Changeover 2022 at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club on June  14th will long be remembered as one of the best ever Changeover dinners at The Rotary Club of Glenferrie. In a night that celebrated the impressive achievements of the club over the past year, over one hundred Rotarians and guests, including the District Governor and three past district governors, with Mr John Kennedy MP, Member for Hawthorn, and Councillor Jane Addis, the Mayor of Boroondara, witnessed President Dr Mark Ellis AM hand over the president's chain of leadership to incoming president Teresa Liu. District Governor Dale Hoy delivered the District Report.  It was an impressive night, with much fun and friendship and a well paced, entertaining program that made full use of the new meeting rooms and facilities at Kooyong.
President Dr Mark Ellis AM, second from left, and Janet passed the leadership baton to incoming President Teresa Liu and Jack Gao at Changeover on Tuesday June 14th

Outstanding Contributions Recognised at Changeover

Master of Ceremonies PP Charles Tran kept the evening moving at a steady pace. Introducing President Mark, he thanked Mark on behalf of the club for a year of outstanding leadership over a difficult and challenging, not one, but two years. The first and last time, said Charles, we hoped this would be necessary. The challenges, however, did not dent the spirit of the club. In fact they have made the club stronger.
Outstanding contributions from a number of Rotarians were recognised. PP Richard Blakeman became the second Glenferrie Rotarian to be recognised with a Royce Abbey Award for enthusiasm and commitment to the ideals of Rotary. David Abbey, Chair of the Royce and Jean Abbey Endowed Fund, introduced the award and explained its history (see below). The presentation was assisted by the only other Glenferrie Rotarian to receive the award, PP Ian Salek.
District Governor Dale Hoy assisted President Mark in awarding Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions to PP Robert Winspear, PP Thelma Hutchison, David Fallick, Christine Raw, Elizabeth Dumonic and Club Secretary Peter Moore.
Past President Gregory Ross, a member of the Rotary Club of North Balwyn and a past chairman of Australian Rotary Health, attended Changeover so that he could recognise in person the club's remarkable Lift the Lid Charity Golf Day last month, which raised over $36,000 for Australian Rotary Health. PDG Ross presented the club with a Companion Award, which was accepted by President Mark. A special Companion Award was made to Elizabeth Dumonic, whose initiative it was that gave rise to the golf day, and whose outstanding personal commitment ensured a line up of prestige sponsors and Golf Day attractions.
Reflecting upon the reality that it usually takes one person with initiative and drive and a good idea to get a project started, it is only with the commitment of the club in coming together to support an idea, said PP Greg, that makes it happen. The strength of Rotary is that it brings together people of diverse skills and a common purpose in a powerful combination to bring great ideas to fruition.
This point was emphasised again as part of the District Report, delivered by popular District Governor Dale Hoy. DG Dale pointed out that Rotarians who are members of The Rotary Club of Glenferrie are part of a global network of over 36,000 clubs with representation in most countries in the world. Supported by The Rotary Foundation, Rotarians from around the world have raised considerable funds that are being channelled through Rotary clubs in Ukraine and Poland to deliver aid to refugees from the invasion by the Russian military. The Rotary Foundation has fast-tracked approvals to ensure aid is delivered quickly. There are 62 Rotary clubs in Ukraine, which have been highly active in delivering aid despite the extreme difficulties of working in a war zone.
The session on Australian Rotary Health included a video testimonial from four PhD recipients of research scholarships, who each explained just how important the grants had been in ensuring the acceptance and success of their research projects. The Lift the Lid Charity Raffle was drawn by Assistant Governor Lili Teichman, with PP Thelma Hutchison. More than 1,500 tickets were sold raising over $7,000, an outstanding result thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, and the hard work of the raffle team, PP Thelma Hutchison, PP Carol Benson, PP Cheryl Pisterman and Amelia Anderson. Raffle winners have been published on the club website.
The long  awaited final presentation by outgoing president Dr Mark Ellis AM did not disappoint. Mark paid tribute to those who have contributed so much over a difficult two years. Despite a raging pandemic, causing interruptions to projects and preventing meetings, the club has recruited 18 new members over the past two years, one third of members are now female, and membership diversity has increased significantly. In addition to successfully expanding the number of Farmers Markets by adding a First Saturday Market, the organisation of the market has been streamlined such that fewer volunteers are required per market. Members completed two major projects in the past year: the Yarra Bank Reserve R100 Playground and the Lift the Lid Charity Golf Day, and has successfully added two ongoing programs to the list of regular club projects, RORP (Rotary Overseas Recycled Playgrounds), led by PN Mark Howlett, and RIMERN (Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network), led by Geoffrey Widmer. The club has embraced the new website on ClubRunner and technology such as Zoom for club, board and committee meetings. Embracing change is key to Rotary's success, and has been for over 100 years. In the words of Paul Harris, Founder of Rotary: "This is a changing world: we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again".
Incoming President Teresa Liu began her address with an introduction of herself and her family, and an absorbing account of her impressive career in public service in China, her record of  academic achievement, and an explanation of how she came to join the Rotary Club of Glenferrie just one year after emigrating to Australia, introduced by neighbour PP Robert Winspear.  Teresa has an impressive track record in leadership and achievement, particularly in China where she was one of the thirty-nine members of the Standing Committee of Shenzhen People's Congress and a member of the Shenzhen Legislative Affairs Commission. She has studied in China and the UK, and has worked as a volunteer and with volunteers in three different countries. She joined the Rotary Club of Glenferrie in 2016, where she has already been a highly effective Youth Service Director and President Elect. Teresa has come to make many good friends in Rotary and is already highly respected as a capable leader and an effective administrator. 
For the year ahead, Teresa identified three core priorities:
  1. Keeping members engaged and active. The emphasis in the new Rotary year will be on consolidation of membership rather than recruitment, to ensure current members have the highest opportunity to engage, be effective, gain satisfaction from their membership and become long-term Rotarians.
  2. Commence planning for the club's 50th anniversary in 2025.
  3. Participation in the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne in 2023, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us all.
Teresa introduced the Club Board for 2022-23 that will take the club to the next level in strength of membership and in community engagement. Those present at Changeover were left in no doubt that the club is in good hands for the year ahead.
Incoming President Teresa ended her address with a quote from the incoming Rotary International President Jennifer Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada.
"We all have dreams, but acting on them is a choice. Imagine a world that deserves our best, where we get up each day knowing that we can make a difference". Imagine, Rotary!