Dr James Muecke AM graduated with Honours from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1987. Following his internship, James lived and worked as a doctor in Africa and subsequently as an eye surgeon in the Middle East, battling malaria, wild animals, and rebel soldiers. He founded Sight For All in 2008, turning his boundless energy into a fight against blindness in the Aboriginal communities of Australia and some of the poorest countries of Asia and Africa. His commitment to social impact and humanitarian endeavors has earnt him a string of awards including an Order of Australia in 2012, the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Leadership Award in 2013, and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur for Australia in 2015.
James is a researcher, a teacher, an author, a musician, a photographer, and a film producer, and uses his many skills to deliver passionate, fascinating, and at times confronting presentations about his life, his work, philanthropy, resilience and social entrepreneurship. A neurological condition impacting on his dexterity has forced James into a premature retirement from surgery. Not letting his disability slow him down, James has redirected his vigor to crafting films, and has a number of powerful documentaries under his belt and several compelling projects in production.
Ani Choying Drolma, ‘buddhist rockstar nun’, author and philanthropist whose singing performances have earned her millions of admirers – in real life and online (where her music videos have amassed more than 20 million views).
It is said that Ani Choying Drolma’s music is like a beam of light that cut through the darkness and is filled with compassion and purity. Her voice is also named as “the heavenly voice” with healing power.
She is also an awarded humanitarian. Since 2014, she is appointed as the first UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassador for Nepal. She describes her singing ability as her magic wand that manifests numerous successful projects to promote education, health, children’s right and women empowerment. She founded Arya Tara School in 2000 to provide education opportunities for young girls in Nepal.
In her Newday Leadership series session, Ani will sing and share her thoughts on leading for the greater good.
For more than 15 years, Vinh Giang has dedicated himself to mastering the art of performance-enhanced communication, helping thousands of professionals worldwide do the same through the power of magic. In his inspiring talks, Vinh seamlessly integrates storytelling and magic to motivate audiences to embrace change and see the "possible in the impossible." Vinh delivers his key messages in a truly memorable and profound manner that always leaves his audiences with a sense of wonder and empowerment.
Rebecca Tapp assists industry leaders, CEO'S, entrepreneurs, and media personalities to activate purpose-driven influence. She has spent 15 years working in partnership with globally acclaimed speakers, activists, authors and influencers. She is the host of the Decoding Purpose Podcast and a purpose-driven entrepreneur. In that time, Rebecca has mastered the intersection between purpose and influence with a clear focus on taking an idea, into the kind of influence that creates impact.
Rebecca is an internationally recognised coach and consultant working in Australia and the Asia Pacific in developing new talent in the speaking industry. She is also the creator of Ignite; a consulting process designed to assist leaders, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and influencers to gain clarity of purpose, and to tell that story online, onstage and most significantly in life. Rebecca is a Company Director of 'Future Crunch' who are a think tank consisting of scientists, artists, technologists, and entrepreneurs spreading a global movement of intelligent optimism. She is also the Co-founder of 'Supernova Tribe', a purpose-driven content and branding agency for influencers.
As a change-maker, Rebecca is on the board of directors for Hark Angel, a charity with a mission is to work with impoverished communities to build 100 schools around the world. She is also on the board of social enterprise Project Gen Z and has over the last decade raised more than $150,000 for charity in business and in hosting fundraising events and campaigns.
Martin is a consultant in organisational and leadership development, a facilitator of innovation and change; trainer, coach and author. He is a faculty member for the Presencing Institute, and for HSBC Next Generation Development, HRH Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference for Leaders, and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Martin works with business, government and civil society leaders globally. He advises the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative as thinking partner to Chiefs of Staff and Heads of State, including three years as Special Consultant to the President of Zambia.
Martin authored Leading Like Madiba: Leadership Lessons from Nelson Mandela (2006), It’s How We End That Matters: Leadership Lessons from an African President (2009), and Driftology: How to Access Life’s Greatest Opportunities by flying on the wings of others (2015).
Considered one of the most thought provoking, powerful and life affirming speakers in Australia, Gill Hicks’ determination to triumph over tragedy is nothing but inspirational. A survivor of the 2005 London terrorist bombings, she founded M.A.D For Peace; before this she was a successful design curator and publisher. With her unique understanding of business and formidable ability to navigate extreme change, Gill will speak on Choose Choice – the greatest power we have is the power to choose how we want to respond and react to every single moment of our lives.
Mickey Kumatpi Marratyu O’Brien is an Aboriginal person and descendant of the Kaurna (Adelaide Plains) and Narrunga (Yorke Peninsula) peoples. He has been providing cultural advice for many years and is a proud ambassador for the Kaurna people.
Culture is an important part of Mickey's life and he honours the responsibility passed down to him by his father, well-known Kaurna elder, Uncle Lewis O’Brien, by incorporating culture into every Welcome to Country.
Mickey connects with audiences through his engaging storytelling ability where he delivers powerful lessons passed on to him through his people, culture, history and experiences. Reminding audiences that, "cultural knowledge and respect is part of every story and each human journey."
Danling Xiao pursues her passion in creativity and entrepreneurship with a strong focus on human-centred design and sustainability. Danling has dedicated her work to her design practice Mundane Matters as well as various clients including SMEs, government organisations and tech startups.
Since her fruit and vegetable sculptures on Instagram became a global viral success in 2015, Danling has been voicing relentlessly for sustainable living. She collaborates with talents of diverse expertise, from tech experts to hands-on builders and makers, to achieve greater social good together. In 2018, with the support of City of Sydney Art & About, Danling launched Wasteland, a 24-metre tall installation made from marine debris to raise awareness for plastic waste and circular economy. Wasteland inspired her to launch Re/Co in 2020, an online delivery service for household cleaning products in reusable packaging, aiming to reduce plastic waste, household chemical pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Most importantly, Danling enjoys her morning yoga, meditation, books, food and late afternoon walk - self love and nourishment is her top priority.
Katrina Webb is recognised and acknowledged for her unique athleticism and outstanding success as a Paralympic athlete. She has won Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in athletics at three Paralympic Games. She was the first torch bearer to enter the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games and in 2006 Katrina was selected to present on behalf of the International Paralympic Committee to the United Nations in New York. To add to this she has walked the Kokoda track and has trekked to Basecamp Everest. In 2012 & 2016, Katrina was selected as one of two Paralympians Ambassadors for the International Paralympic Committee at the London, Rio & Tokyo Paralympic Games. Due to her own experience in dealing with a disability and a desire to help others, Katrina is a passionate humanitarian. She currently organises leadership treks to Nepal including Everest Basecamp, raising funds for the health, education and protection of children in Nepal.
Katrina is an international speaker, leadership and personal mastery consultant, trainer in wellbeing and resilience, a physiotherapist and also the founder and director of Newday.
Matthew Wright-Simon is delighted to be working with Katrina and the Newday Leadership team on bringing this event together and hosting our inspiring leaders on stage as our Emcee. As he did in 2018 & 2019, Matthew will link the intimacy of what's shared with the big picture and the events that shape our lives as leaders.
Matthew engages changemakers to confront tough personal, social and economic challenges — while having as much fun as possible in the process. His diverse commercial work is informed his roles in thought leadership, philanthropy and conservation with TEDxAdelaide, the Awesome Foundation and Landscape Partnerships, an environmental NGO he co-founded several years ago.