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speaker

Rabia
Siddique

International humanitarian lawyer, hostage survivor, best-selling author.

We must all be our own agents of change.

Profile

Rabia Siddique is a history making humanitarian, best-selling author and multi-award winning international keynote speaker. She is a sought after transformational coach and mentor and speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Current work

Rabia’s powerful and engaging presentations on leadership, resilience, equality and diversity, draw on her personal story of strength, courage and forgiveness, in addition to her legal, military and psychology training. Surviving a hostage crisis in Iraq, Rabia garnered global attention for making the British military accountable for silencing her ordeal as a military lawyer in releasing captured Special Forces soldiers. Standing up for justice in the face of public ridicule, Rabia’s brave action in suing the British Government for sexism and racism became a catalyst for policy change to ensure a fairer workplace for women and cultural minorities in the British military.

Rabia is an expert commentator, regularly appearing in newspapers, magazines, television, radio and online media in Australia and around the globe, including The Guardian, 60 Minutes and ABC television.

With her best-selling memoir Equal Justice also the focus of a feature film, she is now writing her second book.

Rabia is an Ambassador for 100 Women, Angelhands, Esther Foundation, Inner Ninja (Mental Health Support) and Ishar (Multicultural Health Service). She is a Board Member of International Foundation of Non- Violence, Museum of Freedom and Tolerance, Wesley College and Calan Williams Racing.

Previous experience

Law: Rabia’s extensive career as a criminal, terrorism, war crimes and human rights lawyer has taken her to Europe, the Middle East, South America, South East Asia and Australia.

Military: Her military career includes serving as a British Army officer in England, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Rabia was one of England’s first Armed Forces Employment Law Officers - a role which took her to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where she ran equality and diversity training. Among her charges was Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Expertise
Talking Points

Equal Justice

Rabia’s most commonly requested keynote relates to her very personal story of battling with discrimination, abuse, chronic illness and PTSD after her involvement in a hostage crisis in Iraq, and then being written out of history. She explores what it means to display moral courage and lead by example, to stand up for one’s principles in the face of criticism, adversity and sacrifice, to fight for equality and to live what she teaches.

What is Holding You Hostage?

This keynote presentation addresses the topic of resilience - what it means, how one can learn to be resilient and recognising the warning signs in order to prevent future unnecessary hardship and to plan ahead in order to predict and overcome future obstacles. It is in the context of this keynote that Rabia asks her audience a key question - what is holding them hostage? It could be a boss, a colleague, a bully, a friend, a partner, a fear or even a memory. She explores with the audience the need to be self-aware and insightful to recognise those things that prevent them from realising their full potential, the steps needed to overcome that which is holding them captive, and the warning signs to watch out for in order to prevent being trapped in the same way again.

Courage Under Fire

Rabia uses her unique and powerful story as a starting point, and by sharing her truths and vulnerabilities with the audience, Rabia explores what it means to be a truly great and authentic leader. She addresses what she believes are the essential qualities and key roles for a great and effective leader. She calls her audience to a higher purpose, challenging them to practice and live great, authentic leadership, to lead by example and be agents of change.

Finding Your Voice

One of Rabia’s other popular keynotes focuses on living equality. It addresses the common challenges faced by many people, particularly women - trying to achieve that mythical work/life balance, tackling unconscious bias and prejudice, the realities of being a working parent and the desire to truly have it all. Rabia uses her own life lessons and discusses the way feminism has evolved and been viewed over the generations (from baby boomer, Gen X and now Gen Y). She explores the subversive as well as the real impediments to true equality in the community and in the workplace, and Rabia discusses the communication and negotiation skills required to find your voice, address and overcome these impediments.

Workshop: Leading Through Crisis

When we activate our most resourceful self in times of crisis, we invite an opportunity to have a massive positive impact on others. Clients, teams and community. It’s the time as a leader when we need the most clarity of thought and voice. Rabia has brought together her 25 years of experience responding to and leading in various crises situations and has collaborated with an emergency medicine specialist and a human behavioural specialist to deliver this live online workshop. The workshop focuses on equipping you with the critical thinking, coherent decision-making, emotional intelligence and clear communication skills to enable you to be the strong, values and heart-based leaders you are called upon to be more than ever in these unprecedented times. After attending this workshop you will be clear about how to provide a safe, secure workplace for your teams, encourage calm through uncertainty and lead by looking for opportunity and innovation through the challenges and volatility that lies ahead. Organisations more than ever need humane, visionary leaders who are agile and can mobilise teams to continue to achieve outcomes in creative ways, whilst maintaining the long term vision. This is a must for all CEOs, senior leaders and business owners.
Media
Feedback
Compelling story, I was riveted for the hour. Rabia Siddique is a cool customer and really connected with the audience. Woodside Energy

Rabia Siddique is a truly interesting and engaging speaker. Her personal and professional achievements are extraordinary and an inspiration for young women everywhere. In my view, Rabia's unique experiences as a Legal Officer in the British Army, and the courage and determination she showed in fighting to achieve equal treatment irrespective of her gender, should be shared widely. Rabia provides a powerful example of what an individual can do to fight for equality and ensure that discrimination, in all of its forms, is eradicated.

Women Lawyers of Western Australia

Rabia Siddique was a speaker at our Women in Leadership Breakfast held in February 2013. Her talk was titled 'Striving and Surviving'. We heard about the courageous role Rabia played by resolving a hostage crisis in Iraq and surviving being taken captive by terrorists and suing the British military in a case that made international headlines. Her talk was very well received and generated a number of questions from interested members. We can highly recommend Rabia as a public speaker.

WA and NT American Chamber of Commerce

Rabia Siddique's presentation was well researched, and eloquently delivered, with humour and emotion and the message she delivered was clear and engrossing, receiving many positive comments from our guests. The courage she has shown in her tenacity and fortitude in her pursuit for justice and equal rights for women is admirable, and women in particular will benefit from her experiences which show the female gender should not be silenced in the face of adversity and lack of fairness.

Friends of the Royal Flying Doctor Service

Rabia was absolutely captivating, everyone we have spoken to was amazed at the way she spoke and also her story. There was even a standing ovation at the end.

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