When 200 Rotarians visited Orange on the weekend for their district conference they did more than discuss important issues.
They also emptied their wallets to the city’s restaurants, hotels and accommodation places to the tune of about $500,000.
President-elect of the Rotary Club of Orange Daybreak Bob Derrick said 310 members and family stayed in Orange for up to three nights and helped book out restaurants and hotels around town.
The conference was at the Orange Civic Theatre with functions at other venues including the Orange Ex-Services’ Country Club.
“The economic input of the conference over the three days was about half a million dollars,” he said.
“These three days are very important for Orange.
“It’s great for Orange and we have great facilities.
“The theatre is superb and it was presented first-class.”
Mr Derrick said delegates were impressed by Orange’s facilities.
He said youth and opportunities for young people were key topics.
“It is what everybody warmed to,” he said.
Rotary’s next big event in Orange will be its youth leadership awards in April at Charles Sturt University which will focus on leadership skills.
Mr Derrick said the quality of speakers and their presentations was high at the conference.
He said the talk by Michael Newman on empowering Aboriginal leadership, where Mr Newman demonstrated the layers of history that had stifled Indigenous people in Australia, was particularly strong.
“They were all impressive. The speakers exceeded our expectations.
“That (Mr’ Newman’s speech) was the most impressive of all.
“It was out of left field and it just blew us away.”
Orange Daybreak club president Jo McRae said she was impressed by the keynote speaker Gemma Sisia, who with Winrose Mollel, discussed tackling poverty.
District Governor Michael Milston said the conference showcased Orange to delegates on a number of levels.
“People who haven’t been to Orange for a while could see all the new facilities, the new museum, the gallery and the park, which was really quite resplendent.”
He said it was also an opportunity to focus on various Rotary projects in the district and on projects involving young people locally.