Dr Anna Nowak had one of the most gentle and soothing presenter’s voice I’ve ever heard for a presentation on medical research. I congratulate Dr Nowak on the advances she had achieved to make this world a better place and thank her for sharing that with us. However, I not going to summarise or repeat what she said. If you were not there, you missed out!

In the first 2 weeks as president of our club, I’ve had the opportunity to deliver the sleeping bags from Stitches of Hope to Passages and to Street Friends with other members of Rotary, including the young Campbells.
It was good to see that our partnership with St Vincent de Paul has continued to serve a part of our community that appears to me to be often forgotten. With Street Friends, it was an unusual experience for me to be in the midst of a large gathering of homeless people. At the corner of Wellington and Pier Streets volunteers assemble every Thursday evening to provide the bare necessities to anyone who found themselves down and out. It was all surprisingly orderly. A queue formed up as trestle tables were being laid out with various items of food and clothing. Members of Scouts Australia were at the end of the line to hand out the sleeping bags. A mother and daughter team ran a library of donated books. A lady playing her ukulele to brighten the evening even allowed me to sing with her a couple of songs. While walking around and listening to some of the volunteers and homeless, I was reminded of an old song by Johnny Cash, “It could be you instead of him”. I’m glad the Rotary Clubs of Swan Districts and Perth were able to add a little to this work done by Street Friends.
In the past week, I had the privilege to attend a meeting with the WA Chinese Chamber of Commerce, presenting about Rotary and dispelling a few myths about who we really are. I was surprised by the youthful composition of the group. My last experience with them was almost 20 years ago now when their membership was dominated by a large number of pompous rich Asians. This time round, words that come to mind are friendly, professional, entrepreneurial, humble and happy.
Almost everyone present was a migrant who has adopted Perth as their new home. From conversations, it appeared to me they were grateful for the opportunities their new city provided and were looking not only to make the best out of it but willingly helping others do the same in the process. One came up to me to thank Rotary for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) program that she had previously attended. Another asked to be nominated for membership into Rotary. After that evening, I’m thinking perhaps we are not getting out there enough to tell others why Rotary exists. I will definitely look for opportunities to do this more often.

While not to the extent of the American President with his tweets, I try to make the world a happier place by posting “happy” things on Facebook. And because happiness is attractive, we are able to draw attention to Rotary with appropriate posts to that platform as well. I would like to encourage members to use that platform to promote Rotary activities that you are participating in to draw more attention and support for our projects and the multitude of Rotary programs. Barry has done a fantastic job getting us more press coverage in one week than we used to get in a year, but it is up to every one of us to spread the news that the Rotary Club of Perth “Join Leaders, Exchange Ideas, and Take Action”.

Yours in Rotary,
Wesley Sim- President - Rotary of Perth 2018/2019