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Matthew Johnstone

Matthew Johnstone

Matthew Johnstone is an author, illustrator, and public speaker. A compelling speaker, Matthew captivates audiences with his warmth, creativity and wit. Highly motivational, Matthew shares his story driving message of resilience, happiness and well-being.

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Testimonials for Matthew Johnstone

As part of a mental health road show, Matt Johnstone spoke to over 500 of our valued clients in 5 cities, over 5 days. His presentation style and content is world class. He captivated the audience with an inspirational and informative story of mental health and personal well-being. We were delighted that he was able to tailor his message to our industry and client demographic. Thanks Matt.
Tim Browne, CommInsure General Manage

Matthew Johnstone was a highlight when he presented at The Gawler Foundation’s annual Profound Healing – Sustainable Wellbeing Conference in Melbourne, 2012. He captivated an audience of over 300 people with his warmth, creativity and wit. Matthew skilfully shed light on the topic of mental health in a way that was accessible and engaging to such a diverse audience of health professionals, carers, people living with chronic illness and the general public interested in health.
As the conference organiser, it was such a pleasure to work with Matthew. I found him to be an impressive speaker, both easy-going and reliable.
Bronwyn Gillespie, Conference Co-ordinator, The Gawler Foundation

On behalf of the NRL Welfare and Education team, I would like to thank you for your time in presenting part of the 2 day Mental Health First Aid course to over 50 
employees. The professional manner in the way you delivered the content and structure of the program was excellent and your ability to engage other experts in their field made the program very relevant to our industry.The feedback we have received from all who attended has been overwhelming and I think it is fair to say that the course definitely opened everyone’s eyes and has encouraged them to broaden the understanding of Mental Health and Well Being issues at their own clubs and organisations.I am happy to be a referee for any prospective organisation wanting to engage Matthew as a speaker.
Paul Heptonstall, Senior NRL Welfare & Education Manager

We had 132 MHFA instructors from very state and territory in Australia attend the conference this year.  We have received many emails from the conference participants about how much they enjoyed and learnt from your talk and wonderful artwork used in your presentation. Your talk at the conference certainly helped to enthuse the MHFA instructors. 
Your humour and authenticity kept the audience continually engaged and interested. I would not hesitate to recommend your presentation to any audience. I would love to know that our policy makers, educators and law enforcement officers have been able to hear you talk. My best wishes to you for the wonderful work you are doing.
Betty Kitchener, Director, MHFA Training and Research Program, ORYGEN Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health

Matthew Johnstone Travels from NSW
Fee Range: .Up to $5000

Matthew Johnstone's Biography

Matthew Johnstone is an author, illustrator, and public speaker.  A compelling speaker, Matthew captivates audiences with his warmth, creativity and wit.  Highly motivational, Matthew shares his story driving message of resilience, happiness and well-being.

Matthew Johnstone is an accomplished author whose speaking career began after the release of his second book, 
Living with a Black Dog, was published in 2005 by Pan MacMillan Australia. An illustrated guide to people living with people who have the 'Black Dog' of depression, it has since been published in over 20 countries.

Matthew has now given talks all over Australia and the UK to schools, community groups, corporations, hospitals and places of industry. Although this book deals with Matthew's battle in overcoming depression, his talks are an inspiring odyssey of hope, resilience, the path to happiness and what can be learnt from coming through adversity.

Matthew has many different talks for different needs and groups; he is just as happy talking to teenagers as he is to the Reserve Bank. There are no graphs or pie charts; his is purely a visual, inspiring and often humorous journey. He has also been the keynote speaker at various fundraiser events and workshops.

Matthew's audiences have included Port Waratah Coal Services, The Reserve Bank, Eli Lilly, Investec Bank, The Australian Young Lawyers Association, Broken Hill Writers Festival,
 The Black Dog Institute Gala Dinner, AGL, Cricket Australia and UNSW Alumni, amongst many others as well as The Royal Institute of the Arts, The Priory Hospital and Lifeline (London
Matthew's desire for those who hear him speak are to leave inspired to:

  • Communicate more openly and effectively both at home and work
  • Strive towards living more authentically
  • To be more mindful and present
  • To be inspired to create more purpose in their lives
  • To be motivated to work towards what makes them genuinely happy
  • That good can come from bad if we're open to learning from the experience

Matthew spent 15 years as an award-winning creative in advertising, working in Sydney, San Francisco and New York.  He is an author, illustrator and photographer and also creative director of The Black Dog Institute.

Matthew has written and illustrated several books, four of which have been best sellers in Australia and the UK. His third book, 
The Alphabet of the Human Heart -The illustrated A to Z on what it is to be human, made number 4 for UK book sales in January 2011 and went to #9 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List.


Speaking Topics Include

Although this can be a stand alone talk, I tend to tack this onto the end of most of my talks.  It brings about understanding on what exactly resilience is and how we build it with many mental & physical well being tips.

The Alphabet of the Human Heart
The A to Zen of Life. Based on the book The Alphabet of the Human Heart by myself and James Kerr, published by Pan MacMillan 2010.
A is for Adventure. B is for Balance. C is for Compassion. D is for Daring and so forth. This uplifting talk is all about how we can get the most out of life while discovering who we are and what our core purpose is.

Quiet the mind
Based on the book Quiet the Mind published by Pan MacMillan 2012.
Over a 24hr period we have up to 70,000 thoughts which works out to be about 2 thoughts for every heartbeat – basically our brains never shut up!
Meditation is one of the greatest ways we can give our over worked grey matter some valuable time out. Meditation can help decrease stress, lower blood pressure, ease pain, improve metabolism. Not only that but it can make us calmer, happier, feel more engaged, more able to get things done and most importantly it helps us be more present.
This is a no nonsense, non cosmic, easy to understand guide which is accompanied with stunning visuals from the book followed by a brief meditation for those who would like to move omwards and upwards.

The Happiness Cake
This is a talk generally for teens on what are the ingredients that go into making happiness. It is the only human emotion we actively seek and for many it’s extremely elusive. It covers aspects from friends and family, diet and exercise, values and living with purpose.
At the end of the talk we decorate a cake and eat it too.