New era for Rotary club

NEW ERA: New Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst president Cathie Miller with wife of past president, Barb Mitchell, and former president Doug Lougoon at Friday night's handover dinner.  Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

NEW ERA: New Rotary Club of Bendigo Sandhurst president Cathie Miller with wife of past president, Barb Mitchell, and former president Doug Lougoon at Friday night's handover dinner. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Bendigo Sandhurst president named

Less than five years after joining the Bendigo Sandhurst Rotary Club, Cathie Miller has been inducted as the group's newest president.

Ms Miller joined the presidential ranks at a handover ceremony on Friday night.

The Rotarian said she was looking forward to bringing a new energy to the club and championing its projects.

"I thought it was time for me to challenge myself and give it a go," Ms Miller said.

"We have a very active club and we do a lot of projects. I think it was about $65,000 that we gave away to different groups in the last 12 months.

"Two years ago we developed a three-year strategic plan for the club, so we'll be working through that and continuing the projects we have been doing very successfully."

I thought it was time for me to challenge myself and give it a go. - Cathie Miller

The registered nurse joined Rotary about four-and-a-half years ago to try and make a difference in people's lives.

During Ms Miller's service, the club has helped organise Australia Day celebrations, Easter markets and the Bendigo Business Excellence awards, as well as swap meets with other Bendigo Rotary clubs.

Most recently, members have been working with East Timorese groups to establish a meals-on-wheels program for at-risk elderly and young people in Bendigo's sister city Maubisse.

"I used to be in Rotaracts, a Rotary-sponsored club for younger people, and found myself in a point in my life I wanted to start doing service work again," Ms Miller said.

"We're very privileged and very lucky in Australia. A lot of people just don't have the same opportunities as we do, even with simple things like access to food, shelter and clean water - the basics in life.

"I just want to help people to improve the quality of life for people who don't have it as good as us.

"One person on their own can't do much, but when you get involved in an organisation like Rotary you have so much more power and there so much more you can do."

Acting immediate past president Doug Lougoon took up the acting president mantle after illness forced last year's president Dowell Mitchell to step aside.

Mr Lougon said he had relished his time at the club's helm.

"It's a great club, we have nearly 60 members and they all put in and made my time as acting president very enjoyable," Mr Lougoon said.

"Cathie has been a member for the past few years and will make a great president.

"We're also looking forward to our past president coming back to us fit and well."

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