Bob has had an extensive commercial career spanning over 23 years, which has built on his initial formal leadership training and experiential grounding of 16 years in the military. Bob has recently completed a 5-year stint at Rugby WA as CEO where he successfully transformed the business following the loss of the professional Rugby team component of the organisation, the Western Force.
Bob’s early working years saw him serve for 16 years in the military, primarily in the SAS as a Troop and Squadron Commander, but also in the Parachute Battalion and as United Nations military observer in the Middle East (Israel). During his service with the SAS, Bob was directly involved in all aspects of Australia’s Special Forces – National Counter-Terrorism Crisis Management and Response Arrangements. Bob was the Squadron Commander of the SAS unit involved in the tragic Blackhawk accident in 1996.
Bob was a co-founder and the Managing Partner of Osprey International – a specialist risk advisory firm with operations across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Osprey has supported a range of clients for more than 20 years in exploration, mining, energy and supply chain operations.
Bob also has extensive experience leading sports administration, community and not-for-profit organisations, including state-level Rugby Union and supporting fundraising for the Returned Services League (RSL). As the Chief Executive (CEO) of Rugby WA, he restructured the organisation, developed a leadership program, strengthened its membership base and improved community engagement programs.
Bob’s consulting career has seen him provide leadership coaching, operational performance, risk and crisis management support to clients across a range of industry sectors and geographic locations throughout Australia, South East Asia, Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and the Solomon Islands.
Bob has applied his leadership, training and coaching experience to design and deliver organisational change management and corporate risk management packages to clients within the resources sector operations, government agencies and not-for-profit community organisations.
Bob is actively involved in and has held a range of leadership roles in various community organisations including; RSL WA, Veterans Support bodies, Community School Board, Surf Lifesaving Club, Rugby Union Club and is a qualified and current Level IV Rugby Union Coach.
Bob is a graduate of the Royal Military College Duntroon where he was awarded a number of leadership prizes including the prestigious Sword of Honour. He has a number of postgraduate academic qualifications, including a Master’s in Business Administration from Curtin University. Bob is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Through a series of practical examples from Bob’s experience in the military, sporting and corporate organisations he will demonstrate that to achieve your operational tasks (output, safety, compliance and innovation), successfully, it requires all levels to be active in their leadership roles and to enable an effective and genuine ‘voice’ throughout the teams and organisation regardless of position.
Oil & Gas Services Company, Managing Director
At the time of the Black Hawk tragedy in Townsville in 1996, Bob was the Squadron Commander of the SAS Squadron involved.
Bob demonstrated the concern, respect, dignity and loyalty one would expect from a leader. He continues to enjoy enormous respect from many in the military family and in particular those in Special Forces. While this was a significant and traumatic moment individually and organisationally, let alone for those whose lives were lost in the tragedy, it is one where the lessons of leadership still ring true.
Bob has continued to employ in life all the skills and experience he gained from that defining moment in resilience, leading through challenges and rebuilding the organisational team he was responsible for. His success and development as a leader are due in part to the lessons and experiences drawn from this time.
Bob was one of the founding partners who launched a self-funded commercial start-up providing security and risk management services. The partners built a successful international consulting firm that provides innovative leadership and risk management solutions to diverse and challenging problems. The company continues to operate with multi-year engagements in Australia, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Bob was one of the company leaders providing bespoke security risk consulting services in post-conflict Iraq. He was involved as the company demonstrated its unique and innovative capabilities by developing a first of its kind operation in Iraq. The company delivered the security for both the Ballot and then the subsequent Election in post-Saddam Iraq in 2004 and 2005. The innovation, leadership and team solutions delivered by the company provide a fascinating insight into the key principles of effective teams and associated leadership.
Bob has experience as part of an on-the-ground peacekeeping presence in various situations of conflict. This developed his understanding of the international challenges of multicultural environments while leading and being engaged in strategic and operational planning to manage peacekeeping and crisis response through environments including the Middle East (Israel) 1994, Cambodia post-coup 1997 and Bougainville at the commencement of peace process in 1997.
Bob worked for five years as the CEO of State Sporting Association, Rugby WA during the transition post the loss of the Western Force professional franchise in 1997, took the organisation through voluntary administration, then rebuild the financial capacity over 3 years from a -$300K start to a +$400K and capital reserves position for the organisation at the end of 2020. Including leading through the change transition issues for COVID-19, while also working effectively with a range of commercial partners and multiple volunteers in the sports community.
List to Alex Lloyd interviews SAS veteran Bob Hunter.