Class VI (2008-2009)


10. Janelle Weissman

Sponsor Club: Smoky Hill, Colorado, District 5450, USA 

Host Club: Toowong

Janelle has twelve years' experience in fundraising, program management, Board and volunteer development, and philanthropy. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of two organisations: Social Venture Partners Boulder County (SVP), and the Rita and Harold Divine Foundation. Through SVP, Janelle facilitated grantmaking, coordinated capacity building projects, and provided training to nonprofits and donors alike to help increase their impact on communities promoting youth development and building bridges across cultures. At the Rita and Harold Divine Foundation, she worked with three generations to develop and implement a grantmaking strategy directing support to diverse nonprofits around the world, with a focus on peace and social justice. Janelle was a Colorado Trust Fellow, and received her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, USA, in 2001. 

She is a founding Board member and former Treasurer of the BlueFlower Project, which promotes and supports the election of progressive women candidates in local and state office in Colorado. She served for three years, the final year as Chair, of the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado's Community Funding Panel, awarding hundreds of diverse nonprofits across the state with several million dollars each year, highlighting the contributions gay men and lesbians make to improve the quality of life for youth and families across the state.

Janelle was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in Charleroi, Belgium from 1992-93, and a Group Study Exchange Participant in Thailand in 2004. Sponsored by Smoky Hill Rotary Club and District 5450, and hosted by Toowong Rotary Club and primary host counsellor Maida Baldwin and secondary host counsellors Bill and Diane Main, she is a Class VI Rotary World Peace Fellow.

Janelle completed her Applied Field Experience with the Conflict Transformation and Management Center of Shatil in Jerusalem, Israel. Shatil is a training and empowerment organisation offering technical assistance and consulting to strengthen grassroots social change organisations dedicated to justice and peace across Israel. While at Shatil, she helped develop a resource library for peace practitioners, and assisted with conflict transformation training for Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jewish-Israelis. Since April 2008, she has worked for the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology. She is currently on a team evaluating a large-scale capacity building grantmaking project of the Sidney Myer Fund, and mapping the social enterprise sector across Australia.

Janelle would like to thank the Rotary Foundation and individual Rotarians who have made the Rotary World Peace Fellowship possible. She would also like to thank faculty and staff at the University of Queensland for a thought-provoking course of study. Lastly, Janelle would like to thank family and friends from near and far, and especially her partner, Ralf, for all of their support during her studies, easing the transition to life and studies in Brisbane.