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District 9670 is located midway along the East coast of NSW, Australia. The district runs in a strip averaging 150 kilometres wide east-west across the state almost to the Queensland and South Australian borders. The principal city is Newcastle, with a city population of 500,000 people.

 

Newcastle is the largest city in the state of NSW outside Sydney and has one of the oldest Rotary Clubs in Australia.

Newcastle was formerly the major iron and steel manufacturing location in Australia. It is an important and thriving port (the largest coalexporting port in the world) and its beautiful beaches and temperate climate make it a popular tourist centre. The Lake Macquarie area is an important commercial, holiday and industrial location.

 

A few kilometres north of Newcastle is Nelson Bay. This town is located on Port Stephens which is one of Australia’s major tourist attractions. The area also has a thriving fishing industry and is famous for its whale and dolphin observation cruises. Dungog and Paterson boast some of the best agricultural country in Australia where dairy farming and cattle grazing abound. There is also a well established timber industry.

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The Cessnock Pokolbin area is home to the Hunter Vineyards. These vineyards produce some of the World’s finest wines. The export of Australian wine especially that from the Hunter has become a major part of Australia’s economy. The vineyards are also a major tourist attraction and are home to a number of championship golf courses. Nearby Maitland, a major commercial area has four very active Rotary clubs.A little further west, the Hunter becomes a rich agricultural and industrial area with many coal mines producing millions of tonnes of quality coal annually.

Major towns of Singleton and Muswellbrook support this industry. The Upper Hunter towns of Scone and Murrurundi are home to some of the finest thoroughbred studs in the world.

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Through Denman and Merriwa and beyond the Great Dividing Range, a significant mountain range dividing the coastal areas from the drier flatter inland, lie the western plains of NSW. This is an agriculturally rich expanse producing wheat, cotton, garden vegetables, sheep for wool and meat and many cattle on expansive cattle stations. Dubbo is a major inland city servicing much of the agricultural region. The city whose populationis 50,000 is home to four Rotary clubs.

 

South-East of Dubbo are the towns of Rylstone-Kandos, Wellington and Mudgee, the area surrounding these towns is developing a wine and tourist industry to supplement the established agriculture of the area.

After travelling through Narromine and Nyngan past Warren we reach the western extremities of the District. Located here are the early (by Australian standards) settled small towns of Cobar and Bourke. This area was formerly an area of large cattle, sheep and wheat properties.

 

In recent times the irrigation water provided by the Darling River system has allowed cotton to become a major crop. This newer agricultural pursuit now compliments the large cattle and sheep properties.

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When we talk of Australian settlement we often refer to European settlement which took place after 1788. Of course we are very proud of our native Australians whose history has been dated as far back as 60,000 years, making the Australian Aboriginal one of the oldest recorded of Earth’s inhabitants. District 9670 has 50 Rotary Clubs with approximately 1300 members. The clubs are very supportive of all Rotary programs. Membership recently has shown a slight increase. Last year two new clubs were chartered. Our district conference is held in March each year.

 

Most other activities such as District Assemblies, PETS and meetings are held in duplicate in the eastern and western parts of the district because of the vastness of the district. Of particular importance to our district are the programs for youth. We are particularly supportive of the exchange program with most clubs hosting and sending out students on a regular basis.

 

Rotary is not a secret society, and we are always keen to hear from individuals who might be interested in finding out more about belonging to this great organization. You may have previously have been in Rotary and have now transferred to our part oof the world. Or you are a person who would like to find a way of giving back to our community whilst enjoying the friendship of a great group of people. Individually it may be hard to make an impact but, as part of a Rotary Club, you can make a significant difference and have fun at the same time.