Exchanging Vocational Skills


By Peter Frueh, District Governor 2017-2018

As we return from our holiday break, with family and friends, we restart the next step of our Rotary journey. 

Hopefully we are refreshed and are ready to make our own Rotary resolutions for 2018? Maybe to offer to help an existing project or start a new one? Maybe to seek out an interesting speaker? To look for a community organisation to partner with? To bring along a friend who might be wondering what all this Rotary stuff is about? Make a note to yourself and follow up when you can. 

Anne and I have just had the opportunity to welcome home our outbound Youth Exchange students from 2017. They are very happy and have gained so much from their year overseas. 

We have also bid farewell to our outbound Youth Exchange students for 2018, who were excited and perhaps a bit nervous in heading overseas to a new culture, new host families and immersion into another language. 

What a great opportunity that Youth Exchange provides for the students, their parents, host parents, host and sponsoring clubs, schoolmates and the wider communities. Is your club considering sponsoring or hosting a student during 2018-19? 

If so, please contact Youth Exchange Chair Gabrielle Morgan. 

Another innovative shorter term youth exchange has been undertaken by North Balwyn. They currently have a group of students plus two Rotarians from Mongolia here for two weeks, after a similar outbound trip to Mongolia in July 2017. 

Initiated by Bill Oakley through his international Camping association colleagues, it is one that could be conducted club to club in other countries. President Rob Head, Youth Services Chair Estelle Kelly and Bill undertook a scoping visit to Mongolia two years ago and all aspects have been very well planned. 

North Balwyn President Rob Head, with DG Peter, AG Jonathan Shepherd and visitors AG Tsevelt Delgertsoo (left) and Deputy AG Munkjargal Ayurzana. Both are from the Ulaanbaatar Rotary Club.

After this visit is completed, potential future Vocational exchanges will be considered with Mongolia for example in Aged Care. Our District Vocational Service Chair Alan Seale is the person to contact if you are interested in any vocational exchanges. These might consist of sending out or supporting one or two young professionals for 2 to 4 weeks, with home hosting and arranging a suitable vocational exchange visit program to suit their individual needs. Alan and his team are well experienced in this and can work with clubs in establishing a suitable exchange. 

January is Vocational Services month, so support your club Vocational Service chair in mentoring, business awards, vocational visits and other activities the club undertakes or could start. 

Rotary International is different from other service organisations, in that members join with their vocational skills (classifications) and can utilize them in the projects and programs undertaken. This makes Rotary a great partner to other organisations, in the skills and connections we bring.

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