At the recent District Conference, it was announced that the District Governor for 2018-19 would be Brian Coffey from the Rotary Club of East Maitland. Here we get to know who he and his wife, Carol is.
 
Tell me about yourself
Born and raised in Newcastle, 1 0f 10 children. I was educated at Hamilton Marist Brothers and Newcastle Boys High.
 
I moved to Maitland with my partner Carol in 1979 for work reasons and married in 1982. We have 2 married boys and 2 grandchildren.
 
In 1985 I joined the NSW Police Force. Posted to Maitland, I served in General Duties and Highway Patrol prior to a serious accident in 1987 during a high speed pursuit when I hit a telegraph pole at 165km/h. I then had roles as Maitland’s first male Domestic Violence Officer, then Beat Police, Intelligence Officer, General Duty Sergeant, before a transfer to Beresfield Police Station prior to it becoming obsolete. I was seconded to the role of Crime Prevention Officer and assisting the Licencing Officer.
 
After a workplace accident I was medically retired in August 2013.
 
What are your interests
My interest is muscle cars; I own a genuine Falcon GTHO, #001 Tickford TS50 made for Australian Cricket captain Mark ‘Tubby’ Taylor and a one owner 1971 Falcon.
 
I played Rugby League up to and including 1st grade senior level  - until a game against Kurri Kurri convinced me I was not going to survive in the front row. We have always been an active family supporting our children through competitive swimming, cycling and triathlon. Today Carol likes to get us away camping if we are not helping our children with renovations or Rotary projects; we also have travelled extensively through Australia, numerous remote Pacific islands, USA, England and backpacked through many European countries.
 
What made you join Rotary?
I joined Rotary after being invited as a guest speaker to a couple of local clubs – Earl Morris from East Maitland convinced me to come and see what it was about. With no knowledge of Rotary, it was the friendship offered by the members and partners that enticed us.
 
What Rotary experience do you have
- At Club level
At Club level I have served two terms as President (2005 – District Governor Michael McNamara & 2013 District Governor Brian Atkins), Secretary, International Service, Vocational Services, Youth Service (several terms), Youth Exchange Program Counsellor, Youth Exchange selection panel, and Community Service. I regularly conduct fine sessions and am one of the Facebook administrators.
 
ROMAC (Rotary Oceanic Medical Aid for Children) Coordinator – Charlies Angels (Talipes patient form Tanna Island). Host family for Charlie and his mother while in Australia, followed up visit and arranged for education fund which is being done through members of Rotary Club of East Maitland. Organised for Blue Mountains Sunrise Club to install of solar power to village on Tanna Island with support of RC Singleton on Hunter and District 9670 ROMAC. 
 
We have hosted numerous youth exchange students, while our son Deon went on a short term exchange to Mauritius. Both boys attended RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), where Deon met his wife. Deon is a member of Greenhills - Maitland.
 
I am active in all our fundraising and community projects (Mother’s Day Flowers, Graffiti Removal Team, BBQ team, garden party catering, Windsor Castle meat raffles, Steamfest, Groovin The Moo and the Morpeth Motorama) enough to round out a hectic club year.   
 
I have a majority years of 100% attendance since 2000; I have introduced 3 members to Rotary and encouraged my son to join Rotary Club Greenhills Maitland.
 
- District
At District level I have been involved in administrative level with RAWCS, DIK, ROMAC, Youth Exchange and RYDA.
RAWCS
  • D9670 International Service Director & RAWCS Chairman
  • Hosted Eastern Region RAWCS Conference - 2015
  • RAWCS / RABS presentations – District Conference 2015 & 2016
DIK Coordinator
  • management of medical/educational surplus throughout the region.
ROMAC
  • Coordinated ‘Project Charlies Angels’  - Talipes treatment at John Hunter Hospital
  • Organised and coordinated the Roger Woodward Fundraising ROMAC concert in Maitland
  • Assistant to Lyn Thorpe ROMAC chair 
Youth Exchange
  • German YEO
  • Coordinating and choreographing several YEP Conference presentations
  • Chaperone Capricorn Ramble 2005
  • Today I brief the incoming students on their legal obligations in Australia
I have assisted and participated in the following District programs
  • RYLA - Panel participant on law segment
  • RYPEN – Catering & recommending 2 participants – one who went on to be Maitland Youth of the Year
  • Dream Cricket - assisted with special children at Hunter River School
  • RYDA - Involved in consultation with RYDA in bringing the program to D9670 in 2009. Participating  in several practical and presentation segments hosted by Paterson Rotary Club
  • Shelter Box - commenced a Shelter Box Fundraiser ($4000)          
  • Child Protection - On initial D9670 Child Protection committee with Kerry Morrissey – impractical to remain due to my career (mandatory reporter)
  • Science and Engineering Challenge - Assistant
  • GSE - Host family – 2 times; supported 2 Rotarians in team leader applications and nominated a successful team member
 
Rotary Awards (PHF)
I am a Paul Harris Fellow + 3 Sapphire
        - 2 presented by Rotary Club of East Maitland
        - 1 presented by 3 members of a club committee
        - 1 presented by President John Compton and his wife Robyn
 
Carol is also a Paul Harris Fellow + Sapphire
         - 1 presented by Rotary Club of East Maitland
         - 1 presented by President John Compton and his wife Robyn
 
Why did you decide to be DG
I have lived a life of service through the Police Force; I forfeited promotional prospects with the NSW Police Force due to a commitment to keep my children in one school and one area. Rotary allows me to achieve personal fulfilment doing something that I enjoy in serving the community, a successful DG tenure will be my legacy.
 
What was Carol's reaction to the nomination and deciding to go for DG
In gifting a PHF to Carol, she was described by President John Compton, as ‘the best Rotarian that he has seen who is not a Rotarian’; her commitment and support to Rotary is acknowledged and respected throughout the District. We are a team, the gracious congratulations from within the District and others in the Eastern Region has reinforced her supportive decision.
 
Did you expect to be successful at DG nomination?
This was not my first effort; not knowing the applicants, and seeing the calibre of District Governors and Rotarians within District 670 you could never be sure of success. However, I felt my credentials, service and support of my wife would make me a formidable applicant.
 
Do you have anything else to add
The congratulations and support from members, partners and friends has been continual and overwhelming – this only inspires me to deliver for the members, clubs and District.
 
I look forward to representing and supporting the clubs of District 9670, encouraging a paradigm of friendship and fun.