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Rotary club changes

13 Aug 2013

Rotary club changes Image

The winds of change have swept through Southbank Rotary as it last month announced that Richard Shortt would replace Steven Aquilina as its new president.

Mr Shortt has been in Rotary for more than two years and said he was excited to take on the challenges of the role and indicated to Southbank Local News that he had a clear mandate to grow the group’s connection to businesses within Southbank.

“Part of my brief is to connect with local businesses. It’s something that the Rotary movement does so successfully and we’ve identified it as something we can do in our own patch even better,” Mr Shortt explained.

He said he hoped Rotary could develop relationships with community organisations such as Boyd.

“Over the years, our club has become very focused and, rightly so, on community activities. We want to also go back to

Rotary’s roots as a professional organisation, getting businesses here to talk to each other,” he said.

Mr Shortt also spoke of the unique challenges Southbank Rotary faced, compared with other, suburban-based Rotary groups.

“We’re mindful that we’ve got to keep new people coming through the door as, given our location, people are moving in and out of the area a lot.”

“Lots of the suburban clubs are very good at the community stuff, because they’re often run by the same people for many years. If we can start to grow our community involvement, over time, we can grow our club. That growth will give us scope to do more and more,” Mr Shortt explained.

Growing Southbank Rotary, as well as nurturing the talents within the group were both high on the agenda for the incoming president.

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve become a younger group, with a sprinkling of experienced Rotarians. I want to develop a broad leadership group within the club.”

A new president is not the only change at Rotary. Its weekly meetings have moved from its home at Crown to the refurbished Blue Train in Southgate.

“We’ve been at Crown for 14 years, since the club started, so there was an emotional connection there, but ultimately I think that relationship had run its race,” Mr Shortt explained.

“We think holding our meetings at Blue Train puts us right in the heart of the action in Southbank.”

Southbank Rotary meets every Tuesday at 6.30pm and always welcomes new members or interested onlookers. For more information on the club head to www.southbank.org

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