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We’re proud to provide a platform for acclaimed speakers who will inform you, thrill you, and make you laugh. Check out our program of speakers for the upcoming conference below, and read through their bios to get a better sense of what you can expect from their sessions. 

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MC and Keynote Speaker

Passionate about storytelling, Jason Browne expertly merges radio, marketing, and public speaking to engage global audiences. Collaborating with giants like Facebook, Microsoft, and Rotary International, and drawing from his MBA, Jason has spoken on over 100 stages, addressing leadership, privilege, and diversity. Committed to crafting a better world for his nieces and nephews, he champions positive change. Offstage, he enjoys basketball, music, kayaking, and winning over his young niece. From deep dives into DEI to discussions on space travel, Jason's approach intertwines seriousness with fun. His guiding principle: "Use what you love to fight what you hate.”

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Rotary International President Representative and Keynote Speaker 

Ken Robertshaw is a member of the Rotary Club of Halifax, Yorkshire and a native of that town. After an unremarkable school career, he joined the Police Service and rose to the rank of Inspector before his retirement. On leaving the Police he vowed never to have anything to do with uniforms, shifts or legal work.  So far, so good.

Ken was the director of the District 1040 RYLA for 17 years and has served on the RI RYLA committee, as well as several national committees in the UK.  Ken served as District Governor for 1040 in 2007-08 and the Host Area Co-ordinator for the Rotary Foundation Peace Fellows at Bradford University from 2015-18.

A major donor to the Rotary Foundation he has received several Club and District awards and was proud to be awarded Rotary International’s highest accolade, The “Service Above Self’ award in 2018.

A trustee for the Theodora Children’s Charity he has undertaken expeditions to raise funds for them. In 2012 he crossed Arctic regions of northern Europe by dog sled and in 2014 he travelled the entire length of the Mississippi River by kayak without a support crew.  He writes books about his travels and gives illustrated lectures.

Ken refuses to be unhappy and sees no reason to change!

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Keynote Speaker at Foundation Breakfast

Since returning from her time as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar at University College London to Australia at the end of 2022, Prashanti is now working in the Aboriginal Health Division in the Victorian Department of Health. She is balancing this work whilst retaining a clinical load in remote NT. Her work to transition from clinical work to public health and policy follows a commitment to address the upstream determinants of health and wellbeing, for populations experiencing socially-determined health inequities.


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Keynote Speaker

Luke Grant, 30 years a radio broadcaster, political commentator, current affairs junkie, humourist, professional voice artist, and event host. Born, raised  and schooled in Sydney, Luke's media career has seen him work and live in Australia's three eastern states, in place like Longreach, Inverell, Newcastle and of course, Melbourne and Sydney. He was also the voice of the Sydney Roosters for 15 seasons. He loves his footy! While Luke's on-air work focuses on news and opinions, his quirky sense of humour has endeared him to his listeners for many years. For an entertaining weekend you can listen to Luke on air, Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 1 pm on radio 2GB 673.


Throughout its history, Rotary’s success has always depended on the calibre of its people - from the expertise and commitment of individuals right through to the leadership and culture of each club and district. As such, the development of Rotary people is an ongoing theme.
But what is the ultimate purpose of having all these brilliant individuals? Rotary International believes that, in line with our motto of ‘Service above Self’ our purpose is to make the world a better place. Which is why the theme of this presentation is ‘Growing better leaders to grow a better world’.
Strap yourself in for an inspiring session that will challenge our current thinking, kick-start the process of innovation, and help us explore a new way forward. Visiting RI VIP to be named closer to the Conference.



Keynote Speaker and Entertainer

Tenor Michael Lapiña began his professional career in 1988 performing in musicals and touring extensively in Australia and Asia. Since 2008, Michael has been engaged with many of Australia’s leading opera houses to perform some of the most coveted tenor roles in the operatic repertoire.

A versatile tenor, Michael is regularly engaged as soloist on the concert, corporate, chamber and oratorio stages including performances of the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa Di Gloria, Handel’s Messiah and Samson, and Rossini and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater.  He is also a great supporter of the community, performing and directing several fundraising concerts for Rotary International and the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

He is currently DGE for the Melbourne District.


Keynote Speaker

Lieutenant Colonel Garth Callender is the author of After the Blast: An Australian Officer in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book follows the author through three operational deployments with the Australian Army over 2004 to 2010.

  • The second tour saw the author return to Baghdad in 2006. The story details several incidents, including a rocket attack that injured four soldiers and a shooting incident that resulted in three Iraqi security guards being wounded and one killed. Most notably, the story details the shooting death of Private Jacob Kovco.

  • The final section of the book follows the author to Uruzgan ProvinceAfghanistan , from June 2009 to February 2010, where he commanded a weapons intelligence team.

After the Blast won the 2016 Nib Waverley Military History Literary Prize.


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Stephen is committed to advancing the notion that all art forms are vital for the ongoing health of communities. Stephen has been a committed professional saxophonist and composer for over 40 years and is highly active as a touring musician and recording artist and has written many pieces of music in response to the amazing environment of the Central Australian Outback. He has released three CDs, performed on over 50 CDs for other musicians and has performed with well known singers and instrumentalists. Two of his works have been published in major anthologies, including Tempe Downs (The Old Station), which was published in the Australian Saxophone Anthology, and The Afghans, in the Australian Piano Anthology.

In 2020, he wrote the music for, and recorded All Shoulders to the Wheel to help Rotary celebrate its Centenary in Australia.

Stephen’s work was recognised in the Australia Day Honours List of 2017 when he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the performing arts.

Stephen is a committed Rotarian who has served in 2 clubs since 2010. He is Past President of the Rotary Club of Albury Hume and a former member of Albury North. He will be District Governor for District 9790 in 2024-25.

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