Peter Baines OAM

Leadership Expert and Powerful Storyteller

Peter Baines OAM, is one of Australia’s leadership experts having road tested leadership the hard way. Peter spent 22 years with the NSW Police leading teams in response to acts of terrorism and natural disasters on a scale not previously seen.

Peter was part of the leadership team that responded to Bali after the bombings in 2002 and was called in 2005, to lead international teams in response to the Tsunami of December 26, 2004 in South East Asia.  Peter headed up multiple rotations into Thailand leading international teams in the identification process of those who died.  All the time his leadership theories were tested in this trying environment.

Creating sustainable leadership became a passion of his after witnessing the devastating effects of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.  He was deeply touched by the number of children left without parents by the disaster and was inspired to set up an organisation that could make a significant difference in the lives of these children.  In late 2005, Hands Across the Water was formed to raise funds for, and awareness of, the children of Thailand who were left alone.  Today Hands, has raised over $30 million Australian dollars.  Hands, now has operations in seven different locations within Thailand and provide a home to several hundred children every night.

The work of the charity has always taken a different approach to most in that they focus on creating meaningful shared experiences for their supporters.  A cornerstone event of the work of Hands are the long distance bike rides that you will find Peter leading throughout the year in Thailand.

His final years with the NSW Police were spent on secondment to the National Institute of Forensic Science where he worked on national and international capacity building projects around counter terrorism and leadership.  He spent time advising Interpol in France and the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime in South East Asia.  Peter was engaged by the Government of Saudi Arabia following the deadly floods in Jeddah, to review their response and provide advice concerning crisis mitigation and leadership.  In 2011 he deployed to Japan in response to the tsunami that would claim thousands of lives there.

Peter has received various awards including an Order of Australia Medal in 2014, for his International Humanitarian work,  and in 2016 he was awarded The Fifth Class of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn awarded by the King of Thailand

In 2010 he was a NSW finalist for the Australian of the Year awards and he was the first Australian to be awarded the international honour of a Rotary Professional Excellence Award in 2008.   He received the NSW Police Service Medal and the Australian Federal Police Operations Medal, for his work in Asia.  He was the first NSW Police Officer to be awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and Australian National Medal. He has completed university studies in Law, Forensic Science and post graduate studies in Management.

Peter has written three books the latest released in 2023, Leadership Matters published by Wiley. Hands Across the Water was his first book and was published by Pan MacMillan in 2011 followed by and Doing Good by Doing Good, published by Wiley in 2014.

When not traveling for work you are likely to find Peter with his wife Claire on their rural property tending to the Hereford cattle they bred.  His other pursuits he tackles with a passion is flying helicopters and running ultra marathons.  In 2024, to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the 2004 tsunami he will run 1320km’s in just 26 days in Thailand.

Peter Baines talks about:

Leadership Matters

The stories of inspiration, resilience and overcoming adversity.  How true leadership doesn’t come a position or title by from actions and reactions.

  1. Leadership without Authority
  2. Clarity of Purpose
  3. Building Strong Teams
  4. Growth through Adversity
  5. Results not Excuses

Experience Matters

Real engagement comes from engineering shared experiences.  Peter shares stories of how your business will benefit from the power of presence.

  1. Building communities and families through Shared Experiences
  2. Engagement strategies that stick
  3. Increasing your retention rate
  4. Removing self imposed limitations
  5. Celebrating your victories

Doing Good By Doing Good

Hear how with an alignment of values and an appreciation that community and business can both profit when working together.  Why the future of mutually rewarding relationships is the way to go.

  1. Aligning your values
  2. Building collaborative programs
  3. Developing stronger relationships
  4. Measuring your impact
  5. Realising a return

The Importance of Balance

Based on one of the most challenging professional careers that you can imagine, dealing with death on a scale not previously seen and leading international counter terrorism projects, the question Peter is most often asked is “How have you done what you have done and seen what you have seen and managed to still be ok?”

You don’t walk into a temple where the decomposing bodies of 3500 people lie and walk out months later in a state of sound body and mind without a clear strategy for dealing with what the vast majority of the entire population will never see.

Peter puts his fitness of mind, body and soul down to three things:

  1. Having a clear clarity of purpose of why he does what he does;
  2. Engaging in a pursuit that is food for his soul; and
  3. Growth through the uncomfortable.

During the keynote he draws on the valuable insights from starting what would become Australasia’s largest contributing charity to Thailand which now has five entities across three countries. The charity Hands Across the Water enriches the lives of those it engages with and has brought profound change to thousands. It’s charity – but not as we know it.

He dissects his latest adventure, scheduled for December 2024, the lead up to running 1400km through Thailand in 26 days. The equivalent of 33 marathons or running from Melbourne to Brisbane and why there is such growth in being uncomfortable.

The key takeouts for the audience from Peter’s latest offering are:

  • Why action will always beat intention
  • The value of creating meaningful shared experiences
  • Building resilience through the embrace of the uncomfortable
  • Why we can’t let yesterday define our tomorrow
  • Not waiting until the time is right
  • When we embrace the challenge we embrace the learning.

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