At her recent presentation to members of Plimmerton Rotary, President Elect Donna Reed enthusiastically outlined her plans for the 2018-2019 year. Donna’s vision for the Club was to “be connected locally, serve the interests and needs of the local community, and engage with Rotary International.”
Holder of a Masters Degree in education, Donna currently worked as a support specialist among teachers in the Wellington and Wairarapa areas. Her role was to intervene when teachers needed support for children with special needs who often required specific guidance and equipment appropriate to their behaviour. “The role can be very demanding at times but I keep going because I feel as though I’m making a worthwhile contribution.”
To achieve her vision for Plimmerton Rotary, Donna would be connecting with other local Rotary Clubs, as well as local Marae, the Police College, and schools and colleges. “I’m keen to develop a more diverse membership within the Club, which reflects the region we serve. Within the suburbs of Plimmerton, Whitby, Mana, Eastern Porirua, Paremata, Aotea and Pauatahanui, there are people from all walks of life, of many different ethnicities.
“The membership of our Club does not reflect this, being predominantly older white, middle class people. Members do a fantastic job in and around the region but they are not really an accurate reflection of it. If we carry on as we are, we will gradually lose relevance and die out. I’m determined to do everything I can to prevent that from happening.”
Donna was keen for the Club to give its support to local causes and those in other countries. “It’s a matter of striking the right balance. In my view we should be giving about half of our available funds to local causes and half for overseas causes. ”Rotary is, after all, an international organisation. There have been times when several clubs have joined together to support an overseas cause, with each Club contributing a modest amount.”
A more challenging goal for Donna would be to encourage the introduction of people of other ethnicities into the Club. “This is how we can rejuvenate the Club and assure its future. If we adopt an attitude of promoting tolerance and diversity within our membership, then I am convinced that the Club will have a bright future indeed. I very much want to be a part of that.”