Rachael Robertson

Antarctic expedition leader, bestselling author, leadership expert

Rachael Robertson is a dynamic leader and superbly strategic thinker under the most challenging circumstances. She successfully led the 58th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Davis Station – only the second female to lead a team at the Station and one of the youngest-ever leaders.

Rachael is also a best-selling author, Australia’s pre-eminent authority on extreme leadership and Australia’s most booked female speaker. Her talents are in great demand from leading organisations around the globe.

As a keynote speaker and facilitator at over 1500 national and international conferences and events, Rachael Robertson shares what it was like to be a leader in such an intense and unique situation – and the many valuable leadership lessons she learnt during her time of exploration and discovery.

More about Rachael Robertson:

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.

She managed a team of 18 people through the long, dark, Antarctic winter and through trial and error built a resilient and highly successful team based on the foundation that ‘respect trumps harmony’. The most important rule was No Triangles – I don’t speak to you, about them.

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. 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 a best-selling book, Leading on the Edge, based on her year in Antarctica. The book is currently under option for film/TV.

She is an international keynote speaker and has presented at over 1,500 conferences around the world. Her latest book, Respect trumps Harmony, was released in April 2020.

Rachael presents with great humour, humility and passion. No matter the event, Rachael will leave your audience inspired, challenged and equipped to take the next step in their leadership journey.

Rachael Robertson talks about:

Leading on the edge – Rachael’s most in-demand keynote! It resonates with audiences seeking inspiration, humor, and practical tools to build their leadership capability. Explore 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. – How women can get to the top and stay there. 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 – 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 – How to quickly create an innovative, collaborative & high performing team. 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 – How to make your organisation change-ready! 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 – Practical tools for increased safety leadership. 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 people can use to create leadership around them.

Client testimonials

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