7 reasons to go to the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne
Here are seven reasons you’ll want to attend the 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne.
You’ll (re)connect with the Rotary family.
The last Rotary International Convention, in Houston, was proof there’s nothing like connecting face to face. But for many Rotary members in the Asia-Pacific region, where COVID-19 restrictions complicated travel plans, Melbourne will be their first in-person convention in four years. With five districts (representing more than 250 Rotary and Rotaract clubs) across the state of Victoria hosting the event, it’s sure to be a big reunion.
You’ll explore the world — all in one place.
The convention is the best way to appreciate Rotary’s global scale and reach, says Rebecca Fry, founding chair of RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Oceania and charter president of the Rotary Club of Social Impact Network, New South Wales. “The House of Friendship is a true festival of Rotary, showcasing our organization’s fellowships, action groups, and community projects from around the world.”
You’ll discover cities within a city.
The coastal metropolis is known as the Australian capital of culture, food, sports, architecture, and theater. It’s also a shopping mecca.
Mary Barry, chair of the Host Organization Committee, proudly notes Melbourne’s regular recognition as one of the world’s most livable cities. It is a family friendly place where visitors will feel instantly welcomed and at ease. “The city looks after its tourists with excellent public transport to unique attractions,” says Roslyn Teirney, an assistant Rotary public image coordinator for Zone 8 and a member of the Rotary Club of North Hobart, Tasmania.
You’ll be inspired.
Rotary conventions are all about an exchange of ideas. And each year’s gathering brings you big name speakers to inspire, connect, and spur solutions to the world’s toughest challenges. Just look at the list of some past speakers: Bill Gates, Justin Trudeau, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Princess Anne of the United Kingdom. “While still early to announce 2023 program highlights, be assured only outstanding international speakers will take part,” says HOC Chair Barry.
You’ll get your kangaroo fix.
Experience quintessential Australia with a visit to the Melbourne Zoo for a close-up and safe encounter with some of the world’s most unusual, cute, and dangerous species — kangaroos, koalas, snakes, spiders, crocodiles, wombats, and platypuses. Just 13 miles northeast of Melbourne’s central business district, the Gresswell Forest nature reserve provides spectacular sightings of eastern gray kangaroos, says Jennifer Scott, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Central Blue Mountains.
Need more cuteness? Head to Phillip Island, 75 miles southeast of Melbourne, and check out the largest colony of little penguins in the world.
You’ll feel energized.
Looking for a place to hang out with all your new Rotary friends once the day is over? Melbourne has endless options. Laura Telford, chair of the Rotaract Australia multidistrict information organization and member of the Rotaract Club of Canberra, describes Melbourne as another of the famous cities that “never sleep.”
“Visitors will enjoy jumping on one of more than 475 trams that cover 250 kilometers [155 miles] of track to take you to every corner of this exciting city.”
You’ll want to see more of Australia.
While the distance can be a challenge in traveling to Melbourne, visitors may fly in to Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, or Perth to make the most of a unique travel opportunity by seeing other parts of Australia. “The Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and the Red Centre, our tropical north, and the rugged coast of Western Australia all present memorable sightseeing experiences,” Scott says.
For more ideas, visit melbournecb.com.au/welcome-to-melbourne.
This story originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of Rotary magazine.
Melbourne: A capital destination