On 29 June 2021, the Rotary Club of Hall held its Changeover function at Gold Creek Station.

PDG Gary Roberts hands the 21-22 theme banner to President Chris Edwards
PDG Gary Roberts hands the 2021-2022 Rotary International theme banner to President Chris Edwards

Unfortunately, the club Changeover was held amid new COVID mask-wearing regulations introduced in the ACT in response to the ongoing Sydney outbreak. Although there were a few cancelations, 55 attended the annual dinner.

After providing a ‘year in review’ of the club’s achievements in 2020-2021 and presenting community and vocational awards, outgoing President Vicki Coleman handed the reins to Chris Edwards, the Club President for 2021-2022.

Every year Rotary club elects a president and a new Board to run the club for the next 12 months and each year Rotary International President chooses a theme for the year. The 2021-2022 international theme is ‘Serve to Change Lives’.

Traditionally, President Chris began by outlining his vision for the year ahead and introduced his new Board and the Committee Chairs.

Chris has chosen to focus on mentoring and onboarding new members, encouraging intellectual diversity, and focusing on partnerships with other clubs and community groups particularly to work on environmental projects in the coming year.

2021-2022 committee chairs
2021-2022 Committee Chairs and mentors. L to R: Andrew Giumelli, Roger Powell, Emma Bell, Jonathan Palmer, Peter O’Cleary

Committee Chairs

The Rotary Club of Hall functions with three service committees. Every member of the club is required to be a member of at least one of these committees in addition to any other roles or club responsibilities.

The role of Chair for each of these service committees is a significant responsibility as it is these three committees that ultimately shape the projects we are involved with over the year.

Ideally, Committee Chairs take on their role for two years and mentor their replacements. This year we have Andrew Giumelli in the Chair of Youth and Vocational Committee, mentored by charter member Peter O’Cleary. Roger Powell will again head up the International Committee mentoring Emma Bell for the role in 2022-23 and Jonathan Palmer again will Chair the vibrant Community Committee.

Orientation and Ideas group
Training and ideas development group with group mentor Janine Linklater (left)

Orientation and Ideas

President Chris introduced a new working group to the club which he called ‘Orientation & Ideas’. This group is made up of members who are new to Rotary and the Rotary Club of Hall.

Essentially, this group will learn about Rotary, in a global context, and gain a greater understanding of the aims, objectives and culture of the Rotary Club of Hall.

Chris said that apart from learning about the club, the key focus of the group will be to come up with new ideas. New ideas for projects and new ideas for doing things differently. 

‘When new people join an organisation they see things from a fresh perspective, Chris said. ‘However, it is very common that the new person’s ideas are ‘shut down’ because ‘that’s not how we do things around here’. I would like this group to be a nursery for new thinking. A safe-place where new members can openly share their thoughts and have their ideas and observations thoughtfully considered,’ said President Chris.

To kick this new group off, participants will be made up of nine members who joined the club in the last two years. From this point on, the intention is that all new members will automatically go into this group for at least 12 months. 

This new group will be jointly mentored by Past President Janine Linklater and Past District Governor Rob Woolley.

Rotary Club of Hall Environmental Action Group
The survival of our youth depends on the survival of our environment. The Rotary Club of Hall will make the environment a focus of the club’s activities with the formation of an Environmental Action Group and a focus on supporting environmentally sustainable service projects.

Environmental Action Group

The Rotary Club of Hall has been involved with environmental projects for decades. In recent years, the club’s focus has been on World Bee Day and addressing the environmental impact resulting from the loss of our pollinating insects.

At a recent meeting, it was agreed that the Rotary Club of Hall would become an ‘Environmental Rotary Club’, meaning that the club will seek to support projects with a long-term environmental benefit and that environmental impact would be one of the club’s projects criteria.

‘Focusing on the environment is one of the best ways we can support youth and communities into the future. And this is particularly relevant to the livelihoods of our market stallholders in the short-term,’ said Chris.

President Chris announced the formation of an Environmental Action Group within the club and announced that the Chair of this group would be outgoing Capital Region Farmer’s Market Director, John Kenworthy.

Rotary Pollinator Pathways

Rotary Pollinator pathways
A key part of the strategy is to annually promote Pollinator Pathways projects in one selected week in Spring.

President Chris outlined a bold new initiative to form a steering group with other Rotary Clubs, academic and industry experts. The aim will be to develop a practical and sustainable program of activities to create Pollinator Pathways. 

‘The plan will be to draw on our extensive experience and contacts to encourage other Rotary clubs to work with local community groups such as schools, men’s sheds, gardening clubs etc., to create bird and insect-friendly environments that will attract suitable pollinators,’ said Chris.

‘We can’t just ask clubs and community groups to go to their local nursery and plant garden beds. This project needs a coordinated approach in which the correct species are planted to suit the environment and the pollinators of the local area.’

Establishing this group and developing guidelines is intended to be the key focus of the environmental action group.