The Courage and Kindness of Superheroes

The way we treat each other can define our lives and transform the lives of others. Annabelle Williams OAM; Paralympic gold medallist, lawyer, Vice-President of Paralympics Australia, international motivational speaker, and TV commentator is a perfect example of a life defined by the courage and kindness of ‘superheroes’. Annabelle talks about how, through the kindness of others at critical times in her life, these ‘superheroes’ helped her become one of Australia’s very own.

Annie was a member of the Australian Paralympic Swim Team for eight years and managed to balance her extensive sporting and travel commitments with a highly successful and demanding corporate career as a lawyer. Annie captained the Australian swim team, broke five world records, and won numerous medals for Australia, including gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. While she was an athlete, she worked in Paris for the Australian Trade Commission, Washington D.C. for Perennial, an agency that represents NFL and NBA players and was, for a fleeting moment, Charlize Theron’s stunt double in Mad Max 4: Fury Road. Annie worked in the Mergers and Acquisitions department at a top-tier law firm and was the Legal Counsel for the Australian Olympic Committee. She has worked for the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport. Annie is the Vice-President of the Board of Paralympics Australia. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

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TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
TED: Ideas Worth Spreadinghttps://www.ted.com/
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


  1. Hi, Folks.
    The lady giving the TED talk of this article, Annabelle Williams, talks about people being superheroes and helping others to overcome obstacles. What she does not do in this talk is define what a super-heroic act might be. This is not intended to be a criticism of either Ms Williams or of her talk because ‘super-heroic’ comes in MANY shapes and sizes and thus it is difficult to define what such an act might be or the sort of person who ‘commits’ a super-heroic act.

    A super-heroic act can be as spectacular as running into a burning building to save a child – VERY noticeable – or as simple as sitting with and listening to somebody who is having a really ‘bad hair day’ – not noticeable at all except to the people involved.

    Annabelle does tell the stories of a couple of these ‘un-noticeable’ acts of super-heroism and tells why she thinks they were heroic.

    I hope people listen to Annabelle’s story and start to think about how they might be more heroic themselves, even if only in the ‘small’ ways that can make such a difference to another person’s life.

    Just my 0.02.

    You all have a wonderful day. Best wishes. Deas Plant.