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The presentation you’re about to hear starts with the classic hero’s journey—but there is so much more to Janine Shepherd’s story.

As national champion skier, she was Australia’s brightest hope for the 1988 Winter Olympics. But a tragic accident not only cut short Janine’s future as an athlete, it nearly ended her life.

After numerous operations and six months confinement in a spinal ward, Janine went home to deal with her new life as a paraplegic. Her determination and ultimate recovery certainly defied the medical odds against her. But that turned out to be just the beginning of her remarkable comeback.

Janine’s rich life story has been featured as one of the most popular episodes of Australia’s ’60 minutes’, and ‘This is Your Life’. She’s authored six books, the first of which–Never Tell Me Never–became a feature lengthfilm. Janine’s TED talk has been viewed nearly 2 million times and is ranked as a favorite on TED.com

Janine now travels the globe presenting her inspirational message based on what she calls “the defiant human spirit.” Her themes of resilience and untapped human potential motivate her audiences to overcome adversity and to tackle life’s challenges.

We are indeed fortunate to have Janine with us here today, to share her extraordinary journey with us, and to encourage us to reclaim our innate spirit of defiance.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Janine Shepherd.


To ensure Janine’s presentation at your event is a success, we require the following:


  • LCD projector for PowerPoint Presentation
  • Screen
  • Power source and/or Extension Cord
  • Lavaliere Microphone, Lapel microphone or headset microphone
  • A wireless remote to advance the videos/PowerPoint slides
  • Chair in the middle of the stage


Janine will send videos and PowerPoint prior to the event via Hightail, and will also bring a flash drive with her presentation when she arrives at the venue.


Janine typically travels alone and may require assistance. It is greatly appreciated if a volunteer could be assigned to assist her during his time. Expectations include:

  • If there are stairs up to the stage, Janine will require help after she is introduced.
  • Assisting Janine with product sales (books). *This entails collecting the appropriate fee, distributing the product, and providing the attendee with the receipt.
  • Due to the long distances Janine typically travels, she likes to arrive the day before the event and stay overnight after the event.
  • Depending on the timing of her talk, she usually requires 2-3 nights accommodation.

Questions? E-mail david@janineshepherd.com.


Janine typically travels alone and may require assistance at the venue. It is greatly appreciated if a volunteer could be assigned to assist her during his time with you. Expectations of the volunteer include:

If there are stairs up to the stage, Janine will require help after she is introduced. Assisting Janine with product sales (books). *This entails collecting the appropriate fee, distributing product, and providing the attendee with the receipt.

Due to the long distances Janine typically travels, she likes to arrive the day before the event and stay overnight after the event. This ensures she recovers and gives her very best performance for the event. Depending on the timing of her talk, she usually requires 2-3 nights accommodation. Have questions? E-mail david@janineshepherd.com


Janine Shepherd is an inspirational speaker and writer whose books have become classics in the survivor genre. A champion cross-country skier in training for the 1988 winter Olympics, Janine’s life changed forever when she was hit by a truck during a bicycle training ride in the Blue Mountains of Australia.

Doctors warned her parents that—even if she somehow miraculously survived her massive injuries—Janine would almost certainly never walk again. After a risky procedure to rebuild her shattered vertebra, and almost six months flat on her back in a hospital spinal ward, Janine came home to heal. With the promise of a career as an elite athlete now gone forever, Janine faced a daunting recovery and an uncertain future.

Struggling to rehabilitate with permanent disabilities, Janine rekindled her defiant spirit in a dramatically improbable way. Sitting outside in her wheelchair one day and watching a small plane fly overhead, she declared, “That’s it! If I can’t walk, I’ll fly!”

Still encased in a full body cast, Janine had to be lifted into an aircraft for her introductory flight lesson. But within a year she had defied the odds and succeeded in gaining her private pilot’s license. Her talent and skill as a pilot subsequently earned Janine a commercial pilot license and ultimately, her flying instructor’s rating. She then decided to learn to fly upside down, and finally, to teach aerobatic flight to other pilots.

Janine went on to succeed not only as a professional pilot but also to attain her University degree, raise three children and author several best-selling books.

Her remarkable life story ultimately captured the interest of a prominent film company, which produced the feature length movie, aptly titled Never Tell Me Never.

In recognition of her service to the community and her tireless efforts in raising awareness for spinal cord research, Janine was awarded the Order of Australia, her nation’s highest honor. She is an ambassador for Spinal Cure Australia and Red Bull’s “Wings for Life” and a contributor to Deepak Chopra’s workshops. Janine’s story has been featured on 60 Minutes, This is Your Life and CNN’s Turning Points with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Her inspirational and emotional TEDx talk, “A Broken Body Isn’t a Broken Person,” has been viewed almost 2 million times.

She was recently named as an “Architect of Change” in Maria Shriver’s “Sunday Paper” Her latest book, “Defiant: A Memoir” was published for worldwide distribution by SoundsTrue®.

Janine lives in Wyoming, USA but is frequently traveling the globe delivering keynotes and her inspirational message of “defiance.” For more information, visit janineshepherd.com.

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