By Mark Maloney, chair of the 2014 Sydney Convention Committee, and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA
I am looking forward to the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, for many different reasons. Conventions are a wonderful opportunity to make and renew friendships with Rotary members from around the world, a chance I’ve had many times. And it never really grows old. But also, Sydney is a stunningly beautiful city. The venue, Sydney Olympic Park, is clearly one of the world’s best facilities for a convention of 20,000 or more attendees. Developed for the 2000 Olympic Games, it is exciting and unique.
Convention plenary sessions and some breakout sessions will be conducted in Allphones Arena. Allphones Arena hosted gymnastic and basketball events during the Olympic Games. The arena is an ideal plenary hall with tiered, stadium seating providing excellent sight lines to the stage from any location in the hall. The facility also provides easy access with ramps and escalators available to the upper levels. All convention registrants, even those with mobility challenges, will find Allphones Arena easy to navigate.
The hub of Convention fellowship will be the “Billabong” House of Friendship in the Dome and Exhibition Halls of Sydney Showground. Sydney Showground is the home of the Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales and its Royal Easter Show. The Billabong will include more than 21,000 square meters of exhibition space for Rotary and commercial booths, entertainment, and international food and beverage outlets.
A brand new exhibition hall in the Sydney Showground immediately adjacent to the Billabong will be the location of convention registration and RI ticketed luncheons. All Sydney Showground facilities are directly across Olympic Boulevard from Allphones Arena.
Best of all, Sydney Olympic Park is easily accessed from throughout the Sydney metropolitan area. Dedicated trains for the event will run from Sydney Central Station to Sydney Olympic Park Station, which is adjacent to the Billabong House of Friendship. Rotary shuttle buses will run from hotels in the Sydney Central Business District, Parramatta, and Rosehill with disembarkation on Olympic Boulevard outside of Allphones Arena.
Sydney Olympic Park may well be the best venue for a Rotary International Convention ever. Please join your fellow Rotary members from around the world in Sydney as we Engage Rotary, Change Lives.