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Rotary Club of Hall 30th Anniversary Dinner, Nicholls ACT


I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal People, and pay my respects to their elders, past and present, emerging leaders and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders gathered here today.

Good evening, everyone — and a special ‘good evening’ to three charter members who are here tonight. I have been asked not to single you out at this point; suffice it to say I understand that all of you are still very active in the club, which is a credit to you.

Linda and I are absolutely delighted to be with you.

Anniversaries are important occasions. They sneak up on us and prompt us to hit the pause button — and rightly so.

Your 30th anniversary dinner is a time to celebrate:

  • to give thanks for the friendships
  • to acknowledge your outstanding commitment to community both here and abroad
  • and, most importantly, to acknowledge the positive difference you have made to people’s lives.

There is so much that is good about Rotary per se and the Rotary Club of Hall.

When you strip it all away, people join Rotary or a service club because they want to give something back to their community.

At some stage in your lives, all of you made the decision to join a club where you could meet people from all walks of life, forge close ties and friendships, better understand local issues as well as those going on elsewhere in the world, and make the world a better place.

In my reading for this event I noted the ‘whys’ — the things that keep you engaged and coming back.

All of us have busy lives and there are only so many hours in the day. It’s not always easy to make a commitment and stick to it, despite the best of intentions. I commend you for making community service a priority.

And I congratulate you on kicking some pretty impressive goals.

You established the iconic Capital Region Farmers Market 15 years ago when there was drought and a desperate need for direct support for primary producers. This continues to be a focus to this day — our farmers, of course, need all the help they can get.

I understand your gift cards have been a great success. To hear that a farmer from Tarago was able to buy some desperately needed work boots, food for his dwindling stock and put down a deposit on his daughter’s school excursion — all due to the gift card — well, that encapsulates the spirit of Rotary. I am aware that the Rotary Club of Hall went the extra mile and picked up the full cost of the excursion. As a father, I can appreciate what a big thing that was — as all of us know it’s about more than money.

I understand that, due to the ongoing success of the market, the Rotary Club of Hall has been able to direct more funds into larger projects such as the End Trachoma project in Central Australia  and a water filter business training program in Timor-Leste.

Now, as some of you may know, one of my hobbies is beekeeping. So, I wholeheartedly commend you for your 30th anniversary project: ‘to make Hall a bee-friendly village’ for native bees. I understand that bee hotels and native plants will be available to every household in Hall to make it a hospitable and welcoming environment for bees.

Congratulations again on your 30th anniversary. May there be many more to come.

Above all, thank you for the work that you do in helping to improve the lives of your fellow Australians and people in need around the world.