Peter Baines

Expert on goodwill, staff engagement and sustainable change

Peter Baines is the country's 'Socialprenuer'. A former police officer, he is the founder of 'Hands Across the Water', the country's fastest growing boutique charity. Without spending a cent of his donor's money, Peter raised over $1.5 million in just three years to support children who were orphaned in Thailand when the Tsunami hit on Boxing Day 2004. His incredible work continues.

Peter has touched the lives of many through his work and he continues to do so with his compelling keynote presentations. During his presentations, he takes 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 realization of his personal dream are absolutely inspiring.

Today Peter spends his time helping businesses build effective CSR platforms that create goodwill, staff engagement and sustainable change.

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. In 2004, following the Tsunami that swept through Thailand he was deployed to lead the International Disaster Victim Identification response and spent three months on the project, working with Australian and International teams.

After returning to Australia, Peter formed Hands Across The Water to raise funds for, and awareness of, the children of Thailand who were left orphaned. Today Hands Across The Water is one Australia's fastest growing boutique charities and continues to produce amazing results. Within just three years, this home-grown charity has funded the construction of two orphanages, purchased a 14,000 tree rubber plantation, and built a sports and recreation field for the children of Thailand. Peter believes that, "By choosing to do things differently what was once considered insurmountable becomes possible."

The unprecedented challenges Peter faced provided him with invaluable experiences that have shaped his approach to crisis management and leadership. He understands that in times of extreme difficulties it is focusing on results and not excuses that will get the job done. He also knows, through experience, that establishing the right team with clear intent and determination is the only way to ensure projects are completed to the highest standard possible.

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.

Peter meets with his client before any keynote presentation for a full briefing. He then tailors his presentation to meet your organisation's specific needs. He can also facilitate a one to two hour workshop off the back of his presentation. The following are some of the ideas that Peter explores in his presentations:

  • How to be a leader with no positional authority;
  • How to handle politics and still get the job done;
  • How to communicate when no one speaks the same language;
  • How to be creative with no resources;
  • How to maintain a focus on goals and guarantee outcomes;
  • How to keep your head when everyone else is losing theirs;
  • How to lead with power and compassion;
  • How to build high-impact teams, quickly;
  • How to transition back into "real life" crisis

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.