The youth division of Rotary International known as Interact has good prospects of being started up at one our local high schools according to Rotarian Ron Mildenhall, who is District Chair of Interact. Ron was our guest speaker this week and he gave a very enthusiastic & informative talk about the aims and purposes of Interact clubs. 

Ron was certainly a great speaker to have when the PA system decided not to work, as he has a great ability to project his voice and keep everyone’s attention.  And he certainly did that. His talk was complimented by a PowerPoint presentation as he led us through what might be involved if we as a club decide to sponsor an Interact club.

We also were delighted to have two special guests who have a keen interest in getting a local Interact club up and running. They were Claudia Jacob, Head of English Department at Kelmscott Senior High School and Elizabeth Singe, an ESL* teacher and member of the Rotary Club of Willetton. (*ESL = English as a second language).

Ron’s presentation included some very interesting examples of Interact Clubs around the world and how they often take on amazing community projects.  Clubs are encouraged to take on one local project and one international project each year.  

Each Interact Club needs to be sponsored by a local Rotary Club and that takes a fair commitment from at least one but ideally two Rotarians to attend Interact meetings and act as mentors.  Interact Clubs are encouraged to develop their  own style within certain guidelines. There is certainly an emphasis on having fun whilst developing good communication and service skills.

Ideally, a new Interact Club needs a minimum of 12 students to make it viable and as it grows, a core group of 8 to 10 to get things done -  much like a Rotary Club. A collaborative approach with more than one Rotary Club involved is worth considering to minimise set-up costs and maximise opportunities. As District Chair of Interact, Ron is available to assist at any time and answer questions.

Programme Chair for the evening was Rotarian Eileen Alford and the vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Gail Sampson.