John Coutis

Internationally renowned inspirational speaker

John 'JC' Coutis is an exceptional person. Born with a severe disability that rendered him a double amputee, John defied medical opinion by refusing to die. Today he gets around on a skateboard and travels the world inspiring tens of thousands of adoring fans to block out the negatives and be the best that they can be.

In 1994 John was the Australian Disabled Table Tennis champion, just missing selection for the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Team. He was also the first person with a major disability to play indoor cricket in Australia, and has played grade cricket for the famous Bankstown Club, home of Australian cricket legends the Waugh brothers.

When John was a guest speaker at the 1997 World Masters of Business Seminar he shared the day with some of the world's foremost international speakers such as Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, Lee Iacocca, Stephen Covey and Brian Tracey. John was the only speaker to receive a standing ovation from the 12,000 strong audience.

John has spoken to over a million people throughout corporate and community Australia and several million people overseas including on tours of Hawaii, USA, Mauritius, South Africa, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Taiwan and Inner Mongolia. He's also spoken in more than 170 cities throughout China where audiences often number between 15,000 and 35,000 people.

Corporate Australia draws on John regularly. For many corporations, creating a culture of creativity and positivity is an ongoing challenge. Assisting them to be leaders in their field and the community is one of John's key interests. Australia Post, Telstra, Channel 9, Westpac, NSW Rural Fire Service, McGrath Partners, Roche Group and AHG Automotive Group are just some of his corporate clients.

John Coutis has inspired and motivated some of Australia's greatest sporting icons like Samantha Riley, Susie O'Neill, the Australian Cricket team, Balmain and Parramatta Rugby League teams, the Collingwood Magpies and the NSW State of Origin League team, to name just a very few.

John was invited into the Sydney 2000 Olympic Team Village to support the Australian team and in 2001 the Australian Wallabies called on John to boost their attitudes for the final match of the series against the British Irish Lions, winning the deciding Test to secure the series for the first time in history between these two teams. Rod McQueen, John Eales and George Gregan publicly acknowledged John for getting the Wallabies over the line.

In 1999 John was invited to be part of the Australia Day Ambassador Program and has been invited back every year since. This program has been represented by some of the greatest Australians of our time. The invitation into the program is recognition of John's place in the Australian community and the impact he has made and continues to make on each individual that crosses his path.

John also plays a significant role in Australian schools and youth leadership programs and is a hit with children of all ages. He has been invited into more than 4,000 schools throughout Australia and around the world.

John and his family have featured on a number of Australian and overseas radio programs and television shows including Sports Tonight, Sports World, Wide World of Sports, A Current Affair, The Today Show and many other national and local news broadcasts.

While John Coutis considers himself most privileged to be able to impart his gifts and dynamic life experience to others, in turn he is widely acknowledged as one of the most inspirational speakers of his generation. His invaluable messages encompass respect for diversity, anti-bullying, inclusion, resilience, goal setting, tolerance, motivation, self-determination and courage.

John Coutis talks about:

  • Dealing with disability
  • Overcoming challenges & getting the best out of life
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Treating People The Way You Wish To Be Treated
  • Resilience, Goal Setting

Client testimonials

John Coutis is fast becoming the world's best-known disabled speaker. His story will zap you instantly out of any pity party you might be cultivating. Living, moving and being without legs or a wheelchair, he has developed world-class self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance. He reminds us of all of our blessings (which we take for granted) and the infinite possibilities that are before us. I recommend you to invite him to your next speaking opportunity.

Mark Victor Hansen, Co-Author, New York Times #1 Best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series

This is a gentleman whose own adversity and triumph over it, are personal inspirations to everybody. On top of this, he speaks superbly, he has a clear mind, he has a wonderful sense of humour and he's generous with his time and talents. In a world which too often dwells on the negatives, John is a young man who triumphs over them …

Alan Jones, Broadcaster 2GB

John's enthusiasm for life and his anecdotes made us all very conscious of just how much dedication and commitment it takes to climb even the smallest step of adversity. John has climbed far more than mere steps, and his strength and belief in himself will see him conquer mountains! We hope that John will be able to take his powerful message into the broader business & Australian community to help those who face a far greater barrier in life - a broken spirit. May his strength help others to rise above all obstacles.

CB Richard Ellis

In 2001 the Australian Wallabies called on John to boost their attitudes for the deciding match of the series against the British Irish Lions. Coach Rod McQueen said “here is a man (John) who has had his fair share of challenges and adversity to overcome, we learnt and took from John his belief in himself and made self-belief our theme for the deciding test match. We just believed we could do it.” The Wallabies won that deciding Test Match and the Series for the first time in its history.

Rod McQueen, former Wallabies coach

You are one of the most amazing individuals I've met in a long time! Your presentation was both thought provoking & entertaining - it made me laugh & it made me cry. My managers were so impressed they are urging me to get John back every month, so you can inspire the jobseekers to overcome adversity through determination, passion & a love for life. Once again thank you for your magnificent contribution to our National Managers' Conference 2006.

Sarina Russo Group

On behalf of the Committee of Management & Albury Central Members, I would like to thank you most sincerely for the wonderful inspiration & energy you brought to our Business Breakfast in April 2006. Your open & frank discussions relating to your life was truly amazing & very well received by all our members. I hope that we can all take some credence in your adage - IF I CAN, YOU CAN! & hope that we will all end up having a better day for it. The feedback we have received about your talk from our Members has been overwhelming - thank you once again.

Albury Central

John Coutis' story is a very powerful and inspiring one. His happy attitude and his positive outlook on life are amazing.

Beechworth Bakery