Speakers at NWR National Conference 2022

Saturday Speakers

Marion Molteno

Marion was our after-dinner speaker on Saturday night.

Marion Molteno is an award winning author. Her novels explore themes that resonate with NWR members, and she has presented at several of our conferences about her writing and her work with refugees. Marion has been patron of NWR since 2018, and has generously supported us by introducing our members to other women authors.

Marion grew up in South Africa, but moved to Zambia in opposition to the apartheid regime. She lived with her young family in Zambia until a political crisis led to their uprooting to London.

London’s cultural diversity is a theme that runs through much of Marion’s career and her writing. She has organised initiatives to support asylum seekers adapting to life in England, community projects for diverse neighbourhoods and English classes for adults. Marion worked for Save the Children travelling to support staff in countries across Asia and Africa, which she has described as a life-changing experience, learning from people who were forced to cope with unrelenting poverty, political oppression and war.

Erin Peart

Erin Peart opened the conference and welcomed the delegates to Northumbria University.

Erin joined Northumbria University as Director of Campus Services in 2021, following 8 years at Hanro Ltd, a local Property Investment Company, where she managed the £150m asset portfolio. Now leading the operational services including Maintenance, Security, Catering and Student Accommodation, she is also developing the University Estates Strategy and Master Plan, creating the vision to provide the best facilities for students through to 2035.

Erin is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chair of the North East RICS Regional Board.

Jo Moseley

Jo is a single Mum of two sons, aged 25 & 21. They live on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. She describes herself as a beach cleaner, joy encourager & midlife adventurer. She is also a speaker, writer and podcast host. 

In August 2019, Jo became the first woman to SUP (stand up paddleboard) coast to coast 162 miles along the Leeds Liverpool Canal, picking up litter, fundraising and raising awareness of the problems of single use plastic.  Her talk is based on the adventure, her preparation and what she learned about herself and the canals. 

She loves writing, speaking about adventure and wellbeing and making tiny films about the joy of the outdoors for our mental health. Her films Finding Joy and Found at Sea (which she will share with us during her talk) have both won awards. 

Jo is an Ambassador for the 2MinuteBeachClean Foundation, a charity that encourages us all to take two minutes each day to pick up litter and think about how we can reduce our single use plastic. 

Jo is the host of a podcast called The Joy of SUP – The Paddleboarding Sunshine Podcast, which shares all the health, happiness, adventure, friendship and possibility of stand up paddleboarding. We also talk about mental wellbeing, community and how we can look after the oceans and inland waterways that bring such joy. 

Beccy Speight

Beccy became the RSPB’s Chief Executive in August 2019, having previously held the same position at the Woodland Trust. Prior to the Woodland Trust Beccy worked for the National Trust for 14 years, initially as general manager of the Stourhead Estate, then as director for its East Midlands and Midlands regions from 2005. 

Previously, Beccy was responsible for leading and championing the National Trust’s work on its sustainable food agenda and she chaired the Food for Life Catering Mark Standards Committee for the Soil Association. She also contributed to national steering groups on contemporary art in the National Trust, its work in the outdoors and engaging urban communities.  

Gordon McFarlane

Will tell you it as it is! He has had a life time working in engineering starting off as a motor engineering apprentice on heavy and light vehicles, progressing to workshop supervisor with the Post Office and later becoming a Vehicle Examiner with DVSA. After 14 years as a  lecturer in motor vehicle studies at Carlisle College, he retired in 2003. Since then he has maintained his membership of the Institute of Motor Industry through Continuous Professional Development; keeping up to speed with best practice and innovative forms of powering vehicles. He is currently a freelance consultant, putting into practice his years of knowledge.

He loves classic vehicles and when he has opportunity enjoys watching sport.

Sunday Speaker

Lucy Adlington

Lucy is the author of The True Story of the Women who Sewed to Survive. At the height of the Holocaust twenty-five young Jewish inmates of Auschwitz-Birkenau were selected to create beautiful fashions for elite Nazi women, in a dedicated salon established by the camp commandant’s wife. It fits our theme of ‘Insatiable Consumption’ as it is a history of how a fashion salon came to be established in the concentration camp through the privilege and greed of the Commandant’s wife.