Queen of badassery

Queen of badassery

Good's Natalie Cyra talked to Paula Gosney, the woman behind the upcoming inspiring speaker event Courage, Connection and Badassery. 

Tell me a little bit about your career background and how the event Courage, Connection and Badassery has come to life.

I’m equal part entrepreneur, coach and writer; having started my first business at age 21. A girlfriend and I set up Wellington’s first bicycle courier company (which we sold a year later for a handsome profit!). This was way back in the late eighties and was where I got my taste for public relations and marketing. I then moved to Sydney where I studied PR and started my own integrated marketing agency, Storm Communications. Probably one of the most formative experiences I had was in my early days in Australia selling cheap, German wine door-to-door in the outback of NSW – how I didn’t end up in someone’s freezer I do not know; I certainly learnt to trust my instincts and handle myself.

When I came home from Australia to marry my Kiwi husband, I moved into sales training and team development and from there a natural progression into public speaking and workshop facilitation. Belief School and She Says Events (which includes Courage, Connection and Badassery) fell out of this—my burning desire to reach a larger audience with all I had learnt from my extensive career and also my personal journey of healing my head, heart and body.

You have an incredible line-up of guest speakers who will share their stories at the Courage, Connection and Badassery – what can the audience expect on the night?

Having been a huge consumer of personal development content and then a creator myself, I got more and more frustrated with the amount of platform time that is given to middle-aged, white men—when the audience is often predominantly women. I want to hear from wise women, courageous women, women who have a story I can learn from. I want gutsy stories and content, not just how to tighten my butt and breathe deeply.

Each of our speakers were chosen because they fit our core values of Courage, Connection and Badassery. They walk to the beat of their own drum and will be delivering a talk and taking questions, with the intention of leading and inspiring. We have specifically asked our speakers to be vulnerable, to share deeply and to not try and “fix” our audience. No “to do” lists allowed!

Turia Pitt is a woman who inspires everyone she meets, she has never spoken in New Zealand before and we feel very privileged to have her on our platform. 

For more about Courage, Connection & Badassery, click here

You’re speaking yourself, sharing your experiences, which include some really nasty times as you were growing up. How have those experiences shaped you into the person you are today?

Yesterday I had lunch with an extraordinary woman who has created great success for herself, yet what she went through to get there is heart-wrenching. I am moved and inspired by humans every day and consider their stories a gift. Mine is a story of two sides; I can show you the side that was a beautiful farm upbringing in Taranaki, successful at school and in sport, a dynamic young entrepreneur and now a mum, wife and speaker. Or I can show you the not so glossy side of being at boarding school from eleven, rape, expulsion, alcohol, heroin, abuse and deep pain. They are both true and both equally important. It is the intersection of these two lives that has given me the wisdom, empathy and motivation to speak up and be a lighthouse for others lost in the dark.

You’ve partnered with Nicola Carter to create She Says Events. How did you two connect?

Nic and I worked on a project together almost ten years ago and have a really brilliant natural fit. She has a 20-year career in event creation and management and a massive love for personal development. We both want to change the world and help people see their own brilliance; our partnership is the perfect example of 1 + 1 equalling way more than 2.

What do you hope the event will achieve? Is it part of a bigger plan or series of events?

I’m so pleased you asked this; our audience will leave Courage, Connection & Badassery certain of their enoughness. This is my new favourite made up word. ENOUGHNESS.

When we share our stories, when we are embraced by community, when we feel connected—we can do anything. Personal belief does not come from new cars, big houses or great abs—yes, those things are great, but not enough. Personal belief comes from knowing WE ARE enough, from having fallen and risen again and from seeing ourselves reflected back in love and belonging.

That is what we will give our audience and we are doing this through first class speakers, inspiring audio visual and entertainment, creating community, real life stories with prizes and goodie bags filled with all the things we are not supposed to have!!

This is the perfect event for everyone, both women and men who are searching, restless, wanting more and love to be inspired. It is also a beautiful, perfect experience for mums and daughters—kind of a coming of age event—passing on wisdom, sparking conversation. If people only knew how incredible they will feel at the end of this day, they would move mountains to be there.


Courage, Connection and Badassery takes place on June 2, 2018, at Cordis Auckland. To keep up to date with the Courage, Connection & Badassery event – make sure you check out their website, CourageConnectionBadassery.com

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