We’re sure you’ll be inspired by our highly regarded speakers and interactive sessions over the conference weekend. You’ll hear about our own district successes and bright ideas throughout the programme too.

Dr George McGavin – Entomologist, Presenter and Explorer

George McGavin is a familiar face on television talking about the natural world, and he will be sharing some of his experiences in Portsmouth this March when he speaks at the District conference.

George studied Zoology at Edinburgh University, followed by a PhD in entomology at Imperial College and the Natural History Museum in London. However, it was after 25 years as an academic at Oxford University that he gained wider attention as a television presenter. George is a regular presenter on BBC’s The One Show and has written numerous books on insects and other animals and is currently President of the Dorset Wildlife Trust. His programme credits include Expedition Borneo, Lost Land of the Jaguar, Lost Land of the Volcano, Lost Land of the Tiger, The Dark: nature’s night-time world, and Prehistoric Autopsy. He was also behind the documentaries Miniature Britain, Planet Ant, Ultimate Swarms, Dissected: the incredible human hand and foot, Monkey Planet, The Secret Life of your House (ITV) and the multi-award winning documentary After Life: the strange science of decayThe Oak: nature’s greatest survivor was shown on BBC4 in October 2015 and won a Royal Television Society Award and a Grierson Award.

Christopher Dobbs – Head of Interpretation, Mary Rose Trust

Chris was one of the divers underwater as Henry VIII’s warship, the Mary Rose, was raised to the surface in October 1982. He then worked on other projects in different countries building an international reputation, taking on the role of Chairman and now Vice-President of the influential Nautical Archaeology Society. For the last ten years he has been working on the ideas and content for the award-winning Mary Rose Museum, bringing the 500 year old ship alive for a modern audience.

Be the InspirationAndy Lewis MBE – European, World and Paralympic Champion

[Photo: Dulux Trade Revolution]

Andy Lewis is a GB Paratriathlete and competes as a through-knee amputee. Andy lost his leg at just 16 years old after a serious motorcycle accident. Instead of giving up after this life-changing incident he has worked relentlessly to challenge himself and to stay fit and focused and become the best he can be. The London 2012 Paralympic Games reignited Andy’s interest in running and a chance meeting with the Arctic One Foundation introduced him to triathlon.  He became British triathlon Champion and in 2016 was crowned European and World Champion. In 2018 Andy set up Bespoke Mentoring and visits schools to deliver his signature Wellbering Leader training. This will be Andy’s toughest year yet as he faces up to his mental health challenges and sets his sights on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Holger Knaack, Rotary International

We are privileged to welcome Holger and Susanne Knaack from District 1940 in Germany as representatives of Rotary International President Barry Rassin.  Holger is a member of the Rotary Club of Herzogtum Lauenburg-Mollin. He was RI Director and RI Treasurer and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board. Holger has served RI as president’s representative, Council of Legislation representative, resource groups zone coordinator and RI training leader. He served for six years as chairman of the Rotary Youth Exchange Germany.

Vicki Mountford, Inner Wheel District 9

Vicki is District Chairman of District 9 Inner Wheel and will be joining many Inner Wheel members for the conference weekend. Vicki’s charity for the year is Pancreatic Cancer Action, who will be exhibiting in the showcase area.

20 Years of Innovation and Teamwork: Dr Syed Masud – Medical Director, Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Many Rotary clubs in District 1090 have raised funds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance in recent years. As the organisation celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019, we’ll hear Dr Syed Masud speak about how those donations have contributed to innovations that help TVAA bring the hospital to the roadside. Syed is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and Medical Director for TVAA. He was awarded Air Ambulance Doctor of the Year in 2017 for his introduction of medical governance within Thames Valley Police, and will also give us his personal take on teamwork within the emergency services.

Into the Disaster Zone: Steve Amoss, Shelterbox

ShelterBox is Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief, working with local Rotarians in 90% of deployments. The organisation helps people made homeless by natural disaster or conflict by providing tents, tarpaulins and tools to rebuild a home; solar lights to combat isolation at night; blankets to keep warm; mosquito nets, water filters and containers to protect from disease; cooking pots to provide meals. Shelterbox’s efforts keep families and communities together and promote stability in the face of huge trauma. In fact Shelterbox has been nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of its humanitarian efforts in areas of extreme conflict.

In this exciting session, led by Shelterbox Response Volunteer Steve Amoss, we’ll find out what happens when a disaster occurs and Shelterbox swings into action. You’ll be at the heart of operations with the Shelterbox team as you make the decisions on how to deploy and get vital equipment to those in need.

Malaria – What’s the Answer?

Malaria is a debilitating illness which can lead to chronic health problems and even death, especially among children and pregnant women. Without control Malaria can have a dramatic impact on economic development in countries affected by it. Why is it difficult to eradicate? What are the solutions? Who are the Rotarians Eliminating Malaria – a Rotary Action Group (REMaRAG) and what action are they taking? Is there anything we can learn from the End Polio campaign? Answers to these and your questions with our expert panel facilitated by Rotary magazine editor Dave King including:

  • Gillian Pearce, D1090 District Governor and Director of Education, REMaRAG
  • Ian Priestley, a research scientist for a multinational agrochemical company and REMaRAG Chairman
  • Brian Stoyel, RI Director and founder of the REMIT programme – Rotarians Eliminating Malaria in Tanzania

Think Differently – Phil Dyer and Irene Russell

Phil (Rotary Prescot) and Irene (Rotary Warrington) from the RIBI Public Image team will deliver a thought-provoking session around the concept of ‘Think Differently’. The workshop on Saturday afternoon will challenge us to consider our vision of Rotary and its future and understand the impact our clubs have in our communities. There will be lots of examples of successful innovations and practical ideas from across our district and beyond to revitalise Rotary and ensure it continues to thrive. See more in the Rotary magazine article.

End Polio Q&A with Judith Diment

Put your questions about the End Polio campaign to Judith Diment, past District 1090 District Governor and one of the Rotary volunteers hard at work behind the scenes as a PolioPlus national advocacy adviser, making sure polio eradication is on the global agenda in the corridors of power. Judith is also Chair of the Rotary International Polio Advocacy Task Force.

Kids Out – Gordon Moulds

KidsOut is dedicated to bringing fun and happiness into the lives of disadvantaged children, helping tens of thousands of children every year. Each year, more than 10,000 Rotarians volunteer on National Rotary KidsOut days at over 100 venues. CEO of KidsOut Gordon Moulds will tell the story of KidsOut and how more Rotary clubs in District 1090 can get involved in the Rotary KidsOut days in the summer and at Christmas time.

Chas Cairns, District Youth Services Chair

Chas is District 1090’s Youth Services Chair, who oversees the various Rotary GBI youth competitions in the district, including Young Chef, Young Musician, Young Photographer and Young Writer as well as the Technology Tournaments.  Chas comes from a military background in the RAF where he helped to introduce the Harrier Jump Jet into service, before joining a metal trading company and spending time in Canada. Chas is a member of Thatcham Rotary Club where he has served as treasurer, secretary, Foundation chair and Interact officer and was President 2000-2001.

OK Our Kids, Tony Churchill

Tony and Lynn Churchill formed ‘OK Our Kids’ five-and-a-half years ago and have dedicated themselves to helping primary school children become aware of dangers in today’s society, eg bullying, well-being, and writing and producing the ‘Watch Out’ books for primary school children. Their aim is to get a ‘Watch Out’ book to every primary school child in the UK and this will only be possible with the help and support of Rotary.

Inspiring and Empowering Young People – Tim Mason

Qualified as a teacher in physics and youth, Tim has spent 30 years working in the youth and community sector, including Local Authority Youth Services, the Church of England, Alcohol Concern, Sargent Cancer Care for Children and The Prince’s Trust. Within these setting he has developed some innovative initiatives, which have gained national recognition. Tim is passionate about building sustainable, diverse and inclusive communities. He is currently a Rotarian with Rotary Social Innovation – a Rotary 2 club – and is the District Governor Nominee for District 1110 which covers Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Channel Islands and part of Dorset and Wiltshire.

Breakout Sessions – Your Choice

Your feedback was clear; you would like the opportunity to break into smaller groups to discuss some areas in more detail and share ideas with like-minded people. Choose from one of these great sessions.

  •  Why Public Image and Membership Sit Hand-in-Hand: How can you use public image strategies to boost membership at your club? Debs Holland-Axtell (District Public Image Chair), John Simpson (District Membership Chair) give you some pointers along with Rotary magazine editor, Dave King.
  • Dementia Friends Information Session: Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative. During this interactive session you will increase your basic understanding of dementia, and learn about the small things you can do to make a difference to people affected by dementia in your community. You will also have the opportunity to become an official Dementia Friend – someone who understands a little bit more about dementia and then turns that understanding into action. Faciliated by Rotarian Victoria Williams.
  • Academia and the Real World – challenging norms, learning from experience, building partnerships: A series of three discussions. A great opportunity for Rotarians to engage with Scholars on their ideas for improving communities and lives, for Rotarians to give real world examples of initiatives that have or have not worked in practice, and for Rotarians to present project ideas on which academic advice might be beneficial.  Facilitated by Karen Eveleigh, District Foundation Chair.