Karen McCarthy

Cultivating Courage

Cultivating Courage

Karen McCarthy will engage and inspire your audience with her incredible story of survival and success against the odds. She shares the life hacks she has learned to overcome obstacles and to reach goals that might seem unattainable to the rest of us. Karen speaks with grace and humour about going in for a routine spot of brain surgery only to come out from the fog of multiple procedures that saved her life but left her physically devastated and permanently blind with scars for which she could not account.

Over the following months and years, Karen learned how to read braille and walk with the aid of a white cane. Dedicating herself to rebuilding physical and mental strength, Karen leveraged the analytical skills she learned as a criminal lawyer and engaged the support of loved ones and professionals to help her confront the many challenges. Karen talks about the humour, humility and creativity that have helped her master the art of applying toothpaste to a brush she couldn’t see, to making jelly blind, and to fight her way back to work as a lawyer with one of the state’s premier criminal justice agencies. All the while renegotiating the terms of her relationships as a wife, mother, daughter, friend and community member.





Teacher, Loreto College

"Your confidence in speaking to such a large group was clear and the students were able to engage with your message easily, no easy task when speaking to a group of 50 twelve-year-olds!”

Adjunct Associate Professor, Brisbane

 “I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for having the courage to speak yesterday. I feel very fortunate to have heard your inspirational story. Thank you.”

Intelligence specialist

"I enjoyed your presentation and I took away a lot of messages which I know will benefit my own mental and physical health. Thank you for expressing your vulnerability and sharing with everyone."

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Connect with me on LinkedIn to follow my journey and my thoughts on various daily challenges that can occur in our lives.

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