Catherine DeVrye

Book Catherine DeVrye for speaking engagements & events.

Twice voted Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year, Catherine’s presentations stand the test of timeless-yet timely-wisdom. No two are ever the same and from her breadth and depth of experience, she’ll truly customise from some of the sample only points below to add value to yourconference theme.

She  is the author of the #1 best seller, ’Good Service is Good Business’and other best selling titles such as ‘Hot Lemon & Honey-Reflections for Success in Times of Change’, ‘Hope Happens!…Words of Encouragement for Tough Times’.Her autobiography, ’Hope as My Compass-Who Says I Can’t’ (Random House) wasnominated for the Australian National Biography Award and the late Bryce Courtenay, said: ‘story of hope and perseverance-when’s the movie?’ 

Named one of the top 100 Women of Influence in Australia in 2016 by the Financial Review, the past winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award is an outstanding communicator with proven international management experience in the private and public sectors.

Catherine’s books have been translated into over a dozen languages and her delightfully humorous approach to presenting serious contenthas earned her repeat business on 5 continents amongst such clients as American Express, Australian Tourism, BBC Broadcasting, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, IBM, 3M, Qantas, Red Cross, Rolls-Royce, Australian Air force, World Triathlon Championships and many government organisations.

Prior to establishing her own business, she was an executive with IBM in sales, marketing and human resources-posted as HR Manager for Asia Pacific Headquarters in Tokyo; and later responsible for their customer education, management & leadership development programs in Australia & SE Asia-so has been in your shoes as an event organiser.

Combining Gen Y energy with Baby boomer experience, Catherine has the ‘street cred’ to deliver the results you’reafter and every presentation is customised to YOURneeds!  As a conference organiser, you can select a mixture of messages from any of Catherine’s most frequently requested presentations. Draft onlyoptions might include:


Good Service is Good Business

From the #1 international best seller of the same name and ‘Paperclips Don’t Grow on Trees’, endorsed by Dr Edward De Bono, your team will learn how to: 


  • Boost your bottom line without increasing cost
  • Use service to differentiate you from your competition
  • Gain market share through exceeding customer expectations
  • Fight complacency…. Success today does not equal success tomorrow
  • Increase brand loyalty by turning complaints into opportunities
  • Combine the high tech with the high touch of people management for top results
  • Make minor improvements for major impacts
  • Create Customers for Life-and a life for yourself
    • Conquering the Challenge of Change
    • Incorporating material from her top selling books, ‘A Guide to Living & Working in Japan’ and ‘Hot Lemon & Honey…Reflections for Success in Times of Change’,with jacket endorsements from the late Sir Edmund Hillary who says ‘information in this book can lead you on the road to success’ and Jack Canfield, co-author of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, who comments: ‘full of vitamins for the mind’…your team will appreciate that:
  • Many different individual roles create one united team
  • Change/disruption is inevitable. Learning from disruption/change is optional
  • The 7 most expensive words in business are…’We have always done it that way’
  • If you treat your people like numbers, you won’t make your numbers
  • Environmental can also be economical. Eliminate waste to stimulate value.
  • Winners become victors from change-rather than victims of change
  • As stakeholder expectations change, differentiate between adding value or adding cost
  • Turn common sense into common practice

Shift happens-Resilience to Turn Obstacles to Opportunities with Humour-Attitude-Action

From her later releases, Who Says I Can’t?and ‘Hope Happens!…Words of Encouragement for Tough Times’ and The Gift of Nature-Inspiring Hope & Resilience, Catherine shares an inspirational personal story, which can be applied to our working lives. Her newt book has lessons from Mother Nature to help human nature better cope and bounce back from setbacks


  • From early days in an orphanage in Canada-to an education in the USA-to her parents dying of cancer the year she graduated from university-to arriving in Australia jobless and near penniless-to an international career with IBM in Japan-to carrying the Olympic torch, the former Australian Executive Woman of the Year and cancer survivor outlines:
  • You can’t take care of customers, staff or family if you don’t take care of yourself
  • We can’t always control circumstances but we can always control our attitude
  • Focus on what you can do rather than waste energy on what you can’t do
  • Focus on the positive to produce professional and personal success
  • Dreams take detours-and it’s never too late to re-set yours on the journey


Always in search of unique new material and Incorporating analogies from working with street kids in Vietnam, trekking to Timbuktu, cycling over the Andes, swimming from Europe to Asia, sailing to the Antarctic and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and beyond Everest Base Camp, participants are reminded not to make mountains out of molehills!  Catherine is also a co-author of the official Sydney 2000 Games Report for the IOC, has attended 5 Olympics, and carried the Olympic torch on the day of the opening ceremonies-so can weave an Olympic theme, with a powerful business message, into any presentation.



Participants will leave all sessions feeling better about themselves and their organisation.