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Mia Handshin

Mia Handshin

Mia Handshin has over 20 years experience in the public and private sectors. Audiences of all ages respond to Mia’s powerful insights on lessons learned, change, communicationand leadership.

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Testimonials for Mia Handshin

Mia is an intelligent and eloquent speaker. At our Women in Local Government Conference, she candidly shared her story to our 200 delegates.  Mia shared both facts and insights, providing both food for further thought as well as instant inspiration. Mia’s honesty and candour was refreshing and authentic.

Taryn Sexton CEO, Local Govt Professionals Australia, SA


Mia is an inspirational speaker-engaging and dynamic. She shared her career and life story at a Women on Boards session in Adelaide in a way that emphasised both the triumphs and challenges she has experienced and ensured a deep connection with the audience. The attendees still speak of her session as one of the highlights of Women on Board events in Adelaide.

Wendy Teasedale-Smith - Women on Boards Co-ordinator, SA

Mia Handshin Travels from SA
Fee Range: .Up to $5000

Mia Handshin's Biography

Mia Handshin is a courageously authentic leader and visionary thinker with a strength for finding new opportunities in the challenges facing communities, organisations and individuals.

An inspiring speaker and engaging facilitator, Mia openly shares powerful insights and lessons in leadership learned from experiences in the public and private sectors over 20 years. Mia is also a uniquely experienced and insightful coach and mentor for both emerging leaders and senior executives.

Mia’s experience as a presenter extends to international fora. She is passionate about facilitating powerful conversations to generate positive change in the world. She specializes in sharing her expertise with others to assist them to become confident, compelling communicators capable of mobilizing their own communities, organisations or teams for change. 

Since 1996 Mia has served on a number of Boards and bodies including the University of Adelaide Governing Council and the Foundation for Young Australians. As Chair of the Board of the South Australian Environment Protection Authority (EPA) between 2012 and 2016, Mia led the organisation to a fresh strategic direction and substantial reform program. Her leadership ensured the development of a strong engagement and partnership culture. From 2012 Mia has also been an Associate facilitator with the Leaders Institute of SA including for the renowned Governor’s Leadership Foundation program. 

At the age of 19 Mia was invited to write a weekly opinion column for ‘The Advertiser’ newspaper. For over a decade Mia publicly explored a range of current affairs issues; the treatment of refugees, constitutional reform, climate change. She continues to be passionate about environmental and social justice issues, children's rights and global inequities. A strong advocate for women in leadership, Mia helps emerging leaders to confront their “inner glass-ceiling” whilst gracefully navigating external perceptions and prejudices. As a mother of three young children, Mia also knows the joys of being a career loving parent.

A lawyer by training, Mia worked as a Barrister’s Associate and interned at the International Crisis Group in Brussels during the Iraq war. Between 2004 and 2007 Mia ran a successful leadership consultancy with clients from corporate, government, community and education sectors.

In 2007, Mia was a candidate for election to the Federal Parliament. She and her new husband spent their first wedding anniversary door knocking. She came close to winning the seat and went on to work as a policy adviser to a Federal Minister and then as an Associate Director at a strategic advisory firm specialising in public policy and government affairs.

Other career highlights include being a delegate to the Constitutional Convention on Australia becoming a Republic (1998), being named Young South Australian of the Year (1999) and representing Australia at the UNESCO General Assembly (2000). 

Mia has been a volunteer with Canteen, attending camps over several years supporting young people living with cancer. A long standing advocate and fundraiser for child development organisation Plan International, in 2012 Mia founded the annual International Day of the Girl breakfast event in Adelaide.

Speaking Topics Include

  • Communicating for Change- mobilizing people for meaningful change
  • Women in leadership- breaking through your inner glass ceiling
  • Authentic Leadership
  • Tough Love – Finding opportunity in crisis and criticism
  • Back yourself – You’re all you’ve got