Lesley Van Staveren

A passion for commerce, public speaking and mentoring

I am a firm believer that every single one of us can achieve greatness with the right attitude, a strong work ethic and support from not only our nearest and dearest, but our colleagues and even complete strangers.

My mantra is that barriers do not exist and are simply challenges that are presented as opportunities for us to overcome, to strive to do better. This enables me to focus on how I can contribute positively to the world – that’s where I see the beauty in my life.

I was born and raised in greater London and emigrated to Cairns, Australia in 2007. 

I began my career within recruitment and business development then transitioned to working within the plastic industry for ten years. I am an advocate for self-empowerment and resilience. 

Since 2017 I have founded 2 Not For Profit organisations dedicated to connection within each other and respect for the planet we live on.

I am a published author with her book ‘Be Your Own Hero’ that was released in December 2020 and I co-host a podcast based on the book through coaching business ‘Intrinsic Strength’.

I have always been deeply fascinated by human behaviour. I believe humanity can do so much better as a whole when we enable others to rise, while also appreciating our own unique individual value.

I am now an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) practitioner, internal transformation speaker, entrepreneurship mentor and a mindset and confidence coach.


Founder of The Social Effect, Lesley is a strong believer that you create your own destiny through making the right choices, having high self-worth and giving back to others.


Co-owner of the first recycled plastic company in North Queensland, ReGen Plastics, Lesley is a firm advocate of the circular economy and has first-hand experience on how this can be achieved.


Holding multiple prominent positions in business and within the community, Lesley helps others prepare themselves mentally and physically for their step into leadership.


Lesley was just 18 when she took out the ‘Employee of the Year’ title at a London based head-hunting and recruitment firm. A multiple award winner, she leveraged on her success to build her own highly functioning team.

In what is a traditionally male-dominated industry, I have in the main, felt respected by my peers and that above anything, has been what has fuelled my passion to do more, to be more and to work hard for more, not in terms of material possessions, but by doing what I can to make our world a better place in which to live, even if it’s only a small corner of it. Change starts small, but it has to start somewhere. Running FNQ Plastics and ReGen Plastics for over nine years with Colin, gave me so many opportunities but also, I have worked hard to create these for myself, as well as my family.

Having been the President of the Committee of Waste Reduction, I am driven to educate others about what they can do to really make a difference. By understanding how we each have not only the capability, but responsibility to do more, and talking to schools, business groups and companies about the steps they can take to instigate change, I enjoy inspiring others to look at their consumption and really question what else they can be doing to stop the destruction of our planet.

When I founded The Social Effect, my aim was to encourage people to think about what they choose to be and take a proactive approach to life, rather than letting it happen around them. The ripple effect of individuals amounts to a massive collective difference, our contribution to our society and recognising our own impact on the world around us can only begin when we as individuals, are on the path to be the best we can be.

Probably one of my proudest moments was the delivery of the flagship event ‘Radiance: Illuminating the Strength Within’. This is a powerful one-day conference with engaging local speakers and wonderful, inspiring live music, which also raises funds for local charities. I was overwhelmed by the amazing feedback I received and the beautiful women who came along to take time out for themselves to enhance their knowledge on mental and physical wellbeing, were an inspiration to me to continue to do more.


I feel humbled by the awards I have been honoured with but most of all, I feel blessed to be afforded the opportunity to keep on doing what I love for people who are motivated to make a difference to themselves, their loved ones and their community.