We are pleased to announce our lineup of speakers for the 2018 Conference:


Pio’s numerous appearances as an actor, comedian, musicain and radio and television host over the last two decades have established him as one of New Zealand’s most popular and personable entertainers and MCs.

His starring roles in locally produced shows such as It’s in the Bag, Tangaroa, Are We There Yet?, My Kind of Kai, Intrepid Journeys, How’s Life, Spin Doctors & Matuku have made him a familiar face with an appeal that spans generations. He has twice won Best Comedy Performer at the NZ Film and TV Awards, with his series PIO also winning the Best Comedy Programme at the aforementioned awards. Pio also appeared on screen in the feature film Spooked and the television film The Man Who Lost his Head, further cementing him as a talented and valued screen presence internationally as well as in New Zealand.

His many years of experience behind the scenes as a producer, company director and programme creator for Pipi Productions and 4 Winds Films has given him valuable business insights and built on his ability to relate to a wide variety of audiences.

Pio is a passionate Positive Parenting advocate and spokesperson and has presented No Sweat Parenting shows around the country for many years, as well as helping to write and present a series of the same name for Maori Television.

As a result of these ongoing successes and his natural affinity with people Pio is in very high demand as a MC and keynote speaker for corporate events and community functions throughout New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the Pacific.

Pio was deservedly appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List.


Lea is a Deputy Principal at Hobsonville Point Secondary School – a new secondary school that opened in West Auckland at the beginning of 2014. Prior to this she was the Deputy Principal at Opotiki College in the Bay of Plenty. One of Lea’s key roles at Hobsonville Point Secondary School is leading the development and implementation of a dispositional curriculum, which sees a real focus on developing personal excellence as much as academic excellence. This has seen her exploring the concept of building resilience and grit in young people.

Lea’s teaching practice and leadership is largely influenced by the pursuit of her own passion – adventure racing, and her journey into this sport is largely what her story is about – a bit of adventure and a lot of resilience. But in telling her story she also links to how, at Hobsonville Point Secondary School, students are encouraged to pursue their passions, and to be adventurous.

Lea will share how her experience as a Rotary Exchange Student (in 1999), her experiences growing up, and her passion for sport and the outdoors have shaped her as a person.

Lea is also passionate about her family and raising her two teenagers. She is proud to be part of a school that is leading the way in education and lives by the mantra – “what you want to ignite in others must first burn inside yourself.”



Maria Lovelock is the CEO of Road Safety NZ who are the organisation who provide the Rotary Youth Driving Awareness programme all over New Zealand.

Kelly Munford is a presenter from the RYDA programme who as a 21 year old was involved in a serious car crash which has had major implications for her life ever since.


REZ GARDI: Young New Zealander of the Year 2017 and Rotary Youth Leadership Award participant.

You don’t expect to hear someone like Rez Gardi say their experience at a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) programme was challenging. However, she admits RYLA challenges you to get outside of your comfort zone and she had no idea what to expect, walking in to a room full of strangers on the first day.

“Comfort zone” isn’t a phrase used when describing Rez’s early life. Her family is Kurdish and her parents’ families had settled in Iran to escape persecution. They became political activists, fighting for Kurdish rights and independence and as tensions escalated in Iran they fled, with their two children, to Pakistan. The family spent the next nine years in the refugee camp of Quetta, where Rez was born and were finally resettled in New Zealand in 1998.

Rez said, “I asked myself, how could I contribute to human rights? How could I help my people?”. Her answer saw her become New Zealand’s first Kurdish female lawyer and the 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year. She has worked at the United Nations Office in Nairobi as a human rights intern and represented New Zealand at the Global Refugee Youth Consultations and annual United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva last June. As the founder of charitable organisation, Empower, she is giving a voice to her people and refugee youth. Empower was established to empower, educate, and enable refugee and other marginalised youth in New Zealand address the underrepresentation of refugee youth in higher education. Participants are encouraged to pursue meaningful paths of their choice and contribute to their communities.


ANDREW ALEXANDER: Sales Capability, Systems and Process Manager, Fonterra Brands NZ & Social Media savvy Rotarian

Andrew will be speaking about change, and leadership in a socially networked world.


Andrew heads up the Sales Capability team for Fonterra Brands New Zealand, leading a team focused on the development and delivery of training programmes. He also plays a key role in the Fonterra Brands Leadership programme, and has recently lead a business wide initiative to strengthen capability and culture.

With over 20 years’ experience in Sales & Marketing leadership roles, Andrew has seen how social networks have changed our personal and professional interactions, business models, and community groups. Andrew is an active Freemason and Rotarian in Auckland, is married to Wendy, and once appeared on Outrageous Fortune.

VICTORIA LESSING: Advocate and Ambassador for the Deaf Community

Originally from Latvia, Victoria became deaf at 2years of age – a couple years ago she started her own business “Merge” to raise awareness of the Deaf Community and grow understanding between the Deaf Culture and the Hearing Culture. It is her dream to have a university for Deaf people in NZ

Victoria is married to a deaf Olympian swimmer and has two children.
There are 400,000 that identify as hearing impaired and 9,000 that identify themselves as culturally deaf. NZ has Maori sign language as well as NZ Sign, and it is the only country in the world that has an indigenous sign language.



Bryn has been a Rotarian since 1986 when he joined the Rotary Club of Barrie Huronia in Barrie, Ontario. He was Club President in 1995-96 and served as Assistant Governor for D7010 from 2001-03. Bryn has also served as D7010 District Conference Chair and was a GSE Team Leader to Australia in April 2000 (a tough job!). Bryn was District Governor during the Rotary Centennial year of 2004-05. He has been an RI President Representative to numerous District Conferences and has attended the last three Council on Legislations. His two passions for Rotary are membership (editor Membership Matters Newsletter 2008-10) and the Rotary Foundation. He was D7010 District Foundation Chair from 2007-10 and was the Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator for Zone 24 East from 2010-12. Bryn was the Rotary International Director from Zone 24 from 2012-14. He was a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation from 2015-17. Bryn has had and continues to have the pleasure of sitting on several committees and is the Aide to the Chair of the Rotary Foundation for 2017-18.

By profession, Bryn and his wife Randy are both pharmacists and operated their own pharmacies for 30 years. They are both Paul Harris Fellows, Foundation Bequest Society Members and members of the Arch Klumph Society. Bryn has been recognized with the District Foundation Service Award, the 4 Avenues of Service Citation, the Citation for Meritorious Service, the Service Above Self Award and the Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award. Randy’s support has allowed Bryn to do the Rotary work that he enjoys. Randy and Bryn have 2 married children and 5 grandchildren. They are known as the unreliable grandparents because of their travel schedule.


PDG M. Jamaluddin is a member of the Rotary Club of Narayanganj Midtown, in District 3281, Bangladesh. He is an industrialist by profession and is CEO of a number of companies in the Textile industry. Jamal has been a Rotarian since 1983 and has served in almost all capacities within his club and District including as District Governor in 1997-98.

He is a recipient of RI Service Above Self Award, TRF Distinguished Service Award & Citation for Meritorious Service. He is married to Siddika and they are blessed with five children and six grandchildren.

Since joining Rotary, he has consistently worked for underprivileged children of the community. Jamal & his family have been dedicating their time, talent, & resources to “Alhaj Amizuddin Orphanage” where 150 orphans are living. They donated total 4 acres of land to build the academic building, vocational training centre, and orphanage dormitory where the “Sandra McKersey Hall” was built recently.

Rotary District 9910 Conference acknowledges our sponsors – without their support the conference registration fees would be a lot more expensive: