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Speaker Type: Inspirational Speaker

Abdi Aden

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Abdi’s world fell apart when he was only fifteen and Somalia’s vicious civil war hit Mogadishu. Unable to find his family and effectively an orphan, he fled with some sixty others, and joined another 300 heading to Kenya. On the way, death squads hunted them and they daily faced violence, danger and starvation. After almost three months, they arrived in at refugee camps in Kenya – of the group he’d set out with, only five had survived.

» Read more about Abdi Aden

David Astle

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Clue by clue, chapter by chapter, David Astle’s Puzzled meanders through the maze of a cryptic crossword, showing you the dark secrets and wondrous tricks of wordplay. ‘He’s the Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords,’ says award-winning Australian actor Geoffrey Rush.

» Read more about David Astle
Luke Atkins

Luke Atkins

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Luke Atkins is one of Australia’s leading obstacle endurance athletes. In 2012 and 2013 Luke finished 14th at the Tough Mudder World Championships, a 24 hour race held in the USA in which he completed more than 300 obstacles and 120km. He is also a member of the Under Armour Australia Team for Obstacle Racing.

» Read more about Luke Atkins

Melissa Benson

Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

After losing her sight in her early twenties, Melissa began a unique journey towards independence and resilience. In her sessions, Melissa addresses issues like teamwork, problem solving, leadership, discrimination, courage, decision making, goalsetting and overcoming adversity.

» Read more about Melissa Benson

Lauren Burns

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Lauren Burns OAM, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist (BHSc) Olympic Gold Medallist, Taekwondo Sydney 2000

» Read more about Lauren Burns

Demet Divaroren

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Demet Divaroren was born in Adana, Turkey, and migrated to Australia with her family when she was six months old. She is the author of Living on Hope Street, which won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards Prize for Writing for Young Adults and was shortlisted for a 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Award. Her writing has appeared in Griffith Review, The Age Epicure, The Big Issue, Island Magazine, From the Outer and Best Summer Stories. Demet appears as a panellist, guest speaker and workshop leader at literary festivals, universities and schools across Melbourne and teaches creative writing at Victoria Polytechnic.

» Read more about Demet Divaroren

Adam Elliot

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Adam Elliot is not only an Academy Award ™ winning Animator, but also one of Australia’s funniest, unique and most refreshing corporate speakers and entertainers. Adam has given his inspiring and motivating presentations to hundreds of groups all over the world.

» Read more about Adam Elliot

Declan Fay

Author, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Declan Fay is one of Australia’s leading comedy writers and motivational speakers, who has performed at the Comedy Festival and The Fringe Festival. He is an award winning writer who has written for a range of TV shows such as Rove, Dirty Laundry Live, and the kids TV comedy You’re Skitting Me. He also co-created and co-wrote the ABC Comedy Ronny Chieng: International Student which is now available on Netflix. Declan has has hosted numerous radio shows on Triple R, Triple J, and MMM. He has spoken at over 600 different schools around Australia. He has never been pelted with fruit, although his dad once threw a whopper with cheese at him for talking during The Bill.

» Read more about Declan Fay

Archie Fusillo

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Archie is one of the most in-demand and successful presenters of author talks and workshops in Australia. Archie’s versatility means he can communicate to, and cater for, a range of abilities and interests. The fact that he was a teacher and features writer probably helps.

» Read more about Archie Fusillo

Sean Fyfe

Corporate, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Sean aims to give parents, teachers and students greater insight and the practical tools to foster health and wellbeing along with academic and sporting achievement.

» Read more about Sean Fyfe

Anna Goldsworthy

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Anna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning classical pianist and writer. She an engaging speaker and performer, and is passionate about bringing the lessons of classical music to the widest possible audience. She is Artist Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

» Read more about Anna Goldsworthy

Fiona Harris

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Fiona has been writing and performing for Australian stages and screens for many years. She wrote and co-starred on the ABC sketch comedy show, Flipside, as well as on channel nine’s sketch comedy series, Comedy Inc – The Late Shift series 5 and on all three series of the Network Ten sketch comedy series SkitHouse.  She has also written and directed numerous shows for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

» Read more about Fiona Harris

Justin Heazlewood

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

Justin Heazlewood is an award-winning triple-threat of writer, musician & comedian. As The Bedroom Philosopher he has appeared on Triple J & ABC TV, releasing three albums including the ARIA-nominated Songs From The 86 Tram. The video for Northcote (So Hungover) earning nearly half a million hits. In 2014 his first non-fiction book Funemployed, about being an artist in Australia, was an indie-hit, earning praise from artists and industry alike. In 2015 an 8-part series was commissioned for RN.

» Read more about Justin Heazlewood

Tony Wilson

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Tony Wilson has written two hilarious satirical novels about celebrity and tabloid media. He is also the author of five picture books, and has worked successfully on television (Race Around the World and Santo, Sam and Ed’s Cup Fever!), radio (Triple R’s Breakfasters) and print media (The Age and The Monthly).

» Read more about Tony Wilson

Lili Wilkinson

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker

Lili Wilkinson is a reader and writer of YA literature. She is the author of nine books for teenagers, and has a PhD in Creative Writing.

» Read more about Lili Wilkinson

Melinda Hutchings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Melinda Hutchings is a media commentator, author, speaker and mentor on the topic of body image and teen issues. She is the author of four books and is passionate about empowering young people to face and overcome challenging issues and to recognise their enormous potential to create a happy and fulfilling future.

» Read more about Melinda Hutchings

Sammy J

Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out, Storyteller/Performer

From Melbourne to Edinburgh, comedian Sammy J has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting and inventive performers on the international scene. You may have seen him on Spicks and Specks, Good News Week or Talkin’ Bout Your Generation.

» Read more about Sammy J

Melissa Keil

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Melissa Keil’s young adult novels have been published around the world, and have been described as ‘humorous, heartfelt and angst-y romance with the potential to break the gender barrier’. When she is not writing, she can be found immersed in other people’s manuscripts in her day job as a children’s book editor.

» Read more about Melissa Keil

Michelle Law

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Michelle Law is an award-winning writer and screenwriter whose previous speaking engagements include TEDx events, Woodford Folk Festival, writer’s festivals, ABC radio and The Project. Her stories and essays have been widely anthologized and her films have screened nationally at festivals and on the ABC.

» Read more about Michelle Law

Tammy van Wisse

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Marathon swimmer, Tammy van Wisse currently holds five World Records. She has swum the English Channel twice (the success rate is only seven percent), is the only person to have swum Bass Strait and spent three and a half months submerged in the mighty Murray River – just to mention a few of her milestones.

Armed with the same energy and dedication as she has put into her incredible swimming career, Tammy brings a truly unique and inspiring presentation that entertains as it informs, and inspires as it motivates.

Tammy’s story of inner strength, persistence, and learning to overcome insurmountable obstacles shows audiences that with a commitment to a goal, and belief in oneself, anything is possible.

» Read more about Tammy van Wisse

Chris Turney

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Chris is an Australian and British professor of Earth science and author of three popular science books. Chris is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellow and Professor of Climate Change at the University of University of New South Wales, where he and his team are focusing their efforts on finding lessons from the past.

Chris investigates past and future climates, how people have responded to change, and recent human evolution and migration. He does this in a hands-on fashion: he digs down into the ice of Antarctica for core samples, the depths of a volcanic crater, or searches for Hobbit fossils (seriously!) across Indonesia. He has stories to tell and bring to life.

Chris has earned a reputation as scientist who can demystify and articulate, for any audience, exactly what it is that a scientist does for a living. His enthusiasm shows us not only why he pursues these interests, but points out what we stand to gain through scientific education.

» Read more about Chris Turney

Kate McLennan

Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Kate (left) is best known for her one-woman stage comedy show The Debutante Diaries. In the show Kate brings an entire school community to life as they plan their Year 11 debutante ball, pitting adult disaffection against teenage angst, with hilarious results.

» Read more about Kate McLennan

Tristan Miller

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Tristan Miller has had an incredible story, for such a regular guy. He dealt with a number of life’s highs and lows, before finally losing his dream job at Google in the Global Financial Crisis of 2009. Instead of laying down, he turned his life into an amazing adventure by running 52 marathons in 52 weeks, in 42 countries, on all 7 continents!

» Read more about Tristan Miller

Dr Marcus Robertson

Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

Marcus is a medical doctor and popular motivational speaker, who has addressed thousands of school children and a large number of businesses over the last ten years on a wide variety of health and personal welfare subjects.

» Read more about Dr Marcus Robertson

Ailsa Piper

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Speaking Out

Ailsa Piper has worked throughout Australia as a writer, theatre director, actor, speaker, teacher and memorably, a pate-wrapper! She completed her MA at the University of Melbourne during her three-year stint as an actor in Neighbours’ Ramsay Street, winning the Patrick White Playwright’s Award in her spare time. She is a passionate – some would say obsessive – walker, and her book Sinning Across Spain, reflects that.

» Read more about Ailsa Piper
Bic Walker

Bic Walker

Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Born in Vietnam in 1974 Bic Walker escaped war torn Vietnam at the age of four. Bic’s experience as a refugee was the catalyst for her first Book A Safe Place to Live. This autobiographical chil­dren’s book recounts her experience in fleeing Vietnam with her family in 1979 on a tiny boat bound for freedom. The events that transpired are the stuff of Hollywood movies: attacked by pirates and left drifting in the open ocean without fuel, the family were finally rescued by a Canadian oil tanker. Bic and her family were transported to Malaysia where they waited for six months before being taken to Australia.

» Read more about Bic Walker

Trace Balla

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Trace Balla loves to illustrate and write songs and stories, and inspire others in their creativity and awareness of the wonders of the natural world and the ample stories that surround us.

Her multi award winning books include Rockhopping, Rivertime, Shine and The Thank You Dish. Themes include gratitude, grief, slowing down, growing up, connecting with the land and its’ creatures, the joy of the outdoors and the lessons nature can teach us. She is currently working very slowly on a graphic novella set in central Victoria where she lives.

Trace enjoys visiting schools, festivals and community centres to inspire people of all ages and abilities with slide show talks as well as workshops. These include nature journaling, making graphic novels, mini books and story catching. Talks and workshops can be tailored to the group’s interests.

» Read more about Trace Balla

Luke Ryan

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Luke Ryan is a Melbourne-based writer, comedian and two-time cancer survivor. His first book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemo, is a comic memoir about growing up and getting cancer that grew out of his critically acclaimed 2009 Melbourne Comedy Festival show, Luke’s Got Cancer. Inspiring, engaging and with a unique comic edge, Luke brings years of stand-up, storytelling and speechmaking experience to bear on topics as diverse as handling adversity, bullying, discovering perspective, getting the most out of life and finding one’s vocational direction.

» Read more about Luke Ryan

Courtney Collins

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Storyteller/Performer

Courtney Collins is the author of The Burial, inspired by the life of a female bushranger. Shortlisted for The Stella Award, The NSW Premiers’ Award and the Dobbie, it is currently being developed as a feature film. Courtney is a regular contributor to ABC Arts online and is at work on her second novel.

» Read more about Courtney Collins

Daniel Witthaus

Author, Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Daniel Witthaus has spent the past two decades challenging homophobia one cuppa at a time in schools, rural communities and, occasionally, developing countries like Sri Lanka, Poland and Indonesia. He is the author of Beyond Priscilla: one gay man, one gay truck, one big idea… (2014), Beyond ‘That’s So Gay!’: Challenging homophobia in Australian schools (2010) and the Pride & Prejudice educational package (2002, 2012) – which won three Tasmanian schools Human Rights Week awards.

In 2013 Daniel founded the National Institute for Challenging Homophobia Education (NICHE), which focuses on the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in regional, rural and remote Australia. NICHE has had success with both the YourStory cartoon series and the oi! challenging rural homophobia campaign.

» Read more about Daniel Witthaus

Claire Dunn

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Claire Dunn is a writer, journalist, educator, barefoot explorer and author of My Year Without Matches, the memoir of her extraordinary journey living in the bush for a year learning wilderness survival skills.

» Read more about Claire Dunn

Sian Prior

Author, Corporate, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Speaking Out

Sian Prior is probably best known as an ABC radio presenter, a columnist and critic for The Age, and a musician. But this accomplished public performer is also the author of an acclaimed memoir, Shy. Her book solves the riddle of how someone who has grappled for decades with debilitating social anxiety has nevertheless managed to carve out a series of successful careers in the public eye.

» Read more about Sian Prior

Shamini Flint

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Storyteller/Performer

Shamini Flint is an engaging, witty and inspirational speaker. She holds audiences of any age spellbound with tales of growing up in Malaysia and travelling the world in search of an identity (or at least a good curry). Her ability to discuss important issues in an accessible way is unparalleled.

» Read more about Shamini Flint

Steve Bell

Author, Inspirational Speaker

Steve Bell is an inspirational individual who has forged his own path through life. The world’s highest and most difficult mountains are the backdrop for his vivid lessons on growing up, personal fulfillment and building a business.

» Read more about Steve Bell

Nathan Strempel

Education Consultant, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

“Nathan’s unique blend of humour and sincerity is unanimously well received. He gains an immediate rapport with audiences via his dynamic storytelling and body of work in AFL footy, NBL & WNBL basketball, Big Bash Cricket, A-League Soccer, Super Rugby and Super Netball.

He retains ongoing engagement and captivation with laughter and entertaining interaction being underpinned by his raw authenticity and integrity. Nathan’s honesty in recounting stories of failure, rejection and grief from his own journey strike a chord with any audience.

15 years of experience as a speaker and working with youth equip Nathan with the ability to tailor the ideal presentation for your group.”

» Read more about Nathan Strempel

Liv Downing

Inspirational Speaker, Mindfulness, Personal Development

Liv is a passionate and engaging speaker with over 15 years of experience working across the corporate and non-profit sectors across both Australia and the US.

As a registered psychologist and qualified meditation teacher, her sessions bring a balance of science and practice and are interactive, fun and practical.

In her role as a mindfulness educator, she brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to her sessions through sharing both her personal and professional experiences.

» Read more about Liv Downing

Jo Stanley

Author, Entertainer, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Storyteller/Performer

Having started her career as a comedian, Jo is a dynamic and entertaining speaker. She has presented to schools, universities, conferences, the corporate world, and community groups. Her areas of expertise are:

  • Gender equality
  • Resilience and mindfulness
  • Purpose
  • Media
  • Personal branding
» Read more about Jo Stanley

Scott Harris

Author, Corporate, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development

Scott Harris traveled the world solo with multiple disabilities to show us we can do anything we put our mind to. After a dirt bike accident in 2008, he spent three years at Epworth Rehabilitation learning to live with these disabilities and came out the other side with a completely new approach to life. He wrote the book Crashing Into Potential: Living with my injured brain, which tells the story of how he went from zero to hero despite being knocked down many times along the way.

» Read more about Scott Harris

Meredith Gaston

Author, Illustrator, Inspirational Speaker

Internationally acclaimed author, artist, INN Health Coach and speaker Meredith Gaston is passionate about joyous, mindful and inspired living. She delivers spirited presentations about integrative wellbeing in daily life, based on her various bestselling titles.

» Read more about Meredith Gaston