D9800 Conference in Albury

Rotary Four Way Test

  1. Is it the Truth
  2. Is it Fair to all concerned
  3. Will it build Goodwill and better relationships
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned

Being a first time attendee to a Rotary conference, I was impressed with the outstanding work that many Rotarians are doing in so many areas. Host Rotary Brighton did an outstanding job in organizing the conference. Four members from our club attended and were joined by Martin Farrugia from Melton Rotary. My wife and I carpooled with Nilda and together made our way to the conference. Kathy and David met us there. Nilda kept us entertained with her many years as a Rotarian and gave us valuable insight into the history of Rotary on our drive to Albury.

She gave a some detailed knowledge of how Rotary commenced by Paul Harris and a few friends which became a worldwide movement today, serving to change lives. I truly understand now the meaning of the "Four Way Test" and what it means to be a Rotarian in the way we think, say or do.  On the first day it was an honor to be welcomed to Wiradjuri country by the traditional smoke ceremony, then to visit see the many showcase displays of Rotary in Action that covered Community, the Rotary Foundation, Environment, International, Public Image, Vocational, Youth and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Click on the image below to listen to the Welcome to country.

A smoking ceremony is an ancient aboriginal custom in Australia that involves burning various native plants to produce smoke, which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits from the people and the land and make pathway for a brighter future.

 

The conference was officially opened by DG Dale Hoy and a Wiradjuri Elder welcomed us to the sounds of the Digeridoo and smoke to bless and cleanse the conference and its members. The Scots Albury Band then guided us in with their beautiful sounding bagpipes and drums. Listen to it by clicking on the image below.

After spending sometime visiting the many showcase displays we rested before our cluster dinner at Norma Restaurant. Norma must have the best pasta in Albury and we can thank Kathy for choosing that restaurant. The next day, Saturday, was when the conference truly began with an acknowledgement to country at the banquet hall and once again we were treated to the Scots Albury Pipe Band with bagpipes and drums.

Our Master of Ceremonies, Ali Moore, invited DG Dale Hoy to open the days conference and we were further welcomed to Albury by Mayor Kylie Moore, Hon Sussan Ley MP Member for Farrer, Justin Clancy, MP Member for Albury, and Cr Alice Glachan, Albury City Council. Ali Moore invited DG Dale Hoy to officially open the conference and welcome to many Rotarians to the conference.

We were treated to an amazing presentation by Lucy Bloom, above with a challenge to our thinking as a Rotarian asking us to come out of our comfort zones, followed by the Barbershop quartet, 'Good Gravy' treating us to a medley by the Beach Boys. After lunch, Ali Moore introduced incoming President of Rotary International, Jennifer Jones via video link, this was followed by a brief overview the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne in 2023. All Clubs are called to be a part of the conference and support in any way they can. This was followed by award presentations for work by outstanding Rotarians. We were then treated to the beautiful voice by Maleah Beckwith in 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' Maleah plays Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz playing in Albury. After afternoon Tea we heard presentations from Ron Finkel and Rosemary Carrick on the Rozana Project, Noor Shah Kamawal on his journey of an Afghan Refugee to Australia.  Mark Anderson gave us his take on club growth, whilst Murray Verso spoke about the Rotary Foundation. Once again we were treated to the beautiful voice of yet another singer, Erica Padilla sing 'To the Bottom.'

After going back to our hotel to change, the Gala Dinner followed which was beautifully planned by Rotary Brighton. I was blown away by the sheer detail of the presentations. It seems no expense was spared and we were once again treated to the wonderful voice of Michael Lapina and Simone Crossley, who plays Glinda the Good witch in the Wizard of Oz in Albury.  What a wonderful time for many of us to catch up with Rotary members from the many clubs all across D9800. It was time to enjoy a meal and drinks between friends and the 367 Rotarians attending.

Sunday the final day at the conference, began with the Foundation breakfast. Later in the auditorium we remembered those lost in the wars as we observed a minute silence for ANZAC day on 25 April. 

Jennifer Scott gave us a PEP Talk and about Rotary today. A talk on Polio, the Environment and Peace. An interview with incoming Rotary International President Jennifer Jones via video link.

This was followed by Ali Moore interviewing Tania Miletic and PDG Ian Scott about Practical Peace Building, one of our key Rotary Themes. IDG Amanda Wendt then gave a heads up of the International Rotary Conference in 2023 in Melbourne and asked the many clubs to support in every way they can. Jennifer Scott proceeded to give an update of the weekend that was followed by DG Dale Hoy closing the weekend with that's a wrap. It was inspiring to listen to these amazing speakers and Rotarians. The finale was listening to Dylan singing "You’re the Voice" to the tunes of the Scotts Albury Band.

Thank you host Rotary Brighton and D9800 for an amazing and informative weekend, I learnt so much over the last 3 days and have found my vision for our club in 2022-2023. I am glad to say that I am proud to be a Rotarian. Join us and find out what it means to be a Rotarian.

 

President Elect 2022-2023 - Ronald Moss

Here's a video snapshot of the D9800 conference.