By Jayde Purnell, Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club, District 9640 (Australia)
A passport Rotary club is designed to attract a diverse demographic, and from my perspective, it’s working. On the last Tuesday of each month, I merrily waltz my way into Karma Collab Hub for an evening of wine, cheese, laughter and community impact; all in the company of great friends and with the guidance of Rotary members from local clubs. It’s unlike any community I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve come to realise that my Rotary badge is consistently (and quite unintentionally) accompanied by a wide grin.
Young Australian’s are eager to help create a better world. Rotary continues to bring people together to create lasting change in our communities and globally. With Gold Coast Passport Rotary Club of District 9640 (Australia), we’re reaching younger professionals in our area with the message of how Rotary allows members to use their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action. Our club is modeled after similar ones in the United States.
Governor-elect Andy Rajapakse and Candice Olivier, our club president, first crossed paths at a Junior Chamber of Commerce event earlier this year and quickly became an unstoppable dynamic duo with a vision to shape a new type of club. Before long, whispers of a do-good travel club spread, and 20 proud members were on hand to celebrate the idea of “Service Above Self” during our charter meeting 5 June.
Our clubhouse, a funky creative co-working space, now buzzes with the excitement and ideas of 26 members. Twenty-one of those members are under the age of 35. But where our diversity really shines is in talent and skill sets; all of which are put to good use.
The flexible format and obvious potential for members to dive in and have an impact globally makes our club very appealing. We uphold the values of Rotary, while adopting a flexible format that appeals to those whose time is limited. Those who would otherwise be too busy are now experiencing Rotary’s friendship and giving back to their community, locally and globally.
Like any other Rotary club, we pay full dues to Rotary International and our district. We all live or work on the Gold Coast (south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast). Our club predominantly acts as a feeder club, supporting other local Rotary clubs in terms of service projects making possible high levels of community engagement across a variety of projects. Recently we assisted a 73-year-old club, the oldest in our area, to establish a social growth and business development series to attract new members.
Baby Give Back
As a passport club we aren’t required to engage in projects of our own but that’s hardly the case. We’re running technology drives for school children, with our first donation of laptops delivered to the Bali School Project in July. And soon we will be assisting Baby Give Back, putting together beautiful hampers for newborn babies of families in crisis. Our future is alight with many collaborations and we’re spreading as far and wide as we can.
Rotary itself is remarkable. We’re simply creating new ways to engage more people to help extend our reach both in terms of member diversity and in geography. We’re nothing if not an eager and action-focused family and I think it’s important to note that the smiles we bear reflect the past, the present, and the future of an evolving Rotary.
A passport club is a Rotary club that encourages members to attend other Rotary club meetings as long as they attend a specified number of meetings in their own club each year. Members are also encouraged to participate in service projects organized by other Rotary clubs. It appeals to people who travel frequently, or those who enjoy trying a variety of club experiences and meeting new people. Learn more in the Guide to Passport Clubs.