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Hollie McKay - Investigative War Journalist, Humanitarian, Author

Hollie McKay

travels from USA

Hollie McKay is an extraordinary investigative journalist who stops at nothing to get to the real truth of a situation.

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About Hollie

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Hollie McKay has spent most of her life as a journalist reporting from war zones; regularly going undercover to investigate conflicts; and exposing crimes against humanity and human rights abuses. She has interviewed people from all sides in conflicts with a special emphasis on the impacts on ordinary people to uncover the real picture of what is happening. Hollie is also famous for her interviews with ISIS combatants. A humanitarian at heart, she freely gives of her time and money to help some of the victims of war. She has won numerous awards for journalism and her humanitarian work.

Why you should book Hollie McKay for your next event

  • Drawing on her immense experience of reporting in war zones, she shares how war brings out the best and worst in people. She concludes that it is by faith and love that people are able to support each other through these terrible circumstances.
  • A fearless reporter, she shows how to get to the bottom of a story despite all the hostilities and obstacles that are put in the way by people who do not want the truth to be revealed.
  • She is an expert on the psychology and behavior of terrorists including ISIS.

Hollie McKay originates from Australia where she received her B.A. in Communications, Journalism and Foreign Relations in 2007. For the next 14 years she worked as an investigative reporter of major conflicts and human rights abuses in the middle east, Russia, Burma and Latin America. She has interviewed both the perpetrators and victims of terrorist attacks as well as leaders from all sides. Hollie has interviewed many victims to be able to tell their stories in a way that no-one else can. She has also had exclusive access to captured terrorists in an attempt to understand their motives and behavior.

A widely published reporter, her work has also featured in academic journals and other publications. She authored the best selling book ‘Only Cry for the Living: Memos from Inside the ISIS Battlefield’ in 2021. The same year she created McKay Global, a geopolitical risk assessment consultancy. She has worked with children in Mexico, mentored veterans and is a member of Emergency USA, an NGO dedicated to helping victims of conflict, and also the Outreach Director for BCRF (Burnt Children Relief Foundation) which helps severely burnt Syrian children in receiving life-saving treatment. She is the recipient of many journalist and humanitarian awards.

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Keynote by Hollie McKay

Importance of Human Connection | What War Teaches Us

While conflict brings out the worst of humanity, it also brings out the absolute best. Survivors of such manmade atrocities teach us what it is to be brave, when there is little choice for the ordinary to become extraordinary.  Hollie has often been struck by how ordinary people are forced to become extraordinary at the drop of a hat – or a bomb.

She is both perplexed and inspired by the resilience of these people to withstand pain (physical and psychological), to find hope in the bundling of misery, and to push through the darkness. The key? Faith, hope, and the power of love and holding each other up.

Keynote by Hollie McKay

The Art of Storytelling in Hostile Environments

Getting to the truth and shining a light in some of the darkest corners of the globe, is far from a straight-forward task, especially when faced with hostile governments, insurgents and powerful players who will stop at nothing from squashing the truth. But it can and must be done, both now and in the future.

Keynote by Hollie McKay

On Investigating War Crimes and Accountability

Repeatedly, we hear and often even see unfathomable crimes being committed by governments, gangsters, warlords, and terrorists against those simply caught in the crossfire of conflict.

Who is holding the perpetrators accountable? Why are so many mass murderers and rapists getting away with their crimes in the context of wartime? More must be done.

Keynote by Hollie McKay

How Terrorists Think and Operate: Interviewing ISIS

Having spent years interviewing terrorists from various factions, all over the world and with different ranks and responsibilities, Hollie can offer an unprecedented insight into what makes them tick, what they really want, and why they do what they do.

Keynote by Hollie McKay

Women in War: Vignettes from All Sides

Women are playing an increasingly prominent role in today’s wars, and on all sides of the spectrum. We are seeing more female jihadists, more female fighters, more foreign terrorist wives and more females fighting for what’s right and playing visible roles in conflict resolution.

Women, like never before, are crucial to preventing future conflict.

Keynote by Hollie McKay

Resolution and the Future of Conflict

With more than sixty million people displaced from their homes and a world in disarray akin to that of World War II times, it is hard not to fling our arms in the air and back away from the world. But isolation is not the only answer, there are solutions, and we need to work together with a greater focus on prevention rather than containment, to bring the world’s many wars back to balance.

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Hollie McKay, Investigative Journalist

See keynotes with Hollie McKay
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Keynote topics with Hollie McKay