Posted by The Editor on Jul 08, 2017
Newly inducted District Governor Peter Schaefer has vowed to Make a Difference to the Lives of Others during the Rotary year 2017-2018. As a member of Alice Springs Rotary, Peter is the first District Governor to be chosen from the Clubs in Central Australia and he is looking forward to the year visiting Clubs throughout the State.
Photo of Peter and Jennifer.  
Peter's presentation encapsulated his strategic direction for the Rotary Year, in Making A Difference..... the following is Peter's speech.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen - So another Rotary year commences, another year where we exercise our benevolent talents to continue in Making a Difference, a +ve Difference, to the lives of others.
As you know, I hail from Alice Springs and the geographical Rotary isolation of Central Australia became apparent at the onset of my DG journey and my thanks go to those that have guided me on my journey thus far. I won’t single you out today but you know who you are. Thanks   I don’t want to simply go through the motions as Governor especially as we are on the eve of change. At the Leading Rotary Now events that we held across the District earlier this year  I presented a draft of my vision as DG for the year.  It  was  a draft and those present were given the opportunity to workshop my aims in  “round table”  format and report back on their thoughts and whether they felt it was suitable, achievable, and supportable.  Other than some wording issues, my vision was endorsed by those there.  It’s no longer a draft.
In summary and in no particular order,  my vision, our vision is to: 
  • Continue  a  cohesive relationship between clubs and the District.
  • Support the call by the RI P for Environmental projects such as tree planting.
  • See membership as a continuing priority for Clubs and the District.
  • Support Clubs to become more diverse and inclusive  – an increase of under-represented groups.
  • View engagement in projects as a priority over meeting attendance and measure volunteering.
  • For Clubs to engage with at least one International project and to use Grants to compound effectiveness
  • To do local projects and exploit these as opportunities to promote Rotary
  • Embrace the challenges and opportunities in the lead up to a New District in 2020 
So now, at the eve of change and the opportunity of growth …….. we’ll  build upon the good work that’s already done.
As you know, Government, Business,  Industry,  in fact all sectors of the global society and our society here in Australia are improving through change. Look at the changes that we’ve seen in just the past 20 years, mobile phones – man how that’s changed our lives, Gregories replaced by more efficient GPS, Grandparents increasingly utilised for the care of kids,  Internet - for faster info,  and for communications – the poor old Postie is all but gone, real-time meetings without needing to be in the same room, shopping at all hours and even without leaving the house, and on, and on it goes.
Rotary is changing and we’ve got the licence from Evanston to do so. Where Clubs remain in the past they will be a thing of the past. Those that grasp the opportunity to change and reflect the positive aspects of contemporary culture will be the ones that will be here in the years to come,  making a difference.
The introduction of change for our Clubs is much harder to effect than those changes imposed by the likes of Banks and Corporations ..  Where Clubs drive this change, it needs vision and leadership at the least, and it requires to be undertaken with engagement and steady incremental steps where members are involved and embrace the journey.
This leads me to the Change that we’re  on the eve of - the amalgamation of two Districts. This is happening -- this time, in three years, and it will be the District committees led by myself, Dave Egan and Jane Owens along with the District 9520 leadership teams through Bob Cooper, Kim Harvey and Tim Klar, who are tasked to over-see our respective Districts develop into one large body, both geographically and in Club numbers.
By virtue of this geography and the number of Clubs, we will most likely need to go about the business of managing our District in a different manner  than we currently do. Our transition team has a huge responsibility to get it right and it will take the right individuals with the right approach, to develop a robust, yet flexible organisation to take us into the future, without us as individual Rotarians losing our identity and purpose in the community.
My vision is for a phased or incremental move to combine our operations rather than implement a whole new structure on 1 July 2020 - that is, no sudden change at the wave of a magic wand. Some areas like Australian Rotary Health have already gone down this path of efficient rationalisation, long before amalgamation was announced.
I encourage each of you to embrace the changes, both within your Clubs and broadly across the two Districts.  Without this, we risk withering away into insignificance and there are many folk out there who benefit so much from what we do and give.  Let’s continue in Making a Difference, and continue year, after year, after year. encapsulated……….
Bob Cooper  -  My mate, my 9520 “twin”.  Our friendship is absolute proof that Rotary brings together people from different  experiences of life. Bob has been my “lean – on”  rock and as we set off on our respective DG years,  I’m certain that we will present you with a wonderful Conference experience, a combined District event.  
We’ll also embark on the monumentous  amalgamation journey of our two Districts  -  bigger is not always better but we, Bob and I along with our succession G-train team will give it our best to guide 9500 & 9520 to one, efficient and achieving District.
We are ordinary people in this room jointly achieving extraordinary things, impacting positively on the less fortunate people of this world  –  Making A Difference.  It’s noticed, it’s appreciated,  it’s needed.
Thank you.        Let’s keep Making a Difference