About Trudy Johnston

I’m lucky. I’ve known my purpose since I was small. When I was 9 years old, I knew I would make people famous. Whilst that’s true, it’s much more than that. I’ve spent my whole life supporting people to actualise their potential by helping them to define their identity and tell their stories so they can lead and make this world a better place.

The Me
of Now

I’ve had an incredible career working with the best of the best. Business leaders who say no to Coca Cola wanting to purchase their business for billions of dollars, Venice Biennale artists, and mentors to the UN in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Olympics and more.

I was invited to be a Lecturer at the University of NSW (Masters level) and at Swinburne University. Since then I’ve travelled around the world teaching all types of people – leading business entrepreneurs, artists, creatives, authors and more – how to communicate their vision, get their message across through all the digital, social and traditional media channels.

For 27 continuous years, I’ve been at the helm of senior PR, Personal Branding, PR and marketing. The work of my team delivers results for visionaries in their fields – around the world.

Sounds fascinating, yes? Now read on for my story…..

"I know that when I maintain focus on my dream and never give up, anything is possible."


The Me I
Grew From

One day when I was four years old my mother took my younger brother, baby sister and I to our neighbour’s home, and never returned. The sheer weight of that experience, including losing our family home, catalysed my father’s illness a few years later. These events had a profound impact on my life. 

At age 11, there was struggle. A lot of it. Poverty, illness, many children and much overwhelm. From the age of 14, I worked at McDonalds in Blacktown (an outer Sydney suburb) to pay for my school tuition. Excelling in school, I knew that education and hard work was my way out.

As a young single mother on welfare, aged 21, I had little confidence, no qualifications, minimal family support, but a big curiosity about life. A year later, I saw the limited options of welfare and made a choice. A few years later, I excelled at university, handwriting my assignments while my daughter played around me and won an Honours scholarship. 

I built a wildly successful international career and had all the indicators of success. However in my mid-forties, a new relationship prompted my need to confront my continual flight from intimacy and terror of abandonment.

I knew I had to forgive my mother. I found her online. At her doorstep, with flowers in hand, I hugged her and told her it was ok. Because it was. I knew I would never fully understand her actions, but for my sake, I had to forgive her. 

I knew then that forgiveness and compassion really do work. I know now that they are essential to life.

The power of forgiving her catalysed my world. Soon after – and much to my surprise – I met my (now) husband. Three delightful little grand-daughters and two grand-sons soon followed.

My struggles have given me a dogged tenacity and a depth of compassion and understanding. But they have also given me a depth of compassion and compass for integrity that allows me to build a life I’m proud of.

I have an intuition that I underestimated for too long. A gift to see people objectively and deeply, and most of all, to understand their brilliance, help them shine and amplify their vision around the world. 

I help them use their story to build the businesses and life that they want. To be the leaders they need to be to make to make their visions a reality.

Stay inspired and dream big


Trudy x

Founder & Director

Vim + Zest | Vim + Zest Personal Branding

Authentic Personal Branding

Purpose-Driven Marketing

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