Downtown Auckland Rotary President for 2023-24 is James Billing.
James was born and spent his youth in Zimbabwe, and considers himself a "child of Africa".
His original exposure to Rotary was by joining and becoming President of his School's Interact Club, following which he was selected for a Rotary Youth Exchange to Germany in 2000 - 2001.
After moving to NZ, he was a founding charter member of the Rotaract club of Auckland and became a Rotarian in 2013 while living in Rotorua before transferring his membership from Rotorua Sunrise to Downtown in 2015.
James was drawn to his career in Hotel Management, as he always found hotels to be unique places where every day the hotel was a "new place" to the people who arrived that day. That challenge led him to a career in hotels and hospitality. Working in Hotel Management reinforces for him the concept that "every day is a new day", and he is motivated to provide a welcoming, safe and comfortable place for people to stay.
If James could change one thing in the world it would be reducing complexity (and stress) in the world derived from what he considers to be "the distractions caused by the internet". He thinks that the ease of accessing information electronically has affected our natural curiosity and willingness to hear other points of view, both of which he sees as critical to a successful global community where everyone can prosper. 
In his presidential year at Downtown Rotary, James would like the Club to increase its capacity to do good in the world. James says: "It’s no secret Rotary and service clubs appear to be in decline but their relevance to society and individuals couldn’t be more important than it is presently, we do need to create hope in the world."
In his view Membership of the Club is a great opportunity to enhance an individual's personal reach by connecting with an organisation that has global reach and that is capable of making a significant difference to people and communities around the world. He notes that "Rotary can be everything you want it to be; it really just depends on the journey you want and the impact you want to make in this world.
James advice for potential new members of Rotary is: "to attend meetings, talk to the existing members, and once you've found your place by getting involved in the power of Rotary; you can make a positive difference to your life and the community you live in."