Rotary clubs drawn to conference

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

More than 260 Rotarians are expected to descend on Geraldton this weekend for the 2018 District Conference.

Starting tonight, the conference is for Rotary District 9455, the biggest district in Australia, encompassing most of the State.

The three-day conference will feature more than 15 speakers and a number of showcases highlighting Rotary projects locally, nationally and around the world.

In a letter on the conference website, Rotary International president Ian Riseley said the event was a chance for the service clubs’ members to come together.

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“Each district conference is a great opportunity to meet other committed Rotarians,” he said.

“And learn how, through hard work and dedication, we will accomplish great things together.”

This isn’t the first time the conference has been held in Geraldton, with the coastal city hosting the event in 2012, 2006 and 1996.

With three Rotary clubs in Geraldton, district governor Lindsay Dry said it was the perfect place to hold the conference. “Part of the reason it’s up in Geraldton is to support the fairly strong Rotary area and to involve the City of Greater Geraldton,” he said. “It’s the largest area outside of Perth and it’s the first time we’ve had three female presidents in Geraldton.

“We also want to support the town; economic times are quite difficult at the moment and we hope the people up there will support the businesses as well.

“I hope everyone has a good time, and that they’re happy and relaxed and enjoy the ambience of the conference and Geraldton.”

During the conference the travelling photographic exhibition Eye Contact will hold a private display at Queens Park Theatre.

Presented by Perth and Heirisson Rotary, the exhibition features 20 monochrome portraits of homeless people by photographer Phil England, each featuring a brief message from the subjects.

Heirisson Rotary Club president Warwick Smith said though the exhibition would be on display only during the conference, the private viewing might provide opportunities for it to come back.

“It’s a bit of a taster for those who might want to consider bringing it around the State at a later date,” he said.

“We hope it will have some longevity over the years and travel around the State, raising the issue of awareness of homelessness.”

Though the conference is primarily for Rotarians, Mr Day encouraged anyone interested in joining Rotary to contact either the Geraldton, Geraldton-Greenough or Batavia Coast clubs.

The conference runs until Sunday.

For more information, visit www.rotaryconference9455.org. au.

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