Awarded the Rotary International Vocational Service Leadership Award


The current District Governor Brian Martin of District 9810 (which covers the suburbs and surrounds of Melbourne) awards the RI Vocational Service Leadership Award

On Saturday 15 June I attended the Rotary District Governor Changeover night to welcome in the new District Governor of our Rotary District 9810 (which covers the south eastern and surrounds of Greater Melbourne).

Recently I resigned (hopefully, temporarily) from Rotary as my workload was too great and I felt that I couldn’t give it the time and focus as I had in the past.  However, as I have always been in some kind of Rotary service (through Rotaract when I was in my early 20’s – which is Rotary for 18-30 year olds), a vocational exchange to the Netherlands in 1994 with a Group Study Exchange team and many other projects, it’s highly likely that I will go back to Rotary in the coming years when I have some more time on my hands.

In my time as President for the Rotary Club of Moorleigh Moorabbin in 2011-2012, I developed the theme of “Getting Back to Business” to incorporate a more local connection with local businesses in our area and linking them with social responsibility and community services.


The obligatory face the camera shot.

The program involved “Business Networking Months” in February, July and October where every Monday night of those months was a presentation by a guest speaker who spoke on issues critical to business.  The presentation was then followed up by a shorter 5 min presentation by a Rotarian in business (of the same profession of the topic) so they could provide the context and personal story of how they and their business benefited the community.

Effectively I had ‘flipped’ the meetings to be more focussed on business and on how, in a global world, we can sometimes forget who our own neighbours are.  My events linked businesses within our local community to social responsibility programs to not only help their own businesses but the wider community as a whole.

We had many and various topics around managing cashflow, social media for business, succession planning, opening and closing business to name a few.

The last Monday of every month was dedicated to a behind the scenes factory or business tour.  This is where we got to see first hand, the businesses in our own local area and speak to the managers and staff about the running of their business.


The events were popular and even now, I still get phone calls from businesses asking whether we still run these events.

If you’re interested in any of the tools and templates that I used to run our events for your club, please let me know and I’d be happy to email these to you.

Many clubs in our district along with international clubs in the US and UK are already using these tools to ‘get business back to Rotary’.

Here are some more links about the events as a sampler….

Example of the Registration Page  to the events:

I used free registration sites like TryBooking to promote the events…

About the Events:

I wrote about the events in our club blog:

Our club site 

Information was also made available on our club website…

About the Event – My Blog Post to Club Members about the Events

Example of a Business Tour: Cell Care

Little did we know that in our own area, there was a major provider of cord blood – Australia’s Cord Blood Bank!  You can read about it here.  This tour generated LOTS of discussion, questions and engagement from all those who attended and even opened our eyes up to this service – many of whom didn’t know what it was about!

How I Promoted The Events:

  • Events were promoted through LinkedIn Business Groups of the local Glen Eira and Kingston City Councils (I established a relationship with the City Council Business & Networking Groups)
  • Leader News Online
  • Local Business Groups
  • Local door knocking and flyer drop
  • Rotary communications [district newsletter, website, emails to clubs]

A big thank you to Jo Beilby (RC of Mont Albert & Surrey Hills) for the wonderful photos 

About Helen Blunden

My unique super power is that I see learning experiences in everything I do. #alwayslearning
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1 Response to Awarded the Rotary International Vocational Service Leadership Award

  1. Congratulations on your award Helen!

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