My husband and I both joined Rotary Matamata in 2008, after I was invited to speak to Rotarians about vaccines. At that time I did not really know much about the organisation but realised it would be good networking for my husband who had recently joined a local business.
I soon became very impressed by what the Rotary did in our town but it was when I learnt more about the Rotary Foundation (Rotary’s charity) and particularly polio eradication that I really ‘got’ what Rotary was all about. The global scope of the work Rotary does and how many lives it affects still blows me away!
As a nurse with expertise in child health and immunisations it is Rotary's health projects that really interest me. I soon joined the District Foundation Committee and polio committee and am now District Polio Chair. I have held positions in the club of secretary, membership committee chair and president (2016-17). I am Marketing Chair and Vocational Education Chair to the Rotary Australasia centenary project Rotary: Give Every Child A Future , a project to celebrate 100 years of Rotary in Australasia in which we are working in partnership with UNICEF to immunise 100,000 children in the Pacific with vaccines they would otherwise not have access to. Rotary allows me to use the knowledge and skills I have acquired throughout my professional life but in a context that goes way beyond the scope offered to me through my ‘paid’ work. 
Joining Rotary has introduced me to a whole new world. I love attending training and conferences, and educating Rotarians and non-Rotarians about our work. I have friends across the globe I would have never met if I were not a Rotarian. I have attended International Conventions in Sydney and Atlanta and visited Pakistan twice (never in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever happen). I know that I am making a difference in the lives of others; from the children I have given polio vaccines to at the zoo or in the slums in Lahore to the Pakistani children of garbage pickers who now have a school, library and computers because of a project I proposed to Rotary Matamata in 2015.
During my year as President I led the establishment of an Interact at our local college which I am still very involved with. Rotary provides our young people with so many opportunities from exchanges to leadership and driving courses to Outward Bound. It is a privilege to be involved with these and see our youth thrive and grow.
While the slums of Lahore might not be everybody’s cup of tea, Rotary offers a smorgasbord of experiences for anyone who wants to sample them. Please contact us if you would like to join us in making a difference in the world.