Explorer, Author, Expedition Leader, bringing grounded, realistic expedition-tested wisdom to Leadership Development for mid-career and mature professionals alert to the global challenges of emerging climate crisis at every level of business, government and society.

“Earle de Blonville is a great, but unsung, Australian hero, with outstanding leadership qualifications."

- Professor The Hon. Barry Jones, AC.
Minister for Science 1983-90


Explorer, Author, Scholar, Educator, C-Suite Coach, Consultant.

Fellow: Royal Geographical Society, UK
Scientific Collaborator: LAB, University of Catalonia, Spain

Leader: First Australian Arctic Expedition, East Greenland
Leader: First British Australian Exploration Voyage, Arctic
Leader: First Australian Exploration, West Greenland
Leader: First northerly sea kayak crossing of Bass Strait
Co-leader: First sea kayak circumnavigation of Tasmania
Chief Leader: ANZSES Expedition Granite Mountain
Director: Australian Bicentenary Tall Ships Spectacular
Author: 'SAVAGE COAST - Inside Australia's First Arctic Expedition'

Discover more about Earle's Leadership Development Programs.

He is unique on the Leadership world stage for the breadth and depth of his practical leadership experience, gained over five decades. He worked as a professional mountain instructor in Scotland, the Lake District, and North Wales. His assignments included training long-term youth recidivists in sub-Arctic conditions, adventure mountain training for young industry leaders, and remote mobile expeditions with international participants, plus adventure curriculum development, adventure centre management and staff technical training.

His extensive field leadership experience includes adventures in the Himalayas, Greece, Austria, Italy and the Australian Alps; scientific expeditions in the Kimberley and East Gippsland; and multi-year maritime exploration of largely uncharted Arctic coasts in Greenland.

In the corporate sector, he has developed executive leadership education programs, consulted on leadership communications strategies, and coached many C-Suite executives to overcome career-challenging blockages. Earle’s highly successful WIN program has transformed leadership culture and language to stimulate rapid growth for clients, and his crisis-based leadership consulting has produced measurable success in a range of industry sector assignments. Earle's forthcoming Leadership Development programs are non-gendered in their approach or assumptions, and will contribute to the development of more women leaders.

Earle was elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1984, and is a Scientific Collaborator, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain. In 2011 he was awarded a Masters by Research (equivalence), by the School of Management, College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, for his development of executive education programs. Earle entered a PhD program by invitation (deferred, with ongoing research) to develop a new theory of leadership based on his extensive experience. His research draws on 40 years of work by Harvard research psychologists into higher adult development to theorise the new field of Postformal Leadership. He has presented his early research as an invited plenary speaker at international conferences in Europe: UE-FISCDI, Bucharest, and ESRAD, Freiburg.  He has recently expanded this work into a Board Briefing on the future of leadership. Earle was an Adjunct Professor and Professional Fellow at IDEAS, Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia.

His ground-breaking creation and leadership of Australia’s first Arctic expedition, during 1985-86, was an extraordinarily complex $2.5 million (2022) project. Its operation stretched more than halfway around the world, involved eight countries, British royalty, prominent Australian and UK business, political and social leaders, scientific organisations, and a range of commercial sponsors.

In 1987 Earle was appointed Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the Prime Minister officially opened Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary. It involved management of 500 volunteers, four city councils, plus State and Federal governments and, with more than 1.5 million visitors, was the biggest staged event in Victoria’s history.

AUTHOR - 'SAVAGE COAST - Inside Australia's First Arctic Expedition'
His acclaimed book, Savage Coast, now in its second fully revised edition, details wide-ranging challenges of field leadership in extreme circumstances. It is held in private collections and libraries worldwide, including the Prince of Wales collection, the Bodleian library in Oxford and the Royal Geographical Society in London. ‘Savage Coast’ is an inspirational record of leadership through failure, success, and constant challenge, providing insights for leaders who know they must prepare themselves to face futures of escalating uncertainty.

The 1,000th Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust Award

The rarely-awarded Olegas Truchanas Expedition Canoeing Award

Leadership Development
Documentary film trailer 'Savage Coast'.
Acclaimed book 'Savage Coast'.
Buy 'Savage Coast'.
Leadership thoughts.
Leadership videos.


1st Circumnavigation of Tasmania by Sea Kayak

In 1979 I completed the first sea kayak circumnavigation of Tasmania, a 1,600km voyage of 70 days and Australia's first modern major sea kayak expedition.

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1st Australian Expedition to the Arctic - East Greenland

In 1985 I led Australia's first Arctic Expedition, travelling 5,200km in yacht and sea kayaks, across the North Atlantic and the coast of East Greenland in early winter.

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1st Research Expedition to Quail Creek, Kimberley Wilderness

In 1984 I co-led the first scientific expedition to explore the Quail Creek region deep in the Kimberley wilderness, travelling 11,000km by four-wheel drive, small boat, and sea plane.

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Founding President, Mansfield Chamber of Commerce


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Director, Australian Bicentenary Tall Ships Spectacular


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Founding Director, Explorers UK Adventure System


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Book image
Savage Coast is an unrivalled story for our highly uncertain times.

Here is the leader’s inside story of Australia’s 1985-86 historic first Arctic expedition, to an uncharted coast in early winter. It’s an epic of what happens to a $2.5 million voyage to the end of the world where all your plans are blown away by a winter hurricane and all that’s left is slow starvation in a soaked sleeping bag on a wave-battered coastal rock, with no possibility of rescue or of your bodies ever being discovered, except by hungry polar bears.

Savage Coast offers an almost unrivalled look inside the reality of complex leadership decision-making where almost everything conspires against the expedition’s success, or even its survival. In this story of ongoing crises there are non-stop insights and valuable lessons for those who can expect to be engaged in tomorrow's front-line climate crisis leadership.

Extract from the first edition cover  ---

"A disabled yacht is towed into a remote Arctic village just as winter begins. It has been drifting amongst offshore reefs in freezing sea fog, as giant icebergs cruised past. The engine no longer works, the radio and compass have failed and the sails and rigging are largely worn out. Aboard is a dispirited crew. They have travelled here from the opposite side of the world, now they are trapped, unable to escape the looming freeze by heading south for somewhere warmer. Beneath the surface of the crew’s brittle cohesion, there are tensions waiting to explode and one member has already erupted in uncontrolled violence. As winter’s first hurricane blasts down from the 10,000-foot high icecap and through the village at 240kph, the die is cast for a journey none of them could have imagined."

Vox Pops

"Timeless insights into the hidden depths of leadership”
-Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt, OBE, FRGS, world’s greatest living explorer

“Fully captures the reality of leadership.”
- Dr Iain McCormack, Polar Psychologist

“Deep insights into complexity and unpredictability.”
- Sir Gustav Nossal, Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne

“A masterpiece of exploration by a poet of action” 

- Bill Green, Author and Screenwriter: ‘Terminator 2’.

“An unvarnished record of a major achievement”

- Professor Barry Jones. Australian Minister for Science 1983-90

“A fascinating exploration of an explorer”
- Phillip Adams. International Broadcaster

“Its frankness in describing success and failure sets it apart from leadership books.”
- Jonathan Hutchings, Company Managing Director

“Reveals that leadership cannot be taught, no leader is infallible and there is no single recipe for success.”
- Richard Gilmore, Executive Director: EarthWatch Trust

Selected Reviews

“This book is a powerful account of an expedition that Earle de Blonville led to East Greenland in 1985-86. This is a powerful story of privation, courage, obstinacy and tenacity, full of sharp insights, vividly written, an unvarnished record of a major achievement. The story, with its freshness and immediacy, is timeless, demonstrating what charismatic leadership can achieve, against all odds.”

“This is a brilliant, beautifully written testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The book tells Earle de Blonville’s own story as the leader of Australia’s first expedition to the Arctic in 1985-86. It illustrates the power of one man’s vision and the courage of the author and his men to rise above extreme adversity to carry it out. It offers rare glimpses into the extraordinary weight of responsibility he shouldered. This book should appeal to anyone seeking to chart a course for themselves or their organization in the rapidly changing uncharted landscape and uncertain futures of our fragile planet.”

“How Earle and his hard-bitten team survive their battle with the elements is nothing short of a miracle. Earle is a fine lyrical writer with enchanting passages on the subtlety and spirituality of polar seascapes. Importantly, he is brutally honest with descriptions of the rawness of basic living in makeshift camps ashore and with the agony of personality clashes. Every nautical mile of this journey is hard-won. For Earle, there could be no turning back.”
Arctic Explorer and Leadership Philosopher Earle de Blonville, FRGS, delivers Leadership lessons drawn from his personal experience of leading Australia's first Arctic expedition, to East Greenland. On this harrowing expedition, everything that could go wrong did so, sometimes more than once. The key lessons de Blonville explains here are that the future is always unknown, uncertain and impossible to be prepared for just by training based on hypotheticals. The single greatest truth revealed is that the only certainty is uncertainty, meaning that Leadership requires being ready for any circumstances, most of them unexpected. This means Leadership is a matter of personal character, flexibility, adaptiveness and courage, not of authority, status or force of personality. The leader must humbly accept that no one can ever be sure that any decisions taken under duress, in the field, are right, reliable or anything more than best guesses. Only time will reveal if they were. As today's Climate Catastrophe increases its grip on our planet, these Leadership Lessons from Hell will become more relevant and valuable.
Find out more in Earle's Leadership Development Programs.

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