PIONEER: Local rotarians start country's first passport club
THREE of the region's rotarians are the driving force behind the first passport rotary club to open in Australia and New Zealand.
Bundaberg rotarian Sue Gammon and Gladstone rotarians Bevan Rose and Belinda Prentice collectively started the charter process for the d9560 Passport Rotary club and received the approved charter from Rotary International last Monday.
Ms Gammon, club secretary, said they spent about six weeks looking for the minimum requirement of 20 members, and recently added their 24th.
She said a passport rotary club was one in which most club dealings were mostly handled remotely and there was less emphasis on "formalities”.
"A normal club would have a meeting maybe once a week or once a fortnight,” Ms Gammon said.
"A passport club doesn't actually have face-to-face meetings, you can pretty much live anywhere you want to.
"We do most of our communications through a closed Facebook page or through Zoom meetings online.”
Ms Gammon said members were required to complete 30 hours of service a year which would be recorded in a passport-like pamphlet.
She said service could be completed anywhere in the world with any not-for-profit organisation.
"It's a concept that's been around in American for a couple of years but we're the first in Australia or New Zealand to charter it so we're pretty excited,” she said.
"(The club) doesn't really have a base anywhere .. In future years a president might be in Brisbane or they might be in New South Wales.”
President Mr Rose said he believed the club was "the way of the future for rotarians”.
"We didn't sent out to be (pioneers),” Mr Rose said.
"I set out to have a look at something to suit my work life and my family life.
"I thought, 'this is a better fit for me'.
"And a lot of business people and young family people (also) can't make those kind of commitments.”
Ms Gammon said d9560 Passport Rotary had already attracted about 10 people who were brand new to Gladstone and continued to receive interest.
"We know that there are a few other clubs (in Australia) in the process of chartering so we've all been talking to each other and they'll be looking at our constitution and by-laws to see if they can adopt them,” she said.
"We're all sharing the process with other people because it's a new process.”
The official charter night for d9560 Passport Rotary will be held at 6.30pm on February 23 at Grand Hotel Gladstone.
Tickets are $35 per person.
Those interested in attending should phone Bevan Rose on 0417602150 before February 16.