A motivational speaker is facing a heap of grief after pulling the plug on his trading company. 
A motivational speaker is facing a heap of grief after pulling the plug on his trading company. 

Motivational speaker facing grief after winding up company

From the moment he was born 51 years ago and thought unlikely to survive, John "JC" Coutis has coped with plenty of hardship in his life.

But now the Gold Coast-based gent, who describes himself as "Australia's number one inspirational corporate and schools speaker,'' is facing a heap more grief.

Coutis, a double amputee with spina bifida known for zipping around on a custom-made skateboard, just pulled the plug on his trading company.

He tapped Jarvis Archer from Revive Financial this week to wind up his business formerly known Coutis International Pty Ltd.

In a rather curious move, the name was changed last month to Jellyb Pty Ltd for some unknown reason.

Baton Bearer John Coutis carrying the Queen’s Baton in Surfers Paradise on the last day of the relay ahead of the official start to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Baton Bearer John Coutis carrying the Queen’s Baton in Surfers Paradise on the last day of the relay ahead of the official start to the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The setback caps an annus horribilis for Coutis, a charity fundraiser and Commonwealth Games baton bearer in 2018 who earlier this year was awarded a medal of the Order of Australia.

Back in August, Coutis narrowly avoided getting sentenced to five years behind bars and was released on parole after pleading guilty in the Southport District Court to two counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

Cutting through the legalese, he admitted to wrongly pocketing the disability support pension for more than 12 years, reaping in excess of $134,000 in the process.

At the same time, Coutis was earning about $5000 a fortnight mainly from his speaking gigs, a nice little earner that was entirely unknown to Centrelink.

The court heard his income amounted to nearly $1.47m between 2004 and 2017.

Authorities grew suspicious after finding that Coutis frequently jetted overseas, with at least 37 trips taken during the period in question.

Coutis later apologised and asked for privacy, which was rather ironic since he's made a career as a self-promoting public speaker who reckons he's addressed more than six million people around the world during his career.

The fraud conviction marked a stunning fall for a bloke who counts among his friends radio shock jock Alan Jones, Olympic legend Dawn Fraser and NRL great Phil Gould.

All three provided character references to the court for Coutis, an Australia Day ambassador who has previously delivered inspirational talks to the Aussie Olympic team and spoken before crowds of more than 15,000 in China.

Other well-known global identities have also crossed paths with Coutis, including Bill Clinton, Richard Branson and Tony Blair, as well as the late Nelson Mandela and Steve Covey.

Neither Coutis nor Archer returned calls seeking comment.


Could things get much worse for James Mawhinney, the embattled entrepreneur whose $1.5bn scheme to remake Dunk Island and Mission Beach appears to be in tatters?

Why yes they could.

We learned this week that Slater & Gordon has launched a class action against the collapsed IPO Wealth Fund, the one-time flagship vehicle of his Mayfair 101 group.

In a statement of claim lodged in Federal Court, the law firm alleges that a misleading marketing campaign likened the fund as something so safe that it amounted to a "term deposit alternative".

Instead, it was "a risky, illiquid and speculative investment," legal eagle Emma Pelka-Caven claimed.

James MaWhinney on Dunk Island
James MaWhinney on Dunk Island

The lawsuit, which targets the fund's trustee and financial services licensee, alleges about $86m in funds were raised between April 2017 and March this year. Liquidators have warned that much of that money cannot be clawed back.

Queenslander Gary Pearson, one of about 180 investors in the fund, said he had tipped in his life savings after searching for term deposits online. "That money that we had invested and lost was intended to go towards our three children. But all that is gone now," he said.

A Victorian court ordered the wind up of the IPO Wealth Fund in September after hearing allegations from the corporate regulator that it had operated like a Ponzi scheme. IPO disputed that claim.

Mawhinney, who unveiled his ill-fated Dunk Island plans in September last year, did not return a call seeking comment on Wednesday. The trustee and financial services firm also did not respond to a request for comment.


It's enough to pick up a few stocking stuffers, that's for sure.

Former Collins Foods boss Kevin Perkins this week just cashed out $1m worth of shares in the company, which oversees the KFC and Taco Bell chains.

Perkins stepped down as CEO in 2014 after a remarkable 29-year run at the top but he still serves as a non-executive director of the Brisbane-based group.

He's still got plenty of skin in the game, with a direct shareholding valued at nearly $70m based on the closing price Wednesday. Another $3.8m worth of stock is held indirectly in a family trust and super fund.

Kevin Perkins
Kevin Perkins

Three other Collins directors topped up their share portfolios on the same day that Collins offloaded his chunk.

The moves comes just weeks after Collins revealed an 11 per cent spike in revenue to nearly $500m in the half-year to October, with the growth attributed largely to consumers stuck at home during lockdown.

Profit dipped 19 per cent to $16.4m mainly because of costs associated with the closure of the last Sizzler outlets.


Heading into croc country is inherently dangerous but a new app can help reduce the risk for boaters, campers and fishermen (and women, of course).

The QWildlife app released earlier this year allows users to report sightings of the big beasts in the Top End, as well as their tracks and nests.

It also features tips on reducing the risk of attack, as well as a map listing all verified sightings and the actions taken by rangers in the past 30 days.

Fast-growing Townsville software firm GP One Consulting, which launched a decade ago and just opened an office in Brisbane, won a contract to develop the free app last year from Queensland Parks and Wildlife.

Chris Hardie and Gareck Packer from GP One Consulting
Chris Hardie and Gareck Packer from GP One Consulting

Founder and boss Gareck Packer told City Beat this week that the bush-going public has embraced the app, sending it as high as #3 in the trending maps and navigation category on Google Play.

"It's a good news story for us and for Queensland," Packer said.

"The vision was to create an app that would help people be croc-wise in croc country.

"Before the app, there was a list on a government website that recorded all crocodile sightings with a brief description and locational information and that would go up and tend to stay there, unchanged, for months.''

But Packer did sound a note of warning to users. "No one should be using this app to go croc spotting in the wild,'' he said.

Originally published as Double amputee facing grief after winding up company

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