Speaker's Forum

Harrow Hong Kong is proud to welcome inspirational and thought-provoking speakers from a variety of sectors to address pupils, staff and parents on topical issues at its popular Speaker's Forum.

Programme for Spring Term 2019

programme for spring term 2019:
Date & Time Venue Speaker
Wednesday 9th January 
Lecture Theatre

Richard Gardener & Phyllis Marwah
Mother's Choice
Mother's Choice is a Hong Kong charity that has provided and promoted loving, nurturing care for babies and children needing permanent homes, and for single girls and their families facing crisis pregnancies since 1987.

Richard Gardener is currently Assistant Director and Head of Volunteer Engagement at Mother’s Choice. He also acts as Secretary to the Board of Directors of Mother’s Choice Limited. Between 1994 and 2002, Mr Gardener was a full time volunteer with Mother’s Choice, returning to take up the post of Director, Operations in April 2012. He held this position until 'retiring' from the Executive Management team and taking on responsibility for Volunteer Engagement in November 2017. Prior to rejoining Mother’s Choice in 2012, Mr Gardener was General Manager of the Oasis Group of Companies based in Hong Kong. He has an extensive background in banking, finance, operations and administration gained over 40 years. He worked for a major international bank for 24 years in the UK, Europe, USA and latterly Hong Kong. Originally from the UK, Mr Gardener has been a Hong Kong resident for the past 32 years. Married to Sheila, they have four children and three grandchildren.

Phyllis Marwah is a co-founder of Mother's Choice. She grew up in Taos, New Mexico, and studied education at Grace College, the University of Hawaii and the University of Washington. She has lived in Hong Kong since 1974. Ms Marwah has helped to grow Mother's Choice from a small group of concerned friends to an organisation that has impacted thousands in Hong Kong and inspired sister organisations in India, China and Cambodia. She is also a mother to seven children, and grandmother to ten grandchildren. Ms Marwah's children live in Hong Kong, London and Los Angeles, and have been inspired by her work with women and children in Asia.

Wednesday 16th January


Lecture Theatre Stan Shea
Bloom HK

Stan Shea is the Marine Programme Director of BLOOM Association Hong Kong (BLOOM HK). He holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences from Oxford Brookes University and an M.Phil in Ecology and Biodiversity from the Swire Marine Institute of Science (SWIMS) from HKU, where he completed a Master's thesis on the abundance and diversity of corallivorous chaetodontid (butterfly fish) species as an indicator of coral reef health in Hong Kong.

BLOOM HK is a marine conservation organisation dedicated to independent research, education and lobbying work related to shark and marine protection. As BLOOM’s resident marine scientist, Mr Shea has given seminars to more than 4,000 people in Hong Kong, the audience ranging from schoolchildren to corporate leaders and government officials. Internationally, he is deeply involved with the work of combating the unsustainable trade of threatened shark species through enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) regulations.

Locally, Mr Shea conducts underwater dive surveys to identify and record the reef fishes of Hong Kong. He has also been involved for many years as a Team Scientist of the Hong Kong Reef Check, and co-authored in a published book documenting seven years of local reef fish records. Other research projects currently overseen by Mr Shea include Mobulid gill plate trade dynamics and shark fin trade species composition in both Hong Kong and mainland China.

Wednesday 23rd January


Lecture Theatre

Sara Garner

Retykle is Asia’s first online consignment platform for buying and selling outgrown high end children’s fashion. They aim to keep kids clothing in circulation for longer, and provide a great way for eco-conscious parents to reduce waste in the fashion industry without compromising on quality. Sarah Garner started Retykle in 2016 after having her first son, Henry, and seeing the need for a better way to minimise the waste of outgrown/unused children’s clothes. Retykle was born to make parents’ lives easier and be an eco-conscious platform that helps minimise waste within the fashion industry. They now buy and re-sell both pre-loved and new children’s clothing and accessories.

Wednesday 30th January


Lecture Theatre Pastor Kenneth Bae
Rev. Kenneth Bae was born in South Korea and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1985. He attended the University of Oregon and Covenant Seminary in St. Louis before moving to China in 2006. In addition to missionary work, he worked in the travel and tourism industry, with a passion to introduce westerners to the untainted beauty of North Korea while contributing to North Korea’s economic development. He was detained in North Korea in 2012 and became the longest held American detainee since the Korean War, sentenced to 15 years of hard labour. He was released in 2014 after 735 days of detention. Rev. Bae is an ordained Southern Baptist pastor, the author of the book Not Forgotten and currently the founder and the president of Nehemiah Global Initiative, an international NGO focusing on the human rights of North Koreans.

Wednesday 13th February 2019


Lecture Theatre

Natalie Chan
OWN Academy

Natalie Chan is a slasher (someone with multiple careers). She is an engineer, corporate professional, film producer, globetrotter, educator, entrepreneur, and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Growing up in Hong Kong, Ms Chan never knew what she wanted to be in the future. Instead, she took an unconventional path to begin her self discovery journey. Through this process, Ms Chan learnt that success in the real world requires a specific set of attitude, self awareness, skills and network.

Ms Chan founded OWN Academy in 2016, with a mission to revolutionise human potential by connecting the most creative and innovative students to the most progressive companies in the world. Her goal is to help students find their own direction through exposure to modern industries and inspiring mentors,  provide 21st century skills training and offer exclusive internship opportunities. As a result of Chan's diverse achievements, she was selected as one of the 40 young people from around the world, representing youths from Asia to attend the 49th World Economic Forum Annual meeting.

Wednesday 27th February 

Lecture Theatre The Girl Behind the Face HK
Celebrating resilience, Confronting prejudice
The Thomas Family will share their family story of resilience with pupils, staff and parents at Harrow Hong Kong.
The Thomas Family talk raises awareness of visible differences, cyberbullying and commitment. Through the family’s
actions and experiences, they hope to empower others and challenge attitudes.


programme for summer term 2019:
Date & Time Venue Speaker
Wednesday 8th May 
Lecture Theatre

Tracy Edwards MBE
The Maiden Factor
The Maiden Factor is a Social Enterprise dedicated to the empowerment of women through equality. The Maiden Factor will utilise the iconic yacht, Maiden, during a two-year world tour, to raise awareness of and funds for the rights of women and the education of girls everywhere. A growing movement of millions of men and women will no longer tolerate gender inequality, the exploitation of women and girls and the lack of life choices for the most vulnerable in society. The Maiden Factor proudly joins the ‘He For She’ movement, the #MeToo campaign, The Women’s March and Time’s Up, speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Tracy Edwards shot to fame when she skippered the first all-female crew in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. In 1990, Ms Edwards was awarded the MBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Jordanian Air Force Wings by HM King Hussein of Jordan and became the first woman in its 34-year history to awarded the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy. She then wrote Maiden (Whitbread Sports Book of the Year and in The Times bestseller list for 19 weeks).

In 1998 Ms Edwards put together the first all-female crew to attempt the fastest non-stop circumnavigation by sail. Her 92-foot catamaran broke five world records. Living Every Second was published in 2001. In 2005, Ms Edwards created and managed the first ever round the world race to start and finish in the Middle East. She retired from sailing in 2005 and worked for CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) as Project Manager for their International Youth Advisory Conference. During 2009 - 2012 she studied at Roehampton University and graduated with a 2:1 Degree in Psychology.

However, Ms Edwards is now back in sailing and currently in the process of restoring her old boat Maiden. Maiden, an iconic part of British Maritime History will then work as an Ambassador and fundraiser for girls’ education.