Scone Public School students motivated by celebrity speaker John Coutis on his Hands Across the Island tour

MOTIVATED: Celebrity speaker John Coutis with Scone Public School leaders who were feeling extremely motivated on Friday.
MOTIVATED: Celebrity speaker John Coutis with Scone Public School leaders who were feeling extremely motivated on Friday.

INTERNATIONALLY renowned inspirational speaker John Coutis is a rolling success, quite literally.

Born with a severe disability that rendered him a double amputee, today John gets around on a skateboard, travelling the world and spreading messages of inspiration and hope wherever he goes.

Millions of people draw on John’s inspiration regularly, from corporate clients such as Telstra, Channel 9, Westpac and NSW Rural Fire Service to some of Australia's greatest sporting icons like Samantha Riley, Susie O'Neill, the Australian Cricket team, Balmain and Parramatta Rugby League teams, the Collingwood Magpies and the NSW State of Origin League team, just to name a few.

But on Friday it was Scone Public School’s turn to be inspired.

It’s all part of a national tour around Australian schools called Hands Across the Island.

Accompanied by his extremely supportive  wife Leanne, Scone Public School was one of the first stops on the tour which will take John to both primary and secondary schools across five states, including a huge number of regional schools.

“Give yourself permission not be negative. Be the best person you can be,” John told a group of Scone Public School leaders on Friday.

“When you feel like quitting think about why you started.”

Hosting three motivational speaking sessions at the school, John’s invaluable messages encompassed respect for diversity, anti-bullying, inclusion, resilience, goal setting, tolerance, motivation, self-determination and courage.

Raw, confronting and humorous at the same time, John shared the blunt truth about life growing up with a disability and how he was able to overcome the challenges life threw at him.

The overarching message was to “never give up.”

Scone Public School principal Deborah Fisher said students could really resonate with John’s key messages.  

“Treating others as you would want to be treated and knowing what’s right, knowing what’s wrong and knowing it’s your choice - I think the kids will take those two messages away with them,” Ms Fisher said.

“I think they just had a greater understanding that not everyone has the same experience that they do and the importance of family.

“Having a loving family that was also resonating throughout the messages that John gave.

“It really did hit home, those two messages. They were really engaged with everything John was saying. You could just see they were hanging on his every word.”

Follow John Coutis’ journey at