ABOUT Bernadette Schwerdt

Speaker, Author and Trainer 

As a commentator for ABC TV, contributor to BRW, B & T, Mamamia, The Australian Financial Review and Sky News, Bernadette is an authority on marketing and can speak on a range of topics - from online business, to storytelling for leaders to boot-strapping strategies for startups.

  • Best-selling author of two books about online business.
  • Author of a third best-selling book, 'Catch of the Decade', ghostwritten for  Gabby & Hezi Leibovich. 
  • Podcaster with Southern Cross Radio subsidiary - US-giant Podcast One - "How to build an online business".
  • Presentation skills coach to Australia's top CEOs.
  • Winner of the Bendigo Bank 'Excellence in Business' Awards.
  • Judge for the Online Retailers Internet Awards (the 'Oscars of Online Business').
  • Founder of Australia's most popular copywriting course and trainer of over 8,000 business owners.


My career spans 30 years in media, marketing, the arts and technology. As the founder of four successful companies, author of three bestselling business books, and the creator of two educational institutions, I bring a range of eclectic skills, experiences and networks to all those I work with.

Multiple roles in marketing include senior account director for global brands including Apple, American Express and BHP, to digital marketing strategist, pitch coach and copywriter for McDonalds, Mirvac and Merrill Lynch.

In 2004, I founded the Australian School of Copywriting, Australia’s longest running copywriting school. Alumni include the former creative director of Clemenger Advertising, M&C Saatchi and copywriters working for the world’s leading advertising agencies.

A development deal with Fairfax Media to produce an online TV series documenting the success of Australia’s top online entrepreneurs led to the writing of three bestselling business books, (Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs, How to Build an Online Business and ghost writer for Catch of the Decade).

In 2020, I applied this knowledge to found a tech startup called Synthetic Data (formerly known as Machine Dreams). We help engineers in the predictive asset management sector use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to replace the manual inspection of critical assets with automated visual inspection systems.

In 2020, I was named in the Top 50 Small Business Leaders by a leading industry journal, and my start-up was accepted into the prestigious Startupbootcamp Accelerator. We won the Asset Management Conference Award for Best Startup, were a finalist in the AWS Machine Learning Pitch Competition and semi-finalist at the Australian Technology Competition.

I am what’s commonly known as an AFL ‘tragic’ and as such, was delighted to be invited to be the inaugural mindfulness coach for the Carlton AFL Football Club. I worked closely with the AFL club psychologists and players to develop and deliver their foundation mindfulness program that is still operating today.

I am a sought-after speaker on the global conference circuit on the topics of women in tech, creative courage, personal branding, acts of micro-bravery, machine learning for beginners, and data-based storytelling for business.

I have taken these eclectic experiences to create Australia’s first School of Creative Courage. We help individuals unlock their creative potential, find their unique passion, share that purpose with the world, leverage that wisdom into an online business, and profit from their expertise.

Bernadette speaks on a range of topics including:

  • Online Business 
  • Small Business Sales and Marketing
  • Technology and Digital Disruption
  • Business Storytelling for Leaders
  • Presenting for Influence
  • Women in Business - Motivation and Inspiration
  • Entrepreneurship  

A snapshot of Bernadette’s credentials:

  • Founder of Australia’s largest copywriting training institution: The Australian School of Copywriting (copyschool.com)
  • Executive Producer and Presenter of Fairfax Digital’s online TV show "Secrets of Aussie Online Entrepreneurs”
  • Specialist marketing reporter for Channel Nine’s The Small Business Show
  • Lecturer at The University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne University, Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADDMA), Victoria University
  • Regular guest on ABC Radio, podcaster with MMM Radio/Southern Cross Broadcaster's partner, US-giant, Podcast One 
  • Contributor to BRW, B & T, Mamamia, Marie Claire, The Australian Financial Review, Sky News, Inside Small Business and more.
  • Senior Account Director with Wunderman Cato Johnson, a divison of one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, Young and Rubicam.
  • Online course creator for one of Australia's most popular copywriting courses 

Her qualifications Include:

  • Winner – Bendigo Bank Business Excellence Award
  • Bachelor of Business (Majoring in Marketing)
  • Gold Medal Winner for Strategic Marketing from the University of Adelaide
  • Certified Meta-NLP Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
  • Accredited instructor of Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), DiSC and PADI
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment
  • Recipient of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Trust for Young Australians
  • Classically-trained actress (Victorian College of the Arts, 1995-1997)

Accomplished stage and TV performer:

Not only is she one of the country’s leading authorities on small business marketing and copywriting, she is also an accomplished actress appearing regularly on our screens in some of Australia’s leading movies and television shows like:

  • Jack Irish
  • Neighbours
  • Blue Heelers
  • Backberner
  • The Games
  • Round The Twist

As such, her presentations are imbued with theatricality, humour and compelling stories.

Experienced Corporate Trainer:

  • AMP
  • ANZ
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • BT Financial Group
  • Canon
  • Coles Myer Group
  • Cadbury Schweppes
  • Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
  • Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • Department of Treasury & Finance
  • Ernst and Young
  • Ford Motor Company
  • GE
  • KPMG
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Microsoft
  • ..and many others.

Free Bonus Chapters of Bernadette Schwerdt's Best-Selling Books
Secrets of Online Entrepreneurs
& How to Build an Online Business