Sharon and Allan Cohrs are an inspiration! A testament to the brawn of resilience and the magic of teamwork in the face of provocation, either in the form of a life threatening disease or the most inhospitable and dangerous environs on the planet, the Cohrs stand as exemplars of the human spirit at its most indomitable.
Share in and learn from their experience, I did and am grateful for it.
Professor Jeff Dunn AO, Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Council Queensland
It was a pleasure to have Allan and Sharon Cohrs speak to our Year 11 students about their amazing achievement in conquering Everest. A focus for our students was on the preparation for leadership which included goal setting, responding to challenges, planning and preparation. Our students were enthralled with the presentation and the story of courage, trust, loyalty and adventure which emerged, brought to life by a combination of film, music and speech. Allan and Sharon have an enthralling story to share, mixed with practical demonstrations of teamwork and leadership. Staff and students were exhilarated by Sharon and Allan's story of overcoming adversity to achieve their dreams. I really recommend their work to any educators wishing to motivate, enlighten and inspire their students to achieve their very best using the conquering of Everest as a metaphor for leadership, study, resilience and relationships.
Dr Steven Middleton, The King's School. Sydney, AUSTRALIA
I am always amazed that a few words from people who have done great things can shine in a way that makes what they are saying attract your attention because their few words stand head and shoulders above the rest of any day's myriad of communication. This is what happened to me in mid 2014, when I received an email from Sharon.
The message essentially asked if she and Allan could call in to our school when they were next in Bangkok. Nothing unusual about that request, lots of similar requests arrive from individuals and organisations who want to visit the school. But this email had something different about it; it seemed to me that this couple - Allan and Sharon, had a message that would be valuable to the multi cultural community of young students, parents and staff of the Australian International School of Bangkok .
There was something in that initial email which conveyed the essential Australianness of both of them …..achievers who were easy going, and humble about what they had achieved, in spite of the massive obstacles of the big "C" and the big "E" that they had faced. So, based on this feeling that this couple would help our students understand the importance of such qualities as resilience, tenacity and courage, I responded with a prompt yes to their request to come to visit the only Australian school in Thailand.
When I met them both at the school gate I knew they would be great people to talk to our young students; on a brief tour of the school, they chatted easily with students and staff who had no inkling of who they were or of their conquest of both cancer and Mt Everest! They were just warm, engaging Aussies . But a month and a half later, on their way back from Nepal they came and spoke to our primary students who were spell bound by their story, although told only briefly, of that dual conquest. In thanking them for their presentation, the staff representative was filled with emotion. There was talk about Everest One for days afterwards and we knew that this lovely couple would come back and see us again quite soon. Their visit has had a big impact on all of us.
As a community, we looked forward to their return, and they did come back in May, 2015, after being through the devastating Earthquake in Nepal … we worried about them and for them … and we were so pleased when we found out they were safe, one teacher said that to know they were safe was "the best way to start a week" she has experienced for a long time. It was so good for us to have them back and they were so comfortable with us after the ordeal they had been through.
So we now regard Allan and Sharon as true blue friends of our school. That first email reflected what they are like … and they have both had a lasting effect on all of us. We are glad to know you, Allan and Sharon, we look forward to a long, lasting friendship between Everest One and the Australian International School of Bangkok.
Mr Greg Cairnduff, Director, The Australian International School of Bangkok - "Nurturing young leaders of the future"
I recently had the pleasure of hearing both Allan and Sharon Cohrs speak at The Kings School in Sydney, about their incredible journey to The Top of the World. They quickly captured our hearts and took us along with them on their ascent of Mount Everest.
My understanding is that this couple always had a passion for climbing, however it was Sharon’s fight to survive Breast Cancer that eventually brought them both to this point in their lives. They showed that teamwork got them through cancer and got them to the summit.
Many of us experience tragedy in our lives but few climb out the other side with such determination. I, along with others there felt their pain and of course we were inspired by their drive to reach Sharon’s goal. I truly believe it was that purpose that brought Sharon back to the healthy life she is now leading.
As a team, they may not get me up the mountain but I left feeling we all have a purpose in life, albeit some more difficult than others. This purpose is our passion and hopefully we will depart this world having made a difference.
Kathy Kelly | Founder - Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation
Sharon and Allan Cohrs are real. During the Brisbane Boys’ College Year 7 Orientation retreat Sharon and Allan spoke with boys about the challenges of life. They engaged the young boys with real stories and interactive workshops. Sharon and Allan were more than just guest speakers, they engaged with the boys and took an interest in the activities of our retreat; spending a night out with groups and then returning to school to participate in the ‘welcoming of the new boys’ activities’.
Sharon and Allan were inspirational and they were willing to tailor their messages and stories to align with the school’s goals and direction.
Brisbane Boys’ College has received feedback from parents outlining the impact their session had on the boys.
The boys of Brisbane Boys’ College are truly richer from listening and participating in Sharon and Allan’s workshop. Each boy was challenged, through examples of determination and dedication, to find a way to conquer their own personal Everest while remaining an honourable person and understanding the importance of teamwork.
I have no hesitation in recommending Sharon and Allan’s workshop to all educators. Their strong message is not only for students - adults appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the workshops and were asking questions of themselves as a result.
Mr Peter MacDonald, Dean of Studies, Brisbane Boys' College
I invited Sharon and Allan Cohrs to be part of my student leadership. The story they told engaged the audience of young people and adults from beginning to end. They were able to speak directly to the students in an easy, entertaining and honest manner, and the footage of their climbing is some of the best material on summiting Mt Everest I have ever seen. The commentary accompanying the video made the whole experience extremely real and relevant to every student. The equipment and demonstrations had the children mesmerized and eager to be part of the activities.
What Sharon and Allan had to say and model about resilience, teamwork and leadership was inspiring and thought provoking. I have asked them to return and talk to a wide range of students from my local community of schools extending from primary to senior secondary. The Everest One presentation is a wonderful story and demonstrates that ordinary people can deal with adversity and go on to do extraordinary things. Meeting Sharon and Allan brought it very strongly home to my young people that anyone can achieve a goal if they set their minds to it. The EverestOne presentation was the highlight of the two day camp.
Mrs Sue Low, Principal - Chatswood High School
I want to thank you both for the inspirational presentation you delivered at our conference awards dinner last Friday evening. Your message was very powerful and to see the effect you had on everyone there was really quite amazing. With tears welling up in the eyes of at least half the audience demonstrates clearly what a magic formulae you have developed. Of all the conferences I have attended, I can’t ever recall seeing a reaction like that. I had delegates coming to me after saying they also had attended many conferences over the years but have never been as moved as they were by your presentation. They will be going back to their homes and business talking about this for quite some time. I understand one of the delegates has already booked you for their local business community awards dinner which in itself is testimony to the impact you both had.
The photos, video footage as well as the interactive component you included helped us all better appreciate the journey you both went on. My biggest problem now is how we top or even match that for next year! So thanks again and I’m sure you will both get to present your fantastic story many more times in the years ahead as everyone needs to experience the “Sharon and Allan Cohrs journey”.
Jim Bradley, Managing Director, Telstra Business
Allan and Sharon captivated the audience for the entire presentation. “Inspirational” seems such a shallow word for what you brought to our group and we all feel privileged that you shared your experiences with us. Your presentation style was so good that many of us felt like we had climbed Everest with you! One delegate who has been involved in industry functions for over twenty five years commented that it was the best motivational presentation he has seen. Many of the delegates have been touched by cancer and more specifically the challenges of breast cancer and Sharon is a shining light for so many people. I think your impact was most notably seen in the ad hoc fund raising that we did that night where we raised $22K for the charity of your choice – the Avner Foundation and research into pancreatic cancer.
Ian Swann, Executive Director, AWCI, Australia and New Zealand
Allan and Sharon Cohrs, both avid mountain climbers spoke about their incredible story of human spirit in reaching the summit of the highest mountain on earth in 2011. For Sharon, this was an especially amazing feat as she had overcome adversity by defeating cancer a few years earlier. The couple spoke about life skills, such as teamwork and leadership, and how those skills can be applied to our students in their journey through Year 12. The presentation, which also showed some magnificent images of life on the steep, freezing slopes of Mount Everest , made many of our students realise that anything is possible, if you want it badly enough and can face the challenges with a positive attitude. It was obvious in talking to our Year 12 students they were inspired by the courage, determination and message delivered by Sharon and Allan Cohrs.
Mrs Vanessa Kingsborough, Year 12 Director, Saint Ignatius’ College Adelaide
“Such an incredible journey! This was such a huge highlight of our Year 12 Orientation Day as both Allan and Sharon shared their amazing and moving stories including their tragedies and triumphs with our entire year level. Their inspiring talk helped us to realise that we each have our own Everest to climb and conquer and through motivation, hard work and persistence all things are possible! The way in which Allan interacted with everyone in the room was fantastic! He even made a Skype call to Sharon who was unable to attend, but was definitely there with us in spirit! A fantastic experience and well worth listening to such positive words of wisdom. Thank you!”
Cassandra Granchi, House Captain, Saint Ignatius’ College Adelaide