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Ian H. S. Riseley
President, 2017-18
Rotary International

Rotary Club of Sandringham
Victoria, Australia

Ian H.S. Riseley is a chartered accountant and principal of Ian Riseley and Co., a firm he established in 1976. Prior to starting his own firm, he worked in the audit and management consulting divisions of large accounting firms and corporations. His firm specializes in income tax and management advice for individuals and small businesses. He has a master’s degree in taxation law and graduate diplomas in accounting and income tax.

Riseley has been a member of the boards of both a private and a public school, a member of the Community Advisory Group for the City of Sandringham, and involved in Sea Scouts and sporting groups, as well as honorary auditor or adviser for a number of charitable organizations.

Riseley’s honors include the AusAID Peacebuilder Award from the Australian government in recognition of his work in East Timor, the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian community, the Distinguished Service Award and the Regional Service Award for a Polio-Free World from The Rotary Foundation.

A Rotarian since 1978, Riseley has served as treasurer, director, Foundation trustee, and member and chair of numerous RI and Foundation committees.

He and his wife, Juliet, a past district governor, are Major Donors and Bequest Society members of The Rotary Foundation. They live on seven hectares at Moorooduc, where they practice their personal philosophy of sustainable and organic living. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Find 2017-18 theme and logo materials

Watch the president-elect's theme speech

Since 1949, Rotary International has had an annual theme, which focuses our activities as Rotarians for that year. This is more for internal use than for the general public, for whom Service Above Self is a constant explanation of what drives us.

How did our 2017/18 theme of Rotary: Making a Difference come about? It seems to me that it represents what Rotary is and Rotary does, every day and in many ways. All those people who benefit from our great programs appreciate that Rotary exists to make a difference.

Further, Rotary makes a difference to ourselves as Rotarians. We are improved as people by following the guiding principles that come from our mission statement and the Object of Rotary. The world is a better place because of Rotary making a difference!

People have asked me for the rationale behind the logo that has been designed for 2017/18.

I start by paying credit to Jane DeMoss and a talented team at the Secretariat who provided me with a multitude of options and then continued to refine them based on thoughts and comments until we agreed on the final design. This was not a simple process and received significant and vital input from Juliet, our aides Don and Carolyn, and my executive assistant Kari.

I love the final design, but realize that it is rather abstract in nature. So what does it mean to me?

It symbolizes diversity, with people from all races and backgrounds uniting under the banner of Rotary to make a difference.

It symbolizes all of us striving to do better, reaching ever higher to do good in the world, in the name of Rotary. Even those of us who are modest in our achievements can, when combined with 1.2 million colleagues, contribute to making a difference, in our own communities and more globally.

The circle shows that we are in almost all parts of the globe. It is a busy and active design, just as Rotary is busy and active.

Finally, the design of the tie and scarf for 2017/18. One of the pleasures I have enjoyed since I was quite young is growing things, especially Australian Native plants.

The Australian floral emblem is a wattle, and the flower of that plant is a small yellow ball, which is represented on the tie and scarf. In addition, the oblong shapes represent the leaves of a gum tree, which is the dominant type of tree in Australia.

The combination of the flower and the leaf gives the basis of the design. I again pay tribute to Jane and her colleagues for the final design and Juliet, Carolyn, Don, and Kari for their input.

I hope this insight helps you encourage Rotarians in your district to make a difference through Rotary in the year ahead. Remember, I’m counting on all of you, as members of the team.


Ian H.S. Riseley
President, Rotary International 2017-18