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Open Right

Ruth Clare

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Personal Development, Social Issues

Ruth Clare is the author of the award-winning memoir, Enemy (Penguin, 2016), and a passionate advocate for the rights of children. She is also a TEDx and keynote speaker, copywriter and teacher. Her work has appeared in publications such as Meanjin, Elle, The Good Weekend and Better Reading.

Ruth’s memoir is about the way she faced her experience growing up with a violent father and an alcoholic mother with courage and strength. It is also a compassionate unravelling of the psychological impact of war on veterans and their families.

Though the issues she talks about are tough, Ruth is an open, inspiring and entertaining speaker. She believes honest discussion about the things that hurt us can be the beginning of real change.

Ruth also speaks on the nature of resilience – how to fight back instead of surrendering, hope as an attitude not an emotion, the way to effectively challenge negative thinking and how being kinder to yourself can help you move on from trauma to create a thriving life.


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

To view Ruth in action, check out her TEDx talk here.

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

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