Jacqueline Pascarl is an Australian author, TV personality, parents' rights advocate and humanitarian aid worker. She came to public attention in 1992, when her children were covertly removed from Australia, illegally under Australian law, by their Malaysian father. What follows was a remarkable story and the subject of her book Since I Was a Princess. Her life became one woman's amazing journey, since her former husband, a Malaysian prince, abducted her children. She managed to channel her grief and worked as an aid worker in war torn countries for CARE until she was reunited with her long-lost children, after a tortuous 14 years. For Jacqueline this became very much the beginning of another journey.
She has been deployed as an humanitarian aid worker and Special Ambassador with CARE International everywhere from war zones in The Balkans and East Timor, to Maasai villages in Kenya, and on Nelson Mandela's READ Educational Trust projects in South Africa. Her initiative, Operation Book Power has stocked schools in East Africa and championed child literacy in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and South Africa (distributing over $2.7 million worth of books) and where she is known as the African Book Queen. Jacqueline has lectured at the European Union and the US State Department on human rights issues and given speeches at the United Nations and UNESCO in Paris, as well as being an advisor to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and the Lord Chancellor's Department in Great Britain and numerous other governments. But by far, she considers her scariest time of gainful employment to be her stint with Australia's television networks where she worked as an investigative reporter, journalist, producer, documentary film maker and presenter.
With three bestselling books (including her memoirs Once I Was A Princess and Since I Was A Princess) published in 27 languages, most of which she cannot understand (although she does speak eight tongues badly), she is Global Patron of CARE International UK, and has been a correspondent for BBC Radio and contributed to magazines as a columnist whilst managing to breed in all her reproductive decades, popping out four children now aged seven to 27, she can drive a truck and has commanded a platoon of military types whilst under fire - the bullet missed. Jacqueline has received several awards including a UN Commendation, and was nominated as Australian of the Year in 2009 and 2011. During the Victorian bushfire emergency in 2009, Jacqueline organised massive relief efforts in convoys of vehicles and distributed aid across the state through Operation Angel - a portion of her daily journals were reproduced in Black Saturday: Stories of love, loss and courage from the Victorian Bushfires, published by HarperCollins/News Ltd.
In 2010, she was made Patron of Heart@Heart, the Australia New Zealand Cardiac Research Foundation investigating sudden death in youth, and was welcomed to the board of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute - Endocrinology, and as a member of the Women@TheAlfred which targets fundraising and awareness of Prostate Cancer. Jacqueline founded (in 1997), and is the director of Operation Angel, a rapid response humanitarian agency targeting relief efforts during times of natural disaster or emergencies.
A self-appointed arbiter of good taste and modern etiquette, Jacqueline is currently working on three new books due to a love of multi-tasking, and blogs regularly at jacquelinepascarl.blogspot.com. An in-demand public speaker in the corporate arena and MC, she shamefacedly admits to being a hopeless chocoholic and having an abysmal attitude to sports although she does support Hawthorn but laments the team colours.
In 2009, she became a regular columnist for the Sunday Times Magazine in the UK and writes for ThePunch.com.au. She also produces documentary and television films through Creswick Creative. 2011 saw Jacqueline's appointment as ambassador to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in Australia, and she is the recent recipient of the Queensland Disaster Hero Medal 2011 for her tireless work through Operation Angel during the Queensland floods and cyclones for which she raised and distributed over $5 million worth of material aid to Queenslanders in need, and the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal.
Jacqueline is an excellent speaker with a moving and highly motivating story. Her passion for achievement is inspirational and her 'can do' attitude infectious.
Client Comments for Jacqueline Pascarl
- As always you presented with honesty, integrity and humour, so that it was impossible for you not to leave a lasting impact on the group. It was very inspiring.
Tasmanian Leaders Inc.
- The leadership story you gave was generous, informative, highly engaging and presented a wonderful example of the difference one person can make. Participants were very impressed with your commitment to core values and you inspired many to make a difference within their own communities. With inspiring people like you the future looks much brighter! I have included some feedback from participants who can say it much better than I can!
- "Her story sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. Brilliant."
- "It's a shame that there was not a response category higher than 'very satisfied'.
- "A very engaging speaker who provided a fantastic leadership story along with some personal insight in to the situations that she had found herself in. Some very practical leadership advice."
- "Profound and inspiring - a fantastic presenter and truly inspiring story. Made me think that I am not really busy at all!"
- "Jacqueline could have spoken for another hour and I still would have been captivated."
Tasmanian Leaders Inc.
- An excellent address provided by a very warm and approachable speaker. We were also very pleased with Jacqueline's continued attendance post official proceedings. Jacqueline took the time to speak with a number of the young people in attendance, which was very special and inspirational for these young people. Therefore via both Jacqueline's address and continued attendance she helped to achieve the objectives of the event: 'Inspiring Futures'.
Manningham City Council
- Jacqueline Pascarl kept the audience riveted with her story. Her down to earth yet fiercely engaging personality grabs at your heart while her story brings tears to your eyes. Inspiring, uplifting and an extraordinary person. Jac is a true example of the triumph of the human spirit.
Jewish Communal Appeal
- On behalf of the members of the Black & White committee, thank you very much for contributing so positively to the absolute success of the Women of Achievement Luncheon by giving your time so generously. It was an inspiring and thought provoking talk and generated a feeling of optimism and good humour, which will be remembered for many years.
The guests were encouraged by your successes and achievements and your presence positively helped us in our fundraising efforts for The Children's Services Development Fund of Vision Australia, raising a wonderful amount of over $75,000 for the event. Thank you once again for your participation and outstanding contribution.
- On behalf of the staff and volunteers of Make-A-Wish Australia, I would like to sincerely thank you for being the keynote speaker at our AGM and National Volunteers Conference. Hearing about your life, work and voluntary experiences really was truly amazing. Your life story is inspiring and you touched the hearts of so many people in attendance. We are greatly appreciative that you took the time out to share your story with us. All indications are that the conference was a huge success and I contribute this to the inspiring speakers who were in attendance. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours and hope that we can continue to work together in the future.
Topic SynopsesIt Only Takes One Person
A single spark of an idea and a tenacious woman is all it takes to change the world and make a difference. Jacqueline Pascal turned the personal tragedy of her children's abduction into the catalyst to become a human rights advocate and humanitarian aid worker, and over the past 20 years has raised $38 million dollars in humanitarian aid and relief, along the way establishing a child literacy project in Kenya and assisting Nelson Mandela to do the same in South Africa. She has worked in war zones around the globe caring for the vulnerable and is an award winning documentary producer and author. Appointed as an ambassador to His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Jacqueline is the recipient of the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and has been nominated for Australian of the Year three times. She reactivated Operation Angel in 2009 in response to the devastating Black Saturday Bushfires, driving truck convoys across the state to deliver relief and assistance, and in 2011 responded to the Queensland Floods and Cyclone with 96 semi-trailers converging on devastated areas packed with donated humanitarian supplies valued at $9 million. A mother of four, she has three rules to live by: always live in hope, never give up, and don't take no for an answer.
"Always a pleasure working with the Sydney team, Nina and Tamie. Helpful in working with our not for profit budget. Thanks for all your assistance as always."
National Safety Council of Australia
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