Joanna Ferrari

Business Woman, Change Agent and Keynote Speaker

JoAnna Ferrari was 53 with a successful career in business when she transitioned her gender from male to female. It was the biggest challenge she had set for herself, yet there were many more to overcome.

JoAnna tells her story to audiences around the country. In the process, she teaches people to ‘Harness the Power of Transitions' and ‘Rethink Life's Rules' in both the personal and professional spheres.

With passion and conviction, JoAnna provides strategies, models and formulas drawn from her 30 plus years as a successful business leader, combined with her incredible life experiences

More about JoAnna Ferrari:

It was during her major transition from male to female that JoAnna Ferrari learnt to draw on all her internal resources. She had to figure out how to navigate this new uncharted wilderness. She lived with uncertainty for over three years. She couldn't get work, she lived on borrowed money and time. It seemed that she and the world had all but forgotten the successful person she once was. She finally fell into a depression and her transition almost became fatal.

The final blow was dealt to her when she got to a staggering 79cents in the bank. She realised she was about to become homeless and her son, who was her only support, would have to go to the streets with her.

Joanna found her breaking point and her moment of courage in a single instance. From that day she turned the challenges that almost took her life, into a powerful comeback story.

JoAnna Ferrari speaks about:

ReThinking Life's Rules (Your Secret Self) - JoAnna clearly outlines the stages and steps to success in any transition and bridges the gap between her own gender transition and how anyone can better their life, career or business. She shares her personal journey, the dangers and challenges that transitioning presents as well as a new perspective on how to deal with internal conflict that keeps us living in fear instead of living our dreams.

JoAnna delivers key strategies for taking a team or business through change, transitions and new beginnings and how to create an incredibly diverse and inclusive culture in the process.

Growing into Greatness: Harnessing the Power of Transitions - This presentation teaches audiences that every person has greatness within them already, they just don't know how to activate the courage needed to see it through. Why? We fear the unknown - changes, transitions and the potential of failure live there. As someone who has ‘lived' many transitions, JoAnna has learnt to harness the power of every transition to grow and succeed.

She will help navigate through a set of skills and patterns, a tested formula for navigating new uncharted wilderness. A set of skills that will help reduce fear, anxiety, stress and boost confidence to move forward and reach new levels of personal greatness.

In this powerful and inspiring presentation, JoAnna outlines what she believes to be the key attributes and learnable skills that can lead to a fulfilling life, career or business. She draws on her own life's experiences and truly empowers you to change your life for the better.

Dare to Embrace Change: Champion Your Own Success - When she's not speaking, JoAnna spends her time coaching top-level executives to go their next level of professional success by teaching them how to know and control their personal mindset.

There is a next level that lets you stand in your own power, face the tough situations, make the difficult decisions, communicate with confidence and win against impossible challenges. This is what JoAnna calls "The Champions Mind". She will help develop your ability to instantaneously accessing all your resources and come up with the right response and resolutions.

Client testimonials

Jo was such a raw, powerful and wonderful speaker across our IWD series in Melbourne and Sydney. She was such a fantastic addition to our lineup - we absolutely loved having her there!

Business Chicks

JoAnna Ferrari is definitely one of a kind speaker; she will not only challenge your thinking but also make you walk away with not one, but several 'aha moments.


JoAnna was the closing speaker at our TEDxMelbourne 2016 event. She delivered the most powerful and passionate talk of the day and ended up with a well deserved standing ovation (hard to do on a TEDx stage).

Jon Yeo/ Licensee and Curator at TEDx Melbourne

In an incredible and unforgettable session with our legal team, that was simultaneously humorous and poignant, Jo scratched deep beneath the surface to help us unearth the reasons why some of us get stuck in a fixed mindset and to encourage us to persevere in the face of uncertainty and risk, and to embrace change and challenge in our careers. She has set the wheels in motion for us to embark on our own personal and professional transitions and venture into unchartered territory. Jo has forever shifted the needle in helping us to become the better version of ourselves, to be open to new opportunities in what we do day to day in the office as well as reminding us to hold firm to what we truly believe in. Highly recommended!

ANZ Legal

Dear JoAnna, on behalf of YWCA Australia I wish to extend our sincere thanks to you for presenting as a Keynote Speaker at the SHE Leads Conference. Participant’s feedback rated your presentation “Rethinking Life” as excellent and received a high number of additional outstanding comments. We felt your presentation was an excellent way to end the conference and the way you delivered your presentation kept people engaged right until the end.


I engaged JoAnna to be part of a panel discussing Homophobia and Transphobia in the workplace as part of Westpac Group's support for IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia). JoAnna was honest and open, sharing her experiences and raising awareness of overt and subtle transphobia. She is a great communicator and engages very well with her audience. We received great feedback and JoAnna was the stand out guest, with many learnings from audience members coming from JoAnna's input. I look forward continuing to work with her in the future.

St George Retail Bank