Endurance Athlete l Social Entrepreneur l Motivational Speaker
Who Am I
Samantha Gash, is the world’s first female and youngest
person at the time to complete Racing the Planet’s Four Deserts Grand Slam in
one calendar year.
A lawyer by trade, she has run over 10,000km across every
continent on the planet and raised $292,000 for charity. She is a champion of women’s
empowerment. She believes in access to education and social change, using her
platform to bring awareness to the plight of many through charities such as
World Vision, Save the Children and The Royal Flying Doctors Service.
After finishing her first marathon, and nearly failing in
the process, Sam realised that endurance was a mindset. Motivated by the
experience of pushing her mind and body beyond their limits, Samantha looked
for her next challenge – unknowingly taking her first step towards rewriting
A year later Samantha began her journey to become the first
woman and the youngest person to compete in the worlds toughest endurance
competition - the Four Deserts Grand Slam. In 12 months, Samantha ran four
250km desert ultra-marathons across the driest (Chile), windiest (China),
hottest (Sahara) and coldest (Antarctica) deserts on earth – carrying
everything she needed to survive in a pack on her back. Her efforts were captured
on the big screen for the Award-Winning documentary Desert Runners.
The following year, Samantha ran 222 kms across the Himalayas, a feat achieved before, by only one male athlete. During this journey, she realisedd that she could use running as a vehicle to bring sustainable change to communicate in need of help.
And so began Sam’s transformation to social advocate. In
2012 Samantha ran 379km non-stop across Australia’s Simpson Desert. Her journey
drew media attention nationwide and took 3.5 days and nights to complete, raising $32,991 for Save the
Children Australia in the process.
Continuing her social impact journey, Samantha co-organised
a community running fundraiser event raising over $40,000 towards the continued
rehabilitation of Turia Pitt and Kate Sanderson - victims of the Kimberley
ultra-marathon bushfire. A race she was also a competitor in.
A run alongside UK runner Mimi Anderson across South
Africa’s Freedom Trail - averaging 61km per day for 32 days (1968kms in total)
- saw $55,000 raised towards Save the Childrens for an education and feminine
In 2016, Samantha’s crowning event was a 3253km run from the
West to the East of India in 76 days in her role as an official Ambassador for
World Vision, raising $160,000 for education programs. Along the way, her
visits to 18 World Vision communities were shared on a digital platform, resulting
in organisations and individuals fundraising peer-to-peer on a global scale.
Samantha has been recognised as a finalist in
the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards twice; in 2016 in the Agenda Setter
category and 2014 in the Inspirational Leaders category. In 2016, she was
selected as a delegate for the Australia India Youth Dialogue and nominated for
a Pride of Australia Medal. She is currently writing her memoirs with
publishers Macmillan in NYC which is due for release in 2019.
When Speaking Minds was founded in 2007 in New Zealand, little did we envisage that this would grow into an international brand with offices in India and London in less than a decade. We set up the business to share what we had learnt, from the privileges we have had in our jobs – of access to knowledge.
Bringing India to the rest of the world was our driving force.
The dna of our business is genuinely about sharing knowledge with the
world, from thought leaders and experts who are notable achievers in
their field. Raga D'silva quit her highly successful corporate career in
New Zealand in 2007, to set up a dream business of connecting
knowledge, insights, motivation from exceptional talent with the
corporate world, globally.