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Dr James Muecke AM

Dr James Muecke AM

Australian of the Year 2020 Dr James Muecke AM has battled malaria, wild animals, rebel soldiers and insurgent groups, however this intrepid doctor’s most notable battle has been with the ravages of eye disease.

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Testimonials for Dr James Muecke AM

“Thanks James for sharing your story of social entrepreneurship with our senior leaders. Your story is one of the best lessons in resilience and belief driving action to make a real difference in our society and community. We could have listened to you all day – it was not just an engaging and interesting talk, but your humility, passion and the way you talk about the work you’ve done across the world left us all feeling inspired.”

Craig Drummond, CEO, Medibank


James is a true inspiration that oozes passion and dedication, which can be seen in everything that he does. The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters had the pleasure of working with James Muecke AM to launch the inaugural Raising the Bar Entrepreneurship event in the world in October 2019. James is personable, pro-active and was a delight to work with through every stage of the event. James’ ability to deliver an engaging, funny and inspiring talk was second to none and showed that if you have a passion for something, you truly can, change the world. As a speaker, James earns the Council’s highest recommendation.

Raising The Bar Entrepreneurship 2019


Dr James Muecke provided an insightful guest speaker presentation that was specifically tailored to our conference theme and aligned with our group messaging.  The presentation focussing on using your passion and social entrepreneurship to create change was thought provoking and encouraging.  The presentation was relevant and interesting for all delegates and we look forward to welcoming James back in the future.

Nova Group Conference 2019


James was a keynote speaker at the 2017 Social Capital Conference, a peak event for the social innovation and entrepreneurship community. His address held the audience spellbound - and received a steady flow of praise for quite some time after the event. James has the rare ability to seamlessly present both a strong rational case for change, and to humanise it. His combination of deep professional insight and personal stories is powerful. Certainly, the tremendous and selfless work he, and the Sight for All team, are doing is a story that many more people must hear.

Co-Founder & Chair - Social Capital


Dr James Muecke AM Travels from SA
Fee Range: POA

Dr James Muecke AM's Biography

Australian of the Year 2020 Dr James Muecke AM has battled malaria, wild animals, rebel soldiers and insurgent groups, however this intrepid doctor’s most notable battle has been with the ravages of eye disease.

He founded Sight For All in 2008, turning his boundless energy into a fight against blindness in the Aboriginal and mainstream communities of Australia and some of the poorest countries of the world.

His commitment to social impact and humanitarian endeavours has earned him a string of awards including an Order of Australia in 2012, the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Leadership Award in 2013 and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur for Australia in 2015.

In 2016, James unfortunately had to prematurely retire from surgery as a result of a progressive neurological disability. But nothing could defeat his passion to help others.

James has been a researcher, a teacher, an author, a musician, a photographer and a film producer. He puts all those skills to use to deliver passionate, fascinating, and at times confronting presentations about his life, his work, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.

James donates 40 hours of personal time weekly to Sight For All, and is intimately involved in projects in Ethiopia, nine Asian countries, and mainstream and Aboriginal communities of Australia. His leadership, determination and passion has improved eye health and helped alleviate poverty and disadvantage.

Speaking Topics Include

Building resilience – a personal and global journey

James’ career as an eye surgeon, humanitarian and social entrepreneur has enriched his life with extraordinary characters and confronting experiences. He has witnessed powerful stories of resilience that he wants to share with the world – a man who woke blind in both eyes, a group of disabled children in an impoverished country, and a global health crisis crying out for help. And through the re-telling of his own story of loss, James explores the critical elements needed to build resilience, at all levels.


Harnessing your passion to change the world – the art and science of social entrepreneurship

James is an eye surgeon, humanitarian and social entrepreneur, and for 30 years has been fighting blindness in Australia and some of the poorest countries of the world. In this fascinating and at times confronting keynote presentation, James uses powerful stories from his work with social impact organisation Sight For All, to outline the three key elements of social entrepreneurship – a spirit of adventure, a humanitarian spirit, and an entrepreneurial spirit. He also discusses the ingredients that make up an entrepreneurial spirit and how you can harness your passion and use these ingredients to change the world for better.


Blinded by Sugar – the toxic impact of sugar and the rise of type 2 diabetes

Blinded By Sugar tells the story of Neil Hansell, a man who woke one morning blind in both eyes due to neglect of his diabetes. In this confronting 20-minute keynote presentation, Dr Muecke discusses why type 2 diabetes is a growing worldwide epidemic and explores a number of strategies to curb the toxic impact of sugar on our health and on our world.