Rotary takes aim at youth
GIDGEGANNUP father-of-five Stephen Inouye is on a mission to encourage young people to share their skills with communities at home and abroad.
The new president of the Rotary Club of Perth is bringing the Hills and the City branches together through a project providing work to Cambodian families for Perth’s homeless people.
“Our partnership with the Rotary Club of Swan Districts in their Stitches of Hope project will see Cambodian seamstresses sew 500 sleeping bags for the homeless in Perth,” he said.
He said Rotary hoped to engage a younger generation in the project, culminating in a team trip to Cambodia in October.
“Rotary offers young people experiences in community service, along with many other opportunities including courses in public speaking and orienteering,” he said.
“We’d like to grow the organisation and set up an eRotary Club to connect more electronically with younger people.”
Mr Inouye moved to Australia from the US in 2000 after 10 years of military service.
He is the managing director of Veritas Engineering Group and under his guidance the company has received national awards and commendations, including the 2011 Telstra Business Award Winner WA (Micro Business) and 2016 Telstra Business Awards Finalist WA (Small Business).
Last year he played a pivotal role in helping establish the Reflections through Reality Foundation, which partnered Perth Rotary in raising more than $50,000 to find a cure for mesothelioma.
The foundation was inspired by the family of Helena Valley retired builder Barry Knowles, who survived the disease for more than a decade to the amazement of the medical world.
Mr Knowles passed away on Christmas Eve last year but donated his lungs and other organs for scientists to continue their research into finding a vaccine for the disease.
“The experience of bringing Rotary together with the Knowles’ family to try find a cure for this insidious disease made me realise – more than ever – why organisations like Rotary are so important to communities,” Mr Inouye said.