Invercargill hosts big Rotary event

Rotarians from throughout Australasia have arrived in Invercargill for an annual conference, to be held for the first time in the city.

Conference co-ordinator Karen Purdue said yesterday 170 people involved in Rotary across New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific would attend the Rotary International Zone 7B Institute 2012 conference, which begins today; a further 50 would also take part in the Future Leaders seminar.

This was the first time the event had been held in Invercargill, and she was confident the city would prove a great host, Mrs Purdue said.

"We're pretty good, aren't we, at hosting people from afar - and apart from the weather, which isn't supposed to be very good, I think, it's going to be fabulous."

The theme for this year's conference was "Create a ripple - cast the first stone", which was about looking at ways to encourage, excite and enthuse Rotarians, she said.

Keynote speakers at the event included Rotary International president-elect 2013-2014 Ron Burton, Student Volunteer Army organiser Sam Johnson, Robbie Francis, youth advocate and Rotary ambassadorial scholar in conflict resolution and peace studies at Tel Aviv University, and Southern Institute of Technology chief executive Penny Simmonds, she said.

The conference will run until next Tuesday.

The Southland Times