Peter Baines OAM

Expert on Goodwill, Engagement and Sustainable Change, Keynote Speaker

Peter Baines OAM is one of Australia's most effective ‘Socialprenuers'. A former police officer, he is the founder of the well known charity ‘Hands Across the Water', and as such has created opportunities for hundreds of children in Thailand.

Peter's humanitarian work has been recognised with significant national and international awards. In January 2014, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his International Humanitarian work. In 2016, he received the Most Admirable Order of Direkgunabhorn awarded by the King of Thailand for his devotional services to the Kingdom of Thailand.

A powerful keynote speaker, Peter's presentations take his audience from laughter to tears as he recounts his story and delivers the lessons he has learned by managing some of the world's most devastating crises. His tales of the way in which he has contributed to the lives of many less fortunate people in the world, and the realisation of his personal dream are absolutely inspiring.

More about Peter Baines:

Peter completed university studies in forensic science, law and management and spent 22 years in the NSW Police leading forensic teams in the investigation of some of the world's most horrendous crimes and disasters.

Peter developed his unique leadership style by leading international identification teams into Indonesia and Thailand following acts of terrorism and the 2004 South East Asian Tsunami. He went on to work in the counter terrorism area of Interpol, spent time with the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime and also worked in Saudi Arabia and Japan after natural disasters hit those countries. But it was his work in Thailand that brought the biggest change. After meeting the children left orphaned by the Tsunami, Peter felt compelled to act and founded the Australian charity called Hands Across the Water which has gone on to create opportunities for hundreds of children across Thailand.

Today, Peter has a successful consulting business building engagement through corporate social responsibility and presents across the globe to major corporations and governments on Leadership. He is the author of two books, Hands Across the Water, and Doing Good by Doing Good, which provides a blueprint for building experience led engagement programs with a focus on shared value.

Peter Baines talks about:

Leadership Matters (60 minute Keynote)
Peter takes audiences through the importance of leaving an indelible impression, making decisions without deliberation and focusing on results and not excuses. He discusses the three platforms of leadership and how they impact on individuals, your team and strategic direction.

The Crisis Clock - Hope is not a Plan (60 minute Keynote)
Peter talks about each stage of the crisis clock, and demonstrates that each stage is transitional and sometimes without clear endings or beginnings. As the clock ticks on, so do the challenges and the emotions surrounding each stage.

Leadership Issues Covered in Keynotes
Peter's keynotes cover a wide range of leadership ideas and concepts. The most commonly requested topics are: Leadership; Project Management; Decision Making; From Plan to Plan; Communication; Building Powerful Teams; Clarity of Purpose; Crisis Management; Consequence Management; Resource Management; Negotiation under Pressure.

Client testimonials

I recently attended the breakfast at the Hyatt in Adelaide. Peter spoke on the work that he has done in the disaster area that was Thailand after the Boxing Day Tsunami. Never in my life have I been so intrigued, so interested so absolutely blown away. But most importantly he spoke of his actions as part of a team and really outlined the importance of team work and leadership, not just in bad times, but in everyday life. Peter is an incredible speaker and has his audiences full attention the whole time he is speaking. I laughed and I cried during Peter's presentation and by the end I was totally overwhelmed.


Peter Baines is an inspiration to us all. The experience, skills and knowledge that he has gained from managing high pressure situations in disaster zones allows us to put our own “stressful” lives in perspective. We can all benefit from his simple yet engaging message, and we can be inspired by his stories of human courage and bravery!

Think Global Consulting

I attended the CPA function yesterday and was lucky enough to hear you speak. I felt compelled to write a brief note to say how inspirational and moving it was to hear your personal experiences. It was such an honest account and I felt almost distressed at some of your stories. It is great to see an ordinary (or rather extraordinary) Australian play such an instrumental role when disaster strikes.

NSW Crime Commission

Wow. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the group regarding Peter Baines. His experiences and stories are amazing and everyone enjoyed hearing from such a genuine speaker.

BT Financial Group

Amazing. A complete surprise. A great communicator, very powerful. I had Youtubed him all over the place and thought I knew what we were getting but it was only one tenth of what he delivered. Not a dry eye in the house. One of the best we have ever had.