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Lieutenant Colonel Garth

Proven Leader in Risk Management Training, Crisis Management Systems Development & Building Organisational Resilience

From battlefields to boardrooms, resilience shapes leaders for success.

Garth Callender isn't just an accomplished author, dynamic speaker, and influential leader; he embodies resilience and unwavering leadership in challenging circumstances.

With over 25 years of dedicated service in the Australian Army, including commanding soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, Garth possesses firsthand experience in managing extreme crises. His memoir, 'After the Blast,' published in 2015, chronicles his military deployments and remarkable recovery journey following an insurgent bomb attack in Baghdad in 2004.

What truly sets Garth apart is his recent book, "Best Possible Outcome." In this powerful work, he draws compelling parallels between boardrooms and battlefields, underscoring the universal truth that leaders must make tough decisions.

Garth's impact extends beyond the military sphere. Leading the groundbreaking Veterans Employment Program for the NSW Government, he exceeded expectations by employing over 500 veterans, surpassing targets by 150%, achieving this milestone 18 months ahead of schedule. In 2017, his expertise led to a board seat on the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, appointed by the Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg.

Currently, as Managing Director at Trebuchet Pivot, Garth specialises in preparing corporate leadership teams to make informed decisions in adverse conditions. Collaborating with boards and executive teams across Australia, he equips them to navigate crises effectively.

Garth's dedication to veterans and their families shines through in his role as Chairman of Bravery Trust, an organisation that provides vital financial support to injured veterans and their families.

Continuing to serve part-time in the military, he recently completed a 2-year tenure as the Commanding Officer of The University of NSW Regiment, directing the training of approximately 1100 junior leaders annually. Presently, as a visiting fellow and Leadership and Ethics lead for emerging senior leaders at the Australian War College, he shapes the next generation of senior Defence leaders.

Talking Points

Strategic leadership during uncertainty

Garth's Personal Anecdotes:
• Illustrates parallels between war zones and boardrooms, emphasising the need for clear, considered, and timely decisions.
• Highlights the simple truth that leaders, whether in combat or corporate settings, must navigate ambiguity and chaos to protect their teams.

Lessons from Warfare:
• Shares hard-won and lost lessons from warfare to guide modern business leaders in making decisions during crises.
• Advocates a pragmatic approach applicable across diverse fields, encouraging leaders to embrace challenges, drive innovation, and maximise results.

Ethical decision-making

Knowing Right from Wrong:
• Explores the fundamental aspect of leadership-distinguishing right from wrong-and its application in decision-making.
• Acknowledges the complexity of ethical choices in ambiguous and challenging circumstances.

Ethical Foundations:
• Stresses the critical role of an understanding ethics and having a calibrated moral compass.
• Highlights the increasing expectation for ethically grounded decisions from contemporary business leaders.

Academic Insights and Real-world Tools:
• Garth delivers a blend of academic insights and practical tools to empower leaders in making morally sound decisions.

Managing the human impacts when risks emerge

Streets of Baghdad to Organisational Resilience:
• Explores Garth's experiences managing risk in the streets of Baghdad and extracting insights from Afghan insurgents on organisational agility.
• Demonstrates how military leadership skills can enhance organisational resilience in the face of emerging risks.

Structured Decision-Making:
• Guides leaders through the process of instituting a structured approach to decision-making and planning.
• Emphasises the relevance of military-tested strategies for effectively managing human impacts during times of uncertainty.
Garth is an excellent presenter. He deftly took the audience through compelling stories while relating them to contemporary issues affecting our organisation. RSL Queensland

Thank you so much. Staff feedback was fantastic.

Richmond Football Club

I had the pleasure of attending the AICD Fellow’s Roundtable Lunch where Garth shared his remarkable story. It was great to hear how Garth is now using that experience to advise boards on the importance of conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, where the worse-case scenario is considered and not ignored.


We've had great feedback on your keynote speech, it’s an amazing story and thanks for telling it.


We have had a huge amount of very positive feedback about Garth’s very powerful speech. He spoke with authority on leadership, resilience and what it takes to protect your people. I am certain his inspirational words had a significant impact on all those who attended.

Bravery Trust

Having seen Garth speak on several occasions, I have always found his perspectives highly relevant and translatable. He speaks frankly on leadership lessons that he has learnt from his vast experience, often in some of the most dire circumstances. The real-world examples he presents highlight what is needed to lead through adversity.

Consult Australia
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