Victoria Cross Recipient
Ben Roberts Smith received his VC in 2011 for his gallant selfless actions as an SAS soldier on his fifth tour of Afghanistan. As the most decorated soldier in the Commonwealth, and one of only 9 living recipients of the Victoria Cross worldwide, Ben's inspirational real life stories provide an insight into authentic leadership and selfless service.
Benjamin Roberts-Smith was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1978. He joined the Australian Regular Army in 1996 and was posted to the 3rd Parachute Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. In 2003 Ben attempted and passed the legendary Australian SAS selection course.
Ben's impressive list of combat operations include two tours of East Timor including Interfet in 1999, Fiji, Iraq and six tours of Afghanistan.
Ben was on his second operational tour of Afghanistan in 2006 when he was awarded the 'Medal for Gallantry' for his actions as a patrol sniper in the Chora Valley. It was his fifth tour of Afghanistan, when on 11 June 2010 he was involved in his 'Victoria Cross' action.
During an operation to hunt for a senior Taliban commander in the Kandahar province, Ben took part in an assault against an enemy fortification, exposing his own position in order to draw fire away from members of his patrol who were pinned down. Fighting at close range, he stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them. His citation in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette notes that 'his selfless actions in circumstances of great peril served to enable his patrol to break into the enemy's defences and to regain the initiative ... resulting in a tactical victory.'
Ben was awarded The Commendation for Distinguished Service in 2013 which, together with the Victoria Cross and the Medal for Gallantry, makes Ben the most decorated serviceman in the Commonwealth from the war in Afghanistan.
Ben's tenure with the SAS saw him deploy around the world in roles that covered the full spectrum of Special Operations. His proven ability to engage and form strong alliances with stakeholders including national and international counterparts and enhance the planning and achievement of strategic and operational objectives stems from his years of operational experience throughout the Middle East and South East Asia.
Ben was commander and key planner for Special Operations missions, giving him a fascinating insight into the processes and protocols that are critical in producing success in competitive environments. Ben will not only drive your team to succeed but will provide the vision of a leader who has been charged with providing the Australian Government with positive strategic outcomes in some of the world's most dynamic environments for over 17 years.
Ben Roberts-Smith talks about:
Leadership and teamwork are critical in any organisation and so is finding the right individual to inspire and motivate your team. In his keynote presentation "Frontline Leadership", Ben will not only drive your team to succeed through the application of proven methodologies, but will also offer the insight of a leader who has been providing the Australian Government with positive strategic outcomes in the world's most dynamic environments for over 17 years.
Using real-life examples from the frontline Ben will strengthen your team's procedures, and give them the focus to excel. Ben is a gifted and inspirational speaker who engages audiences with his vivid depictions of modern warfare while always maintaining focus on the topic.
Since retiring from the Armed Forces, Ben has been a leading strategic advisor to Government and industry on a broad range of defence, security and personnel issues. Ben is the Deputy Chair of the Prime Minister's Advisory Council for Veterans Mental Health and is also a member of the Queensland Veterans Advisory Council.
Ben now has his own consultancy business, advising clients across a range of sectors in relation to corporate culture, strategic restructuring and change management. He has focused extensively on assisting companies during change management processes and on helping industry to reap the benefits of a high performance workplace culture.
Ben holds an Advanced Diploma in Management, Diploma in Government and Diploma in Government (Security) and is studying towards an MBA. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).
Ben is also the patron of the White Cloud Foundation which assists suffers of depression and the Wandering Warriors who support current and ex-servicemen.
Ben Roberts-Smith is a rare and motivational individual who has the ability to talk at all levels and is one of this nation's proven leaders.
They say life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. Ben's presentation was breathtaking, quite simply he's one of the most inspiring men on the planet.
We have been holding these conferences for 20 years and Ben is probably the best speaker we have ever had!
Ben was received very well, his story kept the audience interested and intrigued.
Pittard Training Group
Ben was well received by the audience who found him very inspiring and skilled at illustrating how important leadership is in all types of workplaces. He captured and held people's interest for the length of his fascinating speech, and many audience members enjoyed the opportunity to have a chat with Ben at lunch afterwards. 100% of respondents to our feedback survey rated him as excellent or very good, and he was rated the most valuable speaker at our conference.
Ben was phenomenal. His engaging style captivated the audience from start to finish
The Thorn Group recently engaged Ben Robert-Smith as our key note speaker for our National Conference held on the Gold Coast. The expectations where very high and he exceeded our expectations, His presentation would go down as one of the best presentation on leadership that I have witness, his unique style of taking you into the battle field and relating it back to business situations was outstanding and the highlight of our 2 day conference.
Thorn Group Limited
Ben was received extremely well. I had spoken to people that had seen Ben speak at other conferences and they said he was phenomenal so my expectations were quite high and he completely exceeded those tenfold. We kept our key note speaker a surprise from the delegates and they were blown away by his presentation, we are still talking about it. I am not sure how I am going to top it next year.
NDC (National Dental Care) Service Co Pty Limited
Our audience was captivated by Ben. You could hear the sound of a pin drop they were listening so intently. The feedback I received consistently rated Ben’s presentation as “Excellent”. Ben was also very friendly, polite and generous towards our guests, posing for photos and answering questions.
Elders Real Estate
Ben was the highlight of our event, incorporating his Key Note to the overall message we themed for our event – He provided an invaluable message to a very broad audience, I don’t believe we will ever find anyone to top this experience