Sydney City Signal - 1st August 2017

To members, friends and supporters of Sydney City Rotaract,

I’d like to open this newsletter by thanking everyone who came to changeover 2017-18 and made it a night for the ages. I’d also like to thank Kim and congratulate her, and her team on a fantastic year.

I’d also like to thank my team for all of their hard work in pulling together changeover, and for everything they do behind the scenes. I’d like to particularly thank Renee, who has more or less run the club while I was out of the state with work matters. Thanks Kangan, Liz, April, Andrew and Gabby for agreeing to be part of my team, and thanks Kim for your ongoing support and council!

I want 2017-18 to be a year focussed on social problems in our community and tangible projects that we can undertake to redress them locally, nationally and globally. This year as a board and as a club, we have decided to have four core areas of focus, which will be overseen by members from our team which are:

  • Womens issues and domestic violence, which will be led by Renee and Kangan, with causes that have already been earmarked for support including Dress for Success, White Ribbon, and running a practical self-defence class for our members and their friends
  • Homelessness, in particular youth-homelessness, and strengthening our relationship with Stepping Stone house – this area will be led by April and Liz
  • Indigenous issues – in particular lending our support to the push to end trachoma by 2020 with a black teye gala dinner planned to be held in March of 2018. This area will be led by Andrew and I.
  • Environmental issues – this area will be supported by the whole board, with practical projects held throughout the year, the first of which was a Tree Planting Day organised by April on Sunday, 30 July, who I want to congratulate for all her hard work in the community portfolio during 2016-17

For the past few weeks, people have been asking me what my theme will be this year? To those who know me, and know I like to do things a little bit differently, it mightn’t be a surprise that my theme is that I have no one central theme. I want 2017-18 to instead focus on the big picture. Behind every big project, idea, or undertaking there are countless small, sometimes seemingly insignificant, connections that come together to create something magical. A big picture if you will. Throughout the course of our year I hope to draw attention to that idea, highlight the strength of the bonds we form and to ensure each of us gets out of Rotaract the thing we all joined to do.

Make a difference.

Rotaract has made all the difference to my life, and changed it through, little, at times seemingly insignificant actions, like coming to a Friday at five networking drinks, all the way through to major carer life changes because of the chance to develop new skills and experiences.

I’d ask each of you reading this message to reflect on the little events in your life that have come together for you to be where you are right now, reading this email, and all the funny ways which the many assorted elements in our lives come together to form a big picture.

I’d also like to again, thank my team, my family, friends, and my loving partner Edwina, for their support and encouragement, it is with immense pride that I take on this role. I’d also like to ask all of you reading this to think about some of the things you might like to do this year, and how you can make a difference with us this year. 

Thanks for reading, 

Thanks for reading,
President 2017-18

Upcoming Events

Sydney Rotary Youth Committee Meeting - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 18:00

Sydney Rotary is one of Sydney City Rotaract's sponsoring Clubs, and the largest Rotary Club in the Sydney region. One of their many initiatives is their Youth Committee, which is charged with support and engaging young people, and helping them live great lives and become great people.

This year, Sydney Rotary is trying harder than ever to bring younger people into these meetings and help steer these projects, and would absolutely love for members of our club to come along, and help steer their important life changing projects and initiatives.

For more information, and to get involved, please visit

Rotaract Blood Feud Pub Crawl - Fri, 04/08/2017 - 18:00

For the past few months, the Rotaract Clubs of Sydney City, Macquarie University and the Northern Beaches have been engaged in a light hearted competition to see which club can donate their blood and time the most!

As donating blood is thirsty work and it's important to ensure everyone is well hydrated after such a challenging completition, we'd love for you to join us at the Blood Feud Pub Crawl to celebrate the contribution all Rotaract Clubs have made and raise money for Rotaractors Against Malaria (RAM).

Tickets are $10 per person and sold on the night.

For more information, and to get involved, please visit

GetAhead Sydney - Sat, 05/08/2017 - 09:00

GetAhead is the premier personal and professional development conference in Sydney!

GetAhead is a conference you’ve never experienced before! This action-packed day will involve over 200 people, from university students to corporate leaders, who all have a passion to Get Ahead in life. You’ll not only hear amazing speakers share their secrets to GetAhead across...

For more information, and to get involved, please visit

Stepping Stone House: Sleep Under the Stars - Fri, 27/10/2017 - 17:00

Stepping Stone House is one Sydney City Rotaract's oldest community partners, providing housing, support and guidance to youth who are homeless through no fault of their own.

Their largest fundraiser is Sleep Under the Stars, which involves corporates, families and young people forming teams, building cardboard shelters and sleeping rough for a night, which is a reality for 1 in 200 Australias.

This is a real chance to make a tangible difference in a lot of young people's lives. Stepping Stone House is aiming to $225,000 to provide housing, care and education for 8 homeless young people for 1 whole year!

For more information, and to get involved, please visit

Recent News

Remembering Sam Owori

It was a heavy heart that the Rotary family learnt of the passing of Rotary International President-Elect Sam Owori two weeks ago. Sam was incredible Rotarian and a kind and caring man, who is remembered by his signature smile, ability to crack jokes under pressure and his unyielding commitment to his friends and family.

If you'd like to more about Sam, and how the Rotary family has responded to this tragic event, please visit

Vaccine-Derived Polio Infections

One of the most important and visible projects of Rotary International is its ongoing efforts to eradicate Polio globally. This is a wide-scale International effort that requires co-operation between multiple disparate countries, companies, and Non-Government Organisations.

A challenge that has come to fore-front recently is Vaccine-Derived Polio Infections, which occur when an individual is immunised in an area with low imunization rates. When the oral polio vaccine is eventually excreted from the individual, the virus can continue to reproduce, mutute, and infect the local populace.

To understand the science behind this challenge, and the work being performed by Rotary International to confront it, please visit

Well, that's it from me. Don't forget that our next meeting is on Wednesday the 9th of August at the Tresscox Lawyers Offices, starting at 6.30PM. For more information, including a map and agenda, please visit

Until next week,

Drew Sturgiss
Newsletter Editor and 2005 Sheep Shearing Champion (South Coast Region)
Sydney City Signal