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Pauline Nguyen

Pauline Nguyen


After Dinner

Award Winning Businesswoman & Author

Keynote speaker and popular chef Pauline Nguyen worked her way to the upper echelon of Australia's foodie community in the most unlikely of ways. Before she even turned five years old, she'd escaped Vietnam on a boat, survived a year in a Thai refugee camp as a child and was forced to work before she went to school.

Today, Pauline is an award-winning businesswoman, one of the Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and a best-selling author. Pauline’s life experiences have given her unique insight into the psyche of business and individuals. She uses this insight to impart the bedrock principles of her career: self-mastery, mindset and spiritual entrepreneurship.

Pauline has a reputation for being an voracious, provocative and highly motivative individual who constantly sharpens her personal development while elevating the ability and focus of those around her. Nowhere is this more evident at Sydney's Red Lantern, her Vietnamese restaurant that has garnered more awards than any other Vietnamese restaurant in the world. In 2012, her efforts won her the Australian Telstra Business Award for medium-sized businesses.

Yet her accomplishments at Red Lantern are just the beginning of her collection of awards and achievements. Her memoir, “Secrets of the Red Lantern”, met critical acclaim in Australia and around the world and appeared on many best-seller lists. In 2008, Pauline won the Australian Book Industry's Newcomer Writer of the Year.

She holds a BA in Communications at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Pauline has achieved a lot in her short life – entrepreneur, businesswoman, chef, international speaker – a fact she attributes to a powerful combination of a strong mindset, fierce business skills and an unquenchable hunger for success.

As a keynote speaker, Pauline's presentations focus on the power of mindfulness and meditation, an ancient practice whose ability to centre an individual is an indispensable tool in today's frenetically fast-paced world, not to mention the high-energy, high-stress environment of Red Lantern's kitchen.

In addition to being a coveted conference speaker, Pauline is a consultant for entrepreneurs, executives and business owners. Her wisdom and emphasis on mindfulness is a breath of fresh air for business people, and will also be the basis for her next book: “Grace Under Fire – The Way of the Spiritual Entrepreneur”.

Presentation Topics Include

  • The Red Lantern Story
    • From extreme adversity to success
  • Thought Leader and Commentator in Courage, Resilience and Grit
    • Navigating through change and disruption.
    • Developing personal and organisational Courage, Resilience and Grit.
  • The Game of Business Mastery is the Game of Mastering Influence
    • Named as one of Australia’s Top 50 Influential Female Entrepreneurs, Pauline understands how to use the Weapons of Influence in business and in life.
  • Small to Medium Business
    • Leadership, customer service, staff retention, company culture and service standards.
  • The Way of The Spiritual Entrepreneur - Self Mastery and Self Design
  • Breath Fit and Meditation Workshop


Pauline was exceptional and so was every interaction with her.
BAI Comunications

From the first second Pauline stepped on stage, she had my undivided attention the whole time. Pauline is not afraid to speak her truth and she speaks from the heart. For anyone that has been through tough times or are going through tough times, you will relate to Pauline when she shares her life story. You will get an insight into how you can be a high achiever and be happy too. How the universe rewards the unreasonably determined. Knowing that change is the only constant, expect change, better still be the change. From the “stench of fear” to being at the intersection of Growth and Gratitude. Some time spent with Pauline may just open your mind, heart, soul and health up to a happier way of being. 
Hargrave Real Estate Pty Ltd

Pauline’s presentation was absolutely special and so different from other speakers. Her openness is breathtaking and her way of communicating with her audience is absolutely unique. She talks about her own life with so much sincerity, it is very inspirational. After Pauline’s story, I started to think seriously about meditation as I have never practised it before. She gets to people inside deeply and is definitely one of the best inspirational speakers around.
Pinnacle Property

A pleasure to work with, an inspiration.
Coronis Group

Pauline was amazing. She was very good at building her story and landing her messages. They were very much in line with other messages throughout our event. Pauline was captivating and demonstrated her strength and resilience, delivering her messages in a dramatic monologue. I found it emotional inspirational.
Telstra Licensee Association

I was delighted to hear Pauline Nguyen speak at the recent event at Commonwealth Bank. Her presentation was called "Change Your Own Story for a Better Future". Pauline showed us what can be achieved through hard work and determination. Pauline was both engaging and inspiring, sharing in particular her four valuable concepts: Emotional Mastery, Persistence, The Obstacle is the Way and Energy Management. I recommend Pauline to any organisation seeking to inspire and motivate its employees or members.
Commonwealth Bank

Pauline was engaged to be the kick-off keynote speaker for DevX week, part of a virtual development expo that focused on the skill of learning how to develop yourself. The theme of this year’s DevX week was a focus on authentic development goals. From the initial briefing, it was clear that Pauline was the perfect fit - inspirational, motivated, persistent, expressive, determined and personification of living life deliberately. Pauline displayed the perfect balance of understanding of the brief and the audience, whilst retaining her own personality, flair and stage craft to the delivery. From the personal testimonies received, I know that Pauline has had an immense impact on our audience and in turn allowed us to help them continue to develop authentic goals for themselves.
Wealth Management

Story after story had a recurring theme of how seemingly hopeless causes can be changed for the better with persistency and a deliberate response to life’s challenges. For someone with such achievements, Pauline maintains incredibly humble and after hearing her share her secrets to success and overcoming adversity, it’s hard not to want to follow her lead and approach every obstacle as an opportunity to thrive.
Commonwealth Bank

The audience size was small which would make it difficult for most facilitators but it proved no problem for Pauline - she had them all in the palm of her hand.  She presented at our conference on the Tuesday and we were all still talking about her on the Friday.  It was a privilege to be part of her audience as she resonated with a lot of people in audience in different ways.  She left a positive impact on all of us.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals

A big, heartfelt thank you from all of us at The Eventful Group & The Wake Up Project! We have such appreciation for everything you have shared with us and the vibrant Mindful Leadership Forum Community. All of your time, expertise and energy you have contributed was key in making this year’s forum an inspirational success. 
“Absolutely incredible, there are no words… she blew me away”
“Amazing, inspiring speaker and business woman”
The Eventful Group

There were lots of great speakers at the Mindful Leadership Forum this year, but when Pauline took stage, it was like she had cast a spell on all of us. I love that she took the time to see us and breathe us before she even said a word. It was like she was enveloping us into her own bubble. From the moment she spoke, until she finished, you could have heard a pin drop. The audience was mesmerized, and there were a few tears rolling at times, including my own. Her journey and the work she has put into herself to liberate her mind from her binds are truly inspiring. I can see that she deeply embodies the values she speaks about and that she keeps her practice alive. I’ve never felt myself resonate so much with a speaker, and I’m so glad I found the courage to approach afterwards and ask her to be my mentor. They say that when the disciple is ready, the master appears, and I can’t wait to see what will unfold..
Mindful Cooking

Pauline’s keynote speech was captivating. I could not look away in fear of missing out on important life changing details. Pauline had taken me on a journey of her life and after her speech I was so excited to learn more about how I could free the power of my mind to enhance my mental wellbeing. She has started me on the path of being “Unf*ckwithable” Pauline is one of the most inspirational people I have been lucky to meet.
Orora Beverage Cans

Pauline was a guest speaker for the Financial Planning Association of Australia’s FPA Women in Wealth program, presented in partnership with Financial Executive Women. Pauline held the audience on the edge of their seats with a presentation that was powerful, moving and inspirational.   Pauline’s messages resonated strongly within our audience as she encouraged us to embrace change, to support one another, and to develop resilience, courage and grit.
Financial Planners Association

Pauline is a magnificent creative force, and to be in her presence is an honour. She is a unique woman who both motivates and challenges your beliefs and actions, with the higher purpose of becoming a better person, and contributing more to the world. I had the distinct pleasure of hosting an event with Pauline for the Mama Creatives community and she elevated the room to another orbit. She has a natural ability for storytelling, and her courage and honesty is truly inspiring. Pauline is the real deal, full of wisdom with a deeply generous spirit, immeasurable depth to inspire others to grow, learn and seize every moment of life. You couldn't ask more of a speaker, or person.
Mama Creatives

I was fortunate enough to attend the National Harcourts Conference in Wellington New Zealand, where the first Guest speaker was Pauline Nguyen. This was definitely a stand out performance for the conference and I heard a lot of people comment on how this was their favourite memory of the 3 day event. Pauline has a wonderful way of story telling taking you on an interesting path of the tapestry of her life, which was a mixture of devastation, desperation and determination. She captured the attention and hearts of everybody in the room as she told her story of her life. It was heart felt, relatable and she has a wonderful delivery of story telling, almost taking you back in time on the journey with her. Pauline is one of the best professional speakers I have seen, it awakens you to what's possible even when it feels against all odds. Thanks Pauline, You Rock.
Advantage Realty Ltd

I listened to EVERY word you said today at the HBT Conference. You spoke like no one I have heard before and I thought you were amazing. I hung onto EVERY word you said. Thank you for sharing your story today and motivating the hundreds in the room. Everyone I spoke to tonight has made comment of how brilliantly you spoke. As a supplier to HBT, they couldn't have chosen a better person to guest speak at their annual conference.
Hardware and Building Traders

Pauline was fantastic! she appealed to all delegates in our very diverse audience. There were moments in her presentation where you literally could have heard a pin drop!
Hardware and Building Traders

Pauline was absolutely fantastic, connected with all the audience.
ENTRAX Commercial Interior Fitouts Pty. Ltd.

From the moment I met Pauline Nguyen, I honestly sensed that this lady was very special. Her aura and energy captivates you and her story transcends you to a better place of understanding and perspective. Thank you Pauline from the bottom of my heart. My wish is for all the people on this planet to hear your story and benefit from the inspiration you have given me and my conference delegates. 
Bridges & Associates

Pauline was fantastic to work with and the feedback we received on how was consistently 9/10 or 10/10 from our attendees. I can’t praise her enough.
ING Direct

Pauline, I thank you on behalf of everyone who attended our 2016 National Conference in Vietnam. The story about your upbringing was very emotional and had us all griped to see what came next, the power of such a young mind to break free from what you thought was the norm and follow you dreams that life could and should be better was very emotional, you passion and work ethics will never be forgotten by anyone that is graced by your story. It was an honour to meet you.
Hire A Hubby

Excellent isn’t strong enough – outstanding!
New South Wales Bar Association

Long after Pauline Nguyen leaves the room, her existence will baffle you, while her insights will agitate you. If you are not careful, her purpose will mystify you. Her focus will distract you. Her energy will overwhelm you. Her history will exhaust you. And, her journey will scare you. All this can be easily fixed. All you have to do is this: convince yourself that she is twice her age. Only then, will it make sense. Indeed, she has lived at double speed, and endured hardships at twice the intensity. Her pains were excruciating. The blows were debilitating. Her battles were crushing. From a relentless furnace, Pauline has emerged a formidable human and a redoubtable woman whose mind, body, and spirit are so well fused, that she epitomises triumph-through-adversity, and she personifies grace-through-suffering. Therefore, if you are blessed to be drawn into Pauline’s orbit, hover there a while, because you will be recharged, amazed, delighted, and enthralled. I count Pauline as a dear friend. However, it’s not her achievements that attract me. Rather, it’s what she has resisted — all while discovering a healthy respect for her tribulations. She has understood how life fashions the heroes. Fortunately for us, Pauline has decided to re-invest all her conquests, back into the furnace whence we can draw on her wisdom — perchance to accelerate our lives. By the way, although I have thus-far described a high-octane fearsome woman, I must tell you that Pauline’s self-confidence courts bliss and tranquillity. This makes her a marvellous asset for individuals and organisations who dare to turbo-boost their engines.
Jonar Nader

I am amazed at Pauline's personality and message to the world. She is an extraordinary communicator both written and verbal. Her message and keynote presentations move you. She is both professional and larger than life. She inspires anyone fortunate enough to hear her speak. Thanks Pauline for your message to the world.
Sam Cawthorne

Pauline is one of the most beautiful, humble, kind hearted but at the same time gritty and truly authentic people I have ever met. When I have heard her speak it has rocked me to the core. I love her approach to life and business and I love that she’s not afraid to stand up for what she believes in, fight the good fight and make some serious positive changes in this world.
Lisa Messenger

Pauline Nguyen is a powerful communicator with a unique and compelling story to share. As a leading businesswoman, creative talent and community leader she engages her audiences with insights from a life lived deeply and fiercely. Her writings - whether in her blog or in her theatrical work are a source of constant inspiration to me.
Indira Naidoo

Pauline is a mighty force of nature. A highly successful entrepreneur with a powerful message the world greatly needs to hear. Her leadership and wisdom is truly inspiring.
Siimon Reynolds

Pauline is an absolute powerhouse who is on a rapid path of progression and enlightenment. That’s great for her; what's great for those she comes into contact with is that when she shares her insights and wisdom people listen, take note and change. This makes her a very special human being and someone I am privileged to know.
Glen Campbell

Pauline is a bold and courageous woman who is not afraid to think big in life. 
Joseph Law

Pauline is a gifted writer and compelling speaker. Her stories are drawn from rich life experiences and are imbued with the wisdom of someone who has overcome difficult and challenging circumstances to become a successful businesswoman, best-selling author, inspiring mentor and devoted mother. The qualities that have made it possible are obvious: courage, persistence, imagination and a generosity of spirit. With a sense of adventure she's always up for exciting new challenges, and is as eager to learn, as she is to share her knowledge. With so much to impart, it is no surprise to see audiences hanging on to her every word. I have no hesitation in recommending Pauline Nguyen as a thoughtful, engaging and provocative speaker. 
Annette Shun Wah

Pauline is charismatic and inspiring. She is full of wisdom, depth and her work displays attention to detail. When Pauline walks in a room you feel her energy. She is prepared to share her heart and her soul with the audience. This is a rare commodity in an artist. Pauline possesses the unique characteristics of what a successful speaker needs to contribute: tenacity and determination, a committed work ethic and generosity to others. I recommend Pauline to be given any opportunity to share her life experiences with audiences.
Darren Yap

Pauline is an extremely inspiring individual. She captivated the audience of nearly 500 guests from the moment she took to the stage. In the over 7 years' experience I have had arranging and viewing speakers at our events, it is the first that I could have heard a pin drop from start to finish. Pauline's ability to engage with the audience and hold them in the palm of her hand, for 40 minutes, was nothing short of exceptional. Pauline was extremely professional and generous, both in her interactions with the committee and guests after the talk. She stayed behind long after the fact to sign books and take photos. I have no hesitation in recommending Pauline as an inspiring and engaging speaker for any event she agrees to commit to. Her ability to articulate her life story in an honourable, genuine and entertaining way was just remarkable
Emma Hoolahan

I would rate Pauline Nguyen as one of the best speakers I've had the pleasure of listening to and working with. Her passionate delivery about her early family life coming to Australia and subsequent business success was truly inspiring and thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance. 
Matthew Hourn

The first time I heard Pauline share some of her inspirational story I was blown away. Therefore I was thrilled when she accepted the opportunity to speak for the League of Extraordinary Women community in Sydney. Pauline's amazing achievements mean she is well equipped to deliver inspiration and practical tips on a number of topics including leadership, innovation, delegation, customer service, identifying a brand message and driving it hard to set a business apart within their respected industry, and most importantly the art of failing and having the strength and courage to rise back up again. I would highly recommend Pauline as a keynote speaker for any event where you are looking to engage the audience and inspire passion and energy whilst providing them with practical takeouts they can apply to their own business and life. 
Georgia Nides

As a marketing strategist I've worked with Pauline in the capacity of advisor and friend. With the hundreds of people I have worked with one-on-one, rarely have I observed in an individual such a pragmatic business sense balanced by integrity, honesty and respect. In my estimation, Pauline typifies the archetype of the independent business-woman driven by a clear sense of purpose. Fuelled by this mission, she's helped shape a business and profile that is at the very top of its niche. While, at the same time, creating and nurturing a workplace environment where employees act like owners. Her message is always one of profound insight and revelation. And I always find her views to be thought provoking personally and professionally for myself. 
Alexi Neocleous

Pauline's session at our recent conference was exceptional & inspirational. It was a wonderful blend of a powerful personal story mixed with a fiercely determined story of an entrepreneur building a successful business in a very tough industry. Her humility, grace and humour wowed the audience. 
Richard Klipin 

Pauline is a gentle inspiration, one that creeps up on you, and does not leave easily. I had dreamed of Pauline visiting our school for a number of years so I was excited, the students entranced and the staff blown away by the journey Pauline  carried us on. Pauline’s theatrical delivery invites the listener to experience the emotions of life, its sufferings and joys, all in the frame work of a positive tomorrow. Pauline’s life story is one of conquering challenges and making conscious decisions to impact her life’s journey and future. As an entrepreneur and restaurateur she encouraged us all to chase our dreams within an ethical framework whilst managing time well and including the spiritual in our day. One teacher commented that Pauline was “the best speaker we have ever had speak on our stage”, many others commented on the timely message and the amazing delivery of life’s good advice. Most importantly the students were uplifted. They commented that Pauline's rising above hardship had been an inspiration to them. One students said “It's talk like yours that make me want to work that little bit harder and separate myself from the average worker”, another “Your presentation has inspired me to achieve” and “I want to find out what I am good at”. Pauline’s gracious and generous willingness to serve others and to mentor young women cannot be more highly recommended but it is the message of hope that shouts so loudly to students who come from such a wide variety of homes and circumstances. We need more of this positive, hope filled vision in our world. She is amazing.
Danebank Anglican School for Girls 

Pauline was fantastic. Not everyone can go through displacement from one country, become a refugee in another and finally  be settled in Australia without an emotional story and Pauline had one. The strength needed to go through with relocation in a new country as a young child, a complex family situation and adaptation in the community was incredible but  then to come out on the other side with the capacity to have goals and vision to succeed in business and her personal life left many of us astounded.  Pauline moved the audience emotionally and mentally. The message? In business you need a vision, you need focus and you need passion - surround yourself with positive people, everything is possible.  Strongly recommend Pauline as a speaker. 
Chris Biesbroek

I am writing on behalf of the AMSA Executive Committee, to thank you for your role as our MC, a job which you have not only excelled at but gave our Association a much higher profile just from your presence. The MC role is a key role in any function and you came across as a true professional that you are. You entertained and more importantly, you had total attention of the attendees. We have received several very positive feedback from our membership and their guests. Indeed, I have personally received many congratulatory feedback just because of my association and ability to attract a person of your caliber to be our MC. Our three VIP guests were very impressed at your research of their background and your delivery was impeccable. I would have expected nothing less from the one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Australia and Telstra Business Award Winner. You did not fail to deliver.
Australian Malaysian Singaporean Association

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