Cathy is a sought after global speaker

She has delivered keynote addresses and intensive workshops to dozens of organisations and over 20,000 individuals around the world. She has spoken at major universities and institutions, and led dozens of “immersion leadership programs” for corporates, taking their executives into villages to learn the new frontier of leadership from non-literate women.

Her leadership programs and keynotes are founded on two decades of experience working with people to rise up and lead amongst the harshest of conditions. The insights and approaches that allow for clean water and schooling to happen through peoples own efforts are relevant to businesses, organizations and people everywhere.

Using real examples and situations, Cathy’s talks and courses explore the principles of how leadership is empowered and unleashed, creating profound and sustainable cultural and personal change. She moves her audience, getting them in touch with how we can all be potent, passionate pioneers in our own human experience.


She is funny, moving, wise and deeply authentic.

Her  keynote and workshop topics include:

 9 Steps of Transformative Leadership

  • What mindsets are prevalent in the culture, and how they can be transformed. Identify the unexamined assumptions that run an organisation, a team and an individual and begin to transform them.
  • Identifying what leadership is and where it resides. Learn how to foster non-hierarchical leadership so that ideas and ownership comes from all parts of the business. (People can initiate and lead even when they are not invested with organisational leadership)
  • Diversity and women – how existing structures can change, and how to allow voices to be heard. Cathy gives examples of how this has been happened in difficult cultural settings (like India) to initiate or empower courageous conversations around leadership.


Unlikely Leaders

  • New paradigm of leadership: Challenge beliefs about what is leadership, who is a leader, and how you know.
  • Learn how to encourage and empower leadership in others, and step into your own potential as a leader.
  • Build unlikely leaders in your organisation through learning from the experiences of some of the world’s poorest people who have gone from resignation and powerlessness, to effective leadership.
Cathy smiling eBay June 2016


Mindset Transformation – From “I can’t” to “I can” to “We can”

  • Understand how the right mindset is crucial to creating meaningful and sustainable change.
  • Explore your own or your organization’s mindset and how to reset it
  • Learn how to uncover hidden mindsets, and understand the 6 key mindset shifts that will enable you to engage powerfully in your life and your organisation.

Women’s Leadership

  • The need for women to lead has never been greater. Explore how constraints of social conditioning and institutional limitations can be challenged.
  • Learn from and be inspired by role models who have overcome enormous barriers to achieve lasting change for themselves and their communities
  • Celebrate and unleash the power of women!

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
CEO Business Chicks

Cathy is a remarkable social entrepreneur, with something profound to say about leadership and the power of humanity. 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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