Jill Dawson is new Perth Rotary president

ROTARY clubs can play an important role in helping WA communities get back on their feet after coronavirus, according to the new president of Perth Rotary.

Jill Dawson was sworn in as the club’s 94th president this month, taking over from Perth real estate marketer Vangelis Katsaitis.

She said Rotary had 100 clubs in WA and more than 2000 members.

“Rotary has almost 100 years experience helping communities and organisations get through tough times and - apart from the war years and Great Depression - there have been no tougher times than right now,” Mrs Dawson said.

“In particular, funding for community services provided by government and charitable organisations has been decimated and my aim will be to have our members harness even more support for these groups.

“Since the pandemic started Rotary has been working tirelessly to help support homeless youth and Indigenous people, as well as victims of domestic abuse.

“Some of our partners in these projects have suffered from loss of income because of the pandemic and we’re looking for new ways to support them.

“We’ve even provided financial support to Rotary programs in Seminyak to feed families who have lost income because of the decline in tourism.”

Mrs Dawson said Rotary’s efforts to take on these challenges had already motivated many younger people to join Rotary.

“They have great empathy with those people who can’t get work and understand what they’re going through,” she said.

Mrs Dawson and husband Peter are small business owners of a Quairading earthmoving and construction company and have been involved with many community organisations in the district for years.

“I joined Rotary after Peter and I and our three children moved to Perth eight years ago,” she said.