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Warren  Macdonald

Warren Macdonald

Adventurer / Author / Motivational Speaker


Warren Macdonald’s life boundaries were redefined in April 1997 with his accident on North Queensland’s Hinchinbrook Island in Australia. Climbing to the island’s tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid thigh. Just ten months later, he climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. Read More >

In February 2003, Macdonald became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222 ft) and, more recently, in a spectacular effort requiring more than 2,800 pull-ups over four days, made history once again in an ascent of America's tallest cliff face, El Capitan. He is also the only above-knee amputee to make an ascent of Canada’s landmark frozen waterfall, the 600 ft “Weeping Wall” in Alberta.

Macdonald’s book, A Test of Will, is an Australian bestseller and the subject of the “Trapped Under a Boulder” episode of the Discovery Channel series I Shouldn’t Be Alive. His film, The Second Step, documenting the epic four-week journey to Federation Peak, Australia’s most challenging mountain summit, has been acclaimed worldwide, screening on National Geographic and winning eight international awards including Grand Prize at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.

Macdonald has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programs, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. He has written articles for CNN World Edition, Australian Geographic, Speaking of Impact and Professional Speaker. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Changing Your Perception

A Test of Will

Perception is Everything

Obstacles vs. Opportunities

Speech Topics

Next Level Quality of Care: A Patients Testimony

Healthcare workers face the fallout every day for themselves and their patients. Then when we add all the changes going on in healthcare, it’s easy to forget why you got into the healthcare profession to begin with. One of the strongest connections Warren feels with an audience is when he gets to share his patient story with those in healthcare. He has seen firsthand what work healthcare professionals do; He’s been there, on the receiving end. Warren had never even been in hospital until that night, after being rescued off of the side of a remote mountain, and then wheeled on a stretcher into your world…Ten days in intensive care, a month in the first hospital, then seven months of rehabilitation; learning how to live as a double above knee amputee. Whether you’re a front line practitioner or clinician, a caregiver, caseworker or a hospital administrator, what you do changes lives. Read More >

Warren’s story represents someone who really could feel sorry for himself but instead has pulled himself up (literally) to excel at living a meaningful and productive life. He will share his patient testimony to show how you should never forget that you make a difference in the lives of so many. His story is awe inspiring and reminds healthcare workers that they are in a position to help/hinder others, including themselves. Warren will help your maintain your belief in the human spirit that exists in each one of us! Read Less ^

Challenge of Change: Finding Opportunity in Adversity

We’ve all heard it a million times: “change is constant,” “the only certainty in life is change,” “change or perish.”  We all know it; what we need is for someone to show us how to deal with it. Macdonald’s Challenge of Change presentation will help your group realize that challenges brought on by change hold endless opportunities for innovation and personal and professional growth - that it is possible to not just survive, but to thrive despite adversity. Read More >

This presentation is designed to provide you with four outcomes: Read Less ^

  • The ability to recognize and break through mental barriers to change
  • Tools to turn change and challenge into catalysts for both business and personal growth
  • A powerful shift in thinking that will put challenges into perspective
  • A mindset that seeks solutions and opportunities

It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

Take a lesson from someone who has seen his world change on a scale few could imagine.  Waking from the operation that claimed both legs, Warren faced a whole new world and a whole new reality. Navigating such change takes courage, and the number one tool in creating our future is PERCEPTION. Read More >

We need a vision for the kind of world we want to live in. You can react with fear, apathy, or straight out denial, or you can respond from a place of possibility. We have an opportunity now to create something new; something better. But we need to see it first, and Warren Macdonald can help us form that vision for a better world.

In this keynote presentation, Macdonald shares the lessons and tools he’s used to create a remarkable life from what many would have considered a “game over” scenario. Outcomes include: Read Less ^

  • The resilience and ability to adapt to the new economy
  • A sense of responsibility leading to ownership and engagement
  • Excitement and hope instead of fear for the future
  • Creating a mindset that seeks solutions and looks for opportunities rather than obstacles amidst uncertainty

One Step Beyond: Setting and Reaching Impossible Goals

It’s all well and good to set seemingly impossible goals – the kind that has your team looking at you like you’re nuts, like this time you’ve really lost it… The solution? You need them to see what you see. You need to inspire your team to follow you; to show them what is possible when you’re prepared to go One Step Beyond: beyond ordinary, beyond conventional, and beyond perceived limitations. Read More >

This presentation is designed to provide you with three outcomes: Read Less ^

  • Reinforced understanding of the power of purpose (i.e. when we have purpose, we have an edge)
  • The ability to see obstacles as stepping stones towards our goals
  • A clear understanding of the importance of preparation in reaching your goals