Our District Magazine Networker features stories about the latest Rotary events, projects and news from across Rotary District 9800 and beyond. Click on any of the past issues below.
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As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion of Portuguese Timor, it is timely to reflect on the story of the small community of Balibo’, close to the Indonesian border. Balibo’s story is closely linked to Australia as it was there on 16th October 1975, that Indonesian troops killed 5 Australian war-journalists, the ‘Balibo 5’. The young men had taken the precaution of painting Australian flags on the façade of the house but this proved futile as the troops had specific orders to kill them. For the next 25 years Timor endured a bitter and at times brutal military occupation. In 1999, Indonesia withdrew, but in the process the nation’s infrastructure was destroyed, thousands of people were killed and many more displaced. In Balibo, 11 young men were killed and the town set on fire.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says: Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
In this year of being A Gift to the World we have a second District Vocational Training Team that will provide training in early literacy to over 160 teachers who work in remote village schools around Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in January 2016.
My profession as an educator for over forty years enables me to say with absolute certainty that if we do not teach our children to read by seven years of age, they are at risk of underachieving for life. A big statement but none the less true!
In the Rotary world August is Membership Month but I say that every day is membership day! Now why would I say that? Well, I love all that Rotary stands for, has done, and can do and I know that once others know what I know they will want to join our Rotary movement.
And so a new Rotary Year begins, a new theme, a time to reflect on achievements, maintain successful programs and projects, and embrace new ideas. After a wonderful District Changeover Dinner on the 27th of June Murray Verso handed over the Chains of Office to me and there is no great weight of dreaded responsibility, rather a sense of excitement and optimism as we continue to serve our local and world community in the name of Rotary. Murray and all Past District Governors have contributed time, energy, inspiration and quite amazing outcomes that define our Rotary District 9800. It is a delight to have so many mentors to call upon as I embrace the role as your District Governor.