Tammy van Wisse

World Record breaking Endurance Swimmer

Based in Melbourne

Motivation/ Perseverance/ Adapting to Change / The Power of the Mind

Tammy van Wisse is sheer inspiration!

As a consistent high achiever for over 20 years, world record breaker and a pioneering first, Tammy van Wisse has been there, swum that!

Tammy is a master at conquering extreme challenges, from the famous freezing cold Loch Ness and the English Channel to the most dangerous Straits – Bass and Cook Strait.

Armed with the same energy and dedication as she put into her incredible swimming career, Tammy brings a truly unique and inspiring presentation that entertains as it informs, and inspires as it motivates.

She has swum one-and-a-half times around the planet, setting six world records – five of which are still current.

‘There are no boundaries,’ says Tammy. ‘Once you have the right mindset, whatever your goal, you can get there.’

Tammy was the fat kid at school, always picked last for sports. By her teens, she had achieved success in the pool and open water, winning the prestigious Lorne Pier to Pub three times and claiming the title of Victorian Lifesaving Ironwoman for 17 years in a row!

Tammy van Wisse entered the record books by becoming the fastest person to swim across the English Channel in 1993.

In 1996, she pushed the boundaries of endurance by swimming 18hours non-stop across the treacherous Bass Strait. Tammy is the only human on the planet to have accomplished this feat.

Dubbed the “human water quality tester”, Tammy van Wisse has been an advocate for cleaner waterways since her first swim across Port Phillip Bay, Victoria in 1993. In 2001, she swam the entire 2438km length of the Murray to highlight the river’s environmental importance.

Starting from Corryong in Victoria’s High Country, it took Tammy 106 days (3.5 months) to reach the Murray Mouth in South Australia.

Tammy loves to inspire women to challenge themselves and in 2006, she swam from New York to New Jersey with the objective to honour her childhood hero Gertrude Ederle.

Gertrude was a pioneer for women in sport, and in 1926, made history by becoming the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

Tammy undertook the 35km swim following in the footsteps of Ederle, a New Jersey native, with the goal of inspiring another generation of women and girls.

She smashed Ederle’s 81-year-old world record and received widespread recognition in the US for her feat, including having a day named after her!

Every July 21st is now celebrated as “Tammy van Wisse Day” in Monmouth County, New Jersey in honour of Tammy’s amazing swim.

Tammy’s never-give-up world champion stories are enlightening, entertaining and powerfully motivating. She shares her secrets and strategies of how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Her stories of courage and bravery are unforgettable. Few are dedicated or as committed. ‘There’s always something left in the tank,’ she says. ‘You may think you have been pushed to a particular limit – but you can go on. The mind is just so powerful.’


  • Swum more than 65,000kms, equivalent to one-and-half times around the planet
  • Fastest woman to swim the Cook Strait, New Zealand
  • First and only person in world to swim Bass Strait (97.4km) – Tasmania to Victoria, Australia.
  • Fastest person to swim Loch Ness, Scotland
  • Fastest person to swim 2438km length of the Murray River, Australia.
  • Champion for change highlighting the Murray River’s environmental plight from her own perspective as a “human water quality tester”.
  • Broke world record for New York to New Jersey, USA as tribute to Gertrude Ederle, first woman across the English Channel and her contribution to Women in Sport.
  • Has a day named after her in New Jersey, USA.
  • Winner of round Manhattan Island Marathon Race, USA (48kms)
  • Two solo swims of the English Channel with the honour of fastest person across in 1993 and first brother & sister to cross together in 1994.
  • Lifesaver of the Year & winner of more than 150 Victorian State Lifesaving Titles.
  • Australian Geographic “Adventurer of the Year
  • Ambassador for National Drowning Prevention Day & Play it Safe by the Water
  • Swimming more than 65,000 km – one-and-half times around the world
  • Representing Australia in 18 international marathons
  • Winning more than 150 Victorian Royal Lifesaving State medallions
  • Setting six world records; five are still current


  • 1996: the first to swim Bass Strait (97.4 km in 17 hours and 46 minutes)… it took her 84,000 freestyle strokes from Tasmania’s King Island to Apollo Bay. No one has even attempted to repeat this remarkable feat.
  • 1999: Fastest woman to swim across Cook Strait from the north to the south islands of New Zealand; six hours and 49 minutes
  • 1999: Fastest person to swim the length of Loch Ness; nine hours and six minutes
    2001: Fastest person to swim the length of the Murray River; 106 days, 2428 km – more than two million freestyle strokes
  • 2004: First and fastest person to swim the Gippsland Lakes, from Bairnsdale to Lakes Entrance; nine hours and 57 minutes
  • 2006: In a tribute swim to one of her childhood heroes Gertrude Ederle, Tammy was fastest to swim 22 miles from Battery Point, New York to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, in five hours and six minutes.
  • July the 21st is now proclaimed every year as ‘Tammy van Wisse day’ in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Tammy held this record for five years.


  • The Power of Perseverance
  • Breaking down goals into chewable chunks
  • Adapting to change
  • The Power of the Mind – building our inner strength
  • Growth Mindset
  • Risk Management & Leadership – make a difference!


  • Goal setting
  • Motivation & Inspiration
  • Sport
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Environment & International Women’s Day

“We were absolutely delighted with your presentation. As the opening speaker for our Outstanding Women’s Series you have certainly set a high standard for others to follow.”
-John Boyce, General Manager – Corporate Services Australian Institute of Management (AIM)

“Your informative and very entertaining presentation was of excellent value and totally inspiring. Your talk created great discussions and admiration for your achievements amongst our guests.”
-Carl Jetter, President West End Business Association

“Thank you for such an entertaining and inspiring presentation. The terrific feedback on how well it was received by the group is reflective of the vitality in which your presentation was delivered.

There were significant parallels for our business planning process – having a tangible vision, dealing with setbacks and detailed & extensive planning.”
-R.Couslon, Group Manager Resources Powercor Australia

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