With the end of 2022 fast approaching, we are reflecting on the year that was and what we are looking forward to in 2023. In saying that one of the busiest times of the year for our female speakers is International Women's Day which is on Wednesday 8 March 2023, with many of our top Speakers' diaries already filling up! We have pulled some data to put together this exciting list of our top 22 female speakers in 2022 to give you a headstart on locking in the perfect speaker for your event before the end of the year!
Nadine is an inspiring speaker, author and martial artist who truly knows what it means to use "10 Seconds of Courage" to overcome obstacles and reach her potential. She is a highly sought-after speaker and mindset coach who works with individuals, organisations and corporations to foster their courage, adapt positively to change and develop resilience.
Nadine has built a strong reputation as a high-performance mindset coach and storyteller, known for offering practical tools via memorable anecdotes. She passes on the lessons learned from years of elite performance under immense pressure when conducting keynote speeches, specialised workshops and ongoing corporate programs.
HAPPY IS NOT SOMETHING YOU ARE, IT’S SOMETHING YOU DO. Shadé Zahrai
Shadé Zahrai is a leadership ‘alchemist’ known for her superhuman ability to translate the latest in neuroscience and psychology research into practical and actionable strategies that drive mindset shifts and behavioural change in a systemic way. She’s a dynamic speaker who skillfully blends a wealth of experience in corporate and consulting Fortune 500s around the world, with her approach as a scholar-practitioner and her Ph.D. research in leadership and career performance.
She’s spent countless hours with hundreds of teams from startups to Fortune 500s, observing clear behavioural trends behind the happiest and most successful people. Now through her company, along with her PhD research in career performance, she is leveraging the latest insights in high performance and leadership into commercially sound strategies for people and companies to do their best work by putting emotional intelligence and ‘humanness’ at the core.
Note Shade is only available for virtual or Asia-based engagements for International Women's Day 2023.
A CHAMPION ATTITUDE BRINGS CHAMPION RESULTS. Jacqui Cooper
Jacqui Cooper is an exciting, passionate and diverse speaker; she will leave your audience full of energy and with the feeling that anything is possible. Through honest, authentic and energic storytelling, Jacqui connects with her audience, making her session compelling, believable and relatable. Jacqui also loves to host events; her personality and energy make her the perfect choice for an Emcee.
Jacqui is one busy woman that manages many different roles. She is a published author of two IVF-inspired books, including one children’s book, company director at Champion Events Pty Ltd, a Speaker, MC, and Ambassador for La Trobe Financial. Jacqui has also developed a gluten-free range of products for supermarkets, is a regular commentator on 3AW, an athlete mentor, and regularly donates time to local community causes all being a mum to 3 young children. Jacqui’s work at La Trobe Financial is diverse. She speaks at staff induction days to help inspire leadership, value-led behaviour, resilience, longevity and attitude. She also runs an emerging leaders’ workshop for promising individuals and presents to the Executive Team. This role also includes Jacqui serving as host and MC at client and internal events.
For 25 years as an entrepreneur, Naomi Simson has been bringing people together whether it’s with her experience in business, her speaking or writing. Passionate about small businesses and the local community, Naomi is considered a home-grown success story. She urges audiences to play a bigger game. Her personal motto is “If it is meant to be, it is up to me”. And if there’s one thing, she leaves an audience feeling, it’s a focused sense of possibility.
A true business leader and influencer, with more than 2.9 million LinkedIn followers, Naomi is Australia’s most-followed person on the business networking platform. She has authored two best-selling books Live What You Love, and Ready to Soar, and is an engaging, humorous and insightful speaker.
Naomi is relatable across a broad variety of audiences and topics, often drawing on her personal experiences to provide thoughtful and valuable views on topics; including the future of work, purposeful leadership, entrepreneurship, personal development, customer obsession and sustainable, socially conscious business leadership.
Layne Beachley is regarded as the most successful female surfer in history.
Her dedication to success sees her as the only surfer, male or female, to claim six consecutive world titles between 1998 and 2003. Layne went on to win a 7th world title in 2006 before retiring from the World Tour in 2008.
Layne's genuine leadership style blazed a trail for equality at the beach, on the waves and in the boardroom. She shares her stories and powerful authentic voice in the recently released documentary Girls Can't Surf, highlighting the chauvinistic and sexist culture of the surfing world in the 80s and 90s and how she was able to overcome these challenges to influence and celebrate pay equity in 2018.
Not only has she conquered the world of surfing, but also mentored the Australian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games, holds 3 Guinness Book of World Records, is Chair of Surfing Australia and holds an Officer of the Order of Australia.
WE CAN’T AFFORD NOT TO BE CHANGING. DISRUPTION PRESENTS A CHOICE BETWEEN OPPORTUNITY AND OBSOLESCENCE. Holly Ransom
Holly Ransom is a globally renowned content curator, powerful speaker and master interviewer with the belief that if you walk past it, you tell the world it’s okay.
Named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, she has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama, was Sir Richard Branson’s nominee for Wired Magazine’s ‘Smart List’ of Future Game Changers to watch and was awarded the US Embassy’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Leadership Excellence in 2019.
Having interviewed the likes of Barack Obama, Malcolm Gladwell, Richard Branson, Billie Jean-King, Condoleezza Rice, Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus and the world’s first humanoid robot Sophia, Holly fights complexity with curiosity, apathy with empowerment and fear with fact.
Nyadol Nyuon OAM was born in a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia, and raised in Kakuma Refugee camp, Kenya. In 2005, at the age of eighteen, she moved to Australia as a refugee. In 2022 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of her service to human rights and refugee women.
Since then, Nyadol has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne and worked as a commercial litigator with Arnold Bloch Leibler.
Nyadol is a vocal advocate for human rights, multiculturalism, the settlement of people with refugee experiences and those seeking asylum. She has worked and volunteered extensively in these areas with a range of organisations. She is also a regular media commentator in these areas, having appeared on ABC’s The Drum, as a panellist on Q&A and contributing to The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and the Saturday Paper, to name just a few.
After being groomed and raped by her maths teacher when she was just 15 years old, Grace Tame has turned her traumatic experience into advocacy for survivors of child sexual abuse and has been a leader of positive change for over a decade.
Recognising the injustice of Tasmania’s gag order that prevented survivors from self-identifying publicly, Grace offered her story to the #LetHerSpeak campaign created by Nina Funnell, along with the stories of 16 other brave survivors. In 2019, she finally won a court order to speak our under her own name, making her the state’s first female child sexual abuse survivor to do so.
Now, 26 and based in Hobart, Grace is dedicated to eradicating child sexual abuse in Australia, and supporting the survivors of child sexual abuse.
Her focus is around enabling survivors to tell their stories without shame, educating the public about the process and lasting effects of grooming and working with policy and decision-makers to ensure we have a federal legal system that supports the survivors, not just the perpetrators.
Lucinda Hartley is an award-winning urban designer, a cofounder of world-leading social analytics company Neighbourlytics, and a globally recognised expert in smart cities and social change.
Named as one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women by the Australian Financial Review, Lucinda is a technology leader who offers inspiration and practical advice on the future of living, the future of work and how technology can be a force for good in turbulent times.
Lucinda is an ‘urban futurist’ who has spent the past decade pioneering innovative solutions for improving cities and neighbourhoods, now adopted globally. She helped create the UN Sustainable Development Goals for cities (Goal 11), has delivered more than 100 neighbourhood improvement projects across Australia through her social enterprise CoDesign Studio and is now spearheading world-leading technology for measuring neighbourhood lifestyle and wellbeing using digital data, as Founding Director of Neighbourlytics.
SUCCESSFUL LEADERS TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS, ALWAYS LISTEN, AND USE THEIR VOICE. Julia Banks
Julia Banks is an author, columnist and Keynote Speaker who runs her consultancy business and holds non-executive advisory roles. Julia is a former Federal MP and an experienced General Counsel, Chair, Board and Executive Director.
Julia has extensive experience in the corporate and legal sectors. She also served as a Federal Government MP under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and then as an Independent MP.
Julia is a Keynote Speaker and regularly appears in mainstream media - radio and television- and has authored several opinion pieces in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, & The New Daily. Julia's bestselling book Power Play, Breaking through bias barriers and boys’ clubs was nominated in the 2022 Australian Book Industry Awards longlist.
An established thought leader on leadership - Julia's advocacy and commentary focusses on safe and respectful cultures in workplaces, schools, sports and organisations across sectors. Julia's non-executive advisory positions include Special Advisor for Gender Equity Victoria.
Rae Johnston is a multi-award-winning journalist with a focus on the geekier side of life.
The first Science & Technology Editor for NITV at SBS, her work appears across television, radio, podcasts and online. Rae is also the producer and host of top-rated podcasts Queens of the Drone Age, STEAM with Rae Johnston and Hear+Beyond. Previously, Rae was the first female editor of Gizmodo Australia and the first Indigenous editor of Junkee.
A leading commentator on all things technology, science and pop culture, Rae has worked with every major television and radio network in Australia at some stage of her decade-long career. Today, she makes regular appearances across SBS, ABC and Network Ten.
Rae’s work has seen her awarded the Lighting The Way prize for advocacy and support of the Australian games industry at the Australian Game Developer Awards. The Australian Games Awards named her both Journalist of the Year (2018) and The Gamechanger - awarded for challenging the negative misconceptions about video games throughout her career.
OPTIMALLY LEADING YOURSELF THROUGH EXPONENTIAL CHANGE REQUIRES COURAGE AND RESOURCEFULNESS. Ciara Lancaster
Ciara Lancaster is Australia's leading change fatigue and resilience expert, keynote speaker and best-selling author.
Ciara helps resilient leaders re-awaken their brilliance and optimise their performance. Her expertise comes from leading teams of 500+ through a business transformation at the Big 4 and from the research uncovered in #1 best-selling book Reimagine Change, awarded a 'Finalist Medal' in the 2021 Australian Career Book Awards.
Your audience will be nodding along to the unspoken challenges in today's workplace (fatigue, change expectations and poor innovation) before being transformed by the latest human behaviour hacks and practices.
Human skills are THE competitive advantage in the decade of disruption, the post-pandemic world and the future of work.
When learnings are relevant, relatable, and research-backed, your audience will leave ready and willing to make an impact. All keynotes are underpinned by the latest research in modern psychology, neuroscience and change leadership.
WE ARE ALL STRONGER, BRAVER AND MORE CAPABLE THAN WE REALISE. Sam Bloom
Sam Bloom is a 2 x World Para Surfing Champion, bestselling author, and inspiration behind the Australian box-office hit and global Netflix sensation Penguin Bloom, starring and produced by two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts.
In 2013, while holidaying in Thailand with her husband and three young sons, Sam unknowingly leaned on a rotten balcony railing, falling through it and plunging six meters onto the concrete below. Sam’s injuries were horrific. The near-fatal accident shattered her spine, ruptured her lungs and caused severe bleeding on the brain.
Not only was Sam physically broken and facing the daunting reality of never walking again, but her soul and spirit were crushed. She was not the active, adventurous mother she once was and was convinced if she could not have her old life back, her new one was not worth living. A serendipitous encounter with a frail and injured magpie chick, her sons dubbed Penguin, was to transform her attitude, change the course of her recovery, and save her family.
Sam and Penguin’s remarkable bond and extraordinary story of parallel recovery was sensitively captured through the lens by Sam’s husband, acclaimed photographer Cameron Bloom. The images formed the basis for the international bestselling book Penguin Bloom, a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.
YOU CAN HAVE A SEAT AT THE TABLE OR YOU CAN BUILD YOUR OWN. Faustina 'Fuzzy' Agolley
Faustina Agolley, affectionally called Fuzzy, has enjoyed a career over 15 years across Broadcast Television, Music, Djing, Writing, and Theatre. She's a proud Black and Asian gay Australian of Ghanaian and Chinese-Malaysian heritage.
Faustina began her career interviewing her idols like Alicia Keys to then icons-in-the making like Adele, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga while bringing joy to Australian homes on Video Hits. She's also co-hosted The Voice and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. She openly speaks and writes about queer matters, queer life and overcoming her own mental health struggles for Women of Letters, ABC, Netflix Pause, and Huffington Post.
Since early 2021 Faustina has embarked on her entrepreneurial journey, founding a haircare brand for textured hair that will launch in the United States at the end of 2022. This brand was selected to be part of Credo For Change, an entrepreneurial program for BIPOC founders established by America's fastest-growing clean beauty retailer, Credo.
REBELLIOUS CURIOSITY DISRUPTS STATUS QUO, EVOKING RADICAL CHANGE. Yemi Penn
Yemi Penn is a global thought leader on how to ignite your Rebellious Curiosity at an individual, team and organisational level. An Engineer by profession, Entrepreneur by passion Yemi fuses analytical thinking with creativity to produce superior outcomes. She is an advocate for challenging status quo, being a disruptor in all industries to bring about innovative and sometimes radical change.
She is a champion and steadfast advocate for equality and equity in STEM fields, inviting individuals to tap into their self-empowerment using her bespoke ‘pain to power’ mapping technique which unlocks their unique resilience blueprint.
Yemi is a force to be reckoned with and has inspired audiences across Australia, the United Kingdom, Africa and the United States, where she has delivered a TED talk on the TEDx Ocala stage in Florida.
Yemi’s superpower is meeting people wherever they are.
Shirley’s current portfolio aims to create commercially sustainable and inclusive services for all members of our community. She is a passionate advocate for Indigenous empowerment and diversity and inclusion. Her career has been driven by a strong desire to create a connection between people, place and purpose and this work was recognized when she was selected as one of the 2019 AFR 100 Women of Influence.
Shirley is an internationally experienced executive leader with a diverse set of credentials across law, financial services, investment management, the NFP sector and journalism. She is admitted to practice law in Australia and New York (after completing the New York bar exam) and has worked across Asia and Australia in the corporate and for-purpose sectors.
Career highlights include being Regional Counsel Asia Pacific for JP Morgan Investment Management; host of the Women’s Agenda podcast series The Leadership Lessons; and author of a range of writings including a biography for a WW2 POW.
Her previous executive appointment was as the inaugural Chief Executive of the GO Foundation, an Indigenous NFP providing holistic education pathways and support to Indigenous students across Australia.
DO THINGS YOU’VE NEVER DONE. BE THINGS YOU’VE NEVER BEEN. Felicity Furey
An inspirational leader and in-demand speaker, Felicity’s engineering mindset is primed to help leaders and teams reignite performance, reframe challenges as opportunities and redefine what’s possible in the future of business and leadership.
From BOSS Magazine’s Young Executive of The Year to one of Westpac AFR’s 100 Women of Influence and the Director of four multi-million dollar businesses, Felicity has made a career out of making the ‘impossible’ possible.
In the world of engineering, Felicity skyrocketed to the top to lead some of Australia’s most innovative mega infrastructure projects for the likes of Arup, fortune 500 company AECOM and Brisbane City Council, where she delivered a $45 million dollar transport infrastructure project portfolio at just 23 years-of-age.
In an age of rapid change and transformation, we’re being called to pivot faster and to pioneer solutions that don’t yet exist. The need for adaptability and innovation has never been more important and it’s crucial that we intentionally and proactively design the future that we want to step into as individuals, organizations, and as a global community. Whether we’re creating a new world order or forging a new personal story, the blueprint is the same- Creative Futurism. It’s the process that fuels innovation by creatively using the resources we have available today, to reinvent new outcomes and possibilities for tomorrow.
Sarah Rowan is a thought leader who empowers individuals and organizations to ignite a better future through creativity. As one of Australia’s top Speed Painters, she has lived and breathed the dynamic process of transformation for 17 years, turning blank walls and canvasses into thought-provoking pieces of art, with limited time and often in front of a live audience. Merging her artistic talent with her passion for public speaking, Sarah has reimagined the role of the artist, pushing the boundaries of a studio-based pursuit into a trail-blazing performance genre that challenges the limitations of time and space.
Sarah’s strong emotional storytelling, along with her ability to paint fast and think fast has captivated hundreds of clients like Google, ANZ, AMP, Hewlett-Packard, Beam Suntory, Mi9, The Salvation Army, and the Business Chamber of NSW. She has inspired audiences to embrace their own creativity which she believes is a "birthright to all” and to date has painted at over 400 events raising over $200,000 for charity.
I GOT YOUR BACK, YOU'VE GOT MINE. IT'S THIS BOND THAT'S KEPT ALL OUR MOB TOGETHER. AN UNSPOKEN RULE TO ENSURE WE SURVIVE. Marlee Silva
Marlee Silva is an Aboriginal woman from the Gamilaroi and Dunghutti tribes of NSW.
Starting her career in the non-profit sector, Marlee’s path was shifted toward a more public profile when she was employed as the Co-CEO of Aboriginal education charity AIME Mentoring. A role that saw her shadow the work of AIME’s CEO for twelve months and in turn, act as the representative of the organisation's story and direction, in the media and through keynote speaking. It also gave her the opportunity to study at the Summer Institute of General Management at Stanford University in the U.S., making her the first Aboriginal woman to do so.
Marlee has continued to emerge as a skilled public speaker and presenter. She is also the best-selling author of My Tidda, My Sister: Stories of strength and resilience from Australia's first women and the host of Always was, always will be our stories, a podcast dedicated to showcasing Indigenous role models, from all walks of life.
Having gained radio experience as a casual host on national youth broadcaster triple j, Marlee has also continued to expand her media reach with successful appearances on NITV’s January 26th Sunrise Ceremony and ABC’s Q+A, both in early 2020.
Lisa MacCallum is a business and thought leader specialising in purpose lead business transformation.
Her company, Inspired Companies was created as a benchmark for the best version of the corporate sector. That is companies that outperform their peers in a fast-paced, complex 21st-century marketplace because they pursue big, inspired ideas in harmony with people and the planet.
Prior to founding Inspired Companies, Lisa was a Vice President of Nike, where for 15 years she held leadership roles across Nike's Global Apparel, Footwear and Sporting Goods businesses. She also led Nike USA's Growth Strategy, corporate philanthropy and Global Community Sports efforts.
Amongst many things, Lisa is a Non-Executive Director of Bond University, a Young Global Leader Alumni of the World Economic Forum; Ambassador to the SDG's World Benchmarking Alliance; Founding Advisory Board member of Meaningful Business, and author of “Inspired INC: Become a company the world will get behind”.
Nicki Hutley is a highly experienced economist, with broad-based expertise gained over three decades of practice in financial and investment markets and in economic consulting.
After many years in the corporate world, including most recently as a partner with Deloitte Access Economics, Nicki is now an independent economist and consults with Social Outcomes, developing social impact programs and finance solutions.
In 2020, Nicki was appointed as a Councillor for the Climate Council and admitted as an expert faculty member (economics) to Singularity University.
Nicki is particularly interested in the intersection of economy, society and environment. Her research covers both macroeconomics and microeconomic policy across a broad field of issues.
Nicki is President of the Economics Society of Australia (NSW), and an advisory board member to the Finance Women’s Index and Climate Subak Australia. Nicki is also a frequent commentator in the media and is a regular guest on both The Drum and The Project.
Nova Peris OAM OLY MAICD was Australia's first Aboriginal woman elected to Federal Parliament and the first Aboriginal Australian and Northern Territorian to win an Olympic Gold Medal.
She is one of the very few athletes who have represented their country in two different sports; hockey and athletics in separate Olympic Games. She is the only person in the entire world to make back-to-back Summer Olympic Games finals in two different sports.
Peris has also completed her Institute of Company Directors course, adding MAICD credentials to her name.
Nova was recently honoured with a statue in Melbourne’s Federation Square, designed and sculpted by internationally renowned artists Gillie and Marc as part of their ‘Statues for Equality’ project, which seeks to promote and educate on racial and gender equality.