Love was in the air this Valentine’s Day when District 9640 Governor Andy Rajapakse launched what could quite possibly be the cutest Rotary club in the world at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on Queensland’s Gold Coast – the Rotary Club of Koala Lovers.
The animal cause-based club is a first of its kind under Rotary International’s new Area of Focus – Supporting the Environment. This is the sixth new Rotary club District 9640 will charter this Rotary year.
“This new-style Rotary club is positioned to attract ‘Gen Z’ – those born after 1996 – who consider the environment a top priority,” said Andy.
More than 60,000 koalas were among the animals affected by the 2020 bushfire crisis in Australia and they are now listed as a vulnerable species in the states of Queensland and NSW.
Having seen and heard of the plight of these iconic Aussie animal ambassadors, Andy saw an opportunity to do something no-one had thought of before. He invited popular Gold Coaster and ‘Gen Zeder’, 25-year-old Zac Revere, to be charter president and form the action-oriented Rotary club.
“Love was in the air this Valentine’s Day when District 9640 Governor Andy Rajapakse launched what could quite possibly be the cutest Rotary club in the world at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast – the Rotary Club of Koala Lovers.”
“I have worked at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary since I was 15 years old, first as a volunteer and then as a full-time presenter,” said Zac. “I love koalas, and all animals and birds.
“In January 2021, I moved on to pursue a new career as a paralegal and wanted to make a positive impact in the world. Rotary has now given me this opportunity.”
Embracing Zoom as the club’s platform of choice, within two weeks Zac launched the Rotary Club of Koala Lovers on Facebook, with the aim of attracting younger members from not just the Gold Coast, but across the globe.
The club intends to position itself as a hands-on ‘action’ group and hit the ground running. As part of club membership fees, every member pledges to plant a eucalyptus tree to help save koala habitats in Australia.
Membership fees are AU$30 a month or AU$300 a year. The first few members have already signed up, including a corporate member from Japan. Corporate Membership for companies and schools is AU$2000 a year for five active members.
“This is a pioneering, game-changing global initiative for Rotary,” Andy said.
Check out the club’s Facebook page for the latest updates at FB/Rotary Club of Koala Lovers in the making and join a fun Rotary club of the future.
Cuteness overload? You’re welcome!