21 Feb 2022

Inspiration in the Waratah State: Top NSW Motivational Speakers

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Despite their passions leading them to every corner of the globe, many of our most talented speakers still call NSW home. From Evans Head to Eden, Sydney to Silverton, the Waratah state is jam-packed with people who achieve the impossible on a daily basis. It’ll come as no surprise that our most populous state is full to the brim with high-achieving humans, but their stories are sure to astonish and inspire. Each and every one of these NSW-based Motivational Speakers have their own priceless pearls of wisdom to share about leadership, resilience and overcoming any obstacle in their path.


Amna Karra-Hassan


Imagine starting an AFL team with no funding, no coach and no experience? Well, that’s exactly what superwoman Amna Karra-Hassan did. As a woman, Muslim, and Founder of the Auburn Giants Australian Football Club, this superwoman has overcome insurmountable odds to pioneer programs for women of minority communities in Western Sydney. She’s a community leader who received the 2017 Commissioner’s Medal of Excellence for her work with the Australian Federal Police, but she’s clearly also not afraid to break the rules where it matters!

Deriving her strength from adversity, Amna Karra-Hassan now uses her influence to change the conversation on intersectionality, inclusion and gender parity. She’s a candid and cheeky speaker who is sure to engage you at every level, opening your eyes to what can be done when everyone says that it can’t.

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A headshot of Kerri Pottharst OAM holding a volleyballKerri Pottharst OAM


Kerri Pottharst OAM is a mother, author, wellness expert and one of Australia’s most popular female sporting personalities. Having represented Australia for over 22 years, she is also Australia’s single most decorated Indoor and Beach Volleyball player. She won gold at the very first Olympic Beach Volleyball competition, and now even has her own podcast! These days she specialises in translating her success mindset from the court to the office, as she believes thriving in both worlds draws on similar reserves of courage and skills.

Kerri Pottharst OAM is an inspiring, dynamic and humorous speaker who is bound to captivate any audience. Her presentations are designed for corporate athletes, providing the keys to success by laying out a game plan to improve both their business and personal lives.

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Lucy Bloom


Lucy Bloom is a world-renowned change-maker with the best mohawk in the business. This advertising expert, NFP leader and author is the first and only Australian to be listed in the world’s top 30 #socialceos. Having transformed several charities and organisations with her maverick thinking, she is highly awarded and applauded across the globe. Yet her skills seem to span across almost every field – she’s even an accomplished branding expert, photographer, and art director!

Lucy Bloom is a rule-breaker and idea-maker who loves to tie humour into her powerful business message. Challenging and entertaining in equal measure, she has endless wisdom to impart about leading with kindness, everyday courage and making the most of maverick thinking.

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Cas & Jonesy (James Castrission & Justin Jones)


James Castrission and Justin Jones are both extreme adventurers who hold not one, but TWO Guinness World Records. Together they have made history by completing the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time AND for being the first people to kayak unassisted across the Tasman Sea (paddling a mind-boggling 3318km!).

James is a bestselling author and immersive learning specialist. He’s a high-performance superstar who understands what it takes to thrive in extreme conditions. Using his growth mindset model, James can translate these skills to any context, from the desk to the desert.

‘Jonesy’ is an award-winning filmmaker, and adept explorer. Engaging, honest and downright hilarious, his keynotes are both deeply moving and highly educational. He also knows more than a thing or two about leadership both in (and, of course, out) of the office.

James and Justin can be booked individually, but as a duo they’re sure to provide a double dose of inspiration. Justin lives in Tassie, but – if he isn’t able to make it across the Tasman this time – he’s also a great virtual option. Both are premier motivational speakers with many life-changing lessons to share about teamwork and success.

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Kath Koschel


Superwoman Kath Koschel is another incredible NSW speaker who has achieved the impossible. Defying all odds, Kath has taught herself to walk on three separate occasions (after breaking her back twice as a professional athlete). Her story is one of utter strength and resilience, and her not-for-profit ‘The Kindness Factory’ (along with its mission to achieve one million acts of kindness) really speaks to what an inspiring human she is.

Naturally, Kath has a great deal of wisdom to share about overcoming adversity, as well as how to become the best version of yourself. She’s a great advocate for the power of perspective and cannot help but inspire all who hear her passion.

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Kurt Fearnley AO


Kurt Fearnley AO was born without the lower portion of his spine, but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of Australia’s most successful and respected athletes. This Order of Australia recipient has won three Paralympic gold medals, and he’s living proof that each and every one of us are capable of overcoming any obstacle put before us. He’s even crawled both the Great Wall of China, and the Kokoda Track!

Kurt Fearnley clearly knows a thing or two about determination. His raw, authentic and relatable story will amaze, and he’s bound to inspire any audience to shoot for the stars.

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Michael Crossland


Michael Crossland has been a fighter since birth. Despite constantly being told what he wasn’t able to do, he continually shows the world that he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to. Michael has defied all the odds by surviving not only a rare form of life-threatening cancer, but also a horrific cancer drug trial from which he was the sole survivor. These days he continues to constantly outdo himself. He’s a successful businessman, best-selling author, elite sportsman and, naturally, also one of Australia’s premier inspirational speakers!

Once you hear Michael Crossland speak, you will have a renewed perspective on life. Both his keynote and story are genuinely life-changing, as he teaches the keys to success, the importance of embracing change and the secrets to living life with no regret.

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Pauline Nguyen


Did you know that 9 out of 10 people are breathing incorrectly? Breathwork specialist and award-winning entrepreneur Pauline Nguyen sure does, and she has a ground-breaking ‘breath fit’ and meditation workshop to help everybody change their lives for the better. Pauline made a name for herself as the co-founder of the most awarded Vietnamese restaurant in the world, Red Lantern. These days she continues to out-do herself with a series of bestselling books, and has become a thought leader in breathwork, self-mastery and self-design.

Pauline Nguyen has a unique ability to connect with her audience with warmth and good humour, empowering them to change their own story for a better future using concrete skills and techniques.

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Peter Baines OAM


Global speaker, charity founder, and business consultant Peter Baines OAM is the expert on leadership in a crisis. As one of Australia’s most experienced disaster management specialists, he has come up against some of the most confronting natural disasters, accidents and acts of terrorism that have ever occurred. After everything he has been through, good governance, purposeful resilience and sustainability still sit at the heart of his ethos.

Peter Baines offers a rare insight into what it takes to lead powerfully, with integrity and compassion, in the most extraordinary of circumstances. His stories are living proof that, with an inspirational leader and purpose, anything can be achieved.

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Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla


2022 NSW Australian of the Year Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an innovator with conscience. Veena is dedicated to facilitating transformations that deliver benefits for our planet by changing community behaviours towards sustainability. Not only is she a world-renowned materials scientist, engineer, and inventor, she’s also a pioneer in sustainable manufacturing who is revolutionising recycling science!

Proverbial waste queen Professor Veena Sahajwalla may be a gem of the scientific community, but she’s also a deeply inspiring speaker. Her fascinating presentations are geared towards motivating people to take control of their own waste, helping them reimagine themselves as manufacturers who are inspired to do better.

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Every one of these top NSW motivational speakers have so much to teach us about leadership, success and purposeful resilience. With such a powerful arsenal of skills up their collective sleeves, the stories they have to share are sure to change your life for the better.

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