ROTARACT TO ROTARY CLUB PRESIDENT

Hi, my name is Lisa and I am the President of the Rotary Club of Dunedin for the 2018/19 Rotary Year. I am married to Mike and we live on the Taieri with our daughter Annabelle (16 months) and dog, Lottie. I work at Deloitte here in Dunedin as a manager in the Tax & Private team. I was born and raised in Oamaru a whole 33 years ago, which by the way, is the location of next years conference (registrations are now open). I grew up there with my Mum, Dad and brother Michael. This is also where I met my husband – no we are not high school sweethearts, but we were high school friends.
 
When I look back on my life, I see many Rotary connections.
 
Dad was, and still is, a member of the Rotary Club of Oamaru (my first introduction to Rotary), while my brother has recently become a member of the same club (in fact, he is the President Nominee for the club).
 
When I finished school I came down to Dunedin where I studied at the University of Otago gaining a double degree in Law & Commerce, majoring in Accounting with Honours. John Burke, an ex-member of my current Rotary club who sadly passed away, was my dissertation supervisor and a great support to me in gaining my Honours degree.  I really loved my time in Dunedin and made some really good connections while I was here through Rotary. It started with Dad’s club sponsoring me to attend RYLA in 2005 where I was inspired and met some amazing like-minded people, some of who I am still very close too. One was a candidate who my current club sponsored and I consider one of my closest friends. We meet most weeks for a coffee date with our wee girls. Another married a girl who he met at Rotaract and I was lucky enough to be part of the groom’s party as a groom’s girl. Another is part of a group of ex-Rotaractors who all still live in Dunedin and meet for brunch most months. The four of us plus other ex-RYE students, including the new AG for Central, Nick Wood and Brian Daniels (another fellow Rotarians) daughter, were all inspired by our experiences with Rotary via RYE and RYLA, started to meet regularly, with the idea of restarting a Rotaract Club. That club did get restarted and I was lucky enough to be president for the first two terms.
 
What I loved about our Rotaract Club was the can-do attitude and positive vibes thrown into every project. We were predominantly students with no money and a lot of time so we really enjoyed the hands-on projects. We were also really good at collaborating with other organisations (our sponsoring Rotary Clubs in particular), which enabled us to get involved in more. The years I had in Rotaract were some of my favourite and the connection I had with the local Rotary Clubs is what led me to eventually join my club when I felt I had outgrown Rotaract somewhat.
 
We all belong to this amazing organisation called Rotary. One of the things that makes our clubs great is the people but another is the things we do. Did you know that Rotary here in New Zealand is the driving force behind the formation of a number of well-known organisations such as CCS, National Kidney Foundation, Riding for the Disabled, Outward Bound, Ronald McDonald House Auckland and Cure Kids. As Rotarians we may be ordinary people but with a good idea and the belief that we can do more, together we can do extraordinary things, change lives, and be the inspiration.