Julie Woods a.k.a. ‘that blind woman’ has never let the loss of her sight hold her back. She has taught herself how to read Braille, cook, juggle single parenting and has carved a career as a professional speaker, coach and truffle maker!
After going blind in 1997, Julie has made a trillion truffles, written a book, walked eight half marathons, gone up in a hot air balloon, refereed not one, not two, but three games of nude touch rugby and spoken to the NZ Prime Minister at Premier House as well as the Governor General at Government House.
In January 2009 Julie attended the 200th birthday celebrations of Louis Braille in Paris and on the way home popped into Petra in Jordan to visit her first Wonder of the World. From that day on she dreamed of visiting the Seven Wonders with her husband Ron. Find out which two small words have taken Julie from that hospital waiting room in 1997 to achieve her dream of visiting the 7 Wonders of the World in 2014!
In 2017, she voiced her dream to write 1 million names in Braille, which she is already making great progress with. She is the author of "How to Make a Silver Lining – 8 Keys for Adapting to Extraordinary Change".
In March 2018 she performed Boy Braille where she read aloud reading braille at the Dunedin Fringe Festival.
- Supreme Award – The Cooking Without Looking Show - 2011
- Local Hero medal – New Zealander of the Year – 2011
- Papatowai Challenge 5 year medal - 2011
- Community Spirit nominated – The Star Awards - 2010
- Finalist - Attitude TV Awards - Spirit Section - 2009
“Many thanks for being the star attraction at our Two feet and a heartbeat breakfast. You are a truly inspiring lady and we hope to see you back in Oamaru in the future!” Louise Bee – Sport Waitaki
“Thank you for an inspiring demonstration and workshop – best in the conference” Abi – Dieticians NZ conference
“Thanks Julie. I needed the encouragement” Anna Edgecomb, Taieri Lions Club
“You had the entire town hall engaged and inspired from your speech” - Michael Collins – Otago Polytechnic
“Move over Jamie Oliver – Julie and her truffles are coming through” - Donna Donovan – Yarra Ranges Council Business Support
“The inspirational and witty address of Blind Ambassador Julie Woods was a highlight of the evening.” Governor General’s Facebook page March 2015