SPEAKER Profile: Marie De Meyer

Marie de Meyer has a varied, vibrant and colourful career history. From her early days as a teller in a bank, an estate agent and a retail broker, she advanced to advising the Minister of Trade and Industry on a range of issues and assisting Nelson Mandela in acquiring his law degree.

Marie, passionate about the law and committed to justice, is a practicing advocate and an acting judge of the High Court of South Africa.

Marie has faced, and overcome, many tragedies, adversities and traumatic events in her life. Adopted at a very young age, Marie then suffered the premature death of her beloved adoptive mother. She has experienced extreme loss through suicide, drug addiction and divorce. Having been the victim of both sexual harassment and gender inequality in the work place, Marie has championed women’s rights in her workplace and beyond, and continues to do so by sharing her learning, her knowledge and her wisdom. Having vanquished her own demons, Marie is always eager to share her story in the hope that others may be inspired to change their own adversity into opportunity. Marie has a deep compassion for humanity and is always keen to listen to and learn from other peoples’ triumphs and achievements. She continues to push the boundaries and challenge the norm. At the age of 43 she decided to take up karate and by the age of 51 she acquired her third dan and is currently working towards her fourth. She is an insightful and tenacious speaker and her storytelling is both humorous and engaging, inspiring others by demonstrating that one needs to be a human doing to become a human being.

Marie draws on all of her life experience to entertainingly talk about the importance of individuality in a team, be it a family, a church, a business, a community. She highlights the importance of ones’ participation by identifying and executing ones’ role to ensure a formidable team. She will leave the audience with a true understanding that adversity should not stunt your personal growth and, through embracing the team and performing as a linchpin, endless opportunities will follow.