Dr Jillian Kenny



Corporate Topics


As a keynote, graduand and conference speaker Jillian has spoken on topics such as creativity in leadership, creativity in STEM fields, gender equality in STEM, youth entrepreneurship, and diversity. She has been invited to present her research outcomes and learn from international audiences in the UK, USA and South Korea.

Jillian can cater her talk to your audience, but in general, these are some of the topics she has spoken on before.


Power of creative leadership


The nature of power laid bare

The world is changing faster than it ever has before. The future is a blank canvas, and in creating this future we need leaders who can think beyond the traditional approaches and norms of the past. Leaders who can bring creativity. Through sharing some of the challenging and vulnerable moments in her own story, Jillian will reveal the elements for creative leadership and why it is critical for our future.

Engineers are tasked with solving some of the world’s toughest challenges, and to do that, we need to tap into the diversity of power within the profession. But what power dynamics are at play, and is gender a factor? Through sharing some of the challenging and vulnerable moments in her own story, Jillian will explore the nature of power in the engineering profession, and how we can shape it to work for all.




Jillian came to Forest Hill College to speak to our students about the importance of science and engineering and how fulfilling these fields are to work in. She inspired the kids with stories of how engineers design solutions to help people, and explained clearly how creativity and problem-solving are key to successful engineering – not just being good at Maths! Jillian is a great communicator and the students connected with her – many young girls said to me that she was a great role model for them and helped them believe that engineering was something they could actually do. After Jillian spoke she stayed with our students while they worked on design solutions to encourage them, to lead them in creativity and to prompt clear thinking from them. We were amazed at her generosity of time and spirit and would highly recommend her to any organisation who wants to inspire and create. Thank you Jillian!

Greg Heaton
Leading Teacher (Critical Thinking and Creativity)
Forest Hill College



Jillian is available to address school groups, sharing her own story from growing up in a small town in regional Queensland, to being inspired by how engineering uses maths and science to solve problems for people, and then using her engineering skills in a variety of unexpected ways in her entrepreneurial career.

Topic: Myths and Facts about Engineering

Having spoken to thousands of students through Power of Engineering, Jillian noticed a number of common myths about science, technology, engineering and maths careers. In this talk she busts the myths and shares the facts, leaving students with the message that even if they don’t think of themselves as a STEM person, there might just be something in it for them.


Interactive activities

In addition to sharing her story, Jillian is also available to run a range of interactive activities with students and teachers.While she is open to developing activities in collaboration with school leaders, some that she has previously run include:

Topic: People Like Me

An interactive activity in which students explore personal strengths and interests, and discover how maths and science can open up a whole range of diverse opportunities for their future.

Their results will help them see what people who are just like them are doing in their STEM careers. By sharing a selection of inspirational role models all working in science, engineering and technology, students will see how they too could be both happy and successful working in these areas.

Audience: 11 - 18 years

Ideal for an all-girl setting, however can be adapted for use in a mixed gender setting

Time: 45 - 60 mins


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“We were recommended Dr Jillian Kenny for the graduation address at the Defence Science Technology Group’s Graduate Program in Scientific Leadership. It became clear to us why Jillian was named the inaugural ‘Superstar of STEM’ and one of 2014's '100 Most Influential Australian Women'; Jillian didn’t just deliver a passionate speech, she captivated her audiences with her expressive energy and compelling storytelling of her journey. Jillian artfully weaved her description of the “Five Pillars of Leadership” into her storytelling. Her story inspired the audience, and her openness in sharing her vulnerable and challenging moments in her journey spoke of authenticity. The impact of Jillian’s message continues to be felt amongst those of us who were lucky to hear her speech.”

Dr Janis Cocking
Chief, Science Strategy and Program Division
Defence Science & Technology Group
Department of Defence


"Dr Jillian Kenny presented to our agency during our International Women’s Day celebrations. Jillian’s presentation was a funny, thought-provoking, inspiring and empowering examination of her own career progression and gender equality in STEM more broadly. Her call to action to promote gender equality at the end of the presentation was particularly poignant, with many of our staff members coming away from her presentation having committed to actions that will improve gender equality within their workplace and industry."

Phillip Glyde
Chief Executive
Murray–Darling Basin Authority


"Ford Australia invited Jillian to speak at our recent International Women’s Day event. Her presentation about how she started her social enterprises in the STEAM space were inspiring and provided positive energy to a room of local high school girls and Ford employees. Alongside her personal story of success she gave the audience an informative, engaging and fresh perspective on what it means to be 'An Engineer' in the modern world. Thank you Jillian!"

Louise Nance
Asia Pacific STEAM Specialist
PD Innovation Team

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