Gold Coast Corporate Rotary Club is one of a kind in Australia that has attracted 40 young corporate leaders to Rotary in D9640. Every time I see a high-rise corporate office building in Australia or New Zealand, I see an opportunity for a new Rotary Club?
Article by PDG Andy Rajapakse, Assistant Rotary Coordinator
District 9640 has been leading New Style Rotary club innovations in Australia having started 10 new Rotary Clubs, 8 Satellite Rotary Clubs, and 4 new Rotaract clubs in the last 5 years. This helped my district to be one of the fastest-growing Rotary areas attracting young people and females to Rotary. With 11% of the 1,300+ membership under 40 in age, we are home to the highest percentage of under '40s in Zone 8. Also, Zone 8 leader and 55th District in the world with a high percentage of female Rotarians at 38%.
Gold Coast Corporate Rotary Club is one of a kind in Australia that has attracted 40 young corporate leaders to Rotary in D9640. It was chartered in October 2021 with 23 members. All members are from corporate companies housed in the "Corporate One" Building in the Gold Coast and the surrounding prestigious corporate precinct. In 2021-22 Rotary year the club won the District 9640 Award as the “Top Growth Club” with a net growth of 48% and + 13 members to reach 40 members on 1st July 2022. This club also had the highest net growth of all new Rotary clubs formed in Zone 8 in the past 2 years. All members are employed full-time and are under 50 years of age. The club has balanced gender equity, diverse cultures, diverse ages between 24 to 50, diverse professions and modern skills. 6 new members are to join by August this year including the Directors of popular Gold Coast Radio Station Breez FM, Westpac Bank, and Lending Association, the largest private mortgage brokering company on the East Coast of Australia.
19 leading companies in Gold Coast are represented in the club. They include Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, a "Fortune 500" company and KPMG one of the Top 4 Accounting companies in the World. Other companies represented are Positive Dynamics Wealth Management, William Buck Accountants, Hickey Lawyers, PKF Accountants, Elston Financial Solutions, Ramsden Lawyers, Alto Advisors in Accounting, Rise Legal, Glowing Green Environmental Solutions, Ray White Prestige Real Estate, Evolve Legal, Amtan Medical Doctors, Switch Finance, CorCordis Insolvency, Ezi Office Supplies, Eyetel Corporate Video Productions and Avuri Lawyers.
The club offers Corporate Membership at A$900 a year and each Corporate nominates up to 3 active members. Individual membership is A$300 a year. The Monthly meetings are networking style around wine and cheese evenings from 5:30 to 7pm. Each company takes turns hosting the monthly meeting in their board room and makes a 10 minutes presentation of the company's services. There is no meeting cost to the individual members. Monthly Board meetings are on Zoom.
This club was another crazy experiment of mine. It all started during the height of the Global Pandemic in May 2020, I called up and introduced myself as the incoming District Governor of Rotary to the partner of a famous Law Firm in the most prestigious corporate building on the Gold Coast. Thanks to our Rotary Public Image on the Gold Coast, he was happy to meet me the following week. After a few pleasantries, I casually asked him, "John how about we start a Rotary Club in this Building to connect all those who work in this building?" The answer was "Yes Andy, can we really do that?". I invited him to nominate a community champion to work with me as he is a busy man. He introduced me to Derek Finch & Anna Morgan 2 senior partners of the firm. Together we went on to charter the club within 5 months. Anna's father is an active Rotarian in our district and was known to me. This helped. Today this club is a "new style club benchmark" in Australia to attract young corporate leaders to Rotary.
The club's main focus is mentoring disengaged youth from "Men in Business College". on the Gold Coast. Once a month the club members invite the young men who dream of joining the corporate world into their offices to meet and chat with their members and staff to get a feel on how corporate offices work. Last month the club sponsored a young man from the college to attend a Law Conference in Brisbane as he has wanted to be a Lawyer. Imagine the impact it had on his dream? This mentoring program helps the club members and their companies to connect with the local community outside their corporate building and understand their future employees. It's a win-win for a Corporate Rotary Club.
Today this Corporate One Building is a community, not companies competing with each other. They know each other by name in the lift, in the car park, in the toilet, in the cafe. They experienced the power of Rotary connecting people and the value of Rotary. Every time I see a high-rise corporate office building in Australia or New Zealand, I see an opportunity for a new Rotary Club? Can we duplicate this new style club model in your town? Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your District's designated Assistant Rotary Coordinator.