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speaker

Benjamin
Roberts-Smith

This generation's most decorated Australian soldier.

Profile

As a former commander and key planner for special operations missions, Ben has fascinating insight into the processes and protocols that are critical in producing success in competitive environments. Ben will not only drive your team to succeed but will provide the vision of a leader who has been charged with providing the Australian Government with positive strategic outcomes in some of the world's most dynamic environments for 17 years.

Using real life examples from the frontline, Ben provides an insight into leadership and success that will strengthen your team's procedures and give them the focus to excel. Ben is a gifted and inspirational speaker who engages audiences with his vivid depictions of modern warfare while always maintaining focus on the topic. Now one of only nine living recipients of the Victoria Cross worldwide, Ben Roberts-Smith is a rare and motivational individual who has the ability to talk at all levels as one of this nation's proven leaders.

Current work

He is currently Chair of The National Australia Day Council (NADC) a not-for-profit government-owned company which leads a network committees in presenting Australia Day celebrations and the Australian of the Year Awards program.

Ben's tenure with the SAS saw him deploy around the world in roles that covered the full spectrum of special operations. He has a proven ability to engage and form strong alliances with stakeholders including national and international counterparts and enhance the planning and achievement of strategic and operational objectives, an ability which stems from his years of operational experience through out the Middle East and South East Asia.

Previous experience

Army: Ben Roberts-Smith was born in Perth, Western Australia, in 1978. He joined the Australian Regular Army in 1996 and was posted to the 3rd Parachute Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment. In 2003 Ben attempted and passed the legendary Australian SAS selection course.

Tours: Ben's impressive list of combat operations include two tours of East Timor including INTERFET in 1999, Fiji, Iraq and six tours of Afghanistan.

Medals: Ben was on his second operational tour of Afghanistan in 2006 when he was awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his actions as a patrol sniper in the Chora Valley. It was on June 11, 2010, on his fifth tour of Afghanistan, that he was involved in his Victoria Cross action.

Selfless: During an operation to hunt for a senior Taliban commander in the Kandahar province, Ben took part in an assault against an enemy fortification, exposing his own position in order to draw fire away from members of his patrol who were pinned down. Fighting at close range, he stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them. His citation in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette notes that his 'selfless actions in circumstances of great peril served to enable his patrol to break into the enemy's defences and to regain the initiative... resulting in a tactical victory.'

Retirement: Retiring from full-time Army duties in October 2013, the Victoria Cross together with the Medal for Gallantry make Ben Roberts-Smith his generation's most decorated serving soldier in the Commonwealth.

Expertise
Topics
  • Mastering Leadership
  • Inspiring Stories
  • Military
  • Leadership
Feedback
Overnight I have received a flood of emails from our dealers praising us for selecting Ben (I don't usually get any feedback at all). They thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and were really touched by his stories. Ben completely put us out of our comfort zone and made us realise how precious life is. And they way he tied in his experience to our business objectives was spot on. Ben nailed it and we were thrilled to have him part of our event which will become one of the most memorable for years to come. Toyota Australia

They say life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. Ben's presentation was breathtaking, quite simply he's one of the most inspiring men on the planet.

Imagination Melbourne

Ben was outstanding. 10 out of 10. Standing ovation. I've seen a lot of speakers throughout my career and Ben tops the list. Never seen a sales team so engaged and they are just raving about him.

Realestate.com.au

The theme of our conference was 'Inspire to Lead'. This theme encompassed all facets of leadership and team based achievement. In Ben's presentation he encapsulated the best qualities of an individual working under extreme duress in a team dependent environment. A team's performance is grounded in its ability to work towards a goal with each member following a set plan and adapting to changes, as they occur to achieve the desired result. Ben's personal story is at once both inspiring and an affirmation of what can be done if a team is led well, there is a good plan in place and talented individuals rise to the challenges they face. We are extremely grateful for Ben's service and the professionalism and heartfelt retelling of his story. Ben's presentation was a highlight of our conference and has inspired us to strive to achieve all we can in the coming years.

Electrolux Home Products Pty Ltd

Ben's presentation paralleled the leadership message of the conference. He continued to draw on real life experiences and bring them to exactly where our people could relate to their business and their lives. Without notes or PowerPoint he was eloquent, captivating and emotionally inspiring. The majority of our attendees who completed the feedback form noted Ben as the highlight of the conference weekend...

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