Comments 5

In search of a business legend

If Sir Richard Branson were embarking on a project to meet someone like, well, Sir Richard Branson, how would he go about it?

In the 4-Hour Work Week, author Tim Ferris issued a challenge. Find a way to make contact with someone you thought you might not be able to meet.

I’ve always wanted to meet Sir Richard to talk about social change to help millions of the world’s hungriest people and an idea for the widespread reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Is it possible to achieve a highly ambitious goal by concentrating your energy and focus on it? I’m about to find out.

Join me on my journey (you can follow it at www.madwoman.com.au) as I set out to meet a business legend.

So why might Sir Richard want to meet me?

I’m a passionate and determined social entrepreneur who runs m.a.d.woman (the m.a.d. bit stands for making a difference).

m.a.d.woman was set up to get people doing good for each other and their communities and to help people in need. m.a.d.woman events enable thousands of people to help hundreds of thousands of others.

I know that both Sir Richard and Tim Ferriss will be visiting Melbourne on 21 October. They’ll be speaking at a big event here with speakers including Jamie McIntyre, Eddie McGuire and Jeff & Kane and I need to find a way to stand out from the crowd (and I’m not so keen on trying the bikini or a hot air balloon approach).

I’m more the sort of lass who sleeps on the streets four times in two years in Australia and New Zealand to raise money to end homelessness (thanks Virgin Australia for sponsoring my last trip!).

I’m the kinda gal who motivates people to cook tens of thousands of meals for the homeless, to help thousands of survivors of disasters like the Black Saturday bushfires, Christchurch earthquake and Australian floods, support disadvantaged children and their families and many other people and animals who could use support.

So how do you think Sir Richard would go about trying to meet the likes of Sir Richard? If you think you can help m.a.d.woman on this journey to meet an inspirational icon, please be in touch…

P.S. Since putting the word out, I’m off to a great start – I’ve been given some spare tickets to the 21 October event that features Sir Richard, Tim Ferriss and other inspirational speakers.

If you’d like to join me on my journey, post your bid here for why I should let you have them. The most compelling will get the tickets! (You’ll need to also sign up at madwoman.com.au so I have your details to get them to you).

Check out more of Melina’s blog posts for The Pulse here.



  1. Hi Melina,

    I would love to join you on your journey to meet Sir Richard Branson. Illumination Solar needs to tap into his energy and expertise to get more solar lights to the millions of people who need them!

    Illumination is committed to bringing free light to the millions of people that currently have no light or burn kerosene.

    Can imagine living without any light at all?
    • how would you function: cook dinner, just do anything?
    • how would your kids study?
    • if you were a woman, your chances of being raped just trebled…
    • how do you feel? are you afraid? do you feel alone?

    There are currently 1.6 billion people in the developing world depend on kerosene lamps for lighting, rather than have no light at all. If you burn kerosene in your home for light:
    • you and your whole family have inhaled fumes in 1 night = smoking 2 packets of cigarettes
    • you have spent 30c of the $1 you earned that day just on the kerosene you burned
    • you will be contributing to the 125 million tonnes of CO2-e per annum going into the atmosphere just from burning kerosene for light: approx 20 million cars

    In our first 11 months of operation, illumination has distributed almost 30,000 lights, and have improved the lives of over 180,000 people. But there are 1.6 billion people yet to be reached.

    As the great philosopher Lao Tzu once said; “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” Illumination needs some help, and perhaps the answer lies with the small deeds of Sir Richard Branson, and others like him.


  2. Hi Melina, Liz.

    Just reading your amazing representation has prompted me to write this message.

    Wow, congratulations on your efforts and all the very best in your endeavours.

    I live in country NSW and would be unable to attend the presentation but wanted to tell you who I am.

    I am a very ordinary widowed lady still employed full time at the age of 67. My role has always been in administration,(even though I gained my Leaving Certificate as dux of the school with 2 1st class honours) most of it self taught. I am a Nationally accredited Certificat 1V Trainer, and use these skills in many places, one of such, in a voluntary organisation trainig employers and HSC students for workplace vocational training as a subject for the HSC.

    I have never willingly taken a “sickie” because I wanted a “day off”
    and have been gainfully employed whilst raising my 3 children and caring for two terminally ill husbands.

    I would love the opportunity to help you should you “get Sir Richard’s nod”


  3. First, both of you are amazing woman!
    I am inspired by the amount of great work done by people around the world proving that if we all work together we really can be a better place for everyone.

    My interest lies in small community projects. As an event manager I know that a lot of money is spent on small and large events and would like to see some of that money spent in the community sector.

    I have established a website which allows community venues to list their halls / spaces for hire – http://www.hallsforhire.com.au
    Having an easy way to find these spaces will bring much needed funds into organisations such as scout groups, religious groups, sporting clubs and recreational clubs that do so much for their immediate community and the community at large.

    I would love to come along to the forum to spread the word of community involvement and the importance of creating a society that not only cares about the welfare of the most impoverished but nurtures local organisations and the sense of community which is often lacking.

    As for how do you get noticed – I think you should just be yourself. The world truly is an amazing place, and if you speak with conviction, are passionate about what you believe in and put yourself out there to be hear and listened to you can’t go wrong.

    Good Luck!


  4. Pingback: The Hunt for a Hero continues… « m.a.d.woman

  5. Well, there is only 2 days to go until Sir Richard is in town, and I am on the other side of the country in WA. So if you could score a free flight with Virgin then I’d be on it like a shot.

    During the last 2 years I have been busy working with Fairtrade Australia New Zealand and suppliers in India. To bring my own range of Organic, CO neutral and FAIRTRADE certified cotton clothing to Australia.
    Born is “The Little White T Shirt Company’.

    Mine is a company born out of ethics and looking to do the right thing.
    My brand is small and humble, but with a vision to make people aware that the ethical process in manufacture of clothing can be sustainable, and FAIR.

    It’s not about making money for me. It’s about giving people a choice that their clothing can be made in a factory with a full process that is fully transparent.
    It provides a livable income for all the workers in the supply chain, meaning the families in farming can send their children to school, thus educating them and giving them opportunity.

    I would LOVE for the brand to be known globally it is my ultimate DREAM. I am sure Sir Richard would be behind me in these business aspirations and goals.

    Have a great time at the Summit.

    Namaste x



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