Rotary to bring the world to Sydney
Sydney (10 October 2013) – Sydney to host Rotary International’s 105th annual convention 1-4 June 2014, which is expected to attract more than 18,000 Rotary club members from over 150 countries while injecting an estimated AUD 60.5 million into the local economy.
Often described as a “mini-United Nations” because of its global scope and cultural diversity, the always-colorful Rotary convention will transform the Sydney Olympic Park into a kaleidoscope of energy, color and excitement as Rotary brings together its global network of volunteer leaders – men and women from all walks of life dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges – to engage in a full agenda of plenary sessions, workshops and a lineup of world class keynote speakers.
“Sydney is a vibrant international hub as well as a gateway between East and West,” said 2013-14 Rotary International President Ron D. Burton. “It is the perfect venue for our convention as we celebrate and share the many ways our members have found to use the resources of Rotary to improve the lives of families worldwide.”
Organized by Rotary International in conjunction with the Sydney Host Organizing Committee of local Rotary leaders, with significant support from the New South Wales Government, the convention also will provide registrants with ample opportunities to savor Sydney’s myriad of attractions, including an Australian Rules football match, a restaurant night and fireworks display, an authentic Aussie BBQ, and a performance of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said Rotary clubs and volunteers around the world provide outstanding service to the community and Sydney is proud to host the 2014 Rotary International Convention.
"Sydney is the major events capital of the Asia Pacific and this event provides us with another fantastic opportunity to showcase our harbour city to the thousands of Rotary delegates travelling here from around the world.
"This event will inject an estimated $60.5 million into the NSW economy, which is great news for local businesses and workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“I encourage all of the Rotary delegates attending next year’s conference to take the opportunity to explore Sydney and regional NSW during their visit.”
While the convention is not open to the general public, Sydneysiders are encouraged to join Rotary members in a major book drive in support of Australian literacy programs and to visit a special photographic exhibit in the city’s centre highlighting Rotary’s many humanitarian efforts worldwide.
A major portion of the convention will be devoted to Rotary’s top priority, the global eradication of the crippling disease polio, and many area residents will remember seeing the exterior of the iconic Sydney Opera House illuminated with Rotary’s End Polio Now message in February 2009. The convention will include an update on Rotary’s funding campaign with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which the latter will match 2 for 1 every new dollar Rotary commits to polio eradication up to AUD 38 million (USD 35 million) per year through 2018.
Rotary launched its polio eradication program in 1985, and in 1988 helped launch the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Rotary members have since contributed more than AUD 1.3 billion (USD 1.2 billion) and countless volunteer hours to protect more than two billion children in 122 countries from polio. Australia’s 32,243 Rotary members have donated AUD 21.2 million (USD 19.5 million) toward ending polio. The Government of Australia has committed AUD 73.3 million (USD 67.35 million) through 2014, and in late May this year announced a new commitment of AUD 80 million (USD 73.4 million) from 2015-2018. Great progress has been made, as the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99 percent, from 350,000 new cases a year to only 223 for all of 2012.
Rotary is a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary’s 1.2 million members hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
Image: NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell, Jetta Burton, Rotary International President Ron Burton
Photographer: Mark Wallace
Bob Aitken, Rotary Down Under Executive Director – 0417 722 190.
Ellissa Nolan, Rotary Down Under Marketing and Digital Manager – 0401 477 679.