RI Convention 2014 Sydney

Sydney Opera House

President Elect, Dawn O'Bar reporting.

As many of you know, I've just returned from my second International Convention. This one in Sydney, Australia. It was the 105th International Convention and there were many highlights.

The Olympic Torch

Probably the biggest highlight was meeting three other EClub members in person. Lisa Dittmar, Catherine Bonifant, and Carol Metzker.

After a bit of a hiccup (my flight out of LAX to Sydney was cancelled and I spent another 24 hours in Los Angeles), I arrived a day later than anticipated. I made my way to the Olympic Park and registered. The Olympic torch was lit specially for Rotarians.




Lisa Dittmar(second from left) with her team at the Rotary Peace Centers Booth


Even in my let lagged state, the Opening Plenary Session was lively and thrilling. There was some fantastic entertainment to kick off this convention. The New South Wales Aboriginal dancers and the group, Human Nature. The following YouTube video has some highlights (19:12 min):


One of the biggest surprises was the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott speaking and introducing his 90+ year old father, a long time Rotarian. Also, he said that the Australian government donated $100 million to the Polio Plus campaign.


Lisa and Dawn

During Monday's plenary session another very entertaining speaker was Mr. Jack Sim (AKA Mr. Toilet). Check out this video but take care there is some four letter word language. Even though you might not like the topic, sanitation, he makes it very funny.

Meet Mr. Toilet: 3:25 min:


Also, Brett Lee, a very famous Australian Cricketeer spoke about his sport and about his project called Mewsic in India. It is a music therapy program for over 1200 children in five cities in India.


Leadership Speaker Tommy Spaulding: 9:02 min:


Tommy Spaulding suggested that there are three kinds of people, Leaders, Followers and Critics and asked every audience member, "Which one are you going to be?"

I attended several breakout sessions but my favorite was one hosted by two of our EClub members on Peace,Lisa and Catherine. This was a chance to network with other Rotarians to see what ideas could be generated for potential peace projects. I talked about the trauma tapping technique that Ulf and Gunilla are teaching.

Finally, I even had a day of sightseeing and it was a gorgeous day. The best part was with my Rotary badge I could travel all around on trains, buses and fairies and not pay at all for transportation.

I love this photo of the ONE WORLD Bar. Perhaps this could be our next meeting location??


I can certainly see that attending these conventions is addicting. I've made some lifelong friends and can't wait to go on another one!


How many RI Conventions have you attended? And Where?


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