Ask about Sadhana Smiles
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Key Points
  • Victorian Telstra Business Woman.
  • AFR/WBC 100 Women of Influence Winner.
  • Institute Manager and Leaders Victoria Leadership Winner.
  • AREA (Australia Real Estate) most influential women in business.
  • Winner of the India Australia Business and Communities Business Leader award.
  • Real Estate Industry Partners CEO.
  • Creator of the Ambition Report – study on what women in business need to succeed.
  • Creator of Workplace Health Report – assessing stress levels within the industry.
  • Franchise experience and in addition to her CEO role Sadhana is the Director- Harcourts Move a boutique Property Management Business.
  • Founder of Links Fiji – focusing on improving women’s health in Fiji, established in 2008.
  • Founder of Harcourts Walk a Mile in Their Shoes.
  • Advisory Board Member – Bank of Melbourne Migrant and Multicultural Banking.
  • Business Chicks Board Member.
  • Australia Centre Human Rights and Heath Ambassador - Dowry Abuse.
  • Author of People Power did you have them @ hello – best-seller in property sector on how to create performance driven teams.
  • Author – life journal – I want what she’s having – a beautifully presented journal to write your most precious thoughts and goals.
  • And did we mention… she is the mother to 9 kids!
Topics
  • Blaze your own trail – how to make your mark in business and life
    Sadhana is one of a handful of culturally and linguistically diverse leaders in the country, using her influential position to make a difference in Australia and Fiji.

    She believes there are untapped opportunities in the business world today, where anyone at any level of the organisation can step up and become a leader for change.

    We need empowered, driven, inclusive innovations but more importantly we need people to believe that they have the power to be heard and make a difference.

    In this keynote Sadhana will give you the playbook for how to blaze “your” own trail and create your own career path by being brave enough to speak up and shake things up.

    Sadhana arrived in Australia as a young 16-year-old migrant, with only one thought in her mind – freedom from a culturally oppressive environment.

    Two years in boarding school, 1 year in TAFE and she made the decision to get married to stay in Australia. (as you do!)

    In 6 short years she took on the role of CEO, won the Vic Telstra Business Woman award, was named one of 100 Women of Influence and turned Harcourts Victoria from a virtual unknown company to the fastest growing network in Australia.

    Blaze your own trail is her journey, sharing her lightest and darkest days, rebuilding her life and relationships to become on of the most respected women in her industry and a role model to women in the many diverse communities in Australia.

  • First and Only’s
    The diversity and inclusion challenge – lessons from a migrant leader

    Did you know that organisations that have a clear diversity and inclusion policy are 21% more profitable! So why are our organisations not embracing the change rapidly.

    Sadhana believes if she can reach a leadership position in Australia, having landed on our shores (alone) at the ripe old age of 16 from Fiji, with no university degree and no real plan for her future then anything is possible for any of us!

    Sadhana is one of a handful of culturally and linguistically diverse leaders in Australia. She is well known for challenging business leaders on their understanding of diversity and believes it’s not just about more women in leadership roles but about people who come in different packages – ethnicity, ability and sexuality.

    Culturally diverse people often have double glazed glass ceilings to break through - one in their own culture and the other in their business.

    In this challenging and riveting keynote, Sadhana shares with you the challenges she faced being born a woman in a culturally oppressive environment, the lessons learnt and her experiences arriving in Australia in the early 80’s.

    Today Sadhana often finds herself in the “first and only” situations – being the only woman or the first woman of colour.

    “All of these experiences have helped form the resilient and determined person I am today” says Sadhana. “ I have also used my difference to create a brand and competitive advantage for myself.”

    Sadhana sits on the Bank of Melbourne Migrant and Multicultural Banking Committee to help them understand their customers and build stronger connections.

    Sadhana is a board member of the Business Chicks Diversity Board.
Testimonials

Sadhana nailed the brief. Her presentation hit just the right tone for our virtual International Women's Day presentation. She was great to work with in through the preparation, and told a candid but inspirational story of her journey that could appeal to both the female and male audience. 
AECOM

I heard your talk this morning and got so much out of it – thank you for your energy, wisdom and inspiration. I feel really motivated both as a manager and as an employee from thinking about what you presented and setting high levels of accountability for myself and my team.
Programs Team Leader
Ardoch Youth Foundation
Telstra Business Awards

Sadhana gives employees the opportunity to share their story by asking "Is there something going on?" - And waiting for the answer. Discussing the need to be yourself and have confidence in yourself was very important to her success. She set strong goals and was true to her values along the way. Asking yourself - What do you stand for? And be prepared to give back to society. 

Sadhana is the most confident and driven person I think I have ever met. She set's goals and lives by her choices. I will definitely be setting clear goals for myself from here forward. 

Surround yourself with people that will give you honest feedback. 

Wow! "I am woman". She owned that room. Brave, powerful, inspiring, hardarse. I could go on. She oozes leadership. She knows her brand. She knows who she is. She knows what she wants. She is the ideal role model for every one of us! The world would be a much better place with more leaders like Sadhana. 

Phew - if Sadhanna can't inspire us then I don't know who can! 

Wow! Easily the most impactful presenter for me this year. From the minute Sadha started talking, I knew this was someone to stand up and pay attention to. I critically reflected on- how I "show up" as a leader; how I choose my approach in various situations; and how I can make strategic long term decisions. Everything Sadha said was genuine, and all had an overriding theme of personal accountability. It was fantastic seeing someone unashamedly take ownership and pride in their individual style- this demonstrated true confidence. Sadha's messages about listening to understand really resonated with me. The steps and recommendations in her book are excellent and will prepare me well for my new leadership position. I was totally challenged and inspired

Be curious. Be nimble and agile. How compelling is my story and how I tell it. Bring people with you and develop them.Give back, make a change. Know your allies, find a connection. As a leader you can never over-communicate. Create your own opportunities and don't wait for doors to open. 

Again, I could have listened to Sadhana all day long. WOW!!! What a woman!!! I don't think I've ever encounter a woman with so much presence and clarity. I took so much from her - I think my favourite speaker to date (big call!!) You can't lead people unless you're curious, the importance of understanding your backstory and it's linkages to where you are today - this was big for me. I've spent much of the last 14 years running from or attempting to bury much of what has happened to me - but I am who I am today because of what has happened to me. I need to embrace that more - rather than see it as a weakness. Knowing what you stand for and believing in it, facing challenges head on, the importance of personal branding and reaching out to mentors - most leaders have done it or faced it before - you don't have to go it alone. And last but not least - creating your own opportunities - this was something that has been cemented in my mind after catching up with Jim Cooper post our Portland day too. 

Be curious, have a presence and understand how people feel when you are around. All great tips in regard to leadership. 

Sadhana exuded confidence, and I grappled with this at times. I wonder how someone can be "on" like that all the time. She did provide some valuable insight and understanding on progression as a female in the business world. 

Work on what you want your 'brand' to be and constantly work on creating it. Be curious and don't dedicate your time to something that you don't fully believe in or are not passionate about.

In her words on my signed journal. "Teremayi live life and let nothing stand in the way, Sadhana." Look out!!! 

Have a vision, a plan to know what you want to achieve and how are you going to get there. Build your brand by working out how you want to make people feel and why they will want to work with you. A goal board will keep you on track and having it in sight every day will remind you what you’re working towards. Be confident in what you say and how you act. Simple things like presentation and body language can be strong tools when entering a space. She is an amazing woman who shares her story, her frustrations, her mistakes and successes. People connected with all of these. I really enjoyed listening to Sadhana was a great finish to the day and motivates me even more to chase my dreams. 

Sadhana was very impressive and inspiring. Succession, own your brand and being authentic all resonated with me. She is very driven and owns her own destiny. Very refreshing to hear Sadhanna share her story. 

Be confident in yourself and be true to who you are. Set goals, review them frequently and stick to them. Surround yourself with helpful and positive people who fit your culture. Don't define yourself only by what you do, define yourself by friends and family too. Learn to control your emotions. Rehearse your important conversations, have a planned approach to difficult situations. Bring your workforce along with you. Don't be afraid to let your kids see your bad days, no one is perfect and that's reality—don't hide it. Make time for yourself and learn to compartmentalise/manage different parts of your life so you don't miss out on this
General Feedback
Program Manager
Leadership Great South Coast Conference

Sadhana is a fabulous presenter . I would actually go as far as to say that she is in my top 5 presenters of all time. I do see a lot leadership speakers in my profession and not many keynotes are able to speak about the “how” in leadership. she does it so well, with elegance, warmth and succinctness. Sadhana has this uncanny ability to not only draw you in with her honesty, professionalism and vulnerability- but she is able to communicate practical  tips so effectively , that you feel compelled to immediately embed them into your leadership toolkit. She can unpack a leadership problem, tell a fabulous story and dissect gender and diversity with frankness. Her ability to nail a brief astounds me and she really shines in question time . It is always an absolute pleasure working with her.
General Manager Events
Women and Leadership Australia & NZ and Australia School of Applied Management

Sadhana was brilliant. Snappy presentation with so much valuable content hitting on many aspects discussed through our day’s event.  Her ability to share ‘her story’ with such impact and relationally made it a truly enjoyable session.
Strata Community Australia

Sadhana is an incredible key note speaker we engaged for our Australian Women's Network Business Summit. She had the attendees laughing and crying and applauding her successes at the same time. Professional at all times and incredibly giving of her time - we highly recommend Sadhana as both a key note speaker and an authority in Real Estate and Leadership. We look forward to working with her again.
Founder and CEO
Event Negotiators

We asked Sadhana to present the opening keynote at our National Franchise Operations Conference to 130 franchisor executives. This was a tough audience as they are her peers.  Sadhana delivered a clear, powerful and engaging session. Her slides were informative, her stage presence was highly credible, and her message combined outstanding business and personal development lessons. The audience rated her in an extremely positive manner. She added great value to our conference and I would highly recommend her as a keynote presenter for any conference.
CFE Founder
Franchise Relationships Institute

I had the pleasure and honour of hearing Sadhana Smiles speak recently at the Australian Women in Business Summit and it was honestly nothing short of life changing. He fresh approach delivered a focus on being real and authentic with engaging content and a feisty driven and empowering attitude. Her talk filled the room with a captivating energy and I felt like everyone could really relate to her on so many levels because she was so 'real' in her delivery. I've seen a lot of speakers of the years and Sadhana is definitely one I'll never forget.
Director
Ka'llure Jewellery 

Sadhana Smiles is one of our most popular speakers, with attendees at events across Australia frequently singling out her presentation as being insightful, engaging, relevant, relatable, and a highlight of the event.  Sadhana’s presentation both inspires attendees to want to aim for higher levels of leadership within their own lives while providing practical advice to help them achieve their goals.
Senior Event Manager
Women & Leadership Australia

General Social Media Feedback
Sadhana gives employees the opportunity to share their story by asking "Is there something going on?" - And waiting for the answer. Discussing the need to be yourself and have confidence in yourself was very important to her success. She set strong goals and was true to her values along the way. Asking yourself - What do you stand for? And be prepared to give back to society.

Sadhana is the most confident and driven person I think I have ever met. She set's goals and lives by her choices. I will definitely be setting clear goals for myself from here forward.
Surround yourself with people that will give you honest feedback.

Wow! "I am woman". She owned that room. Brave, powerful, inspiring, hardarse. I could go on. She oozes leadership. She knows her brand. She knows who she is. She knows what she wants. She is the ideal role model for every one of us! The world would be a much better place with more leaders like Sadhana.
Phew - if Sadhana can't inspire us then I don't know who can!

Wow! Easily the most impactful presenter for me this year. From the minute Sadhana started talking, I knew this was someone to stand up and pay attention to. I critically reflected on- how I "show up" as a leader; how I choose my approach in various situations; and how I can make strategic long term decisions. Everything Sadhana said was genuine, and all had an overriding theme of personal accountability.

It was fantastic seeing someone unashamedly take ownership and pride in their individual style- this demonstrated true confidence. Sadhana's messages about listening to understand really resonated with me. The steps and recommendations in her book are excellent and will prepare me well for my new leadership position. I was totally challenged and inspired.

Be curious. Be nimble and agile. How compelling is my story and how I tell it. Bring people with you and develop them. Give back, make a change. Know your allies, find a connection.

As a leader you can never over-communicate. Create your own opportunities and don't wait for doors to open.

Again, I could have listened to Sadhana all day long. WOW!!! What a woman!!! I don't think I've ever encounter a woman with so much presence and clarity. I took so much from her - I think my favourite speaker to date (big call!!) You can't lead people unless you're curious, the importance of understanding your backstory and it's linkages to where you are today - this was big for me. I've spent much of the last 14 years running from or attempting to bury much of what has happened to me - but I am who I am today because of what has happened to me. I need to embrace that more - rather than see it as a weakness. Knowing what you stand for and believing in it, facing challenges head on, the importance of personal branding and reaching out to mentors - most leaders have done it or faced it before - you don't have to go it alone. And last but not least - creating your own opportunities - this was something that has been cemented in my mind after catching up with Jim Cooper post our Portland day too.

Be curious, have a presence and understand how people feel when you are around. All great tips in regard to leadership.

Sadhana exuded confidence, and I grappled with this at times. I wonder how someone can be "on" like that all the time. She did provide some valuable insight and understanding on progression as a female in the business world.

Work on what you want your 'brand' to be and constantly work on creating it. Be curious and don't dedicate your time to something that you don't fully believe in or are not passionate about.

In her words on my signed journal. "Teremayi live life and let nothing stand in the way, Sadhana." Look out!!!

Have a vision, a plan to know what you want to achieve and how are you going to get there. Build your brand by working out how you want to make people feel and why they will want to work with you. A goal board will keep you on track and having it in sight every day will remind you what you’re working towards. Be confident in what you say and how you act. Simple things like presentation and body language can be strong tools when entering a space. She is an amazing woman who shares her story, her frustrations, her mistakes and successes. People connected with all of these.

I really enjoyed listening to Sadhana was a great finish to the day and motivates me even more to chase my dreams.

Sadhana was very impressive and inspiring. Succession, own your brand and being authentic all resonated with me. She is very driven and owns her own destiny. Very refreshing to hear Sadhana share her story.