Home » Lions Australia’s first Multiple District Council chairwoman: Kim Forrest

Lions Australia’s first Multiple District Council chairwoman: Kim Forrest

Daniel Bouwmeester    November 8, 2023    6 min read   

Monthly ‘Community Hero’ Spotlight

by Nayda Hernandez

Lions members past and present will be very excited to read that past Council Chairperson Kim Forrest is stepping up to create a Lions Club in the Greater Springfield area.

She has always had a soft spot for the Greater Springfield community, having a strong track record of helping residents.

Improving the lives of individuals and helping organisations reach their goal are only a couple of reasons why she has devoted countless nights for over 20 years attending Lions Club meetings across Queensland.

As a mum, she has experienced first-hand the joy of involving her family.

Kim explains why “teaching them the true meaning of service to others” means so much to her – and the community.

When she isn’t volunteering in the community, she is focused on her 6 children and 14 grandchildren who all enjoy receiving special gifts made just for them. Her caring nature, passion for life and love for her family see her enjoying the occasional swim and doing crafts of all kinds especially machine embroidery and sewing. No matter how busy the day has been, it was lovely to hear that she has enjoyed sharing a cup of tea and a sneaky chocolate with her husband.

It was an absolute honour to interview Kim who embodies the spirit of a Lion – she can help anyone that needs support to overcome a challenge with mobility, bravery and without fear and discuss how she plans to contribute to the Greater Springfield community by establishing several clubs in the area.

Q: Why is being a Lions Club member so important to you and the community?

A: When I joined Lions International over 23 years ago, I enjoyed just being a member, doing projects as they came up and enjoying the friendship of like-minded members.

As the years passed though I felt that I would like to do more and become more.

Lions International offers members all sorts of leadership courses, this is where I started my journey. Not only was this a journey as a Lions member, but it was also a journey to becoming a stronger and more confident person in myself.

I have been involved with membership services in the district for quite some time now and believe that together we can get these ideas and others happening.

There are so many people in every community that need someone who cares. We need to be that person, we need to come together now, and we need to serve. “We serve” is in fact the Lions motto.

Even in our busy lives we can find time as a group to do good, one person can make a difference but together we can change so much more.

Q: What is a Lions Club achievement that has inspired the next generation of Lion’s members?

A: In 2018, I had the honour of becoming the 201Q1 District Governor, serving my full one-year term from July to the following June.

Multiple District 201 – colloquially known as Lions Australia – is the coordinating and administrative body for the 19 Lions Districts in Australia, of which 201Q1 is the Brisbane district.

I then had the greater honour of being elected by my fellow District Governors to become the first woman to serve as Australia’s Multiple District Council Chairperson – another year-long tenure.

The Multiple District Council itself is responsible for moving motions that originate in overseas Lions bodies and applying them to our service in Australia.

We have come a long way since women in Australia were first permitted to join the Lions as members in 1987.

I never expected anything in return for many hours of volunteering and making the lives of others better. However, life sometimes puts wonderful opportunities in front of you. I’m pleased that I accepted these roles as it is one more step of seeing more women in leadership roles. Another love of mine is also setting up new multicultural Lions clubs. I would love seeing women from diverse backgrounds put their hands up for leadership roles.

It can be scary to take on leadership roles, however, being kind has no language barrier. It brings me so much joy to see people not let their disability, language, colour or gender get in the way of helping each other.

Q: What is a current project you are working on in the Greater Springfield area?

A: As the former charter member of the Greater Springfield Lions Club, I’m currently working on establishing a new Greater Springfield Lions club. It is important to me, and residents, in that they have Lions clubs to serve the community.

My passion is to form not only one club but several in this area, all supporting different needs. That’s why I’m happy to meet with anyone who is interested.

Q: What are some of the projects you like the club to deliver?

A: Some of my favourite projects include free family friendly movie nights, medical research, humanitarian causes, environmental projects, however, the most rewarding was helping individual families who needed financial assistance. I would be happy to hear other ideas, where there’s a need, there is a Lion’s Club to help.

My thoughts are to form a Fathers Club – fathers supporting fathers, day to day – inspired by local Men’s Sheds, an All-Abilities Lions Club, supporting young people with disabilities to do more and become more, and a Caring for Kids Club, supporting young carers in the community and the Brisbane area with ‘Joy Boxes’ – a toy box just for them to say ‘thank you’.

Bringing people together to help each other is a passion that I would love others to experience.

I thank Paul and Local News Publications for the opportunity to let the community know about these wonderful community projects.

If you would like to make our community an even better place to live – for all of us – please email Kim at kimforrest28@hotmail.com.

For more information about Kim’s local Lions district, visit lions201q1.org.au.

See also: Researchers seek over 65s to test heat warning system

Researchers seek over 65s to test heat warning system

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.