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Shepherd AM

Overcoming the impossible.


Janine Shepherd is an internationally renowned speaker and best-selling author.

Her TEDx talk, A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person, is featured as one of the all-time favourite talks on the TED platform and has been viewed millions of times worldwide.

A former national champion skier in training for the Olympics, she was involved in a near-fatal bike accident that ended her skiing career. Janine faced a daunting recovery and an uncertain future. Defying the odds in the most remarkable way, and despite permanent disability, she went on to become a commercial pilot and aerobatics flight instructor, earn a university degree and author six best-selling books.

Her life story has been made into a movie, and her latest book, DEFIANT is now being adapted into Hollywood. Janine has been featured on Australian “60 Minutes” and “This Is Your Life” and recognised with her country’s highest honour, The Order of Australia.
Janine is currently completing a PhD, which is based on her science-based resilience intervention program.

A gifted storyteller, Janine uses her wit, humour, and impeccable timing to engage the audience: to create meaningful change, tap into their innate resilience, and sow the seeds of growth and positive transformation.

Talking Points

The Power of the Defiant Human Spirit

In Janine's signature keynote presentation, she shares her lived belief that ‘The Defiant Human Spirit’ is not something we have, it is something we are. It is the essence of our true selves and, when fully employed, is what makes us unstoppable.

Janine is a gifted storyteller who uses her wit, humor, and impeccable timing to engage her audiences. As she shares her journey in the realm of defiance, she will touch every heart in the room and invite listeners to dream and reach beyond their preconceived ideas of what is possible.

This presentation will not only leave audiences inspired, humbled, and motivated, but will also cause them to think at the deepest level about how they live their own lives.

Listeners leave with the conviction to change their attitudes and find the power within to enable them to perform to the best of their abilities.

Key Takeaways:
- Be inspired and motivated to change your attitude to live to your highest potential.
- Learn how to lean into the ‘hills’ (Janine’s signature mindset) and transform your greatest fears into
courageous action.
- Identify limiting beliefs and rewrite the story of your life as a positive narrative.

Don't Bounce Back, Bounce Forward: How to reinvent and Repurpose in the Face of Challenge

Any disaster in life can create challenge in the most profound way. Responding appropriately requires resources and courage that you may not even know you have until you tap into your innate resilience.

It is at times such as these that there is a choice to be made: Do you sit back trying desperately to make life work using old patterns of thought and beliefs that no longer apply, or do you choose to explore and learn new and more effective ways to approach life?

Janine relies on her personal experience, as well as her extensive study in neuroscience, neuroplasticity and positive psychology, to demonstrate that when tragedies or difficulties cross your path, not only can you bounce back, you can actually reappraise, learn and grow.

The audience leaves with actionable steps toward putting this powerful knowledge into practice-to building an unshakable core.

This program is ideal for corporate audiences, especially companies in industries challenged by competition or unwelcomed changes in the marketplace.

Key Takeaways:

- Discover the neuroscience of resilience and how to apply these principles in your personal and professional
- Learn about self-directed neuroplasticity and how to use this to create desired change in your life.
- Uncover your default mindset- fixed or growth? - and learn simple techniques to help you cultivate a
growth mindset.
- Learn the “Twelve Pillars of Resilience” and how to employ them in managing any challenge in life.

A Patient's Journey: The Care, and Caregivers, That Changed My Life

As a former spinal patient and today still a “walking” paraplegic, Janine has a unique understanding and perspective on injury and trauma-and the roles of the caregivers for those in need. In this talk, most often to health care professionals, Janine shares her personal experience of both being a patient and living with a disability, and the importance of the caregivers in her journey.

Janine has witnessed first-hand the teamwork that has gone into her recovery, from the surgeons who operated on her, to the nursing staff and imaging professionals who cared to her, and the family that supported her. She shares her health and fitness philosophy and the tools she uses to maintain wellness.

Janine's presentation instils in all those working in the healthcare industry how critical are their roles in caring for patients: they can, and often do, literally change a life.

Key Takeaways:
- Embracing the art of compassion, for self and others, and how compassion connects us all.
- Understanding the importance of teamwork.
- How real healing happens in an environment of genuine and unflinching care.
- Seeing how shifting from victimhood to responsibility allows a patient to move forward and embrace
possibilities in life, putting him or her on the road to meaningful recovery.

The Resilient Woman At Work and At Home

There is no question that most women are innately resilient, and Janine’s life is testament to that quality in her.

From the earliest age as an elite athlete, Janine harnessed her resilience to achieve national recognition in multiple sports, as well as forging a career in aviation, where women were then few and far between. It is these skills that equipped her to overcome a near fatal accident, and to thrive as a woman with a disability, turning seemingly insurmountable obstacles into opportunities.

As founder of ‘The School for Resilience’ Janine has identified the 12 pillars of resilience that enabled her to create an extraordinary life. Janine has a unique perspective into what it takes to make a mark on the world, both as a woman and a person with a disability.

She believes that if we are to fully embrace and develop our potential as women, we must start by recognising and calling on our Defiant Human Spirit, and this keynote delves into the ways in which listeners can readily do so.

Key Takeaways:
- Learn how each of the 12 pillars of resilience can serve to build for us an unshakable core.
- Gain an understanding of how we can learn the skill of resilience, and how to pass this on to our children.
- Recognise our self-worth as women, and especially how this has nothing to do with our bodies. “I am not
my body”
- Identify limiting beliefs that we have carried since childhood and how we can create an entirely new
narrative and using it to “bounce forward.”

Why Walk When you can Fly? Attitude Plus Power Equals Performance (Corporate Keynote)

People often ask Janine why she chose flying, to which she replies, “I didn’t choose flying, flying choose me!”

During recovery, when sitting outside in her wheelchair, an aeroplane flew overhead and the seed was planted. “If I can’t walk, then maybe I’ll fly! Janine exclaimed, unaware at the time of the consequences of this momentous decision.

Flying represents the ultimate freedom, and it was flying, she says, that gave her her life back. Learning to fly revealed to Janine that her real strength had nothing to do with her body or her athleticism and becoming a commercial pilot and aerobatic flying instructor proved her point.

In flying there is a formula based on physics: Attitude plus Power equals Performance. This aviation equation, which she argues applies to life as well, is just one of the tools Janine uses in teaching her audience how to navigate challenges in their own lives.

Janine demonstrates how the metaphor of flight allows us to achieve equilibrium in life, both personally and professionally.

Key Takeaways:
- Attitude plus Power equals Performance: Identifying and managing our attitudes when added to our efforts
assures us of reaching our goals.
- Why do some people in challenge stay stuck, while others learn to soar?
- Pilots often file flight plans but are vigilant once underway for any changes in weather, performance, or
other variables might require course correction. How do we apply this to our journeys of recovery?
- The perspective from the air: seeing things in our lives from a reframed vantage, and how that can help us
get unstuck.
- The value of the “go-around,” a manoeuvre taught to pilots helping to gauge how viable an option is.
A fantastic closing speaker. The feedback from our delegates was excellent. A true inspiration: it was a wonderful way to finish a conference. And such a lovely lady too! Ray White

Excellent. She had them laughing, crying and thinking about their lives. She was the best motivational speaker we’ve ever had.

Dick Smith Electronics

Excellent. She was outstanding and inspirational. Best speaker for helping our team believe anything is possible.


Excellent... Janine's presentation was an inspiration to all who attended.

CSR Readymix

Your presentation was full of enthusiasm, humour and energy. Quite clearly, your courage and dedication in overcoming adversity will have a long lasting and motivating effect on our conference delegates.


Your story is one of incredible courage, yet delivered in an easy and entertaining manner, a manner that held all in attendance spellbound. We could not have had any better way to end our conference... thank you!


Janine is a brilliant story teller who uses her wit, charm, humour, and impeccable timing to engage the audience. She shares her journey in an expansive, inspiring and universal way that touches every heart in the room and invites each of us to dream, to reach, to grow beyond our preconceived limits. After the standing ovation subsided, we all wanted to run outside and shout our newly empowered mission to the heavens. I wish we could bottle what she offers and flow that elixir throughout the world.

Davidji - Chopra Centre Lead Educator and Dean of Chopra Center University

Janine is a change agent. She has an extraordinary ability to ignite people's spirits and move them to find the real potential of their lives; her story inspires people around the world.

Deepak Chopra

Janine is a dynamo! I have seen her work her 'magic' many times, and have come to realise that it's not 'magic' at all... it's honesty, integrity and communication skills far above the ordinary. Her audiences are left inspired and empowered... and you will be too!

Immediate Assistants

Janine's story is one that needs to be shared with any of us who may be harbouring thoughts of self-pity, defeat and desperation. It should be shared with all as a reminder of the importance of laughter in our day-to-day lives irrespective of our own difficulties. But importantly, it is a story that needs to be shared with all who are intimidated by, or who are unwilling to confront, the many life challenges of today. We remain humbled and positively energised by your unforgettable story.

Sara Lee

'Renew the Spirit' was our conference theme and your story was an inspiration to us all. Feedback from the team was overwhelming. What a truly moving story. I hope participants appreciate how fortunate they are and the importance of strength and determination in our lives.

British Petroleum (BP)

Your inspiring story was a perfect fit with our conference theme and the delivery of the material was brilliant. Your inspiring story captured the hearts of all our delegates and certainly caused them to view their own challenges and obstacles from a new perspective.


Janine had the whole room enthralled - her story is undeniably epic, and her delivery is animated and engaging. She clearly had a message to give which was relevant to all of us in both our personal and working lives: go ahead and do what you want to do - never let anyone tell you never, never let the odds dissuade you from trying, and learn to love the challenge. There were tears and laughter, and we loved every minute. I will definitely be reading her books!


Janine’s story is remarkable and inspiring, and her message will challenge everyone in the room to rethink their lives, goals and abilities. We chose Janine to launch Nitro’s “Be Bold” speaker series, and she could not have been more perfect. We encourage our Nitronauts to dream big, believe in themselves, and to never give up - and this is Janine’s story. Janine is smart, brave, funny, an incredible human being, and a powerful speaker with a truly unique perspective on the world. I would highly recommend Janine to anyone hoping to engage and motivate teams of any kind. After such an impressive performance at Nitro, future "Be Bold” speakers have big shoes to fill


“Janine’s story is remarkable and inspiring, and her message will challenge everyone in the room to rethink their lives, goals and abilities. We chose Janine to launch Nitro’s “Be Bold” speaker series, and she could not have been more perfect. We encourage our Nitronauts to dream big, believe in themselves, and to never give up - and this is Janine’s story. Janine is smart, brave, funny, an incredible human being, and a powerful speaker with a truly unique perspective on the world. I would highly recommend Janine to anyone hoping to engage and motivate teams of any kind. After such an impressive performance at Nitro, future "Be Bold” speakers have big shoes to fill!”


We invited Janine to be a keynote speaker at our Annual Planning Day this year and the effect she had on the audience was profound. There were tears, laughter, and a palpable sense of awe. Janine inspired everyone to review their attitude and goals and showed us that nothing needs to stand in our way of our passions. She engages the audience on a personal level and really connected to each and every one. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to open our event.

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