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Open Right

Ruth Clare

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Social Issues

Ruth Clare is a TEDx and keynote speaker, award-winning author, teacher, copywriter and actor. Her acclaimed memoir, Enemy, tells the story of her childhood, living with a violent father and an alcoholic mother. It shows how Ruth chose courage over fear and love over hate. Enemy is also a compassionate investigation into the impact of war on veterans and their families. Ruth’s story is honest, hopeful and deeply affecting.

They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Ruth is the living embodiment of that. Hers is a story about never being defeated, no matter what life throws at you. It is about taking setbacks and using them as power to drive you forward. It is about defining your own truth, letting yourself be seen, and being brave enough to stand up for what is right. Ruth shows us all how to have our own backs and gives us the tangible steps each of us can take to foster more hope, take action and create the life we want.

Her speaking will leave you feeling both humbled and uplifted, and inspire you to live more authentically in the world.

Ruth’s speeches will help you:

— Thrive in the face of adversity

— Build your sense of personal power and control

— Foster hope that allows you to take steps toward achieve the life you want

— Tolerate the uncomfortable feelings that are key to your growth

— Embrace life’s curve balls

— Transform obstacles into opportunities

— Trick yourself into positive thinking when you are feeling low

— Own your dark stories without letting them define you

— Be brave enough to let your real self be seen

— Learn how compassion for self can unlock forgiveness

— Reframe yourself from victim to victor


  • Overcoming adversity
  • Resilience
  • The gift of the child voice
  • Family violence
  • Parenting
  • Impact of war

What other jobs have you had?

Once I finished my biochemistry degree I worked in a lab for a couple of days, but had a panic attack at the thought of wearing a white coat forever, so decided to be an actor, as you do. I appeared on Neighbours, Blue Heelers, in lots of short films, plays and tons of commercials. Because I was an actor I was also a waitress (not the good kind, the nasty kind that can ruin your night) and an office temp. In 2004 I became a copywriter/marketing manager of a graphic design business, which I run with my husband (Mono Design). I am much nicer now.

What themes are recurring in your work?

My work explores the secret lives we all live, the way we adapt to trauma, the nature of resilience, courage, shame, perfectionism, anxiety and rage. It also looks at the agony of letting yourself be seen.

What have been the highlights of your career?

The bidding war over my book was pretty darned satisfying, but the main highlight thus far has been the number of letters people have sent telling me their story is my story, and that they are glad someone is finally talking about it.

Where have your works been published?

My book was published by Penguin and my writing has appeared in The Age Good Weekend Magazine, Elle Magazine and Good Reading Magazine. I have been reviewed in The Australian, Better Reading and Books + Publishing and been interviewed on Conversations with Richard Fidler, Life Matters, Jon Faine’s Conversation Hour plus many more.

What are you passionate about?

I believe honest discussions about the things that hurt us as individuals and a society can be the beginning of real change. It is my hope that sharing my story might inspire new conversations around domestic violence, living with a depressed/alcoholic parent, childhood trauma, parenting, resilience, PTSD and the trans-generational impact of war.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I was on Neighbours for a few months and did lots of commercials over the years, so it is possible. Or maybe I was your waitress fifteen years ago. I was sometimes rude enough to be memorable. If that was it, sorry!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I can do a really loud whistle. Seriously, it will hurt your ears.

Watch Ruth in action


Ruth Clare’s Creating Compelling Writing workshop was an honour to host. Ruth’s generous, kind-hearted, lively and down-to-earth approach to writing eased first time work-shoppers into the basics of writing, while giving more experienced writers a greater understanding of what they needed to make their writing leap off the page. Participants particularly enjoyed Ruth’s take on point of view, how to be an authentic writer, and ways to structure story. All left feeling more enthusiastic about writing and pursuing a creatively authentic  life…key ingredients for creating compelling writing.

—S. Schmidt, Reading & Literacy Coordinator, Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Ruth is an engaging and wonderful speaker.  We were on a panel together and I’m reading her book at the moment.  She knows how to tell a story – in a book and onstage.

—Alice Pung, July 2016

Ruth is a highly intelligent writer and speaker. She is also very entertaining and had the audience engaged and excited the entire time. She is a versatile speaker too and addressed in a thoughtful manner such sensitive topics as PTSD, child abuse and issues around Australian participation in Vietnam war. She also spoke with a lot of wisdom about the ethics of memoir writing. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ruth and could have done it for much longer than just an hour.

—Dr Lee Koffman, chair of panel at Emerging Writers Festival 2016

Ruth recently conducted her 2 hour workshop, Creating Compelling Writing, as part of Yarra Plenty Regional Library’s Booklover’s Festival. Her session was very inspiring and thought-provoking and the feedback we had from the more than twenty participants was fantastic. She definitely has some new fans!

—H. Babatsikos, Community and Learning Coordinator, Whittlesea Library

Ruth Clare is a passionate and engaging speaker who is at home on stage presenting to, and engaging with, an audience. A willingness to allow herself to be vulnerable in front of a crowd creates a magnetic atmosphere which keeps people transfixed and, most importantly, wanting more. She is eloquent, dynamic, honest and graceful.

—R. Tiernan, White Ribbon Ambassador and Senior Project Officer at Port Phillip City Council
Ruth Clare’s presentation was both inspirational and much aligned with our school’s values i.e. follow your passion and don’t give up! I have never seen our VCE cohort so engaged. It was motivating for our students to hear her experience and I know that many benefited from hearing her story. I am sincerely grateful to her and will be following up to discuss alternative ways for her to engage with our students.
—S. Blythman, Head of Careers and Student Pathways at Casey Grammar School
The response from your speech has been
astounding. So many emails, calls and
conversations already… the most important
grand round of the year. Many, many
thanks from our executive sponsor and our
whole team.
—Dani Gold, Royal Children's Hospital 2018
Thank you so much for your wonderful and
evocative presentation. From all the feedback
we have received I know people were
profoundly moved by your heartfelt account.
It truly was a memorable presentation.
—Nada Lane, President, Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association Australia (CPPAA)

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