Welcome To My World
In Australia I’m known as a multi-award winning social entrepreneur, but I prefer to see myself as an unstoppable messenger of love and human potential. Join me on my mission to gain collective participation in conversations that offer new possibility and new vision; let’s turn up the love
It’s pretty rad and magical to connect with you.
When I was 18 years old, I established a Not-for-Profit and grew it to sustainability, while completing two National speaking tours. I was a finalist for the Young Australian of the Year at 20 years old, and listed as one of Australia’s top 100 most influential women at 21, shortly after taking out the Pride of Australia Medal. I’ve made the front cover of The Financial Review, the Yellow Pages and featured in a documentary aired on prime-time national television.
I’m a fierce ambassador for mental health, innovation and connection after recovering from my own terrifying lived experience with anorexia nervosa through my teenage years. I’m currently the Chief Executive Officer The Rogue & Rouge Foundation, and recently completed three terms as the youngest Commonwealth Commissioner for Mental Health.
In my career so far, I’ve facilitated workshops and presentations with over a quarter of a million Australians. I’m a skilled and experienced motivational speaker and facilitator, developing my own facilitation methods early on in my career, which continue to evolve. I draw upon 10 years of theatre training as the basis of my facilitation style.
I feel Australia has a lot to learn in the way of innovation and community-connectedness; much of our population lacks spiritual education and awareness and personally, I feel this a significant contributor to our high-rates of suicide and mental illness.
In 2016 I completed my first international speaking tour; speaking at institutions like Oxford University and The Anna Freud Centre. In my travels through Europe, the USA and Central/South America, I noticed how our universal need remains the same regardless of our physical circumstances. When people are provided a space to explore themselves safely, and find the opportunity to be held with love and acceptance; this equates to the biggest breakthroughs.
I truly feel there’s only one way to change the world; and that’s to transform ourselves. To connect to that deep part of you that realises your greatest potential, and understands your responsibility to give back to the world as the fullest expression of yourself.
I’d love for you to reach out and be a part of the change I’m leading. Where are you from? Let’s hook up and change the world together.
Peace amigos x
An Insight Into My Work
What I do
Want to gain a better insight into my work? Watch my video to gain a better understanding.
Queensland Mental Health Week Youth Award Winner 2017
Queensland Young Achiever Award Winner in Leadership 2016
Face of Sensis, Community Star 2015
Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur of The Year Finalist 2015
Financial Review’s 100 Top Most Influential Women 2015
ANZ’s Young Manager of the Year Nominee 2014
Pride of Australia Inspiration Medalist 2014
Young Australian of The Year Finalist 2014
Foundation for Young Australian’s Young Social Pioneer 2012
Youth Citizen of the Year 2012
CEO/Founder of The Rogue and Rouge Foundation
CEO of Startup Apprentice
Australian Commissioner for Mental Health
It was such a privilege to have Nicole visit our community. She has absolutely left such an imprint on those who were lucky enough to soak up her wisdom. I cannot speak highly enough of this young woman, she has truly inspired myself, our workplace and our community.
Nicole was absolutely unwilling to accept the status quo. Unwilling to accept ‘that’s just the way things are’. She was going to change it. She embodies unstoppable. I felt my cynicism dissipating and my own passions fire up in the presence of her love and compassion for humanity, and her grab-your-sword warrior-hood for people having a voice and loving their lives. I’ll have what she’s having. Wow!
Being in the same room as Nicole Gibson was being in the presence of a Big Bang. Not only the room, but the world seemed bigger and continued to grow bigger around her. The rawness and realness of this misleadingly petite woman was a bombshell. Shocking because it’s so rare!
I’m not sure how to start this but I’ll just start with saying thank you. Today was the first day where I realised that I can consciously control my thinking, and isn’t that a crazy thought? Seeing you as a living, breathing example of someone who went out and accomplished dreams that were deemed ‘unrealistic’ is truly refreshing. Your talk was so riveting I did a little dance after – I am this able bodied human with so much potential! I have limbs! And a brain! And I am aware! And I can do things with these limbs and this brain and actually accomplish things and change self-sabotaging thinking. I was so inspired and moved, as if something actually dislodged itself inside me, and that is a sacred, sacred feeling – to think I can really be the best version of myself is a little scary but motivating.
Nicole Gibson wants to make a change; she is determined to make a real difference. Through her personal experience she understands exactly the change she needs to make. Nicole is able to carefully dissect situations and provide me with a myriad of answers that propels me into new areas of thinking, not just about mental health but about the human condition. I always walk away with my thoughts reeling – not often an individual has this effect on me. Knowing what Nicole has been through, and the application of her unique way of thinking, makes it obvious why she has been so successful in getting to where she is today.
Your talk moved people to tears. There was a shift in my thinking after your presentation. Your inspirational words woke up the entire room to how our current response to mental illness is not working. What I took home was the current system needs tweaking. Every mental health worker should have training from you to see the illness for what it is; no stigma, just love.
I was so inspired listening to Nicole’s story. To realise that someone the same age as me had achieved so much made me believe that I too could reach my goals, and kick started me to be where I am today. Nicole speaks with such a high degree of passion, she makes you a part of her story, and feeds you her message. I feel so honoured to have been a part of Nicole’s audience, and often share her incredible words with others I meet.
It’s important you resonate with who I am before considering embarking on a journey together… let me introduce myself.
BE REMINDED THAT WE HAVE THE POWER TO CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE SOMETHING NEW, VISIONARY AND BOLD AT ANY MOMENT, FOR OURSELVES AND OUR COMMUNITIES.
Growing up I had the world at my fingertips. Attending an excellence school for the arts; I majored in theatre whilst pursing modelling and fashion styling. An insufferable perfectionist, I was always trapped inside my own rigidity and ideas of “wrong and right.” Excelling at a young age, and finding myself in elitist groups, I could never quite grasp my own opportunities or potential. I always felt like a slave to the voice inside my mind that would tell me “you are not good enough.” Spiraling me invisibly into an internal war and engaging in self-destructive behaviours that were not known by anyone on the outside. At 16, and on the fringes of my own emotional, mental, spiritual and physical breakdown, my school principal called an intervention.
Diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, extreme amount of anxiety and disassociative tendencies, I was falling deeper and deeper into the dark. My extremely low body weight made me feel like I was walking through life in a haze; nothing was ever clear, and I never felt fully ‘there.’ Amazing opportunities were centimeters in front of me, yet I could never quite grasp them, because of my own inability to love myself.
Recovery was a long journey; being forced to look at aspects of myself at a young age, that I believe some people never face. I believe it when people say “you must know your demons, before you understand your angels.” Suffering liberated me, as I began to understand wholeheartedly that fear is not real; that love is the only true healer; and that we are the masters of our own destiny.
Inspired to make a difference in the world, awakening to the pain many of us feel daily, I founded my first organisation; The Rogue and Rouge Foundation. Focusing on education around mental and emotional health, alongside giving communities the tools and frameworks to build strong and connected structures. Within the first two years of founding the organisation, I spent over a year and a half living in a van travelling to 300 communities around Australia delivering workshops and presentations; through both the desert and the cities. This was far removed from my privileged upbringing. It was in the letting go of everything I knew, that I found freedom, that I found peace, that I first truly met me.
An article I wrote in reflection of my learnings is featured on the United Nations Website.
I discovered many things working with over 75,000 people in that time alone. Through all the stories I heard, there were many common themes, manifesting in different ways. I began to see our basic human needs were not dependent on our social class, financial situations, education, opportunities, or culture. I discovered that there is far more of what makes us the same than what separates us. Our primal need for acceptance and belonging, is the sole motivator in so many of our lives and we cannot move into operation from our potential unless we’ve discovered some sort of self-acceptance, and belonging in the world.
Upon returning, my team and I began writing programs based on our discoveries – that connection is the single most important thing we can learn. Instead of perceiving connection as a given, personally I believe, we need to begin seeing connection as a skill. Comprising of the following ingredients; understanding of vulnerability, expression, emotional awareness, conflict resolution and mindfulness.
I began to become an influential figure in the health space, being a leader of innovation and humbly accepted a role on the National Mental Health Commission as the youngest commissioner ever appointed by the Commonwealth. I believed that I could change the system from the inside, yet the more I worked within systems, the more I began to see systems for what they were. I started to understand that systems were not responsible for breeding apathy, like I once believed. It was in fact the humans within them, harbouring an inability to take responsibility for change. Blaming the structures they worked within for everything, declaring “I can’t change things, because the system won’t allow it!”
The truth is, the systems aren’t real; the humans within the systems are the determinants of how things are. The agreed policies and procedures that made “the system” were created by people. Everything comes back to people, and their relationships to one another.
What I know, unarguably, is that change will never be effected until we, as individuals, master our internal worlds. It’s people’s lack of awareness that lead to poor decision making and ineffective processes and strategies. If we can master our internal world, we will then have a mastered external world.
To get to this place of self mastery, there is profound and crucial realisation:
That we choose everything.
That choice is the only thing that constructs our realities.
Work with me to begin awakening to the choice you have in each moment. Mastering your choice, and having a solid foundation in which to formulate your choices, you will begin reaching new levels of conscious awareness and mastery.
CEO of R&R
R&R is a charitable organisation that financially supports young people through the recovery of mental health challenges, as well as working in schools to empower young people. I started this organisation on my 18th birthday after my own experience of anorexia nervosa.
CEO of Start Up Apprentice
SUA is designed to equip 1,000,000 young minds with the essential entrepreneurial mindset skills needed for their future working life. We want to provide schools with a method to introduce 21st Century Project Based Learning to their students by complementing the current curriculum. We want to introduce technology based skills to students and promote collaboration and sharing of skills between experienced entrepreneurs, university students and school aged students.
Commissioner of Mental Health
At 21 years old I was elected to be Australia’s Commissioner of Mental Health. The Commission’s main objective is to give mental health and suicide prevention national attention, to influence reform and to help people live contributing lives by reporting, advising and collaborating.