I have always admired Rotary: its aims, its achievements, and the giving spirit of its members.

Everyone starts life with a different set of circumstances. To succeed as individuals, no matter what our situation, we all need to work hard, show commitment, and be ambitious. To succeed as a society, however, we must do something more. We must work productively together.

This is where Rotary plays its special role, something that is especially notable on International Women's Day.

Rotary’s initiatives help women all over the world – in health, education, and economic development. In my own area of passion, I know that you’ve funded scholarships for women in science. None of this would be possible without your dedication and enthusiasm.

Women always benefit from the support of other women. And International Women’s Day is definitely a time to remember this. I hope your breakfast will prove a tremendous success – both as a fundraiser and as a celebration of women.

Yours sincerely

Scientia Professor Michelle Y. Simmons, FAA, FAAAS, FTSE, FInstP, Dist FRSN

2018 Australian of the Year