Personal Character & Integrity
"Personally, I know James to be a man of courage, strong moral character and a true gentleman. You won't find a more genuine guy. He has a positive impact on all who meet him and behind that fabulous smile is a trustworthy leader with a passion for creating change. Throughout various circles, James is always spoken highly of, from community members to chaplains and CEO's."
Rachel Kayrooz (Anti-violence advocate/author/speaker)
2015 Griffith Australia Day Award,
2009 QLD Child Protection Award - Education,
2008 Pride of Australia Award - Courage,
2007 Lord Mayor's Australia Day Achievement Award.
"Thanks for influencing my son in such a positive and life changing way. It takes a courageous man to deliver the message to the younger generation in these times" Father
"I have had the pleasure of seeing him share his personal story as a keynote speaker to an appreciative and emotionally-moved audience. Professionally, James sets a high standard for his work and yet makes the job look easy! He is an entertaining and interactive emcee and speaker, constantly engaging and highly experienced with ad-lib interviews. His skillset, sense of humour, intellect and strong knowledge of sporting and social issues makes him the preferred choice as a speaker for any event seeking to make a long-lasting impact on their guests." Rachel Kayrooz
Above: Mother-Son Breakfast Playing 'Things Mother's Say'
What Staff & Community leaders are saying about James...
“The presentation (for students on making good decisions about alcohol & drug use) was engaging for all who attended with many experienced staff commenting it was the best delivered presentation they had been to.” Glen Littler - Leader of Pastoral Care - Year 10, MacKillop College Port Macquarie
When James spoke about 'hope' I looked around the room and everyone from students, community workers, teachers and facilitators were all drawn in.
James left an impacting message on all of us and after the session all I heard was positive feedback about how we will continue to carry this message.
One teacher said in a further email that students were asking when James would be back! She feels it has been one of the best sessions she has seen with the most positive feedback from students.
It was fantastic working with James on our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander project called the “Lion Leadership Program”. Lion Leadership Program Coordinator
"The hour that James spent with our students went far too quickly, they were completely engaged from the very start. James presentation style is so authentic, his frank and self deprecating manner allowed our students to see the real and sometimes raw aspects of 'making it' in the wider world." Emmanuel Anglican College, Ballina - Combined Year Groups
"His message of humble self belief was refreshing and encouraging to hear. James is very generous with himself and his story, often making himself very vulnerable for the sake of the students learning and development. I would recommend any school take the time to have James spend time with the students - the more time the better!" Emmanuel Anglican College, Ballina
"His messages about personal character, integrity and mental toughness took our Core Values from words on a page, to principles to live by." Wavell State High - Rugby League Academy
“He was able to communicate his message clearly, with humility and in a way the students could relate to...kept them engaged…feedback from the students was that not only did they learn from James, they had a lot of fun” Trinity College, Beenleigh - Year 9
"The message James gave to our students was challenging and life giving. I know many of them were genuinely impacted by his story but also were given practical ways to build healthy structures into their lives to negotiate many of the pressures our young people face.
I recommend James very highly indeed. He is an outstanding communicator with a real and important message for our young people. A very worthwhile investment" Headmaster Dubbo Christian School)
What students are saying about James...
“I listened to everything he had to say & loved all his amazing stories”
"I enjoyed hearing how he had changed his life because it made me feel like I could also do something with mine"
“I loved his presentation”
“My favourite part of the day was…with James Holbeck”
“He was inspiring”
“He made it fun & interesting”
“It was enjoyable and many people participated"
"He was a good role model and was very funny and nice"
"I liked his story because it was his own and personal experience is always the most easy to relate"