Cam Calkoen - CSP

Dream big, Achieve more

One of the biggest challenges facing millions of people daily is getting out of bed in the morning and looking forward to going to work. A lot of people go through the motions to fulfill a function, to earn some dollars, to live a life. We all know that there is more. The key is finding it. It’s having the positive mindset in the first instance then the motivation and confidence to seek.

Cam Calkoen was born with Cerebral Palsy but turned a "can't do" attitude into a dynamic "can do anything" personality becoming an:

  • Athletic Gold Medalist
  • Charitable Fundraiser
  • Social Entrepreneur
  • Inspirational Speaker

With the ability to have audiences in tears one minute and fits of laughter the next, Cam provides a totally unique and fresh hit of adrenalin for individuals to rise each morning with the inner strength to embrace their lives, jobs and well being.

Cam personifies a motivated life and has inspired audiences around the world, from the Prime Ministers Social Hero Awards (NZ), to Cabinet officers in Japan, NBC Universal in New York, Villages in Vanuatu and Schools in London.


When someone says something is a ‘possibility’ Cam Calkoen sees it as an ‘opportunity’ and the only reason for one to miss out is by not being competitive enough. Competition comes in many forms but as Cam shares a story about the pursuit of human excellence he showcases that our biggest competitor is the one looking back at us in the mirror.

Cam has gone from doubting his ability to run, to representing New Zealand in Athletics, winning championships in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, and now taking his winning attitude into diverse environments that encourage others to achieve their personal best. From projects that enhance relations amongst people of the world through to continually pushing through personal, physical and emotional barriers Cam ensures each day is lived to the max!

Cams philosophies, values and dynamic vision has led to him to working in Japan, building a Tuberculosis Ward and School Library in Vanuatu and regularly having his leadership recognized in the form of awards and scholarships.

In 2006 Cam became one of the youngest recipient’s worldwide to receive a Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary. At 21 this prestigious award (which he has now received twice) recognized the significant contribution he had made in turning a communities dream (the YES Disability Resource Centre) into reality. As the project’s Ambassador Cam was the figurehead to a NZ$4 million project. During this time he saw the potential in linking his ever-growing network together with young disabled people so they too could develop tools and processes to realize their dreams, from this Cam founded the Carabiner Mentoring program.

Through the journey to make it into the top ten in the world for his sport Cam started to see the world as his playground and exited near the peak of his running career. Wanting to leave a much bigger impact on the world he didn’t want to compete in an environment governed by the abilities of his Cerebral Palsy but determined by the abilities of himself as a human being where he could encourage more people into their top ten, the top ten of their sport, business, school, art, the top ten percent of who they can be through striving toward a personal best.

Today Cam inspires people with universal backgrounds to dream big, because with big dreams comes a big life. Cam doesn’t hide from the fact that he is still on a journey, that his Everest is yet to be conquered. But perhaps it is his uniqueness as a speaker to be sharing his awesome journey in striving for an awesome outcome that sees audiences connect with his message and absorb an energy that moves, touches and inspires.


Cams inspirational presentation to unlock ones inner motivation covers:

  • Goal Setting – shaping the Big Picture
  • Attitude makes the difference
  • Communication and Networking
  • Competition brings out excellence
  • Be your possibility; no adversity is an excuse for under-living your life
  • Personal accountability – you are what you create
  • Mentors to link potential with success


In the corporate environment Cam is able to use the example of his own experience to challenge people to be the best they can be in their chosen roles and to stretch themselves to achieve more. He encourages people to look ahead and to believe they can achieve more than they may think possible.

A strength of Cam’s presentations is the message of looking out for others and helping them to their goals. His presentations are entertaining as well as imparting a simple and strong message” Bourke O’connor, ANZIIF (Fellow) Dip BS AFARothbury Risk & Investment Services

Cam is a role model New Zealander who proves that any obstacle can be overcome if you are willing to dream big and back yourself with hard work and determination. Cam’s life story is awe inspiring. He is a powerful communicator who connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Cam is a regular presenter at Vodafone events and I am proud to recommend him as a speaker of the highest quality”

- Michael Stanley, Previous HR Director Vodafone New Zealand and Chair of the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation

“Cam I was enthralled and highly entertained by you yesterday. I can also say that I have seen only four keynote speakers in my career receive a standing ovation, and you are one of them”. - Greg Ward, Professional Master of Ceremonies, Keynote Speaker, Corporate Entertainer

“It was a pleasure to have engaged Cam as our inspirational speaker at our team strategy day. The main theme of our day was achieving greatness in what has become a very challenging environment. The words I would use to describe Cam are energetic, motivating, charismatic, aspiring and someone who is living proof of feeling the fear and doing it anyway. Cams amazing personality and belief in life itself made us cry with laughter, while deeply feeling some of the challenges he faced and overcame in his life to be the success he is today. Cam left us all feeling that anything is achievable and was the perfect end to our day”. - Richard Ede, Managing Partner - North Shore, BNZ Partners, Bank of New Zealand

“I attended a Child Fund event last night and our speaker was Cam Calkoen. I just want to say what a wonderful speaker he was and fully recommend him for any event. Cam was engaging, entertaining and very inspiring, he had great comic timing and never faltered in delivering a brilliant talk that involved some very funny audience interaction. Our organization gave Cam a standing ovation and several minutes of clapping at the end of his talk, and many of us were fortunate to have a chance to talk individually with him afterwards”. - Fiona Macfarlane, Impact Analyst, Child Fund New Zealand

“What a wonderful speech you made. You were so professional and obviously everyone enjoyed it. Not many people get standing ovations at Rotary conferences unless they are spectacular like you were”. Sue Pearson, Fundraiser

"Cam was excellent.  Great speaker, very entertaining and motivating" - Kelly Robertson, NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants

"General feedback from delegates was that Cam was awesome. "Beyond Awesome" as quoted by a couple of delegates who attended conference.  He was funny, entertaining and brilliant.  Great value for money and an all round lovely person to deal with".  Note from Conference organiser: "This is the second time I have booked Cam to speak at an event. He has been extremely well recieved both times and I would not hesitate to recommend him" - Plastics NZ