Kathryn McEwen and Jacky Dakin

Business, Lifestyle | Health & Happiness, Motivational

Both successful business women in their own right, Kathryn McEwen and Jacky Dakin have formed a unique partnership over 15 years of working together.  They are dynamic and energetic speakers with complimentary styles and experiences which allow them to bring differing perspectives to their presentations.  As Organisational Psychologists they have a keen understanding of people and behaviour and can offer a wealth of anecdotes from their experiences with organisations and groups, both large and small.

They are leaders in their profession as facilitators and coaches and are passionate about helping people to realise their potential. Their clients range from CEOs to school students

In 2008 Kathryn and Jacky co-authored a successful book Short Poppies Can Grow: Confidence at Work and were former columnists in the Saturday Advertiser Review section writing on professional and personal wellbeing.  Kathryn has previously won the Australian Human Resources practitioner award for Excellence in HR and Jacky was a former SA finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Kathryn and Jacky present sessions on any issue relating to people at work.  Topics include:

Bridging the Generational Divide

Baby boomers dominate at senior levels in our workplaces, generally defining the culture according to their own values and perspectives.  This session blends humorous examples of how generations clash with serious advice on how to attract and retain Generations X and Y - who see the World from quite different eyes.

Living Life Optimistically

Success in work and life is not just dependent on talent and drive but also your attitude to success and failure, in other words your optimism.  This enlightening presentation explores what makes an optimist, how to become one and how you can use optimism to build self-confidence, persistence and resilience.

Confidence:  The Key to Success

Confidence is crucial in all aspects of our life – in building relationships, achieving ambitions, sports performance, parenthood and career success.  This presentation offers tips to think, act and speak confidently in times when you are nervous or anxious.  It draws on Jacky and Kathryn’s book Short Poppies can Grow: Confidence at Work - rated in Dymock’s Top 10 best sellers on its release.

Happiness:  In Search of the Holy Grail

Everybody is in search of happiness but what does this actually mean?  The Beatles told us ‘money can’t buy you love’ but neither can it buy you happiness.  This presentation draws on psychological studies into what gives us true life satisfaction.

Building Resilience for Today’s World

Resilience, or the capacity to bounce back and even thrive in pressured times, is critical in work and life today.  With higher workloads, frequent change and the hectic pace of personal lives, resilience is almost the key to survival.  As psychologists Kathryn and Jacky regularly consult with work teams, communities and parents on resilience building. 

Women at Work:  Vive la Difference

Women bring a unique set of talents to the workplace and face challenges different from those of their male counterparts.  Through their Progressive Women Program Jacky and Kathryn have worked with hundreds of women over the past 15 years to capitalise on their uniqueness and address these challenges. 

The Luck factor:  Making it Work for You

We all like to think that it’s our hard work, talent or intelligence that helps us succeed in whatever we do.  But why is it that some people have an uncanny knack of being lucky and in the right place at the right time?  Kathryn and Jacky will share with you the proven strategies of their successful ‘Luck School’ as featured on Channel 7’s Today Tonight.  Learn how to make luck work for you.

Work-Life Balance:  Managing the Juggling Act

The need for balance has become a ‘must have’ in recent years and is almost a non negotiable by Generation Y.  A balanced life is far more than flexible work arrangements though, and what it looks like is unique to each of us.  This presentation will challenge you to define what balance is for you and offer you ideas to achieve it. 

Well-being:  How to Stay on Top

Coping with the demands of everyday life has almost become a full time endeavour in these hectic times.  The need for maintaining strong health and wellbeing is critical to survival.  Jacky and Kathryn are highly skilled at working with both groups and individuals to promote better self care practices. Assess your own level of wellbeing in this informative session and take away practical tips for managing yourself and some of the challenges you are likely to meet.
Making Emotional Intelligence Work for You

Emotional Intelligence is a hot topic at the moment.  Recent research indicates that outstanding business leaders have higher levels of EI than the general workforce.  This energetic presentation will inform you on how to increase your Emotional Intelligence to your professional advantage to help you cope better in challenging work environments, build better relationships with your colleagues and gain greater job satisfaction.

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

Successful leadership today demands the capacity to build strong relationships to better manage diverse people and high-pressure situations.  While in the past we have been generally encouraged not to bring emotions to work, we know that they are fundamental to being human and denying them goes against normal functioning.  In this session you will gain insight into and practical tips on how effective leaders manage and use the energy of emotion intelligently to create positive change.

Change: Face It and Embrace It

Change occurs all around us all the time but while it can cause anxiety, at work we are expected to cope and move on.  Kathryn and Jacky are both highly experienced in helping people and organizations manage change. In this session you will learn useful strategies on how to cope with change yourself while leading others through the change process so both you and your team will benefit.


"Kathryn was a part of new direction for our annual DairySA Innovation Days as we focused on the engine room of the dairy – the people! The take home message from her sessions were that teams of people require planned maintenance, just like a vehicle, for peak performance. Kathryn was very approachable throughout the day chatting with our participants. We had a great day with over 200 dairy farmers in attendance!"
Kylie Boston - Dairy SA