Universally praised for unwaveringly strong, decisive leadership during a devastating natural disaster, Anna Bligh won truly bipartisan admiration from constituents and critics alike for her handling of the crisis.
Perhaps more than any other leadership role, those in politics face extreme external challenges to their ability to lead; The public perception is frequently beyond their control and yet vital to their mandate as a leader.
It is in this rarefied atmosphere that Anna Bligh rose to become the first female Premier of Queensland and only the third female Australian Premier. She is also the first Australian woman elected in her own right as the existing head of a newly elected government. Whilst in office, she implemented Australia's largest infrastructure building program, drove massive education reforms and fought for social and environmental reform.
Premier Bligh was both highly visible and effective in leading the post-disaster reconstruction efforts and held her government to public account for their handling of the floods, demonstrating vigorous leadership that few politicians can aspire to.
One of the few Labour politicians to retain her seat in a landslide victory for the opposition, Bligh demonstrated the ultimate in courageous leadership when she immediately resigned from her position as Premier and retired from politics entirely.
For her education reforms, Anna Bligh has been granted an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Queensland, whilst her leadership during the Queensland floods earned her Australia's National Emergency Medal.
Since leaving politics, Anna hasn't slowed down. A gifted speaker, she has also been appointed to several boards and has taken on the role of CEO for YWCA NSW. During her treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2013 she again demonstrated breathtaking courage, raising public awareness of the disease by posing for glamour shots showcasing the ravaging effects of her battle.
Anna Bligh is a speaker of depth, compassion and compelling real-world experience. Her nearly two-decades as a political leader and her handling of post-political life makes for rich and varied presentations that keep audiences enthralled. As a leadership speaker, she brings unique experience to the table, balanced with a career led under the microscope of the media and speaks to challenges more extreme than most leaders will ever need to endure.