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Leanne Butterworth Profile leanne in white shirt, red jacket, red earrings.


I'm Leanne Butterworth, Empathy Speaker & Educator, University Lecturer and Mental Health Advocate. Education and empowerment are my passion, both personally and professionally and these are intrinsically linked with my mission to create a world where everyone feels heard, valued and visible.


Stepping into a workshop or sitting down one-on-one with a client and being able to equip our leaders and future leaders with the tools and skills to empathetically communicate, is one of my highest regarded achievements. 


I believe that if we can show enough people how to communicate with empathy, together we will create healthier, happier, more productive workplaces and communities that thrive off authentic interactions and empathy-based solutions.


Adapted to your industry, I offer a range of in-person and online empathy training workshops and speaking opportunities to enhance empathetic communication. It is one of the quickest, most effective ways to better connect with your clients, customers and colleagues in a memorable, innovative, enjoyable setting.


I am also a passionate presenter and can be engaged for inspiring keynote presentations and interviews on some of my favourite topics:

  • Empathy and Social Enterprise / NFP

  • Empathy and Leadership

  • Empathy and Design

  • Empathy and Business Success

  • Social Enterprise and B-Corps / For Purpose Businesses.

I have explored some of these topics in The Professional Empathy Podcast.

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My Story

A few years ago, I experienced late-diagnosed postnatal mental health issues. Through that, I recognised the impact of empathy-based listening and communication, versus judgment and stigma.


As an active member of the start-up, mental health and social enterprise communities, I lecture Social Enterprise Business for the Queensland University of Technology, work closely with the Queensland Social Enterprise Council and have presented my work in both Australia and the United States.


I'm a mum to Rowan and Zara, I have a degree in Applied Science and a Post Graduate Certificate in Business (Nonprofit and Philanthropy Studies). I received a George Alexander Foundation Scholarship, was inducted onto the Nu Lambda Mu International Honor Roll and showcased my work to His Royal Highness, the Duke of York.

Through my experience and research, I believe empathetic leadership is no longer a nice-to-have, but the way of the future. With the Great Resignation being a real threat to traditional profit > everything else, it is imperative organisations take it upon themselves to educate their leaders and future leaders on the importance of empathetic communication.

Your people, your clients, your projects and your community are relying on you to foster and maintain relationships built off inclusivity, understanding and genuine respect. 


Through service offerings that span workshops, coaching and online courses, Empathy First can assist leaders, future leaders and individuals to:


  • Build connected relationships with people, clients and communities.

  • Create a culture of listening and respect, free of judgement.

  • Find, acquire, retain and grow compassionately profitable relationships.

  • Build an inclusive workforce fuelled by trust and mutual respect.

  • Create happier, healthier and more productive workplaces and communities.

  • Provide a sustainable solution to support mental health over and above an EAP.

If you too find you are stuck in a cycle where people seem to be your biggest roadblock, I encourage you to explore our Empathy Training options.


I look forward to working with you.


QSEC Logo SE 2022

Queensland Social Enterprise Council - Member


Empathy First is Social Traders Certified

WB40 Nomination

Women Beyond 40
2022 Nominee 

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