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Sydney’s 105th Rotary International Convention wins best in Australia

Barry Thompson accepting the MEA Award
In an exciting national final, Sydney’s 105th Rotary International Convention has been awarded Australia’s best Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program. 

Held in June 2014, the convention attracted worldwide attention and media coverage for the association’s key cause, the global eradication of the Polio disease.  

Rotary’s campaign awareness event broke a double world record for the largest bridge climb on Sydney Harbour Bridge with 340 participants waving 278 flags. This turnout eclipsed Oprah Winfrey’s world-record climb in 2011.

Money raised from the Rotary climb was matched by the Bill Gates Foundation and BridgeClimb Sydney donated 50 per cent of the proceeds from their ticket sales. These contributions have helped to protect 240,000 children from Polio.

Last night's Meetings & Events Australia’s (MEA) national award was jointly accepted by Rotary International Convention Local Organising Committee Chair, Barry Thompson and Business Events Sydney’s (BESydney) General Manager, Event Delivery, Robyn Johnson.

The MEA National Awards recognise excellence and best business practice in the business events industry. They encourage industry professionals to excel in the achievement of their business and personal goals, and reward those who achieve outstanding results.

Ms Johnson said she was thrilled this highly successful and celebrated event had been recognised at the national level. “The convention is one of the largest and most significant annual meetings held globally. When it was held in Sydney last year, it drew nearly 20,000 participants, almost 2,000 more than expected, to our shores – reinforcing Sydney’s position as Australia’s No. 1 place to meet.”

Mr Thompson said the success of the 2014 event could be attributed to the city’s ‘Team Sydney’ approach to supporting the local organising committee. “Sydney’s whole-of-city approach is remarkable and helped to ensure the 105th Rotary International Convention was a complete success. Team Sydney worked tirelessly to deliver an amazing event experience and I am forever thankful of their support.” 

Off the back of the convention’s success in Sydney, former Rotary International President, Ron Burton, has recently joined BESydney to champion the harbour city’s event hosting prowess on an international level. Now one of BESydney’s seven international ambassadors, Mr Burton is sharing his experiences and spreading the word globally about the benefits of hosting an event in Sydney – Australia’s leading business event destination, as ranked by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). 

BESydney would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate its strategic partners and members who were also honoured at the annual awards. These include The Star, Exponet’s Jim Delahunty and Christine Kotsis, AV1, Arinex, Verve Creative, and Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.

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