1 May

Carren Smith

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a woman whose life you could be forgiven thinking is a work of fiction.
Carren Smith has endured such an unbelievably tragic and sadly ironic set of circumstances, more heartache and grief than anyone should ever have to bear in a lifetime.
But when you meet Carren you see nothing but a beaming smile that comes from her warm heart and no sign of the despair that brought her to the brink of suicide nor the scars of trauma caused by the rush of heat, shrapnel and explosive force, that claimed the life of her two best friends.
Her smile masks no hint of woe and pity, it’s authentic and filled with the hope and optimism that only a survivor truly knows. Carren’s fortitude and fight for survival tells of how one’s true spirit can overcome any challenge and reveal life’s solutions.
Carren arrived in Bali with the intention of never leaving. A year after the suicide of Greg, her partner of 7 years and the miscarriage of their child, the grief was simply too much to bare. Carren felt responsible for the loss of both their lives. A feeling that would become a déjà vu with the loss of Jodi and Charmain, her two best girlfriends who had accompanied Carren on that fateful trip to Bali.
When terrorist bombed the popular nightclubs of Kuta, 202 people were killed and 209 injured.
“My left eye felt heavy. I didn’t know why everyone was looking at me aghast. As it turns out I had a shard of bone sticking out of my skull.”
With 28 staples holding her skull together, doctors warned Carren that she would die from the pressure on her brain if she was not operated on immediately. Yet she refused, having witnessed the same needle being used on eight different people, Carren was adamant they weren’t going to touch her.
“I thought, I’ve come so close to dying I know now that I don’t want to die.’”
36 hours after arriving in Bali with the plan to end her own life, Carren returned home to Sydney with the overwhelming desire to live.
Her determination had miraculously landed her safely back on Australian soil but her newly found enthusiasm for life was tempered by what news was to come. Nothing could prepare her for the heart-wrenching truth she would have to learn to accept. Jodi and Charmaine were not coming home.
“Jodi was my soul mate…there was nothing we didn’t share and we’d laugh all the time. She was so funny…I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to take my own life after having come so close to losing it in Bali, but now I had to live with the consequences…Had it not been for me, Jodi and Charmaine would never have been in Bali.”
The guilt was overwhelming and Carren understandably suffered from depression for many years.
She has learnt the hard way, that the best way to overcome a personal tragedy is to allow yourself TIME to heal.
Natalee-Jewel & Carren Smith
But there is a difference in sitting INside the pain and sitting ON the pain and in an effort to escape the memories of places she’d been with Greg and Jodi, Carren moved north to the Gold Coast where she was determined to start a fresh and embrace the life she had miraculously been given a second chance at living.
She through herself into her work with local businesses and one of Australasia’s largest franchise organizations in Real Estate, applying her 18 years of experience in corporate management and keen strategic operational intelligence.
Before long, Carren established The Consulting Agency, a business with a mission to inject energy, professionalism, technique and results into businesses and individuals alike.
Carren saw counsellor after counsellor, with no relief; resorted to anti-depressants which made her sick; turned to alternative therapies such homeopathic remedies, naturopaths, and when they did not work for her – Valium.
The duplicity of her corporate steel by day and blubbering mess by night meant that this superwoman was emotionally exhausted and she isolated herself from anyone who attempted to draw close to her.
Until she met Matt.
“Matt was like a knight in shining armour. He knew I was broken inside and being with me would be hard work. I’m sure that others would have run a mile when they knew what they were getting into but not him. Matt became the most wonderful comfort and support I could have asked for.”
Together they worked through the nightmares, flashbacks and self-defeating behaviour. In 2004 they decided to move to the Sunshine coast where she began to seek out ways to find purpose in her life.
As time passed Carren realized the importance of sharing her story, both for her personal healing as well as the insight and hope it gave others. “I thought that I couldn’t have had experiences for no reason. I felt I had to give my life meaning and if that meant sharing my story to help others, that’s what I needed to do.”
“I joined a couple of Brisbane-based networking groups and volunteered to speak at their meetings. I figured this would be a good way to get some practice and learn how to speak properly.”
“I was terrible! I stuttered and stammered my way through the most embarrassing moments of my life. After about eight presentations, I realised that if I was going to get my message across to others, I had to learn to do this speaking thing well, so I invested an enormous amount of money into NLP [Neuro Linguistic Programming] training along with professional speaker training.”
Speaker Secrets Exposed
Little did she realise at the time, that this would be the most fulfilling and positive choice she had made in many years.
Carren traveled around Australia delivering presentations and sharing her story with hundreds of people at different events and seminars. Carren encountered so many other people who had incredibly inspiring stories of their own, but they just didn’t know how to deliver them.
“This saddened me greatly because I began to realize that our experiences are not meant to just be bottled up. They are meant to be shared so that we can heal and inspire each other with our courage and our journey.”
Carren was determined to develop The Art of Public Speaking Seminar, which is one of a series of seminars she runs across Australia and now the USA, teaching people to find their own voice and to transform their lives by finding inner confidence and passion to make a difference in the world.
Today, Carren is the CEO of Quantum Leadership Group and delivers results and lasting change for organizations and individuals that want to produce break through performance and results in both professional and personal contexts.
Her optimism, passion and exuberance combined with a natural compassion helps transform the lives of thousands of others by helping them to find their own story and their own voice.
The devastating series of events, which have lead to what Carren, calls her “miraculous evolution” have also given her the gift of understanding the value of time, creation and life, which charges her training and consulting with tenacity, perspective and a deep and genuine interest in supporting ordinary people achieve extraordinary things.


Speaker Secrets Exposed
18th May, 2011
Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast Queensland
Click here to learn more and register.
Speaker Secrets Exposed
25th May, 2011
Brisbane, Queensland
Click here to learn more and register.
The Art of Public Speaking Seminar
4th & 5th June, 2011
Click here to learn more and register.


“Thank you for your efforts and inspiring keynote presentation Carren. Our members found you both entertaining and thought provoking. We are looking very forward to introducing you to our Sydney Chapter in March ’07 and we’re sure you will captivate the audience once again. Well done and thanks again.”
~ Lynette Palman, Womens Network Australia


“Carren, I’ve been to many seminars and I have to say, YOU HAD ME at hello! I found your presentation engaging and inspiring. I can’t wait to see you again in Sydney”. “I really can’t say enough on how great your presentation was and how much I loved it – and more importantly got out of it with all the interesting points and quotes you made – so thank-you again!”
~ Sally Scanlan, Orion Training and Performance Management


“Carren has brought a real professionalism to the business and her business acumen goes without question. She has turned her hand to tasks far greater than we ever expected and has proven a real asset to the team at Ray White.”
~ Phillip Parker, Regional CEO, Ray White Real Estate Group, Queensland


“A refreshing and dynamic contribution to the Project Team at Ansett. No hurdle is too high for Carren to jump and her ability to apply her knowledge and coach others has seen many a disaster averted. This is a challenging industry and Carren’s commitment to the business and the people has been very refreshing. She has a unique understanding of the business and always delivers a win / win outcome for everyone involved.”
~ John Wilson, Senior Project Manager, Ansett Australia

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