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Justine
Flynn

Co-Founder & Director - Thankyou

We rise by lifting others.
Profile

A true disruptor for purpose, Justine’s leadership as co-founder of Thankyou has seen a small start-up go against all odds to become one of Australia’s leading social enterprises, globally recognised for its creativity, innovation and impact.

As young as 12 years old, Justine Flynn was deeply impacted by the stories she had heard of millions of people overseas living in poverty and was inspired to take action and make an impact in whatever way she could.

She began holding bake sales and running clothing swaps to save enough money to pay her own way on trips to developing countries to understand the hardship these people experienced and to help those living in extreme poverty.

Current Work:

These trips profoundly impacted her and only 9 years later, she co-founded Thankyou, a small start-up that went against all odds to become one of Australia’s leading social enterprises, globally recognized for its innovation, disruption, and impact. Thankyou exists because of a simple idea.

Currently, there are more than 736 million people living in extreme poverty with many dying daily simply because they lack access to meet basic human needs, meanwhile, global consumer spending totals a staggering US$63 trillion per year. Thankyou is a bridge between these two extremes, bringing consumers a choice that exists all for the vision of a world where not one person lives in poverty. To date, Thankyou has raised over $17 million to impact the lives of people across 32 countries, and its fast-growing range of personal care products is stocked by major retailers in Australia, with every product existing all-for the end of extreme poverty This is a story of love, heartbreak, sheer grit through times of hardship, triumph against all odds and a revolutionary idea to flip business as usual.

In the early days of Thankyou, Justine and her co-founders fought hard against the multinationals already in the industry they were trying to break into. They had no budget, minimal business experience, and a whole lot of conviction to see this dream become a reality. Thankyou exists as the social enterprise it is today because of the power of people, coming together to take a stand for what they believe in, and when they started out, that was all they were - three young students who took a stand to try and right a wrong that should have never existed. With social media petitions, campaigns recorded in one-take videos, and helicopters flying 30,000 square foot signs above the head offices of industry giants, Thankyou finally got 7-Eleven to range their first product - then Coles, and then Woolworths, and the story continues to grow as every major retailer in the country followed.

The groundswell of grassroots community support behind Thankyou translated into record sales with Thankyou’s hand wash holding the number 1 position for years along with the launch of product ranges with some of the highest loyalty in the category. In 2021, The Australian Financial Review recognised Thankyou as number 29 in the top 50 corporate philanthropists, ahead of many ASX 200 listed companies. To date, Thankyou has given $17 million to their impactful change-makers working in over 32 countries, and both Justine and her co-founder and husband Daniel, believe this is still only the beginning.

Justine’s personal leadership journey and wisdom gleaned from the lessons learnt over the last decade and a half in business will leave a profound impact for other leaders on their own journey. She has led the Thankyou team through each of the critical life cycles of a business journey playing an instrumental role in creating the consumer movement Thankyou is today and battled severe burnout and come out the other side, all while raising her son Jedediah and her daughter Jordan. Justine’s story and the insights she has to share will deeply inspire and catalyze change in the hearts and minds of every audience, and as a gifted storyteller with an incredible ability to engage her guests, she will have you on the edge of your seat and walking out different to when you came in. Justine recently moved back to Queensland with her husband Daniel and son Jedediah to be closer to her family as they welcomed their daughter Jordan into the world. After a decade and a half deep in the day-to-day management, Justine now supports the growth of Thankyou in a governance and strategy capacity with a desire to broaden her impact and invest more time into inspiring others, through speaking at events, sharing in thought leadership, and supporting other organisations on their own journey, as well as a few other projects on her heart.

Expertise
Talking Points

Something needs to change

Driven by a passion for challenging the status quo and a desire to go against ‘the way things have always been done’, Justine wholeheartedly believes in the fact that if we want to see a change in the world around us, we need to begin by making some fundamental changes to our traditional systems and the way we approach things.

Justine will share insights on how to change our own mindset, influence change in our communities and petition for industry change, engaging the audience to think outside of the box, challenging the more traditional ways of thinking to step out of what is comfortable and take action in order to see unprecedented results.

Pioneering and resilience to overcome uncertain times

If there is one thing that is certain today, it is that we will continue to face challenges and uncertain times.

The last 2 years have been a testament to this fact. For Justine, her strength and resilience to overcome hardship was built in the years leading up to the pandemic, and at the start of 2020 when the local and global supply chains fell apart and Thankyou experienced its own internal crisis, her leadership as a co-founder helped the organisation overcome some of their hardest times and led to Thankyou being able to give $10 million to impact partners helping eliminate extreme poverty, only 8 months later. In the middle of a pandemic, when government aid and corporate giving had significantly reduced, Thankyou was able to give its largest amount to impact to date.

Justine will share on pioneering and the setbacks often experienced when carving new ground, as well as discussing practical tools to build resilience that will help your team see groundbreaking results.

From burnout to breakthrough

Having experienced a number of setbacks, both professionally and personally, including a burnout that resulted in her being bed-ridden for 4 months before beginning the long journey of rebuilding, Justine brings a passion and strength to the topic of resilience. Sharing candidly about her experiences with burnout and the months that followed, she describes the importance of setting a rhythm and maintaining a sustainable pace that allows for long-term impact to see maximum results.

With a passion for people discovering their talents, Justine will provide practical tools and insights to reignite the fire and resilience needed to see individuals unlocked to their full potential in a sustainable and long-lasting way.

Building a workplace culture that can see the impossible become possible

With a proven track record of achieving remarkable results with her team, Justine shares about the culture and workplace dynamics that are essential to this success.

Drawing from her unconventional approach to business, Justine will not only address the importance of a different way of thinking, but also the significance of how a different way of working together saw a team of young, naive students achieve results that far outweighed their experience, education, training and resources and lead to Thankyou becoming one of Australia’s leading mainstream social enterprises.

Customised talk

Justine will tailor her presentation to suit the client’s objectives and the needs of the audience.

With expertise in:
- Social Enterprise
- Brand and Marketing
- Product development
- Innovation
- People & Culture
- Philanthropy
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