Commander Rod Robinson joined the Navy in 1982 as a Midshipman to see the world and because he was attracted to the sea. Which was something very different to the country town where he grew up in Far North Queensland. He was also attracted to the idea of leading others in challenging circumstances.
And his leadership is the very reason why, in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, Commander Robinson was awarded a Medal (OAM) in the Military Division of the Order of Australia – for meritorious service in the field of leadership, cultural change and organisational transformation, through the introduction and development of executive coaching within Navy.
“I am extremely proud to receive the award.
“The achievements of Executive Coaching in the Navy since I started it in 2003 couldn’t have been sustained without the impressive efforts of the team of Navy Coaches that have helped achieve positive changes to our culture,“Commander Robinson said.
“And I am grateful for the trust placed in me by the senior officers who gave me the resources and the support to establish the Navy Coaching Program back in its infancy.
The OAM recognises Commander Robinson's strategic insight, inspirational leadership and outstanding work ethic in developing, implementing and sustaining the Navy Leadership Coaching Program. It also acknowledges his contribution to a significant cultural transformation for Navy.
Today, Commander Robinson is still very much involved with Executive Coaching in Navy. He is the Principal Coach of the Navy Leadership Coaching Program and says that he would like to see Executive Coaching in the Navy remain an integral component of the people side of Navy's capabilities, into the future.
“This program is aimed at supporting Navy’s leaders to further develop their leadership style - to balance the requirements of the Navy with the requirements of its people,” he said.
Receiving the award made Commander Robinson reflect on some of the highlights in his naval career.
“I have enjoyed the close and enduring friendships that were forged early in my career and those that I continued to forge.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the travel I did on ship deployments and I have enjoyed assisting others thrive in their careers.”
Commander Robinson also reflected on the support of his family throughout his time in the Navy.
“My wife and two young boys were so proud of me receiving the award - my youngest thinks the Queen is coming to our house!”