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Summary Profile

From marrying a man who had never seen her to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Julie Filmer, Author and Professional Speaker, who lives in Johannesburg, believes that we choose to become masters of our journeys or victims of our circumstances. She chose to marry her soul mate, Rob, who doctors predicted only had a year to live in 1993

She did this because she implicitly believes that life can be a positive experience and enjoyed … irrespective of the myriad of difficulties and challenges that come our way … “Otherwise what is the point of being alive?” she asks.

Motivated by her positive, cheerful and inspiring outlook on life, Rob astounded the medical profession and went on to live another 17 years until his death in 2010.

Although Rob Filmer became a legend in his own right, it was thanks to Julie’s steadfast love, nursing, courage, commitment and positive outlook that he survived as long as he did. Together they literally ‘moved mountains’ and co-founded Eco-Access in 1994. This fundraising non-profit organisation’s initial objective was to give people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy and care for South Africa’s magnificent natural heritage. Eco-Access grew into a programme where disabled and non-disabled people are twinned so as to build bridges between them, whilst breaking down the barriers of fear which so often exist between people who are so-called ‘different’. It still exists today.

Instead of falling into a pit of despair when Rob died in 2010, Julie decided to rather climb Mount Kilimanjaro, and nine months later, she began her climb … the date was 2 August 2011, Rob’s birthday. The intention was, in honour of her late husband, to fly a lovingly-created flag on Uhuru Peak, and the end result launched her career as a dynamic professional speaker.

In her lively presentations, Julie passionately and unreservedly shares her very personal story. It’s a story of bravery in the face of awesome challenges; about resilience and creating the ability to bounce forward, to use the past without getting stuck in it; and to persevere despite change and challenges – a story told by someone who ‘walks her talk’ and who is a remarkable role model to aspire to.



In this riveting presentation, Julie inspires you to…


and make the most of your life’s journey

In just one hour, audiences become aware of many wonderful new opportunities in their own lives as they listen to Julie unreservedly share her story … a story of facing life’s curved balls head on.
Magnificent visuals accompany her tale.

Uhuru is the Swahili word for freedom.

In August 2011 Julie climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the summit of which is Uhuru Peak. She and her team planned to fly a lovingly-created Flag on Uhuru Peak, in honour of her late husband, Rob. Rob, a nature conservator disabled through a life long battle with diabetes, never saw Julie. After 17 years of marriage, Rob died in late 2010.

On the very day that the climbing team were to make their summit bid, their situation changed dramatically. Julie was left questioning if her attempt to conquer the peak was a failure.

She shares a wonderful mix of what motivated her to climb, her inspirational insights of living with disability, the climb itself and the profound personal discoveries she made on her way to and from Uhuru Peak.

Julie also touches on Eco-Access, the organisation that she and Rob co-founded to give disabled children and adults unique opportunities to discover nature.

Julie returned from Mount Kilimanjaro ready to face the new challenges in her life with vigor and enthusiasm. Her story will inspire you!

“The reality,” Julie sums up, “is that sometimes you do everything in your power to achieve your goal and then life throws you a curved ball – or two! Does that make you or the situation a failure? It depends on how you respond - the choice is yours!”

Julie Filmer


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