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Testimonal 1

Michelle launched her public speaking business “The Sky’s the Limit” at the end of 2009. Michelle has a very keen desire to assist others to face their own obstacles with courage and perseverance, by sharing her inspirational story of recovery.

Michelle aims to give her audience hope by highlighting that if she can achieve all of her goals against incredible odds, so too can they reach any of their goals. She encourages her audience to break down their goals into tiny achievable steps and to never give up!

Michelle’s courage, perseverance, faith, determination and extraordinary strength in the face of adversity is uplifting and motivating.

Michelle has presented at schools, universities, community groups and organisations across Melbourne. Michelle has also presented at conferences and on radio.

Presentations can be customised to suit your needs. The usual format of Michelle’s presentation consists of a 15 minute verbal presentation, a 20 minute DVD presentation of Michelle’s recovery and 15 minutes allocated to question and answer time.


“I write to endorse Michelle Newland as a guest speaker for senior secondary students. As a former student of Catholic Regional College Sydenham where I teach, Michelle has given a one hour presentation on our year 11 retreats for the last 3 years. Her opening line, “It wasn’t so long ago that I was sitting where each of you are now” both focuses students’ attention and gives what she has to say an immediate relevance. When her presentation shows her getting her ATAR score, getting into her car on her 18th birthday, and making her debut, she speaks directly to the heart and mind of every senior student present in a way most other speakers can’t achieve.

Her presentation fits in beautifully with two of the central aims of our retreats. We want students leaving our retreats with the following thoughts:

1. Taking up the challenges that life presents, whatever they may be, with optimism and hope.
2. Becoming who I am and who I will be in the future is in my hands. I can decide who I will become.

She puts all she says in the context of a deep, rich and wonderful faith story, and shares the support she received and still receives from a marvellous family and parish community.

When she speaks on our retreats, she can have anywhere up to groups of 150 students (both male and female) sitting on the floor. There is not a sound in the room. There is 100% engagement. She provokes questions in the large group, and others stay behind to talk to her at the end. It is quite extraordinary. In our retreat reviews, her presentation receives the highest ranking of any of the activities we do (which include outdoor adventure and extension activities). Even the most hardened and recalcitrant students sit in awed silence and, when asked their opinion, will give their approval.

She is nothing short of inspirational. I have no hesitation in claiming that over 20 years in education, she is the best, most effective and life changing guest speaker I have experienced or organised for senior secondary students.”

Paul Reed
Catholic Regional College, Sydenham

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