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72nd Annual Conference & 73rd National Council Meeting

The 72nd Annual Conference and 73rd National Council Meeting were held at the Distinction Hotel in Dunedin during the weekend 12-14 April 2019.

Friday Evening – Official Opening

The evening commenced with a bagpipe recital by Bevan Joyce of the Taranaki Society which was relayed to those present by video.  Mr. Ken Te Tau addressed the meeting with a waiata karakia, followed by the Ode of Remembrance spoken in te reo.  The English translation was then spoken by Dunedin City Councillor Rachel Elder. Councillor Elder extended a warm welcome to approximately 100 delegates, members and supporters, expressing delight that the Edinburgh of the South had been chosen as the venue for the 2019 conference.  She spoke about the history of Dunedin and acknowledged the milestone of the Otago/Southland Society in reaching 75 years.  Councillor Elder then officially declared the Conference open.

The business session followed, with the Election of Officers resulting in the following: Mark Bruce (President); David Johnston (Vice President); Lorraine Peacock (Coordinator/Treasurer); Matthew Bryson, Justine Mangan-Woods, Korrin Barrett and Graeme Sayer (Committee Members).


In the morning, attendees enjoyed leisure time, including a visit to the Toitu Museum and a bus tour around the Otago Peninsula with morning tea at Glenfalloch.

Presentations on Saturday afternoon included Living Life Unlimited by Korrin Barrett (Mentor & Ambassador), Being Your Best by Jan Aitken (Life Coach), and Prosthetic Services in New Zealand (NZALS).

Otago & Southland Society 75th Jubilee Dinner

A Haggis Ceremony began the evening’s festivities, the haggis being piped in accompanied by members of the Otago/Southland Committee.  Later in the evening, two sword dancers demonstrated their skills, a Jubilee Cake was cut by the O/S President and Coordinator, and raffles were drawn.  Many danced well into the night to the music of the band YNot.


Presentations included My Journey by Holly Robinson (Paralympian) and How I Survived a Volcanic Eruption by William Pike (Inspirational Speaker).

The 15 GIAG participants then shared their experiences of the previous day.  These included paintball, escape room and kayaking on the Otago Harbour.  Their enthusiasm was very evident!


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