about

Mary Coustas

Mary is one of Australia’s most loved actors, comedians & corporate speakers. In 1987 she became a member of the ground-breaking stage show ‘Wogs out of Work’, where her comic creation Effie was born. Her diverse TV, film and stage credits are numerous. Mary has written two books, ‘Effie’s Guide to Being Up Yourself’ and her critically acclaimed memoir ‘All I Know’. Mary’s warmth, popularity and professionalism makes her one of the most in demand public speakers.

Corporate Speaking

Film, TV & Stage

Books

inspirational, entertaining & empowering

Corporate Speaking

For over 3 decades Mary has entertained and inspired the top corporate, financial, political, sporting and cultural communities. Whether the events are big or small, public or private Mary’s experience, warmth and humour has kept her in huge demand.

Mary’s performing career and personal challenges have cemented her in the eye of the public as an authentic and admired agent of change. Whether the issue is race, diversity, gender, class, leadership, motherhood or politics, Mary is able to tackle life’s difficult complicated issues in a illuminating and motivational way. 
Mary’s special gift is seeing possibility in everything and everyone. Her ability to articulate that in a impactful, funny and memorable way is what sets her apart.

Type of Engagement

Entertainer
Interviewer
Social commentator
Debater
Moderator
Master of Ceremonies
Keynote speaker

Topics of Discussion

Empowerment
Motivational
Overcoming Adversity
Identity/Diversity
Modern Day Woman
Creativity

“Life’s not out to get us.
It’s there to teach us and introduce us to ourselves.”

Mary’s Corporate Work

TELSTRA EXCELERATE AWARDS  – Master of Ceremonies

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF COMPANY DIRECTORS Keynote

NAB AGRIBUSINESS WOMEN’S LUNCHEON – Keynote

AUSTRALIAN COLLEGE OF MIDWIVES CONFERENCE – Keynote

BIDVEST CONFERENCE – FIJI – Keynote

PINK RIBBON BREAKFAST – Keynote

PRINCETON PHARMACEUTICAL BALL – MARY/EFFIE – Master of Ceremonies/Comedy Spot

RED CROSS RIBBON COMMITTEE – Keynote

ROTARY CLUB DARWIN – LADIES LONG LUNCH – Keynote

HEALTH TOURISM – LONDON & SYDNEY – Keynote & Host

INTERRELATE CONFERENCE – Keynote

NAB – AGRIBUSINESS WOMEN’S LUNCH – Keynote Speaker

GABI – WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON – Master of Ceremonies

FERTILITY NURSES AUSTRALIA Keynote Speaker

MUM’S SOCIETY LUNCHEON  Speaker

MLC HIGH SCHOOL Keynote Speaker

WORKLINK – STRESS LESS DAY – Keynote Speaker

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY Keynote Speaker

G’DAY USA – LOS ANGELES – Speaker

DAVID JONES – ‘AT THE TABLE SERIES – Speaker

AAA NATIONAL AIRPORT INDUSTRY – AWARDS & GALA DINNER – Master of Ceremonies

Corporate Testimonials

I am just writing to say the biggest thanks to Mary for being a part of our ‘At the Table’ series on Monday. Mary was absolutely fantastic and shared her stories with such honesty and warmth and had everyone mesmerised with her strength and humour that she has displayed in times of such sorrow and struggle.
We really loved working with Mary and hope to do more with her in the future.

Madeleine Wilson
Publicity Manager – David Jones Limited

Mary Coustas as an Emcee started the morning drawing the audience in touching on the ever current issue of women’s health – breast cancer in particular.  She had the attendees in the palm of her hand!!  After helping other speakers through their session (each one was in tears!) it was Mary’s turn and did she deliver?  It was her turn to tell her story and it was told from the heart, it was emotional, it was powerful – she was fantastic.  She received a standing ovation!  PROFESSIONAL, SINCERE, HONEST!!

Leanne Burkhardt
Managing Consultant – ICMI Speakers & Entertainers

I wanted to send you a personal note to express what a pleasure it was to have met you, and how wonderful it was to add your incredible talent and contribution to this year’s event. Thank you!
 
Cheryl Cecchetto

Producer – G’Day USA, The Oscars Governors Ball

Mary you are awesome and an absolute delight to work with and we will recommend you to as many clients as possible. Thank you for last night your ability to weave our messaging into a thoughtful considered level of humour was amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 
Peter Jack

Director – EMG Events

You were a wild success with our students and staff who were inspired by the messages you presented to them.

 
Rose Storelli

Principal – MLC

We thank you both for giving us the honor to be with us. You mastered the event with such an impressive appearance . It was beyond expectation and all guests enjoyed it so much. Thank you for dedicating your time to deliver such an inspiring speech.

You moved us all and how much you have taught us!

 
Dr Terri Piccioli

President – Red Cross

Film, TV & Stage

Mary is an actress, comedian and writer. At University she studied performing arts, journalism, anthropology and psychology. Mary’s passion was always in creating characters and stories which reflected the Australia she grew up in.
 
In the late 80’s Mary was part of the ground-breaking stage show ‘Wogs Out of Work’, hit TV sitcom ‘Acropolis Now’ as well as the comedies ‘Effie: Just Quietly’ and ‘Greeks on the Roof’. TV dramas: ‘Wildside’ ’Skirts’, ‘Grass Roots’ ’Secret Life of Us’ ‘Rake 2’. On stage Mary also starred in ‘Wogarama’ ’Star Wogs: The Ethnics Strike Back’ MTC’s ‘Sylvia’ and her two critically acclaimed one-woman shows, ‘Waiting for Effie’ & ‘Effie The Virgin Bride’. Mary’s film credits include her AFI nominated performance in ‘Mull’, ‘Nirvana St Murder’ and cult favourite ‘Hercules Returns’Mary has been a regular commentator on Channel 9’s ‘Today Show’.
Mary has won a Logie Award and Variety Award for her work as her much loved character Effie.

Key Film, TV & Stage Moments

‘Wogs Out of Work’
‘Acropolis Now’ – 5 Seasons
AFI nomination ‘Mull’
Logie Award Winner ‘Best Comedy Performer’
‘Amigos Para Siempre’ comedy duet with Norman Gunston
‘Wildside’ – ABC TV
‘Sylvia’ – MTC
60 Minutes – 2 Episodes – Channel 9
‘Effie The Virgin Bride’ – One-Woman Show – Frontier Touring

“Nothing good comes from giving up”
– 60 Minutes

Books

All I Know

by Mary Coustas

Mary’s memoir ‘All I Know’ revealed her decade long attempt to become a mother, her 23 IVF attempts and her multiple losses – including the death of her still-born daughter Stevie. 

Her story touched the hearts of the nation after it was revealed in a 5 page book extract in the ‘Good Weekend magazine’ as well as on television 2 separate ‘60 Minutes’ stories. Mary’s motto of ‘Nothing good comes from giving up” was uttered on ’60 Minutes’ moments after giving birth to her healthy and beautiful daughter Jamie on the 25th Nov 2013.

The Impact of ‘All I Know’

Mary’s heartbreaking odyssey and eventual win to become a mother greatly impacted on the people who read her memoir and who watched her story on 60 Minutes. Families that had experienced the excruciating pain of a still-born child somehow felt that they were no longer alone with their grief. One of life’s biggest taboos was now being spoken of publicly by somebody who like them survived that unimaginable loss. But Mary’s story didn’t stop there. Heartbroken but not defeated Mary continued her quest to become a mother and returned to Greece a further 6 times to try again and again. On her 23rd IVF attempt Mary’s greatest dream came true and her healthy daughter Jamie came into the world.
 
People who had previously given up after many attempts to become parents were now compelled to follow in Mary’s footsteps. And like Mary so many of them finally achieved what they had previously thought was impossible. This is one of Mary’s greatest legacies.
“Mary thankyou so much for writing your book and talking about the loss of Stevie. It’s a group that you never know about until you find yourself in it. Thankyou so very much for talking about your experiences and making us feel ‘normal’ in our journey. Mary…you have continued to be my inspiration and your book my hope 4th trip overseas ..last chance with tested eggs..we are now at week 15. Thankyou for helping me sooo much.
If it wasn’t for people like you sharing your story we would never have know it was possible…thankyou from the bottom of my heart Mary oooooxxxx”
“I don’t remember a time I have been so moved by a story as I was by the beautifully written  and haunting “the children I’ve never known” in the Good Weekend. In some ways I wish I had never known the pain Mary had endured. But to say that is a disservice to Mary’s bravery. I so admire her for sharing this journey in the raw, honest and yet positive way in which she did. I don’t know how a human being steps forward from those experiences.
What an amazing Mumma.”

“Dear Mary,
I am writing to say thank you for sharing your story with all of us. Your honesty, bravery and consistent willingness to continue to live is an inspiration to all of us and I’m was very grateful to have read your book and finally feel like somebody could articulate the depth or devastation I have felt in myself.”

“Hi Mary, I have been wanting to write to you for many years to tell you what a profoundly amazing influence that you have had on my wife and I during our IVF journey. It’s hard to put into words how much you have inspired us. We both drew strength from your book and from the amazing courage and determination that you have. Because of you we are now achieving our dream of finally becoming parents. Thankyou for telling your story, you have made an enormous difference to our lives. We are forever grateful.”