25 Jan 2022

Top Female Leadership Speakers in Australia in the last 35 years according to ICMI CEO Barry Markoff

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As founder and CEO of ICMI Speakers and Entertainers, Barry Markoff has had more exposure to exceptional speaking talent than most. In this list, he delves into the most influential female leadership speakers in Australia over the last 35 years. These include women’s mental health speakers, female motivational speakers and more.


Rachael RobertsonA headshot of Rachael Robertson

Leadership in extreme conditions is Rachael Robertson’s bread and butter. Where others would struggle, Rachael draws on her expertise as a team leader and motivator to inspire groups to work towards a common goal. These talents came in handy when Rachael became the second woman ever to lead an expedition to Antarctica. In this most hostile of environments, Rachael put theory into practice and learned and refined leadership tools and tips.

Her speaking style is humorous and inspiring. She relates to her audience with her down-to-earth manner.

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Amanda Gore

Hearing Amanda Gore speak is like nothing your audience will have experienced before. Amanda takes her audience on a journey, involving them far beyond the traditional audience experience. To overcome fear, negative thinking and improve relationships through communication, Amanda shares tools her audience can apply in their everyday lives to achieve these outcomes.

Her most recent endeavour, The Joy Project, is a testament to the kind of possibilities she wants people to find within themselves. Audiences around the world love her for the way she makes them feel.

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Amanda Stevens

For a truly exceptional female guest keynote speaker, Amanda Stevens is an excellent pick. Her insight into the customer experience makes her a must-have speaker at any event focused on customer service. She brings together new research on buyer behaviour and consumer insights to give organisations true insight into their customers’ journey.

Amanda’s speaking experience includes sharing the stage with Sir Bob Geldof and Sir Richard Branson, and she has been a supporting speaker for Condoleeza Rice.

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Turia Pitt

Turia Pitt’s exceptional journey to survival has spanned many months of rehabilitation and defying doctors expectations when she was caught in a grass fire while running a marathon. Suffering extreme burns, Turia turned adversity into success and is now a sought-after public speaker.

She connects with audiences on a deeply personal level and leaves them feeling inspired by the incredible journey she has been on. She is an excellent choice for virtual events around the country, including as a women’s mental health speaker both for adults and in schools.

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Hayley Lewis OAMA headshot of Hayley Lewis

Hayley Lewis has graced Australia’s small screen as the host of five seasons of The Biggest Loser. A world and national swimming champion, she has been winning the hearts of Australians since 1990 when at just 15 years of age, she won five gold medals at the Auckland Commonwealth Games.

She wins over audiences everywhere with her infectious smile and engaging style.

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Anna Meares OAMA photo of Anna Meares OAM

Widely considered the greatest Australian cyclist of all time, Anna Meares has taken home 18 gold medals across her 15 year career.

Despite these successes, it has been far from smooth sailing for Anna. In 2008 she broke her back while training. Defying all medical expectations, she recovered sufficiently to take part in and win a silver medal in the women’s individual sprint at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Anna speaks with candour about her Olympic and sporting journey. Her relatability allows her to connect with audiences around the country.

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Dr Louise Mahler

Few speakers connect with audiences as effortlessly and deeply as Dr Louise Mahler. She is one of the country’s top female leadership speakers and is regularly booked to appear on stage around the world. Her focus is on connection, and she uses real-world tools to help foster confident leadership communication.

With her laugh-out-loud presentation skills and ability to form genuine connections with her audiences organically and authentically, Louise is one of the best speakers of our time.

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Christine Nixon AO QPMA Headshot of Christine Nixon APM

As the first female Australian Police Commissioner, Christine Nixon knows a thing or two about adversity. Rising to the top of the ranks in a male-dominated environment saw her tackle her fair share of disruption, change and extreme circumstances.

She makes a one-of-a-kind female guest keynote speaker, and her style is warm and compassionate. Her story resonates with audiences on a deep level.

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Susan Alberti AC

Susan Alberti has achieved more in a lifetime than most of us could ever dream of. A formidable businesswoman, Susan co-founded and managed a large building company and became an ambassador for the National Women’s Football League. She has excelled in male-dominated areas.

Personal tragedy led her to found the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation, with the aim of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. She is one of the best female inspirational speakers around, and her warmth is palpable when she speaks to audiences around the country.

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Amna Karra-Hassan

Amna Karra-Hassan has overcome more than one obstacle to pursue her dreams. A Muslim woman of colour, Amna was faced with racial and gender bias when she founded the Auburn Giants Football Club. With no funding, experience, or coach, this was no small feat, yet Amna succeeded.

Amna is a leader in her community and an exceptional female leadership speaker. Her tongue-in-cheek style endears her to audiences young and old.

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Carolyn Creswell

The founder of one of Australia’s most beloved muesli staples, Carolyn Creswell, knows a thing or two about work-life balance. In turning Carman’s into a household name and a pantry staple across the country, Carolyn has had to make sacrifices and compromises.

Carolyn speaks from the heart and delves into what it takes to create a healthy work-life balance.

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Janine AllisA headshot of Janine Allis

Janine Allis’ experience as a successful businesswoman has seen her become a ‘shark’ on Channel Ten’s popular show Shark Tank. In this role, she mentors young entrepreneurs. Janine once grew her smoothie and juice business from her own kitchen counter to an international empire, so she has insight into what young entrepreneurs face.

Janine connects with audiences with her can-do attitude. Her mantra is that if she can do it, anyone can, and her infectious positivity leaves audiences feeling inspired.

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Dr Dianne McGrath

What people claim is impossible, Dianne McGrath makes possible. She works tirelessly on initiatives around food waste, sustainability and accessibility to ensure that all Australians can feed themselves and their families.

Dianne’s passions are far-reaching. She has sailed a tall ship through gale force winds, bio-hacked her body, run ultra-marathons, participated in extreme cycling and prepared herself for a one-way trip to Mars. There is nothing Dianne can’t do, and she brings her unstoppable momentum to all her speaking engagements.

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Emma Murray

Emma Murray helps people be the best version of themselves. Emma works primarily with athletes at the peak of their career as a mindfulness and meditation practitioner and teacher. Her mindfulness coaching is considered the secret behind Richmond Football Club’s three-time AFL Premiership winning performances.

Emma works with her clients to improve present moment awareness, emotional regulation and focus. She gives audiences mindfulness tips to support them through times of stress, move on from fear and focus on their inner strength.

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Jelena Dokic

From the highest of professional highs to the lowest of personal lows, Jelena Dokic has been through it all. Her bright smile on the world stage as she shot to tennis fame belied the pressure and abuse she faced at home. Her sporting success is legendary, but few knew of the serious situation unfolding in her personal life.

Today, Jelena has overcome her past and written a bestselling novel, Unbreakable, an autobiography that details her remarkable story. She is a great speaker on sports and mental health and would be a great women’s mental health speaker for schools.

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Alisa Campin AM

Australia’s first female Winter Olympic Gold Medallist, Alisa Camplin AM, possesses that rare story telling ability that inspires, entertains and transfers knowledge.

Tens of thousands of people have been motivated, laughed and cried, and walked away with a toolkit of skills to create their own success after listening to Australia’s premier female speaker. As real as they come, Alisa Camplin is nothing short of amazing!


Holly Ransom

Holly Ransom is a specialist in disruptive strategy, a private company director and advocate for social and economic inclusion. She is recognized globally for her super-human ability to synthesize and simplify complex issues, and create engaging, thought-provoking conversation.

Holly breaks open obscure technical language and ambiguous challenges to ignite inclusive debate and drive pragmatic responses.

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These remarkable female speakers are the best and brightest talent Australia has seen in the past 35 years. Each of these women would make a fantastic female motivational speaker for your next event. Leave your audience inspired and empowered by booking any of these speakers through ICMI today.


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