Speaker Profiles

 PDG STEVE HILL - RI Presidents representative 

RIPR Steve Hill Stephen Hill (Colleen) Rotary Club of Hall Inc. Stephen was inducted into Rotary in 1986 into the Rotary Club of Millicent (Dist. 9780).  Since his induction he has held all positions within a Rotary Club except Treasurer.  Stephen is now a member of the Rotary Club of Hall District 9710 and has also been a member of the Rotary Clubs of Naracoorte (9780), Waikerie (9520), Mount Gambier West (9780), Bega (9710) and Belconnen (9710). He has been President of both Millicent and Naracoorte Clubs and has served on District Committees in the role of District Secretary on 2 occasions, District Training Committee several times and the District Committees of Membership, Rotary Foundation, Annual Giving and was Assistant Governor on 2 occasions.   Stephen is a Paul Harris Fellow with three sapphires.
Stephen was District Governor District 9710 on 2 occasions 2016-17 and 2017-18. He is currently District Youth Protection Officer, District Trainer and Chair of Transition team structuring new District 9705 in NSW and ACT. Stephen has now retired from South Australia Police for which he was an officer for nearly 40 years serving his career in the operational field.  After spending his training years and first four years as a patrol officer in the metropolitan area of Adelaide he was posted to several rural postings within the State of South Australia.  In 1993 Stephen was awarded South Australian Police Officer of the Year. Stephen and Colleen have two children and three granddaughters.   Colleen is now retired and has been a chef and aged care giver.

sarah brown

Sarah Brown CEO Purple House. NGO Aboriginal holistic and culturally appropriate health services in remote Australia Northern Territory, Australia Western Desert Nganampa, Walytja Palyantjaku Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation
Sarah has built relationships with key corporate organisations and supporters to ensure the success of the Purple House mission - to improve the lives of people with renal failure, reunite families and reduce the impact of kidney disease in our communities.  Sarah is a member of Central Australian Health Committee, Northern Territory Government consumer group to advise health services in central Australia. Sarah is also one of two NT representatives on the Friends of the National Rural Health Alliance Committee.
She is regularly invited to provide input into development of Government Policies on remote health. She often speaks at local and Rotary events and will do anything she can to promote the amazing work of Purple House across Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. Sarah's passion for nursing and remote health services has resulted in her holding a Masters in Nursing, a Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education and Graduate Diploma in Health Care Management.
Prior to joining Purple House Sarah was a remote nurse and University lecturer. In the very small amount of time that Sarah has she paints and has held art exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Sarah has been making John Adams' life a misery for the past 25 years and has three grown up children and drives an 1959 Morris Minor.

PDG John prendergast

John and Donna live in Invercargill, and they have 3 daughters.  A chartered accountant, John is Chief Executive of Presbyterian Support Southland. John joined the Invercargill South Club in 1994 and has enjoyed a number of Rotary roles since then, including leading a GSE Team to D5220 in California in 2003, leading the Australasian RYLA Team to Gallipoli, Turkey in April 2005 for the 90th anniversary of the Allied landing at ANZAC Cove, and was District Governor in 2012-13. John has been District Trainer, District Membership Chair, District GSE Chair, and is a regular MC and speaker at Rotary Conferences, Institutes, and Presidents’ Elect Training events.
Internationally John has been a member of Rotary International’s Vocational Service Committee, and in 2017 and again in 2018 was a Training Leader at the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego. John is currently the Rotary Zone Co-ordinator for New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and 8 Australian Districts.  
Outside of work, family and Rotary John has been and is involved in the governance of various organisations, including Chair of Camp Quality New Zealand, Chair of Philanthropy New Zealand, Trustee of the Ngai Tahu Fund, Chair of the Catholic Diocese of Dunedin Board of Management, Chair of the Verdon College Board of Trustees, Director of Rugby Southland, and is a Justice of the Peace.

pzd noel trevaskis oam and sue tRevaskis

Noel is a member of the Rotary Club of Bega, District 9710. He was a Director of the Board of Rotary International for 2016-2018 he represented Zone 7 and Zone 8, which includes Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Indonesia and the South Pacific Islands. Noel was the District Governor of District 9710 in 2005-2006, and a past Board member and Chairman of Australian Rotary Health.
He has also served as a Board member and Deputy Chairman of the Southern Tablelands Community College, a College assisting people with intellectual disabilities and special needs. He was a Rotary Coordinator and was Chairman of the RI Membership Development Committee for Zones 7 & 8 as well as being a member of the Rotary International membership Committee. He is a recipient of Rotary’s highest award the Service Above Self Award, and the Medal of the Order of Australia.
He has recently joined the Board of Rotary Down Under. He was an advisor to University researchers at the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. Noel recently retired after a lifetime working in the agricultural industry mainly in sales and marketing. Although now retired from full time work he does do some consultancy work to agri-business. 
Sue is a Nurse and works for an Aged Nursing Care Facility. She enjoys working with people with dementia and does palliative care. Sue has always had a real passion to help and work with people who have disabilities and the aged.  Sue also volunteers at a local hospital as a support person for patients with dementia. While Sue is not a Rotarian, she is involved in the Rotary Youth Personal Enrichment program for District 9710 as well as supporting Australian Rotary Health.  They enjoy time with their family and their garden.
Noel is a keen sportsman enjoying golf and is a close follower of cricket, rugby and rugby league. Noel and Sue live at Tura Beach on the Far South Coast of NSW.  They have five children and eleven grandchildren.

phillipa challis oam

Laughter is the best medicine!
Phillipa Challis has been running the community Laughter Club Geelong since 2002. The sessions appeal to all ages and all abilities, male and female. Everyone leaves energised as it’s a chance to let the inner child out. Children laugh naturally so many times a day. It’s our chance to be playful, clap to a rhythm, do some deep stretching and have big belly laughs people join for the interaction and the half hour session is like laughter meditation; it’s in the moment and incredibly enjoyable.. Being within a group brings the laughter on. Laughter Club Geelong has never missed a weekly session.
There has been research undertaken and there have been studies carried out which prove people reap the benefits of laughter. It works on a physical, psychological and emotional level. Through my business ‘Live Life Laughing’ I’ve presented to 1,000s of people in organisations, institutes, businesses and schools. Laughter enhances creativity, increases productive work, it opens channels of communication and it leads to engaging connections. It boosts the immune system so staff have less sick days. Phillipa’s slogan is ‘Hearty laughter, Happy staff, Healthy profits.’
She is the rare breed of speaker who is booked for the after-lunch slot as she can energise a large audience or a small group.” Phillipa has been involved in the community all her life, both in corporate and community roles. She is passionate about spreading the ‘happidemic’ of laughter and says “We don’t stop laughing as because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing.”

dimity hawkins

The Nobel Peace Prize 2017 was awarded to ICAN, the International Campaign to abolish Nuclear Weapons which was founded in Melbourne in 2006. Dimity Hawkins, one of the Melbourne founders of ICAN, has warmly accepted our invitation to be a key note speaker at our District Conference 2019.
Dimity Hawkins, Tilman Ruff, Dave Sweeney and others helped to create the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and in 2017 ICAN was awarded the Nobel peace Prize for its work on a Treaty for banning nuclear weapons. Dimity Hawkins said the organisation, which seeks to eliminate nuclear weapons through international treaties, was “honoured” to receive the award. “I don’t think any of us really believed that our grassroots movement would receive such an amazing international recognition,” she said. Ms Hawkins said she hoped the attention generated by the award would encourage others to volunteer for the organisation. Dimity is now a Swinburne PhD candidate and has always noted Rotary’s commitment to peace building.
Dimity Hawkins and Tilman Ruff

PDG greg ross

At 28, Greg joined Rotary in 1976 and it has been a large part of his life ever since. He has worked as a literacy volunteer in Thailand, helped build an eye clinic in Vanuatu and led a GSE team to California. He has been MC at Rotary Conventions in Taipei and Melbourne, at the International Assembly and many district conferences, and has been RI President’s Special Rep multiple times in Australia and New Zealand. 
A Rotarian with North Balwyn since 1986, Greg served as District 9800 Governor in 1991/92 and joined the Board of Australian Rotary Health in 2013. Now, as ARH Chairman for three years, he believes that Rotary through its Lift the Lid on Mental Illness campaign nationally can greatly reduce mental illness through prevention research.
Best known to Australian audiences as Senior Detective Tony Benjamin in the long running television series Cop Shop, Greg has been a professional actor and singer since graduating from NIDA in 1967. Over the past 10 years, he has also conducted over a thousand services as a funeral celebrant.
Television credits include Bellbird, Prisoner,Ocean GirlBlue Heelers, the secret life of us, Neighbours, Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, Boney, Skippy,City Homicide,House HusbandsandSuperwog. Plays include One Day of the Year, Absurd Person Singular andDon’s Party. Stage musical roles include Judas in Godspell(original Sydney production), Pedro in Man of La Mancha, Javert in Les Miserablesand Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, opposite Lisa McCune.
With Carole, Greg has three adult children, Simon, Arna and Sophie, who are all successful professional performers in Australia and internationally. He loves playing tennis, follows the Demons in the AFL and is an active life member of youth leadership organisation, Lord Somers Camp and Power House.


Johanna Parker is a vibrant, heart-centred life and confidence coach, international speaker, speaker coach, coach trainer, authenticity-advocate and founder of Heart Sparks. Hailed by Women’s Fitness Magazine as a ‘positivity expert’, over the past ten years she has empowered thousands of young people and adults across not-for-profit, local government, educational, entrepreneurial and community settings to become more connected to themselves, unearth their passions, confidently embrace their uniqueness, challenge fear and negative thinking and implement sustainable change to build incredible, purposeful lives.  
Her work has been featured in a range of print and online media, including Renegade Collective, ELLE Magazine, CLEO Magazine, Herald Sun, Huffington Post, The Daily Guru, Inspired Coach Magazine and ROOOAR Magazine. She has appeared live on many national radio broadcasts and on national television, where she has also been a strong campaigner against youth homelessness in Australia.