Pauline Grogan

Amazing woman who has battled through some huge life obstacles and come out the other end. One of the most inspiring speakers you'll hear.

An amazing lady with a story of courage and fortitude and amazing achievement. Pauline entered the convent at the age of 17 and at the age of 29 found herself back within the secular world, having to begin her life all over again. Her daughter Mary had a stroke whilst still at primary school and Pauline talks about the effect that had on her and on Mary’s siblings. Whilst visiting Mary in Tauranga hospital she met a severely disabled man who changed her life. Her recent book and play ‘500 Letters’ tells the story of her 17-year friendship with him.

Pauline is a remarkable life survivor turned motivational speaker, celebrant and amateur actor, among many other things. A brave woman with a moving story to tell. At the age of seventeen, Pauline entered the convent and several years later took her final vows. At age 29, desecrated and bewildered, she found herself back within the secular world, having to begin her life all over again. “Beyond the Veil” is the sometimes shocking account of how faith survives even its own worst abuse, but it is much more than that. It is the story of a nun who becomes a wife and mother and then as happiness seems secure, is cast back down into the deepest regions of despair. It is a story that anyone who has ever feared for their own personal safety, their sanity, and above all the health and well-being of their children, will readily understand. It tells of the small but glorious triumphs of love and faith in the face of apparently insurmountable odds.

In 1994, Pauline became Head of the Foundation Studies Department at Kristin School in Albany, where she taught full time. She had a staff of 22 teachers who were involved in the teaching of Foundations for Life to 850 students from Year 7 to Year 13. Prior to working at Kristin School Pauline was Assistant Principal at the Wilson Home school in Takapuna. In 1993 Pauline decided that she wanted a degree before she turned 50, so she began studying towards a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree. She graduated in 1995, a year before her autobiography – “Beyond the Veil” was published by Penguin Books. Pauline has done excellent community work with her 15 years association with the Stroke Foundation. She was a specialist section writer for the rehabilitation manual Life After Stroke and has been spokesperson for young people who have had strokes over the years. In this capacity she has spoken on the radio, at conferences, to professional groups and many community groups. Her passion is to set up a support system to provide on-going support for the victims of stokes.

Her recent book and play ‘500 letters’, tells the true-life story of a severely disabled man, immobile and confined to a hospital bed. His laughter and strength spin the wheels of all around him and he inspires Pauline to step where she fears to tread. Together they risk the consequences of exposing truth and how powerful these consequences can be. Pauline delivers an outstanding performance and the play, after premiering in Auckland in October 2005 has enjoyed a return season and national tour finishing to rave reviews in November 2006. In 2009 she was voted North Shore Womens Centre Woman of the Year. Pauline is a great speaker, a lovely person and is articulate, passionate and inspiring.


“We found Pauline Grogan’s delivery innovative and entertaining, leaving a powerful message with our top corporate audience. Her empathy with real life experiences that she manages to incorporate into her presentation bring a warmth and sincerity to the message. Pauline is a gifted speaker and we highly recommend her.” Terry Buchanan, Facilitator, The Admiral’s Breakfast Club, Auckland “Pauline Grogan has an amazing story to tell and she tells it as a public speaker in a manner which is confident, delicately balanced, forthright and truly inspirational. Serving the City of Newcastle, Australia as its Lord Mayor for 9 years, member of the Newcastle Rotary Club for organising guest speakers over 40 meetings a year, service to the Institute of Surveyors in Australia and membership of Newcastle business clubs for 30 years, I can say that I may have heard a guest speaker as inspirational and polished as Pauline Grogan although none come to mind. I recommend her to any person or organisation requiring the services of a speaker who is interesting, educational and inspirational, as well as being most entertaining.” John McNaughton AN-FIS Aaust. Hon D Eng NCLE AIN

“Pauline inspired the audience with her enthusiasm and passion for life. Having organised numerous national conferences in the past which have attracted over 600 people, I would strongly recommend Pauline Grogan to any company as a professional speaker.” Marianne Sheehy, Taradale Developments “This presentation had the audience spellbound and throughout various times, many women were moved very deeply. Pauline’s honest and open descriptions were listened to avidly, the delivery was clear, concise and dignified, and her visual appearance was groomed to perfection. She received a standing ovation and nearly every woman in the room went up to her afterwards. We highly recommend Pauline to any audience as a speaker with presence and top professional speaking skills.” Debbie Wilson, Club President, Women Working for Women, North Harbour Business and Professional Women’s Club Inc.

“Pauline Grogan can be described as a true orator. She held the audience of professional educators and school Board of Trustee members in awe as her true story unfolded. Pauline is a woman to be admired and respected, a woman of substance, a woman of faith and woman of courage.” Alan McIntyre, Principal’s Association, Auckland

“Pauline Grogan is a fresh breeze in the motivational speaking arena. Pauline has a true message that comes from a real journey of emotional pain through to self awareness and fulfilling victory. From the moment she walks onto a stage until the lights go out, Pauline’s story will challenge you to be what you are destined to be. If you are looking for someone who can reach out and touch your life, and inspire your team to overcome the traps in their personal and business life, you need to experience Pauline Grogan.” Eugene Moreau, Professional Speaker, Coach and Author

“Pauline’s presentation was a true triumph that had many Rotarians who have heard many fine speakers, comment that Pauline was the best. It was presented with humility and absolute conviction. Pauline Grogan is the very best storyteller, one that can entrance any audience. I recommend her to anyone who needs inspiration to overcome adversity.” Dr Ray Thorburn, Chief Executive, Northland Polytechnic

“Pauline is one of those people that one always looks forward to hearing talk again. She is articulate, passionate, always well prepared and always a good balance of hard material and anecdotal asides to keep her audience interested. One is always impressed by what she says and clear about the messages imparted. I have no hesitation in saying that Pauline Grogan is an excellent speaker, intelligent and articulate, and very consistent.” Dr Jonathon Basket, Hon. Medical Director, Stroke Foundation New Zealand

“Your talk to the Ground Round, Starship Children’s Hospital, was excellent in stimulating discussion on how we can make our services more appropriate to consumer needs. I cannot remember another occasion when a speaker at the Ground Round has received spontaneous applause from the audience as you did.” Dr Rosemary Marks, Development Paediatrician

“I am sure you could tell that we were all very much moved and at least one person is going to change the way she practices. Thank you for your wonderful presentation to the Masters Class.” Dr Jan Pryor, Auckland Medical School, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioural Science

“Ladies Business Club strongly endorses Pauline as a compelling speaker with an amazing story to tell. Her life experiences provide a role model to everyone in demonstrating how the power of faith can ultimately lead to power over adversity.” President Ladies Business Club

“The Committee has been very pleased with the feedback and we achieved the “wow” intended. We did not do it alone. What we would like to say is thank you Pauline. Without your help, this event would not have been anywhere near as dynamic. Your presentation moved and inspired many people. Wow, Pauline, you really made a difference!” International SWAP Convention, Rotorua, NZ

“We were delighted with the inspirational, very sincere and moving presentation. Pauline created an instant and strong rapport with her audience. She is a speaker of the highest quality. She held us spellbound as she shared with us many personal moments that I have no doubt left all members of the audience inspired and reflected. I would highly recommend the services of Pauline Grogan.” Nigel Grondin, Principal

“Pauline made a considerable impression on the delegates at our conference. Her story was moving, sincere and I believe helpful to many who have experienced similar events in their own life. We all appreciated her courage and triumph through her adversities.” Dennis D Dufty, Director, Community Services, St John Ambulance

“Pauline’s presentation was very well constructed and her real life story formed a credible base for some very strong messages. The audience was totally engaged and enjoyed mood swings from laughter to tears. When talking to awardees immediately following her presentation and several days later, their feedback was most positive and referred to Pauline’s session as one of the highlights during their week at RYLA Rotary Youth Leadership Awards.” Russell Topliss, RYLA Conference, Auckland

“I am still receiving comments about how great your presentation was, what a different night it was, being both magical and fascinating. I know you challenged many in the audience and gave our women’s networking group a new view on life and gave strength to help make decisions which often seem daunting.” Joanne Buxton, Events Coordinator, Chamber of Commerce, Tauranga

“I thank you for our riveting address at our conference. I want to thank you for your message of tolerance and I know you made a huge impact. Many people have told me how impressed they were with your presentation and about how much it made them think. My goal was for people to leave the conference moved and inspired, and they were.” Sandra McKersey, Rotary International

“Amazing, excellent” Epilepsy Association