LIVED LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE image
EARLE DE BLONVILLE, FRGS
Explorer, Author, Educator, C-Suite Coach, Leadership Consultant.

AWARDS

Fellow: Royal Geographical Society, UK, elected 1984
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust Award

Olegas Truchanas Expedition Canoeing Award



SUMMARY OF ACHIEVEMENTS

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
Leader: First international kayak trans-navigation of Great Glen, Scotland
Leader: First commercial raft descent of the Sun Kosi, Himalaya - Peregrine

Co-leader: First sea kayak circumnavigation of Tasmania
Co-Leader: First European exploration of Quail Creek region, Kimberley
Chief Leader: ANZSES Scientific Expedition, Granite Mountain

Director: Australian Bicentenary Tall Ships Spectacular

Author: 'SAVAGE COAST - Inside Australia's First Arctic Expedition'

DETAILS

PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTOR/EDUCATOR

Professional Mountain Instructor (Scotland, Lake District & North Wales) (1973-1978)

My career as a professional mountain instructor and expedition leader began with an Outward Bound Senior Program. In Scotland's Cairngorm mountains I completed the rigorous Winter Mountaineering program and Advanced Winter Mountain Rescue program, working with the British Army Air Corps. In the mountains of North Wales I completed assessments in Advanced Whitewater Kayak, Senior Instructor Kayak, Mountain Leadership, and Mountain Instructor. I also completed the cutting edge Diploma of Outdoor Education, created and directed by the great Bill March, trail-blazing adventure educator and ice-climber, and leader of the first Canadian Everest ascent.

As a professional mountain instructor in Scotland, Lake District, and North Wales, highlights included long-form transformation of youth recidivists in sub-Arctic conditions; adventure mountain training for young industry leaders; remote mobile expeditions with international participants. In addition to teaching high-risk technical activities, developed new site facilities, instruction programs and specialised equipment. Led team of instructors handling weekly throughput of up to 200 clients. Helped under-performing major outdoor pursuits centre facing closure to achieve turnaround to profitability in 18 months.

Subsequently, I had extensive international field adventure experience including Greece, Austria, Italy, Himalayas, and the Australian Alps.

Key roles: Adventure curriculum development, adventure centre management, staff technical training.

COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP

Founding President, Mansfield Chamber of Commerce (1982-1985)

I founded and led the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce in Victoria's Alpine region. Successfully developed an expanded tourism industry to help rebuild local economy following the demise of timber and cattle industries which had displaced almost 15% of the population. Substantial inward investment attracted to region that generated major retail and residential construction, created many new small businesses, a raft of new jobs and doubled land and property values within three years.

The Chamber succeeded beyond everyone’s expectations. A locally owned, diverse and viable tourism industry quickly emerged to drive a unique cultural enrichment that continues to ensure Mansfield’s reputation as a very popular tourism and cultural hub.

This period also included roles as Co-Director, Mansfield Mountain Country Festival, and Director, The Great Mountain Race.

LEADERSHIP OF MAJOR EXPEDITIONS (1978-1989)

Business and expeditions both involve similar ideas, skills and challenges, and thus provide mutually beneficial learning opportunities for the advancement of both. I have led scientific, geographic and adventure expeditions in desert, bush, Arctic and Himalayan environments.

Leader of Australia’s first expedition to the Arctic (1985-1986)
Creation and leadership of Australia’s first Arctic expedition, during 1985-86. An extraordinarily complex $2.5 million (2022) project, which generated significant national print and broadcast media coverage and produced an internationally released TV documentary film and critically acclaimed book. 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.

LEADERSHIP OF MAJOR EVENT

Director: Tall Ships Victoria (1987-1988)

Appointed in 1987 Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the Prime Minister officially opened Australia’s 1988 Bicentenary Year celebrations. Event involved some 75 ships and 500 crew, management of 500 local volunteers, and coordination of four city councils, State and Federal governments. With more than 1.5 million visitors, remains the biggest staged event in Victoria’s history.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Founder: Explorers Challenge (Explorers UK Limited) (1989-1998)
The Explorers Challenge was a unique adventure recreation system: the most advanced, technically sophisticated and value-loaded outdoor adventure installation ever developed in the UK. It was initially trialled at a remote mountain training centre and later commercially manufactured as an all-age modular adventure recreation system, for installation at schools, local authority parks and holiday camps. In 1989 I commercialised the component design, so it could be made from machined logs and fabricated steel core ropes, and established a company to manufacture and install Explorers Challenge sites, of varying sizes, across the UK. I controlled the design, testing and marketing processes, with the actual manufacture (using a dozen specialist suppliers) with a modular installation process outsourced to licensed partners. I produced all the manufacturing designs and trained the installers.

In addition, I trained teachers and schoolyard monitors in how to use the modules as diagnostic tools to detect and support at-risk children and implement coaching to boost self-confidence, as an anti-bullying measure. With its variable modular sizing and configuration, Explorers Challenge was successfully installed across the southern half of the UK and by 1999 had achieved composite sales of $14 million.

CORPORATE LEADERSHIP CONSULTING & COACHING
C-Suite Coach and Consultant (1998-Present)

After working as a Consultant with international consultancies Rogen International and AchieveGlobal, during which time I completed professional-level Executive Coaching (Institute of Executive Coaching), Advanced Presentation (Rogen International) and Pitch Consulting (Rogen International) programs, I founded my own Consulting and Coaching Practice.

I have developed executive leadership education programs, consulted on leadership communications strategies, and coached many C-Suite executives to overcome career-challenging blockages. My highly successful WIN program has helped stimulate rapid growth for clients, and my crisis-based leadership consulting has produced measurable success in a range of industry sector assignments.
Industry sectors spread across Pharma, Mining, State Government, Accounting, Consulting, Recruiting, Youth Development, World Health, ,

ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP RESEARCH

Doctoral Candidate in Leadership Research (RMIT, Melbourne) (2011-2013)

Awarded Masters by Research equivalence, College of Business, RMIT University, Melbourne, for development of executive education programs.
Entered PhD program, by invitation, RMIT School of Management, (deferred, research ongoing) to research the new field of Postformal Leadership, drawing on 40 years of work by Harvard research psychologists into higher adult development. Preliminary research presented as an invited plenary speaker at international conferences in Europe: UE-FISCDI, Bucharest, and ESRAD, Freiburg. Findings have now been expanded into Board Briefings on the future of leadership.

Formerly Adjunct Professor and Professional Fellow at IDEAS, Southern Cross University, NSW, Australia (2017-2023).

ADDITIONAL LEADERSHIP-RELATED PROJECTS

Author of Savage Coast – the leader’s story of Australia’s first Arctic Expedition

Earle’s acclaimed book, 'Savage Coast - Inside Australia's First Arctic Expedition' is now in its second fully revised edition. It is a true story of survival in the Arctic wilderness in early winter. A valuable record of the complexities of leadership during constant challenge, it provides detailed real-world insights for leaders wanting to prepare for futures of escalating uncertainty. Held in private collections and libraries worldwide, including Oxford University and Royal Geographical Society.

Film Producer of Savage Coast - International Release

'Savage Coast', a one-hour documentary film shot on location in Arctic Greenland during early winter storms in 1985-86. Produced by Earle's film company, Pickwood River. Internationally released, through Discovery, CBC, BBC, ABC. Also screened in Eastern Europe, South America, Israel, South Africa, and more recently in France and Denmark. Shot by Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Mike Boland (Tribal Wisdom, The Nature of Things) and Oscar-nominated sound recordist Greg Burgmann (The Thin Red Line). Watch the trailer.

Discover more about Earle's Leadership Development Programs.