Posted by Liz Courtney on Aug 15, 2019
Open to ALL Rotarians, this is going to be one special event. Have a read of the compelling reasons why you should consider attending in this article and by looking at the website and Facebook pages for latest updates on speakers, activities and more.
Why YOU should attend. Many of you are asking questions about the September Conference so here are some answers !
What is a Zone Conference ?
Rotary has always held an Institute for Past District Governors ( PDG’s ) to attend each year and has been a way for PDG’s to reconnect, be updated and be informed about the direction of Rotary and to bring those updates back to their clubs and Districts. That vision hasn’t really changed but the way we need to go about it has.
Our zone changed on the 1st July 2019 to Zone 8 and includes New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. We no longer share our zone with the Philippines.
Why have Institutes changed to a Zone Conference ?
Over the years the levels of attendance at Institutes in both New Zealand and Australia has been dropping. We have had to question the relevance of attending such Institutes solely for Past District Governors, when we are trying to attract a new generation of Rotarians and consider new ways of connecting. It had become too inward looking rather than growing a forward looking view of our world. We need to constantly change, adapt and be flexible to meet the needs of the future of our organisation.
Why are we holding a joint zone Conference ?
Last year after Governor Training in Hobart, the first joint Zone Conference was held and instead of expecting about 350 to attend 600 registered. From the feedback it showed us that a larger group gave us better networking opportunities, we can experience a vibrant Rotary event, learn more about our organisation due to more people attending and attract higher profile speakers. It also provided a wider platform to attract significant Rotary International support because of the larger event eg RI President attendance.
Who can attend this Conference ?
Any Rotarian from within our zone, Rotaractors and alumni eg. RLYA, RYE, UC Emerging Leaders group, UC Student Army and interested community groups who have a connection with Rotary.
We are holding a special breakout session on Saturday, led by Professor Billy O’Steen, from the University of Canterbury Emerging Leaders and Development Programme. This group will explore the question of Community Engagement and Volunteering and will report back to the wider conference attendees on Sunday to let us know how we can successfully connect with them and what they need from us as Rotarians. This is a new concept and we are very excited to be involved with the University on this part of the Conference programme.
What’s in it for you ?
If you are serious about Rotary and want our organisation to continue to grow in our part of the world then join us at this event so you can be part of regenerating Rotary. It is a great way to network, meet our RI leaders, learn about other projects, share your ideas about Rotary and have some fun too !
Liz Courtney & Ross Skinner
Co Chairs for NZ -Aus Conference