Jules Allen is a remarkable Australian with a truly moving story. Guided by the philosophy that “your greatest adversity in life is your greatest gift,” Jules’ message centres on accepting life’s challenges and using them as springboards for positive change. Her address to TEDx Melbourne on the power of acceptance was met with tumultuous applause and a standing ovation.
Jules is an award-winning Youth Advocate. For the past twenty years, she has worked in youth support, child protection, as a school counsellor and in private practice for young people and families in crisis.
Jules’s troubled beginnings create the backbone to her expertise in this field. Having experienced years of childhood sexual abuse and a family breakdown, Jules went on to become a youth at risk. Heavy drug and alcohol addiction lead to poor decision making. At 21 she found herself as a young Mum in a domestic violence situation.
Making the decision to be not defined by her experiences, Jules turned her adversity in to an asset. She chose to care for 32 Foster children and is the proud Mother of 4 adult children, a blend of her own, fostered and adopted. In 2013, prompted by a dare from her kids, Jules found herself as a contestant on MasterChef Australia. In quintessential style, she put her new profile to use by emphasizing the healing power of good food in raising well-balanced children.
There is so much to admire about Jules Allen including her sheer determination to make a difference, her attitude in the face of extraordinary adversity; and her contagious positivity. She is an inspirational speaker with personal leadership lessons for us all.
Jules is now the face of Australian charities such as Adopt Change and Foster Care Australia. In 2010 she re-built a condemned refuge in the Solomon Islands for Women and children escaping violence and abuse. Known for her captivating, humorous and candid presence, Jules has been featured on television programs including Australian Story and The Project, and major magazines such as New Idea, the online Women's Weekly and The Collective.