Official opening of the Rotary District 9600 Annual Conference
Thank you, District Governor Protheroe, for your warm welcome this morning.
Ladies and gentlemen, one of the many joys of my Vice-Regal responsibilities is meeting people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from diverse communities across Queensland.
Some have sought challenges to solve for the good of others, while many have had to face unexpected adversities.
In the past six months, our State has endured floods, fires, and relentless drought.
Yet, as Kaye and I visit Queensland’s cities, towns and rural centres, we discover what unites people is their unshakable strength, their ability to confront misfortunes with strong hearts, and their readiness to hold out the hand of assistance.
These are qualities I associate with the Rotarian family – ‘People of Action’ who strive for service above self, who come together to share ideas and create transformational change.
In the words of your International President, Barry Rassin, you are “not just dreamers, but doers”.
These qualities are encapsulated in the theme for this year’s District 9600 Annual Conference, Be The Inspiration.
With more than 1,300 members in 64 clubs across South-East Queensland, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Nauru, as well as the enthusiastic young people in Rotaract, Interact and EarlyAct, your District reflects the diversity that leads to inventive problem solving.
Your efforts have tremendous impact, both locally and globally.
Whether it is organising hay-feed runs in drought-affected Murgon, ensuring the safety of young people in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley, assisting with our State’s natural disasters, or responding to a global call for the provision of clean water, electricity, and better healthcare to countries far away, Rotarians are there.
When there is a need, there is a response.
Looking at your schedule for the days ahead, I know you will share more of these inspirational stories, and learn about new and engaging initiatives, but most of all you should take great pride in all you have, and will continue to achieve.
I thank all delegates, some of whom have travelled long distances, for the time and energy you are investing in this event.
On behalf of all who are touched by the wonderful work you do, I thank you for your unwavering commitment.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to officially declare open the 2019 Rotary District 9600 Annual Conference.