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Resilience Series

presented by First steps  in partnership with Auckland Business Chamber and

Resilience Skills Speaker Series

Get ready to be inspired by a lineup of incredible speakers who will share their insights and experiences, leaving a lasting impact on all of us, grab your favourite beverage or a delicious snack, find a cozy spot, and tune in for an hour of empowering content. Witness the extraordinary power of resilience firsthand, but don’t forget to register so you don’t miss out.

Take a look at our upcoming speakers, or watch previous sessions, below and be sure to visit our page for regular updates as this series continues to unfold.  Register now to secure your place and be ready to feel inspired to unlock your full potential.

Previous Speakers

Connecting Worlds: Global Journey of Resilience and Inspiration

Lawrence Lotze, a passionate podcaster and advocate for meaningful connections, transformed his life’s toughest challenge, a brain tumour diagnosis in 2019 into a source of strength and inspiration. As an engaging speaker focused on mental health, financial literacy, and community-building, Lawrence illustrates the power of human connections and the resilience born from adversity.

Through his popular YouTube channel, Lawrence travels the world virtually, bringing his audience face-to-face with successful business owners and renowned sports stars. Each episode dives into the personal journeys, challenges, and pivotal moments of his guests, from the bustling streets of New York to the scenic beaches of Sydney. The conversation with Lawrence will reveal the motivations and insights of influential figures reshaping their industries, proving that personal trials can lead to profound triumphs.

Re Watch

Resilience and Insight: Journey as a Mental Health Advocate

Julia Grace is an acclaimed mental health speaker and educator, she channels her experiences of personal adversity and global upheaval into powerful lessons on resilience.

As the President of the New Zealand Professional Speakers Association and the PSA NZ Educator of the Year, Julia brings credibility and depth to her role. She is also a Tui award-winning recording artist and the author of ‘Be Kind to Your Mind’.

Julia will speak candidly about her own battles with clinical depression and anxiety, offering a deeply personal perspective that we know will resonates with the First Steps audience. Her focus on education and personal experience makes Julia a compelling advocate for mental health awareness, providing valuable insights and encouragement to those facing similar challenges.

Re Watch

Empowering Resilience: Journey from Adversity to Advocacy 

Karin Horen, a solo mother and twice breast cancer survivor, has channelled her experiences into advocacy and empowerment. As the author of “I am more than just my tits” and a resilience coach, she co-founded Paddle For Hope, a key fundraiser that initiated the PaddleOn cancer rehabilitation program. In 2018, Karin launched a mastectomy-friendly swimwear line that enhanced her impact on the community.

Her professional background spans marketing and sales, including roles in media, advertising, and real estate. In 2023, Karin started a podcast named after her book, further amplifying her message of resilience. Living by the motto, “She believed she could, so she did,” Karin continues to inspire and motivate others to overcome adversity and improve their quality of life.

Re Watch

Resilient Leadership: Tackling Stress and Mental Health in the Business World

Seasoned entrepreneur Steve Tucker is dedicated to eradicating extreme stress and depression triggered by pressures in small businesses. His approach to this major issue is two-fold. First, he encourages business individuals to open up and discuss their experiences. He strongly believes that by sharing our stories, we can foster a sense of unity and understanding, assuring others that they are not alone in their struggles. Secondly, once this openness is achieved, Steve advocates for collective problem-solving rather than suffering in silence. By lifting the veil of solitude often associated with entrepreneurial stress and depression, Steve hopes to create a supportive network where solutions can be shared, and resilience can be built.

Re Watch

Beneath the Surface: Empowerment through Free Diving and Speech Therapy

Renee Taylor is a Director and Clinician at Swallow & Speech Therapy Consultants Ltd which is a private Speech-language Therapy practice specialising in swallowing disorders in aged residential care. Working in the Health Industry had a whirlwind of emotions and experiences for Renee, unfortunately leading to her experiencing burn out and trauma, which impacted her ability to continue working in the public health space. It led her to reconnect more with her Maoritanga and to be more confident and proud in that space, to set boundaries, as well as discovering the world of freediving which in turn helped her own mental health.

Re Watch

The Tune of Resilience: Navigating Through Life’s Toughest Beats

As an influential figure in her field, Zeisha Fremaux continues to break barriers, inspire others, and challenge the status quo in both music and social advocacy. Her story not only highlights the importance of resilience in the face of adversity but also serves as a powerful reminder of the human spirit’s capacity to overcome challenges.

Re Watch

A Man with a Plan and a Caravan: Roadside Mental Health Revolution

Robbie Shefford’s mission is simple to travel around New Zealand with his race tractor and mental health and well-being caravan and stop to talk to as many groups and people as he can about the importance of mental health, well-being and positive thinking.

Re Watch

Battlefield to Business: Moulding Resilience from the combat to commerce

Jordan Fitzgerald is a former New Zealand Special Operations Forces Commando and the founder of an apparel brand called Warfighter Athletic. After over a decade of service within the NZ Army which included a tour of Afghanistan, he looked to business for a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh challenge. Driven by passion, he chose to build Warfighter Athletic, an e-commerce focused apparel and training company around the ethos and values he learned during his military career.

Re Watch

Every day’s a good day
with William Pike

William’s story is an inspiration to us all, showing that with the right mindset and attitude, we can overcome even the most daunting challenges and achieve greatness. He is changing the lives of young people and making a difference in the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from William Pike as he shares his journey, experiences, and insights on resilience and how to overcome adversity.

re watch

Finding resilience outside the ring
with Kaiwhare Kara France

Kai’s journey to success has been a challenging one, from overcoming bullying to dropping out of university to pursue his passion for MMA. Despite facing setbacks and tough opponents in the ring, Kai has remained committed to his goals and has become one of the top-ranked flyweight fighters in the UFC.

re watch

From adversity to triumph, discovering resilience with Christyl Stowers

Be inspired and motivated by the remarkable journey of Christyl Stowers, whose powerful story is a testament to the strength of resilience. Overcoming childhood traumas and persevering through chronic pain, Christyl is dedicated to inspiring others. Christyl empowers individuals to pursue their dreams, embrace resilience, and create transformative change in their lives through authenticity and passion. Join us to hear Christyl’s story, as she guides others on their own paths to resilience as a life coach.

re watch

Inspiring Change
with Jazz Thornton

Named New Zealand’s Young New Zealander of the Year in 2021, Jazz is a talented motivational speaker who inspires audiences of all ages to face challenges, identify opportunities, and become the change they wish to see in the world. With her focus on hope, resilience, and overcoming adversity, Jazz’s message is both inspiring and empowering.

Re Watch

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