By Damien Walker, Director of Public Image and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Salisbury City Rotaract Club (Australia)
As the public image director for the Rotaract Club of Salisbury City in Australia, my job is to tell my club’s story. I share how we are a dynamic club that provides the entire Rotaract experience without the need for additional, outside commitment; how we ask our members to come as they are and give as they can; and how we are social club that volunteers and values fellowship and friendship. Additionally, I wear the hat as our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) director where I ensure we offer a welcome space for everyone to thrive.
To tell my club’s story successfully, I use our brand, from our club logo to the images and content we share online, consistently so it reflects who we are. We have developed an identity and passion for social justice in our community and support a number of human rights issues, which has driven us to adopt a contemporary and modernized visual identity that helps us portray ourselves as a welcoming, inclusive club.
By comparison, the more traditional, legacy Rotaract/Rotary logos continue to carry negative connotations in our community, alluding to a time where the Rotary family was an exclusive, male-dominated and business-only body. That’s not us and doesn’t align with our values. We have a long history of providing a voice to those who have not always had one: First Nation members, the LGBTQI+ members, and members living with a disability. Further, the old logos don’t reflect how Rotaract is a part of the Rotary family in a public way.
Through repeated and consistent use of our club logo, we have elevated our branding and increased community recognition, but this did not just happen overnight. There were some costs involved with updating our club logo, but it wasn’t expensive since we adopted a phased strategy.
We first invited member input on where our club name should be placed in relation to the logo – above or below “Rotaract.” This allowed members to take part in the decision and buy-in to it.
We added the club new logo on our Facebook page and club website — soft mediums that can be changed with minimal fuss. We then moved to update our banners and things like club shirts and badges — this was done gradually over time, approximately within a year to 18 months. Overall, our process was aided by the materials available in the Brand Center, a great resource for any club preparing to start this process.
Young people are values-based and are often not just looking to join an organization solely based on location or convenience. Instead, young people are genuinely looking for a club that fits their values and provides opportunities to make a meaningful difference and change lives. Updating our club logo allows us to portray ourselves as a modern organization where you can make a difference.
Damien Walker has been a member of a Rotaract club for eight years and a member of a Rotary club for two-and-a-half years. He works in education as a secondary food and textiles technology teacher.