Rotary brings global movement to Mount Gambier streets

Rotary brings global movement to Mount Gambier streets

Hundreds of service club personnel descended on the Blue Lake city over the weekend for the 2024 Rotary District 9780 Conference.

The weekend started on Friday with an opening conference session at City Hall attended by around 200 Rotary Club members from almost 40 clubs across the district.

Rotary Club of Geelong Central members Safari Smith and Jed Castle emceed the opening event which included a Welcome to Country by Aunty Michelle Jacquelin-Furr, Welcome to Conference by District 9780 Governor Ian McKay and Welcome to Mount Gambier by Mayor Lynette Martin.

Mr McKay rang the Centenary Bell to officially open proceedings followed by bell manufacturer and Rotary Club of Warrnambool Daybreak member Chris Preston explaining the item’s origin.

Uncle Ken Jones delivered a keynote address about protecting the environment and the District 9780 Enviro Awards were presented by Rotary Club of Highton past president Barb 
Sheehan.

DFistrict 9780 Polio Plus Society Chair Gary Newton spoke about ending Polio which was followed by Rotary’s Walk to End Polio on Saturday morning by Rotary Club members at the Mount Gambier Railway Lands.

The rest of the conference took place at the Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre on Saturday and Sunday and included celebrating achievements and key note speakers.

A special event on Sunday was Olympian Natalie Cook OAM speaking to athletes from the Limestone Coast Regional Sporting Academy at the UniSA Mount Gambier Campus.

Mr McKay said it was an exceptionally successful weekend with a great atmosphere between the visiting Rotarians and five world class keynote speakers.

“Rotarians that visited commented on how much they enjoyed the conference and the speakers and our conference dinner on Saturday night was really outstanding,” he said.

“Our keynote speakers all were very well received.

Our last keynote speaker Professor Lorimer Moseley, who is a world renowned expert on pain management, was incredibly well received, people were just amazed at his presentation.

“On Saturday night at the conference dinner, five-time Olympian Natalie Cook OAM was incredibly impressive and then we followed up with a surprise performance by Michael Lapiña, one of Australia’s most world known opera singers.

“We had not let people know he was performing so he just started singing and it just blew people away and the response Saturday night could not have been better.

“I would like to thank local businesses who supported the conference in particular the City of Mount Gambier who were wonderfully supportive and also the Kosch family at The Commodore who were also wonderfully supportive but there were many other local businesses that assisted us in various ways as well.”

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