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Jerry Grayson

Jerry Grayson

Jerry Grayson’s story of an extraordinary career in helicopters, disrupted entirely by the advent of drones, will resonate with any audience. He's an unforgettable speaker on topics such as risk management, teamwork, resilience and leadership and is certain to leave audiences inspired and motivated.

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Testimonials for Jerry Grayson

Jerry has the rare capacity to present the most serious issues we face as a global community in an engaging, articulate and humorous way. He is warm, witty, considered and poignant. He thankfully steers well clear of the evangelical approach but is extraordinarily adept in allowing the message to speak for itself. I highly recommend Jerry Grayson; he is a highly intelligent and entertaining speaker who would add enormous value in both educational and corporate settings.

Wyvern House, Newington College , Sydney


At the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne Jerry Grayson inspired large and diverse crowds with his ability to tell thought-provoking and audacious stories, bringing to life his many adventures from around the globe, in particular those from his time making The Earth Wins. Jerry exudes an enthusiasm for flying, compassion for those whose path he has crossed in his journeys and a total willingness to share his successes, motivation and passion with others.

Environmental Film Festival Melbourne


Jerry Grayson presented as our keynote speaker on Day 1 of our National Conference and captivated the audience with the stories of his career and his rescue missions. He was able to connect the audiences’ interest in 'risk' with his critical decisions, leadership and team work as a rescue pilot. Jerry's openness to questions and willingness to mingle with the delegates was also very popular. I have no hesitation in recommending Jerry as an engaging speaker for any event!

Risk Management Institute of Australasia (RMIA)


Jerry gave one of the most engaging and inspiring keynotes I have ever seen. He not only has an incredible story to tell but he tells it in a way that can't help but make you question your own choices and decisions. If you're looking for a speaker that can both engage your audience and get them to think deeply about the challenges of technology driven disruption then I can't recommend Jerry highly enough.

Simon Waller


Many of us can tell a story, particularly if we were there at the time. Not so many of us can tell the tales of the type of experiences that Jerry has had in his career. And only a few, like Jerry, can both draw insights from those experiences and relate them to a particular audience. What sets Jerry apart from the numerous story tellers out there on the keynote speaking circuit is the fact that he works with his 'client' beforehand to understand the audience and the message that the client is trying to convey. From there he draws on his vast experience, tailors his message impeccably. When Jerry spoke to a group of emerging young leaders from Swimming Victoria clubs recently he enthralled and challenged his audience... No matter your audience I cannot recommend Jerry highly enough. You will be awe struck, inspired and uplifted.

Swimming Victoria

Jerry Grayson Travels from VIC
Fee Range: POA

Jerry Grayson's Biography

Jerry Grayson’s story of an extraordinary career in helicopters, disrupted entirely by the advent of drones, will resonate with any audience. He's an unforgettable speaker on topics such as risk management, teamwork, resilience and leadership and is certain to leave audiences inspired and motivated.

From Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait to the infamous Fastnet Yacht Race, on stage with The Rolling Stones, on location filming Black Hawk Down, filming the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and broadcasting the Soccer World Cup from South Africa, Jerry Grayson, has a personal story to tell about each one.

As a Search and Rescue Pilot Jerry was just 17 years old when he joined the Fleet Air Arm, the youngest helicopter pilot to ever serve in the Royal Navy. By the age of 25 he was the most decorated peacetime naval pilot in history and was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) by the Queen for outstanding gallantry in search and rescue.

‘RESCUE PILOT: Cheating the Sea’ details Jerry Grayson AFC's story, offering an inside view of his heroic service. It is an inspirational and celebratory account, excitingly told, frequently funny and highly poignant. The significance and quality of this work is underlined by the foreword, which was written by Prince Andrew.

The work of a search and rescue pilot is vital, dangerous, thrilling and on the edge. Hear how Jerry saved fighter pilots who had ditched at sea, rescued desperate sailors from sinking yachts during the infamous Fastnet Race - in which only 85 out of 303 yachts made it back to harbour- and picked up a grievously ill crewman from the deck of a nuclear-armed submarine that was playing a cat-and-mouse game with the Soviet navy.

In 2500 hours of flying with the Royal Navy, Jerry and his crewmates saved more than 70 lives on 120 rescue missions. His story is not an account of one man's deeds, but a salute to all the men and women he worked with who were able to turn tragedies into triumphs.

As a Film Pilot and Director Jerry's adventure didn't stop when he left the navy. He then set up a production company specialising in footage shot from helicopters and went on to contribute to the likes of Planet Earth, An Inconvenient Truth and the James Bond film A View to A Kill, filming above six continents.

In the world of sport, Jerry’s first world broadcast came from the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984. He went on to command the entire airspace over Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games and over Doha for the Asian Games, in addition to his flying and aerial directing roles using ten helicopters at the Athens Olympics and seven at the South Africa Soccer World Cup.

Jerry also flew as part of the Melbourne, Brazil and South Korea F1 Motor Racing Grand Prix, and supplied the aerial filming unit for the worldwide broadcast at all motor races, from 2010-2013.

Just a few months into 2015, Jerry’s three decades of flying experiences almost entirely vanished into thin air. The DRONES had arrived and taken over. Jerry had to deal with the most extreme form of disruption; when the career he’d so successfully built simply ceased to exist. To enable him and his team to move forward positively, Jerry had to recognize the disruption, address it and learn a whole new way of doing his job.

Jerry has authored two books, Rescue Pilot (2015) and Film Pilot: from James Bond to Hurricane Katrina (2017), which were released by Bloomsbury Publishing internationally.

Embrace change or perish

I sometimes think that I must be living somebody else’s life. I joined the Royal Navy, flew helicopters, rescued people, started a helicopter company, flew on movies (my first was James Bond!), shot and directed an IMAX movie, ran Melbourne airspace for the Commonwealth Games and loved almost every minute of it all.

Then came drones; an innovative name that defines disruption.

That single word influences everything I now do; my keynote speaking, my film work, and my books. Five years ago I wouldn’t have believed that disruption could simultaneously be the worst and the best thing that could happen to me.

Speaking Topics Include

Embrace change or perish

Perspective in conflict

Passion and Inspiration

Leadership and Decision Making

Resilience and Dealing with Adversity

Finding the Motivation to be the Best at What You Do and Recognition for What You Do


Digital Disruption and Drones

Diversity and dealing with Culture Change