Welcome to the New Year. I trust it has been full of rest, recreation and revitalizing as we head into the second half of the Rotary year.
I certainly spent my time recharging the batteries, getting some well earned Family time (we took 3 of our farm-based Grandchildren to Adelaide for a week!!), catch up time with Rotary friends and fine tuning the plans for the next six months. What a privilege it is to serve this wonderful organization and seeing the fruits of your labour making the world a better place.
I know that as we get back into our planned Rotary activity, evidenced by meeting reports already circulating, that we are up and running and starting to turn our planning into action that will lead to Lighting Up Rotary in this District.
The Youth Exchange team have welcomed home a number of students and we will share their experiences at a debrief day in February. The outbound students have started to leave on their journey of exciting days with host parents, international classmates and new cultural experiences. What an     adventure for a young person and what an opportunity for Rotary to advance World Peace through International relationship building in our next generation of leaders.
 
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Some exciting news is that we have been able to compliment the planned 110 Birthday of Rotary Luncheon on the 15th of February at the Cardinia Cultural Centre, by adding the exciting news that we will be Chartering a New ROTARACT Club on that day as well. So set aside the day, bring some friends and come Celebrate with friends and be part of this special day of celebration and growth of the Rotary Family.  
Here we are talking about the New Year and January is half gone! Before we know it we will be heading to Shepparton for the District Conference on the last week of March. Among others, we have locked down Commonwealth Gold Medallist Steve Monagetti as a speaker and I am sure his address will be inspiring and full of anecdotal stories of his days as an engineer ( had to mention that), teacher, successful athlete and “chef de mission” at both Dehli and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.  Please note that early bird registrations finish at the end of January 2015 - a deposit will get you started in the registration
As you read this newsletter we note that DGE Merv and Christine Williams are in the USA to meet their fellow DGsE and take part in the Rotary International Assembly meetings in San Diego.