Marketing  Chair Tim conducted  usual toasts to Australia and Rotary International and welcomed members and guests, Guests included the Johns family, Paul, Sue and daughter Tara and John Journeaux.
Peter and Glen Taylor, Mary Stephens,
We were privileged to have the Johns family relate their story of tragic experience with kidney disease. Paul and Sue were carriers of the kidney disease recessive gene which carries a one in four chance of children being affected.  After the death of first son Brett at 6 months, they had two more children, Becky and Tara. Thankfully Tara was unaffected but Becky had the disease and received a transplant from father Paul at age 9. Problems followed including pneumonia within 24 hours and home dialysis followed for some years. However in June 2010 a further transplant was required with mum Sue being the donor. This worked very well and gave Becky her best years- happy, healthy, vivacious. Becky attended the Kidney Kids Camp regularly during this time and at age 18 she became a camp volunteer.
Subsequently at age 20 she was deemed an ideal addition to the staff of Kidney Health Australia. She was a people person and loved to tell her story thus inspiring others.
Becky had always wanted to travel and managed a 3 month Kontiki Tour with a friend despite having to take anti-rejection drugs every 12 hours which she managed despite rapidly changing time zones.
After her return she collapsed at a Kidney health research walk and suffered severe vomiting and discomfort and CT scans in hospital revealed that she had Lymphoma with a large bowel tumour caused by the anti rejection drugs. Whilst in hospital the family met contestants from TV reality show "The Block" and they visited her in hospital and showed her some of the renovated apartments using 3D goggles. This gave Becky a tremendous lift to such an extent that the Johns family is fundraising to put these expensive goggles into hospital wards.
Tragically Becky died two days after her 23rd birthday, All her life she had been a great person, uncomplaining, always happy and smiling in spite of her suffering and always interested in helping others.
One positive the Johns family received after these years of worry and expense was that the producers of "Reno Rumble " recognised their situation and their home was renovated as part of the TV series.
As a result of their experience and Becky's life, "The Becky Johns Research Kidney Research Discovery Trust" has been set up in her memory. This is managed by Kidney Health Australia and every dollar raised will be used to develop anti-rejection drugs that do not cause side effects such as cancer. One percent of transplant patients get lymphoma. The Johns family had an open day after their house renovation and allowed 2300 people through their home. This raised $8000 for the research discovery trust.
We were privileged to have this courageous family tell their story and wish them and the research trust every success.
After our meal, President Jennie introduced membership and marketing chair Tim McCrohan who  gave us some hard facts about the future of Rotary and what we need to do to turn the tide.
  • Social media is an essential tool to attract younger members, DG Neville John stressed the importance of Facebook, and International President John Germ has stated that we have lost two generations of members because we have not moved with the times.
  • Social media has caught on exponentially faster than previous modes of communication such as radio, television, facsimile, email and the web etc
  • The world is changing, we must change or eventually disappear.
  • We must embrace the medium which the age we wish to attract embraces.
  • Social media is the safety net of Generation Y. i.e. it is noticeable that if they are uncomfortable or bored at a gathering they pull out their phones and communicate with friends,
  • It is evident that we have not been able to engage with young people as we are not attracting enough of them and when we have attracted them we have been unable to keep them.
  • Tim suggested that we had a choice to make. Either change our ways or see our club fade away in time.
  • Our attention was brought to an opportunity next week as Chris Wiseman will be here to educate us on the use of Facebook.
       Discussion during and after Tim's presentation indicated that those present supported his sentiments and it was my perception
       that we realised we have no choice but to change.
        3 September     Facebook Capabilities By Chris Wiseman.
        7 September     Poysers BBQ
       12 September    Lift The Lid on Mental Health,
       12 September    General Jennie's Last Stand..... ( last physical presence
           prior to her move to Tassie!)
           (Please note that as I will be preparing meeting agendae
            in future pls notify me of upcoming events.)
         After thanking Tim for his presentation, Jennie advised that the first
        Monday of each month would be a marketing/membership forum.
         Last meeting prior to Tasmanian adventure will be next week 12th
         September. However I will be on screen weekly and physically here
         every 8th week. Sure it will go well with Tim and Alison's support on the ground here.
         Open house at my place next Saturday all day. All welcome.
         Confirmed 3 members going to Bgo-S/hurst RC presentation on 31 August.
         Board meeting next week -discussion on changes to club constitution.
         Board Meeting will be at 5pm
Meeting Closed at 8.15 pm