Looking to start a new club? Or simply looking for new ways to reinvent your club?
In mid-August, Rotarians and some of our fellow Rotaractors from District 9920 got the opportunity to hear from Andy Rajapakse, Past District Governor of D9640, our current Zone 8 Assistant Rotary Coordinator (ARC) and Zone 8’s new style club specialist, and Barbara Mifsud, Regional Membership Officer of Rotary International. During a 14-day Rotary Membership Roadshow, they travelled over 1400 kms conducting 12 workshops in 10 cities across all 5 Rotary Districts in New Zealand, engaging with over 300 Rotary Club and District leaders. This Roadshow was an initiative of our District Governor Allan Smith who invited ARC Andy way back in February to visit our district.
In their interactive and exciting workshops, Andy led us through some reinvented club models and new style Rotary club models like the Satellite, Passport, Corporate and Cause Based Rotary Clubs, revealing how they attracted and increased membership in existing clubs and grow Rotary. Since 2018, Andy has personally formed 8 new style Rotary clubs in District 9640. During Andy's District Governor year in 2020-2021 in Gold Coast, Australia, he led District 9640 to attract 384 new members to their clubs in 365 days and record a net increase of over 170 members with an all-time high 14.4% growth, making them the 25th largest growth Rotary District in the world. He and his team achieved this milestone during the Covid-19 Pandemic year by starting 5 new Rotary Clubs, 2 Satellite Rotary Clubs, 3 Rotaract Clubs, one Interact Club and a Rotex Club for YEP Alumni. All in one Rotary year. And helped grow 31 of the 53 existing clubs too. 
The workshop started off with one simple question, are we relevant?
Change is always a tricky pill to swallow but to move forward, change is necessary. One way to measure if our current club methods are still helping the community’s needs is to question whether the needs of our community have changed within the past couple of years. Not only will this help us better help our community, but this will also re-ignite existing member drive to remain with the club and attract new members.
Andy highlighted that Rotary’s purpose is the club, not club meetings. Not our dinners and lunches, it is our service in the community that tells the public who we are. He said, “to attract and retain members we need to first make our clubs attractive and exciting to our members and visitors”. Barbara shared with us the vast array of resources Rotary International has to support clubs reinvent and to start new clubs. This information was new to many of us and most informative.  
During their brief visit to District 9920, Andy and Barbara conducted 2 face-to-face workshops and one on Zoom for the Pacific Islands. They were able to help us identify few suburbs where new clubs can be started or reinvent some of our traditional Rotary clubs. During the workshop sessions our D9920 club leaders identified the possibilities of starting new clubs in co-working spaces, corporate buildings and universities, where the interest to help members of the community may be present but the group doesn’t have the means to connect the people in the spaces or buildings. And a Rotary club would be the ideal platform to connect people. This is where we can step in to help create new styles of clubs and aid them in making an impact. Andy’s advice is; “The secret to change is to focus our energy on building something new, not fighting the old.” Let’s Grow Rotary a new way!
Interested in advice to take the concept of new clubs further?  Call Ashwini Sadhu, District 9920 New Clubs Committee Chair
To find the material from the workshop you can go to a page on Rotary Oceania website of resources from the NZ Roadshow