In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 8

– and some of the best fun we have is coming up with novel and exciting ways to raise funds and awareness for worthy charities.” On chartering, the club roll stands at 23, and Susanah says there are more members in the wings about to join, all bound by a drive to make a difference. Younger members, in particular, don’t value the conventional dinner meeting and lunch, so, to attract them, as Rotarians, we need to loosen expectations to turn up, or change the format, while respecting the needs of current members.” “Most of our members are time poor, but are keen to use the skills and time we do have to do great things in the community, so we’re very project-driven. “Obviously, we’re a little younger than conventional Rotary clubs, and we’ve also flipped the gender demographic on its head – we have only five men, but 18 women.” NRG Dunedin is one of four Next Rotary Generation groups in District 9980 – Queenstown is a satellite to the town’s Rotary club, Invercargill chartered last year, and Timaru is just in the initial stages. Susanah believes the NRG format is a vital cog in Rotary’s future, offering the flexibility some people today – especially those with hectic family and professional lives – need to be able to participate. “Younger members, in particular, don’t value the conventional dinner meeting and lunch, so, to attract them, as Rotarians, we need to loosen expectations to turn up, or change the format, while respecting the needs of current members.” District governor Janice Hughes speaks at the chartering. “We’re not that interested in conventional fundraisers; we’d rather use our specific skills, knowledge and professional connections to make the best contribution we possibly can in the time we have,” she says. While the members were particularly fortunate to have had plenty of help along the way from the combined Dunedin clubs, she says NRG’s success and survival will continue to rely on sometimes marching to a different beat. “We’re a lot ‘looser’ than most conventional Rotary clubs. We meet only twice a month with a lot organised online, and our meetings are less formal. One risk of not having set weekly meetings is people can fall off the grid, but Susanah says the club communicates a lot online to keep everyone included and in the loop. “Working together and trying to accommodate different Rotarians’ needs and life stages can only benefit us all – and I’m sure there are many Rotarians with children, work colleagues and friends who are really keen to be part of Rotary, but a conventional club might not work for them. Send them our way!” Dunedin NRG’s focus, Susannah says, is now firmly on making the most of their new formal status. “We’re really excited … excited to now be an official Rotary club, so we can utilise the scope of Rotary International’s resources to do great things in our community and further abroad,” Susanah says. Page 8 | In Gear - Rotary in southern New Zealand - District 9980 | www.rotarydistrict9980.org