17 Feb 2022

10 of Canberra’s most inspiring: Top motivational speakers in the ACT

blog banners

Despite its size, the ACT region (and our ‘Bush Capital’ Canberra) is well known for its high density of VIP’s in and around Parliament House. There is a lot to admire in this beautiful and well-planned city that punches above its weight on many levels. It’s the home to some of Australia’s most distinguished motivational speakers – from sporting greats to great adventurers, economists and artists!

Inspiration comes in many forms, and these 10 ACT-based speakers have their own incredible stories to share about perseverance, success, and thriving in some of Earth’s most challenging environments.


Dr. Dianne McGrath


Dr Dianne McGrath is a highly creative problem solver with a vision. This astonishing woman has worked in almost every possible field – from marketing, research and emergency services, to not-for-profits and even biohacking. To top it all off, she even made it into the final 100 candidates of the Mars One voyage! Her real passion, however, revolves around the issue of food waste. Dianne is one of Australia’s leading food sustainability experts, and her PhD ‘Watch My Waste’ is set to revolutionise food waste management in the hospitality sector.

Dianne McGrath is a stellar keynote speaker who is sure to inspire anybody from school children to space scientists. Prepare to be blown away by both her passion and her deep wisdom, as she seeks to demonstrate how we can live as a united humanity in a completely sustainable world.

More on Dianne here



Michael Milton OAM


Michael Milton OAM is an awe-inspiring individual who has survived not one, but two different cancer diagnoses. Michael has achieved so much more than that, however. After surviving bone cancer as a youth, Michael went on to win 4 gold medals at the 2002 Winter Paralympic Games. He was even honoured with the title of Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for his incredible performance! Today, Michael continues to enjoy the sports he loves after beating the odds against cancer once again after his second 2007 diagnosis. His new goals: Be well again. Stay well. Grow old.

Michael Milton OAM is one of Australia’s most loved and inspiring athletes. He’s witty, he’s entertaining, and he has a deeply moving story to tell about overcoming insurmountable obstacles while still making the most of life’s challenges.

More on Michael  here



Lynne Pezullo


Juggling her high profile career, extensive charity work and a PhD, Lynne Pezullo is living proof that you can, quite literally, do it all. As one of Australia’s leading health economists, she is a world-renowned economic modeller, adviser and speaker who is sought after across the globe. She’s also a wellness coach, advisor, business leader and author … the list goes on! These days you’ll find her leading Deloitte’s Canberra offices – the country’s largest health economics and social policy consultancy.

Lynne Pezullo is a natural leader with an endless wealth of knowledge to share. She cannot help but inspire her audience, and always speaks with such eloquence and passion about her whole repertoire of expertise.

More on Lynne here



Fred Smith


Fred Smith is Australia’s secret musical weapon in international diplomacy. This remarkable man is the subject of two documentaries about his work building connections through music and authentic engagement in conflict zones from Papua New Guinea to Afghanistan. With endless songs and stories from the front line, it’s no wonder his recently released memoir is also heralded as the most accessible and comprehensive explanation of the Australian mission in Afghanistan available.

Fred Smith is as comfortable with a room full of senior bureaucrats as he is with a bar full of soldiers. His fascinating double-edged career as both a singer/songwriter and a diplomat has given him a unique cross-cultural awareness – and broad knowledge of the world – that makes him a deeply fascinating, warm and witty speaker. If you like, he can even bring his band and keep your audience dancing into the night!

More on Fred



Kate Munari


Kate Munari is a truly awe-inspiring woman. This highly respected military commander has spent 17 years leading teams through life-threatening conflict situations across the globe, and she really knows a thing or two about resilience. Not only has she overcome insurmountable odds in the harshest of environments, but she has also done so as one of very few women in a heavily male-dominated space. Kate was the only female pilot of over 150 crew during her four years with the UK Royal Marines, and is the only female Australian Navy pilot to have flown missions in Afghanistan.

Kate’s success against all the odds is, quite simply, mind-blowing. This incredible woman will enthral and inspire any audience with her moving story of strength, survival and resilience.

More on Kate


Wayne Herbert


Wayne Herbert is fearless, unapologetic and on a mission. A self-described love child of Ru Paul and Steady Eddie, he has dedicated his life to challenging the stigma around both people with disability, and the LGBTIQ community. Wayne is an outspoken advocate driving for serious change and a world-renowned keynote speaker. He’s even an outstanding comedian to boot!

Guaranteed to make you chuckle, Wayne Herbert is both entertaining AND inspiring. He’s committed to changing the conversation, and he has a wealth of knowledge to share with both individuals and organisations to equip them with the tools (and motivation!) to do the same.

More on Wayne



Robert de Castella MBE OA

Robert is recognised as one of Australia’s greatest athletes after dominating the world in the gruelling event of the marathon. He was the first person to win the Commonwealth Games marathon twice and set the course record at the Boston Marathon. From 1990 to 1995, he was the Director of the Australian Institute of Sport.

A sporting icon in his own right, Robert speaks on the power of determination and how to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle. He is not one to be missed.

More on Robert



Stephen Koukoulas


Stephen Koukoulas is one of Australia’s leading economic visionaries. He’s a highly-regarded thought leader with unparalleled experience in the industry – he was even Senior Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister! Today he continues to cover the big issues independently with his business Market Economics, without the constraints of many of the bank economists who are limited by what they can say. Naturally, he’s the go-to economist for many businesses, investors, fund managers and the media.

As a speaker Stephen Kouloulas can motivate and educate anyone from school students to corporate professionals – an affirmation of his ability to turn complex economic analysis into terms mere mortals can understand. Not only is he deeply knowledgeable, he’s independent, impartial and downright entertaining!

More on Stephen


Andrew Lock OAM


Nobody understands extreme adventure quite like Andrew Lock. This highly acclaimed explorer and author has spent over 30 years guiding research teams through the most unforgiving environments on every continent. Andrew is all too familiar with managing risk and maintaining focus in even the most difficult of circumstances. Incredibly, he is the only Australian (and only member of the Commonwealth) to have climbed all fourteen of the world’s 8000 metre ‘death zone’ summits.

Andrew clearly has a great deal to teach us all about mental resilience and fear management. This natural leader is an expert at both achieving the impossible, and inspiring others to do the same.

More on Andrew


Megan Gilmour


Tech entrepreneur Megan Gilmour has a truly impressive resume. Her work spans across almost every industry and has seen her showered in awards. But more importantly, it’s all for a good cause! Megan is a global champion for human-centred solutions to social problems and there are very few that could walk away from one of her incredible presentations untouched. She’s an entrepreneurial genius with a huge heart, and is dedicated to pursuing lasting social change on a global scale.

Megan Gilmour is a passionate and deeply inspiring innovator with so much knowledge to share. She’s a bone fide motivation expert who will shift anybody from passive observer to active changemaker, all through the power of human connection.

More on Megan


It may be the smallest of our states and territories, but brilliant speakers are choosing the ACT as home! Guaranteed to inspire any audience, these top motivational speakers are all resilience experts with wisdom to share about how to overcome even the most extreme of challenges and understand how to keep on track. To book any of these speakers or explore more options,

Get in Contact Browse all motivational speakers



Back to Articles