DISTRICT 9780 CONFERENCE – MARYBOROUGH Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd March 2015

Last weekend 4 Bayside Geelong Rotarians and their partners took up the invitation to “Take the Journey to light Up Our World” when they attended the 2015 District 9780 Conference which was held at Maryborough and was hosted by the Rotary Club of Maryborough.

Throughout the weekend we were challenged to not only take the physical journey to Maryborough, but to also take the inner journey, to prepare ourselves to light up the four aspects of our Rotary “World”.


On Friday night we were encouraged to re-ignite our personal passion and commitment for Rotary, where we heard about the personal life journey of the founder of the Choir of Hard Knocks, Jonathon Welsh. Jonathon inspired all with his presentation on “Igniting Passion and Building Communities through Music.’

On Saturday morning we were challenged to brighten our Rotary groups with fun and laughter by two very entertaining presenters, Patricia Cameron Hill & Dr. Shayne Yates. Later PP Howard Randall inspired us to develop our leadership potential and Rotarian Pauline Stewart encouraged us to use Media more effectively to promote our clubs.

On Saturday afternoon we were challenged to shine a light of hope in communities – both local and overseas. Professor Michael Sawyer spoke on Australian Rotary Health, with ‘Why Mental health?’, as the topic. PDG Brian Trenery then reviewed the last 12 months of Our Rotary Foundation at Work in District 9780. Annual presentations were made to clubs, with the RC of Bayside Geelong being awarded a certificate of appreciation for its financial support of End Polio Now: Make History Today Campaign, for the year 2013 -14. Guest Speaker, Don Cullen, spoke on ‘Taking Hope to Tibet”. A number of breakout sessions followed covering various topics – The Maryborough Family Violence Project, Integration of Karen Refugees into the Community, and The A2S (Alternative Schoolies) Program.

Saturday evening was an opportunity for us all to relax and enjoy each other’s company, with a “Touch of Tartan”. We started off the evening with pre-dinner drinks on the green, at the Maryborough Highland Society. The pre-dinner entertainment showcased the “Girl on the Drum” performance from the Ballarat Highland dancers and band. The Conference Dinner followed where we were entertained by the DG’s Band – “Seriously Sixties”, led by DG Geoff James and wife Meryl. We all kicked up our Scottish heels and enjoyed singing and dancing the night away.

On Sunday, we looked at the big picture “world”, and reflected on how we can have an enlightened approach to looking after our planet, and strive to facilitate world understanding and peace. Keynote speaker, Ian McBurney, gave a thought provoking presentation on ‘Can Our Economy and Environment thrive Together?’ A healthy and entertaining debate was conducted by the Youth Exchange Team with the topic – ‘Peace is the Responsibility of Our Youth’.

DGE Jane Cox and the Rotary Club of Geelong Central Team gave us an entertaining taste of next year’s District Conference and encouraged everyone to ‘Set Sail for Geelong”, on the 18th – 20th March, 2016.

The Conference concluded with the RI President’s, Representative, PDG Dr. Ishtiaque Raman congratulating “Super DG” Geoff James and wife Meryl, along with the RC Maryborough, on a great weekend, where all rotarians, partners and friends enjoyed lots of fun together and certainly lit up Rotary.

Recognition and special thanks must go to Rotarians Peter Hynes and Phil and Karen Quick. Peter spent all day on Saturday sitting on the Bowel Scan stall in the House of Friendship. Phil and Karen, being members of the District Youth Exchange Committee, had the job of looking after the Youth Exchange Students for the entire weekend. A fun and challenging job, well done. For those that didn’t attend, the organising committee hope to have videos and or audio podcasts available of most of the sessions in a few weeks, on the District 9780 website.

Peter Kavenagh attended a break-out session on how the Nhill community have embraced the Karen community in Nhill

In conclusion, I hope this report will inspire more members to attend the District 9780 Conference in 2016. Let’s be THE CLUB in the District to have the most members attending the Conference, as we Set Sail for Geelong.


Foundation: David Fisher
Days for Girls project is proceeding well. Many have attended workshops.
Salamanca Project in Philippines. Our donation of books have arrived. Need more books for next shipment. Sarah is speaking late April and they are requiring shoes as well.

Community and Vocation: Daryll Webb
Supporting Christ Church Meals Program
Geelong Advertiser Adopt a Family and supply Christmas Gifts in December 2015.
Literacy in Schools. 6 x $50.00 vouchers.
Vocational Visits 4 this year.
Ken Wilks Spirit of the Heart Award is scheduled for October 2015.
“What’s new in my workplace” 3 min talk from members. 1 member each 3 months.
Following through on the Dolly Parton Imagination Reading Library”.

Youth: Phil Quick
Youth Exchange we have a student arriving early July 2015. French Student Lina Mamaud.
We will share hosting with another Rotary Club.
RYPEN Actively involved in.
RYLA we have a student attending in April 2015.

Fundraising: John Spiteri
Objectives almost completed
Woolworths on Torquay booked May 15 – Nov 15. Copy of dates will be in next Bollard.
Monday 4th May. Christ Church dinner meal program. Bayside rostered on.
Takings were $2078 for 1 day at Bunnings

Membership PR and Fun: Simon Empson
Murray McDonald reported on the “Ride the Bellarine”. 200 Entries already on way to 400.
70% of Volunteer quota has been filled.