Our Leaders

 

Our leaders at Rotary exemplify all of the qualities that make our members extraordinary: integrity, expertise, and a commitment to service.

 
b33-263b4c-SteelBlue.png
 
 

Rotary is led by a diverse team. Whether developing Rotary policy, providing financial support, managing a global project, or advancing Rotary’s strategic plan, each member of the team is dedicated to helping our members connect and take action to create sustainable change.

 

 
 

District Leadership Team

59905980_2394828230563877_566943590106791936_o.jpg
 

District Governor:                                                                                  Michael COOKE

District Governor Elect:                                                                           Michael PLUNKETT

District Governor Nominee:                                                                  Heather CHONG

Immediate Past District Governor:                                                       Ross CARLYLE

District Secretary:                                                                                    Roslyn TEIRNEY

District Finance Manager:                                                                       Bruce BUXTON

District Learning and Development Coordinator:                              Gerard BLIZZARD

Assistant Governor - Group 1:                                                               Marion COOPER

Assistant Governor - Group 2:                                                               Peter MORGAN

Assistant Governor - Group 3:                                                               Biddy FISK

Assistant Governor - Group 4:                                                               Brett WILLIAMS

Assistant Governor - Group 5:                                                               David ANNEAR

Assistant Governor - Group 6:                                                               Gayle PLUNKETT

Assistant Governor - Group 7:                                                               Nigel PEDLEY

Director - Membership:                                                                           Jodie LOWE

Director - Public Image:                                                                          Courtney GREISBACH

Director - Service Projects:                                                                      John DARE

Director - Youth Projects:                                                                       Liz BULMAN

Director - Vocational Projects:                                                               Dennis DWYER

Director - The Rotary Foundation:                                                        Peter MURFETT     

Key District Officers

District Rotaract Representative: Holly CORBETT

District Insurance Officer:                                                                      Paul SWIFTE

District Protection Officer:                                                                     David CHAMBERS

District Legal Officer:                                                                              Ross HART

District Webmaster:                                                                                Luke MITCHELL-COLLINS

District Photographers:                                                                          Rod OLIVER, Mike QUINN

District Social Media Officer:                                                                 David CHAMBERS

District Weekly News Editor:                                                                 Paul FERNYHOUGH

District Governor

Michael Cooke

Michael and Corrina have lived at Pontville, Tasmania for the past 18 years. Michael joined Rotary in 1999 at the invitation of PDG Campbell Gunn. Michael is married to Corrina and they have 3 adult children.

Michael was born in Bathurst NSW and matriculated from High School in Cowra NSW. Michael completed tertiary education in Canberra and insurance diploma courses through external studies via Deakin University.

Michael came to live in Tasmania in 1987, whilst employed with the Health Insurance Commission.

Michael’s first Rotary District role was with Youth Exchange. He has been involved over many years in organising RYPEN activities and selecting NYSF candidates for conferences, was appointed to the District committee for Rotaract in 2011, and started a Northern Suburbs group of Rotaract in 2012. Michael was principally involved in resurrecting Rotary in the Derwent Valley Tasmania, with the Rotary Club of the Derwent Valley starting in 2012.

Michael has practiced as an Insurance loss adjuster for 26 years and previously worked in the accounting industry, and investigating various Government fraud cases across most states of Australia with the AFP and Health Insurance Commission.

Michael and Corrina ran their own successful Loss Adjusting business for 18 year, starting offices in NSW and Tasmania, before merging with a national group in 2009. Michael is now self employed as a contract Loss Adjuster and Corrina (a claims specialist) is a consultant with an international Broking firm.

Michael holds qualifications in accounting, commerce, general insurance and loss adjusting. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Chartered Loss Adjusters (AICLA) and a Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF), and holds a national advisory role on the ANZIIF Claims Faculty Advisory Board.

Michael’s principal interest is his family, followed by his friends and Rotary. He has a particular liking for nature documentaries, British police TV dramas and sport. Michael is an avid Harley Davidson owner and rider having ridden all of Tasmania, most of Victoria, SA, Southern NSW, the North Island of New Zealand and Route 66 USA, a lot with Corrina as pillion. Michael also enjoys AFL, Rugby League, Rugby Union and Taekwondo.

 

District Governor Elect

Michael Plunkett

Michael and Gayle are members of the Rotary Club of Deloraine where they have lived since 2013.

Prior to living in Tasmania they lived in Cairns Far North Queensland for 17 years and for 21 years in Brisbane before that.

Gayle and Michael met at Queensland University where both were studying Architecture. Upon graduating in 1981, Gayle worked as an Architect in Brisbane while Michael decided to pursue a career in the Building Industry.

Michael has worked for a number of major house builders during his career and operated his own house building company from 1985 to 1995.

In 1993 they welcomed their only son, Connal, to the family. He works as a cinematographer currently living in Brisbane. In 1996 they moved to Cairns to pursue new opportunities with Michael still working in the home building industry and Gayle working as a sole practitioner Architect.

Their first visit to Tasmania was in 1983/4 when Gayle and Michael attended the Australian Rover Scout Moot at Gowrie Park.

Their love affair with Tasmania had begun and over the next 20 years they were regular visitors to the State.

In 2007 a holiday house (shack) was purchased near Liffey Falls. They subsequently relocated to Tasmania in 2013 and settled in Deloraine at their ‘forever’ home.

Michael embarked on a new career path in 2005 embracing the emerging profession of building energy efficiency assessment establishing a consultancy to the building industry working for the Housing Industry Association and Master Builders. He also trains the next generation of builders by sharing over 30 years of experience.

Gayle works as a Heritage Architecture consultant to the World Heritage listed Woolmer’s Estate and a range of private clients.

Michael and Gayle’s journey in Rotary started in Brisbane in 1993 where they were Charter Members of the Rotary Club of Sumner Park. Michael served as President of the Summer Park Club for 6 months in 1995/6. In Cairns they joined the Rotary Club of Cairns Mulgrave. Michael served as Club Service Director, Treasurer, Secretary and was President in 2004/5. Gayle also enjoyed serving in a number of roles.

Having hosted six students over the years, the Youth Exchange program is a priority for them.

Both Gayle and Michael were awarded a PHF in 2006. Michael continues his support of the Rotary Foundation as a member of the Paul Harris Society. Gayle and Michael are also Benefactors to the Rotary Foundation.

Michael has served as Assistant Governor Group 4 for 2016/17 & 2017/18 and is Service Projects Director for 2018/19.

Outside of their business activities Gayle and Michael love to escape to the shack at Liffey whenever they can which is unfortunately not often. While Michael is a long-term Richmond fan, both are members of the Brisbane Lions. Both prefer train travel and have a number of trips in Australia and overseas under their belt already with more to come in the future. 

 

District Governor Nominee

Heather Chong

Heather and Chris have lived on their apricot orchard outside Richmond for the last 20 years. Heather joined Rotary in 2008. Heather and Chris have two adult children, Alistair and Philippa, who both work in Hobart.

Heather and Chris previously lived in Singapore and Hong Kong (where Chris and both children were born). They met when working for Ernst and Young in London and are both Chartered Accountants by training, although neither work directly in the industry any longer. They moved to Hobart in 1999 to set up the apricot orchard which has 48,500 apricot trees and was the largest family owned apricot orchard in the southern hemisphere. Chris runs a financial architect business out of Singapore and spends half the year there. Heather has run the orchard as well as being a Company Director and Alderman (now Deputy Mayor) for Clarence City Council since 2009.

Heather holds qualifications in accounting and an MBA and is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has served as an AICD Tasmanian Council member for 9 years as well as serving on a number of Boards and organisations where she usually ends up as Treasurer! Currently Heather is on the Boards of Palliative Care Tasmania and the Story Island Project as well as being involved in a number of Council committees and other organisations such as the Richmond Village Fair organising committee and landcare.

Heather has served as President of the Rotary Club of Hobart in 2013-14 and has been Club Treasurer since November 2016. She has been District History Officer for the past three years. She is a passionate supporter of the Foundation and was recognised as a Major Donor in 2016.

In her spare time, Heather reads and knits and one day wants to do a PhD. The family are enthusiastic travellers and they try to go somewhere different every year for a holiday. The international theme also features in Christmas lunches where they have a different themed cuisine every year. Chris is an enthusiastic cook and takes on the challenge of choosing a different country to find and cook food from.

Some of you may have noticed Heather’s email signature:

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.
Under the shelter of each other, people survive.

This isn’t hiding a capacity in Irish language but an underlying philosophy. The saying can also mean – it is in each other’s shadow that people live - but, more broadly, invokes a sense of community and interdependence. This feeling of inter-connectedness and responsibility for each other is something Heather is passionate about in her Rotary, and daily, life.