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CEO and Founding Director of School for Life Foundation.

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When you unite a team around purpose, anything is possible.

Annabelle Chauncy OAM is the CEO and Founding Director of School for Life Foundation.

Annabelle is a dynamic leader and social entrepreneur who started a multi-national NGO from scratch at the age of 21, with operations in both Australia and Uganda. Over the past 10 years, through her Foundation, School for Life, she has built a team of more than 120 staff, built 3 schools in rural Uganda that provide quality education to 1000 students and outreach to more than 2000 people. Annabelle knows how to drive effective change in Australia and Uganda, navigating fast growth (50-100% year on year since inception), developing a national brand and engaging thousands of supporters to raise more than $6M in 5 years.

Annabelle has overcome huge barriers including running two high performing businesses in different continents on exceptionally tight budgets, cultural and gender biases, shifting mindsets, driving change and innovation, engaging staff, building teams and raising capital. Annabelle is not afraid to ask for money, spending time developing targeted strategies for adopting corporate partners, garnering investment from high net worth individuals, engaging some of Australia's best business people to help her build the business and ensuring retention of all parties through rapid growth. She now moves her business forward to focus on sustainability, driving innovative strategies to create businesses to underpin her charity's growing operational budget, and ensure the foundation isn't reliant solely on donations.

Please note Annabelle donates all speaking fees to the School For Life Foundation.

Previous experience

Awards: One of the youngest recipients of the Medal of the Order of Australia at just 27 years old, she is an inspiring and energetic speaker who can relate to audiences of all backgrounds and ages. Annabelle is testament to the fact that one person can make a difference and isn’t short of courage, determination and grit to make it happen. Annabelle will inspire and enlighten your team with her story and experiences of being a young social entrepreneur and businesswoman making huge change in the developing world.

Besides having a Medal of the Order of Australia, Annabelle has been recognised for her work through a range of different awards, including being named NSW Young Woman of the Year in 2015, winning the Young Alumni of the Year from Sydney University in 2016, as well as being named finalist in the Audi In Style 'Women of Style' Charity category. Annabelle is a Paul Harris Fellow through Rotary and was the 2014 winner of People’s Choice in the Australian Women’s Weekly and Qantas’ Women of the Future Awards. She was a finalist in 2 categories of the NSW Telstra Businesswomen's Awards 2013 for Business Innovation and Young Businesswoman.

Talking Points

Give up or power on?

In this presentation Annabelle will unpack:

- How to find the strength within you to never give up
- Building resilience and grit in yourself and your team
- Harnessing passion to take action
- Taking the next step when you can’t see what’s in front of you

Authentic leadership

Annabelle’s shares insights into how to build a team from nothing from her own experience of doing it across 2 nations. This presentation covers ensuring the team is aligned around strategy, purpose and values, developing self belief, getting mentors, lifelong learning, pivoting faster and loving it all - the highs, lows and everything in between.

Purpose as a driver

Annabelle shares insights on how being crystal clear on your company purpose will help you and your company survive, and thrive! Purpose!

The global workforce will be 75% millennials and Gen Z by 2025 and 85% of these care more about purpose than profit. Annabelle shares tips to attract and retain the best talent by having a clear vision.

Standing out in a crowded market

In this presentation Annabelle will unpack:
- How to find your unique selling proposition
- Developing a tribe of loyal customers/clients who will do anything for you (even climb Mount Kilimanjaro!)
- How to build authentic, long lasting relationships
- The power of storytelling for engagement and how storytelling deeply connects people to your brand


  • Mastering Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurs
  • Purpose & Vision
  • Social Enterprise


  • Inspiring Stories
  • Resilience
  • Connection & Storytelling

Politics & Advocacy

  • Leadership
Annabelle was friendly, accommodating and professional. She was great to work with and delivered a presentation that resonated with our audience. She set the tone for the rest of our conference and energy, passion and enthusiasm was inspiring. Department of Education and Training
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