Keynote Speaking

Inspire greatness at your next conference or team offsite

Dr. Elise Sullivan brings to stage the energy and inspiration to motivate people to want to push their boundaries.

She is an expert in collaboration with a twist. Her research uncovered the Autonomy Collaboration Paradox – the key to surviving in volatile and uncertain times. As an author and keynote speaker, Elise shows how retaining, even ramping up your essential self is the key ingredient to powerful collaborations – the sort that produce seismic transformation at the personal, organisational and even system levels.

Driven to find better answers, Elise has constantly challenged the status quo. But even as a trailblazer, she has a deep understanding of the power of collaboration and how to get it without losing yourself in the process. In fact, her knowledge is grounded in real life experiences, some very personal, and some that emerged through her research.

Elise’s background as a nurse, manager, policy analyst and executive, combine to make every research breakthrough relevant to your own personal journey, and to the culture and responsiveness of your organisation. And she sprinkles her presentations with humour and practical pearls of wisdom that makes an immediate difference to her audiences.

Evidence-based and highly engaging, her presentations challenge the audience to look at their world differently and recognise the behaviours, management styles and processes that empower and disempower individuals, teams and organisations. She is an acknowledged thought leader in the nursing profession in Australia and internationally. She is a leader who inspires others to lead.

Elise’s keynotes are designed to engage and motivate people to challenge their limitations, their boundaries, and commit to making a difference in their lives and their organisations.

Laying bare the power of you

Category: Motivational

In this world of changing fortunes, the most security you will find is within yourself – not some relationship, job or organisation.

Elise challenges us to look at ourselves and our lives and ask is this all I can be – am I living my purpose? Am I being the best I can be?

This keynote will inspire people to action – it will jolt them out of complacency and reinvigorate their human need to make a difference and leave a legacy.

Elise passionately believes that we are all designed fit for purpose and our job in life is to figure out what that is and fulfill it. She believes in every individual’s power to make a difference in his or her world – and this is the essence of self-empowerment.

In this keynote Elise draws on her own research and that of others, as well as a collection of compelling case studies to crystalise the very elements of empowerment.

A summary of what you get

  • Why self-empowerment is a personal and organisational imperative
  • What self-empowerment really means
  • Lay bare your own level of self- empowerment
  • Set out practical strategies to cultivate your own self- empowerment and how to empower other.
  • Re-energise to take hold of life and shape it into the one that will let you be your best self.

Laying bare the power of nurses

Categories: Personal and professional impact

If you want to get more out of your life, your career, yourself and others, then you need to tap into your own power. But this journey of exposure can be pretty daunting and force you to look deep within your self and find that the only thing holding you back is you.

Having been ‘bought up’ as a nurse, Elise has a deep understanding of and affinity with the nursing profession and its culture. She is passionate about advancing nurses and pushing them to the forefront as the solution to the most intractable problems facing health and aged care. However, she also challenges nurses to expose and explore their own power and their tendency to disempower themselves, each other and the people they care for.

Elise is an entertaining and inspiring speaker. She talks about the boundaries and barriers that get in the way of nurses making the difference they most want to make in themselves and their world. Wherever there is a boundary, Elise pushes it. Her doctorate drove legislative, organisational and practice change – empowering nurses to operate at a more advanced and autonomous level.

Her research revealed that the key to nursing power and advancement was self-empowerment. All the training in the world, even the permission and authority granted from the highest levels will make no difference if nurses do not believe in themselves nor have the courage to make decisions and take action. This is the difference between nurses who make a difference and those who don’t.

Elise exposes revelations that translate into every area of life, into any level of organisation, government and across sectors.

A summary of what you get:

  • Explain why nursing power is needed now more than ever before.
  • Celebrate the power of nursing drawing on real case studies. Unpack the elements of empowerment.
  • Reveal the factors that disempower nurses and the nursing profession.
  • Set out practical strategies that every nurse should take to cultivate their own self-empowerment and in the process make a difference to their lives, the lives of the people they care for and the nursing profession itself.

The power of kNOw

Categories: Personal productivity

Just not enough time to get everything done?
Feeling exhausted and stressed out?
Are you wondering: Does this ever end? Is this all there is?
Why can’t I say no? Like to know how to re-balance your work and life?
Want to increase your effectiveness and you team’s productivity?


Three out of four Australians say that workplace stress is affecting their lives. The ‘simple life’ is a thing of the past. We have more choices, more resources, more information, more connections, and more opportunities. So why are we so dissatisfied? With all of this, the complexity of our lives has increased exponentially and it is no longer very clear which options to take. In fact, for much of our working lives, we do not even believe we have any option but to do it all, and do it all now!

In 2012, the Australian Psychological Society found that Australians are reporting higher levels of stress and lower levels of well-being than in the previous year. Recent figures show that stress-related absence at work is costing Australian employers about $30 billion per year. And while we know that work-related stress and being overwhelmed impairs our ability to function in all dimensions of life, we can’t give it up – work is like a drug.

The Power of No! is fast paced and invigorating.

A summary of what you get:

  • Illuminate the real costs of saying yes;
  • Reveal why you are saying yes, when you need to say no;
  • The 10 steps to finding more time and energy, to lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.
  • Re-energise with a renewed hope that you can lead a more fulfilled life, and still get all the important stuff done

Thriving on change

Category: Change


The health and aged care sector is facing unprecedented challenges in meeting growing demands from the community and government for their services. The principle drivers of these challenges are a contracting health workforce, rising costs, increasing consumer expectations and government pressure for more accountability and productivity. The fact is that these pressures are not going away — they are compounding and feeding into an increasingly chaotic environment.

It seems that every time you have finished one change project, another is starting. And you get little chance to decide whether or not you want to be part of it. It is exhausting and for many people it is terrifying, especially when they are not really clear on how it will affect them.

But the reality is, that the rate of change is increasing – so dealing with it and learning to actually thrive in this environment is the key to your own survival.

This seminar is fast paced, entertaining and enlightening. It will:

  • Uncover the drivers of change in your life, your sector and your organisation
  • Help you understand why we react to change in the way we do
  • Unpack the keys to thriving in a changing environment
  • Reveal what you need to do to drive your own change

The autonomy collaboration paradox

Category: Productivity and innovation


Elise’s research has uncovered the Autonomy Collaboration Paradox – which is vital to surviving in volatile and uncertain times such as these.

In this keynote, Elise reveals the code that will help leaders diffuse the problem facing all organisations – and that is how to unlock the productive potential of their people.

The powerful forces at play that demands every individual to expand their capabilities and willingness to contribute autonomously to powerful collaborations.

Elise has proven time and again the power of autonomous collaborations in building more resilient, responsive people, teams and organisations. She has led major changes, from changing law to clinical behaviour at the hospital workforce. Her doctorate was all about the power of individuals working in collaboration to response in emergencies and achieve massive shifts in how they work together.

A summary of what you get

  • Why the conventional wisdom around collaboration will not prepare organisations to survive in this new world
  • How taping into the unique power of the individual is our only hope for business and humanity
  • The code to unlock the power of autonomous collaborations

Take the Plunge – don’t look back

Categories: Personal development and transition

This keynote is for those who are planning their next career move – either up, across or out of their current employment. It is for those who are wanting to take control of life so that what remains counts. And it is especially for those who want to make the move, are sick of staying but terrified of leaving, and don;t know how to take the first step.

Moving from one career to the next, from one job to the next, or even into retirement are major life decisions. And it can be quite terrifying. Not only are we reliant on our jobs to pay our way, but in in our society, our jobs often define who we are.

The past few years have seen unprecedented disruptions in both the private and public sectors. Organisations that have been part of the Australian landscape since before some of us were born, have gone. Institutions that seemed immutable are changing and contracting at an astounding rate, including government departments. And this is happening all over the world, not just in Australia.

The new reality is that there is very little job security. In a world characterised by such seismic shifts in the terrain, the only thing we can really rely on with any certainty is our own skills, abilities and absolute belief that we can make these transitions regardless of what happens.

You can make this the best move you ever made. You want to be able to say “I never looked back”. But you need support, a plan and courage. This key note is fast paced, energising and assuring. Participants in a discussion with Elise will engage the new world order where ‘You Pty Ltd’ is the new economy the things that keep us stuck and stop us from making transitions successfully a framework for taking the plunge and never looking back

In this keynote, Elise gives you the inspiration and a plan to make the transition into a more fulfilling future.


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