sean’s story.

While on a morning run along Torquay beach in Victoria, Australia; Sean Purcell went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating - Sean was left face first in the water. 

What happened next was truly remarkable. A group of quick thinking strangers came together to administer life saving CPR for more than 45 minutes, sourced a defibrillator and re-started Sean’s heart before Paramedics could stabilise him and air-lift him to hospital. 

Sean’s prognosis was bleak, clinically dead for 45 minutes - if he was to survive; his family were told he would suffer permanent brain damage. 

But Sean did survive and thrived, and is here to share his story: the collapse, a five-day coma, a journey of recovery and his quest to find and thank the locals who saved his life that went global! 

5 years on and Sean is making the most of his second shot at life. He heads up the ‘Empower Sessions’
by Cotton On Foundation; a national program that highlights the focus on empowering youth globally through the delivery of quality educational projects in Uganda, South Africa, Thailand and Australia.

Sean is also a proud member of the Lifechanger Foundation team, facilitating sessions nationally and delivering holistic self-development workshops for teens with the mission of creating and sustaining safe and resilient communities across Australia. 

Sean is driven to share his story and highlight the beauty of the human condition. His talk focuses on the importance of gratitude, how capable we all are when faced with direct opportunity or adversity and the need for all of us to capitalise on our skill set and live a life of purpose! 


“captivating, thought provoking & purposeful”.

Sean’s talk ‘Life of Purpose’ was one of the most well-received presentations we’ve ever experienced at the ‘Man Up Project’.

A room full of Men hung on every word as Sean shared the remarkable series of events that transpired on that day in 2014. Not only is his story an inspiration but his delivery is highly engaging and purposeful as he draws thought-provoking life lessons from his experience that can inspire growth in all of us. You’re an inspiration mate!

Michael Platt - Founder ‘The Man Up Project’.



June 2019 / Watch Sean’s interview with Student Leadership News:

If you want to make a difference in the world, there is lots to be learned from what fashion giant Cotton On and their game changing initiative - the Cotton On Foundation..

In this episode Ronan is joined by Sean Purcell, Empower Sessions coordinator for the Cotton On Foundation, and they break down some of the valuable lessons that student leaders can apply to their own projects.

Student Leadership News is a team of people who are passionate about keeping student leaders up to date with what leaders are doing around the globe!

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May 2019 / Watch Sean’s interview with Ambisie:

Ambisie is a community of storytellers who share their journey (via video or in person) with the next generation.

Stories are structured in a way to help open the viewers minds to how the storyteller navigated their way through life, found their passion and discovered their purpose in the world. It exposes journeys to careers they'd never heard of or even thought were available.

These stories aim to help the viewer feel more at ease with the process of finding their passion and purpose, as well as dealing with change and career discovery.

Inspiration will filter into the minds of the viewer as they learn from story tellers who started out with a dream, had the motivation to set goals, faced challenges and embraced the adventure which led them to where they are today. 


“Sean had a natural ability to connect with the audience, his passion was infectious!”.

“Sean Purcell was the guest speaker at our empower program event at The Gordon.

Sean’s story of survival after collapsing on the beach is truly amazing! Sean has used this life changing event to impact and inspire others. Sean was a highly effective communicator, extremely engaging and a polished speaker.

Sean had a natural ability to connect with the audience his passion was infectious! Sean highlights how we can use adversity to catapult us to success; his story was unforgettable and impacted all in the room.”

Amber Beasley - The Gordon.