"Just as the Hobbits were on an Unexpected Journey, so too are a number of us, no more so than me!
On leaving my North Waikato home nest over 50 years ago on my journey out into the ‘real world’, I could have gone to Auckland to train as a teacher but instead chose to journey to Hamilton and work for the South Auckland Education Board, administering teacher salary payments.  This journey led to meeting the love of my life in 1972 and in 1974 Lindsay and I moved to Matamata, where I have since been involved with a number of community and district organisations including three school’s Board of Trustees, the Waikato District Health Board, Trust Waikato, The Heart Trust, Matamata Piako District Council and the local Pohlen Hospital Trust Board– to name a few."
"Each was a significant journey for me that have helped develop my leadership and governance skills.
In late 2001, Lindsay & I attended the Rotary Club of Matamata’s Big Apple Pie Night which raised funds for the New York Fire-Fighters following the September 11th terror attacks.  During the evening I was asked by Rotarian Lauchie Duncan if I would be interested in joining Rotary.  At that time, all I knew about Rotary was that it was a ‘service club’ with their logo alongside Lions & Kiwanis at the entrances to town and that they met ‘behind closed doors’ in the Matamata Memorial Centre.  
My unexpected journey into Rotary officially began following my induction on 7th May 2002, and I am proud to be one of the over 1.2 million Rotarians across the globe, of whom nearly a quarter are women.  This journey led me to be the Rotary Club of Matamata’s first women President in 2009/10, and to being selected to lead a Group Study Exchange Team to Washington State in the US, and British Columbia, Canada in 2013.
Rotary has certainly made a difference to me.
Our 2017/18 theme of Rotary: Making a Difference represents what Rotary is and what Rotary does, every day and in many ways.  All who benefit from our great programs appreciate that Rotary exists to make a difference.
Further, Rotary makes a difference to us as Rotarians by following the guiding principles that come from our mission statement and the Object of Rotary. 
The logo for this year’s theme is rather abstract in nature. So what does it mean?
It symbolises diversity, with people of all races and backgrounds uniting under the banner of Rotary to make a difference.  Whatever our level of involvement, when combined with 1.2 million colleagues, can result in making a difference, in our own communities and globally.
The circle shows that we are represented in almost all parts of the world.  It is a busy and active design, just as Rotary is a busy and active organisation.
At the first district-wide President-elect Training held in November last year I asked the attendees to focus on 5 topics:
  • Qualifying for the Rotary International President’s Citation
  • Supporting Rotary International President Ian Risley’s Theme
  • Healthy Clubs – through increased and active membership and more recognition of the Rotary “brand” in our communities;
  • Fun, Fellowship and above all Family –our own, our Clubs, our communities, and finally
  • Support my “Project” - Days for Girls - an international ‘family focus’ organisation – Thank you, Lisette, for your address today on this project very dear to my heart.
My five topics tie in well with Rotary International President Ian Riseley’s theme Rotary Making a Difference, and his Presidential Citation requirements where clubs must achieve at least 4 goals in each of the three strategic priorities:
  • Support and Strengthen Clubs
    Having members with different perspectives and backgrounds fuels innovation and gives Clubs a broader understanding of their community’s needs.  By involving members, using their unique skills and interest and giving them a voice in the club’s future, strengthens a club to make a positive difference.
  • Focus and increase Humanitarian Service
    Through our Rotary programmes six areas of focus and The Rotary Foundation, clubs address global humanitarian challenges by promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, growing local economies, protecting the environment and ending polio.
  • Enhance Rotary’s Public Image and Awareness
    A positive public image improves a club’s relationship with their community and attracts prospective members and builds awareness of Rotary.
I believe these Strategic Priorities goals are achievable throughout our district and will enhance Rotary.
To qualify for the Presidential Citation, Clubs must also:
  • Pay their July 2017 and January 2018 invoices on time and
  • Report volunteer hours and service project contributions in Rotary Club Central to allow Rotary to measure and publicise our impact around the world.
I challenge all Clubs to aim for the Rotary Citation. Ian Riseley also made the case for protecting the environment and curbing climate change and challenged every Rotary Club to make a difference by planting a tree for each of its members between today and Earth Day on 22 April 2018.
Finally, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without acknowledging my ‘pet hate’ – acronyms.  Imagine the following at a Rotary Club meeting with a number of non-rotary guests –
It was announced that the DG was coming but not with the AG, and that the PDG in the club wouldn’t be present as he was involved at a RYE event.  Nominations were called for RYPEN and RYLA candidates and also for a DGN who after a year becomes the DGE then after another year the DG then after another year a PDG! (and after that its RIP)  One would have to attend PETS, SSPETS, DA¸ the DC and IA before becoming DG.
The Club guest speakers were from ROMAC and RAWCS and RDU magazine.
It was also announced the CoL was coming to outline the new rules of RI.
One of the members wanted to be nominated to become a RID but first, he would have to be a RIDN, then RIDE. After being a RID he would then be a PRID unless he became the Treasurer, then he would be a PRIT. A member was awarded a PHF for their services while another for their donation to TRF.

Thanks to our RID Zone representative we now have another –
CRAP – cease Rotary acronyms promptly! 
I’m not sure how many of you got all the acronyms.  While this may seem humorous the sad reality is that not once was the name Rotary mentioned.  Imagine the confusion for the Guests and the lack of publicity of our great brand Rotary!  I urge you to be proud of Rotary and take a few seconds longer to tell the whole story
Before concluding, I wish to acknowledge and thank our outgoing District Governor, Keith Owens, for your tireless commitment to Rotary and for being a great mentor to me during this past year. 
To the incoming District Governor Elect (Graham Jull) and District Governor Nominee (Peter Maxwell), I look forward to working with you both and the wider district leadership team within our wonderful district during the year ahead.
To past District Governors, many of whom are here today; thank you for your guidance and support.  Your institutional knowledge and experience are greatly appreciated.
To my own club, I value your generous support over the years and in the year ahead as we build up to the annual conference in May 2018 at Wairakei Resort. 
And to the team who have made today so special, I thank you.
I close with a wonderful poem written by Audrey Hepburn, who, when asked to share her ‘beauty tips’, replied:
  • For attractive lips, speak words of kindness:
  • For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people;
  • For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry;
  • For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day:
  • For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone;
  • People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone;
  • If you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms; and
  • These two hands, one for helping yourself and one for helping others.
I proudly stand here today to serve District 9930 and this great organisation as District Governor for the forthcoming year.
Together let’s make a difference in 2017/2018.