Stephanie Speck has had a fascinating career, working in more than 23 countries across the world. While she was a soprano diva early in her career, Speck soon shifted gears and became a first responder during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. Her passion for development work in change communication and crisis response took flight.
She has since built her career working on some of the world’s most complex issues, including advocacy initiatives for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tune in to learn more about Speck’s deep curiosity, the insights she’s gained and where she believes communicators can make the biggest difference when solving today’s most pressing challenges.
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When Stephanie Speck was nine, her parents moved the family to Papua New Guinea. After witnessing a tribal fight near her school at an early age, Stephanie learned a clear lesson: ‘Violence is never the solution. War doesn’t fix things.’ Since then, Stephanie has lived and worked in more than 20 countries, accumulating almost 25 years’ experience as a strategy and communications adviser, supporting democratic reform in fragile and conflict-affected settings.
Stephanie’s expertise includes the design and programming of cross-government reform strategies, strategic communication and advocacy initiatives; public policy development; resource mobilisation and external relations, government public affairs and crisis communications.
Stephanie has launched TV channels, was Deputy Director of the first Palestine Investment Forum, led a US$1billion governance reform portfolio in Afghanistan, developed maternal health campaigns in the Vietnamese/Chinese border regions, worked to eliminate family voting in Albania, reported on disasters – earning the Australian Humanitarian Award for her work post the Indian Ocean tsunami, and has held several high-level public diplomacy and spokesperson roles.
Stephanie has returned to live and work in Australia after three years leading communication and advocacy initiatives for the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, in Geneva. She was currently the Chief Communications Officer for the Department of Education and Training, in Victoria, Australia.
Her biggest communication challenge in recent years has been explaining to her 10-year old daughter a world in which a President Trump can be elected, and Yemen ignored.