Cathy is a sought after global speaker

Cathy Burke is a speaker, thought leader, and author of Unlikely Leaders: Lessons in Leadership from the Village Classroom.

Cathy was the CEO for The Hunger Project Australia, and then Global Vice President for 20 years, working to end hunger through developing leaders at scale across villages in South Asia and Africa. She then used this experience to develop leaders in large banks, firms and Silicon Valley tech.

Cathy believes leadership is crucial for any endeavour that matters. As a former CEO, she understands first-hand the challenges businesses and teams face. She helps people break through limiting beliefs and unhelpful mindsets, and inspires new thinking and possibilities.

Cathy Burke is no ordinary presenter. She gives her audience a dazzling, empowering and compassionate new way to view themselves and their world. Cathy’s keynotes share unique insights from her global work, allowing her audience to learn and engage more authentically with their own leadership journey. As people listen, transfixed by the stories, big shifts creep in under the radar and embed themselves in hearts and minds. People leave her sessions uplifted, moved and inspired.

Through her keynotes, presentations, and workshops, Cathy Burke helps you find and unlock the leadership potential hidden within yourself and your organisation. Her clients include eBay, Business Chicks, Qantas, PwC, Ernst & Young, McKinsey & Co, Mecca Cosmetica, Decjuba, and the Commonwealth Bank.

Cathy is the 2014 winner of AFI Women of Influence award.

Contact Cathy Burke:
+61 (0) 411699482

She is funny, moving, wise and deeply authentic.

Her  keynote and workshop topics include:

You Are Enough!

(Women, diversity, culture change, leadership, happiness,)

  • Women don’t need to be fixed to lead! They are enough – just as they are!
  • Learn from village role models who have overcome enormous obstacles to achieve lasting change for themselves and their communities.
  • Celebrate and unleash the power of women’s leadership!

Empowered Leadership

(Agile workplace, change, disruption, ethics, culture, self-awareness, EQ)

  • Learn how to encourage and empower leadership in yourself and others – irrespective of job title.
  • Discover how to step into your own potential as a leader.
  • Be inspired by how world’s poorest people went from having no power to becoming empowered leaders. Use these same tools to impact your own leadership journey.
Cathy smiling eBay June 2016


From “I can’t” to “We can” – Build a movement to create change

(Culture change, social change, organisations, NFP, social enterprise)

  • All great changes in culture start with building a movement. Cathy has been at the forefront of global movements, and has developed a roadmap for organisational change that is inspiring and actionable.
  • Understand how to create mobilisers and movement builders in your organisation, and why this is key to creating change that sticks and inspires.
  • Leave with steps and tools to create that change today.


Mindset is the Way!

(Leadership, resilience, happiness)

  • The right mindset is crucial to creating meaningful and sustainable change.
  • Discover the 6 key mindset shifts that will enable you to engage powerfully in your life and work.
  • Learn how to reset your limiting mindsets.

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She has spoken for

Cathy stage eBay June 2016



Michael Rennie
Michael Rennie
Global Leader – Organisation Practice, McKinsey and Co

Cathy is a brilliant communicator. She has that rare ability to connect with all people, be they CEOs, heads of state, or a poor farm worker in a village, in a way that has everyone feeling all the better for having met her.

Emma Isaacs
Emma Isaacs
Founder and Global CEO - Business Chicks

At Business Chicks we showcase some of the most influential global thinkers, and Cathy is undoubtedly one of these.

Belinda Hutchinson
Belinda Hutchinson
AM Chancellor - University of Sydney

Cathy has the ability to have everyone feel uplifted, inspired and engaged. She has something unique and important to say, and she is able to communicate this with such lightness and grace.”

Amber Morris
Amber Morris
Senior Consumer Communications Manager at eBay

It’s not often these days you walk away from an event feeling inspired and empowered to change the world we live in, and that’s exactly how the staff at eBay felt when we heard the incredible Cathy Burke.
What an extraordinary person to have met and heard speak.

Annie Smith
Annie Smith
Head of Consumer Solutions, PayPal Australia

Inviting Cathy to share her story of growth and leadership was a perfect Women’s Day event for our interest group. Her sense of humour, authenticity and deep humility added great colour in describing her journey from a typical teen to community activist and mother to one of Australia’s 100 Leading of Influence. Her unique perspective on the impact of community building to drive positive outcomes both at home and in some of the least developed places was inspiring and also accessible. I wouldn’t miss a chance to listen to Cathy again.

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