LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE 185 Timor St, Warrnambool
Conference Content Warning: we remind registrants that the theme of this Conference is ‘Mind Matters’ and will include a variety of topics including those relating to mental health which some attendees may find triggering. We note there are a range of resources available should you require support during or following the Conference and a flyer will be provided with contact details of a number of services including Beyond Blue which can be contacted on 1300 22 4636. There are also apps such as myCompass and moodgym.
Link to Polio Walk Map - here

63 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
Fishtales Cafe Special offer for Conference delegates - 10% OFF meals and coffee, Thursday - Monday
Just be wearing or show your Conference name tag
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village
  1. Free entry to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village for delegates Thursday to Monday inclusive. Provide name or conference name tag.
  2. 10% off Flagstaff Hill Night light and sound show for delegate Thursday to Monday inclusive.
    Call Flagstaff direct and mention you are a conference delegate (Ph: (03) 5559 4600 ) or click on image above to go to website.

Photographs - by David Liao RC Waverley - can be accessed here

Cr Ben Blain, Mayor of Warrnambool City Council
 Was elected to Warrnambool City Council in 2020 and Mayor of Warrnambool City Council on 23 October 2023.
Grew up on a dairy farm in Glenormiston, went to high school at Mercy Regional College Noorat and Camperdown.
Graduated from Deakin University Warrnambool with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Relations and Sociology.
Worked in the wool industry starting around 14 years of age for a number of different companies.
Opened a wool buying company (Ackroyd and Dadswell Mortlake) in 2012 with depots in Mortlake and Geelong.
Been involved and interested in local government especially in Warrnambool over the last decade with a keen interest in social housing and community infrastructure.
Current member of the Audit and Risk Committee at Warrnambool City Council, also a past member of the South West Victoria Livestock Exchange Advisory Committee and Harbour Reference Group.
Current Volunteer at CFA.
Haresh L. Ramchandani - Rotary International President Personal Representative
Hasresh, 49, is a Real Estate Consultant by profession and a Rotarian by passion. A member of the Rotary Club of LIFE in Jamaica for 26 years, he is a Past District Governor for District 7020.
He has served as a Speaker, Training Leader, and Seminar Trainer at the Rotary International Assembly; and as The Host of the Hamburg International Convention.
His Rotary Background has also had him lead many breakout sessions at multiple International Conventions on topics of Membership, Service, Foundation, and Leadership. Haresh has served on several RI committees and chaired the RI Young Past Governors committee. He currently serves on the RI Programs committee in 2023-2024, and the RI membership growth committee 2022-2025, and will serve as its chair in 2024-2025.
He is a Rotary Foundation alumni, a Major Donor level 2, and a Benefactor of The Rotary Foundation.
He’s happily married to Vandana for 25 years, and a proud father of 2 children.
He believes we must “Be the change we wish to see in the world”, and that “Impossible” is only an opinion.

Three things you may not know about me:
1. I use to rally race professionally, for 15 years, and have represented Jamaica in several
countries including Japan.
2. I'm a Justice of the Peace in Jamaica and serve as a judge on several petty session courts.
3. I am vegan – for the environment; for health; and for peace.
Bernadette McSherry
Title: Transforming the Mental Health System: From Crisis to Care
Bernadette McSherry is an Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne and a Commissioner with the Victorian Law Reform Commission. She researches and writes in the areas of criminal law and mental health law.  From February 2019 to February 2021, she served as a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. 
Her presentation will focus on what the Royal Commission recommended in relation to supporting good mental health and wellbeing across Victoria.
Greg Ross Director Australian Rotary Health
Greg Ross has been a Director of Australian Rotary Health since November 2013.
Greg joined Rotary in 1976 in Berwick, then moved Districts, joining the Rotary Club of North Balwyn in 1986 – he is a current member. He is Past District Governor of District 9800, has worked as a literacy volunteer in Thailand, as a RAWCS volunteer in Vanuatu and led a GSE Team to California. Greg was also MC at the International Conventions in Taipei and Melbourne, and Song Leader/MC at the International Assembly in Anaheim.
Greg is a professional actor (TV, stage and music theatre) and, in recent years, has worked mainly as a funeral and marriage celebrant, including over 800 funerals.
Ian Riseley PHF, PDG, PP, PRIP
Ian became a proud Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Sandringham in 1978 and the third President of that club. He led a Group Study Exchange team to District 7930, Massachusetts, in 1997 and then became Governor of District 9810 in 1999/2000. He was elected as a Director of Rotary International for 2006/08 and was Treasurer in 2007/08. He then served as Chair of the RI Finance committee from 2009/11 before being elected as a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation for 
Ian served as President of Rotary International in 2017/18 and gave the theme of "Rotary; Making a Difference." He then again served as a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation for 2019/23, being Chairman in 2022/23. He is proud of his encouragement of Rotary's work on protecting the environment, and of his promotion of women for participation and leadership roles within Rotary. 
As our district will amalgamate with District 9820 next year, it is timely to remember and celebrate the achievements of District 9810 over the years. Who better to present these achievements than our Past District Governor and Past Rotary International President? 

Hita Mistry

Hita is a practicing Clinical & Forensic Psychologist and Director of a Private Practice. She has over 20 years of experience in the forensic sector, public mental health and in tertiary education. Hita specialises in the treatment of complex trauma. She developed a passion for this work through many years of working with offenders in custody and more recently with first responders such a police officers and paramedics and with victims of childhood abuse and trauma. Hita has undergone specialist psychology training in a number of theoretical frameworks that allow her to work with complex presentations. Outside of her clinical role, Hita is the Director of a large, established private practice employing over 35 staff across multiple locations and providing psychology and counselling services within the community.
Hita holds professional registration in both Australia and the UK. She is a Nationally Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and a member of the Clinical and Forensic Colleges with the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and is an Associate Fellow and Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Hita is a training consultant for both clinical and forensic psychology sectors having delivered training workshops, seminars and presented at conferences both Nationally and Internationally.
Hita is a strong advocate for mental health and is involved in a number of initiatives in her local community. Hita is also a Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Emerald and District. She is will be presenting on better understanding trauma and being more trauma informed.
As Rotarians, we are involved in many activities and community development projects. I hope that the presentation will increase your knowledge and awareness of doing great work whilst being trauma informed.”

Tom Boyd
Tom Boyd was the country’s best young talent coming through the junior ranks, which had many in the public believe he could single handedly change the fortunes and success of his club for many years to come. This was a lot for a young man who had just finished his Year 12 studies to carry. Selected with pick one of the 2013 AFL Draft, by the GWS Giants, who were in the infancy of their existence, Tom realised at a very early stage of his days in the AFL that this career may not be what he had hoped.
Struggling to cope in his first season at the Giants, Tom attributed his problems to ‘home sickness’, a term that is loosely used in AFL circles when assessing a player that is struggling and has moved away from home. Tom hoped that this was his issue and by returning to Victoria all his troubles would be forgotten, so in an unprecedented move the number one draft pick from the previous season was traded to the Western Bulldogs on a 7 year, $7million deal.
Returning to Victoria, Tom felt great in the initial move home, however there were still underlying issues that he was working through, insomnia being the biggest problem. As Tom carried the burden of a big price tag on his head, at a club that had historically been an under achiever with one Premiership to its name, his mental health fluctuated which directly impacted his performance. Not even a drought breaking Premiership in 2016 after arguably Tom’s best football could stop the issues he was suffering as his insomnia and mental health hit new lows. Something drastic needed to be done in order to break the circuit.
In July 2019, Tom made the decision to walk away from his AFL career, one which he thought would have spanned for many years. With 2 years and $2million to run on the contract he had signed with the Western Bulldogs, Tom knew that if he was to achieve happiness in life, this course of action was required..
Since retiring from the AFL, Tom has been busy sharing his story with audiences Australia wide on his experiences with mental health and the techniques he used not only during his AFL career but continues to practice to achieve happiness and balance. At the age of 27, Tom communicates his story brilliantly to youths and adults as his story transcends across many demographics.
Professor Arnold Dix
is hailed as a hero around the world.
Arnold’s unwavering bravery, steady hand, and expertise in handling critical situations has catapulted him into the biggest feel-good story of 2023, the rescue of 41 miners in the Silkyara-Bardot Tunnel collapse in India.

His actions as a member of the tunnel rescue team have not only made a significant impact on the lives of the survivors but have also instilled a sense of hope and gratitude within many communities.
Professor Dix’s story will inspire and enthrall and will show that perseverance and determination will bring results.

Sick at Sea with Dr. John Harrison
Be prepared for lots of laughs as Flagstaff Hill's very own Ship’s Doctor Dr John Harrison takes you on an entertaining and historical journey of sickness at sea.
You will hear all about why a poor diet, lack of hygiene and exposure to disease made passengers so unwell or die during their journey to Australia by ship.
What he has to tell you will make you wonder how any of the passengers managed to make it through their journey alive!

Kirsty Porter - Umbrella Dementia Cafes
Empowering people living with dementia by improving social connection and well-being.
Dementia can be an isolating experience both for those living with it and their families and carers. Kirsty Porter, the CEO of Umbrella Dementia Cafes, was inspired by global innovation in community dementia care to set up social support groups for couples experiencing dementia. The mission of UDC is to empower people living with dementia by improving social connection and well-being.
The program welcomes volunteers and relies on donations to make its work possible. If you’d like to learn more about UDCs, visit
Jordan Vella
My name is Jordan and I am twenty-nine years old. I completed my undergraduate studies at Monash University from 2012-2017, before taking a much-needed break from studying in order to figure out what area of psychology I wanted to pursue. During this time, I sought out full time work in a sports rehabilitation centre before beginning my career as a teaching associate, for the school of psychological sciences at Monash University, in 2019.
It was this position which developed my love for education and helped me understand my occupational ambitions. So, in 2022, I completed a research internship with Monash University at the Danny Frawley Centre, before beginning my PhD in 2023, under the supervision of Dr. Kylie King. With graduation for my PhD set for September of 2026, I plan on using this time to work towards my goals of attaining a career in research and education and becoming a university professor.
Darren Eger
Darren commenced a career in film and television however the instability of the industry saw him return to study and follow a path into Psychology. He has been practicing for 35 years in both the Clinical and Organisational areas. 18 of those years were spent working and developing therapeutic programs in the Forensic field  primarily focussed on Juveniles.
Some have suggested that his refusal to “grow up” greatly assisted his ability to establish empathy with this young cohort. He maintains a private practice in Melbourne’s Bayside area along with an Organisational Consultancy allied with the Executive Empowerment Group. Understanding the importance of a good work life balance, Darren will be found at the local yacht club sailing, riding bicycles, tinkering with cars or heading off on a motorcycle tour.
He has been able to combine many of these interests with his philanthropic endeavours through countless voluntary hours supporting sailing, children’s education in the remote areas of Nepal and
Psychs on Bikes. The last of which involves bringing physical and mental health education and assessment to rural and remote communities around Australia by leveraging the questionable appeal of a bunch of dirty and dusty mental health professionals arriving on motorcycles.
Dee Mason - Co MC
Dee Mason is a graphic designer, radio host, podcaster and corporate event MC based in Melbourne. She is the artistic director at Studio Mason.
When she is not doing those things she is an avid yachtswoman, golfer and intrepid traveller.
She has a long association with the Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central as the daughter of longtime Rotarian John Mason.  Her plan has always been to get more involved with Rotary – and always thought she would wait until she is older. But that seems to have happened. So…. Who knows…. This conference could be the turning point.
Dee can be reached at
Jonathan Usher - Co MC
Jonathan Usher always wanted to be a comedian but was scared people would laugh at him.
In 1999, Jonathan attended a work Christmas party and he saw someone perform a magic trick. Fascinated by the method of the trick, and the reactions it generated, Jonathan purchased the trick the next day and started performing for his workmates.  
A couple of years later, one of his workmates asked him to perform a magic show at their children’s birthday party. 
Jonathan has been a comedy magician since 2003 and performs all over New Zealand and Australia. 
He is one of New Zealand’s finest and highly rewarded and recognised comedy magicians. 
A proud Rotarian, Jonathan joined Rotary in 1997 and has enjoyed a number of roles including District Governor in 2014/2015.  Currently he is a member of the Rotary Club of Dunedin and serves as a Trustee on the J R McKenzie Trust, a significant family philanthropic trust with a long and proud connection with Rotary. He resides in Cromwell with his wife Lisa.
Jonathan will be a familiar face to many Rotarians of D9810 as he as attended many of our conferences in the past. We are very grateful that he has joined us once again this year.
Other Presenters:
A number of other people, all Rotarians of our District will be making presentations this weekend.
Leon Moore - RC Manningham City. Leon will be making a number of appearances throughout the Confernence. It's a surprise.
Barb Lawrence - RC Lilydale. Barb will be talking about her Club's project providing Maroondah Hospital's Mental Health Inpatient Unit with care packs.
Steve Lowe - RC Waverley. Steve will be talking about Ping-Pong-a-Thon drawing attention to child slavery.
Kristine Ash - Presenting on behalf of the RC of Knox.  Kristine will be talking about the club’s project, Simple Step Solutions.  Kristine is standing in for Natalie Wild and is a member of the Rotary Club of Emerald & District.
Mark Perelaer - RC Beaumaris. Mark will be presenting a video on their Club's Sabu project.

Conference Frequently Asked Questions

The following is provided for your information and guidance.
The daily program is available on the rear of your Conference Name Tag.
Saturday and Sunday sessions will commence at 9am
Located in the main foyer of the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE, 185 Timor St, Warrnambool
  • Opening times:  Friday 11.30am – 4.00pm
  • Saturday: 8.30 am - 12.00 noon
Enquiries during conference may be directed to conference committee members who will be wearing distinctive RED polo shirts.
Admission to all sessions is by your lanyard. Please always wear it. The Registration fee enables the attendee to attend the sessions:
  • Morning tea – Saturday
  • Lunch – Saturday
  • Morning tea – Sunday
  • Lunch - Sunday.
All other events are ticketed events, and your lanyard will identify which events you are able to attend.
If this occurs, please contact the Registration and Help Desk.
Any incident occurring within the Lighthouse Theatre should be referred to the Booking/Front Office.
Smoking is not permitted, by law, anywhere within the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE (including toilets) or any other buildings.
The same restrictions apply at Flagstaff Hill Museum, brunch and pre-conference drinks and the Warrnambool Racecourse for the gala dinner.
Should the Conference organisers receive a message for you it will be posted on the Conference Message Board in the Rotary Expo.
If you want to post a message on the Conference Message Board, please see the Registration and Help Desk.
Any urgent messages can be directed through the Registration and Help Desk. 
All accommodation is to be booked via the link provided. Should you have any questions or queries please refer to the place where you booked your stay.
Located inside the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE on the FIRST FLOOR.
The Rotary Expo is an opportunity to find out more about Rotary Programs and Club Projects and talk with sponsors about their products and offers.
Opening Times:  
  • Saturday: 8.30am- 4.00pm
  • Sunday: 8.30am -12 noon.
The mobile number Club Secretary, Don Kerley on 0417 546 381 who will be monitoring continuously from 12 noon Friday 3rd to 2.00pm Sunday 5th March. If not answered, please leave message and Don will reply at his earliest.
For further questions and or information re the Warrnambool conference please email:
As a matter of courtesy to all speakers, please be prompt for each session so that it starts on time. Access to and from the auditorium should not occur during an address by any speaker.
Each session will be televised and available for viewing in the Expo Hall.
Where possible please wear your Rotary recognition lanyard to the Official Opening and to the cocktail party on the Friday of the conference. (Booking via try-booking required).
No literature is to be distributed, no goods offered for sale, or fund raising by any means may occur at the Conference without prior written approval from the Conference Chairman.
Please contact a member at the Registration and Help Desk at the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE or any member wearing the RED coloured polo shirts.
The only awards at Conference are Winners of the Golf and Bowls Day. These will be announced on the Saturday of the conference.
Parking is available in and around the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE. Look out for Club members in the Fluoro jackets to direct you.
When attending the Gala Dinner on Saturday Evening Gala Dinner, please be aware that there is a large car park within the complex.
For transport to the Gala Dinner, a courtesy Bus can pick you up from the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE from 6pm.
Buses will return to the Lighthouse starting from 10.00pm, until function close.
Please tick the bus box when processing your registration on Try-Booking.
Both, LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE and WARRNAMBOOL RACECOURSE (Gala Dinner) have full accessibility for those who require the facilities. Please see one of our friendly volunteers if you require any assistance.
Photographs - by David Liao RC Waverley - can be accessed here
Banking facilities nearest to the Conference Venue:
Commonwealth Bank Warrnambool Branch
Bank 118 Liebig St · (03) 5562 2322
Bank of Melbourne Branch Warrnambool
161-165 Koroit St · (03) 5562 5333
Bendigo Bank
104 Liebig St · (03) 5561 3988
​            Warrnambool Radio Taxis Pty Ltd
            2.6(31) · Taxi service
            Unit 8/135 Timor St · (03) 5561 1114
            Getacab Warrnambool
            5.0(1) · Taxi service
            17 Robson St · 0457 294 303
            Monaghan's Pharmacy
            140 Fairy St · (03) 5562 9555
            Chemist Warehouse Warrnambool
            M1032 Gateway Plaza, 154 Raglan Parade - (03) 5562 9780
Visitor Information:
            Located in: Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
            Address89 Merri St, Warrnambool VIC 3280 
            Phone(03) 5559 4620
Post Offices:
            Australia Post - Warrnambool Post Shop
            Post office
            169 Koroit St · 13 13 18
            Warrnambool Library
            Public library
            8 Kepler St · (03) 5559 4990
Emergency Information:
  • Police, Ambulance or Fire Brigade  Emergency Number 000
  • Conference Contacts: Conference Chair: Wil Cornelissen
    Mobile: 0419 301 472
Medical Centre:
            Hopkins Medical Centre
            435-439 Raglan Parade · (03) 5561 4955
            King Street Medical Clinic
            3 King St · (03) 5561 2425
            WRAD Health and Handbury GP Bulk Billing Medical Clinic
            172 Merri St · (03) 5564 5777
            Warrnambool Dental
            4.0(83) · Dentist
            454A Raglan Parade · (03) 5562 4433
In the event of an emergency evacuation of the Conference venue please follow the LIGHTHOUSE THEATRE staff instructions and proceed to the Emergency Assembly Areas. These are located within the grounds of the theatre.
Conference Committee
  • Host Club: The Rotary Club of Bentleigh Moorabbin Central.
Wil Cornelissen.
Chair / Sponsorship
Brian Slade.
Don Kerley.
Malcolm Chiverton
Bob Richards
Program Co-ordinator
Peter Murie
Kehela (Keels) Vandenberg.
Friday Activities
Glenda Stahel / Grant Perry
Peter O'Brien
Peter Murie.
AV / Script
Sue Cornelissen.
Catering / Expo / Program
Linda O'Brien
GALA – Entertainment & Theming
Jonathan Usher / Dee Mason
David Liao.
Photography can be accessed here
Gus Rozycki
Website / Phone App

Conference Video 2024Change Change

Here is the conference video with all the great things to do during the conference
Latest News
The District Conference will be held in Warrnambool, March 22-24, 2024 web page here.
If you are intending to come and haven't already registered, please do so NOW! Register here. Places are limited for the Saturday evening function (included with full registration).
Even though you may have told your club's On To Conference Chair that you are attending, for most clubs they will still be expecting you to do your own registration. Please check.
This will be the last Conference for District 9810 and will be including segments where we will be reflecting on the achievements of our clubs over the years.
The web page for the Conference is being constantly updated with the program and speakers. Check it out now.
Our speaker list includes:
Bernadette McSherry - served as a Commissioner with the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
Tom Boyd - ex AFL footballer sharing his experiences with mental health
Ian Riseley - past DG 9810, Rotary International President, Chair Trustees The Rotary Foundation
Greg Ross - Director Australian Rotary Health
Professor Arnold Dix - world famous mine rescuer
Included on the Conference web page is a link to an accommodation booking portal. This will make it very easy to organise your accommodation.
See you in Warrnambool!
The District Conference will be held in Warrnambool, March 22-24, 2024 web page here.
Please go to this page to register and utilise the accommodation booking portal. As time goes on we will be adding more information about sporting and social events to be run in conjunction with the Conference and information on speakers.
The theme for the Conference is mental health, in line with International President Gordon McInally's request to treat this issue with some priority in his year. Refer his video here.
Registrations will open 9am Monday, July 24.
Click here to access this committees Microsoft Teams Group