Monday, 23 July
Seven years ago, Jan Pedersen (right) decided she was concerned about children having difficulty with their reading and recognized that the best way to teach children at an early age was for someone to go in and help them. She spread the word in the South West and later in the Metropolitan area.
Fast forward: Hands Up 4 Kids is a community-based, student assistance program for primary schools to make a tangible contribution towards improved reading abilities for students selected as needing this help.
To address literacy barriers, Regional Coordinator Jan Akaczonek (second from left) expressed the need for more volunteers who can work a minimum of one hour a week - which is easy to find even in a very busy schedule. Volunteers are placed under the direction of partnering schools and assigned to one teacher/classroom throughout the whole year which gives them the chance to develop a strong relationship with the children. No training is needed as it’s really all about listening to the children, supporting and helping them break down words and, of course, comprehension comes into it as well.
Volunteers are allowed to come and go as needed (e.g. family appointments/holidays) and HU4K try to keep in close contact with them. Volunteers are, understandably, insisted upon to have a Working with Children Card, provide referees, abide by HU4K’s non-negotiable code of conduct, and sign a confidentiality agreement.
Clearly, this is not something that Jan P and Jan A do for instant gratification. They are here to try and help not just the community now, but the future community as well, and as an organisation, they act, belong, and commit to give children a better chance to achieve their life goals.
On Monday night, July 9, President Ian had great pleasure welcoming guests Kendall Clifton-Short and Sabra Sayed.
Guest speaker Kendall talked about commodity crises, finance resource, situations we’ve never seen before, and what’s happening in the global scale. Organisations are now being asked to be responsible for the things they have never been asked to be responsible for in the past. And if we want to understand how we could help businesses navigate these changes, we really need to look at what’s going on, and the first thing to look at is ‘mindset’. Process comes next, followed by Design, Packaging, and Waste.
A company, over a number of years, have transported their plants into zero waste facilities. Not only are they able to profit from the product that they make, but they also made a boost in that what used to be a cost is now a profit.
So, how can we make money by doing good, and how can we use businesses to take the challenges that we are facing as a society and turn them into opportunities? There’s lots of avenues and pathways to explore the viability of partnering with other organisations, building a relationship, and doing the right thing. The key to doing any of this is great leadership. We need leaders who will: ask the tough questions, look for opportunities, and make hard decisions. When we are willing to ask questions and reshape the way we think, connect and do business, we ultimately drive a systems-change and remould the business world as a force for good.
Pictured here are Kendall, Gillian and Fred, Greg, Sabra and Carol, and Robin and Bev with their birthday cupcakes, presented by Ian.
The RYPEN (Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) camp in September is fast approaching!
If you know someone who is 14-17 years of age who is
RYPEN depends on Rotary Clubs to sponsor participants, and the more participants we get the better the camp will be. We would love to welcome your applicant to the camp.
We've got an exciting and challenging program lined up for the weekend, so if you know of someone who would like to attend please get your applications in by 1st September.
As well as being an AIM awardee, Marcus Stafford has also been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division. Marcus is a compassionate CEO and has improved the lives of people living with Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological conditions not only in Western Australia, but nationwide. He learnt in his lifetime that leadership is flexibility and courage in an uncertain environment, and that the only things that stops CEOs today from making good, confident decisions is lack of courage. He said that it should all start with values, and that the values of Rotary are beyond reproach. He believes that those same types of values should actually exist within all organizations, whether they be for profit or not-for-profit organisations – not those things that sit framed on people’s walls and no one really knows what they mean.
Under his guidance and leadership, MSWA has been able to extend its various services to people with MS, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson’s, Stroke, Huntington’s, Acquired Brain Injury, and the list goes on. The growth in services provided within the State in the range of different areas is one part of what they (MSWA) do. The second part is their research contribution which is about Three Million Dollars. The combined contributions of New South Wales, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania – when doubled – is still less than the $3M WA contributes to research. Marcus is very proud of that leadership status, but said that they’d be delighted to give that up if somebody else wanted to step up to that.
It is a long race in finding the cause and the cure of the many neurological conditions. It is also a long race where their staff are concerned. Marcus reminds people regularly that the people who work in their organisation are not a commodity to be bought and/or sold on the market, and if you look after them today, they will give you the most amazing returns for the journey you want to take tomorrow.
Pictured here are club president Ian, Marcus, Celia Holdaway, and Mal Bennett, whose birthday was celebrated that night.