Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame.

Brene is a nationally renowned speaker and has won numerous teaching awards, including the College's Outstanding Faculty Award. Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, and has appeared in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and many other national media outlets.

Her TEDxHouston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of most watched talks on TEDx, with approximately 5 million views. She gave the closing talk, Listening to Shame, at the TED Conference in Long Beach. 

Brene is the author of the book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. She is also the author of The Gift of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me.

Brene developed Connections, a psychoeducational shame resilience curriculum that is being facilitated across the USA by mental health and addiction professionals along with The Connections Certification process.

Brene Brown speaker

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Brené Brown

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Kate Morris

Beauty advocate Kate Morris, founder of Adorebeauty.com.au, started Australia’s first beauty e-commerce site in 1999 from a garage in Melbourne at the age of 21.

Starting with just $12,000 and two little known cosmetic companies on board, Adore Beauty has grown to more than 200 brands, 13,000 products, and hundreds of thousands of customers.

Scott Dutton

Scott is the Conflict Whisperer and the Fun Maker! Scott is known as the most engaging, insightful & fun speaker in the conflict resolution arena. He has presented to more than 10,000 professionals and is in high demand as a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator.

Scott has been awarded CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation - the highest international measure of speaking competence. He is accredited as one of Australia's top 100 certified speaking professionals by the Professional Speakers Australia (PSA) and is recognised by the Global Speakers Federation (GSF) as among the top 12% of professional speakers worldwide.

James Castrission

Cas is an Aussie Explorer constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance.

Most recently, on the 26th January 2012, he made history by completing the longest unsupportedpolar expedition of all time, alongside his best mate, Jonesy. In 100 years of polar exploration no-one had EVER walked from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back without assistance. Many had tried, none had succeeded. After 89 gruelling days they made it back to the coast after having skied 2275km with everything they needed to survive in the harshest environment on Earth.

Justin Jones

Justin Jones (or other wise affectionately known as Jonesy) is one of Australia’s premier motivational speakers and extreme adventurers. Constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance he has undertaken a number of large scale expeditions over the past 14 years. Two in particular have captured global acclaim and attention, setting 2 Guinness World records.

Dale Beaumont

Dale Beaumont is best known as an award winning entrepreneur, technology enthusiast and a passionate promoter of education.

Having started his first business at the age of 19, Dale went on to build three different million dollar companies before the age of thirty.

A massive thank you to you both for all your assistance from selecting to co-ordinating the speakers for our annual ProLoan conference. Feedback was that this year’s speakers where the best they had EVER heard at ANY event. So this is pretty amazing, because they do go to a lot of sessions like these.

Director of Network Relationships - Proloan (aust) pty ltd

Again this year you and your team have been fantastic and extremely helpful.  In regards to you Sharm, you have been an absolute star and phenomenal help with our speakers and presenters, a great communicator, wealth of knowledge and so prompt with responding and looking at ways to cater to our needs.

Event Manager Fitness Australia

I would recommend, without hesitation, the services of Jane Rowland Smith and Ovations. Jane answered a last minute call to arrange a guest speaker for our principals. Nothing was too much effort, all was arranged within hours, and went very smoothly. The guest speaker was exactly what we required and our brief was followed. Thank you Jane and the team at Ovations.

Executive Director of Schools Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

All aspects of the process has always gone seamlessly with Ovations and we will continue to seek your assistance for the awards in the coming years.

Thank you again, your help has meant that our Awards are very professional and extremely well received by our members and guests.

Executive Assistant BSCAA NSW Division

Jane, I personally want to thank you for all of your support, advice, patience and all round kindness that you have given me over the last 3 or so years.  This event would not have been as successful without the valuable MC’s you have recommended and the support you provided me when it all just seemed too hard

Shona Dilley – Smart School Awards, Department of Education
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