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Club Services Annual Report 2020/2021
Director: Donnah Francome. 
Committee: Tracey Scott, Rowan Lambert, Beth Philipps, Tyler Nicholls, Darrel Donovan
What a wonderful and productive year we have had!  I have had the backing of a very committed team to assist in achieving everything that we have.  Although we have faced several hurdles with regards to restrictions related to COVID-19, the RSL has worked with us as a cohesive unit to maintain most of our scheduled regular meetings, as well as many special events we have hosted.  Our continued thanks are extended to Ibby, Wolfie and Mark, as well as to Lisa, Tracey and Nancy in the kitchen.
Our members have pulled together many sausage sizzles this year.  We had our regular March month on our market barbeque, as well as a range of community events that we catered.  One event was anticipated to be more than our club could handle alone, so we asked Hillman cricket club to come on board and assist us with it.  After all the costs were taken out of these events, we were able to put $7345.05 into our club account to assist in offsetting member fees as well as funding other club costs and events.  This has also been a great opportunity to have our club present and actively involved in our local community.
We have had a strong focus on further building inter-club relations this year.  Several members visited Baldivis, Palm Beach and Kwinana Rotary clubs, as well as a few return visits from their clubs.  There were also many opportunities to zoom into meetings around the world.  I enjoyed visiting Rotary Club of Juneau 58o Innovators club for one of their Zoom meetings.  The Combined Services dinner with the other local Rotary clubs, Lion’s clubs, CWA and Soroptimists in July was well attended by our members and thoroughly enjoyed by all.  We have just enjoyed a family barefoot bowls evening with our members, along with members from Baldivis and Palm Beach Rotary clubs.  We are looking forward to attending Palm Beach’s Sundowner later on this calendar year.  We had planned a 1920’s night with the other clubs in our group to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australia, but unfortunately this has had to be postponed until November.
We have had quite a range of guest speakers this year, nearly twenty in total.  These speakers have varied greatly in both their demographic as well as the cause or business that they represent.  In August we hosted our youngest ever guest speaker, Harper Forsyth, aged 6 years old.  She was in her second year of sewing scrunchies to raise money for Telethon.  Other organisations represented by inspiring speakers were Inspire Radio, Yaran Property Group, Rockingham Greyhound Rescue, Bridging the gap, The Kimberly – Like nowhere else, Bravehearts and Armed for Life to name a few.  We also had Rotarian speakers for ROMAC and Interplast, as well a member talks from some of our own members.
Our club has had continued involvement with Rotary Youth exchange programs.  In July we had Isaiah Akavi attend with his Mum to come and speak with us about his exchange to Germany with the Short-Term Exchange Program (STEP).  It was a pleasure to hear what an impact this trip had had on Isaiah, his family, as well as his host family.  It was with great sadness that we learned of Isaiah’s passing on August 17th, aged 17.  This loss hit several of our members greatly.  We had several members of the club attend his funeral service to offer our sincerest condolences.
Early in August we held a Quiz night where both Rotarians and community members were invited to attend.  A huge thank you goes to Sara for putting together our questions, as well as a friend of our club, Jodie Babb, for being our quiz master.  From this event we raised $1100, which was donated to the Salvation Army of Rockingham Café.  We have continued to plan events throughout the year to encourage to participation of all family members in the Rotary Club of Rockingham.  On August 31st we held a family pizza and games night to coincide with Harper Forsyth addressing the club.  This evening was well attended and gave Harper the opportunity to learn about other ways she can help further her cause by raising awareness.  This evening also gave our club members, their partners and children the opportunity to see different ways that they may serve others.   Age, race and religion are no barriers to being able to serve our community.
A highlight of the year for me was our member weekend escape in November to Amblin Caravan park in Busselton.  Although a drizzly weekend, it was a great chance for members and their families to enjoy some relaxed fellowship and take in the local sites.
In December the Rotary Club of Rockingham recognised the contributions of the Honourable Mark McGowan MLA and made him a Paul Harris Fellow.  We recognised that his life exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of Rotary.  We thank him for demonstrating this in his life and vocational commitment to helping people in need both here and around the world.
Our Christmas party was a family friendly event held at the Sir James Stirling Senior Sailors Mess, H.M.A.S Stirling.  The venue was beautiful with Roast Express catering our meal for the night.  We had a good turnout of members, their families and friends of the club.  We had wonderful fellowship on closing out our year before Christmas.
At the start of the new year, we had a Sundowner and Wells Beach, Kwinana beach.  This provided a great opportunity for members to reconnect, as well as form bonds with members who were new to the club.  We enjoyed a casual dinner as the sun set over the beach.  What a glorious corner of the world we live in.
In March several of our members headed to attend our combined 9455/9465 District conference.  We were entertained and informed by a wide range of speakers and brought back a few new project ideas to share with the club.  This is also an important and valuable occasion for fellowship within our clubs, and also between ours and other clubs.  All who attended had a memorable and inspiring weekend. 
It is important that as a club we recognise the many achievements as well as challenges faced by our members over the years.  We spend so much time with our fellow Rotarians that they truly become an important part of our daily lives as well as our support network.  My family suffered the tragic loss of my stepson Taylor.  This sent a shock wave not only through my family, but it extended to so many people that we know.  To all the members of our club that pulled together to support me physically, by helping with the kids, or mowing my lawn, or sending Rotary emails that needed to be sent; or by emotionally piecing me back together; or practically by organising groceries to feed my kids, I truly thank you.  I have also felt the ongoing support of our members in furthering the cause by raising awareness of mental health and suicide.  Sara swan 420 to raise money for laps for life, directly assisting suicide prevention. Lynne Strudwicke Commenced her End to End trek of the Bibbulman track to raise money for suicide prevention through Australian Rotary Health.  Thank you both so much for giving me hope that we can help prevent this from happening to other families.
On a lighter note, we all donned the Akubras and broke out the Lamingtons to celebrate the Citizenship of Rory and Michelle Wishart.  We recognise our Citizenship as something very special that is to be appreciated.  We congratulate you on your choice and opportunity to become Australians. 
My thanks go to my committee, our board and to all the members of our club that have made this year so successful for our club.  Thank you also to the friends of Rotary that have continued to support us to further our goals of giving back to the community whilst having some fun and fellowship on the way.  I look forward to seeing what our club can accomplish in 2021/2022.
Yours in Rotary
Donnah Francome