Arup Principal, ACT and Strategic Geographies Leader, Australasia, Arup

Dr Robert F Care

Dr Robert Care has built and led high performance teams in diverse countries, cultures and economies. He has been highly effective in building the commitment, engagement and momentum for change in difficult and often highly resistant environments. His leadership style is characterised by a powerful combination of humility, humanity and commerciality. His sense of purpose is that he makes a difference wherever he is and whomever he is with. This in turn inspires others to strive and achieve.

His ability to combine care and compassion with deep wisdom has been key to his success and the success of others. These highly prized attributes allow him to communicate complex and challenging messages and galvanise support.

Robert's approach has a basis in the appreciative inquiry model for problem solving. He is one of those rare individuals who can understand the requirements of both people and process.

His academic education is within engineering (PhD) and he marries very successfully this left-brain focused training with high level right-brain creativity.

Robert's coaching and mentorship model is based on listening in its very real sense, an attribute so often missing in today's fast-paced environment. Through truly hearing, he is able to respond with thought provoking questions, which may challenge deeply held and often subconscious beliefs. This approach creates new insights for clients enabling them to unlock and discover new ways of assessing and responding to complex and often seemingly intractable issues.

Alongside his mentoring and coaching clients, Robert is chair of The Arup Partnerships (global) and a Principal in the Australasia Region of Arup Group. His responsibilities include the Australian Capital Territory and Strategic Geographies (including Indonesia and New Zealand). He was a member of the Arup global Group Board from 2008 to 2014. He was also Chair of Arup Group’s UK, Middle East and Africa region from 2010 to 2013, and Chair of Arup Group’s Australasia Region from 2004 to 2010. In both cases Robert oversaw significant business turnarounds.

Robert’s particular interests include workplace diversity, leadership, mentoring and coaching, both inside and outside Arup Group. He has used these skills to lift the performance and outcome in the various organisations in which he has held leadership positions.

Arup, a professional services firm of designers, planners, and project managers, are skilled in building design and have pioneered some of the most ambitious, ground-breaking and unusual sustainable buildings and infrastructure projects around the world today. Robert is convinced real value for clients is added through focussing on sustainability.

Before taking on his current role Robert worked around the world in a career spanning more than 40 years – with posts in Japan, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Australia and the UK. He helped to lead the reform of Australia's building regulations in the 1990s and he has worked on many major global railway and infrastructure projects.

From 1986 through to 1990 Robert was first the Chief Engineer of the National Capital Development Commission (effecting a turnaround in performance of the then Engineering Division) and subsequently the Director responsible for The Infrastructure Division later called ACT Public Works (essentially leading this as a ‘start up’ business).

Robert is a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. His commitment to the community is reflected in his appointment as chair of the Common Purpose Charitable Trust in December 2013. Previously he was a Director of RedR Australia (Registered Experts for Disaster Relief) in 2006 and subsequently Chair of RedR Australia in November from 2008 until December 2010.

In 2012 Robert was made a Member of the Order of Australia AM for his services to Engineering, Business, Humanitarian Programs and Athletics. In 2013 Robert was recognised by the University of New South Wales as International Alumni of the Year. In 2014 Engineers Australia awarded Robert Australian Professional Engineer of the Year.