Upcoming Events
Rotary International Convention 2018
Jun 23, 2018 – Jun 27, 2018
Club Changeover Meeting
Brisbane Club
Jun 25, 2018
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
Burnett Cup - City vs Country in Mundubbera
Mundubbera Golf Club
Aug 18, 2018
12:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Meeting Roster

25 June 2018

President              D Vankov
Chair                    J Page 
Minutes                C Shepherd
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

2 July 2018

President             C Muir
Chair                   P Ryan 
Minutes               J De Lacy
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

16 July 2018

President             C Muir
Chair                   D Schellbach 
Minutes               M Williams
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon

23 July 2018

President             C Muir
Chair                   J Smerdon
Minutes                J De Lacy
Front Desk           D Schellbach/
                         J Smerdon
President's Message
member photo
Dear Fellow Rotarians & Friends of the Club,
As my year of service as President of the Rotary Club of Brisbane winds down, I find myself reflecting on what went well and what could have been done better. I started with a desire to make a difference. This was also what the Rotary International President, Ian Riseley, put forward as a Rotary theme for the 2017/2018 year. It certainly was a challenge difficult to achieve as I had to fill the big shoes of some stellar former presidents. I am not certain that I succeeded but I can assure you I did the best I am capable of.
Being THE President of THE premier Rotary club in Queensland is not simply a challenge. It is a challenge with a great honour attached to it. It is an honour I was fortunate enough to be given. With that honour came the opportunity to learn from the best, to grow as a person and to contribute as much as I can. I embraced that opportunity with an open heart and with the understanding that I might had not been well prepared for it. Nevertheless on the way I learned a lot and in many aspects my views evolved in parallel. From the current point of time I can proudly look back at the past 12 months and say that there is nothing I am ashamed of. After all we have met a great deal of our objectives.
It is probably important when there is a sense of satisfaction coming from within. But certainly it is more important when there are external signs that this sense is not self-biased such as:
  • The Rotary Club of Brisbane was the only Club to bring home two trophies from the Rotary District 9600 Changeover: the Alan Ward Memorial Shield for outstanding activities in vocational service and the Herrington Shield for best club bulletin.
  • PP Wal Bishop was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, a well-deserved recognition for his contributions towards the Australian society. According to his words Rotary was a major contributor to his achievement.
  • Although no match for Wal's achievement but similar to his case, Rotary was a major contributor for me being awarded a QUT 2018 Student Leadership Award.
  • Along the way we have qualified for Rotary International President's Citation.
This year we were also very successful in our media relations. Central and North Burnett Times Times, New Farm Village News, the Courier Mail, ABC Radio, Rotary Down Under magazine, Rotary International Blog and numerous websites and bulletins featured what we achieved at the Club. Well done to our Public Relations committee! Thank you Denise for being on the lead as well as for the effort you put in attracting quality speakers to our regular meetings!
This does not mean that everything was successful. Certainly not! There were many initiatives that did not turn out as desired or expected but we tried and that is what matters. We tried, we learned from our shortcomings and, hopefully, we improved.
In my changeover speech a year ago I said that growing our membership, both in quantity and quality, will be of a high priority for me. It was although with no success on the quantity part. We started the year with 40 members. We finish it with 35 - a net decline of 5 despite the monstrous effort of PP Keith and his Membership committee. Nevertheless they deserve a hearty "Thank you!" for their efforts during the year and in particular for the innovative ideas they implemented such as the Leadership Seminar and the International Women's Day.
Now more than ever I am convinced that the Club should focus even further on quality rather than quantity of members. I understand that more members makes sense from the point of view of Rotary International as every member pays dues and improves the general statistics, no matter if they contribute or don't to their Clubs. On Club level, however, the picture is different. It is the community service that is important and we can see the 80/20 rule in what we do (80% of the work is done by 20% of the people). I continue believing that:
  1. Despite being relatively high the overall cost of membership is not such a big barrier for attracting new members. It is rather what people get against their investment. At the same time there should be a clear understanding that neither the Club nor Rotary is a generic product suitable for everybody.
  2. The opportunity for each of us to be hands on and see a tangible result for our efforts, providing a real sense of achievement, will make costs less relevant.
  3. Members' contributions, big or small, need to be recognised with or without ceremonies.
In an effort to provide opportunities for our members to get involved the Club embarked on a significant number of projects. Active Club members put 3,108 volunteer hours throughout the year. If that is not a commitment, I do not know what is. Some of the projects were more externally focused, e.g. supporting Red Frogs and Kits for Kids. Some of them were more internally focused, e.g. the testimonial lunches of Stan Francis and James Delahunty. Some of them were purely social, e.g. the dinner at the Newstead Brewery, the Christmas party or the Roma Street Parklands picnic. All those provided us with opportunities to celebrate our achievements with the last being our 95th anniversary at the Brisbane Queen Street Mall. This is where our Service projects Chair Jacqui Page deserves recognition. Thank you Jacqui for leading the Club in so many endeavours! Jacqui is also the Club Paul Harris Fellow with the highest level of recognition. I had the pleasure of presenting her with her PHF+7 pin earlier this year.
It goes without saying that our long list of implemented activities required a solid financial backing. Our biggest commitment, the Red Frogs project, was possible due to the existence of our Public Auxiliary Fund. The smooth functioning of the last was made possible under the skilful supervision of John Smerdon. Thank you, John, for taking care of and growing our future potential to make a difference!
Our smaller commitments required smaller but in no means less important financial support. While such was embedded in quite a few of them, e.g. in the testimonial lunches of Stan Francis and James Delahunty, there are other fundraising initiatives worth mentioning such as the 2018 Golf Day and the Melbourne Cup Trifecta. Thank you PP Graeme for the initiative and the effort!
In parallel our Treasurer, Warren Walker, made constantly sure that all the money, coming in or going out of the Club, end up in the right place. Thank you, Warren!
I personally tried to explore non-traditional sources of finance for the Club by developing five project proposals seeking external funding. Unfortunately three were unsuccessful but I am still crossing fingers for the remaining two, one submitted to the Rotary Foundation and another to the European Commission. Those two projects, if approved will pave the way for growing our International service, an avenue with a lot of available potential for making a difference.
During the year I put a lot of effort into communicating everything that was, is and will happen through my President's column in the Bulletin. I hope you enjoyed reading it. In the same time I admit that the Bulletin would not be as attractive as it is now without the commitment for perpetual improvement from Mark Williams. The Herrington shield is the most obvious proof for that fact. In addition Mark managed the transition of the Club to a more sophisticated Customer and Content Management System which should allow us to run the Club more efficiently in the future. I was delighted when I presented him with his Paul Harris Fellowship pin earlier this year, a well-deserved recognition for his passion for Rotary. As an Administrative Director he was also instrumental in helping Secretary Michael comply with all internal and external requirements for the Club. Thank you both for your effort during the year!
I also tried to establish the communication as a two way channel. Through several surveys and personal weekly e-mails I made an effort to keep in touch with each member personally.
The work done lead to an overall increase of the Club members' sentiment up to 6.37 from 5.93 on a 10-point scale. Nevertheless we are still away from the healthy 8+ values. To help us reach those we developed a 3 year Strategic Plan for the Club which I hope will assist future Presidents in their forthcoming adventures. I will also be exploring opportunities to develop a Fundraising strategy for the Club in the forthcoming year.
My last words are summarising my two main takeaways that I hope will help President-Elect Chris Muir be our inspiration during the 2018/2019 Rotary year:
  1. If an idea needs to be buried then a subcommittee is an excellent tool. The bigger the subcommittee, the higher the change the idea will not fly. For me a project to succeed it needs to have one and only one driver/owner/sponsor and the year provides numerous successful examples. If it is me to start a year as a President my personal approach would be to have a designated leader in any club project and this leader to seek help from competent members on needs basis.
  2. Do not fear failing, fear not trying. If I may cite my favourite quote from Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Chris, please, remember that you are not alone! There is a massive amount of energy, skills and desire around you which will support you on your journey if given the chance. If you grant me that honour I will personally commit for the next year to work toward successfully implementing our:
  • European project to tackle youth unemployment in Europe;
  • QUT project to combat street violence in Brisbane; and
  • A 2019 edition of our Internal Women's Day breakfast under the topic of "achieving diversity" and aimed at fundraising for RYLA scholarships for young Brisbane women.
Chris, I wish you best of luck for a successful 2018/2019 Rotary year! In relation to that I would like to present you with my last President's Bottle of Wine Award. I am sure you will find it useful along the way.
President Daniel
Editorial Ramblings and Excuses
I apologize to members for the lateness and paucity of content in this Bulletin. Since skipping out on the presentations at the Golf Day (What a great day by the way! Thanks so Much PP Graeme and Secretary Michael for putting it on!) to catch the plane for Shanghai, I have found my life to be pretty full. To date I have taken part in 2 seminars, 7 business meetings, 2 hotpots, 2 ducks, half a bottle of Maotai, not to mention several engagements of a more social nature and meals of a less aggressive nature along with associated preparations and recovery periods. It's now 4:30pm on a Sunday and I am off in a little while to the next meeting and the next duck by the looks. This is no doubt good for business but bad for health and bad for bulletins.
At any rate, here are the President's message and the minutes ably supplied by Daniel and Clive. My thanks to both of them for providing so much content for the bulletin throughout the year.
I Look forward to see you all again early in July.
Meeting Notes - 18th June, 2018
Jacqi Page chaired the meeting and began with Rotary Grace and Toasts to the Queen and Rotary International.
President Daniel welcomed members, Bruce McNaught, Mark Simpson from South Australia and the guest speaker, Jayani Amarasinghe, who prepared the RCoB Strategic Plan
Apologies – Stan Francis, Don O'Donoghue, Mark Williams, Rick Tamaschke,
District changeover - At the Rotary District 9600 Changeover our Club received the Alan Ward Memorial Shield (for outstanding activities in vocational service) and the Herrington Shield (for best club bulletin). The Rotary Club of Brisbane was the only Club to get two #awards at the event, where PDG John Lane reported his achievements and passed the collar to DG Wendy Protheroe.
Daniel is preparing for his annual report. This will include 25 guest speakers, 6 Members in the spotlight and 12 bottles of wine awards. The Club reality check contained 8 items in the red and 17 in the green. Overall this was an improvement but not an amazing result.
Graham Whitmore advised the golf day on 15 June had 62 players and raised $8000. There was a round of applause for Graeme and Michael.
Jayani Amarasinghe presented a video presentation and then answered questions on the RCoB Strategic Plan. Our club has an ageing and dwindling membership. The challenge is to attract and retain a diverse membership in terms of background, classifications, age and gender. Surveys showed a range of views about the Club but not one common theme that was easy to address. The plan itself was circulated to the entire membership through a link in an email date 30 May 2018 from Danial. (If you missed it, go and get the email and download it in PDF format). Both Daniel and Chris thanked Jayani for all her hard work.
There was no Sergeant. The raffle was won by Jilliane Myers. The Joker is still in the pack.
The President closed the meeting.
Rotary Club of Brisbane Strategic Plan 2018
Chris and Daniel circulated a link to the strategic plan a couple of weeks ago, but some members have had some issues with downloading it. Now that the document has been formally presented, it is appropriate that it form part of the club document set, and it can now be downloaded using the link below:

Club Officers

President                   Daniel Vankov
Secretary                   Michael Stephens
Treasurer                   Warren Walker
President Elect          Chris Muir
Imm. Past President  Graeme Whitmore
Sergeant-at-arms       Luke Marshall
The Rotary Club of Brisbane Inc.
ABN 75 152 438 499
GPO BOX 2909 Brisbane Qld 4001
District               9600
Club Number   17787

Brisbane City Cluster Assistant Governor

Lisa Bateson

District Governor

John Lane

Rotary International President

Ian Riseley