Posted by Rowan Mclean

Family, work and then Rotary is a mantra with which Ian Salek strongly agrees. With a background in sales and general management in the plastics and electrical industries, he has a good understanding of people and leadership. But “giving back” is where he has achieved the real personal satisfaction.

Being deeply affected by the imagery of the ‘before and after’ surgery from Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC), Ian didn’t take much convincing by his tennis mate, Ian Dobson, that he should join Rotary Glenferrie. At that time, the club had two key projects that are still important today … the Sumba Eye Program, their International focus (pun intended) and the Boroondara Farmers Market.

The Market is currently funding the Education CHANCES program for needy students. Geoff Wood, Terry Rolleston and John Hudson OAM introduced and managed the Market, but a committee now runs it with Ian and Rob Winspear as Co-Chairs.  Current Club President, Dr. Mark Ellis AM, implements the Sumba Eye Program.
“Glenferrie has the balance right between domestic and international projects,” Ian said. “Rotarians who feel we should be spending all of our funds at home should remember that we are Rotary International, and our involvement in lesser developed countries is highly desirable.”
Ian has held roles of Club President (2010-11), Assistant Governor, Executive Assistant Governor and District Chair of International Service. He has been involved with Rotary Radio for five years at “94.1FM and 3WBC, the Voice of the Inner East”, where he interviews prominent Rotarians.  As the editor, he removes from recorded interviews the inevitable “Ums, Ers, and Ahs” and other distractions such as dogs barking and telephones ringing.  Laughingly, we referred to this role as ‘the janitor of the airwaves’.
Since joining Rotary in 2004, Ian has been impressed with the leadership of each and every District Governor without exception.  He sees their personalities demonstrating different strengths, but each has in common a love for Rotary and an unbridled commitment to do good in the world.
Ian believes that to expand Rotary’s membership we should be chasing a corporate cohort who have matured in their roles and want to give back. “But you must ask them!” he says.
His key message to Rotary is to never let process overshadow outcomes.