Josephine Falzarano is the newly elected president of the Rotary Club of Woodend. She spoke with Oliver Lees
What is your connection to Sunbury and the Macedon Ranges?
I moved to Victoria from Adelaide in 1984. I lived and worked in Traralgon and Shepparton before settling in Woodend in 1987. I love living in the Macedon Ranges and commuting to Melbourne CBD for work.
I’m a mother and a grandmother with first-hand migration and settlement experience. As such I understand the issues which confront people in day-to-day living, and the systems that guide, influence and direct those quality-of-life experiences.
Can you tell me a bit about the work the Rotary Club does?
Rotary is a worldwide network of inspired men and women who translate their passions into relevant social causes to improve lives. I joined the Rotary Club of Woodend in 2012, a few years before retirement. I have since served on the board as club treasurer, community services director and now as president. I’ve also served as assistant governor for Rotary’s District 9800, which refers to the geographic boundary that includes about 63 clubs in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Rotary is a great organisation. Rotary International rises to the challenges of global needs, be it to assist the poorer and isolated parts of the world or just respond and assist with natural or made disasters. I do believe that the projects that we facilitate bring hope and opportunity to so many people.
I feel honoured to be chosen to lead the club during the next Rotary year.
What other experience do you have in community development?
Now retired, I’ve spent most of my professional life working in community development with a commitment to improving women’s and youth welfare in diverse communities. I have served on various advisory boards, including Regional TAFE Boards and the state government Regional Consultative Council, giving voice to the rural perspective so often omitted in urban based formulas.
What do you enjoy about your involvement with the Rotary Club?
Being a Rotarian means representing a group of people that gives meaning to our motto ‘service above self‘. It also provides me the opportunity to reflect and measure my own values and principles and how effectively I apply them in everything I do in life.
I feel more connected since joining Rotary. I’ve made lifelong friends and now I fill my days with purpose. Being a Rotarian is a global identity that I am proud to be associated with. I have gained a deeper understanding of international and humanitarian Issues, I have been introduced to many dedicated people with interesting and diverse life experiences, who are committed to make our community here and around the world better.
I would encourage everyone to look them up, find your nearest local club and make the call, you will never look back.