This story appeared in edition 16 of Mid North Coast Now, you can read the full issue by clicking here
The yellow Rotary International wheel is synonymous with helping communities locally and around the world.
In Port Macquarie local lifeguards sit in towers donated by local clubs, in Coffs Harbour clubs host a book fair to raise money for local projects and in Gloucester the Rotary Club installed fitness equipment in the park.
A lesser known, but currently growing aspect of Rotary, is Rotaract, a branch of Rotary for young people aged 18-30.
Currently there are more than 250,000 rotaractors in 10,000 Rotaract Clubs around the world. Rotaract Clubs do all the same things as local Rotary Clubs but with young people at the helm.
Currently in District 9650, which covers from Coffs Harbour to Lighning Ridge in the north and Gloucester to Coonamble in the south, there is one club and that is located in Port Macquarie.
In Port Macquarie, Hastings Rotaract began in August 2017 and over the last 18 months has been able to raise $1000 for an Orange Sky laundry van and nearly $1000 for drought relief as well as volunteer at different community events.
Over the past year there has also been growing interest in starting more clubs.
As the District 9650 Rotaract Representative I decided to take it upon myself to collaborate with Rotarians across the region to start new clubs.
Launched in June of 2018, the Rotaract Roadshow is an initiative talking to young people and Rotarians alike about the benefits of mentoring, encouraging and empowering young people to help in the community.
The idea of the Roadshow came to me sitting on my loungeroom floor thinking up ways to facilitate young people having the same opportunities as young people do in Port Macquarie.
So far the Roadshow has been to Tamworth, Armidale, Coffs Harbour and Kempsey with plans to visit more places soon.
Lorranie Coffey, district governor for Rotary District 9650 said the reemergence of Rotaract Clubs is succession planning for Rotary.
"When I discovered that we had only one Rotaract club left in our District, I was determined we should do something about this," Lorraine said.
"I couldn’t believe that Rotaract had been around for more than fifty years, so I was even more determined to bring back clubs to our District.
"The first steps we took was to include Hastings Rotaract in our events and slowly we have been gaining momentum.
"Rotaractors are our Rotarians of the future, and I am so proud of them."