Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rotary District 9710 Conference

I just had a great weekend at the Rotary District 9710 conference!

I was asked to be the guest speaker at the Rotary Foundation Luncheon on Saturday and it was really an excellent experience! It was by far the best speech that I have ever given (and to over one hundred people). I spoke about my relationship to Rotary, the importance of the Foundation's educational programs, my studies and research at the ANU, and my future goals.

The response to the speech was very positive and I am continually impressed by the level of Australian's understanding of and respect for environmental issues. I've been asked into several clubs to speak as a result of the talk, and into a local high school classroom!

As I said in my speech, the more I learn about Rotary, the more impressed and inspired I become by the generosity and enthusiasm for service displayed by Rotarians around the world. The international nature of Rotary gives me hope when I think of the global issues we face because solutions to environmental problems must extend beyond borders. Educational programs like the Ambassadorial Scholarships are so important because they allow collaboration with international colleagues on global issues.

In my speech I suggested that clubs do more to promote the Preserve Planet Earth Initiative of Rotary by considering some of the following activities:
  • creating urban gardens and green spaces
  • recognizing local businesses that have implemented environmentally sound practices
  • supporting environmental education programs
  • encouraging sustainable transport and energy policies

I also suggested that given the fundamental nature of protecting planetary life support systems and the natural resource base upon which human well-being depends, pursuing environmental sustainability could be the next initiative of Rotary International! The current international initiative of eradicating polio from the world has almost been accomplished!

So thanks to District 9710 for a lovely weekend and a lot of inspiration!

1 comment:

  1. Dick Cuttle9:16 PM

    Jennifer, I am a Rotarian from near Adelaide who led a GSE team to D6630 earlier this year. Julie West from D6630 gave me your blog.

    Welcome to Australia, and to Canberra in particular. If by some chance you will be in Adelaide, let me know, and we can host you about the place. We live about 25 miles from the downtown. We have team members in other parts of our district who will also host you. Mildura and Victor Harbor, among other places.

    My contact numbers are 0885685351 0417880735 and email dcuttle@iprimus.com.au

    Dick Cuttle