Tacking Point Lions Club, Bob Forster

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Tacking Point Lions Club has been providing service to the Port Macquarie community and beyond for over 21 years. From supporting the leaders of tomorrow through our youth programs, to rallying together in times of natural disaster, Lions are making a huge difference in our community. Current president Bob Forster talks to us about Lions’ role in the community and the projects they work on.

You’re the current president of the Lions Club; how long have you been involved with the club, and what are your responsibilities?

I have been in Lions for nine years; the last two years have been with Tacking Point Lions. My wife, who is also a Lion, and I moved down from Armidale in March 2017. When looking into which Lions Club to transfer to, we had very clear views as to the sort of club we were looking for – that is, a Lions Club that was active in the community, strong and vibrant. We were told that we should consider Tacking Point Lions Club, as it was very energetic. We discovered that this was an understatement.

A Club President is akin to the Chief Executive Officer, maintaining good governance. I preside at all meetings of the board of directors and the club. I also have a duty to issue the call for regular meetings and appoint the committees of the club, while cooperating with chairpersons to ensure regular functioning and reporting of such committees.

I believe that it is important to appreciate that the Club President has no absolute authority. The President’s authority to act comes from directives from the board of directors and the members. However, most importantly, the Club President leads and guides the club as part of a team that includes the Vice-Presidents, the Club Secretary and Treasurer.

How does the Lions Club help our community, and who benefits? 

Tacking Point Lions Club has been providing service to the Port Macquarie
community and beyond for over 21 years. The club has always been immersed in community initiatives and has cooperated with and
assisted, many local organisations. In addition to serving locally, we support five global service areas: the environment, diabetes, childhood cancer, vision, and hunger.

Our strength comes from our members, who are just ordinary people doing extraordinary things – supporting people with a disability, community greening, fundraising for worthwhile causes, just to name a few. Also, in part, our strength comes from the fact that Tacking Point Lions Club is a part of the larger Lions Australia and Lions International

What community projects does the club get involved in, and what are you looking for when you take on a new project?

The types are projects that we get involved with are many and varied; by way of example, Gaol Point, Exercise Stations on the Doctors Walk, Lighthouse Beach Park, gardening service to the Women’s and Children’s Refuge, provision of university scholarships to disadvantaged local students, the GEM Ward Garden and the Paediatric Therapy Playground at Port Macquarie Hospital, just to name a few. 

We look for projects that are within our capabilities and are locally based that will add value to our community as a whole. We like partnering with other groups within the community, such as Coastal Warriors, headspace etc.

What makes the lions club different from other organisations, and how do you see the club growing/expanding in the future?

Firstly, 100 per cent of all funds raised by Lions, regardless of the appeal, is put back into the community. Lions have a proud history of achievement and helping the neediest in the community. Think about disasters like the
current drought and the Queensland floods; Lions were there helping in practical ways.  Think about the Bionic ear, the Cervical Cancer vaccine Gardasil, Fred Hollows; Lions were there in the early days funding research and health strategies, long before they became household names. Think too, about the local parks, monuments, sporting centres and facilities built by Lions Clubs; built by people who saw a need and got down to the job of meeting that need, with their ideas, skills and labour.

Our club will continue to grow by partnering with other community groups and taking on projects that are relevant to the community, such as our Koala Smart project. The Koala Smart project is a good example of us partnering with others in the community. 

What type of people are your members, and how can new people get involved?

Our members come from all walks of life, including agriculture, education, business, health, public service, construction, technology and many others. 

As a member of Tacking Point Lions Club, you will find that there is a variety of club projects that enable all members to be involved and to contribute only as much time as they have available. 

I am saying that if you are new to the Port Macquarie area, then volunteering is a great way of contributing to your local community and giving something back, as well as learning more about it.

If we have an idea for a project, how can we let you know about it?

We love to hear from the community; the best way to do this is via email at
tackingpoint@lionsdistrict201n1.org.au or if you see us out and about, just come and talk to us.

Thanks Bob.

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