New form of Rotary club moves with the times

Dorothy Barwick created the state's first inland Rotary e-club six years ago.

Dorothy Barwick created the state's first inland Rotary e-club six years ago.

Rotary's E-club of District 9650 club, whose members meet online fortnightly on the Zoom video-conferencing platform but otherwise operate like any other Rotary club, may well be a template for those who find it challenging to physically attend regular meetings.

The e-club falls into the district surrounding Tamworth, and was created six years ago by Dorothy Barwick, wife of the club's current president John.

She said at the time there were e-clubs on the coast and in Melbourne and Sydney, but District 9650's e-club was the state's first inland club. She sees e-clubs as a natural adjunct or even progression of regular clubs.

"You've got to move with the times."

One of the older Tamworth clubs was about to hand in its charter due to a drop in membership, so she was approached about forming an e-club.

She was well-versed in Rotary procedures although from a distance, with John having a 48-year association with a club that didn't allow female members.

She started with a new charter, which involved a lot of work, and the e-cub kicked off with two members. It now boasts 17 from within and outside the district.

Mrs Barwick said it's possible for anyone from anywhere in the world to join, and they're recruiting for more.

"It's great for people who travel, or who are elderly or have young families," she said.

"There's no difference to a regular club, except that we meet online. We even have exchange students."

This story New form of Rotary club moves with the times first appeared on Tenterfield Star.