Travels from: Victoria
Ultra-marathon runner and social impact champion
Categories: Adventure & Challenge, Motivational Speakers, Resilience
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
Nothing can stop Samantha Gash, who is armed with the philosophy, if you want something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
As an accomplished lawyer working for the largest international law firm in the world, Samantha traded in her heels for running shoes and went out to change the world thorough highly collaborative social impact campaigns. With true grit, unrelenting focus and the willingness to create the next best plan in the face of chaos and change, she has created lasting impact.
Samantha was the first woman and the youngest person at the time, to complete the Four Deserts Grand Slam, one of the world’s toughest endurance competitions that spans 1000kms across the hottest, coldest, driest and windiest deserts on earth.
After years of pushing her mental and physical boundaries she now uses running as a vehicle for social change through advocacy; peer to peer fundraising and integrated digital campaigns. In 2014, Samantha co-founded Freedom Runners, an initiative that combined a fundraising and awareness campaign around the high cost of feminine hygiene products for women in Sub-Saharan Africa and its link to female absenteeism in school. Over 32 days she ran 1,968kms across South Africa’s rugged Freedom Trail, navigating her way through river crossings, mountain ranges, thick bamboo and wildlife. $55K was raised for a Save the Children initiative.
In 2016, she became a Goodwill Ambassador for World Vision and used her growing platform and endurance experience to raise awareness of the barriers to quality education for Indian children. 3200kms, 77 days and $150K later, she did just that. She is featured in two award winning documentaries ‘Desert Runners’ and ‘Run India’, was a delegate for the Australia and India Youth Dialogue conference, has a publishing contract with Macmillan, is a Pride of Australia nominee and finalist in the Women’s Agenda leadership awards in the Agenda Setter Category.
In 2020 Samantha and her husband will feature in Bear Gryll's new 10 part series on Amazon Prime called 'The World's Toughest Race'. A 700km extreme adventure race in Fiji that took place in September 2019 where Samantha led a team of three men. She started the decade by launching a virtual 5km and 21.1km running event as a 100% fundraiser for the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief efforts. In 13 days the digital campaign raised over $1,100,000 with 19,000 participants in over 60 countries on every continent on the planet.
Samantha uses authentic storytelling and dramatic documentary footage to share her journey through life. She is an inspiring change leader and will guide your team through managing industry disruption and learning to become comfortable in the discomfort in an engaging and memorable way.
Samantha Gash has no problem with the spoken word. It’s not often that we hear something that is so powerful. Sam made us listen, and she encouraged us to change something small in our lives. Whether you can relate to her story or not is irrelevant. With a huge voice that pales in comparison her tiny stature, this girl makes you want to take hold of life, and run with it.
Willow & Blake
Samantha was extremely well received, and an absolute delight to have at our event. Her experiences captured the imagination of our guests, and the advice she gave based on these experiences inspired everyone. Sam was receptive to understanding the context of the event and then demographic of the audience. Sam was warm, humble and passionate, and able to adapt to her surroundings to really speak our language.
Samantha came and spoke and to say she was a crowd favourite would be an understatement! Her presentation, right from the beginning, was captivating and inspiring. It was relevant to all the business owners in the room, and you could have heard a pin drop, as they were so involved in her story. I can honestly say Samantha was up there with the best we’ve ever had. The feedback from the participants was extremely positive and I wouldn’t hesitate to book Samantha again or recommend her to anyone looking for an amazing speaker.
Such an inspirational story that brought tears to many people’s eyes. Sam is a great speaker and has an extraordinary story to tell. She spoke about her physical and mental preparation & how she prepared for the unknown and there were many messages and takeaway tips for our people. I would not hesitate to recommend Sam.