24 May 2022

Out and About: Stephen McGown

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There are very few people who could fathom being held captive by one of the most notorious and feared extremists on the planet. Yet for Stephen McGown, it’s an unfortunate reality that he knows all too well.

As the longest-held surviving Al Qaeda hostage in the world, Stephen has faced unimaginable adversity and trauma. Despite this, Stephen remains forever positive with the message that life is to be lived and should be enjoyed. Instead of giving up, Stephen decided to use his time in confinement to grow so he could go home to his family a better man. Despite still viewing himself as a normal person, he is convinced that if he was able to get through a challenge like this, then anyone has the innate ability to overcome any challenge in their path.

Not only is Stephen McGown one of this earth’s greatest inspirations, he is also an award-winning keynote speaker, powerful storyteller and best-selling author of the deeply fascinating book ‘Six Years A Hostage’. By drawing on the many amazing things he learnt in captivity, Stephen now presents life-changing keynotes on resilience, attitude, teamwork and mindfulness. The core of his philosophy? Well, according to McGown, it’s the idea that “we all have what is needed to overcome adversity within us”. He is a firm believer that there is always a place to smile and laugh, for this is what keeps us going.

It’s clear that the whole world can and should benefit from Stephen’s endless positivity and attitude to life. Naturally, we are thrilled to have him onboard as a brilliant speaker for ICMI while he spends some time in Australia throughout August 2022. It is truly an honour to share McGown’s message.


Stephen is visiting Australia and available for in-person events in August 2022.


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