Jonny grew up in South Auckland, New Zealand. He found school extremely difficult, having undiagnosed dyslexia and other disabilities which led him to failing all his subjects and being bullied time and time again. After overreacting too many times, Jonny was finally expelled for fighting too much & not showing up to school. It wasn’t until his last school that a counsellor took him aside to work through some of the key issues he was facing. The difference for Jonny was from “night to day”. He quickly turned his academic performance around and focused on his emotional well being. Surprised in the difference seeing a counsellor made, he committed to doing youth work to help other students like him in the future.
After a short time in the NZ Army, Jonny moved to Australia to become a qualified youth-worker. He later took some time off and co-started four companies; one of which was ‘Pushpay’, an app that helps people give to charities, now on the ASX and one of the fastest growing SasS companies in Australian history, worth over $1 Billion. He took this success & resources to re-dedicate his life to full-time youth work, this time focusing on interviewing youth-psychologists & speaking at schools on various health topics.
Since going full-time in 2013, Jonny has spoken over 2,200 times to over 370 schools; speaking up to 27 times a week.
He has spoken at some of the largest events in the southern hemisphere including; National Young Leaders Day, New Zealand's Easter Camp, Universities, Principal Conferences and Corporate Events alongside keynote speakers from Facebook & Twitter. All of his Health presentations have been checked & passed the Australian Educational & Analysis consulting standard. Jonny continues to do tours most weeks. His desire is to help young people make educated decisions based on what they want for their future & to seek help whenever they need it.
Outside of Speaking
Outside of High School speaking, Jonny teaches business at Universities including Massey University and Alphacrucis among many others. He is the acting CEO of Gamify including being on Channel Ten's Shark Tank in 2018. He is a founding investor and on the board of numerous companies including Ripetime; a technology which keeps food naturally ripe longer and ultimately will help the world become more sustainable. His life outside of speaking to to live in a way which is conducive to his motivational talks. "High school was a really dark time for me; I wish someone would've taught me basic life skills and the importance of mental health earlier. That's my motivation to continue speaking in schools" says Jonny.
Jonny has 5 brothers and a sister. His father runs a charity in India and his mother is a sought-after counsellor & speaker who works in maximum security prison. When Jonny’s not busy trying to change the world he likes to switch off by listening to podcast, drawing, reading, playing video-games and surf.