Travels from: New South Wales
An author, illustrator, and public speaker, passionate about resilience, well-being and happiness
Full Presenter Profile & Bio
Matthew Johnstone is an accomplished author and speaker who has given talks all over Australia and the UK.
The recipients of his talks have been schools, community groups, corporations, hospitals and places of industry. He has been the keynote speaker at various fund raiser events and workshops.
Matthew has written and illustrated six books, four of which have been best sellers.
His speaking career began after the release of his second book ‘I Had a Black Dog’ published in 2005 by Pan MacMillan Australia. Although this book deals with his battle in overcoming depression – his talks are inspiring odyssey of hope, resilience, the path
to happiness and what can be learnt from coming through adversity.
Matthew spent 15 years as an award winning creative in advertising, working in Sydney, San Francisco and New York. He has combined his career of communicating simply and effectively with his life story. His talks are accompanied by highly visual slides both photographic and illustrated. There are no graphs or pie charts this is purely a visual, inspiring and often humorous journey.
Matthew also works as the Creative Director of the Black Dog Institute developing various creative, educational programs on understanding mental health, mood disorders, mindfulness and resilience for schools and the work place.
Matthew’s desire for those who hear him speak are to leave inspired to:
- Communicate more openly and effectively both at home and work
- To strive towards living more authentically
- To be more mindful and present
- To be inspired to create more purpose in their lives
- To be motivated to work towards what makes them genuinely happy
- That good can come from bad if we’re open to learning from the experience
Matthew has many different talks for different needs and groups, he is just as happy talking to teenagers as he is to the Reserve Bank.
Being Mentally Healthy
In Australia, one in five people will struggle with mental health issues each year. The collateral damage from this is, adversely affected relationships, difficulty with work, productivity, self esteem, drug and alcohol problems to name a few. It is not only tough for the sufferer but can severely impact significant others such as partners, children, friends, colleagues and business. Sadly we only truly appreciate our mental or physical wellbeing after we lose it. So Matthew has created several talks around what it means to be mentally healthy. These talks are created to inspire a positive conversation about what mental health is, what it means to us, recognising symptoms when things go wrong, help seeking, how to reach out to others and how look after yourself.
If you were to see a psychologist or a Buddhist monk complaining of a busy mind there is a fair chance that they would recommend you look into mindfulness. There are many misconceptions about what this is and in a nut shell it is simply about paying attention to where you are, what you are doing, how you are feeling and what you are thinking. It is about observing situations, thoughts, feelings without engaging, chasing, changing or fighting them. So much of how we see life is driven by how we feel, how we think and how we react. Mindfulness allows us to step out of the stats quo and see things for what they are. Capturing Mindfulness is a lateral, creative approach to being NOW HERE as opposed to being NOWHERE.
Quiet the Mind: If your soul aches take a moment
Meditation is one of the greatest ways we can give our over worked grey matter bit of a buffer from everyday life. Meditation does not solve the worlds problems but it can certainly help decrease stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, ease pain, improve metabolism. Not only that but it can make us calmer, happier, feel more engaged, more productive and it helps us be more present. This is a no nonsense, non cosmic, easy to understand guide which is accompanied with stunning visuals.
Stressed Spelt Backwards is Desserts: Some sweet ideas on how to bring some calm into your life
Harvard researchers have found that 75 – 90% of visits to the doctor are caused by stress. In the old days stress was vital for fending off a sabre tooth tiger or an invading tribe. It literally helped us fight or flight. In modern day society a little stress helps us stay focused, do a good job and to turn up, but sadly we are currently more stressed than ever and too much stress can become harmful. We cannot stop relationship, work, financial or emotional stress but we can certainly change how we respond and deal with those triggers. This is an inspiring, research and evidence based talk put together with the help of clinical psychologist Dr Michael Player on how we can create more calm within our busy lives.
The Alphabet of the Human Heart: The A to Zen of life
Based on the book The Alphabet of the Human Heart by Matthew and James Kerr. A is for Adventure. B is for Balance. C is for Compassion. D is for Daring and so forth. This uplifting talk is all about how we can get the most out of life while discovering who we are and what our core purpose is.
Tough and Up: The art of building resilience
It is fair to say that we all set out in life with the hopeful expectation that everything will turn out OK, but life does not always go to plan. It is not to say that we should look at life with a sense of endless foreboding but more; we should greet each day as an opportunity. It is about owning problems, not your problems owning you. It is about acknowledging and accepting what may not be working in your life while putting your energies into what is. Do we stay down or do we get up again? Are we a victim or a survivor? Do we become stuck or do we grow and learn from an experience. The upbeat messages and imagery will resonate long after the talk is over.