By PDG John Kevan
Despite the headwinds of gaining members, the Rotary Club of Mandurah Districts, WA, has achieved a membership magic milestone.
So far this Rotary year, under the guidance of President Deb Atkins, Membership Director Martin Sadle and an enthusiastic board, 16 new members have been welcomed into the club.
From 24 members in July 2022, less two members who resigned, and Ivan Spalding, a charter member who passed away in September, there has been a 71 per cent net increase. This includes three members inducted in March 2023. There are also 10 associate members.
How has this happened? The club’s board undertook to connect with members of the local business community to find people who had the time, resources, and a willingness to give back to the wider community.
A networking meeting with members of the Peel Chamber of Commerce in August 2022 initiated contact with business leaders in Mandurah and the Peel Region.
These are professional, working men and women who wanted to do something in helping the community, and were convinced that Rotary had the integrity, a spread of local humanitarian projects and, importantly, that members have fun.
The networking early evening event had two, sharp 10-minute presentations on the club’s activities, highlighting the potential for new members to become involved and participate in an active Rotary club.
“The club’s board undertook to connect with members of the local business community to find people who had the time, resources, and a willingness to give back to the wider community.”
It worked. Initially, 11 people showed keen interest and were followed up and invited to meetings and project events. It was apparent that these professionals had decided to make time in their busy lives for hands-on community service.
Within two weeks following the first inductions, a ‘Rotary Basics’ information session was held to provide the background of Service above Self, and unwrap the many world-wide opportunities available to them as a Rotarian. They were amazed and delighted. It also demonstrated that Rotary must do a lot more public image promotion.
The club has also had new members join from just being invited to attend a meeting. They have quickly contracted the sense of fun, seeing how inclusive partners become, and enjoying the profound sense of achievement when successful local community projects are celebrated and publicised.
Now the only Rotary club in Mandurah, the main challenge is to retain these wonderful new friends, and continue to engage with the professionals in the city wanting to see the magic of Rotary working in their local community.