Lisa Forrest

Former Olympian, broadcaster & author

Lisa Forrest is an Olympic swimming champion, author, media host and actor who has successfully managed change all her life.

Lisa was just fourteen when she burst onto the international swimming scene in 1978. She won the hearts of the Australian public when, with a 10,000 watt smile and a ton of personality, she participated in numerous international competitions. At just 16, Lisa Forrest captained the Australian swimming team at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

However against the background of the Moscow Olympic political storms, and with the expectations of her country on her, Lisa slipped at the start of her 200m backstroke final. The impact of her experiences led Lisa to look at what her swimming career was doing to her.

In her search for balance between the glory and hype of external success and true inner fulfilment, Lisa finally determined that an environment where "winning was the only thing" was not the real world and retired from swimming at 19, winning two gold medals at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games.

Today Lisa Forrest is an accomplished speaker whose presentations are packaged with energy, enthusiasm and inspirational stories.

In the years that followed her retirement Lisa was the trailblazer for high-profile female athletes moving from sport into the media, becoming one of Australia's most popular media figures.

In 1986 she was the first woman to front a national TV sports show as the host of Saturday Afternoon Football on ABCTV, and at just 22, became the first woman to be made full-time anchor of a national sports program. She has since hosted a range of TV and radio programs, returning to sport for Commonwealth and Olympic Games duties, including as one of the hosts of the Foxtel's coverage of the 2012 London Games.

Lisa studied acting in New York, appeared in the Network 10 drama series Medivac and starred in the David Williamson play Travelling North.

In 2000 Lisa Forrest released her first novel, Making The Most Of It which dealt with the problem of sporting celebrity, failure and self-esteem, friendships and relationships, eating disorders and drugs in sport. The book was added to the NSW Board of Studies recommended reading list for Years 7-10. In 2002, she published djmAx, in 2004, Meg Banana, and in 2008, Boycott, the story behind Australia's controversial involvement in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Lisa Forrest is many things to many people: actor, author, emcee, TV and radio presenter, interviewer, mother, Olympian. She is an accomplished speaker with a story that is not easy to categorise.

Lisa has recently combined a professional coaching course with her own life experience - chasing her own dreams in the face of enormous public expectation, drawing insight and wisdom from the best and the worst personal experiences - and created a framework for delivering successful goal outcomes for the individuals and teams she works with.

Lisa's inspirational presentations centre on the realities of winning and losing. She discusses the strength that comes from our human vulnerability and how we can turn not-so-positive experiences into valuable lessons.

Client testimonials

Many of the boys who heard Lisa speak have commented very favourably on the 'life skills' aspect of her presentation, as have mothers, telling me about their sons' reactions. Sometimes we forget that the boys need to be able to talk about their emotional lives and hear from an outsider that it is OK to have feelings. I especially thank her for that.

Newington College

ABN AMRO employees have been fortunate enough to listen to some very high calibre speakers over the last couple of years, but there is no doubt that Lisa was the most inspiring of them all. Her story, her delightful manner, her humour...what a wonderful combination. I have long been a fan, but am even more so now!


Her engagement with the audience was brilliant: she was insightful, funny, inspiring. She had the audience absolutely silent, occasionally in tears one minute, and rolling around with laughter the next.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia

Very well, from the feedback we received they were quite moved by her stories.

Matrix Planning Solutions Ltd