It’s true. I became a social entrepreneur quite literally by accident.
It was an unexpected twist of fate which saw me return to my roots, become the founder of Champions Academy and driver of a global community of interest sharing the work being done to address rural community contraction, decline and exodus around the world.
It’s all part of a much longer story, though, which will come to light as you look around this site. I hope you enjoy your visit and find what you were looking for. I’d love it if you drop me a line while you’re here and share your thoughts!
WHAT I DO
Helping people to influence positive change through social cohesion, self awareness and conceptual thinking is something that I am deeply passionate about and have a great track record at.
When I am not delivering Champions Academy programs, I am travelling and keynote speaking. My clients are member organisations, corporates and government bodies that are delivering large international events, internal or external conferences, or staff trainings.
I am best known for my relatability and natural talent for captivating an audience through storytelling. I speak with equal passion and energy to an audience of hundreds, as I do to a small group in a more intimate setting.
In addition to keynote speaking, I develop and deliver bespoke events and tailored workshops upon request. I also mentor individuals that I come into contact with through my work.
THINGS I'M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW
Whether I'm delivering a Keynote Presentation to corporates in a capital city, rolling out a Champions Academy program in a small country town sporting club, or working with individuals on a one-on-one basis -- everything I'm working on as a social entrepreneur is about empowering people to recognise their full human potential, and motivating them to apply it for a cause greater than themselves. Here are a few things I'm working on right now!
I launched the Champions Academy AU initiative in 2015 to mentor young people and help them to recognize their human potential and give them the skills and confidence to become leaders, advocates and change agents. The framework is embedded within existing organisations to foster social cohesion and create a culture of mentoring that passes knowledge on to the next generation and reinvests in a value system of volunteerism. Champions Academys philosophy is that a Champion is a person whose actions motivate and inspire others, and leave a legacy.
Following the success of the Champions Academy program and the outcomes for individuals and communities, I was challenged to build a global community of interest around strikingly similar patterns of rural contraction, decline and exodus that exist around the world. Not one to ever shy away from a challenge, I began to develop a ‘Global Rural Community’ platform to showcase the extraordinary stories of rural renewal to inspire and motivate struggling communities around the world. Ultimately I hope to travel to see these projects in action and document their outcomes for all to learn from.
In 2019 I have had the wonderful opportunity to establish a pilot program within schools, to help junior and secondary students chose their behaviour and make decisions consciously. The initiative aims to inspire students to become curious questioners, innovative problem solvers, entrepreneurial thinkers and change agents, who have the confidence and capabilities to make a difference not only to their own lives, but to those around them. Rural, regional and metropolitan schools are welcome to apply to become involved in the second phase of the pilot, which will launch in term 1 of 2020.
There is a saying where I’m from which says ‘the shorter the scrub, the friendlier the people’. I believe it originates from an Eyre Peninsula local known affectionately as ‘Scuzz’ Davey. The short scrub (short trees) is describing a low rainfall area, or marginal agricultural country. Due to the harsh and unforgiving country, the pioneers...
Where did you come from? What has happened to you in this life? How has it shaped you?
It's no secret that I had a country upbringing, or that I believe that growing up on a family farm and going to a school with less than 30 kids is something shaped me as a person, more so than any other experience in my life.
I talk about that part of my life openly, as well as my return to a rural area as an adult. What I don't usually talk about, are those other experiences in between.
A Champion is a person whose actions motivate and inspire others, and leave a legacy. However it's not just what that person does - it's why they are doing it that makes them a Champion.
I'VE HAD SOME AMAZING SUPPORT
Like many other entrepreneurs, I wouldn't be where I am today with out the amazing support of many other enablers. The following platforms have been critical to my emergence as a change agent, and integral in helping me to turn my vision into a tangible concept that has become a driver of systemic change and is creating an enduring social impact in the communities that it touches.
SOCIAL CHANGE FELLOWSHIP
I feel honoured to have received a Social Change Fellowship in 2019 and am humbled to be named among the W100 Scholars. This opportunity is both empowering and inspiring, investing in my ongoing development as a social entrepreneur, and agent of change for the communities that I work with.
LOCAL HERO SA FINALIST
The Local Hero Award acknowledges the extraordinary contributions made by Australians in their local community. I was anonymously nominated for this prestigious award and named a finalist for the state of South Australia in the category of Local Hero for 2017.
PURPOSE & SOCIAL ENTERPRISE WINNER
Now called the Social Changemaker Award, this award celebrates leaders and employees of organisations making a positive difference to the world around them, from social missions to environmental change. I was the recipient of this award for the state of South Australia in 2016.
STATE & NATIONAL AWARD WINNER
The Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading award acknowledging and supporting the essential role women play in rural industries, businesses and communities. In 2015 I was named the state winner for South Australia, becoming the national award recipient later that year.
I’m a firm believer that we only increase our potential to make great things happen when we are willing to share our insights and resources with others.
I have been fortunate to have collaborated on some exciting projects over the years and developed some very cool partnerships.
Through programs and events, financial partnerships, and even entrepreneurial start ups – I’ve built strong connections that have developed beyond great working relationships, into mutual value-creating partnerships.
As the Founder of Champions Academy I am proud of the work it has accomplished. Check out this video to see a short clip that tells the story of how it all began at Ports Football & Netball Club in Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
More Champions Academy videos and information about programs and events can be found on the Champions Academy page.
I had the pleasure of hearing Sarah tell her story at a conference in 2018. Not only is she very personable and engaging, but she's also as authentic as they come - a rare combination. If you are looking for someone to speak from the heart and inspire those around her, then I would highly recommend Sarah.
CEO Kidsafe Victoria
Sarah is an absolutely mesmerising speaker and nails rural community issues with clarity and passion. She engaged all generations and had people connected with their hearts, minds and hands. If you are looking for someone to bring challenging issues to the fore, to inspire and motivate individuals to believe they can make a difference – she is the perfect choice.
Managing Director & CEO Rural Bank
I admire Sarah's passion, determination and focus. Whilst she is all about creating successful futures for our rural communities, she is brilliant at using the history of population decline to "make the penny drop" that status quo is not what we need.
When I have heard Sarah speak, the room is full of people who have had a wake up call and realise we need to act urgently.
Sarah also knows how to inspire younger people that they need to be a big part of that solution - a realisation missing in many of our communities. Sarah cleverly uses sport as an indicator - something easily understood and incredibly relevant to all rural communities.
Chair of Regional Development Australia SA
Hearing Sarah’s story and journey for re-invigorating the communities within small country towns I was blown away. Her professionalism, tenacity, and passion is exceptional and really sparked a keen interest to understand and know more about how she is turning communities around to become part of a solution to create positive change.
Chair, Million Dollar Round Table Australia & Oceania
Sarah's presentation was warmly received, and many of the audience commented on how relevant, professional and cut through Sarah’s presentation was. Sarah is a passionate speaker, is well versed in the issues faced by regional towns, and made us both laugh and cry during her presentation. I highly recommend her to other groups as a speaker, and an advocate for empowering young people.
Manager of Marketing & Communications, Local Government Association SA
Sarah Powell impresses her audience with her passion and commitment, whatever her topic. Her personality shines through and engages her listeners. Sarah is also organised and easy to work with in a variety of situations.
State President, Country Womens Association SA
A session introduced for the first time at our conference featuring a speaker from outside infrastructure was very well received. Sarah Powell previously Australian Rural Woman of the Year spoke on the Champions Academy she initiated to arrest the deterioration of regional sport participation in her Eyre Peninsula community and upside consequences. Opportunities to apply the learnings in an organisation like our own was clearly evident in the discussion which followed.
President, Institute of Public Works & Engineering Australasia SA
I have been very fortunate to work with Sarah on several occasions and find her a courageous individual, the way she openly talk about her personal experiences which provide messages of hope and encouragement to others. Her passion is infectious to others which make her an invaluable member of our community.
Cleve & Districts Mental Health & Wellbeing Group
The questions and conversations indicated [our staff] were really quite engaged. Most of the people are from regional areas and they could relate to what you were saying. I personally thought you had an amazing story and are an inspiration to us all.
CEO, Herron Todd White Australia
We engaged Sarah to deliver a keynote at our State Country Championships Gala, because it was clear that she was a person who understood the importance of preparing for the future and having strong leaders - her passion was obvious. The room was engaged from start to finish.
General Manager Community Football, SA National Football League
Based on feedback from delegates, the conference was very successful. Your involvement in the conference, your time, commitment and support of IPWEA SA Conference directly contributed towards this favourable response.
We would like to say a huge thank you for your participation and involvement at The Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium in Adelaide. The feedback from the delegates has been overwhelmingly positive and we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the time that you dedicated to this event.
Your presentation and insights were well received by all and had a huge impact on making the event as successful as it was. Many delegates commented that the event has assisted them greatly in developing leadership capability, enabling career progression, finding resolutions and strategies, building leadership resilience and empowerment.
Director of Partnerships & Alliances, Women & Leadership Australia
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]There are very few people like Sarah Prime on this planet. She has an extraordinary way of thinking, of creating and of driving change, from grass roots organisations through to corporate boardrooms. Sarah has an innate ability to shine a light on topics that need attention and start conversations that matter. She has incredible integrity and a raw humility that means she does what she does with a level of authenticity that is very rare. Regardless of the capacity that you are looking to work with Sarah, as a speaker — on a specific project, as an advisor — rest assured, you’re making a very smart decision.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
International Bestselling Author, Global Speaker – The Entrepreneurial Futurist
HOW TO REACH ME
I am based on a rural property in a farming community called Wharminda, on the stunning Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. Adelaide is the nearest capital city (a seven hour road trip), and Port Lincoln is the closest airport to me (an hours drive away). As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time travelling for work and this means I can be hard to get hold of sometimes - so the best way to reach me is by email.