Posted on Jul 12, 2022
Welcome to the 2022/23 Rotary Year when we are asked to "Imagine Rotary".  What does Our Club look like to you?  How do you "Imagine" Rotary impacts your family; your community; our world?
Perth Rotary Club Changeover Dinner Dance - Special thanks go to outgoing Club Services Director, Darren Perera and Fellowship Chair, Nan Walker for their supreme efforts to ensure we helped celebrate a successful year in rotary led by President Rev. John Shepherd.
Members and guests kicked up their heels and danced the night away, with those present, by all accounts was a fun evening enjoyed by all.  Congratulations to those Rotarians who were recognised for Service Above Self by way of a Presidential Award or Paul Harris Fellow. 
Perth Rotary Club Board 2022- 2023
We offer our sincere thanks to the outgoing board of Perth Rotary Club and very much appreciate that several board members will continue.
The new board for  2022- 2023 are:
  • President                         Maree Gooch
  • IMP President                 John Shepherd
  • President Elect                Linken Fragomeli
  • RI Foundation                 Emma Cork
  • Secretary                         Nicola Johnston 
  • Treasurer                         Michael Willett
  • Membership                    Jill Dawson
  • Youth                               Manu Gupta
  • Community                      David Wee
  • International                    Wesley Sims
  • Vocational                       Jon Bilson
  • Club Services                  Linken Fragomeli/ Frank Ye
  • Environment                   Natasha Rogers
A Message from President Maree.....
I have chosen 3 key words to describe how I hope the coming year for Perth Rotary Club will play out – it’s what I will be using to guide us and to keep us on track.
  • Connect
  • Collaborate
  • Inspire
Each of these three words link very well to Imagine which is the Rotary International theme for 2022- 2023.
UN sustainability goal # 17 is the one that I align with – it relates to partnerships because that is what Rotary does so well – now and historically.  Whether it is to end Polio, to support those less fortunate than ourselves, or provide potable water connecting and forming collaborative partnerships are a sound and powerful way to ensure that change can happen.
Survey – Perth Rotary Club - We will send out an Engagement Survey in the Newsletter next week and ask that you spend 10 minutes completing the survey. It will help us focus on the future of the club and ensure that our members have a say in the direction of where the club is going. We really want your input.
District Grant – successful application by Perth Rotary - A few months ago, PP Stephen Inouye candidly suggested that Perth Rotary Club might like to apply for a District Grant in the 2022/23 Rotary Year.
I'm delighted to announce that we were successful in securing matched grant funding of $4500.  Special thanks go to  Stephen Inouye for actually writing the grant application.  I made quite a few phone calls and engaged with key people from Rotary Clubs across WA to see if we could work together and co-contribute, to make the grant go further – with pun intended to reach out across regional WA.  
Perth Rotary Club will join with Rotary Clubs from Moora, Quairading, Albany, Kununurra and Elizabeth Quay.   We will work hard to ensure that 200 people are able to attend Mental Health training. The cost will be $50 per person inc GST to attend a Mental Health First Aid course. Rotary support will ensure that a specially trained and experienced facilitator will be able to travel to the regional areas to deliver the course.  I completed a course organised by the Elizabeth Quay Rotary Club with the support of the Rotary Health Foundation last year and am pleased to share that when I recently needed to use my new knowledge learnt at that course, it automatically kicked in and I was able to use my new skills.
Rotary International:  Imagine….. 
Jennifer E Jones is from the Rotary Club of Windsor- Roseland, Ontario is the first female president of Rotary International, ever, which is 115 years.
Jennifer speaks about diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as leading from the top, and leading by example. Imagine aligns with the future that we want to create for the Perth Rotary Club this year and into the future.
She is committed to increasing our impact by:
  • Focusing on our Strategic Plan – I/we have a plan, we can follow it and measure against it.
  • Expand or reach by engaging the family of Rotary at every age, gender and culture
  • To create lasting change
Let us all join together to Imagine and work towards a better world !
A bit about your new President… I felt that it might be important to share a little of my history.
I grew up as part of a family farming business approximately 2 hours drive north of Perth – for those that like details, the family farm is still being farmed by my family and is located 19km west of New Norcia and 35km south of Moora.
I attended the local primary school – I was the only student in years 1-4, then we had an influx of students and there were three of us for years 5-7. The school numbers fluctuated between 8-14 students while I was at primary school.  I caught the school bus for 75 minutes each way (it’s a 35km one way journey) attended Central Midlands Senior High School in Moora for years 8-10, then attended boarding school at Sacred Heart College, Sorrento for years 11 and 12.
I was selected by Moora Rotary Club to become an exchange student and went to Mason, West Virginia in 1984, after completing my final two years of  school in Perth. It was an interesting year to say the least.
  • I was fortunate to meet great people and to travel around the USA and to Canada. I lived with 4 host families, attended school with two different year groups due to the difference in northern hemisphere schooling.
  • If anyone has ever seen the original version of the movie ‘Footloose’ that pretty much sums up my year. 
  • West Virginia was the north of the south,  a poor state in comparison to most in the USA, and still is.
  • There were considerable differences of opinion that were lived experiences, when it came to race, religion and gender issues. This all helped to make my year in the USA very interesting.
I returned and took awhile to get my feet back on the ground, attended university for one semester, aged 18 then dropped out. I worked briefly in an admin role then worked at what is now Tourism WA and sold holidays as well as working hard to help visitors to WA get around Perth and our beautiful state during the late 1980’s, including the America’s Cup racing.
  • I finished up working in an area called Product Development as part of the Marketing Department and organized all of the familiarization visits to WA of Journos and travel agents (both Australian and international).
  • Product development was analysing and support new and existing tourism businesses by helping them improve and do business better. Fast forward 35 years and its what I do now across multiple industries.
I married Neil Gooch, a superfine wool farmer from Bremer Bay – our wool was used for lingerie and Italian suiting and jumped whole heartedly into the local community. I worked at the local hotel and brought that new business approx. $3million in business in 18 months – much of that was calling on old contacts in tourism and organising events. I farmed sheep, cattle, canola and coarse grains with my husband at Bremer Bay, 550 km south east of Perth for 11 years – we tested and trialled innovative farming systems including wine grapes, certified seed potatoes and coated sheep. We then farmed at Beverley in the Wheatbelt, 135km east of Perth for 11 years. We have 3 adult children.
Some of the projects I have been involved with are largely based on mentoring and supporting others. The ones I am most proud of are:
  • The Grow Zone mentoring program – I was the Champion and CEO for 5 years– injecting more than $32 million into the regional economy by helping regional businesses to improve, transform and do business better. We have the data to back up this figure.
  • Rural Business Development Corporation – a budget of $5 million, $26 million or up to $200 million depending on the year and the schemes to be administered. State and Federal funding. I was a board member for 11 years, Vice Chair for 9 years, Chair of the Audit Committee for 5 years.
  • CRISP Wireless – Chair since October 2016 – a startup company providing fast and reliable internet to the regions. Soon to be across 85,000 square kms (for perspective the state of Victoria is approx. 186,000 sq kms) and 25 local government areas. We have successfully won projects of close to $13 million in the past 3 years, ensuring we are delivering to the areas that need better connectivity. We are very proud that the CRISP Wireless service did not break down during Cyclone Seroja or the recent fires that ravaged the Wheatbelt. In fact the emergency services such as police, SES and ambulance all used the CRISP Wireless fast and reliable service when all other services were not working.
  • I am the part time Executive Officer for SafeFarms WA for the past 7 years, our state’s leading NFP, offering support and education for the agriculture industry in relation to WHS, including safety systems, inductions and more at an affordable rate.
  • Im proud to be a co-director of Value Creators, which started in 2018. We design, develop and deliver life changing education and training for people and businesses to do things better. We have run programs for more than 500 SME’s and thousands of people including young rural women in STEM; business development; finances and resilience. We help people identify their strengths and how to play to their strengths – much of what we do is underpinned by mentoring. We take the complex and make it simple.
I look forward to serving the Members and Community that is Perth Rotary.  I invite all members and friends of the Perth Rotary Club to attend our meeting this week - Perth Rotarian Philip Lako is our guest speaker and will tell us about "His Story".  A life of resilience; gratitude and resourcefulness.   Bookings are essential and can be made by clicking on this link -  Please note, members and guests are requested to arrive at the Parmelia Hilton from 12 noon ready for a 12.30pm sharp start to formalities. 
Yours in Rotary
Maree Gooch