WARRNAMBOOL will receive a big tourism boost this weekend when about 400 Rotarians gather for an annual conference.
Conference participants will hear from a slew of inspirational speakers over three days and take tours throughout the south-west.
The conference has the theme “Conversations to Action”.
It starts tonight with a mayoral welcome and concludes on Sunday.
Participants come from Rotary District 9520 that covers parts of South Australia, Victoria and Broken Hill in NSW.
Among the speakers addressing the conference are ABC managing director Mark Scott, pioneering craniofacial surgeon Professor David David and world expert on the Inca civilisation, Jean-Jaques Decoster.
Rotary District 9520 governor Wendy Garborit said the conference aimed to encourage Rotarians to think beyond themselves and their clubs and be inspired by what people had achieved in a range of other fields.
Common themes will be stories about ordinary people achieving extraordinary things and of exceptional people who have used their skills, talents and knowledge to make the world a better place.
Some of the conference participants cycled to the conference from Hamilton and Irymple near Mildura to practise Rotary’s ideal of community service.
They gained sponsorship for their rides to raise money for the Australian Rotary health research organisation. Ms Garborit said Warrnambool had been chosen to host the gathering because it offered lots of holiday diversions to complement the conference’s other activities.
Most of the conference talks will be held in the mornings to give participants an opportunity to visit other parts of the south-west.
The main venue for the conference will be the Lighthouse Theatre but a gala dinner will be held on Saturday night at Deakin University.