The transcript of Kate’s Graduation Address when she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education degree by The University of Western Australia for ‘outstanding services to education and community’ underpins the philosophy of what she does.
You can read it HERE
Watch Kate’s speech to The Explorers Club, Australian and New Zealand Chapter (July 2018) HERE
To book a presentation or public speaking engagement with Kate Leeming please contact us today.
Presentations are adapted to audience requirements. (Corporate, sports clubs, schools and interested groups.)
Inspiration, mentoring, making a difference
As an explorer/adventurer, Kate has cycled the equivalent of twice around the world at the Equator. On August 16th 2010 she became the first person to cycle an unbroken line from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly point, from Pointe des Almadies, Senegal to Cape Hafun, Puntland, Somalia.
Crossing 22,040 km over ten months, Kate’s Breaking the Cycle in Africa Expedition was not only a physical quest but an odyssey to highlight the development needs and activities of war-torn and poverty-stricken nations. Cycling through twenty countries, Kate aimed to find out what is being done to give a ‘leg up’ rather than a ‘hand out’ – to shine a positive light on the issues, cultures and geography of Africa.
Kate has two previous world firsts under her belt – the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) when she became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported (aiding the children of Chernobyl), and the 25,000km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (2004/05) which included the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman.
Kate’s latest challenge, Breaking the Cycle South Pole, will result in the first bicycle crossing of the Antarctic continent via the South Pole (2019-20). The expedition outreach projects will serve to build on Kate’s commitment to contribute towards ending extreme poverty and education.
The Breaking the Cycle education programme aims to help prepare our future leaders to make informed decisions to create a better world. This will be achieved via a series of learning modules and a feature documentary. Kate has also partnered with YGAP (Y Generation Against Poverty). Money raised by the Breaking the Cycle project will go towards ventures in Kenya and South Africa that support and improve access to education.
In March 2016 The University of Western Australia awarded Kate an honorary Doctor of Education degree for community service. She is a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society (UK), a member of The Explorers Club (New York), an ‘Endorsed Supporter’ of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and a Scout Ambassador.
In 2014, Kate’s documentary ‘Njinga’ won two awards at the Action on Film International Film Festival in Los Angeles – best cinematography and best documentary (sport). ‘Njinga’, Kate’s second book, complements the documentary; her first, Out There and Back, chronicles the Australian expedition.
In between expeditions, Kate works as a real tennis professional. She has won 5 Australian Open singles titles and been ranked as high as world number 2.
Kate’s story is about creating projects from her passions, staying focused and following each challenge from a ‘DREAM’ through to its completion. She shows through her adventures and sporting achievements that we have the power to overcome obstacles and achieve our goals through perseverance, determination and commitment.
Kate adapts her presentation to inspire and motivate a wide variety of audiences which to date have included: keynoting for UNESCO in Paris and Australia, speaking to corporate audiences, schools, sporting groups and sustainability/environmental organisations. Kate’s stunningly illustrated presentations and expeditions have inspired several others – school students and adults – to create and successfully perform their own challenges and projects.
• Breaking the Cycle The story of the expedition
• True MADness (Making A Difference) A greater focus on poverty-related issues within the story
• Delivering Your DREAMs A focus on goal setting and planning within the story:
… Identifying and developing core values; … The skills required to stay focused and adapt dreams or goals to changing circumstances; … “How do we get there?” rather than “What will stop us?” Upholding a positive attitude, developing resilience and finding solutions
Some happy audiences
‘Thank you for the wonderful address you gave last night. I think we were all inspired and stunned, in equal measure!’
Professor Helen Wildy, Dean, Faculty of Education, The University of Western Australia
‘It was a privilege to hear your remarkably courageous and inspirational story. It was a lovely surprise to get such a unique and magical insight into Africa.
Feedback from the group was universally exceptional.’
Tim Steele, Director, AMP Horizons
‘…But it is not just her achievement which is extraordinary, she is a very gifted speaker and has a great talent at homing in on the small detail to get across the enormity of her undertaking. Her tale, the way she tells it, is both funny and moving…’
Carol Wilson, Managing Director, Performance Coach Training (UK)
‘A few weeks ago, Kate came to Genazzano to speak to the year 8, 11 and 12 girls about her incredible adventure through Africa. She showed us that no matter how big or unusual your dream may be, with the right attitude, you can turn your dream into your reality, just like she did. Many girls left with the motivation to reach for their goals, all thanks to Kate. She is an inspirational woman, and we hope we can follow in her footsteps by reaching for our goals.’
Lucynda Tomaino, Year 11, Genazzano College
‘Kate is a remarkable woman with a fascinating and inspiring story to tell. Not only has Kate achieved so much in her physical endeavours, she is also able to capture a very mixed audience’s attention as she relived her experiences with them. No cheap easy victory hers, but a triumph of hard work (very hard work!) and planning. At a business and personal level she is inspiring, showing that it often requires tenacity and sometimes sheer repetition (doing it right time after time) to achieve greatness. This she mixes with philanthropy and education; a compelling mix. As we all laughed and gasped at her accomplishments, we all came away with the feeling that life is for living.’
Charles Foster, Director, Animal Hospitals of Australia