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Play at Work

Meet Dara Simkin

Dara Headshot.png

As Australia’s leading play-at-work specialist, Dara is the founder of norm-busting culture consultancy, Culture Hero. She has worked with organisations like The LEGO Foundation,
McKinsey & Co, Silicon Valley's IDEO Play Lab and world-renowned play researcher Dr Stuart Brown. She has presented to brands like IKEA, AGL, Royal Canin, MYOB and Google.

A passionate advocate for the potential of play in the workplace, Dara brings her enthusiasm and creativity to every engagement. In 2024 Dara is undertaking a major research project exploring the impact of play in business in partnership with RMIT University.

"I saw Dara present at a McKinsey conference. Her session made a real impression on me and I had plenty of laughs along the way. Dara provides plenty of practical tools and tips that executives can take back to their teams. One of my favourites is "yes, and". We have been using this technique in our teams since the conference and it has helped shift our dialogue in significant ways."

- Clare Morgan, Group Executive, ANZ


Keynote Topic

"Adaptability at Play"

Adaptability is said to be the number one competitive advantage in business, yet adaptability is really just play in a fancy suit. In the face of rapid change, playful adaptation is not only a necessity but a vital resource. This keynote will help you tackle your biggest culture challenges by showing you how to energise and engage your people, whilst teaching them how to navigate change with confidence, optimism and fun. Both dynamic in its delivery and experiential by nature, “Adaptability at Play” gives your business the tools and techniques needed to play your way towards attracting and retaining the best talent, improving your people’s mental health and wellbeing, boosting productivity and collaboration, and amplifying creativity, motivation and innovation. This makes for happier executives, teams, customers and stakeholders; all of this leading to better performance, higher profits and brighter cultures. We can't keep trying to solve the problems of the modern workforce with the same conventional thinking that created them, this talk will show you how.




"Dara kicked off our very first Learning Festival at Carman's. She took us on a seriously fun ride with a session on "Adaptability at Play." The energy in that room could've powered a small city! Dara's ability to tailor a session to our goals, that linked in with our strategy and was super engaging and fun is second to none. Her presence and creativity, combined with her experience and knowledge is super impressive. The number of people from the session who commented on how much they loved it was huge." - Andrea Vienet, People Experience Partner, Carman’s Kitchen


Dara is the Founder and Chief Play Officer of norm-busting culture consultancy, Culture Hero. 

Dara and her Play Crew help tackle business' biggest culture challenges by energising and engaging their people, teaching them how to navigate change with confidence, optimism and fun. They call it Adaptability at Play.


Dara's Book

An honest, real, tell-it-like-it-is guide to quiet down the chatter in our minds to find more space for creativity and play.

Book Dara for your next event


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