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Finding opportunity in adversity.


Warren Macdonald

Warren Macdonald has always had a taste for adventure. His affinity with wild places, and bearing witness to their disappearance (through clear-cut logging), led him to become a committed environmentalist. What does 'committed' mean? He was once arrested after having to be cut by an angle grinder from beneath a D9 bulldozer. The charge was dropped, by the way, but that's another story…

Previous experience

In April 1997 Warren set out on what was supposed to be a revitalising, grounding, backpacking trip to Hinchinbrook Island, off the northeast coast of Australia. His life would never be the same again. Climbing to the summit of the island's tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one tonne boulder in a freak rock fall. His companion, Geert van Keulen, a Dutch traveller he'd met the day before, was his only hope for survival. As Warren lay crushed, Geert raced down the mountain to get help. Warren's 'test of will' lasted two days before a helicopter arrived, and he was rescued. The accident would cost him the loss of both legs, amputated at mid thigh.

Obviously, he survived, but Warren's story doesn’t end there. It was after the accident that things got really interesting...

Just 10 months later, Warren climbed Tasmania's Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa's tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222ft). More recently, in a spectacular effort requiring 2800 pull-ups over 3 days, he made an ascent of America's tallest cliff face, El Capitan.

In these challenging times, having a crisis management plan is essential to your survival. The Global Financial Crisis has made one thing perfectly clear: preparation is key. As part of that preparation, we need to get better at dealing with change.

This is where Warren Macdonald can help. A change management expert with a difference, Warren's expertise comes from real life, painful learning. As your inspirational and motivational keynote speaker, Warren will inspire your group to face change with confidence, recognising change as a process, not an end result. You will learn how to embrace change and manage transition, and discover tools for finding and creating opportunities in any situation.

Talking Points

Challenge of Change: Finding Opportunity in Adversity

Experience Warren's authenticity and insight through an inspirational presentation with four outcomes:
- The ability to recognize and breakthrough mental barriers to change;
- Tools to turn change and challenge into catalysts for both business and personal growth
- A powerful shift in thinking that will put challenges into perspective; and
- A mindset that seeks solutions and opportunities.

One Step Beyond: Setting and Reaching Impossible Goals

This keynote presentation is designed to provide you with three outcomes:
- Reinforced understanding of the power of purpose, i.e. when we have purpose, we have an edge;
- The ability to see obstacles as stepping stones towards our goals; and
- A clear understanding of the importance of preparation in reaching your goals.

It's the End of the World as We Know it, and I Feel Fine

In this keynote presentation, Warren shares the lessons and tools he's used to create a remarkable life from what many would have considered a 'game over' scenario. Outcomes include:
- The resilience and ability to adapt to the new economy;
- A sense of responsibility leading to ownership and engagement; and
- Excitement and hope instead of fear for the future.


  • Change Management


  • Challenge & Adventure
  • Inspiring Stories
Lastly, but definitely not least, I wanted to personally thank you for being so easy to work with. You not only made me look good for selecting you as our speaker, but you made my life as an event manager that much easier. Sun Life Financial
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