Catherine DeVrye

Business Leader, Author & Keynote Speaker

Catherine DeVrye delivers the energy of Gen Y and the experience of a baby boomer. She is a best selling author, winner of Australian Executive Woman of the Year and a Thought Leader. A former IBM executive, Catherine held roles in sales, marketing, communication and management development; and spent two years in Tokyo as Asia Pacific Headquarters Human Resource Manager.

Catherine has delivered presentations on five continents to clients including Fortune 500 companies, government, small business and associations.

Voted Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year in 1999 and 2010, Catherine DeVrye brings the latest theory and research to life through practical, common sense examples customised to reflect your event theme. In dynamic presentations to board level or front line staff, she combines substance with humour to inspire, motivate and serve as a catalyst for others to strive to achieve the best in themselves and their organisations.

Catherine DeVrye is a best-selling author of many non-fiction books, translated into over a dozen languages, including... Hope Happens! Words of Encouragement for Tough Times; Hot Lemon & Honey... Reflections for Success in Times of Change; The Customer Service Zoo; Japan, an A-Z Guide; Sports Marketing & Promotion and Good Service is Good Business... 7 Strategies for Success, which was a # 1 best seller in Australia and Taiwan.

Catherine's book Paper Clips Don't Grow on Trees (2010) was endorsed by none other than Dr Edward deBono. Her autobiography, Who Says I Can't? was first released by Random House and nominated for the Australian National Biography Award. It was published in North America by McArthur Press as Serendipity Road... a Memoir, with a quote on the cover from Bryce Courtenay that read, 'story of hope and perseverance - when's the movie?' Other high profile achievers who have endorsed her books include Sir Edmund Hillary and Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Catherine DeVrye has also co-authored other books and corporate histories

More about Catherine De Vrye

Catherine's heart warming personal story began with growing up in an orphanage in Canada and has included a battle with cancer. A keen sportswoman and adventurer, she's bicycled over the Andes, scaled peaks in the Antarctic and climbed 20,000 feet to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Catherine DeVrye is a former board member of the third largest police service in the world and a past CEO of Junior Achievement Australia. When working for the Ministers of Consumer Affairs, Education and Sport, she was involved in the establishment of the Life. Be In It fitness campaign.

Catherine featured in the Who's Who of Australian Women, and has been honoured as an Australia Day Ambassador and as Olympic Torch bearer on the day of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

All this and yet she still believes that the biggest challenges of all... are those we face in our everyday lives - as we adopt a positive attitude in the face of adversity.

Catherine DeVrye talks about

Catherine customises presentations to your conference theme and needs. Alternatively you can choose one or more of the following sample topics to enable your key messages to be communicated:

Good Service Is Good Business

  • 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
  • Make minor improvements which make major impacts

Conquering the Challenge of Change

  • Change is inevitable. Learning from change is optional
  • The 7 most expensive words in business - 'We have always done it that way'
  • Turn common sense into common practice
  • Build on past success but recognize that success today doesn't equal success tomorrow
  • Be victors from change rather than victims of change

Success - Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Catherine tells her inspirational life story from her early days in an orphanage in Canada, to an education in the USA and on to take up an international career with IBM in Japan and to be awarded the Australian Executive Woman of the Year. Incorporating analogies from cycling over the Andes and climbing mount Kilimanjaro, participants are reminded not to make mountains out of molehills as she delivers the following key messages:

  • 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

Client testimonials

I didn't realise learning could be so much fun. Best presentation I've ever seen at IBM.


We had an all time record year and I’m confident you contributed to this


Thank you for your wonderful presentation on simple strategies that would create a profound impact in our future business transactions. Your presentation opened our eyes to our limitations and indeed we believe that our paradigms have shifted to a higher plateau. The standing ovation that was accorded at the end of your delivery surely spoke volumes of the quality and dynamism of your presentation.


Our audience commented on your articulate skills as a speaker and comprehensive knowledge about stress.

Australian Health Communicators Association