Rearrangement between Districts 70 and 69 has meant that the Southern Division of D69 has lost Areas 17 and 30, which took in the geographical areas in NSW from the border down to Grafton and out west to Casino. Personally I have “lost” many of my friends and mentors from down south. But they are not truly lost. We now have the opportunity to work with the Northern Division of D70, combining ideas between “them” and “us”. This will be productive for us all.

Last year’s Division Conference was held in Ballina, now in D70, as a good-bye gesture. Of course at the May D69 Convention the re-arrangement was formalised and we bid farewell to Areas 17, 30 and 25 from the Western Division of D69. A fortnight later a group of us travelled to Sydney for D70’s annual convention where the new Areas were heartily welcomed.

There are many opportunities for growth and education within Southern Division. Other than three clubs in Area 23, which straddles the NSW/Queensland border, we no longer have the time difference issue when planning functions during the NSW daylight saving months. We can now concentrate educational programs centrally to the Division rather than having one for each.

With five dedicated Area Governors I see the Division growing in membership and strengthening with our TLI co-ordinator developing new training sessions for members. There will be an ongoing push to encourage members to have inter-club visits so members can see the bigger Toastmaster world.

Area 6 has 7 clubs and a growth of 9 members this year, Area 23 with 4 clubs, Area 24 with 5 clubs and a growth of 3, Area 34, 5 clubs and growth of 11 and Area 35, 5 clubs and a growth of 7 new members. My goal is to have weaker clubs strengthened. We currently have at least one new club in formation with a charter date of October 1 set.

By the time this article is printed we will have had our Division Judges Training day. Our Area governors are all working hard, reports have been produced, budgets set and venues for the conferences booked. I look forward to an enjoyable year where I can not only grow, but I can see the Division grow to support the District Strategy.

Ian McLaren DTM

Southern Division Governor