Event Dates

Fri 15th March - 6:00pm
Welcome Cocktail Party at the Loxton Historical Village.

Sat 16th March - 6:30am
The Rotary Foundation Breakfast at the Loxton Hotel.

Sat 16th March - 6:30pm
Gala Dinner at Salena Estate.

Sun 17th March - 6:00am
Breakfast at Heaven

Sun 17th March at around 12:15pm
Farewell Lunch at The Loxton Club
(next door to Conference Venue)

15th - 17th March 2024
Main Venue for Conference at the Precinct Loxton.



A fighter since birth. He defied the odds of surviving a rare form of life-threatening cancer and was the sole survivor of a horrific cancer drug trial. He has spent nearly ¼ of his life in hospital and continually shows the world absolutely everything that he can accomplish. A businessman and elite sportsman, Michael has shared the stage with the likes of Sir Richard Branson & the Dalai Lama.

He has achieved incredible outcomes in both his personal and professional life. His ability to help shift your mindset, instil perspective and have you determined to become the best version of yourself, will amaze and inspire.

“Outside of love, HOPE is one of the most powerful words in the English language.“
– Michael Crossland


Ben is a Loxton local.  From rural reporter to foreign correspondent, he has covered the world’s biggest news stories, including the Thai cave rescue, the death of Prince Philip and Australia’s Ashes triumph in England in 2019.  In 2020, as the Nine Network’s Europe Correspondent, he covered the spread of Covid-19, providing first-hand accounts from the locked-down cities of Milan and London. 

He has won several top awards, including South Australian Journalist of the Year in 2016 and 2020.  He’ll talk about hope – as the Thai cave rescue unfolded. As well as things fascinating and harrowing, as he has brought news into our lounge rooms.

Trevor Norton – ‘Official Opening’

Mayor – Loxton Waikerie District Council, Trevor Norton is Riverland born and bred and now lives in Kingston-On-Murray, with wife Colleen.

Schooled in Loxton before graduating from Roseworthy Agriculture College in 1983, he worked for more than twenty years for the South Australian and Australian Agriculture departments before establishing his own horticultural consultancy.

Trevor has served on the District Council of Loxton Waikerie for over 12 years including 4 as Deputy Mayor. He was elected Mayor in 2022.

He is also a regular opinion columnist for the local newspaper, co-hosts a weekly sports radio program and broadcasts football on the regional radio station, 5RM.


Maurice O’Connell is an Adelaide resident with a background in finance and banking and earlier in his career as an Army officer in the UK.

Now retired, he was so moved by what he saw on television of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he first went to Ukraine in 2022.   As a self-funded volunteer, he began working with a local Ukrainian NGO in Odesa – providing welfare assistance to Internally Displaced People, remote communities, and related humanitarian projects.

Maurice inspired the initiation of Project New Dawn in District 9510.  He will relate how his military background influenced both why he went to Odesa and his role whilst there. He will describe life in a city and community on the front line.


Rosie first came to Australia as ROMAC patient number 5 in 1991, a frightened 9 year-old Fijian girl. She made 6 surgical visits to Australia.

Her challenges since birth included facial deformities (hypertelorism, bilateral lip and palate) and deformed hands (left hand contained three fingers) and the right hand had a short arm. She was also fitted with a prosthesis, that greatly added to her confidence.

Now as a 41 year-old happily living in Australia, Rosie is humbled and overjoyed at the opportunity and recognition of being a ROMAC Ambassador. She enjoys visiting the babies, children and parents from the Islands who are also being assisted by ROMAC.

Heidi Unferdorben & Rachel Wills – ‘A CENTENARY OF ROTARY IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA’

Heidi Unferdorben is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Adelaide and has served on the District 9510 Leadership Board. With a passion for both her club and for Rotary, she has been the Chair of the Rotary Club of Adelaide Centenary Committee since it first convened in 2020. She leads the team that has turned a 100-year milestone into a showcase of celebration and events.

Rachel Wills is a member of the Rotary Club of Waikerie. Since joining Rotary she has been her club’s unofficial photographer – sliding easily into a role as Public Image manager and dynamic Bulletin Editor. Rachel brings her infectious brand of enthusiasm to the role of District Centenary Chair – taking the Centenary to clubs in District 9510 and beyond.


Cameron has been the CEO of Interplast since December 2019. Interplast is a charity that provides life-saving and life-changing surgery across 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Their teams of volunteer plastic surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and allied health professionals also train and upskill the local medical services to provide longer-term and improved care.

Interplast is supported by Rotarians in clubs and districts throughout Australia and New Zealand. Cameron will talk about Interplast’s work and challenges. You will hear about remarkable outcomes brought about and enabled by this extraordinary volunteer organisation.


William is originally from Loxton in the Riverland. He is a former student of the Loxton High School and was involved in the in the establishment of the Interact Club of Loxton High School.

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Loxton, William participated in several Rotary programmes such as the Rotary Adventure in Citizenship (RAIC) in 2019, and the Youth Sailing Challenge aboard the tall ship “ One and All”.

William has a deep interest in the issues affecting the agricultural sector in South Australia.

He has previously completed a 12- month traineeship with Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone MP, where he gained a Certificate (3) in Business through TafeSA.

Currently William is studying at the University of South Australia, where he is completing a Double Degree – Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Business (Economics, Finance & Trade) and is a Hawker Scholar residing at St Mark’s College. During his Gap year, William became a member of the Rotary Club of Loxton, and was involved with numerous and various community events and other volunteering activities in his spare time.

Samuel speaks barely a lick of French for someone who seems to keep finding himself in Europe. After graduating as Dux of Loxton High School in 2020 Samuel has spent time studying Aerospace Engineering with the ISAE group in France and the University of Adelaide.
He currently has his sights on a career working with Defence platforms and space systems. These aspirations in part came from attending a Rotary-sponsored place at the National Youth Science Forum in Brisbane back in 2020 when we all cared more about bushfires than Covid 19. Samuel will speak on how Rotary has shaped his career and values along with any important lessons learned along the way.

Born: in town of Binh Khe, Vietnam 1969, Orphan in Bethany orphanage in city of Bien Hoa – aged 2-5

Operation Baby Lift in 1975 – adopted to Australia Grew up in Narrung, SA and completed primary schooling at Highgate PS before going onto Unley HS and then finishing high school at Clare HS – sport crazy – cricket, tennis, soccer & football. Joined Army in 1987 – posted to Woodside barracks for 7 years – 1st marriage with 2 children (Jordan & Georgia) Worked at Lobethal abattoirs – labouring, slaughterman and meat inspector.

Began University degree in 1998, 1st teaching contract at Heathfield PS before becoming permanent at Snowtown AS, Currently principal at Swan Reach Area School (10 years).

Annika worked as a medical researcher for over 10 years, beginning her career in orthopedics before joining the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford in 2018. Since, she has worked firstly for the Health Behaviors team and now with the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine on research aiming to improve health through behavior change. Her research interests are focused on evidence synthesis and on interventions for smoking cessation to overcome tobacco addiction. 

She has contributed 39 publications to the scientific literature, seven led as first-author, and have shared her research at both national and international conferences. She is passionate about sharing research with the wider community through blog-writing and podcasts, and volunteer as the Sciences Editor for her college academic journal at the University of Oxford. 

Annika holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Adelaide in Australia. She majored in Pharmacology and Psychology and my interest in drug addiction grew, and was was awarded for achieving the highest mark for each major, and the Dean’s Certificate of Merit. Beginning her career in clinical research then widened her eyes to opportunities to prevent ill-health by eliminating preventable risk factors. Annika then completed a Master of Clinical Sciences at the University of Adelaide in 2018, alongside her orthopedic work, and was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for Master of Research Thesis Excellence.

Annika is a Doctor of Philosophy in Primary Health Care student at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral research focuses on investigating socioeconomic inequalities in smoking cessation behaviours and outcomes to address health inequalities caused by smoking-related disease. She is supervised by tobacco control and evidence synthesis experts, Associate Professor Jamie Hartmann-Boyce and Dr Nicola Lindson, and is supported by The Rotary Foundation and the Society for the Study of Addiction.

Jennie was born in Dunedin and educated at Whangaparaoa Primary and Glendowie College.

Jennie joined the Rotary Club of Ōtāhuhu Inc in 1997, was Club President 2007-2008, Assistant Governor for District 9920 from 2011 to 2013. Jennie was District Governor for District 9920 in 2015/16 when her District theme was Share your  Passions – Inspire All.  Jennie was also the RDU District representing New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from 2017-2023 Current positions Held:  
Zone 8 – Endowment and Major Gift Advisor – EMGA  -2022 – present.

Chair of Rotary Oceania (ROZops Ltd) 2020 – present Since joining Rotary, Jennie has attended 14 International Conventions – this is where you see the true internationally of rotary and make friends and acquaintances from all over the world.

Sam was born in Berri, South Australia and is the second eldest of four children, he is a husband, a father of five daughters, and a Papa of two granddaughters.  As a local Riverland man he has with cultural family ties to the Gerard Aboriginal Community, the Narrunga nation on the Yorke Peninsula of SA and the Kaurna nation in Adelaide South Australia.

Since moving back home to the Riverland from Adelaide nearly eighteen years ago, Sam has worked in the Riverland community in various roles and sectors including education, Aboriginal Youth programs, homelessness, mental health and now the Alcohol and other Drug and justice sectors, and currently works at the Aboriginal Drug & Alcohol Council of SA in the New Direction Program as an Offender Support Worker based in Berri.

Sam is passionate about creating awareness, education of Aboriginal culture and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health 1st Aid, and owns and operates his own training business “Sam Mitchell Training” – facilitating trainings about Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health 1st Aid, Youth Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health 1st Aid as well also facilitating workshops and presentations about Reconciliation & NAIDOC Weeks and other culturally significant events.

In his spare time Sam  enjoys spending time with family, watching sports, being on country and gardening.