit 15 (WASH - Water Sanitation and Health ) was most enlightening especially the ongoing benefits of having reliable clean toilets ,water sources and suitable sanitation systems to enable girls and women in general to attend school and work in their communities .
During convention my break out sessions were :
Using skill development to engage members
Igniting pathways for member growth and retention
Sustainable change in a volunteer environment 
Driving membership growth with evidence
Rotary indigenous reconciliation in Australia.
I checked in with Greg H in preparation for our visit with them later this year. Wheel Chair for Kids
Greg Walkington
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