NewGen is a satellite club of the Rotary Club of Nunawading designed for young professionals aged 25- 40 in Melbourne’s outer east. It was established in 2018 and for people like myself, it’s been a chance to get involved with Rotary with likeminded people around the same age, given at 32 I’m too old to be part of a Rotaract club.
As a group of only five members with busy lives, we focus on supporting Rotary and our district’s biggest causes and events first and foremost. Naturally, Polio came to mind, especially the multiplying effects of donating to the cause. Throw in the love of a great Aussie pub meal – and Parmas For Polio was born.
Initially we thought we could safely pull off this event in a small function room of 50 and make a small but cheerful contribution. But we decided to back ourselves, send off a few emails, and aim high.
The end result: More than 100 people joining us at The Coach in Ringwood on October 3 for a parma (Hawaiian and Mexican were popular flavours), a keynote address from Past Rotary International President Ian Riseley, an appearance from Federal Member for Deakin Michael Sukkar, and some very happy raffle winners taking home prizes donated by local businesses.
To top it off, on the night I was made aware of our district’s Polio Plus program – offering 10 clubs a matching $US1000 contribution. We raised just enough money (with 24 cents left over) from ticket and raffle sales to qualify for a grant. Throw in a matching contribution from Rotary’s World Polio Fund, and a 2-for-1 contribution from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and our $1,480 was transformed into a $13,320 ($US9,000) donation. (See the chart below)
It’s pretty cool to have provided more than 5,000 children with a Polio vaccination just by getting together for a parma and pot. It’s also been great to show what a small group of passionate young Rotarians from a new demographic can do if they stay focused, put the time in to spread the word and aim high.
Five clubs – including ours – have taken advantage of the Polio Plus scheme so far, and there’s another five opportunities still available this financial year at the time of writing. Contact Stephen Fisher (District 9810 Polio contact) for more info if you want to snap one up and make a big impact.
And if you know someone who’s aged 25-40, be sure to tell them about our club, we’d love to have them join us for coffee every fortnight and more exciting projects this Rotary year. You can also follow us on Facebook by liking the ‘NewGen Rotary’ page ( ).
Kiel Egging
President NewGen Rotary