Conference Convenor:  Noel Trevaskis

A message from Noel...

In September of 2019 we will all be gathering together in Christchurch New Zealand for the New Zealand Australia South Pacific Rotary Conference.

When I was asked to be the Convenor for the 2019 Conference I decided that Christchurch would be the city we would hold the Conference. Christchurch suffered a lot from the disastrous earthquake and they have been slowly rebuilding their city from that time on and will continue to do so for some time yet. Rotarians, Rotary Clubs and Districts from across our Zones contributed in many different ways to help the people and community of Christchurch to overcome the disaster. People will be able to go to Christchurch to see how the city has recovered and experience its rebuilding plus support their tourist industry. This conference will be one of the first in the city since the earthquake. It is a great opportunity for us to support Christchurch by attending the conference and spending some time there. The Organising Committee have been working on the conference for some months now and I am positive that the programme will have something for everyone.

This conference is open to all Rotarians, I would like everyone to encourage all Rotarians to come to Christchurch in 2019. It is a time of renewing friendships and making new friends, a time to be inspired by the people of Christchurch. You certainly will be inspired by the presenters at Christchurch plus we will be having a number of breakout groups.

Then President Mark Maloney and his wife Gay will be with us for the weekend.

I look forward to welcoming you to Christchurch in 2019.

Jan 13, 2019

Conference Co-Chairs: Ross Skinner and Liz Courtney

Ross Skinner:
A Charter Member of Christchurch Sunrise in 1989, one of 3 remaining actively involved in the club, with theCharter President an Honorary member. District involvements followed before becoming the ‘turn of the century’ Club President in 1999-2000.

An Assistant Governors role followed in 2001 and then served as District Governor in 2008-09, ‘Make Dreams Real’.

The following three years involvement was as an Assistant Rotary Coordinator, undertaking 2 training roles with DGN’s at the combined Australia / NZ Brisbane Institute and the New Zealand Invercargill Institute the next year.

We greatly enjoyed attending the Sydney World Convention and in 2018 also the Toronto Convention, in renewing previous acquaintances and valued friendships from around the world.

I’m passionate about the opportunity for relevance that Rotary has for Community Engagement in this rapidly changing disruptive society, with the ability of Rotary Clubs to support and develop younger people in the ethos of what Rotary has achieved and still does, much as joining Rotary my early 30’s has provided the opportunity to learn and develop the skills I never had or imagine I could attain.

I believe if Rotary Clubs are engaged and relevant to their community needs, both locally and internationally, welcoming and diverse, and therefore ‘Fit for Purpose’, membership would not the priority and focus it now has become.

Clearly there are challenges in this area as have been evident for some time, for which there has been much energy devoted with a number of initiatives and tools developed, which sadly at best could be described at best as ‘arresting the potential more rapid decline’ in participation and engagement, is clearly of significant concern.

Anne Merrifield, my partner, is involved in the financial service industry presently as a Private Banker and we have a much indulged Russian Blue young cat named Tui, as like our NZ native bird she has a white marking on her chest.

The theme of ‘Regeneration’ at this Conference 20 - 22nd September 2019 also will expand into relevance and resilience, with an interesting range of Speakers and Breakout sessions envisaged for all levels of participants.

If you care about Rotary’s future, come Explore Christchurch in September, and share with others the experience of ‘Regeneration’.
Liz Courtney:
Elizabeth (Liz) Courtney is a Director of Courtney Architects–Designers Ltd with Rotarian husband Nick. She is an Interior Designer with the company and has developed her business management and public relation skills along with her Interior Design Consultancy within the Practice.
Her 3-year role as the Rotary Zone 7B Public Image Coordinator encompasses New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. One of her goals is to identify our Rotary stories in a way to inspire people and showcase what we do as an organisation. She helps run the Rotary Oceania social media and website content.

Liz is constantly encouraging clubs to count their volunteering hours on projects so that we can use these numbers to greater effect when attracting partnerships. She works closely with membership groups nationally to increase our member base which is a high priority.
When District Governor, her focus was on Child and Maternal Health - encouraging Rotarians to look for projects in their locality and to engage with people who work in this area. Working at “grass root” level in our community has always been of great importance to Liz. Along with a group of dedicated Rotarians and health professionals Liz helped to start the first Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank in NZ in partnership with the District Health Board and St. George’s Hospital. She believes that helping others to have access to education and health services will lead them to become independent, contributing members of society. Liz also helped set up the Rotary Neighbourhood Project post earthquake in Christchurch.
As District 9970 Public Image Chair, Liz is involved in presentation work at training events and Rotary clubs, managing social media, media liaison, writing articles for various publications, general promotional material for clubs and other groups and assisting with fundraising events and conferences to raise the awareness of Rotary in the community and is heavily involved across all our New Zealand communication areas. Recently, Liz has also been a Facilitator/Trainer at Rotary International, facilitating the training of the incoming Rotary Leaders Institute Co-ordinators.
Liz has 5 children, 9 grandchildren and 3 adult step grandchildren some of whom live overseas. As a result one of her passions is travelling and experiencing different cultures. As she said herself “ it gives you a far greater understanding of people if you know the environment and culture they live in .”