International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8 March offering an opportunity to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
Saxton Speakers works with a range of champions who will share their journey and secrets so your team reaches peak performance
Engage one of our best sports keynote speakers for your next school, conference, or business event, and join the movement to #BreakTheBias
Michelle Payne's historic win in the 2015 Melbourne Cup with Prince of Penzance turned the race that stops a nation into a race that inspired one. But it is the story behind this remarkable woman that cemented her place as a beloved national icon and inspired the biopic, Ride Like a Girl, directed by Rachel Griffiths and starring Teresa Palmer and Sam Neill. Released in late September 2019 to audience acclaim and the number one position at the box office, it has become the highest-grossing Australian film of the year. Her grace in the face of untold tragedy and triumph is now a beacon for many. Michelle Payne is that rare kind of icon: one who lives with gratitude and humility.
A powerhouse of Women's Football, Moana Hope is one of the AFLW's most recognizable figures.
A star junior, Moana competed against the older women from a very young age, honing her craft to become one of the VFLW's most damaging forwards, including a 100 goal season for the St Kilda Sharks before the launch of the AFLW. Moana's focus has shifted from the field to starting her own family with her wife, Isabella Carlstrom, and continuing to care for her sister, Vinny, who lives with the rare neurological condition Moebius syndrome, as well as running a highly successful Traffic Management Company.
Moana has a unique profile that resonates beyond the sports fields, with appeal across all demographics. As a result, Moana has worked with many local and international brands for campaigns including NIKE, Myer, Tommy Hilfiger, Special K, Remedy Kombucha, NAB, McDonald's, and the Melbourne Racing Club. She is also a highly sort after Speaker and shares her incredible journey through facilitated conversations and Q&A sessions.
A professional athlete in two sports by the age of 19, Ash’s story is a special one.
A Junior Wimbledon champion at 15 to becoming world number 1 in women’s tennis, Ash Barty's Journey is just beginning. A true Aussie, she loves her sport, her family, and friends and celebrates her Indigenous heritage. She is down-to-earth, honest, and hardworking.
Jana Pittman is one of the most recognisable faces in Australian athletics. She is also the first woman to represent Australia in both Summer and Winter Olympics, having joined the Australian bobsleigh team after injury forced an end to her athletic career. In 2019 she also completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Western Sydney and is currently practising in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department of the Blacktown hospital, all while being the devoted mum to four kids.
Cathy Freeman is one of Australia's best-loved and most successful Olympic champions. Her greatest achievement came in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games as her image was beamed into millions of homes around the world. This was when Cathy became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony; she then went on to win the gold medal in the 400m, realising a life-long dream. Cathy's journey has been documented in the critically acclaimed ABC documentary Freeman released in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sydney Olympic Games.
She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the Centenary Medal in 2001 and retired from competitive running in 2003. She now concentrates her time on making a difference to others through the Cathy Freeman Foundation.
Jessica Morrison is an Australian dual Olympian who recently won an Olympic Gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 (2021) Olympic Games in the Women’s Four events for rowing.
Jess brings skills developed as an elite athlete to business - performing under pressure, working in high-performing teams, resilience, determination, and leadership.
Ariarne Titmus is the Australian long course record holder over the 200m, 400m and 800m Freestyle events. She made her first national team aged just 15, and is a World, Commonwealth and Pan Pacific Champion. At her first Olympic outing, Titmus remarkably took home two individual gold medals in the 200m and 400m freestyle, placing her among Australia's most successful swimmers and earning her the nickname, ‘The Terminator’.
Hailing from country Victoria, Daisy Pearce is a pioneer of Women’s Football in Australia. One of the AFLW’s premier stars she has been at the forefront of the fast-expanding women’s game since its launch on the national stage in 2016.
With the AFLW only in it’s infancy, Daisy already boasts an astounding resume. Captain of the Melbourne Football Club’s for the first two AFLW seasons (2017 & 2018) she won the Club’s Best & Fairest in both of those years and was also named a 2x All-Australian representative. Daisy’s resume extends off the field where she is an experienced media personality and a practicing mid-wife.
At 17 years old Sally Pearson wanted desperately to be Australia’s next track and field champion. She knew that it would take hard work, dedication, and commitment that is beyond most teenagers’ comprehension. To Sally’s credit, this did not daunt her. By 20 years old she had already made her mark by anchoring Australia’s 4 x 100m Relay Team at the World Championships. In the same year, Sally was Australia’s champion at 100m sprints and was the Australian 100m hurdles champion. By 2011 Sally was crowned the 2011 World Champion, 2011 IAAF World’s Best Female Athlete of the Year (she was the first Australian ever to win this award) and in 2012 she became the Olympic Gold Medallist for the 100m hurdles. Sally had definitely achieved her aim.
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Liz Ellis is one of Australia’s highest-profile elite athletes and most successful netballers ever. She was captain of the Australian Netball Team and Sydney Swifts and surpassed the record for most test matches played for Australia.
Liz's career highlights include three World Championship gold medals, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, and four national premierships as well as being named Australia's Most Valuable Player on four occasions.
Against the odds, Layne Beachley emerged from humble beginnings to become a 7-time world champion surfer. Now one of the world’s most highly regarded motivational speakers, she’s devoted her life post sport to helping others unlock their potential. In her raw, inspiring, and powerful presentations, Layne reveals what it took to become (and remain) a world champion: framing success, traversing challenges, setting powerful goals, and managing expectations and pressure on the journey to the top.
Motivation, Inspiration, Determination
Layne Beachley will take us on a journey through a challenging upbringing including two bouts of chronic fatigue, depression, and many injuries to becoming the best in the world, and indeed, a seven-time world surfing champion. She had the motivation to be a world champion, the inspiration to surround herself with the people who can assist her, and the determination to overcome a myriad of challenges. Her exploits are astounding, her attitude unwavering and her achievements inspirational. Layne certainly dared to dream and passionately believes that anything is possible