2017 Speakers for Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne


Ali is a Psychologist and CEO at Pragmatic Thinking, a motivation and behaviour strategy company. She is co-author of the top business book 'Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to achieve results from key conversations, and author of Stand Out: A real world guide to get clear, find purpose and become the boss of busy.  Off the launch of Ali’s new book she has released a professionally recorded Podcast series called 'Stand Out Life’. These are conversations with influential women (and a few men) about what it takes, the mess and success, to live boldly in a busy world.

Ali is a regular on Channel 9 has regular articles published with Fairfax Group (including the AFR, SMH & The Age), News Limited (The Daily Tele & Courier Mail), and The Huffington Post.

Her work has found its way inside a few big businesses you might have heard of… PepsiCo, Siemens, McDonalds, Sydney Trains, BHP Billiton, Bond University, Griffith University, and BlueCare just to name a few. Ali presents her unique and authentic message as a sought after international keynote speaker and MC where she engages her audience with humour, practicality and real-world thinking.

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Adam Voigt

Adam Voigt is an expert on education and learning with a bent for sparking higher levels of thinking and engagement in those he works with.

A former Teacher and School Principal, Adam has worked and led in some of Australia’s most challenging locations with outstanding success and has not only implemented great learning practice, but designed the new architecture and programs as the Principal of his own school.

These days, Adam continues to partner with Australian schools through his business, Real Schools.  Real Schools is built to place dynamic former Principals in partnership with schools intent on building strong, relational learning cultures through a variety of supportive modes.

Further, his other business is Real Learners through which he brings cutting edge theory and practice around exponentially stronger learning to the business community.  As Arie De Geus put it “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may just be the only truly sustainable competitive advantage”.

Adam speaks widely about learning and leadership.  He has delivered a TED Talk and is the learning and education expert for The Project.  Adam has a mission to drag Australia’s schools and businesses out of the knowledge age and into a far more exciting, design oriented and problem solving mindset.

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Lisa Mcinnes-Smith

Regarded as one of the top 5% of speakers in the world, Lisa has authored seven best selling books, spoken to over 1.5 million adults across 26 countries and shared the stage with two American Presidents. She is also one of only three Australians to be inducted into the International Speakers Hall of Fame.

With a background in sports psychology, leadership development and team dynamics, she is an expert at raising performance and shifting behaviour. Her fast-paced keynote presentations take her audiences on a participative journey where they are challenged to try a different way of thinking and influencing others.

Lisa began her speaking career by aiming to positively influence 1 million Aussie teenagers by teaching the to set goals and solve problems - a goals that she has well and truly surpassed.


Gihan Perera

Gihan Perera is a futurist, conference speaker, author and consultant who gives business leaders a glimpse into what's ahead - and how they can become fit for the future.

Since 1997, he has worked with business leaders, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and other change agents - helping them with their strategy for thriving in a fast-changing world.

Forbes magazine rated him the #5 social media influencer in the world (and #1 in Australia) in his area of expertise.

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Darren Hill

With a client book of Fortune 50 and ASX Top-20 companies, Darren Hill is one of Australia's most in-demand strategists whose culture change programs are currently being used in PepsiCo, McDonalds, Schweppes/Asahi, Suncorp Bank and the Australian Federal Government to name a few.

Darren's a best-selling author whose work has appeared regularly across the Fairfax Group (including the SMH & The Age), News Limited(The Daily Telegraph & Courier Mail), Business Insider and Smart Company. He now writes exclusively for BRW, and has appeared onThe Today Show and Sky Business News.

An author of three books including the best seller Dealing with the Tough Stuff: How to achieve results from key conversations which has now been translated into three different languages, his clients consistently describe him as grounded and refreshingly real – something that’s reflected by his ongoing re-engagement rate with clients nearing 100%.

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Dan Gregory

A Behavioral Researcher & Strategist, Dan Gregory works as a speaker, author, consultant, and social commentator. His passion is Leadership, Strategy & Influence – what inspires and drives our people, our communities and ourselves.

He helps leaders, managers, sales teams, marketers and individuals understand what inspires action, influences behavior, lights people up and builds cultures of the willing.

Leading one of the country’s most prolific strategic and creative teams, Dan Gregory developed new product lines for Coca-Cola and Unilever, invented new media formats for News Corp, created interaction systems for categories as diverse as fast food chains and government departments and launched internal and external engagement campaigns for companies as varied as Vodafone, MTV and the United Nations
In that time, Dan also:

  • Directed the strategic and creative team behind the most successful new product launch in Australian history with business partner, Kieran Flanagan
  • Oversaw the most successful brand resurrection achieved anywhere in the world
  • Serves as a Director on the White Ribbon Board and works as an ambassador to make violence against women a man's issue too
  • Is a Partner and Ambassador for Thought Leaders Global - an organization dedicated to helping smart people be commercially smart also.

Dan Gregory is a captivating speaker whose business acumen is matched by a rapier wit and rare human insight gained during a three year sabbatical working on the US and UK stand-up comedy circuits – skills put to great use in front of millions of viewers as a regular on ABC TV’s “Gruen” series.
When he’s not working, Dan can be found on a plane travelling from one city to another, or on one of his motorbikes. “For me, it’s meditation and a great metaphor for leadership and business - you only have 10% to 20% control, but you have 100% responsibility... and the only thing that keeps you alive, is strategy.”

His mission is to help organizations build more engaged cultures and to help leaders achieve strategies that make success, not only more likely, but automatic.

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Joel de Carteret (JD)

This renowned film maker and world-class storyteller now has his very own life-changing story to tell. As featured recently on Channel 9's 60 minutes, Joel was born in the Philippines but became separated from his family in a busy marketplace at age five.

Nearly 30 years on, having been adopted and raised by an Australian family, Joel embarked on what seemed like an impossible mission to track down his birth mother. With virtually nothing to go on except knowing the date and location he was found, Joel undertook a journey that shows how sheer grit and determination can overcome even the most insurmountable odds.

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Dr Sean Richardson (Brisbane & Sydney Only)

Dr Sean Richardson is an expert in the psychology of excellence and high performance, and executive program director at the High Performance Academy. He helps professional and Olympic athletes get mentally tough and perform under extreme pressure. He also helps leaders in business understand how to drive themselves and their teams a little bit harder, but teaches how to do it with both compassion and relentless effort.

Sean has a background as a leadership and culture consultant, an elite competitive athlete, and an academic researcher with a PhD in performance psychology. He works with people who aspire to get more than out of themselves and their teams.

In sport, he is the coach’s coach - teaching coaches how to read their players so they can win the big games. In business, he is the leadership-whisperer - helping you to understand the human side of high performance, so your teams can win their big games.

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2017 Speakers for Newcastle

Rowdy Mclean

Recipient of the Certified Speaking Professional designation (the highest honour awarded to speakers across the globe), Rowdy is a successful entrepreneur who first retired at 34.

Now he’s back in the game, creating and leading great companies and motivating organisations to achieve far more than they imagine is possible. His book “Play a Bigger Game” has been published in 7 countries.

An adventurer at heart, he has climbed Mt Kilimajaro, kayaked among the icebergs in Antarctica and tracked gorillas in the jungles of Rwanda. He has played professional rugby league, run marathons, walked the great wall, hiked through the Serengetti and takes leaders up into the heart of Arnhem Land.

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Richard Jones (OAM)

CEO of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and highly regarded for his outstanding leadership, Richard has helped build the Service into one of the most reputable and respected emergency service networks in Australia.

Richard is one of the most recognised and respected citizens in the Hunter with a deep commitment and understanding of the community in which he lives and works.

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Rhiannon Tuntevski

Following a journey that saw her find fierce purpose for her own life at an uncharacteristically young age, Rhiannon is determined to flip the stigma on millennials and equip our marketplace with the insight to manage them effectively.

Currently a marketing ninja for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, in her spare time Rhi looks after Young Hands, the youth engagement strategy for Hands Across the Water.

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2017 Speakers at all locations


Peter Baines OAM, a former forensics officer with the NSW State Police Force developed his unique leadership style by leading international identification and recovery teams into Indonesia and Thailand following acts of terrorism and the 2004 South East Asian Tsunami.

He worked in the counter terrorism area of Interpol, spent time with the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime, and also worked in Saudi Arabia and Japan after natural disasters hit those countries. But it was his work in Thailand that brought the biggest change. Touched by the children left orphaned months after the Tsunami, Peter founded an Australian charity called Hands Across the Water which has created opportunities for hundreds of children across Thailand.

In January 2014, Peter was recognised in the Australia Day honours with the awarding of the Order of Australia Medal for his International Humanitarian work.

Today, Peter has a successful consulting business building engagement through corporate social responsibility and presents across the globe to major corporations and governments on Leadership. He is the author of bestselling books Hands Across the Water and Doing Good by Doing Good.

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Tricia Velthuizen is the CEO of Churchill Education, a multi-award winning Brisbane-based accredited adult education company. Tricia co-founded Churchill with her husband (Randall Smith) in 2006 , and took up the reigns as CEO in 2015. Tricia, a former Crown Prosecutor with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Queensland, has over ten years of experience in criminal law.

Tricia was awarded a Churchill Fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and in 2016 was honoured with the AchieveForum Australian HR Champion (CEO) of the Year Award, in recognition of her innovative and inspiring leadership philosophy and practice at Churchill.

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MC - Erin Truscott

Erin is an incredibly passionate lady who travels to Thailand every year to support Thai children through the charity Hands Across The Water. She has her very own story to tell that she will connect to leadership and the empowerment to be able to walk away from certain situations for the greater good of your people.

Winner of the AFA Rising Star award in 2016, Erin has a very clear passion for helping people and mentors the broader business community to empower more women to step into leadership roles.

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