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Travels From Victoria

Speaker Topics

Digital Disruption and Drones

Within a few months during early 2015 Jerrys three decades of work and experience in flying on major cinema and television productions almost entirely vanished into thin air. The DRONES had arrived and taken over. Jerry tells of the most extreme of disruption, when the career he had built simply ceased to exist. He talks about what he had to do to recognise it, to address it and the changes he had to make to enable him and his team to move forward positively.

Diversity and Dealing with Cultural Change

In his career managing aerial broadcast teams, including working on the Olympics and similar global events, Jerry encountered new challenges when dealing with people from diverse cultures and social backgrounds.


Everyone works in a team. Success in any field will always depend on how well you operate with those who surround you. As a search and rescue pilot with the Royal Navy, Jerry knows this fact better than anyone. In this presentation he speaks about the key elements to a successful team and extraordinary things that those teams can achieve. He compares and contrasts the differences between his small and highly practiced military ;team versus his larger crews who needed to hit the ground running on major television events in civilian teams of up to 100 people, many of whom had never even met each other before day one.

Jerry Grayson

Disruption can be the best opportunity if you embrace it

Jerry Grayson’s story of an extraordinary career in helicopters, disrupted entirely by the advent of drones, will resonate with any audience. He's an unforgettable speaker on topics such as drones and digital disruption, risk management, teamwork, resilience and leadership and is certain to leave audiences inspired and motivated.

From Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait to the infamous Fastnet Yacht Race, on stage with The Rolling Stones, on-location filming Black Hawk Down, filming the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and broadcasting the Soccer World Cup from South Africa, Jerry Grayson, has a personal story to tell about each one. 

He was just 17 years old when he joined the Fleet Air Arm, the youngest helicopter pilot to ever serve in the Royal Navy. By the age of 25 he was the most decorated peacetime naval pilot in history and was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) by the Queen for outstanding gallantry in search and rescue. 

The work of a search and rescue pilot is vital, dangerous, thrilling and on the edge. Jerry saved fighter pilots who had ditched at sea, rescued desperate sailors from sinking yachts during the infamous Fastnet Race - in which only 85 out of 303 yachts made it back to harbour - and picked up a grievously ill crewman from the deck of a nuclear-armed submarine that was playing a cat-and-mouse game with the Soviet navy. 

In 2500 hours of flying with the Royal Navy, Jerry and his crewmates saved more than 70 lives on 120 rescue missions. His story is not an account of one man's deeds, but a salute to all the men and women he worked with who were able to turn tragedies into triumphs.

Since leaving the Navy, Jerry has carved out a career becoming one of the world’s leading helicopter film pilots, and the world’s leading aerial film director. He set up a production company specialising in footage shot from helicopters and went on to contribute to the likes of Planet Earth, An Inconvenient Truth, the James Bond film A View to A Kill, Black Hawk Down. He wrote, directed and flew his helicopter on the IMAX film The Earth Wins filming above New Orleans 48 hours after Hurricane Katrina struck, over the aftermath of Black Saturday in the Australia’s state of Victoria, as well as above Europe, the UK, Africa, the Middle and the Far East.

In the world of sport, Jerry’s first world broadcast came from the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984. He went on to command the entire airspace over Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games and over Doha for the Asian Games, in addition to his flying and aerial directing roles using ten helicopters at the Athens Olympics and seven at the South Africa Soccer World Cup.

Jerry also flew the Melbourne, UK, Brazil and South Korea F1 Motor Racing Grand Prix, and supplied the aerial filming unit for the worldwide broadcast at all motor races, from 2010-2013.  He filmed Mark Webber’s last-ever race in F1, which he describes as heart-stopping.

Just a few months into 2015, Jerry’s three decades of flying experiences almost entirely vanished into thin air. The DRONES had arrived and taken over. Jerry had to deal with the most extreme form of disruption; when the career he’d so successfully built simply ceased to exist. To enable him and his team to move forward positively, Jerry had to recognize the disruption, address it and learn a whole new way of doing his job. 

Jerry is an internationally recognised expert in the world of flight, both manned and unmanned flight; chairing and presenting keynotes at events such as The International Drone Expo in the USA, at the Drone Zone at the Australian International Airshow, and London’s Commercial UAV Conference which is the largest in Europe.  His corporate clients have included Optus, Metro trains, Swiss Re, Sword Active Risk. 

He has worked with The Royal Australian Navy, the Defence Science & Technology Group, the Department of Fire & Emergency Services in WA, The Australasian Sonographers Association, the Bendigo Kangan Institute, Melbourne Grammar, Geelong College, Wyvern House at Newington College, as well as many other organisations and businesses.

Jerry has written two books, 'Rescue Pilot' and 'Film Pilot: From James Bond to Hurricane Katrina'. 

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