Perth I Friday, 8 March 2024
Antarctic Expedition Leader: The world’s toughest workplace
Rachael 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.
This leadership role was 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 returned in November. It's a 24 hour a day, every day of the year, leadership role.
Rachael was responsible for all aspects of life on the Station, from the safety and welfare of over 120 expeditioners in Summer, to the delivery of the Australian Government's $30mn science program. 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 two best-selling books. The first, Leading on the Edge, is based on her year in Antarctica. In 2020 she released her second best-seller, Respect trumps Harmony which provides the tools to build resilient, and high performing teams based on research and case studies collected over 15 years.
She is an international keynote speaker and has presented at over 1,500 conferences around the world.
Rachael Roberston appears by arrangement with Saxton.