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speaker

Samantha
Gash

Ultra-marathon runner and social impact champion.

If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done.
Profile

Nothing can stop Samantha Gash armed with the philosophy, if you want something you’ve never had - you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.

An accomplished lawyer working for the largest international law firm in the world, Samantha traded in her heels for running shoes and went out to change the world through highly collaborative social impact campaigns. With true grit, unrelenting focus and the willingness to create the next best plan in the face of chaos and change, she has created lasting impact.

Samantha was the first woman and the youngest person at the time, to complete the Four Deserts Grand Slam - one of the world’s toughest endurance competitions that spans 1000kms across the hottest, coldest, driest and windiest deserts on earth.
Most recently she ran 3250kms from the West to East of India exploring the barriers to quality education for children, as an Ambassador for World Vision.

Current Work:

After years of pushing her mental and physical boundaries she now uses running as a vehicle for social change through advocacy; peer to peer fundraising and integrated digital campaigns. In 2014, Samantha co-founded Freedom Runners - an initiative that combined a fundraising and awareness campaign around the high cost of feminine hygiene products for women in Sub-Saharan Africa and its link to female absenteeism in school. Over 32 days she ran 1,968kms across South Africa’s rugged Freedom Trail, navigating her way through river crossings, mountain ranges, thick bamboo and wildlife while raising $55K a Save the Children initiative.

In 2016, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision and used her growing platform and endurance experience to raise awareness of the barriers to quality education for Indian children. 3200kms, 77 days and $150K later, she did just that.

She started the decade by launching a virtual 5 and 21.1km running event as a fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief efforts. In 13 days the digital campaign raised over $1,100,000 with 19,000 participants in over 60 countries on every continent on the planet.

Samantha has now raised $1.4 million dollars for charities through running & social impact campaigns.

She is featured in two award winning documentaries - Desert Runners and Run India, and was a delegate for the Australia and India Youth Dialogue conference. Samantha is also a Global Ambassador for Lululemon, a Pride of Australia nominee and finalist in the Women’s Agenda leadership awards in the Agenda Setter and Inspirational Leaders category.

In 2020 Samantha and her husband, Mark Wales, will feature in a 10-part series on Amazon Prime titled 'The World's Toughest Race.' The program, hosted by Bear Grylls, involves a 700km extreme adventure race in Fiji, that took place in September 2019, in which Samantha led a team of three men.

Samantha uses authentic storytelling and dramatic documentary footage to share her journey through life. She is an inspiring change leader who will guide your team through managing industry disruption and learning to become comfortable in the discomfort in an engaging and memorable way.

Samantha is currently working on her first book, a young-adult version of her memoir, to be published by MacMillan in 2020.

Expertise
Talking Points

Passion, Purpose and Process

How can you link something you are passionate about for a purpose outside of yourself through a process of focus, leadership and collaboration? Samantha outlines her methodology in being able to push her body and mind through some of the most extreme environments. Practical tips will show you how to develop motivation and create wins by following a passion, with a purpose.

Execution - where the (shoe) rubber hits the road

Dreaming big is important - doing is always the hard bit. Learn about the planning, risk mitigation, and continual failures that plagued Sam’s planning from well before Day 1. Learn about the importance of cultural recognition, and framing of setbacks.

A Story About Life Beyond the Comfort Zone

Find the values, risks and benefits of a life outside your comfort zone - illustrated by Samantha’s example of crossing India. True growth lies in pushing your boundaries - Samantha explains what can make you - and break you - on the paths that lie outside your comfort zone.

Composure and resilience under duress

Find out Samantha’s formulae for maintaining clear team goals in extreme, and sometimes dangerous settings. The ultimate lesson on leading (and following) in chaos.

Successful Teams - Building and Leading a Highly Functional Team

Identifying and empowering your ‘support team’ can be the key in enabling you to achieve goals outside of your comfort zone. Find out how Samantha created a world class ‘misfit’ team of non-runners, family, friends, and mavericks that supported her push to world record runs. Diversity, hilarity and hi-jinks were ever present in these endeavours, and you might find some gems in her approach to team building.

Transformation

Samantha challenges people's assumptions about their mindset limitations.
Offering practical examples about how to exceed their capabilities and achieve outstanding goals.
Samantha uses her 3000km from the West to East of India as an example of how to combine purpose, passion and process to create sustainable and impactful change.
Media
Feedback
Samantha came and spoke at our recent Blueprint Conference and to say she was a crowd favourite would be an understatement! Her presentation, right from the beginning, was captivating and inspiring. It was relevant to all the business owners in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop, as they were so involved in her story. I’ve booked literally 100’s of speakers over the past 10 years and I can honestly say Samantha was up there with the best we’ve ever had. The feedback from the participants was extremely positive and I wouldn’t hesitate to book Samantha again or recommend her to anyone looking for an amazing speaker. Blueprint Conference

Samantha was extremely well received, and an absolute delight to have at our event. Her experiences captured the imagination of our guests, and the advice she gave based on these experiences inspired everyone. Sam was receptive to understanding the context of the event and then demographic of the audience - a dream for any event manager trying to communicate key messages! Sam was warm, humble and passionate, and able to adapt to her surroundings to really speak our language.

Commonwealth Bank

Samantha Gash delivered an inspiring, captivating and emotional presentation to the future leaders of all industries. Her humility and bravery is not only aspirational for all, but she helped our delegates tap into their own bravery rather than have them admire that trait in someone else. It is the fourth time I have seen Samantha present and each time it has been an immense privilege. She was a favourite on the day.

Eleven

Even when the AV technician had technical issues Samantha was a true professional. Her speech was inspirational and kept us on the edge of our seats right to the end. I’d strong recommend Samantha to any organization looking to motivate their staff.

First National

Samantha was wonderful, she was on time and relaxed. There wasn’t anything that was too much, and the audience got the chance to meet with her afterwards. She was so engaging, the audience were enthralled by her tales, and energised by her message. Samantha was a big hit and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her as a keynote.

OZChild

Samantha Gash has no problem with the spoken word. It’s not often that we hear something that is so powerful that it makes us go home that night and write an article about the speaker. Sam made us listen, and she encouraged us to change something small in our lives. Whether you can relate to her story or not is irrelevant. With a huge voice that pales in comparison her tiny stature, this girl makes you want to take hold of life, and run with it.

Willow & Blake

Such an inspirational story that brought tears to many people’s eyes. Sam is a great speaker and has an extraordinary story to tell. She spoke about her physical and mental preparation & how she prepared for the unknown and there were many messages and takeaway tips for our people. I would not hesitate to recommend Sam.

BUPA

I had the absolute pleasure of working with Samantha Gash on our flagship Business Forum conference. Sam is such a dynamic and engaging speaker that we were very lucky to have on our stage. Sam’s story is amazing and resonated with our audience, many of whom were members in business at the C-suite level. I have never seen so much immediate positive feedback, it left delegates feeling moved and inspired - and most importantly, actionable suggestions - on how to implement these valuable life session in corporate life.

Chartered Accountants

Samantha’s story is authentic, moving and inspirational. Her delivery was heartfelt and honest and had attendees glued to their seats. Samantha’s energy, positivity and passion is infectious and left the audience inspired by what can be achieved with determination, motivation and pushing yourself beyond where you thought you could not go.

Bankwest

Samantha is truly inspirational. I have seen many speakers over the years but Samantha’s authentic presentation and incredible personal story has inspired me to succeed in several aspects of my life - both personally and professionally. I feel very fortunate to have heard Samantha present, she exceeded our expectations and would highly recommend her as speaker.

Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse

Samantha tells an incredible and personal story. Although her physical pursuits have been super-human, her messages to our teams are more about how much of a role the mind plays in setting and achieving goals - whether they be business or personal. She really helped my team put business issues into perspective, and helped them realise that ‘what’ we do as a business, is far less important than ‘why’ we do it.

IPAC

Samantha is an outstanding speaker - articulate, passionate and able to quickly relate to her audience through her inspiring personal journey from lawyer to extreme athlete and community fundraiser. She would be a great addition to any motivational forum

Save The Children Australia

When you read about her accomplishments you may think Samantha Gash is a super hero! However when you hear her speak you realise that she is a mere mortal. Personable, passionate, authentic and motivating Samantha leaves everyone in the room feeling that no matter who they are they can make a difference. I highly recommend Samantha as a speaker if you want your audience to be awakened to what is possible.

Kemi Nekvapil
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