‘If you really want to change the world, you have to inspire young people. That’s how you change the world.’
- Joe Rogan
In 1949, Rotary International adopted the slogan ‘Every Rotarian an Example to Youth’. A commitment to young people has been important for Rotarians for a long time. The Rotary theme for May is Youth Service and there is no doubt that is an area in which Diamond Creek Rotary excels.
Our involvement in youth service is huge. Here are some of our activities:
Rotary Youth Exchange is a program where a young person, usually aged from 15 – 17, from overseas studies in Australia for 12 months and reciprocally, an Australian student travels to an overseas country to study for a year. In this Rotary year, we hosted Lisa Tanaka from Japan. Lisa was an exemplary Exchange Student and I am sure that as a club we benefitted greatly from having Lisa with us.
The National Youth Science Forum gives Year 11 students who are passionate about science the opportunity to attend a 12 day residential program in Canberra where they have the opportunity to go on science site and facility visits and attend workshops with other like-minded young people. One of our past participants has stated that this experience changed his life! Applications are currently open so hopefully we will have a number of enthusiastic applicants who we can interview.
Rotaract is a club for young people 18 – 30. Like Rotary, they take part in community and international projects and develop their leadership skills. The Rotaract Club of Diamond Valley celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and we are one of the four clubs that proudly sponsor them. ants has stated that this experience changed his life!
Interact is a similar club, but is school based and is for students of high school age. Excitingly we are about to charter the Diamond Valley College Interact Club. I hope this will be a long and exciting relationship.
Rotakids (sometimes known as Earlyact) is like Interact, but for Primary School aged students. Currently Diamond Creek Rotary is working with Panton Hill Primary School to establish a Rotakids club there.
RYLA (the Rotary Youth Leadership Award) is a week-long residential leadership conference for young people aged 18 – 30. It is a very intensive program and the conclusion from most of the participants who attend it is: ‘It’s life changing!’ Each year Diamond Creek Rotary sponsors several young people to attend and the District RYLA Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer are all members of Diamond Creek.
RYPEN (the Rotary Youth Program of Enrichment) provides an opportunity for young people aged 15-17 to attend a weekend program which assists in the development of their leadership skills. This year our club is sponsoring six young people to attend.
It really is an amazing list of involvements! These programs help to develop the next generation of leaders, who, hopefully, will help to make the world a better place.