Posted on Jul 03, 2018
Rotarians, Ladies and Gentlemen,
This Rotary year has been exhilarating, enjoyable, educational and fun for me as your District Governor.
Our 2017/18 theme of Rotary: Making a Difference represented what Rotary is and Rotary does, every day and in so many ways and this past year I have seen Rotary at work, making a difference to people’s lives and communities locally and internationally: 
Some examples are:
  • A walking & cycling bridge at Waipukurau
  • Walkways and tracks – the combined Napier Club Clubs, in Matamata and Whakatane
  • Pest control/eradication traps made and distributed by Kawerau & Whakatane clubs 
  • Trees planted by every Club, including 2000 planted by 200 Rotarians at our District Conference at Wairakei
  • Distribution of the Usborne Dictionaries and Atlas’ to needy school children co-ordinated by Lyn Fraser-Jones of Maketu
  • Rotary programmes for Youth and Young Adults –
  • Rotary International Youth Exchange (IYE) – chaired by Jerry Cowper from Tauranga Te Papa, his wife Karen and the dedicated committee;
  • Rotary Young Leaders Awards (RYLA) Co-chaired by Bill Robinson of Cambridge & Tim Anderson from Waikato Sunrise
  • Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment (RYPEN) co-chaired by Vivian Edgar - Papamoa & Rowan Anderson - Frankton Te Rapa
  • KiwiCan programme by the combined Rotorua Clubs
  • Outward Bound
  • Speech contests
  • GoBabyGo miniature cars for young children with disabilities distributed by Hamilton & Otorohanga clubs
  • Duck Races
  • Numerous International projects supported, including:
  • Interplast – Championed by Elizabeth Wright from Te Awamutu
  • ROMAC championed by Glenys Parton, Tauranga Sunrise
  • Days for Girls championed by Lisette Hulme, Matamata
  • Disaster relief – Financially and through distribution of Emergency Response Kits (ERKs) and Shelter Boxes.  Of note, is that Shelter Boxes is one organisation that has been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize – with the winner being announced in October 2018. 
    What an amazing achievement and recognition!
  • Recognised the achievements of community leaders, young people in professions, Business Leaders and Businesses, Rotarians and friends of Rotary and I have been privileged on many occasions to present these awards
  • Saturday Markets and Book Fairs throughout the District
  • Clubs celebrating significant milestones – e.g. Birthdays (10th Papamoa, 50th Turangi, 75th Wairoa and 90thRotorua) and the formation of New Clubs - Interact Matamata and the Rotary Club of Rototuna chartered on 22 May 2018 with 22 members and sponsored by Fairfield
  • Friendship Exchanges with other International Districts
  • Fun community fundraising events such as the Tauranga Te Papa’s annual Duck Race and
  • Support of Our Charity – The Rotary Foundation and the eradication of Polio.  Due to the $5million donated by the New Zealand Government last year, all six New Zealand Districts were recognised at the recent Rotary International Convention in Toronto  New Zealand was in the top 20 for the world!  District 9930 coming in at number 3.  Past District Governor Raewyn Kirkman represented us on this world stage.  We also saw our Polio Campion Michelle Tanner recognised at District conference for her significant active personal service contribution towards the goal of Polio eradication and was presented with the Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World
These are just a few of the exciting projects this past Rotary year.
Our recent District Conference showcased the journeys of a number of these and how they are Making a Difference.
At the beginning of this Rotary year I challenged Clubs to:
Qualify for the Rotary International Presidential Citation and Support Rotary International President
  • Achieve Presidential Citation;
  • Protect our environment and help curb climate change by planting a tree for each Rotarian in your Club;
  • Secure Rotary’s future by:
    improving gender balance – this year over a third (19) of our Club Presidents are women;
    lowering the average age 
    of membership and take up the District Membership challenge by achieving a Net increase of +3; and
    have more recognition of the Rotary “brand” in our communities;
  • Increase previous year’s Club & personal giving to The Rotary Foundation;
  • Support ‘my’ international project – Days for Girls;
  • Attend District Conference – we had over 350 registrants, from 46 Clubs, 32 Club Presidents and 11 Past District Governors - fantastic;
  • Have Fun; and last but not least…….
  • NO ACRONYMS – By using the casual acronyms of Rotary we don’t tell the full story.  Please be proud to say ROTARY!
I know a number of Clubs have strived to achieve these challenges, designed to give a focus and to set goals and following this address I will be presentations to worthy recipients of these goals..\
I am particularly delighted by the enthusiasm you have given to support my International programme of choice - Days for Girls and thank our District Co-ordinator Lisette Hulme for her passion of this project which saw this District raise over $10,000 for this worthy cause.  I was also delighted to have from USA, Days for Girls Founder and Chief Executive Celeste Mergens address us at District Conference and to share her journey.
This year Rotary marked 113 years since our Founder Paul Harris held the first Rotary Club meeting in Chicago USA.
Rotary has become far larger and more diverse than the founding members could have imagined.  We are no longer an organisation that is all white and all male, but one that has diverse membership, to do ‘good in the world’ in the name of Rotary and to Making a Difference.
We are an organisation capable of changing the world demonstrated through our work to eradicate polio.
The world is a better place because we work together and I urge you to keep that spirit of teamwork and cooperation.
Rotary is making a difference!
This past 12 months has been a wonderful journey for me to see first-hand the amazing work and projects you do, and I thank all Clubs for the hospitality extended to Lindsay and myself during my visits.
Being District Governor is not possible without the support of the 12 Assistant Governors and the many Chairs and Champions across a wide range of focus.  I am indebted to you all for your support and commitment to Rotary.
At Board level we have had a wonderful team of Past District Governors – Keith Owens as Secretary from Tauranga Te Papa, Roger Miller also Tauranga Te Papa, Raewyn Kirkman - Waikato Sunrise, Russell Turner – Tauranga; District Governor Elect Graham Jull – Te Awamutu, District Governor Peter Maxwell – Morrinsville and Treasurer Keith Adern - Tauranga Te Papa.
Behind the scenes, there has been a dedicated team servicing the District Website and I acknowledge and thank Ralph Slooten – Napier, Max Patmoy – Ahuriri (Napier) and Gavin Petrie – Fairfield.
To my home Club of Matamata and the District Conference Team lead by David Hulme, my special thanks for your support and encouragement.  From next week I will feel like a ‘new member’ - again!
Thank you all for your contribution to our great organisation and for giving me the opportunity to be your District Governor this past Rotary year.
Incoming District Governor Graham Jull and Elizabeth and your team, cherish the year.  It’s an exciting journey.
Leonie Tisch
Governor 2017/18
Rotary District 9930
Mob +64 27 227 2493
Proud to be a Rotarian