Knowledge gained through education and training, applied through practice, tried and tested across various professions and industries, and refined over decades is the best way to describe the proficiency that Daizy has accumulated and define her as a multi-dimensional leader today.
From Sports to Foreign Affairs. From Australia to the World…
Daizy began her journalism career working with some of the biggest international news organisations including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in Australia, and The Times Group, Channel 4 and MBC in London.
She was the first female sports journalist on The Australian newspaper and first female soccer writer in Australia which took her to the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.
After several years she moved to the international desk and covered many major foreign stories including the Lebanese Civil War and in 1994 she was one of an exclusive group of journalists who were invited to report on the signing of the Middle East Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel. She is a Middle East and international relations expert and has interviewed many Lebanese and Middle East political leaders including the late Yasser Arafat, senior members of Hamas, amongst a host of other key global individuals.
Years of Experience
Growing up, Daizy always enjoyed a deep love of reading, writing and poetry – such things came naturally to her. This is how she discovered her life path and decided journalism was her calling.
Through persistence and tenacity, Daizy gained a cadetship with NewsCorp straight out of high school and trained on different desks before finding herself drawn to the sports desk.
Before long, Daizy began making her mark on the industry when she was appointed as a soccer writer at The Australian newspaper, making her the paper’s first female sports reporter and the first female soccer writer in Australia.
Amongst the stories she covered throughout her sports writing career were two historic tournaments: the Australian Bicentennial Gold Cup between Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Saudi Arabia – where she met PELE, the greatest soccer player of all time – and the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where she brushed shoulders with the likes of Carl Lewis, Flo Jo, Matt Biondi and Greg Louganis.
In that same year, Daizy took her first trip back to the land of her birth, Lebanon, which was still suffering from a protracted Civil War and that changed the trajectory of her career and perspective on the world. Upon her return to The Australian, she requested an immediate transfer to the Foreign Desk, so she could explore her new passion and purpose, which exposed a stronger pull to understand the turmoil of the Middle East.
Daizy eventually worked her way up to Deputy Foreign Editor, along the way covering numerous high profile events such as the Arab Summit in Baghdad, meeting many notorious leaders along the way, including Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein.
Daizy’s career then propelled her to newer heights moving to London to work international media houses including The Times Group, Channel 4 Morning News and the fledgling Middle East Broadcasting Centre Satellite television station, then still in its infancy. She was lured back to Australia by The Australian and spent the next six years in various senior editor roles on the newspaper, including Features Editor and Special Reports Editor. But Daizy connection with her birthland was calling her and she wished to share Lebanon’s fascinating although at times tragic story with the world, only this time through film. Thus began the next major shift of her career: combining her journalistic experience with her love of film.
Changing the World One Film at a Time
As a multi-award-winning filmmaker, Daizy has written, produced and directed two feature documentaries and a series of shorter films and videos. Her first film Lebanon…Imprisoned Splendour which featured Omar Sharif, qualified for nomination for the 1998 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and won several international awards, whilst her second feature, ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour won the Movie That Matters Award at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and went on to win more than 20 other international awards.
Years of Experience
A storyteller at heart, Daizy has always believed that film is the most powerful form of communication, with a unique ability to penetrate both minds and hearts but more importantly, to inspire and motivate people to take action and change their attitudes and behaviour.
“Be it movies, music videos, television programs or documentaries, human beings love to be visually entertained,” – Daizy.
At the age of 23 Daizy fell in love. So deep and all-consuming was the feeling, that it was impossible for her not to fall deeper and deeper into the majesty and wonder that this new love promised.
So hungry was her desire for more and more and more that she spent the next 10 years immersed in that love affair, absorbing and willingly embracing the battles and challenges, along with the delights and joys that love always presents, until a calm of unconditional certainty spread throughout her entire being, and she knew…she just knew: this love would be forever.
Her lover was not a person, but in fact a country – LEBANON.
She was compelled to do something about her feelings the only way she knew how: by telling Lebanon’s story. Through her production company Dream Creations International, in 1996 she released her first documentary Lebanon… Imprisoned Splendour, starring the late and great Omar Sharif. Daizy wove an autobiographical tale of rediscovering her roots that resonated with immigrants the world over. Amongst other awards, the film received a High Commendation from the Australian Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission, the Silver Screen Award at the US International Film & Video Festival, and qualified for Best Documentary at the 1998 Academy Awards.
In 2021, Daizy released her second feature documentary, ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour, at the Marche Du Film at the Cannes Film Festival – where it won the Movie That Matters Award. Five years in the making, ENOUGH! tells the story of Lebanon’s downward spiral into chaos and catastrophe and presents the only sustainable solution: electing new, independent politicians to replace the corrupt, warlord incumbents. The film has featured in over 40 international film festivals and won more than 20 awards.
Defying all Odds to Build a Multi-Million Dollar Agency
From journalism to filmmaking to entrepreneurship, Daizy, in her own words, claims to have lived three lifetimes and is onto her fourth. Her third was when she thought she had decided to take time out to raise a family but instead of slowing down, her unstoppable mindset offered her a new opportunity – to explore the world of business. In 2000 she moved into the marketing and advertising industry and over the following two decades, built GDR MEDIA Group, in Sydney, a multi-million-dollar marketing agency.
Years of Experience
Although it was never her field of choice, Daizy appreciates the important role that business plays in facilitating one’s dreams and passions.
In 2000, Daizy changed career paths again moving into the marketing and advertising industry and over the next two decades, took her parents’ fledgling direct mail business, in Sydney, and turned it into a multi-million-dollar, media agency, GDR MEDIA Group, where she continues as its CEO and Creative Director.
From a turnover of less than $100,000, a team of three part-time staff, being newly-married with three kids under 5, she slowly expanded the business into a marketing and distribution company which, at one point, employing more than 20 full-time staff, 4 part-time and several casuals as well as thousands of contractors around the country and a turnover of nearly $10 million.
This was the most challenging and yet the most grounding and character-building experience of her life. The lessons learned and the knowledge gained, gave her the courage and wisdom to grow and evolve and serve others in a way that nothing else could have, or has, since.
The success that resulted from her hard work allowed Daizy to almost fully finance the production of her second documentary and her current projects in Lebanon.
Our Words Become our Beliefs
Daizy is an inspirational speaker who has addressed all types of audiences from children to world leaders, students to decision-makers, juvenile delinquents to those suffering depression and abuse. What distinguishes her amongst other speakers is her ability to bring to life the words of Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Daizy is an award-winning Journalist, Filmmaker, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Activist. She is a leading expert on topics such as Strategic Empathy, Advocating with Impact, Storytelling with Meaning and Women and the World. Blending the experience gained from her various professions as well as motherhood, she is able to deliver a unique perspective that blends the fields of business strategy, leadership, emotional intelligence, social justice and women’s rights to inspire and support business and community leaders, individuals and the youth to deliver higher outcomes at work, in their studies, their personal life and for their community. Daizy motivates audiences to build deep trusted relationships and create a culture of commitment through the mastery of empathy as a capability.
As a journalist
As a journalist she has worked with some of the most well-recognised media organisations in the world including Rupert Murdoch’s News Group in Australia and the UK, The Times Group and Channel 4 in London and various other media groups.
As a filmmaker
As a filmmaker she has written, produced and directed two multi-award-winning documentary films as well as countless other content items.
As an entrepreneur
As an entrepreneur she turned a fledgling business with a turn-over of less than $100,000 into a strong media organsation with revenue pushing $10 million.
As a humanitarian and activist
Her humanitarian and activism work has largely centred on the Middle East and Lebanon but crosses all areas of human rights and discrimmination.
Daizy’s keynote speaking, training, consulting, interviewing, filmmaking and writing all reflect her belief in the power of the individual to transform businesses, families, lives, nations and change the world.
The Most Powerful Industry in the World – You Better Get Advice!
Media Relations Advisor
As a media and news expert who has worked for the biggest media institutions in the world – Rupert Murdoch’s News, The Times Group, Channel 4 News, Middle East Broadcasting, among others, Daizy was trained and primed by the best. Her media and public relations knowledge spans the breadth of industries from sports to finance, wars to peace treaties, climate change to women’s issues, foreign affairs, politics and international relations. Over the past four decades, she has built a network of experts and insiders that keep her abreast of the biggest issues and their impact, allowing her to remain informed and giving her an edge that serves all those who seek her counsel.
She has advised and executed campaigns that include, developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating communications strategy so she could achieve the communication objectives and maximize positive exposure on local, national and international platforms for her clients.
Stepping Up to the Frontline to Defend Justice
Humanitarian & Activist
Daizy has long championed the causes of many charities and humanitarian missions, both in Australia and globally. From Youth Off the Streets, to the Fred Hollows Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and a myriad of other groups, she has always understood the importance of paying it forward and bringing people along with her, and helping those less fortunate, either financially or through her work and effort. Daizy is on the board of the World Humanitarian Drive Trade 4 Peace, a member of the Global Women Leaders Group, the former Chair of Marketing of the Magic Moments Foundation, and is the Founder of the Free & Fair Lebanon Foundation.
Following the release of her second documentary ENOUGH! Lebanon’s Darkest Hour in 2021, Daizy spent three months stuck in Lebanon due to Australia’s Covid-19 border closures.
Living in Lebanon, witnessing the injustice happening to her beloved people, and meeting so many passionate and committed people on the ground working every day to remedy the situation, sparked a realisation for Daizy that this was where she needed to be. If she was serious about helping the country of her birth, she couldn’t do it from across the seas in Australia.
In April 2021, seven weeks prior to the May 2022 Lebanese Parliamentary elections, Daizy relocated from Sydney to Beirut. At this time, with the assistance of key members of the diaspora, she officially premiered ENOUGH! in Lebanon, screening it in every cinema in the country for free, as well as taking it on tour to cities and villages throughout the nation, encouraging every person she met to vote for change.
Her conversations with Lebanese people from all walks of life and all parts of the country solidified for Daizy the reality of daily life in today’s Lebanon. The destruction of Lebanese society was causing its people to lose not just their jobs, material possessions, or even their basic needs – it was stripping them of their dignity.
This was the inspiration behind Daizy’s latest initiative: the Free and Fair Lebanon Foundation. To be launched in early 2023, the foundation aims to restore, protect and preserve faith and trust IN Lebanon and FOR Lebanon, and the rights of all its citizens to live with dignity.
Mothering is No Mean Feat
Despite all that she has achieved, personally and professionally, the one thing she defines as her crowning glory or the pinnacle of success, are her children. Now adults and pursuing teritiary studies, she is excited to see how they will use their kind hearts, courage and brilliance to contributing to improving the world, through whatever profession they chose to pursue.
From when she was a child, Daizy loved children. From babies to toddlers to teenagers, she loved their innocence, unpredictability, playfulness, joy and the wonderment that was visible in their eyes, launguage and laughter. For this reason she dreamed of having a big family and had her sights were set on having 12 kids and although she was blessed with only three children, to her they bring her the same joy as if she had a dozen.
She is often asked how she was able to raise three kids while pursuing such a demanding career, build a media company, travel the world, make two award-winning films and pursue her dreams and mission. Her response is: “It all starts with why you are doing what you are doing. That crystalises how important something is to you and how much you will be prepared to sacrifice because it takes great personal self-sacrifice, long, long hours, deep commitment and real belief”.
Throughout her busy life and dedication towards her career and its growth, Daizy has remained a supportive and loving mother to her three children. Attending all school and sports events, ferrying her children to parties, playdates, and performances and staying up late to pick them up after. She showered them with love and taught them impermeable principles which has allowed them to grow into independent, worldly, free-thinkers; and gave them the fortitude to never be afraid to follow their dreams but to always act with integrity and respect.
She is extremely grateful for their understanding and support for her mission and recent relocation to Lebanon.
Through the Eyes of Others
She is a real inspiration for me as a journalist, because she is always searching for the truth and never giving up, for the sake of the people. It takes guts and grace to dig out the truth, bravely, while sticking to the facts…Daizy belongs to the sacred motto “truthful investigator / journalist / reporter in the name of JUSTICE.
Rahma Sophia Rachdi
Chief Correspondent of the US Press Agency in France
Three words to describe Daizy: principled, passionate and unstoppable.
The Right Honourable Paul Clark
Former UK Minister of Transport
She is a force to be reckoned with and will stop at nothing to turn the tide in saving her country’s people and legacy.
Daizy Gedeon is one of those women who just gets it! And then does it! Her documentary and passion for Lebanon is second to none and when we have a drive that serves both ourselves and others it is a true win/win. This is the ecological environment Daizy is creating. I admire and respect this business woman, this mother and this friend and know she will continue to make a massive difference on this planet.
CEO, 3 Red Folders
Daizy is extremely driven and an energetic business professional who has built a successful marketing services company. She is a courageous and highly ambitious individual, who never accepts failure is an option and sees success as the hallmarks of hard work and commitment. Nothing is ever impossible or unachievable for Daizy.
CEO, Pro Pac Packaging Ltd
first met Daizy when she worked for The Australian newspaper as Assistant Foreign Editor. Her professional endeavour and drive was apparent from the beginning. Her honesty and integrity are foundation stones of her character. She is bold and will not shirk from a challenge. Her passion for her career is as strong as her passion for her beloved birth country, Lebanon. As a proud Australian as well, she pours her dedication and knowledge back into the community through her business platform.
Founder, Ethnic Business Awards
I am amazed at how Daizy has transformed a boutique business into a sustainable powerhouse with few peers. The culture in GDR seems hard to replicate in many modern workplaces. The team also shares Daizy’s passion for the creation of innovative and insightful documentaries across Europe and the Middle East.
National Manager, NBN Business, Development, Telstra
Daizy is one of the most passionate and enthusiastic business leaders I have had the pleasure of being associated with in recent years. Her drive and commitment is truly second to none. I am delighted to be associated with Daizy and wish her every success in her future endeavours.
CEO, Secure Parking Pty Ltd
Daizy is the most incredibly intelligent ambassador for Lebanon.
Ian Pelham Turner
Royal Photographer and Broadcaster
Gedeon is one of the bravest women I know.
Journalist, The Sunday Telegraph Australia
A moving, powerful film. ENOUGH! is a wake-up call about Lebanon. Even for those of us previously ignorant of the depth of her problems, it’s impossible to watch the film and not care about the country and its people. Daizy Gedeon did an amazing job of revealing not only the criminality of political corruption, but what it means in the lives of everyday people.
Join the Movement
Change . Truth . Justice