Posted by Harry Bracegirdle on Nov 14, 2023
At its dinner meeting on 13th November, the Rotary Club of Port Fairy hosted Ian McKay, District Governor for Rotary District 9780.
Ian now lives in Mount Gambier but was formerly a Principal at Kings College in Warrnambool.
The meeting was essentially a social event with a chance for Ian to meet members and also deliver a short speech covering his goals and vision for Rotary year 2023/24. He was accompanied by Assistant Governor, Janey Preston, from the Rotary Club of Warrnambool Daybreak.
In addressing the club members Ian spoke on a range of issues:
  • To date he had visited around 40 clubs in the District and believed, no matter what their size, that “every club was making a difference".
  • Ian spoke about the vision and goals of RI President Gordon McInally (23/24) who he had the pleasure of hosting in Mount Gambier earlier in the year. Gordon came from a small club in Northern UK in a town with only 1000 residents. Gordon has dedicated his Rotary Presidency to his grand-daughter and all young people so that they have the capacity to “live and thrive”.
  • In his talk , Ian outlined the role and importance of the Rotary Foundation. which he believed, was the "fuel that provides the energy to fulfil Rotary service across the globe".
  • A major focus of the DG is to continue the fight to eradicate polio - a task that is ever so close to achievement (The World Health Organisation require three clear years where no new polio cases were discovered for it to be declared as eradicated). In supporting this cause, Ian spoke of the District's Polio Plus Society, an initiative to raise funds to continue the fight.
  • As is customary, the DG’s partner has a “pet” project to pursue during the DG’s year. This Rotary year. Ian’s wife – Sherril – is promoting Australian Rotary Health's program to tackle mental health issues.
  • Another initiative of D9780 is the focus on Domestic Violence with a number of clubs in the District are taking lead roles to raise awareness around DV and support for DV victims.
  • In closing, Ian urged all members to “celebrate "Rotary’s Difference” and encouraged all RCPF members to attend the District Conference to be held in Mount Gambier March 2024.
  • Ian was thanked by Club President, Jed Macartney, for his attendance and his inspiring talk.