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FOUNDER STORY

JULIA KEADY: FOUNDER, COACH, STRATEGIST, MUM, WRITER, SPEAKER

The founder and 'Chief Cheerleader' of The Xfactor Collective is Julia Keady, a social entrepreneur, big thinker, big heart and recovering perfectionist who was told her folly with philanthropy was best left to her golden years.

Are you kidding, she said!

After putting women's philanthropy on the map in Australia, as inaugural CEO of Australian Women Donors Network, she became an accidental consultant and 'accidentally' did this for 7 years working with philanthropists, charities, grantmakers, community foundations and businesses. During this time, she could see the many shared challenges and frustrations for both consultants and clients.

​After 2 years of plotting and collecting a brave group of 'Foundation Members', she sketched out a business model that might help address the many challenges. What emerged was The Xfactor Collective with its bold vision to empower 1 million social changemakers. Collectively, of course!

​Julia herself brings more than 25 years’ experience across market and program development, media, branding, philanthropy, fundraising, events and business development – on both Australian and international projects – to her own strategic toolkit.

​Her career aspirations were fuelled in the 1980s on Sunday nights watching '60 Minutes'. Little surprise that her 25 years since have been split between journalism and philanthropy! Encouraged by her forward-thinking parents, she started her working life as a country newspaper cadet journalist at 16, and was able to convince Deakin University to evolve their mature age student policy, enabling her to undertake/complete a Journalism and PR Degree without having completed secondary college. An activist was born!

She spent the next 12 years in media and marketing, was one of the youngest magazine editors in Australia and was at the forefront of the content marketing movement in Australia. It is no surprise that her intrigue with the human race, coupled with her problem-solving brain, then brought her into the world of philanthropy.

​This turning point came during a two-year career sabbatical working on super-yachts in Alaska, the Caribbean and Mediterranean. (Ask her about 4 weeks with Harvey Weinstein!) There she witnessed the obscene levels of wealth in the world, and became entranced by those who were quietly using it for social good. She became connected with the who's who of American philanthropy and was introduced to impact investing, social ventures, collective giving, micro finance, women's giving foundations and much more.

​She returned to Australia 12 years ago invigorated by the possibility here in Australia, and she has been part of the Australian philanthropy/social impact sector since. Julia was part of the early cohort to complete the Masters of Business (Philanthropy & Social Investment), now a Masters of Social Impact.

In her own philanthropy, she is involved in collective giving groups and provides direct assistance to emerging women changemakers. She is a passionate advocate for rural and regional Australia, social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, women's entrepreneurship and collective impact. Julia is a Board Director of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE), and Mentor with the Women's Business School.

​Julia is often invited to write and speak on the changing world of philanthropy, mums and work/life balance, advancement of women changemakers, and the rise of collective impact. When she is not helping others achieve their social mission, she can be found playing lego with her six year old son.

Julia is available for: Guest speaker, media interviews, conference presenter, guest blogger, grants panel, industry judge, event facilitation/MC.

For more information, lodge your enquiry here

Julia Keady

Abigail Disney and Julia Keady

Belinda Collins, Princess Kasune Zulu and Julia Keady
Jane Goodall and Julia Keady

We held a public conversation on World AIDS Day to discuss our internationally published book. Julia Keady hosted this conversation for us and she proved to be quite the most wonderful host. She engaged our audience in the most natural, charming and stimulating way. She is at ease in front of a large audience and able to think on her feet, adapting her style to suit the mood of the audience. She set the tone for the night – compassionate, inspirational, warm and genuine. I see a great future for Julia in this kind of role.

Belinda Collins
Belinda Collins
Author, Warrior Princess, Public Conversation World AIDS Day, Federation Square

I had the great pleasure of meeting Julia Keady when she arranged my visit to Australia. Her standards are high and she never missed a trick. She is bright, funny and kind. She handled a range of personalities during the time I was there, which I could see were less than easy, and yet she never got flustered with anyone. I can recommend her without reservation.

Abigail Disney
Abigail Disney
Philanthropist and Film-maker (USA)

This next gen leader is a WOW. Run, do not walk to leverage this outstanding leader’s impact and have your inspiration regenerated. Women are the strategy and this one has the capacity to move hearts and mountains.

Tracy Gary
Tracy Gary
Global philanthropic leader and Co-founder of Inspired Legacies, (USA)

Julia spoke at an event we hosted to celebrate Women Changemakers as part of International Women's Day. Julia artfully combined that heart and the head, by sharing hard-hitting data about issues surrounding women with anecdotes and stories about women changemakers. As a passionate CEO, Julia beautifully brought together the themes of the event, closing it with the audience leaving inspired.

Benny Callaghan
Benny Callaghan
CEO, School for Social Entrepreneurs, Australia, International Women's Day event

I was pleased to read of your achievements and the work you have been doing to assist women and girls and Australia and globally. Please pass my warm wishes and thanks to Julia Keady, your outgoing Chief Executive Officer.

Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce
Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce
Former Governor-General of Australia

Julia was a speaker at our 2017 Big 4 conference. Being a speaker in the last slot of the day is never an easy task but from the feedback we received, Julia was a standout performer with a 95% Excellent rating from those attending her session. She presented her case study with humour and warmth whilst still communicating the data effectively which was reflected in comments such as: “Julia was the icing on the cake, especially in the last session”; “…..great to see new data in use but also really funny” and “Last speaker (Julia) was incredible!” Needless to say, we have already booked Julia for another conference this year!

Big 4 Conference
Big 4 Conference
Bombara Publishing

Julia Keady of The Xfactor Collective, offered a dynamic, rich, and informative presentation as part of the 2019 FIA Conference Masterclass, Becoming a more innovative non-profit in six hours. As part of a panel of three innovative sector leaders, Julia was key to coordinating the masterclass and she offered content on how innovation is a way of life and part of the culture of some Australian non-profit organisations and it is certainly part of the genetics of organisations these presenters have touched. FIA is grateful to Julia for leading this six-hour masterclass and for enriching the professional development of the masterclass attendees.

Stephen Mally, FFIA CFRE
Stephen Mally, FFIA CFRE
Co-Chair, 2019 FIA Conference Masterclasses

Julia was the MC for the first local Geelong and Surf Coast B Corp Event.  This was my first meeting with Julia and what a pleasure it was.  Julia made the whole process so easy with her diligence and professionalism. Julia captivated the room of over 90 people on the night.  I have had numerous feedback from attendees of how much they enjoyed the night and so much knowledge. Highly recommend Julia for your event.

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Name
Patagonia Australia/NZ

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