Commitment and enthusiasm in abundance - that was evidently clear when we listened to our very special guest speaker tonight, Cath Sutherland, who is the Joint President of the Rotary Club of Perth City East in Western Australia. She shares the Presidency with her husband, James, which must be a first for Rotary anywhere in the world!
Despite joining us at the unearthly hour of 2.30am local time, Cath waxed lyrically about her club which was only chartered in November 2018 and already boasts 70 members with aspirations to reach about 150. She herself has only been a Rotarian since its formation although her husband had 10 years’ previous service with another club. They are a breakfast club, meeting every two weeks and are arguably Western Australia’s most practiced Rotarians, proud that their members have countless years of involvement with other clubs.
Cath explained that Perth City East is the newest club in the state and they have adopted a new contemporary style of Rotary that is flexible and adaptable to professionals who have career and family obligations. Unlike ourselves, they only have a few retired Rotarians but have a number of corporate memberships where at least 4 people from each company are members.
Reading from the club’s vision statement, Cath said their purpose was “To enable lasting solutions that positively impact our community locally and across the world.” Also “We work in a spirit of camaraderie and share our knowledge and experience.” She advised they were not a fundraising club as such but negotiated funding for their various projects with businesses, corporations or the City Council.
With Perth Kinnoull being a more traditional club, it was a most interesting insight into how a new club is facing up to the challengesof the modern world.