Moruya’s first female Rotary president

Women are putting their mark on Moruya, according to Clare Hack, who is the first woman to take the reins of the town’s Rotary club.With the local government elections looming and more women being encouraged to stand for council, the Bingi resident has been elected as Moruya Rotary Club’s first ever female president.Heading up the once all-male club, Ms Hack says women are now putting “their stamp on history”.“In Moruya, we’re making our stamp as well,” she said.Ms Hack took over aspresident last week, after being elected at the club’s annual general meeting late last year.She has been the club’s secretary for three years and found it hard to hold back her excitement at being the first ever female president of the club.“I was surprised, I never expected it!” she said.Ms Hack is one of five female Moruya Rotarians, who work alongside about 50 men.However, this doesn’t faze her in the slightest.“The role of women has changed so much in the community,” she said.“When my mother was a young girl, women didn’t go to work. But now we have a woman Prime Minister, and we have women in very important roles in Australia.“I think women are the backbone of every community and you have to promote yourself.”She said more women were needed in leadership roles, including on Eurobodalla Shire Council.“Women think differently to men and I think they’re more flexible on some issues, and sometimes they’re a little bit more driven,” she said.“I think it’s because women have had to fight to get to where they are.“I think they value the role that they’re in, I certainly do! I never dreamt I would be doing what I’m doing today.”Ms Hack has a list of goals for the year ahead for the Rotary Club – the biggest is attracting some new members, including younger men and women.“We would like to invite more women into the club,” she said, “but finding women to join Rotary is difficult.“There is a perception that it is a men’s club.”However, she says this is not the case.When she joined in 2009, there were only two other women in the club but it didn’t feel strange.“They’re a very friendly bunch of people,” she said. “I was made very welcome and I was included in everything.”Ms Hack joined the club two years after her husband, a former Rotarian, passed away.“I used to be a partner of a Rotarian,” she said. “The club gave me so much support at a time when I really needed it.”When she joined, she was determined to give something back.“I have found this whole process very stimulating and it has made a difference in my life.”While she doesn’t have a “favourite” Rotary project to focus on during the next 12 months, she does have a soft spot for the Shelterboxes, which Rotary sends to disaster areas around the world.The club is also in the process of getting a “wishing well” people can use to donate to local projects, including the refurbishment of the Moruya Oncology Ward and scholarships for local youth.However, she said local help doesn’t stop there.“If people in the community are aware of a need in the community, they should contact the Moruya Rotary Club and we’ll look at it,” she said.“Sometimes we can [help], sometimes we can’t.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.