Rachael Robertson (CSP, MBA) is a former Antarctic expedition leader, Chief Ranger and leader with 20 years of ‘extreme’ leadership experience. She is a best-selling author and leadership guru whose talents are in great demand from leading organisations around the globe.
As only the second female to lead a team to Davis Station in Antarctica she managed a diverse group of up to 120 people, through total isolation, months of darkness, with no way in and no way out. It was a leadership laboratory in the most extreme and hostile environment on Earth, where most of the theory doesn’t apply.
It was a ‘leadership laboratory’ in the most extreme workplace on Earth. In Antarctica she built a resilient and highly successful team based on the foundation that ‘respect trumps harmony’. Prior to leading the expedition Rachael had 16 years’ experience in a variety of senior operational roles in complex and challenging environments.
Since returning to Australia, Rachael has completed her MBA, written a best-selling book on her experience, Leading on the Edge, and has presented at over 600 conferences and events around the world. 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.
Leading On The Edge – Leadership | Inspiration The job of a leader is to create more leaders, not more followers! This keynote explores 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 – Women | Leadership How did Rachael become the youngest female leader to Antarctica, or the youngest Chief Ranger? In this keynote 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 - Inspiration | Entertainment 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 - Teamwork | Leadership Today's and future teams are very different from what they once were. Now we come together quickly, remotely and are expected to perform immediately. 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 - Leadership | Change It's a truism, but change is the new constant. It can be unsettling, energising but create extreme fatigue. In this keynote 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 - Safety Leadership | Teamwork Workplace health and safety insights from the harshest, coldest, most isolated workplace on earth. 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 each person can use to create leadership around them.
“Rachael was engaging and responded well to the group. Her experiences are extraordinary and she did a great job of relating what she learnt. She was also able to illustrate the similarities between her roles and those of my team. In one word, "Terrific!""
We've had great feedback about Rachael. Her presentation was excellent and very relevant to our leadership conference. Hearing her story was both educational and uplifting and Rachael herself was extremely personable, making the presentation all that much more enjoyable to listen to!
Fairfax Community Newspapers
I have never received so much positive feedback from a guest speaker as I have this time. People continue to tell me how impressed they were with Rachael's story. She provided a fantastic insight into difficulties around management in a remote site. Her messages and insights can be applied within our business. She shared a range of unusual and interesting stories which made her message even stronger.
Excellent - Rachael's presentation style highlighted why she was so successful in her role as leader at Davis Station. The wonderful stories told contained highly entertaining and compelling examples of leadership, hardship, and teamwork in extreme conditions. Rachael is a model of excellence in communication.
More inspirational than motivational and enjoyed by all. A very informative talk, she held them (200) for the hour and had heaps of questions.
Rachael was very interesting to listen to. When Rachael was presenting, she made you feel that you that you were actually there with her. She made you feel that you could actually listen to her amazing stories all day. Allot of people from my division that attended gave me very good feedback. People were that amazed with her presentation that people are asking me details of how they could invite her as a guest for their forum.
Rachael was a very inspiring speaker and she delivered a very professional leadership presentation. We had some great feedback from the delegates too.
Australian Institute of Management SA
All delegates were impressed with Rachael's presentation. The Antarctic must be an awesome place to be and she is obviously a wonderful leader. Fitted in very nicely with the theme of our conference. Made us all want to go there for the experience.
Transport Women Australia Ltd
Rachael was excellent - she was both inspiring and informative and the audience loved her. Thanks so much.
“Rachael was extremely easy to talk to and listen to, her
audience was very diverse with a large range of interests and her
presentation managed to get make every one of them listen. Her down to
earth, honest and amusing approach was spot on.I have had three people ask
for her details for future speaking engagements since the presentation “
Rachael tells an amazing story. The room fell silent as Rachael began and remained that way for the entire presentation as the audience listened intently to Rachael's experience in Antarctica. Using images set to music was a lovely way to finish and brought a tear to the eye.
Meetings & Events Australia ( Victoria Branch)
“Excellent. Exactly what we were after for this session. “
Melbourne Business School Ltd
Rachael was outstanding. Staff are still raving about her presentation today. Both content and manner engaging and relevant. Particularly loved the way she contacted us prior to her presentation to make sure we were all on the same page - which we were. Simply outstanding ! We are using her again in just over a month.
Rachael’s presentation was thought-provoking, humorous, inspirational and relevant to all our staff in attendance. The idea of incorporating an amazing journey of Antarctica in the winter with relevant messages of leadership and team work was particularly attractive to us. Our employees learnt valuable concepts such as the ‘triangle’ which they can apply in the workplace and also left feeling motivated to tackle life’s challenges with a positive frame of mind and push themselves to achieve their best. We would highly recommend Rachael to organisation’s seeking an ‘out-of-the-box’ way to deliver important messages about working in a cohesive team and playing a role in driving a positive organisational culture.
City of Stonnington
'We have received great feedback from attendees at our Women in Mining event. Rachael was able to take the key messages we had discussed pre-event and weave them through her presentation. Rachael was incredibly flexible and accommodating in being part of an event such as this on a remote mine site.
Rachael did a fantastic job of engaging the audience and proving our attendees with practical tools to better lead their people. Rachael’s presentation was entertaining and had the audience on the edge of their seats.
Astounding! The interactions in our senior management team have been transformed in the last few months by simply applying a few of the many ideas from Rachael's session. This is an excellent program for a technical team!
CIO, Federal Government Department
"Rachael was simply wonderful - the evaluations gave her an enormous rating - 4.8 out of 5!!! - "Could have listened to her all day" - "Brilliant - made me think of leadership in a different light" - "Fabulous - all about leading in a difficult situation and what works"
Department of Education & Training NSW, Women in Education Leadership
"Rachael really inspired us with her story of life in Antarctica and was able to link her leadership challenges and experiences to what we as team leaders face in the office."
ANZ Internal Audit