The newly merged Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong Endeavour Hills welcomed their new President Kam Pow in an enthusiastic meeting last Tuesday night. Here is Kam's acceptance Speech.
Good Evening.  Fellow Rotarians, District Governor, Mark Humphries and partner Linda, Past District Governor, Ken MacDonald and partner Margaret, Past Assistant District Governor, Alan Collier, OAM and partner Vicki and my family, Christine and Emily who are here and via Zoom from Adelaide, my son, Vincent, daughter in law, Clara and granddaughter, Everly and a special guest, Dr Raymond Au to witness this very special Rotary Changeover. Thank you very much to all of you who are physically present tonight and Rotarians via Zoom at this historical Changeover in this unprecedented time of Covid-19 restriction.
I joined Rotary 4 years ago as I wanted to serve the community and tonight I am very honoured and humbled to be inaugurated as the President of the recently merged Rotary Club of Greater Dandenong and Endeavour Hills with 40 members in the club. As President, there are many responsibilities and challenges to lead a successful club. I am sure I can count on my team of directors and every members of the newly merged club to help, support, guide and advise me to make this Rotary Centenary year a success for all of us to remember.
I want to thank the two Immediate Past Presidents Dr Anthony Brown of RC Greater Dandenong and Martin Pater from Endeavour Hills and their respective teams for the great work that they have done. They have set the ground work for me to continue to take the club to greater height. I hope I can fulfil this very important role entrusted to me by all the members as their Club President.
This is an unprecedented and challenging time during to Covid-19 restriction. It has presented us with many challenges and also opportunities for us to do things differently. The Chinese word for Danger is made up of two characters “Wai Chi” which translates to danger and opportunity. The danger part is Covid -19 is a very serious health issue to mankind and the opportunity part is for us to think of doing things differently to adapt and change. Tonight is a very good example of adopting technology to connect all our members at one place to witness using the hybrid model of zoom meeting and face to face for some members at the Changeover
The Opportunity part of the Chinese word for Danger is also the RI President Holger Knacks’s theme of “Rotary opens opportunities” We have opportunity to do things differently and we should all put on our thinking caps and come up with great ideas to make our club a success for potential members to join Rotary.
Next year is the Rotary Centenary year in Australia. As a club, we should celebrate this very important milestone. Our club is working with the City of Greater Dandenong to install a Rotary Centenary Wheel at a park in Dandenong. We have a planned community project to provide shelter and a community vegetable and fruit garden for Cornerstone for the homeless and disadvantaged communities in the Dandenong area. Thanks to a team of dedicated Rotarians especially Terry Valentine’s project management expertise, we were able to, within a short time frame, submitted a community grant application of $10k to the Dandenong  City council for this project. We are optimistic that we can get the grant at the end of September to kick start this project to benefit the disadvantaged community that Cornerstone services.
The recent short surveys conducted by Colin for both the clubs revealed about 70% of the respondents wanted to involve in community projects. We are in the process to finalise the logistics to start in late July, a once a month meal service at Cornerstone for the homeless and disadvantaged communities. Leanne, who is the Community Chair will require helps from all members to run this program. Her team will also be talking to other community groups to assess their needs for our club to provide services to them.
The uncertain time calls for different and creative way to raise fund for the club to do more service projects. It will be a challenge to raise fund from traditional way like Bunning BBQs at this time. Some major fund raising events are planned for next year like, the Chinese New Year Celebration Dinner, Holden Car Show, and Golf Day. Leanne has also come up with ideas of online fund raising for mental health. All fund raising activities will allow our club to provide more services to the local and International community. I will be appointing a Sponsorship Officer for the club to further increase our fund raising activities e.g. getting corporate sponsors. If any of the members especially from the former RC Endeavour Hills is interested in this position, please let me know.
This Rotary year, I am planning to have less meeting and more services. There will be 2 hybrid meetings a month via Zoom and physical meeting when it is possible. Of the 2 meetings, one will be with an invited guest speaker to speak on topic of interest to the members. At least one service to community a month like meal service at Cornerstone and a social event per month for new experience, fun and fellowship for all members.
There will be 5 committees for the club namely: Club Administration (Cherie Ramsay), Membership (John Peck), Public Image (Colin Byron), Service Projects (Peter Buck) and Rotary Foundation (Con Meehan). The respective committee and subcommittee will have other members helping to carry out their role and responsibility to achieve the desired goals of the club. I strongly encourage all members to talk to the Chairperson of the respective committee to get involved.  In this way, our members can play an active part to make our club one of the successful Rotary clubs in District 9820.
Membership is very important for Rotary. With Rotary memberships in decline, we need to actively look out for potential members in the community and invite them to join our club. I will be working closely with John and other members to address the challenges of increasing membership for our club in the coming year.
I am a firm believer of lifelong learning. I will be appointing a training coordinator to coordinate trainings for members and future leaders of the club. I am amazed at the amount of training materials at the My Rotary learning centre website. You can access all these training material to improve your knowledge. Please sign up to my Rotary to enrol in courses that you are interested in as they are free.
Strategic planning for an organisation like the Rotary club is very important. We need to set goals and track the result to measure the health and success of the club. We need to develop a strategic plan for the coming 5 years to address the needs of the community. Setting goals in Rotary Central so that we can track them. As a team, we will get board approval to select at least 13 out of 25 gaols towards 2020-2021 Rotary Citation. It will be a good achievement for the club to receive the Rotary citation to recognise the hard work of the members who have contributed to the success of the club.
Finally, Rotarians are people of action. Rotary changes life and makes a difference. Rotary opens opportunity and Rotary services above self. I am very excited to lead the club as your President for 2020/2021. I know there are many challenges ahead during this unprecedented time of Covid-19. With all the help from our members, I have no doubt that we can make it a fun, enjoyable year. I want to thank my family for their encouragement and support in my Rotary journey to make a small difference to the community.
Once again, Thank you very much for your attendance via Zoom and in person at this historical hybrid Rotary Changeover and it means a lot to me. Stay safe and healthy.
 I will now present the Rotary Theme “Rotary Opens opportunities” Pin to my team of board of directors.
  1. Martin Pater- Vice President and Immediate Past President , RC Endeavour Hills
  2. Phil Thurgood – Secretary
  3. Joe Iellamo – Treasurer
  4. Dr Anthony Brown --Immediate Past President, RC Greater Dandenong
  5. Peter Buck—President Elect, Service Projects and Vocational Chair
  6. Colin Byron –International and Public Image Chair
  7. Leanne Byron -- Community Chair
  8. Alan Collier—Youth Service Chair
  9. Con Meehan – Rotary Foundation Chair
  10. John Peck – Membership Chair
  11. Cherie Ramsay—Club Administration Chair