Tony Heyward – D9940 Club Development & Membership Chair recently attended - the Regeneration New Zealand / Australia Conference in Christchurch 20-22 Sep).
Here is his quick take on what he saw and enjoyed:
Wonderful weekend catching up with friends and more importantly making new ones, with the added bonus of hearing what works for them in the big Rotary world. 
'One of the many benefits of a Rotary Conference like this, is that you learn from other Rotarians first-hand about the opportunities they recognised, both in their local community and internationally'.
The conference theme was all about Regeneration, it was fitting and timely to hear from the people of Christchurch and how they continue to regenerate and develop their local communities. We saw and heard from local speakers who shared very personal stories on they have managed stress and harm and how they have had to set goals to make things better and they achieved them during tough times.
There were fantastic displays and stands from all our project partners including RDU, including our support office from Parramatta.' 
A couple of highlights from me:
  • Tourette Musical Group – called the Lunatics – great musical group of 4
  • Emerging Leaders Symposium – Focused on Youth and Engaging with the community
  • Detailed presentation from Per Hoyen - Rotary Foundation Trustee, I learnt that the Foundation provided 1404 Global Grants last year
  • Plenty of workshops on Growing Rotary, new club models, flexibility strategies, PR & Image, how to better connect with YOUTH and how we can work with them, plenty of opportunities to grow Rotary for the future
I had the opportunity to talk to Mark Malone, our World President, I introduced Phil Harland to him, a Tawa Rotarian, who has been in Rotary for 43 years.
Mark gave a speech from the heart, it was humorous, entertaining and informative. He know the challenges we all have in strengthening Rotary in this part of the world. He is totally committed to knocking down roadblocks to make our jobs easier. He asked us to step and take responsibility for our future, we must form strong relevant partnerships, connect with our communities and have fun doing it while we tell the world about all the great things Rotary is doing.
My take out was we need to think wider and deeper and look beyond OUR problems and ensure Rotary Connects the World.
We all have opportunities in our local communities, connect, did deep, they are there, we need to  move Rotary from the perception of an old analogue organisation into the new fresh digital world, one thing we can’t buy is time, and we need to SPEED up.