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The Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley

Helping to make a difference in our community

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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley

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President Greg Windsor invites visiting Rotarians or anyone interested in sampling Rotary to join us. The table below list our next meeting location and time.
If you require more information or directions, click on the link below.

Due to Corona Virus all meeting are cancelled until further notice
Next Meeting Location
Date :2020-08-06
Type :Morning
Venue :Whistle Dixie Cafe and Bar
Address :900 Ann St
Suburb :Fortitude Valley
Start time6.45am for 7.00am
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End Hygiene Poverty

This week we were visited by members of the Rotary Club of Noosa Heads, speaking about their RAWCS project 110 – 2017-2018 – involving distribution of the SpaTap to provide access to running water. Running water facilitates hand washing, food washing, first aid and hygiene in education, home and hospital environments, thereby minimising disease. The flow on effects can include improved education and employment outcomes due to minimised lost time.

Everything is Better with Bacon!


Last week, President Andrew reported on the successes of the Motorfest barbeque. There were discussions on improvements for next time, but overall it was agreed that it was good to work together, lift the profile of the club and raise over $6,500. 1,040 burgers, 1,000 sausages. Thank you to members and family who chipped in to make it all work, and thanks to those who purchased leftover bacon and juice. It was good to hear that even the excess bread was given a good home in the form of school breakfasts.

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2020-21 Changeover Speech

Good afternoon members and friends it’s great that we can finally come together face to face for some long overdue Rotary fellowship.

I would like to commence my first important role as President in introducing our current dynamic team for 20-21 noting we have three positions yet to fill in President Elect and Treasurer Club account only and what was named Vocational which I am suggesting a new more important role. More on that later!

  • Newly inducted member Carmel Martin as Co Secretary with an apology for Maree McArthur as the other Co Secretary the engine room of our club.
  • Yass- Marie Rutty Community Service
  • Geoff Gay Club Service and Yours truly assisting with Programme
  • Tammy Spiller International Service
  • Jamie Rudd New Generations an apology
  • David Hassall Membership and Charities Trust Fund manager
  • Ken Callaghan Technology and Web Master

Covid 19 whilst not welcome it’s impacts has bought us a better understanding and importance of the value of our Rotary fellowship in our life. The other Covid challenge is that we must not let it negatively impact on our Rotary Club and what it stands for. Fortunately Zoom technology has enabled us to maintain some remote fellowship and will continue to provide a useful by-product of Covid. My launch into this role of President round 2 with Round 1 in 2008-9 commenced late last year at the realisation that President Elect Paul Whelan was not able to continue in that role due to pressing personal reasons. The club under Past President Andrew Lyon 2018-19 successfully steered the club through a major transition in moving the club back to the Valley from Albion and forming fortnightly breakfast meetings in addition to fortnightly dinner meetings. These strategic moves were supported by a recent strategic report completed by a research graduate of QUT for the Brisbane Rotary Club. The essence of that report was the need for diversity in Rotary to stimulate a renewal across the board. It is fair to say that as a club not far behind the Brisbane Rotary Club in tenure that the QUT supported Report worked for us as well in that we had very similar concerns with aging and falling membership numbers. Outgoing President Dianne Whelan continued with the strategies in what were unsettled times. Any disruption is not always welcomed by members even if good disruption so as always the pathway through to the new future for the club still had some land mines to dodge. From my disruption experience this is completely normal.

In taking on the role of President 20-21 after 15 years in the club I feel that can represent both sides of the coin!! ie old school and new school in seeking to find the best fit for all members both older and new as we further develop the transition of 18-19. I believe most of the land mines have been cleared for safe passage to where is the question!! Some of you will know this already but for those who have not heard--my late grandfather RL Windsor, a man of great wisdom was the Liberal member in the QLD State Parliament for the seat of Fortitude Valley from 1957 to 1960, that is 60 years ago. He had a saying which is based on the Old Testament and says “Where there is no Vision the people perish”. This wisdom pretty much captures the outcomes for any organisation that fails to have a clear and well adopted vision for the future. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and something to be excited about. So what is our vision for the future of the Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley?? Can I suggest some thinking towards that vision and hopefully the vision will become self –evident!

The Rotary Club of Fortitude Valley overs its 81 years in existence has a very proud record in championing the social issues in the Valley precinct and well beyond. The convening of the UIR strategy in 2006 remains a standout achievement that is still well recognised by all associated. This strategy took the bull by the horns in dealing with tragedy of homelessness in our own back yard.

Prior to that the club took a very active role with the Senior Citizens in the region dealing with matters property and other sustaining benefits for the Senior Citizens Assoc. The club at present is supporting the Valley’s Holy Trinity Anglican Church panty as it seeks to help those living on the streets and especially now with the impacts of Covid 19 driving the despair and needs. The clubs active involvement in supporting Chaplain Watch has been a major part of our fund raising outcomes over the past few years. There are many more stories of our effective help in those areas of great social need.

The proposed vision for 20-21 is for the club to grow its active membership to a critical mass of at least 50 once again. Former days of 100 members in the club gave it enviable human resources we can only dream of today. We have the ever present social issues in housing the homeless, feeding the homeless and in doing so assist them into a sustainable and better life. The issues with homeless in the Valley is in better shape than in 2006 but far from ideal and plenty more to do. So as a Rotary Club we have the gift of a region that has massive ongoing social needs with plenty of essential projects to be involved to make a difference. As a club we need the active and diversified human resources ie. more members, to make a dent in these pressing social needs which drives the focus this year. The smart strategy moving forward will be to identify those pockets of new potential members who may have already active involvement in dealing with the homeless and other social issues at all levels. Our corporate membership drive will hopefully focus on finding a significant project cause which may be related to the UIR model to drive the membership interest in the club.

I propose to engage with the Chair of UIR through Past President and our UIR representative Andrew Lyon as soon as possible to better understand how once again as a club we can be more actively involved in what may be a Mark 2 UIR for starters.

Of course it is understood that as a key project for 20-21 we will step up our financial support for the pantry with the hopeful support of the RACQ Grant for $10,000 in dollar for dollar support. So the take away for membership growth strategy will be that whilst the board members have their particular responsibilities the underlying driving principle will be how your strategy and actions contribute to membership growth in real terms.

The club also has a proud history in matters youth both in a Rotary programme context as well as our local schools. The new multi -level high school in our precinct will hopefully provide us with a great opportunity to be involved with our local youth. Outgoing President Dianne’s presentation of 2 x $500 scholarships to 2 year 7 students will hopefully create the opportunity for more involvement in what looks to be a very interesting school. Rotary is International and as such our focus has to be both local and off shore. The club’s ongoing support of the great work of Donations in Kind will continue as this programme provides great leverage to the benefits to our less fortunate Island neighbours. The score board at the DIK centre in Slacks Creek says more than $50m in value of goods have been despatched since formation. This is serious support, leverage and great value to the Rotary brand and interclub fellowship.

So what will our Rotary Club meetings look like for the rest of 2020? That is still the “$64 question”!! Zoom maybe the platform for our combined “breakfast-dinner meetings” on what has been for the past few months fortnightly at least for the month of July for which there is only one more meeting on July 23. I am proposing that meeting will be a club assembly to pull together the bones of the vision I have outlined today to a working platform.

Our club meet place The Whistle Dixie remains unopened as the owner deals with the impacts of Covid. Whistle Dixie has proven to us that it is a good location and amenity for our club especially located right next to the pantry we are supporting. The amenity provides that up market presence so vital to attracting new members our key goal for 20-21. I am reluctant to seek out another venue at this time as they will no doubt be all suffering from Covid strain and additional costs. So in the medium term say next 1 to 2 months we may have to live with Zoom. I am hopeful that Newstead Bunnings bar-b-que facilities will be open in the next few weeks which may enable us to be involved in actual service face to face even if our meetings are not face to face in the short term. We should use this next brief period to really focus on the plan for the future and put in the stumps to drive the vision and be excited about that vision. Once we can meet face to face again then we can really crank up the opportunity for new potential members to sample our purpose, fun and fellowship. I am not confident that the Zoom platform would work for engaging new members but I may be wrong!! We will be using Zoom for board meetings so that meetings can be held at a more suitable time with a glass of wine maybe and a comfortable environment and not straight after dinner meeting when everyone is tired and not at their best thinking. Zoom provides the opportunity for directors who maybe travelling to zoom into our board meetings. So Zoom is of great enduring value for some of our meetings. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Past President Linda Tait for her friendship and unstinting contributions to this club. Her recent resignation for reasons of distance from work and home makes her attendance unworkable is sadly accepted. Michael Potts our member of many years and our lawyer member also has resigned recently. Michael has provided a great deal of Rotary service and no doubt some free legal advice to his Rotary mates over many years and will be missed by the team.

Every Rotary Club has an engine room with oil cans, grease and overalls to keep the machinery of Rotary ticking along. The work can be hot and dirty at times but the rewards of good travelling are worth the effort. Will Street has been our chief engineer in that engine room for the past 8 years watching the pressure gauges and keeping the up the steam pressure so that we all can ride on the Rotary train!!! Past President and PHF Will Street you are the longest serving secretary in this club’s 81 year history and for the past few years Treasurer as well a truly remarkable achievement and says something for your great sense of humour!! On behalf of all members present and past can we say many thanks for your leadership of the engine room and trust the cool winds off Caloundra wash off the dust and heat but not strong enough to take you away from the fun times ahead in our club. Many thanks to outgoing President Dianne for your enduring effort in what were trying times at times in the year not assisted by the entrance of Covid 19 to seriously disrupt your year. I would like you to accept these flowers as a small memento of our thanks for your great service and commitment.

My last thank you is for my ever enduring partner Sheryl over the past 48 years. A morning in late last year on waking at 5 am with the statement that I think I will run for President to which she replied great idea I was going to suggest you do. That is a sign of a truly unselfish mate a reality that has made our partnership work for all those years. Please accept these flowers as a sign of my gratitude for your support.

The theme for this Rotary Year is “Rotary Opens Opportunities” are you game to look for and take part?

Greg Windsor


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