Another successful District Conference is done and dusted with majority of clubs represented. Here is the summary from Conference Chair, Trevor Lynch. If you didn't get a chance to attend, you have missed out on an enjoyable weekend.
This year’s Conference was held at Parklands Resort and Conference Centre Mudgee on 4, 5 & 6 March, with just under 400 delates in attendance at the plenary sessions and almost 450 at the District Governor’s Gala Dinner on the Saturday night.
The Rotary International President’s Personal Representative, Rangith Samerasinghe and his wife Kusum from Sri Lanka were delightful, friendly guests who entered into the spirit of the Conference, and, in summing up the weekend Rangith praised the work that Rotarians are doing in D9670.
Five keynote speakers used the conference theme of “People Passion and Purpose” to highlight key features of their presentations. They were all well received and during the breaks the House of Friendship was abuzz with discussion about the quality of the presentations. Keynote presenters were, Michael McQueen (The Battle for Relevance), Mark Hughes (Mark Hughes Foundation), Richard Go (Passion through Flowers), Evan Burrell from RDU (Having Fun in Rotary) and Andrew Hughes (Harnessing our Passion & Purpose). As well as a focus on the theme and learning more about Rotary, the underlying aim of the weekend was to have some fun. Many indicated that it was a most enjoyable experience and that they did have a great time despite the above normal temperatures.
Tonelle Handley and Merril De Fiddes were the two breakfast guest speakers. Tonelle is from Australian Rotary Health and spoke about the assistance available online for people with mental health issues. Merril gave advice on the use of Social Media to promote, strengthen and reinvigorate Rotary Clubs. Both women showed their ability to hold a crowd early in the day.
Six “freedom of choice” breakout sessions were all well attended; these sessions had an emphasis on ‘Being a Gift to the World’ by involvement in Rotary projects. The sessions were conducted by:
  • Brian Coffey – Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS)
  • Peter Raynor and the Rotary Foundation team – Rotary Grants & VTT
  • Laurie McGrath - Membership promotion
  • Lance Murphy – Hay to Longreach
  • Birgit Smith and Chris Bartlett , Case Studies of successful Mudgee & Nelson Bay projects
  • Mike Weatherall and Gabby Brand - Rotaract and Interact
The House of Friendship was a very busy place during breaks in organised activities, one of the highlights being the display of the renovated Iron Lung once used to treat polio victims.
At different times throughout the Conference trophy presentations were made to the following Clubs:
  1. Arnold Forsyth Trophy:  Awarded for the best monthly attendance, participation and contribution for a  twelve month period from the month of the District Conference by a Club more than 32 kilometres from its neighbouring Club – Merriwa
  1. Australian Rotary Health Research Fund Perpetual Trophy: Awarded to the Club which makes the most significant contribution to the fund since the last District Conference – Denman
  1. Charles May Trophy:  Awarded to the Club with the greatest number of members at the District Conference divided by its total membership and multiplied by the distance from the conference centre – Morisset
  1. Harold Chadwick Trophy:  Awarded to the Club with the highest percentage of partners attending the District Conference (the host Club is excluded) - Myall Coast
  1. District Club WEB Page Award: Awarded to the Club that shows the most creative design and current information on their WEB page – Wallsend-Maryland
  1. District Governor's Furthering the Object of Rotary Award: Awarded by the District Governor to the Club considered to have done more than any other in the district to further the object of Rotary - Kurri Kurri
  1. Jim Henderson Trophy:  Awarded to the Club with the highest standard and/or improvement in its weekly bulletin - Denman
  1. John & Pat Glass Award:  Awarded to both the Rotary Club and Rotaract Club for their positive contribution and service to their Community and Rotary - Newcastle and Hunter Rotaract
  1. Ted and Ann Lewis Award:  Awarded to both the Rotary Club and Interact Club for their positive contribution and service to their Community and Rotary – Rotary Club of Rutherford-Telarah & The Interact Club of Rutherford Technology High School
  1. Junius Price Trophy:  Awarded for the best monthly attendance, participation and contribution for a twelve month period from the month of the Conference -  Dubbo Macquarie
  1. Preserve Planet Earth Award:  Awarded to the Club with the best environment project or program - Narromine
  1. Reg Drayton Memorial Trophy: Awarded to the Club best demonstrating internal and external fellowship - Dubbo South
  1. Shirley Stanley Memorial Award:  Awarded to the Club most involved in youth and young adult programs, such as RYLA, RYPEN, RYAG, REYALID, National Science School, Youth in Citizenship and Youth Exchange short and long term - Greenhills-Maitland
  1. Rotary District 9670 DG’s Golf Trophy: Awarded to the outstanding golfer at the District Conference golf challenge - Carol Cockerill-Wright, Rotary Club of Mudgee Sunrise
  1. District 9670 District Recognition for Exemplary Service – Michael Weatherall
  1. The Doug Mathew’s Trophy:  Awarded to the Club which makes an outstanding effort to enhance the image of Rotary, specifically in the area of Public Relations and/or membership -  Newcastle Enterprise
Much to the surprise of the individuals concerned, seven Rotarians received Paul Harris recognitions for their service to the District. Those recognised were:
  • John Bennetts  - PHF + 6 (Ruby)
  • Michael Weatherall + PHF + 1
  • Scott Lewis - PHF + 1
  • Trevor Lynch - PHF +2
  • David Roach - PHF + 1
  • Amanda Roach - PHF + 1
Congratulations to the members of the Rotary Club of Green Hills Maitland who supplied the ideas and the professional expertise to run a well organised and fun event. Special thanks to the Mudgee Clubs who worked to ensure we had not only a successful conference but also a wonderful Mudgee experience.