Keynote Speaking Engagements


Karen Maher is one of Australia’s leading Australian work health and safety consultant and keynote speaker.

Specialising in enhancing workplace culture and the reduction of psychosocial risks and hazards, such as bullying, harassment and sexual harassment, it is clear when you see her in action, this is her area of expertise.

Karen presents at conferences and panels to boards of directors, management teams including senior leaders, and employees, across Australia and internationally. Karen’s legal background coupled with a desire to make workplaces happier and safer, is what inspires so many people to want to make changes after seeing one of Karen’s keynotes.

Keynote topics 

Below are Karen’s current keynote topics which are often a good starting point to work with to develop a customised session for your particular audience that align with your organisational goals.

Throughout the presentation Karen will weave through plenty of pivotal case stories from her experience in this area as a lawyer, consultant and investigator, in both Australia and the UK, in order to ensure that the content resonates with the audience. This is a key element of her keynotes that attendees appreciate, and is a powerful way to start to shift people’s mindsets.

Workplace Bystanders – Putting a Stop to Poor Behaviours for Good 

We have all seen poor behaviour at work, sometimes we freeze or just don’t know what to do. That is an opportunity lost. If nothing changes, nothing changes. Actually, sometimes the inaction sets the bar lower for things to get worse.

The Workplace Bystander Intervention Approach is a game-changer for organisations and has been recommended for implementation in recent times by our Australian Human Rights Commission in the recent Respect@Work research and changes.

Karen is a leading Australian expert in this space and will explain why and how we can be stronger in the moment and pave the way for safer and more respectful workplaces. Karen has worked with organisations across Australia and overseas including our top Federal government agencies on how to empower staff and leaders and create stronger systems in place around bystander intervention. You’re in good hands.

In this keynote, Karen shares critical insights, powerful case stories and key strategies on workplace bystanders.

Perfect for: all levels, Karen will pitch the session according to the level of attendees. 

Say ‘Goodbye’ to Sexual Harassment and ‘Hello’ to Respect@Work 

In 2020, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) released their final report on the landmark National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. According to the findings and subsequent statistics released in 2022, we still have a very long way to go to eliminate sexual harassment at work in Australia. This work will not be easy, but it is essential.

With so much change in this space with the new Respect@Work positive duty and the increased focus on sexual harassment as a psychosocial WHS hazard, it’s time to overhaul to our current approach from a reactive complaints-based model to the proactive preventative/response model.

This is Karen’s area of strong speciality, as a former employment and health and safety law, she currently works with a diverse range of organisations across Australia to get this done.

During this presentation, Karen will deep dive into the topic of sexual harassment, Respect@Work and the new AHRC Guidelines to Comply with the Positive Duty to provide your attendees with current and practical information and strategies to get focused and pave the way for real cultural change.

Perfect for: all levels, Karen will pitch the session according to the level of attendees.

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Great Leaders, Great Culture 

It’s true, a great culture isn’t magic. It takes dedication and great leaders. Great leaders must be underpinned by systems and strategy.

The organisations with the best workplace cultures are very intentional about what they do.

During this session Karen will share the five pillars of the SmartCulture® solution and what the best of the best organisations are doing right now to take their workplace cultures to the next level, and stay there.

This engaging session is dotted with case stories, critical insights, and a touch humour to lay the foundation for key learnings.

Perfect for: leadership level and above.

Creating a SmartCulture®  – Because good culture is good business 

It’s true, a great culture isn’t magic. It takes dedication, authenticity, and a plan.

During this presentation Karen will share the five fundamental components of the SmartCulture® model and how each one relates to your workplace transformation and ultimate success.

Perfect for: leadership level and above.

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Psychological Safety – Creating a Strong Speak Up Culture 

We all know the consequences that can occur within organisations when people don’t feel safe and supported to speak up about concerns they have at work. Notwithstanding this, the fear of speaking up in our workplaces is still very real.

Time to change that!

The advantages of having psychological safety and strong speak up cultures within our organisations are game-changing. Psychological safety is based on trust and is an essential ingredient for increased engagement, productivity, innovation and a thriving workplace culture, and to be honest, it saves lives. Let’s learn, empower your people and leaders to make this happen.

In this keynote, Karen Maher deep dives into the concept ‘psychological safety’, weaving in mindset-shifting stories from her career in this space and practical tools and strategies.

Perfect for: all levels, Karen will pitch the session according to the level of attendees.


Karen Maher, Bach Laws (Hons), is Australia's leading specialist in the prevention of workplace bullying & harassment and founder of the SmartCulture® model. Highly sought after for her expertise and engaging, approachable manner; She presents, coaches and consults to panels, boards, teams and conferences across the country.

An Engaging Communicator

Karen Maher is an engaging communicator who is extremely passionate and well-informed; evident in the way she discusses topics and the breadth of the knowledge she imparts. We have had excellent feedback from many staff who attended the training, including our own CEO, about how the training was run. This training will allow us to cultivate a more informed, respectful workforce.

Ainslie Group

Knows how to connect with the audience

Karen is an engaging speaker who knows how to connect with her audiences either in person or virtually. Our members gained important insights around psychological health and workplace bullying and harassment which gave them the knowledge to help improve their workplaces. I would highly recommend Karen for any speaking engagement.

NSCA Foundation

Informative, Engaging And Enlightening

The Anti-bullying and Harassment training provided by Karen is very informative, engaging and enlightening. Karen provided in-depth knowledge and case studies. Our staff liked her approach of questions and focused discussions and exchanges amongst staff. I would highly recommend Karen to anyone that is interested in improving their organisational culture via training that is delivered in an excellent manner.

McCall Gardens

Entertaining, Informational & Thought-Provoking

Karen presented a Bullying workshop for all staff at the Shoalhaven Region Anglican Schools which was entertaining, informational and thought-provoking. Included were examples relevant to our workplace and Karen’s attention to detail was meticulous, making sure that the presentation was tailored to our needs. I would thoroughly recommend this presentation for those wishing to deal with the issue of bullying in the workplace.

Shoalhaven Region Anglican Schools