Annabelle Williams

Travels from: New South Wales

Paralympic Gold Medalist, OAM Recipient, Diversity Advocate and Motivational Speaker

Categories: Motivational Speakers, Olympians

Full Presenter Profile & Bio

Annabelle has played many roles over the years, including being a Paralympic Gold Medalist, international speaker, five-time world record holder, a corporate lawyer at Allens Linklaters, sports broadcaster, stunt-double for Charlize Theron, and a proud mother.

With a wealth of sporting and professional experience, Annabelle was a member of the Australian Paralympic Swim Team for eight years, later becoming the captain. She trained for six days a week while simultaneously building a highly successful and demanding professional legal career. This includes working in Paris for the Australian Trade Commission and in Washington DC as a representative of an NFL and NBA player agency, Perennial. In addition, she also served as Charlize Theron’s stunt double in Mad Max 4: Fury Road.

Annabelle has never let her disability hold her back, breaking five world records and winning numerous awards for Australia throughout her swimming career. This includes gold medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Paralympic Games.

In 2007, Annabelle was named the Bond University Sportsperson of the Year. She was also a finalist for the Australian Universities Sportsperson of the Year.

In 2014, Annabelle received a Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to sport.

Outside of swimming, Annabelle has a remarkable professional career, having worked for Allens Linklaters, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and was the Legal Counsel for the Australian Olympic Committee.  In addition, she has held advisory roles with the Australian Swimmers’ Association and the Australian Sports Foundation. Annabelle currently serves as the Vice-President of the Board of Paralympics Australia, the Chair of the Paralympics Australia Athletes’ Commission

In 2019, Annabelle graduated from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where she was selected to deliver the valedictory speech.

As a diversity advocate, Annabelle believes that a diverse society creates a more exciting and dynamic world.  She is also an ambassador for numerous organisations has partnered with Flo Health, the world’s largest women’s health platform with over 100 million downloads. Annabelle helped develop an online course on empowerment,  teaching people about developing determination and grit, overcoming adversity, learning from failure, finding connection and support, and celebrating success.

From corporate keynotes to sports conferences, Annabelle has extensive experience as a speaker. She is highly sought-after as a motivational speaker as well as a TV reporter and sports commentator. She has spoken at Stanford University in Silicon Valley, Flo Health in Minsk, Deutsche Bank, Qantas, ASIC, Citi Bank, Allianz, Allity and NBN in Australia. Additionally, Annabelle is regularly asked to commentate on major sporting competitions.

Annabelle combines playful anecdotes with valuable insights to tackle some of the biggest ideas on courage, grit, perseverance, and inclusion with boldness and humility.


Speaker Topics

Building Resilience Through Inclusion
As an athlete, corporate attorney, board director and sports administrator, Annabelle is a trailblazer in the male-dominated industries of sports and law. She was also born with a disability. Resilience is her middle name. Through personal stories, humour, and practical insights, Annabelle teaches us how to carve out your own path for success.
Empowering A Growth Mindset Through Grit and Determination
Growing up with a disability and training as an elite athlete has taught Annabelle that challenge equals opportunity. Through grit and determination, she’s realised that anything is possible. Annabelle teaches us strategies to develop a winning mindset, including identifying and leveraging opportunities and overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Unleashing Potential Through Courage and Kindness
Annabelle is a perfect example of a life defined by the courage and kindness of ‘everyday superheroes’. She has been the beneficiary of regular acts of kindness from many people - even strangers. Annabelle teaches us how giving and receiving simple acts of kindness can empower us and create a path to achieve our full potential.


Annabelle gave a very impactful, inspiring and human speech that, at the same time, was very practical as she also gave us tools to become more resilient in life and be able to face adversity better equipped. We also realized that our challenges are most of the time nothing compared to what other people have to cope with. All in all, it gave us a lot of energy and strength to fight for what we want to achieve as a company.

Celsa Group

Diversity Council Australia has been privileged to have Annabelle Williams speak at a variety of our events. She is a really engaging speaker, who is able to draw on her own experiences as well her extensive knowledge to give great insights into how workplaces can create environments that are more inclusive for all.

Diversity Council Australia

Annabelle came and spoke at our Legal Team offsite on the theme of being “fearless”. Her honest yet uplifting talk was highly engaging. She had a great sense of humour and captivated the room with stories of her challenges and triumphs, lows and highs. Annabelle spoke from the heart in a way that really inspired us all to think about what being fearless in working relentlessly towards your goals can look like, despite (or perhaps because of) life’s never-ending battles and the pursuit of overcoming them. Thank you Annabelle.


We had the pleasure of Annabelle speaking at our event. Annabelle gave a fantastic account of the challenges she faced growing up and how her steely determination and resolve led her to the take the gold medal at 2012 London Paralympics. Her talk captivated our audience with her uplifting experience, combining really valuable messages with some light hearted humour. I can certainly recommend Annabelle as a keynote speaker. She inspired me and my team that with the right mind set and attitude and with a supportive team behind you, you can achieve just about anything.


Annabelle Williams - Motivational Speakers

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