District Weekend and Conference 2019-2020

Inspirational Speakers

We have invited some interesting and inspiring speakers :-

Donna Wallbank, Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland President 2019-2020

Donna is a passionate and creative Hairstylist who continues to work in her award-winning family run business.


Within the community, Donna remains active, but has relinquished many commitments so she can focus on Rotary. She joined Rotary in 1987 and has enjoyed various club positions, Donna’s prime community focus is with Brynmawr Rotary’s community based RotaKids and Interact Clubs which meet weekly.


Before becoming District Governor in 2010/11, she enjoyed several ‘challenging’ but rewarding roles in Rotary in Southern Wales, including being the Secretary for The Rotary DoctorBank. She served for two years on the Rotary International New Generations committee, and has served on Rotary GBI’s Youth, Community Service and the Membership Committees.


Donna moved to Wales in 1983 when she married Steve, both are committed supporters of the Rotary Foundation.

They have three children and six grandchildren.

When not found to be ‘enjoying Rotary’ they will be making memories with their family with their caravan trips, watching Formula One Grand Prix, following Welsh Rugby or maintaining their marine fish tank – Donna says ‘If you call us at home, you will probably will also hear Bruce our African grey parrot adding his tuppence to the conversations.

Reverend Kate Bottley, originally from Sheffield, she is a priest in North Nottinghamshire. Ordained in 2008, she is passionate about bringing stories of faith and belief to the widest audience possible. Kate was not raised in a church-going family, and started going to church because she fancied the local vicar’s son. They have been married since 1998 and have two children.

In 2012 Kate did a dance as part of a wedding flashmob which subsequently went viral, with more than seven million hits on YouTube; it was this that led to her being approached by Channel 4’s BAFTA and National Television Award-winning series show Gogglebox.

Kate presents BBC Radio 2’s weekly show, Good Morning Sunday, with Jason Mohammed. She is a frequent guest contributor on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought on The Chris Evans’ Breakfast Show and presented the station’s The Sunday Hour.

Kate is regular presenter on Songs of Praise (BBC 1). She fronted Alone With the In-Laws (Studio Lambert/BBC 2) and In The Footsteps of Judas, a flagship Easter documentary for BBC 1.

Kate has also made guest appearances on Celebrity Masterchef, Hairy Bikers Cracking ChristmasThe One ShowRip Off Britain (BBC 1) and 8 Out of 10 Cats (Channel 4). In 2017, Kate journeyed to Camino de Santiago for BBC2’s The Pilgrimage.

Kate has written for a variety of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Independent and Radio Times.

She is taking a break from full-time parish ministry, but will continue to take church services and officiate at weddings and funerals, as part of a wider remit which will include writing and broadcasting projects.

Kate loves telly and dancing. Her karaoke songs of choice are 9 to 5 or Ice, Ice Baby. She is owned by a seven year old retired racing greyhound called Buster.

Honorary Rotarian Stephanie Woolard, holds the RI Responsible Business Award 2016 for her work. She began Seven Women at age 22 after meeting seven disabled women working in a tin shed in Kathmandu. These seven women were struggling to make a living in the face of harsh discrimination. With her last $200, Steph paid for trainers to teach the women how to produce products for sale locally and abroad – and Seven Women was born. To date over 5,000 women have been empowered.

Rotarian Tom Yendell is known to most of us as the creator of Flat Spaces and as  an Artist. Tom will be telling us about the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, a self help association of artists who paint without the use of their hands

Rotarian Judith Diment Rotary Ambassador to the Commonwealth of Nations. Judith will be telling us about the strong links between Rotary and the United Nations.

Alex Rotas challenges stereotypes about ageing. She is known for her photography and speaking and through her links with health organisations.Alex is proud to be an ambassador for England Athletics #RunTogether and Active Ageing (Bristol).

Holly Budge has been quite literally on top of the world when she summited Mount Everest. Her passion for adventure is evident with two world records under her belt so far, including being the first woman to skydive Everest and race semi-wild horses 1000 kms across Mongolia in just nine days. She has raised over £300k for charities through her adventures so far.

Holly has created a powerful and award-winning campaign, entitled ‘How Many Elephants’, which presents a physical commentary on the devastating impact of the elephant ivory trade.