My passion is to assist and inspire children and people. I love to show those kids who suffer from infliction’s such as Acne, learning disabilities, lack of coordination and many other every day and common concerns, that they too will survive and can thrive. I love to Inspire them and show them just how AWESOME ” different “can actually be! I strive to help Patients, families and people facing hardship, obstacles and life-threatening situations.   I have talked at schools, Awards dinners, Corporate Team builds and other functions. I love to shift kids,  parents, teachers and every man and women’s perceived beliefs of what a Heart Patient/ Survivor is,  and what  “not so cool kids” can become and can and should strive to achieve! Be passionate, be proud, be an optimist!

School Talk at Rondebosch Boys Primary | November 2018

“Dear Greg

A big thank you for speaking to our boys on Tuesday. I thought that your presentation was excellent and your message is one that we can all reflect on and take to heart. I have received so much positive feedback from boys and staff.

Cara, thank you too for organising everything so efficiently.

Thank you once again.

Kind Regards

Jonathan Liss – Deputy Headmaster”

CBS St Johns Parklands | School Talk | August 2018

“Our Junior School had the opportunity to come to school dressed up as the occupation they would like to go into one day. They were also privileged to have a talk by Greg Bertish, author of “The Little Optimist.” Mr Bertish emphasized the importance of accepting who you are and accepting others who are different. “We are all different and no matter what happens we should never give up – we can still achieve our dreams”

FBYC Movie Night | 5th September 2018

“Dear Greg and team

On behalf of station 10, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks for all the efforts and the kind donation.
A number of our crew attended on the evening and they were blown away at the show.
A big thanks as well to FBYC and their members for allowing the use of their venue.

Regards to all,
Darren Zimmerman

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover | School Talks

Kids are so impressionable, which is why it’s important for them to learn to be kind.

We inspire the un-inspired and we give hope where it is needed. Everyone, child and adult, benefits from our inspirational talks and what better way than from a real live Optimist, Greg Bertish.

We visited Westcott Primary School this week to spread the love and inspiration behind The Little Optimist.
We are certain we left there with bigger hearts and broader smiles.  We are also certain that we left a piece of our heart there too. What a wonderful experience and we cannot wait to do it again!

See more here.



From: Belinda Traverso
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 8:46 AM
Subject: Inspirational!

Hey Greg

I just wanted to say that I loved you talk yesterday! It was really inspirational. I didn’t realise that you had been through your heart surgery twice – very traumatic. Ironically, with all my family cancer etc I also ended up with Dr Nick Schalopbersky. He sent me on a mindfulness and meditation course which changed my life. Ironic!

Anyhow, amazing stuff you’re doing – you must be so proud…..

Cheers, B




“On the way home from school, my 6 year old answered “fine” in a bored voice when I asked how school was…then a few moments later, “actually it was FANTASTIC!” And told me all about your talk! Thanks for all you do Greg…very wide ripples ??”

Nicola Milne ( mom at WPPS)

“Thank you to Greg Bertish for launching our Readathon with his The Little Optimist, a children’s story book of adventure with life lessons about being different, optimism, belief and never ever giving up. For every book bought, Greg donates one book to a sick or needy child as well as 40% of all profits are donated to charity.”

Western Province Preparatory School



St.Cyprians Talk


Guests of the Lunch Club from St Cyrians were kept cosy by a roaring fire and were treated to beautiful music.
After being spoilt with Graham Beck and a delicious lunch – the guests settled in to listen to Greg’s message of courage and inspritation.
The captive audience were touched by Greg’s determination to get well and start helping others.
They showed their appreciation by almost every person buying a copy of The Little Optimist Childrens Book – written by Greg himself.






The Little Optimist Book Launch – Two Oceans Aquarium


“I must be honest.  I have never heard a more powerful and perfect  talk than I heard tonight from Greg. He reduced me completely. It was the most inspirational and powerful talk I have heard in many years, and I love powerful talks. Greg, … respect!”

Ian Klopper – NSRI station commander / Emergency Paramedic


Century City Canoe Club Awards Talk


“An evening of comeraderie and inspiration . Always great to spend time with Club members and partners at a “cosy” gathering with a “best ever” speaker relating his inspirational challenges he has overcome and children related projects he is tackling .

The Club and its members in attendance collected R3500-00 in aid of the Red Cross Childrens Hospital and if you feel like doing the same and donating via the Club ,feel free to donate to our Nedbank Club account with the reference : Your Name”


Rustenburg Girls Junior School Talk


View the post and video HERE


Western Province Prep School Talk

15th November 2016

” It was wonderful to welcome old boy Greg Bertish (1983 leaver) back to school yesterday. Greg addressed our Grade 6 & 7 boys as part of their Enrichment Week. Greg has overcome a number of health challenges, has recovered and continues to surf big waves and now raises money for the Children’s Hospital Trust. His talk focused on how small people can do big things…and the boys were riveted! ”


NSRI Lunch

From: Elaine Aquadro
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2016 7:37 AM
To: Greg Bertish
Subject: Thank you

Hi Greg

Many thanks for your most inspirational speech yesterday.  There were so many of our members who came personally to tell me how much they had enjoyed your talk.  You have such an amazing ability to reach out to all ages.

Quite a few of them also asked whether we can let them know when your dvd and your children’s books are available.  Would you be able to let me know and I can contact them all?

Here is a link to the NSRI website where there are a few photos and a short report.

Again, my sincere thanks for your support.

Kind regards


From: Beverley Bosman
Sent: 03 November 2016 12:39 PM
To: Elaine Aquadro
Subject: THANK YOU

Dear Elaine

Just a short note to thank you and the NSRI team for the lovely lunch yesterday!   The talk by Greg was also fantastically interesting and I wish he would write a biography in addition to the book for children.

All good wishes to you and yours for lots of Good Health and Happiness in the years to come.

Kind regards

Bev Bosman


Milnerton Aquatics Club


Pinelands Highschool Talk

12 /09 /16

Dear Greg

The children (and staff) really enjoyed your talk and will be able to take important lessons from it.  You are a wonderful role model, and your talk was fun, accessible, powerful and inspirational.  Thank you very much indeed.








Dear Greg

Thank you very much for giving up your morning to visit our school and to address our students yesterday.  Your message was inspirational and our students and staff were completely absorbed by the story of your having overcome your life-threatening illness, and your subsequent adventures.  Your humility was a great lesson to all of us, as was your fighting spirit and your obvious love for life.

Best wishes as you continue your valuable work.

Kind regards

Dave Campbell








The Little Optimist inspires young & old sailors

04 September 2016

Greg bertish and the Little Optimist are the Guests at the Opening season Regatta. The little Optimist and family lead the fleet past the commodore after Greg delivers his inspirational story and message to a packed Club House of young and Old.


SACS Junior School Talk

25 May 2016

” Today Greg Bertish spoke at the SACS Junior School PTA Breakfast talk! Greg is an incredibly inspiring, warm & engaging speaker! It really was so wonderful to listen to Greg’s story of overcoming the obstacles that he faced with pure determination & grit! Never losing his passion for life & using this passion to help others! As Greg reminded us all, there is always someone worse off than you! So if you are able to answer the question – “How are you?” With “Fine!” Then you are more than fine! You are fantastic! Below is a quote from the great Roald Dahl that I think sums up Greg’s passion for life! ”

The parents and teachers


SACS | Guest Speaker


Douglas Heel – Great talk at SACS, thank you for your courage to do things differently

SACS Parent –  Thank you for your very inspiring talk and presentation, I left choked up by your journey and how you have handled it head on. Thank you for prioritizing what you’ve learnt and sharing your lessons.

From: PTA
Date: 24 May 2016 at 2:58:40 PM SAST
To: Greg Bertish
Subject: RE: Greg as speaker

Hi Greg,

Just a quick note to say Thank you so much for your talk today!
Your talk certainly inspired and touched me in a huge way.
The feedback has been phenomenal!
Your presentation was brilliant, you are a natural speaker, so warm and engaging.

You certainly made a lasting impression on Mr Nel (Headmaster), and I have already started following up on getting you in to talk to the boys & really want to make sure it happens. All the boys need to hear your story.
I would love to help you to with the book launch whether it be by hosting it at the school or any way possible. As I really believe that you have an incredible message to share with both young & old.
Please send me your bank details, so we can transfer a donation.

Please stay in touch as we would like to help you make a difference.

Kind regards

Felicity Lotter & Sandra Lallemand
PTA Co-ordinators
South African College Junior School PTA


Reddam Winter Sports Awards


On Friday 11th September 2015 Reddam Constantia was honoured to have Greg Bertish as the quest of honour at the annual Winter Sports Awards Ceremony.
Greg gave an inspiring Power Point presentation about his life to date. He also shared life lessons with our audience focusing on “Never, ever give up, “Living your life passion….” and taking “resilience to a new level”

Reddam House has agreed to make a donation of R2000-00 towards the Children’s Hospital Trust fund for the Red Cross hospital.

With thanks
Philip Kriel
Tel: 021 7022322 ext. 255
Cell: 082 3773 444


Thank You Greg Bertish

Hi Greg – you recently spoke at my sons school Reddam Constantia at their sports awards, I have to say I was blown away – it was an amazing speech and you have inspired all my athletes at home (I have 4 boys and one girl).  Thank you for being who you are and for being able and willing to share it with us.

Jenny Barbour


Greetings From The Spirit Foundation | Reddam Talk 2015


Dear Greg

I was lucky enough to listen to you talk at Reddam School last week and I found it moving and inspiring, as did my son Connor a Grade 11 crazy surfer and recipient of an award that day for soccer. The Spirit Foundation was formed in 1994 by myself and Tess Smit to offer high school education to disadvantaged scholars, we now support 100 scholars at a dozen schools. I would like you to please consider talking at our annual registration day, the 2016 registration will be in early December this year, and I will call you later this week to discuss the possibility.

Keep up the great work and I will call you soon.
Kind regards
Ian K.


Reddam High School Awards Evening 2012

It was an honour to have you talk to our students and teachers Greg! We were all so inspired and it was an evening nobody will ever forget. Thank you so much from all at Reddam Atlantic High School.

Shelley Robertson – Sports Co-ordinator , Reddam Atlantic High School


Clifton Lifesaving Awards Dinner 2013


“To everyone who contributed to Saturday night’s event,

Thank you so much for a truly amazing evening. We loved every last minute. And Greg Bertish was above and beyond in terms of inspiration and teaching kids about what is important! We so look forward to the start of the next season.


Philippa, Craig and Bella Strydom xxxxx”


Letter To Greg From DHL


“Dear Greg

I’d like to thank you for the phenomenal presentation you gave to our staff of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Your journey has been an absolutely inspirational one and, speaking on behalf of our office, was one that
provided many lessons to us – both as an organisation and, importantly, from a personal standpoint. It was a
refreshing take on a motivational speech, and gave us some food for thought.
I had many of my staff approach me afterwards to discuss it, and share the personal lessons it provided, which
is probably the best feedback that you can receive; that your talk impacted the audience it was intended for.
I would recommend it for any business or organisation looking to motivate its staff, or find an alternative
viewpoint on corporate crisis.
On behalf of the African Management Board for DHL Express, our staff at the SSA Regional Office and from
my personal perspective, thank you.
Kind Regards,
Charles Brewer
Managing Director DHL, Sub-Saharan Africa”


Guest Speaker | CID


“Dear Greg

On behalf of the Green Point & Oranje-Kloof City improvement Districts, I wish to extend our gratitude and sincere appreciation in having you as our guest speaker.

I do believe that the message was rich in significance and providing a sense of overwhelming, a truly humbling experience, thank you for your time and effort.

May you and the family be blessed

Take care



Blown Away!


“Hi Greg,

I just wanted to tell you how wonderful your talk was last night. My mom and I were completely blown away by your story. I’ve always known you as a hard core surfer and SUPer but had no idea how rocky your path has been. You are such an inspiration and an absolute hero.

Alex Royal Dietetics ”


Thank You


“Hello Greg and Tracy

A huge thank you to both of you for being there last night. Greg your talk WOW’d so many people.
Lots came to mention it to me and thought you were so amazing!
Thank you for doing that for me – amazing 🙂

With love

Marketing and events
082 428 4374″