Author of ‘Leading on the Edge’ Rachael Robertson (CSP, MBA) is a former Antarctic expedition leader, Chief Ranger and leader with 20 years of ‘extreme’ leadership experience. Rachael successfully led the 58th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Davis Station. She was only the second female to ever lead a team at the Station and one of the youngest ever leaders.
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Testimonials for Rachael Robertson
Astounding! The interactions in our senior management team have been transformed in the last few months by simply applying a few of the many ideas from Rachael's session. This is an excellent program for a technical team!
CIO, Federal Government Department
"Rachael was simply wonderful - the evaluations gave her an enormous rating - 4.8 out of 5!!! - "Could have listened to her all day" - "Brilliant - made me think of leadership in a different light" - "Fabulous - all about leading in a difficult situation and what works" Department of Education & Training NSW, Women in Education Leadership
"Rachael really inspired us with her story of life in Antarctica and was able to link her leadership challenges and experiences to what we as team leaders face in the office."
Hugh Travers, ANZ Internal Audit
“Excellent, everyone loved her. Rachael delivered her experiences in such an unassuming way but with a touch of humour and visual appeal. And she struck just the right chord on the leadership messages. An absolute winner” –
Trilby Misso Lawyers
Inspirational leadership, real and fascinating stories.. Great safety insights…simply excellent.
Rachael Robertson's safety insights were spot-on, practical and eminently useful. Fantastic presentation.
Fee Range: $5001 to $10000
Rachael Robertson's Biography
Rachael Robertson returned to Australia after 12 months in the Antarctic, where she successfully led the 58th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Davis Station. She was only the second female to ever lead a team at the Station and one of the youngest ever leaders.
This leadership role is a truly unique experience. Antarctica in winter is totally inaccessible which means once the last ship leaves at the end of February, no one can leave the base under any circumstance (not even if you are dying) until the ship returns in November. It’s a 24 hour a day, every day of the year, leadership role.
Rachael was responsible for all aspects of life on the Station, from the safety and welfare of over 120 expeditioners in Summer, to the delivery of the Australian Government’s $30mn science program. In any circumstance, this would be a tough role, but for a female in a male dominated environment, it was also a very challenging one!
Prior to this Rachael held senior operational management roles for 16 years in a range of complex and challenging environments and now works in the field of leadership development sharing her experiences.
Since returning to Australia, Rachael has completed her MBA and written two best-selling books. The first, Leading on the Edge, is based on her year in Antarctica. In 2020 she released her second best-seller, Respect trumps Harmony which provides the tools to build resilient, high performing teams based on research and case studies collected over 15 years.
Because Rachael speaks from experience, she connects deeply with audiences, relating her own challenges to the challenges of every workplace. She needs no props, no “rah-rah” moments or no forced audience participation to reach people at a deep level. This is a seasoned leader telling it how it is in her own approachable style. Your people will leave inspired and motivated to make their own lives extraordinary.
Rachael is an international keynote speaker and has presented at over 1,500 conferences around the world.
Speaking Topics Include
LEADING ON THE EDGE – Leadership | Inspiration The job of a leader is to create more leaders, not more followers! This keynote explores how great leaders build and invest in those around them and turn "moments into momentum" by paying attention to the little things. This is all about showing BIG leadership in SMALL moments.
FUTURE. WOMAN. LEADER. – Women | Leadership How did Rachael become the youngest female leader to Antarctica, or the youngest Chief Ranger? In this keynote Rachael outlines the key personal mantras, commitments and career tools that every woman must use to progress effectively. Perfect for both women's and mixed events.
365 SHADES OF WHITE - Inspiration | Entertainment An hilarious and compelling account of Rachael's time leading up to 120 people on in the remotest corner of the earth for a year. Hear about "life in the freezer", the plane crash, how "the bacon war" nearly derailed a $20M science program and other unique stories backed by uncommon insight and useful tools.
THE FUTURE OF TEAMWORK - Teamwork | Leadership Today's and future teams are very different from what they once were. Now we come together quickly, remotely and are expected to perform immediately. In this keynote Rachael uncovers the critical tools she uses to quickly create cohesion, purpose and resilience in teams. Practical tools you can put to work straight away.
CHANGE IS THE NEW BUSINESS AS USUAL - Leadership | Change It's a truism, but change is the new constant. It can be unsettling, energising but create extreme fatigue. In this keynote Rachael provides the tools to navigate this world of "flux" that dominates business today. Self-leadership, resilience, and persistence are the keys to succeeding in a world of seemingly constant change.
REMOTE AND DANGEROUS - Safety Leadership | Teamwork Workplace health and safety insights from the harshest, coldest, most isolated workplace on earth. Rachael recounts how she kept her team safe and sane through the long, dark Antarctic winter by building a culture of safety leadership. She provides practical tools each person can use to create leadership around them.