Peter Baines speaker

Peter Baines

Leadership Expert, Powerful Storyteller, International Speaker, Business Consultant

Peter Baines OAM, spent 22 years with NSW Police as a Forensic Investigator. Due to his unique skills he spent many of his later years on international deployments to Indonesia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. He would be seconded to Interpol in Lyon to lead an international counter terrorism project focusing on CBRN. He would also spend time with the UN Office of Drug and Crime in South East Asia before leaving that behind to focus on his humanitarian work with the charity Hands Across the Water that he formed in 2005.

Since 2005 he has travelled the world speaking on building and leading teams and sharing the insights he has gained from a life of serving others.

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Peter Baines's videos

What Peter Baines's clients say

Here is some of the feedback from audiences and clients who have worked with Peter.
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Available for

Languages: 

  • English
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Peter Baines's 2024 biography

Meet Peter Baines

Peter Baines OAM, is one of Australia’s leadership experts having road tested leadership the hard way. Peter spent 22 years with the NSW Police leading teams in response to acts of terrorism and natural disasters on a scale not previously seen.

Peter was part of the leadership team that responded to Bali after the bombings in 2002 and was called in 2005 to lead international teams in response to the Tsunami of December 26, 2004 in South East Asia. Peter headed up multiple rotations into Thailand leading international teams in the identification process of those who died. All the time his leadership theories were tested in this trying environment.

Creating sustainable leadership became a passion of his after witnessing the devastating effects of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. He was deeply touched by the number of children left without parents by the disaster and was inspired to set up an organisation that could make a significant difference in the lives of these children. In late 2005, Hands Across the Water was formed to raise funds for, and awareness of, the children of Thailand who were left alone. Today Hands, has raised over $30 million Australian dollars. With this they have built several homes all across Thailand, purchased a rubber plantation to ensure a sustainable and regular income, constructed a community centre in the Khao Lak region of Thailand and a Digital Learning Centre in the North East. Hands, now has operations in seven different locations within Thailand and provide a home to several hundred children every night.

The work of the charity has always taken a different approach to most in that they focus on creating meaningful shared experiences for their supporters. A cornerstone event of the work of Hands are the long distance bike rides that you will find Peter leading throughout the year in Thailand. After a two and half year hiatus, Peter returned to complete his 31st ride leading supporters and corporate groups alike.

His final years with the NSW Police were spent on secondment to the National Institute of Forensic Science where he worked on national and international capacity building projects around counter terrorism and leadership. He spent time advising Interpol in France and the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime in South East Asia. Peter was engaged by the Government of Saudi Arabia following the deadly floods in Jeddah, to review their response and provide advice concerning crisis mitigation and leadership. In 2011 he deployed in Japan in response to the tsunami that would claim thousands of lives there.

Peter has received various awards including an Order of Australia Medal in 2014, for his International Humanitarian work, and in 2016 he was awarded The Fifth Class of the Most Admirable Order of the Direkgunabhorn awarded by the King of Thailand.

In 2010 he was a NSW finalist for the Australian of the Year awards and he was the first Australian to be awarded the international honour of a Rotary Professional Excellence Award in 2008. He received the NSW Police Service Medal and the Australian Federal Police Operations Medal, for his work in Asia. He was the first NSW Police Officer to be awarded the Humanitarian Overseas Service Medal and Australian National Medal. He has completed university studies in Law, Forensic Science and post graduate studies in Management.

Today Peter spends his time helping businesses build effective Sustainable Leadership programs through the unique mix of his leadership and corporate social responsibility initiatives. He continues with his work in supporting the kids and communities of Thailand through Hands Across the Water. Peter has written two books Hands Across the Water, published by Pan MacMillan and Doing Good by Doing Good, published by Wiley. He regularly appears as a guests on a variety of podcasts and loves hosting the Hands Heroes podcast.

When not traveling for work you are likely to find Peter with his wife Claire on their rural property tending to the Hereford cattle they bred or in the skies above flying helicopters.

Peter Baines's 2024 talks & topics

The Importance of Balance

Based on one of the most challenging professional careers that you can imagine, dealing with death on a scale not previously seen and leading international counter terrorism projects, the question Peter is most often asked is “How have you done what you have done and seen what you have seen and managed to still be ok?”

You don’t walk into a temple where the decomposing bodies of 3500 people lie and walk out months later in a state of sound body and mind without a clear strategy for dealing with what the vast majority of the entire population will never see.

Peter puts his fitness of mind, body and soul down to three things:

  • Having a clear clarity of purpose of why he does what he does;
  • Engaging in a pursuit that is food for his soul; and
  • Growth through the uncomfortable.

During the keynote he draws on the valuable insights from starting what would become Australasia’s largest contributing charity to Thailand which now has five entities across three countries. The charity Hands Across the Water enriches the lives of those it engages with and has brought profound change to thousands. It’s charity – but not as we know it.

He dissects his latest adventure, scheduled for December 2024, the lead up to running 1400km through Thailand in 26 days. The equivalent of 33 marathons or running from Melbourne to Brisbane and why there is such growth in being uncomfortable.

Audience Take Away

The key takeouts for the audience from Peter’s latest offering are:

  • Why action will always beat intention
  • The value of creating meaningful shared experiences
  • Building resilience through the embrace of the uncomfortable
  • Why we can’t let yesterday define our tomorrow
  • Not waiting until the time is right
  • When we embrace the challenge we embrace the learning.

LEADERSHIP MATTERS

The stories of inspiration, resilience and overcoming adversity. How true leadership doesn’t come a position or title by from actions and reactions.

  1. Leadership without Authority
  2. Clarity of Purpose
  3. Building Strong Teams
  4. Growth through Adversity
  5. Results not Excuses

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

Real engagement comes from engineering shared experiences. Peter shares stories of how your business will benefit from the power of presence.

  1. Building communities and families through Shared Experiences
  2. Engagement strategies that stick
  3. Increasing your retention rate
  4. Removing self imposed limitations
  5. Celebrating your victories

DOING GOOD BY DOING GOOD

Hear how with an alignment of values and an appreciation that community and business can both profit when working together. Why the future of mutually rewarding relationships is the way to go.

  1. Aligning your values
  2. Building collaborative programs
  3. Developing stronger relationships
  4. Measuring your impact
  5. Realising a return

Peter Baines's 2024 speaking fees

Peter travels from:
  • Australia

Specific fees fall within the ranges shown. These are presented as a guide only and are subject to change without notice.

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Check Peter Baines's availability for your event

Complete the form below to check Peter Baines's availability. If you prefer, you can also send an email directly to our head office.

How would Peter Baines deliver their presentation at your event?
Please provide details of your budget for Peter Baines's speaking fee, including currency.