Tuesday, 5th March, 2019
By Emily McInerney
Rotary’s annual district conference will be held in Broken Hill in April, thanks to the District Governor who has a wonderful local connection.
The Rotary District 9520’s annual conference will be held from April 5 to 7 at the Civic Centre. Broken Hill was selected thanks to the Rotary District Governor, Kim Harvey.
“As District Governor I get to choose where I want the annual district conference to be held,” said Ms Harvey.
“It was an easy and obvious choice for me as Broken Hill is my hometown and where my Rotary journey started.
“My father, Allen McMaster, was a member of the Rotary Club of Broken Hill South for almost 40 years so my sister and I grew up with Rotary around us.
“It is where my love for volunteering and wanting to make a difference started.”
Ms Harvey said the other reason for having the conference in Broken Hill was to do something for the city.
“In some small way it’s to say thank you to a city that supported me to achieve sporting success as a teenager in the Australian gymnastics team.
“The people of Broken Hill helped me and others in our gymnastics club (including Marina Sulicich) to travel to the USA to train, which gave us great preparation and led to us being selected for the Commonwealth Games in 1978, and of course Marina went on to participate in the Moscow Olympics.”
Ms Harvey left the city when she was 18 to attend university in Adelaide.
“I started my career as a professional Gymnastics Coach, then moved to Ottawa, Canada, where I went back to university as a mature age student.
“I moved back to Australia in 1998 and worked in the Public Relations and Education Units at the Canadian High Commission in Canberra.”
In 2000, Ms Harvey moved back to Adelaide and lives in Brighton close to a nursing home where her mother lives.
“Mum has Alzheimers, but talks about Broken Hill all the time,” she said.
She said the upcoming conference should be good for local business.
“I am hoping that the 400 Rotarians will bring some money into the city and support local businesses.
“We are also very aware that Broken Hill is in the middle of a drought and Rotary is very much committed to supporting farmers and farming communities.
“In the end I have chosen Broken Hill because I am proud of the city where I was born and raised - it will always be home to me - and I am excited to show off Australia’s first and only Heritage-listed city.”
Ms Harvey is responsible for 49 Rotary Clubs in Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Riverland and Mallee, Sunraysia and Broken Hill.
There are two Rotary Clubs in the city - Broken Hill and Broken Hill South.
The theme for the conference is ‘Inspire. Connect. Transform.’
Speakers will give addresses on topics including mental health, autism, Indigenous health, international disaster response, empowering women, feeding the world and engaging young refugees through sporting programs.
“We have speakers each day of the conference who are either currently living in Broken Hill or who were born or raised in Broken Hill,” Ms Harvey said.
“I really wanted to showcase the people of Broken Hill as much as the culture, the history and the stunning natural environment.
“Those speakers who are Broken Hill-related are Gary and Steve Radford, Bronte Martin, Vince Gauci, Anika Molesworth, Justin Gladman, Paul Smith and Brendan Cullen.
“We also have the Mayor welcoming guests on the Friday afternoon.”
In addition, there will be a showcase of Rotary programs on the first floor of the Civic Centre and booths for local businesses to display their products.
“The social program includes a casual dinner at the Silverton Hotel on the Friday evening and a gala dinner with a bit of glitz and glamour on the Saturday night.
“Rotarians can also see more of the city through organised tours - Heritage Walk, RFDS and Cristal Mine.”
The Conference will be open to the public on Saturday morning, April 6.
To register, go to bit.ly/rotary-bdt