In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 24

Stuart Heal LEADER CALLS ON KIWI NOUS At the start of every year, more than 500 Rotary district governors- elect descend on San Diego, in the United States, from all corners of the globe. They arrive for an intensive six days of training and ideas-sharing in preparation for their new role, and to gain insight into the vision and special initiatives of the incoming international president. Not surprisingly, with more than 1100 delegates in total and six languages to accommodate, staging the International Assembly is something of a feat of organisational engineering. For this year’s assembly, District 9980’s very own Stuart Heal – supported by partner, and fellow Rotarian, Adrienne – was at the helm. Here, Stuart and Adrienne share a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what it takes to put on one of the biggest events on the global Rotary calendar, together with their personal highlights, a candid take on some of the pressing challenges our organisation is facing, and the presentations from the assembly they reckon you must watch. When Australian Ian Riseley was named Rotary International 2017-18 president, one of the first calls he made was to Cromwell’s Stuart Heal. Ian Riseley and Stuart Heal After consulting partner Adrienne, an accomplished Rotarian in her own right, Stuart accepted Ian’s invitation to take on the role of assembly moderator. And, so began a rigorous 15 months overseeing the conference’s organising team, which comprised both volunteers and staff from Rotary International’s head office in Chicago. “To start with, Ian and I sat down and set out our personal goals and areas of common focus and interests – Ian is particularly passionate about peace and the environment,” Stuart says. Months of conference calls and online meetings, as well as four trips to Rotary International headquarters, followed. Stuart and the organising team held intensive planning sessions to draft and fine-tune the curriculum, organised guest speakers and keynote presentations, ensured training content was current and accurate, decided on entertainment and food, and co-ordinated information technology training and promotional audio-visual displays – not to mention oversaw the design and roll out of a new interactive, assembly-specific app. At the hub of the training were breakout sessions, facilitated by 39 training leaders and 29 partners from around the world – including District 9980’s John Prendergast and wife Donna, of Invercargill. Bruce Cowan, of Dunedin, 9980’s district governor-elect, accompanied by Stuart Heal Adrienne Heal • Rotary Club of Cromwell • Past-president of Rotary Club of Dunedin • Past-district governor, 9980, 1999-2000 • Past-Rotary International director, 2010-12 • International Assembly moderator, 2017 • Rotary Club of WASH eClub • Past-president of Rotary Club of Cromwell • International Assembly partners’ programme co-ordinator, 2017