As a newcomer to Rotary navigating the 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia, I feel a special affinity for other first-time attendees. I was excited to see that there would be a whole session just for first-timers the day before the convention kicked off. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but I got quite a surprise when I entered the huge auditorium where the session was held. The place was packed! I was surrounded by hundreds of fellow newbies.
After the session, I talked to a few of the attendees about their countries, their clubs, and why they’ve decided to make Melbourne their first-ever Rotary convention.
By Jessie Harman, 2021-23 Rotary International Director
The results of the 2022 Rotary International All-Member Survey are clear – the number one driver of member satisfaction is club experience. Just over 78,000 members responded to the online survey conducted by RI’s Research and Evaluation team.
A recently published report on the survey also spelled out the aspects of club experience that mattered most to members – “meeting enjoyment” and “confidence in club leadership,” followed closely by “satisfaction with club service,” “satisfaction with finding friends,” and “comfort with other club members.”
When I found out I’d be going to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to cover the 2023 Rotary International Convention, my mind raced. I thought of exhibition halls, Ayers Rock, packed auditoriums, and kangaroos. Even briefly an auditorium packed with kangaroos. I also thought of one word: laneways. For a street-art fan, Melbourne’s graffiti-filled alleyways are at the top of the bucket list. The city’s graffiti has been world-renowned since Keith Haring painted several murals there in 1984. Even the king of modern street art, Banksy, said Melbourne’s graffiti is “more diverse and original than any other city in the world.”