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How Dare You!

This is Dr Lucy Morgan bravely speaking at a press conference in Sydney. In this video, she explains, in plain English, the symptoms of Covid19 and what to do if you have them. This was prompted by a video she took of some of her patients to show the stories of what she is witnessing every day.

Why did I say she was bravely speaking? In truth, there was no need for her to be brave when she is a credible representative to participate in this press conference. Take a look at her credentials:


Associate Professor Lucy Morgan is an adult respiratory and sleep physician. Lucy is a proud graduate of the University of Newcastle, trained at Concord Hospital and completed a PhD in chronic lung disease at the University of Sydney.

Lucy has academic appointments at Macquarie University and Sydney University with a strong interest in teaching and training junior doctors and lung researchers throughout the Macquarie University Hospital, Nepean Hospital and Concord Hospital Clinical Schools. Lucy has a very active clinical research portfolio.

She is chair of the Australasian Bronchiectasis Consortium and the clinical lead for the Australian Bronchiectasis Registry project.

She is currently the president of the NSW TSANZ , is a Director of Lung Foundation Australia, a member of the Australian Lung Cancer Trials Group and Director of Research for the Nepean Lung Cancer Group.

She is widely published and an invited speaker at National and International conferences.

I think she was brave because of the unsurprising responses from the public. She would have known this would happen, but was she ready for what she got?

Here you can read a snapshot of what the public chose to say about her. Sadly, there were more negative comments than positive and this is what caused me to react.


Below is my story of how Lucy, for a moment in time, changed my life and helped me understand that you can still stay positive and be kind even when things get really tough.

Picture this, a frightened husband and wife who have flown from Melbourne to Sydney with their very sick child. At the time, believing that he only had a short time left to live. They had waited six months for this appointment, and it was their last hope.

They entered the hospital and compared it to the excellent Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne; this hospital was old, the lift smelled and from the noise it made, we weren’t sure it would make it up the seven floors. The waiting room was sparse and uncomfortable, designed for adults, not little children.

Then out walked this blond, smiling woman wearing a bright pink top. “Hi I’m Lucy Morgan!”

She was a ray of sunshine in a dark moment in our lives. We spent the next few hours with her and her research assistant conducting various tests on our son; not all of them were pleasant. All the while, Dr Lucy shared stories of being a mum herself; she allowed us to laugh and cry with her, and she entertained and spoke to our son with respect, giving him the privilege of looking through the telescope and telling her what he could see.

Why did we wait six months and have to fly to Sydney to see Lucy? Because she was the only woman in Australia who was studying and could diagnose our son with the rare lung disease he has.

Today I was reminded of the critical components required, to ensure we are ready and able to exercise bravery when speaking up in public.

Before you get to speak up, you need to show up. For some, this is their first act of bravery!

But showing up is not always enough; you need to increase your courage by stepping up your knowledge and capabilities in your particular area of interest. You need to learn new and relevant ways to deliver the messages you want to speak out.

As you continue to increase your skills and knowledge, your confidence will grow, as will your ability to know the best forums, modes and methods for communicating.

The most successful people who speak up effectively, tend to do so from a deep sense of conviction.

In some cases, this conviction is driven by excitement to share something they have discovered or achieved, and in other cases, it can be anger against something or someone – HOW DARE YOU!

Lucy’s convictions, in this case, were not from her lifelong study and work with people who have lung disease, nor being told what to say in a press conference; the stories from her patients convicted her. Those people who responded on social media may also have replied with conviction, and these debates will continue to rage, sadly in public, with no real opportunity for genuine reconciliation.

Here are three links to people I believe are excellent at storytelling, facilitating conflict resolution and helping you communicate from and with conviction:


If you want to increase your skills in storytelling – Gabriel Dolan is Australia’s finest.


If you wish to increase your skills in creating a culture of feedback and managing conflict as part of this, Georgia Murch, who was my mentor for a while, and is quite hilarious too, can help you.


Digital body language by Erica Dhawan is an excellent book that explains the

five ‘laws’ of effective communication, with practical and authentic actions you can adopt.

If you are interested in my Influencing for Results program or need some one-to-one coaching on your ability to speak up, feel free to reach out.

As always, thanks for reading!

My best regards,

Shirley Reeder

Director of Brave Consulting.


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