Growing up with a pop star for a father, a dancer for a mother, attending Preshil (an alternative school) and making the choice to become a vegetarian at the age of three, it is surprising that Lauren Burns found her passion in the full-contact martial art of Taekwondo.

Lauren created sporting history by winning the first-ever Olympic gold medal for Taekwondo when the sport made its debut at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. She was one of only three Australian women to win an individual Olympic gold medal, along with Cathy Freeman and Susie O’Neill. Her amazing triumph at the Sydney games was achieved against the odds – requiring enormous discipline, commitment, perseverance and teamwork.

Since retiring from Taekwondo after the Sydney Olympics, Lauren has become one of Australia’s most sought-after speakers. In her presentations she talks about what it takes to be successful, and transforms her stories and experiences into life skills making them entertaining and relevant to her audiences.

Lauren interacts with her audience with the added highlight of inviting someone up on stage to break a board. And during her more active workshops Lauren has the entire audience breaking boards! Her presentations always leave the audience buzzing with excitement.

Applying the same enthusiasm she had for competitive sport, Lauren is currently studying at the Australian College of Natural Medicine where she is completing a Bachelor in Health Science (Naturopathy).

Lauren enjoys a variety of commitments, however, her main focus within the community is her involvement with Red Dust Role Models, conducting healthy lifestyle clinics in remote Aboriginal communities. She is also a director on the board of Appin Hall Children’s Foundation. Lauren is currently also on the Athletes Commission of both the Australian Olympic Committee and Taekwondo Australia.