Welcome to Rotary Zone 8

How to talk to your local press

Every person or organisation has a story to tell which will interest the media.  We need to increase public awareness and understanding of Rotary to set the stage for membership growth, fundraising and collaboration.  
Rotary members are actively working to improve communities around the world and have so much to share with an external audience so they can learn about Rotary and also hopefully join in our efforts.  The positive news is that media needs stories now more than ever - journalists require fresh information to plug into websites, papers, radio slots and television slots.  Time zones and printing schedules don’t limit the media anymore and most news outlets have a 24-hour news cycle to meet the growing demand to deliver news as it happens.
The challenge is to package and present stories in a way that will get them covered by media.
As I have started to share my ideas, opinions and stories about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender diverse, and queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) inclusion in Rotary, I have heard so many of our leaders say to me “We’re a really decent club/district. We don’t have any bad people. So, we don’t have a problem. Right?”, “why Rotary is doing something so political” and “there are no gay people in my community”.
The Current Situation
If we look at our District 9800, we have 65 Rotary clubs. This is down from the 67 of five years ago, and our membership has also declined from around 2,400 to 2,100 in that time, an average of about five members a club, or one per club per year. This is a long-term trend across all Districts in Australia and much of the developed world, but what would it take for us to have a net increase of two each year per club, rather than a decline of one?
Western Australian Rotaractor and Rotarian Eeshwar Rajagopalan has been appointed to the Rotary International Membership Committee for 2020-23.
Eeshwar is a member of the Rotaract Club of South Perth and the Rotary Club of Elizabeth Quay. He is currently the District Rotaract Representative for Districts 9455 and 9465 and Youth Director for District 9455. Professionally, Eeshwar is an engineering consultant, assisting in the development of real-time monitoring systems and operator training simulators for major hazard facilities, principally for the international oil and gas industry.
Some 40 years ago I started training people – people entrusted their life in my hands. I was a partner in a successful independent SCUBA training facility; teaching four days a week from basic SCUBA to, night, deep, wreck and cave diving. Offering professionalism and quality, people wanted more from us, we were entrusted to teach a Westpac Rescue crew and Police Rescue members to dive.
This taught me to reach our level of success as trainers, we had to invest to be the best, exhibiting competence from initial contact to classroom training and in-water skill development.
The Zone 8 Virtual Conference has been a great success and we'd like to thank all our speakers for their invaluable input.  The feedback has been very encouraging which indicates we are on the right track.
The speakers sessions have now been moved to our YouTube channel and can viewed by clicking the following link Rotary Zone 8 Virtual Conference 2020
With shutdowns, border closures and social distancing all businesses have had to look at their business models and come up with solutions to trade profitably in the new environment.Regretfully many won’t find solutions and will close.

What about Rotary? Can we survive if our members face ongoing unemployment or substantially reduced retirement incomes? Social distancing and border closures will continue for years’ ahead without a vaccine. There is no guarantee of a vaccine and this is the fourth SARS type virus in the last 20 years.
While we continue to practice social distancing to ensure the health and well-being of our families and communities, it’s important to ensure our members stay engaged in Rotary during this extraordinary time.
Rotarians all across Australia have been profoundly saddened and touched by the bushfires that ravaged our country over the past summer claiming lives, destroying many homes and decimating thousands of hectares of bushland.