Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 18, 2023



Rotary Club of Adelaide

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (17:22): I move:

That this council—

1. Acknowledges that 24 August 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the inaugural meeting to form the Rotary Club of Adelaide;

2. Recognises the Rotary Club of Adelaide's proud history of service to the South Australian, Australian and international communities; and

3. Congratulates the Rotary Club of Adelaide on its centenary.

This year marks 100 years since the formation of the Rotary Club of Adelaide. It is one of Australia's oldest Rotary Clubs, having been formed in August 1923 through sponsorship by the Rotary Club of Melbourne, which was itself only two years old at the time. Twenty-three charter members formed South Australia's inaugural Rotary Club and began the proud history of Rotary in our state. Their first luncheon was held just across the road from this place, in the South Australian Hotel—which stood on what is now the site of the Stamford Plaza—on 31 August 1923.

For anyone who is not thoroughly familiar, Rotary International is a global service organisation based within local communities that provides aid and assistance throughout the world. Rotary's mission focuses on advancing global wellbeing through the improvement of health and education and the alleviation of poverty. Rotary's list of supported causes goes to the fundamental substance of human rights. They place particular focus on fighting disease, providing clean water, supporting young people to access education, growing local economies and protecting the environment.

Rotarians describe themselves as 'people of action'. Their two longstanding mottos, which both appeared at the top of the notice for Rotary Adelaide's inaugural luncheon in 1923, are 'Service above self' and 'One profits most who serves best'. The ideals these mottos embody are elaborated beautifully by one of the things within the Rotary canon that resonates with me the most—the Rotary four-way test, which is meant to be followed by all Rotarians. The four-way test is: of the things we think, say or do, (1) is it the truth, (2) is it fair to all concerned, (3) will it build goodwill and better friendships and (4) will it be beneficial to all concerned?

These strike me as sound principles of guidance for any person in virtually any undertaking. They offer a favourable reflection of the values of Rotary International, as well as illustrating some of the reasons for the organisation's enduring success. From the establishment of the first Rotary Club in Chicago in 1905, Rotary has grown astronomically. Only 16 years after its foundation, there were clubs on six continents. Today, there are 1.2 million Rotarians in nearly 33,000 clubs around the world. There are Rotary Clubs right across Australia and among South Australia's clubs many owe their origins to the sponsorship and support of Rotary Adelaide.

The first club sponsored by Rotary Adelaide was Mount Gambier in 1928, followed by Unley in 1935, Port Adelaide in 1946 and many more in the decades that followed. In its 100 years, Rotary Adelaide has sponsored 13 new Rotary Clubs, an Interact Club and a Rotaract Club. Rotary Adelaide is steadfast in its service to community, both locally and globally. Internationally, they fund water treatment plants in Sri Lanka, as well as supporting various projects across education and public health in Serbia, Nepal, the Philippines, India, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

Within Australia, they support a number of projects and institutions, including the national Science and Engineering Challenge, the Hutt St Centre, the Migrant Resource Centre, a scholarship program for First Nation students across healthcare disciplines and the Australian Landscape Trust at Calperum Station, to name but a few.

To kick off their centenary year, Rotary Adelaide held a Founders Day Luncheon at Adelaide Oval on Thursday 24 August 2023, exactly 100 years from the date the club held its foundational meeting. I can only imagine that the charter members of Rotary Adelaide, whatever their hopes and intentions were for the club into the future, would be delighted that it is still going strong today and that its members cherish and honour their club's proud history.

I commend Rotary Adelaide's executive board and members, both past and present, for their dedication to service. It is an undisputed moral good to serve one's community and I appreciate the genuine impact that true people of action make on our world. Congratulations on reaching your centenary. May the next 100 years bring continued success and strength. I commend the motion.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. B.R. Hood.