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Shaping Minds and Hearts: 20 Australian Teachers Turned Inspirational Speakers



Embark on a journey through the diverse and captivating world of inspiration with our series spotlighting 20 Australian inspirational speakers from various walks of life. From the thrill-seekers and adventurers who have conquered the world's most challenging terrains to the astute politicians shaping the nation's destiny, and the creative minds who weave stories and melodies, this series showcases the voices that have the power to motivate, uplift, and ignite change. Whether they've soared to great heights, dived into the depths, or navigated the complexities of their fields, these speakers bring a wealth of experiences that transcend their individual realms. Join us as we delve into the stories of 20 remarkable individuals in each category, discovering the wisdom they share and the impact they've made on the world around them.


This is part 8 of a 20-part series

  1. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were adventurers.
  2. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were politicians.
  3. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were writers.
  4. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were TV presenters.
  5. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were movie stars.
  6. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were swimmers.
  7. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were scientists.
  8. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were teachers.
  9. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were surfers.
  10. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were doctors.
  11. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were Olympians.
  12. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were musicians.
  13. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were lawyers.
  14. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were pilots.
  15. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were footballers
  16. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were cricketers.
  17. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were military.
  18. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were farmers.
  19. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were sailors.
  20. 20 Australian inspirational speakers who were CEOs.



As we conclude this series, we've had the privilege of exploring the narratives of 20 outstanding Australian inspirational speakers in each category, each a testament to the vast reservoir of talent, resilience, and wisdom within the nation. From the daring adventurers who embraced the unknown to the influential politicians shaping policies and perspectives, the imaginative writers and storytellers who crafted worlds with their words, to the charismatic TV presenters and movie stars who graced our screens, these individuals have left an indelible mark on their respective fields.

We've dived into the world of swimmers who conquered waves, scientists who unraveled mysteries, teachers who shaped minds, surfers who rode the tides, and doctors who mended bodies. We've celebrated the Olympians who exemplified excellence, musicians who struck chords with our souls, lawyers who championed justice, and pilots who soared through the skies. The footballers and cricketers who scored victories on the field, the military figures and farmers who served and cultivated, and the sailors who navigated uncharted waters—all have shared their stories, their triumphs, and the lessons learned along the way.

And finally, we've heard from the CEOs who led with vision, turning companies into success stories. As we conclude, let these stories resonate, serving as beacons of inspiration, reminding us of the power within each individual to create change, overcome challenges, and inspire others to reach new heights. The journey doesn't end here; rather, it continues with the echoes of these speakers' voices, guiding us toward a future full of possibility and promise.



Teaching is a noble profession that extends far beyond the classroom, and Australia has been home to educators whose impact reaches beyond the confines of school walls. Many Australian teachers have transitioned from the traditional role of imparting knowledge to becoming inspirational speakers, sharing their experiences, insights, and wisdom with audiences eager to learn from their journeys. In this article, we celebrate 20 Australian teachers who have transformed their passion for education into powerful messages of inspiration.

  1. Maggie Dent:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educator, author, and parenting expert.
    • Inspirational Focus: Positive parenting, resilience, and fostering emotional well-being.
  2. Eddie Woo:

    • Teaching Legacy: Mathematics teacher and YouTube sensation.
    • Inspirational Focus: The joy of learning, creative teaching methods, and overcoming educational challenges.
  3. Gabbie Stroud:

    • Teaching Legacy: Former teacher turned author and education advocate.
    • Inspirational Focus: Education reform, teacher well-being, and empowering educators.
  4. John Hattie:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educational researcher and author.
    • Inspirational Focus: Visible learning, effective teaching strategies, and educational leadership.
  5. Rachel Robertson:

    • Teaching Legacy: Former Antarctic expeditioner turned motivational speaker.
    • Inspirational Focus: Resilience, teamwork, and leadership in challenging environments.
  6. Adam Voigt:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educator and founder of Real Schools.
    • Inspirational Focus: Positive school culture, student well-being, and leadership in education.
  7. Dr. Sue Thomson:

    • Teaching Legacy: Researcher and leader in educational measurement.
    • Inspirational Focus: Educational policy, assessment practices, and improving student outcomes.
  8. Steve Francis:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educator and founder of Happy School.
    • Inspirational Focus: Positive psychology in education, teacher well-being, and creating happy school environments.
  9. Karen Boyes:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educator and author.
    • Inspirational Focus: Creative teaching methods, student engagement, and future-focused education.
  10. John Marsden:

    • Teaching Legacy: Author, principal, and educator.
    • Inspirational Focus: Creative writing, literature in education, and nurturing young minds.
  11. Dr. Tony Wagner:

    • Teaching Legacy: Expert in residence at Harvard University.
    • Inspirational Focus: Global education, innovation in teaching, and preparing students for the future.
  12. Dr. Anita Collins:

    • Teaching Legacy: Music educator and neuroscientist.
    • Inspirational Focus: The neuroscience of music education, creativity, and the arts in learning.
  13. Bernard Salt:

    • Teaching Legacy: Demographer, author, and education commentator.
    • Inspirational Focus: Future trends in education, generational perspectives, and preparing students for the workforce.
  14. Louka Parry:

    • Teaching Legacy: Former teacher and founder of the Academy of Entrepreneurs.
    • Inspirational Focus: Entrepreneurial education, innovation in teaching, and fostering an entrepreneurial mindset.
  15. Dr. Lyn Sharratt:

    • Teaching Legacy: Author, researcher, and educational leadership expert.
    • Inspirational Focus: Collaborative leadership, student achievement, and improving school culture.
  16. Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg:

    • Teaching Legacy: Psychologist and educator.
    • Inspirational Focus: Adolescent mental health, resilience, and well-being in schools.
  17. Janelle Riki-Waaka:

    • Teaching Legacy: Educator and advocate for indigenous education.
    • Inspirational Focus: Cultural competence, indigenous perspectives in education, and promoting diversity.
  18. Dr. Sarah Buckley:

    • Teaching Legacy: Family physician and advocate for gentle birth.
    • Inspirational Focus: Holistic education, parenting, and the connection between birth and early childhood.
  19. Rachel Callander:

    • Teaching Legacy: Former teacher and author.
    • Inspirational Focus: Inclusive education, advocating for children with disabilities, and building resilience.
  20. Joanne Orlando:

    • Teaching Legacy: Digital education expert and media commentator.
    • Inspirational Focus: Digital literacy, parenting in the digital age, and the impact of technology on education.


These 20 Australian teachers turned inspirational speakers have not only dedicated their lives to educating others but have also extended their influence to inspire change, innovation, and resilience. From redefining traditional teaching methods to advocating for positive school cultures and well-being, these speakers continue to shape the conversation around education and motivate audiences to make a lasting impact on the lives of students and the future of learning.

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Great to see my team so engaged with a presentation

Mark Everingham, Managing Director, Personal Risk Professionals 

Easily one of the most popular sessions over the 3-day conference.

Soffian Amin
Chief Program Officer, HRD Corp


The team is absolutely buzzing

Caet Young, Head of Comms at GIVIT.org



 Through a telescopic sight as an army sniper. Through the TV lens as a globe-trotting cameraman for ABCTV, National Geographic and BBC. Through smoke and mirrors as a professional magician. He has learned from Sir Edmund Hillary, Elon Musk, death row inmates and space shuttle pilots. He's traveled far but his longest journeys have been from behind the camera to in front of it. From stutterer to professional speaker. From shy to shine.