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Youth Committee 2023-2024
Our committee consisted of Kirsten Junge, Trevor Ridley and myself, with Andrea Groom joining in 2024 and Carlos Garcia seconded to the committee after his duties on the vocation committee were completed.
Rotary International President Gordon McInally theme for 2023-24 is Create Hope in the World Gordon called for members to capture the world's attention and lead the way toward possibilities far beyond our current expectations. "The goal is to restore hope — to help the world heal from destructive conflicts and, in turn, to help us achieve lasting change for ourselves."
I believe that there can be no better way to create hope then focus on our youth and their future, the Youth Committee was committed to providing opportunities for young people in our community by offering a variety of programs to assist in their development.
This year we had a budget of $25,000 and through good management by the committee we were able to fund programs and students to an amount of $18,920.
The support of School Graduations continued with the following Schools receiving funds for awards from the Club: Warnbro Community High School, Safety Bay Senior High School, Rockingham Beach Campus, Singleton Primary School, Warnbro Primary School, Port Kennedy Primary School, Cooloongup Primary School, Waikiki Primary School, Comet Bay Primary School, and Settler’s Primary School. Of course, the awards would not have the same impact if they were not presented at School Award days by members of our club and I would like to thank members who gave up their valuable time in their busy schedules to present at the schools.
We continued to support Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) for 14- to 17-year-olds, with Nora Lane and Duncan Ferguson attending the September 2023 camp.
We were able to assist the following students in their sporting endeavors to represent the state; Jesse Neretis represented the State at the National Junior Baseball championships, Shayne Jacobs represented Indigenous Australian Netball side in Fiji, Jonny Pearce will represent the state under 16 football team in Malaysia in December 2024 and we also supported the Rockingham Flames Basketball Junior sides to play in the National Championships in Victoria.
We provided funds to the Chaplain at Endeavour Primary School to enable her to establish a garden club for the school.
Marg Pantall from the Peel Rotary Community Volunteers is running the 4-way test for 2023 and for the first time in many years we will have schools represented in this event.
We continued our support for Story dogs with 2 dogs now sponsored at Rockingham Beach Primary School.
We continued our support of 3 local schools with the Community Disadvantaged Fund and initiatives proposed by Darrel Donovan in 2021. These funds are of great assistance to the schools in assisting students who are financially disadvantaged not to miss out.
We were also able to continue our relationship with Rockingham Beach Education Support Centre by providing funds to assist in the cost of the bus for their annual school camp.
We became a major sponsor of the Breakthrough music competition for 12 to 14 years in our community and this was run in November 2023.
An initiative presented to the club by past member Sharyn McCaskey and current member Sara Abbott enabled our club to fund 2 Pantomimes for the local community with the proceeds raised going to the Lucy Saw Centre, a women’s, and children refuge centre for domestic violence.
This year we were able to be involved in Rotary Youth Exchange after the program was suspended during Covid. We were asked to assist a young student from Broome who deserved to go on Youth Exchange but unfortunately her local Rotary Club closed, and she could not get a sponsor. Our members readily agreed to sponsor Liisi Pusep and in January 2024 she arrived in France and her reports show she is having the time of her life. We will receive our inbound Exchange Student Simon Pirot from Belgium in July 2024.
I would very much like to thank the members of the Youth Committee for their commitment and dedication to assisting our community and the Rotary Club of Rockingham Board for their support of the many ideas they were presented with.
 Wayne Milnes
Youth Director 2023-24
Rotary Club of Rockingham