I can honestly say that on a personal level, apart from being a father to six children, this is one of the proudest moments of my life. It is an absolute honour to have been chosen, trained and inducted as a District Governor and I truly look forward to working with my team, the Clubs and all Rotarians in representing you to the best of my ability.
You may have heard me say that I didn’t consciously join Rotary…I joined a Club where my friends were. Seven years ago I didn’t know what Rotary did. Sure I had travelled a lot overseas on business and didn’t spend a lot of time in my community, but to be ignorant of the great work Rotary does? How could this be?
One chance remark in a whisky club meeting by a member of what’s become my Rotary Club led to me asking my good friend, Rob Meers, to take me to the Rotary Club of Albury West. The rest is history. I took to Rotary like a duck to water.
I used to work for Mars, Inc and I always knew that wherever i travelled to for business if I got into trouble I could always turn to Mars for support - it’s a worldwide business.
Mars is also governed by the Five Principles of Mars - Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Efficiency and Freedom. Those principles guide the way Mars does business and the ethics they use in dealing with consumers, the environment and trading partners.
So as a Rotarian I can pretty well visit any country in the world and I have a support network I can call on if I’m in strife.
And, of course, Rotary is guided by the Four Way Test
  • Is it the Truth?
  • Is it Fair to all concerned?
  • Will it Build Goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be Beneficial to all concerned.
The parallel of how these two organisations operate is not lost on me.
When I arrived in Australia in 1983 the population was 15 million. Today it is 25 million and we are dealing with falling memberships and Districts being consolidated.
Our District encompasses some of the fastest growing demographics in Australia.
  • Mitchell Shire is poised to go from 50,000 to 250,000 in 10-15 years.
  • Mickleham is the fastest growing suburb in SE Australia.
  • The train line has been extended out to Mernda.
  • I thought Epping was a little like Whittlesea until I drove through it last year - it took me 20 minutes to drive through and we weren’t successful in establishing a Rotary Club there?
  • Albury Wodonga is also growing fast - another 30-40,000 in the next 10-15 years.
We have to grow. Not growing is a little bit like holding your breath - if you’re successful the outcome isn’t very good.
As we move into the new Rotary year I just want to reiterate my main objectives for 2019-20:
  • A healthy District;
  • membership maintained (but preferably increased);
  • plans for more Clubs in key growth areas;
  • and FUN, FUN, FUN. Let’s celebrate the FUN we have in Rotary.
As I’ve said before I am very much looking forward to visiting all the Clubs, working with you, your Assistant Governors and my District Team, having FUN and another successful Rotary year for 2019-20.
I’m also looking forward to our District Conference to be held in Albury Wodonga, 20-22 March 2020. Come and join us....come and join Murray!
Fellow Rotarians it’s time for
Let’s do it.