Club Northland attracts inspirational, diverse and interesting speakers
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David Downs

David Downs is a business leader, public servant, consultant, board director, speaker – and genetically modified organism. David is currently the CEO of the New Zealand Story Group – an organisation who helps New Zealand to tell our story to the world, building the brand of Aotearoa on the global stage. At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, David co-founded sosbusiness.nz – a not-for-profit initiative to help bars, cafes and other small businesses sell vouchers. It quickly became a huge hit and to date has sold over $1.5 million in vouchers for over 2500 small businesses. All the money goes to the businesses. Based on that experience, he published a book about the innovation that happened during covid-19 in New Zealand, ’Silver Linings’. In January 2017 David was facing a terminal diagnosis and given less than a year to live, but managed to beat cancer in a remarkable series of lucky breaks. After a year of chemotherapy, and staring a terminal diagnosis in the face, David got a literal lifeline, with the chance to get on to a clinical trial in the USA. Now a genetically modified cancer-killing machine, David’s reflecting on the lucky series of events that saw him beat cancer, and on his new approach to life.

To book your place call Gary on 0226548188
Email: gary.bell@alzheimers.org.nz

Past Speakers

Brad Olsen

Guest Speaker 17th June 2022

Brad Olsen is a Principal Economist and Director at Infometrics. He is a leading economic commentator across New Zealand who focuses on getting useful information to businesses, decision-makers, and the public. At present, Brad is focused on the economic effects of COVID-19 and the reimagination of the New Zealand economy, as jobs are lost, business practices change, and a “new” normal emerges. In March 2021, he was named 2020 Young Wellingtonian of the Year. Since joining Infometrics in July 2015 as a part-time data analyst while studying at Victoria University of Wellington, Brad has risen to be one of New Zealand’s more prominent (and youngest) economic commentators, regularly featuring across TV, radio, print, and online. Originally from Whangarei, Brad completed his undergraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2016, he was announced as New Zealand’s Queen’s Young Leader and has met with the Queen on three occasions.

Billy Graham

Guest Speaker 12th November 2021

Billy Graham is New Zealand’s best-loved motivator and fitness advisor. He is bold, bouncy and brimming over with energy and enthusiasm. Billy Graham has spent a lifetime involved in sport and physical fitness. A former New Zealand and Australasian light welterweight boxing champion he has achieved success through goal setting and determination.

Peter Williams

Guest speaker 11th June 2021

Peter started broadcasting as a teenager and has had a widely acclaimed career in TV and radio. His passion for sports has seen him covering the Olympics, Rugby and Cricket World Cups and won him Golf Broadcaster of the year twice! He anchored the morning news delivering New Zealand’s breakfast news daily and now is a radio presenter for Magic Talk where he has top news and sports guests.

Sir Graham Lowe

Guest Speaker 19th March 2021

The rugby league legend is thought to be one of New Zealands greatest rugby coaches. With a long career of coaching at home in New Zealand and abroad in Australia and UK he has reached amazing heights in his career.

In 2019, Sir Graham Lowe was knighted for his services to youth and education, with his Lowe Foundation delivering a literacy and numeracy programme to young people and prisoners from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Dame Therese Walsh

Friday 27th November 2020

We are thrilled to have Dame Therese Walsh as our next speaker. Dame Therese has had a stellar career in Senior Management with various iconic organisations in New Zealand.

Therese is a chief executive and business leader from New Zealand. Her particular successes include her roles as the chief operating officer for the 2011 Rugby World Cup and head of the organising body for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand. Walsh serves on the Boards of NZX, ASB, Air New Zealand and is Chair of Television New Zealand. It’s going to be great to hear about the journey she has taken to get to where she is today.

Felicity Gapes

Guest Speaker June 26th 2020

Awarded the Florence Nightingale medal this year, she has tended to the wounded and the innocent in places where arrest, torture and murder are commonplace.

She’s had a gun held to her head. She’s been robbed and threatened with death. She has negotiated checkpoints while driving a pregnant woman to a clinic. She has delivered babies in the most difficult circumstances, celebrated their survival and mourned their loss. Through it all, the Geneva Conventions and some luck have seen her through to the other side relatively unscathed.

Darryl Sabin

Guest Speaker 18th October 2019

When life serves up the ultimate test of survival, character and determination, it’s a case of get busy living or get busy dying. Darryl Sabin’s journey of survival and recovery following a catastrophic brain injury traverses the depths of the human spirit as he overcomes challenges even seasoned medical experts thought well beyond him.

His tale of survival and recovery unveils five lessons for life which provides everyone a point of reference and perspective to deal with the challenges life inevitably puts in our path. While playing rugby Darryl had started suffering successive concussions two years earlier and after a six-day stay in Auckland Hospital with a brain bleed everyone, none more so than his father, were telling him he should never play again. However, medical advice subsequently gave Darryl the clearance he was looking for and he started playing again in pursuit of his dream to be an All Black.
On ANZAC 2009 destiny, fate and Darryl’s head all collided and he entered a fight for his life that ironically saw him earn his own black jersey and become the 23rd man of the All Black squad.

Darryl’s compelling story celebrates triumph over adversity and will inspire you to the core of your character as you are immersed in a journey from which all can draw parallels. It will have you seeing your life and the challenges you face in a new light and provide unbridled inspiration to live life to the full.

Jack Lloyd

Guest Speaker 16th August 2019

Starting life in sail making in the 1970’s to race director for the Volvo Ocean Race Jack Lloyd has spent the last 40 + years dedicated and committed to the sailing fraternity.

In the early 90’s, Jack became involved with New Zealand Youth Sailing teams as manager and coach.  This involved a huge number of hours spent in a chase boat, or in a meeting room, motivating and building morale, as well as being a clever strategist and clear communicator.  You can’t perform these types of roles without passion for success; both for yourself and others.

By the mid 90’s Jack had joined the elite ranks of sailing judges and umpires, adjudicating at top international regattas. This culminated in him being chosen as a judge and umpire at multiple Olympic Games; Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.

It’s clear that Jack has navigated his way swiftly and diligently to become one of the top sailing adjudicators on the global stage.  Not bad for a guy who started his own sailmaking and marine canvas business in Whangarei back in the 1970’s!

Jack is one of the good guys who dedicated his life to the success of others and along the way managed to live the dream – he made his passion his work! What an honour to hear from him at Club Northland.

Max Quinn

Guest Speaker 7th June 2019

Dunedin-based internationally-acclaimed wildlife cameraman Max Quinn is prepared for all eventualities. His work life and passion intertwine to become a unique lifestyle of travel, adventure, survival and art.
From spending almost a year in Antarctica, where temperatures rarely rose above minus 25 degrees and where there was a three-month period when the sun never rose, to filming the diverse animal population of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona in temperatures close to plus 50 degrees, Max has seen it all.
Max was the first cameraman to film Emperor penguin chicks in Antarctica hatching and the male birds handing the new-born to their partners after balancing the eggs on their feet for 60 days. He has been stalked by an angry mother polar bear protecting her cubs in the Arctic, where he was also on hand as a US nuclear submarine surfaced thrxough the ice cap.
Southern right whales, long thought to be extinct in New Zealand waters, emerged before Max’s camera lens in another first, he has filmed the construction of some of the world’s genuine megastructures, and has worked on such global success stories as Our Big Blue Backyard and Abalone Wars. In recent months he has trekked, heavy camera equipment on hand, in China and Tibet where he is considered a legend by major television companies. The Otago Daily did a fantastic feature on Max …https://www.odt.co.nz/lifestyle/magazine/wild-heart

Sir Richard Faull

Guest Speaker 22nd March 2019

Sir Richard is celebrated for his research into brain diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. In 2007, his team at the University of Auckland proved that the brain can repair itself by generating new cells, debunking the theory that, once fully formed, the human brain could only degenerate. In 2009, he established the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research (CBR), to facilitate interactions among different groups and to promote new treatments for brain disease. In 2005 he was awarded the Health Research Council of New Zealand’s Liley Medal and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. In the 2017 New Year Honours, he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to medical research. We are honored to have Sir Richard join us as our guest speaker. As the patron of Alzheimers New Zealand and one of the world’s leaders in his subject we can expect to be humbled by his passion and shear depth of knowledge on his subject.

Phil Richards

Guest Speaker 9th November 2018

Phil Richards told the New Zealand Herald “I left Whangarei at 18 with two goals: to become an accountant and to get a job on Queen St. After university the largest accounting firm in the world at the time, Arthur Andersen, offered me a job. I used to see everyone working really hard in their corporate jobs, with no work life balance, and it wasn’t a future I wanted.” Since pledging better things for himself and his family Phil Richards has started eight businesses including a chain of optometry stores, the cloud-based payroll company SmartPayroll, an international butter chicken business and a chain of accounting practices. And still has time to compete in Iron Man competitions around the world, enjoy golf and spend time being a proud Dad of two. Phil is passionate about helping others achieve a better balance in life. What an inspiration! We are delighted that Phil will join us and share how he has done it!

Wayne ‘Buck’ Shelford

Guest Speaker 14th September 2018

Our inaugural speaker is All Blacks legend No.8 Wayne “Buck” Shelford. In the “Battle of Nantes” – Shelford went down in folklore history as he continued to play on after having four teeth knocked out and ripping his scrotum. The physio stitched his scrotum up after the game! It was his uncompromising attitude and lack of self-preservation which made him a fan favourite. Shelford assumed the All Black captaincy in 1987 and under his reign – 1987 to 1990 – the All Blacks did not lose a single game. Shelford revolutionised the All Blacks by teaching his team-mates the proper version of the ‘Kamate Kamate’ Haka which the All Blacks still perform to this day. In June 2007 it was announced that Shelford faced the biggest battle of his life after being diagnosed with a form of cancer labelled lymphoma. He made a full recovery from the disease. We are honoured to have Buck Shelford join us and can’t wait for his tough humour and frank stories.

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