Keynote Speaker, Adventurer, Leadership Facilitator

About Matt

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Very few people have the ability to combine the adventure world and the business world quite like Matt McFadyen. For over a decade Matt has worked with organizations all over the world to align leaders, energize culture and build winning teams.

Matt’s presentations not only inspire and motivate the audience but more importantly challenge them to think and act differently both personally and professionally.

He has been a leader of teams in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. This includes three record-breaking expeditions to the North Pole & two long-haul sailing trips to Antarctica & in 2013 Matt rowed, sailed & dragged a small boat 2000 miles across the North West Passage.

Matt is a world-class speaker and facilitator who addresses, leadership, building high performing teams, motivation and inspiration.

From dragging heavy sleds to the North Pole to sailing small yachts through some of the world’s deadliest oceans, adventurer Matt McFadyen has pushed himself and others to the ends of the earth, testing the limits of human potential.

  • Thank you very much for your fantastic session at our recent International Conference in the Yarra Valley.

    Your session was certainly the highlight of the conference program for many of the attendees as you described so eloquently the details of your amazing voyage. We were able to see clearly also the way that the lessons you learned could be applied to business.

    Your session rated the highest for most of our convention attendees with many of them affording you a 10 out of 10.

    Ian Harvey, Business Swap
  • Matt sure knows how to transport an audience. By the end of his presentation I could feel the waves and smell the ice. But the most impressive thing about Matt’s story for me was not how professionally and confidently he spoke but the honesty and openness with which he expressed his emotional voyage. Matt holds nothing back in his recitation and this was more moving to me than the feat of sailing a 43 foot yacht to Antarctica. Matt doesn’t try to preach a lesson, the motivational life lesson emerges from the fabric of his story and it is the more powerful because of that. Everyone in our group who heard him speak were inspired by his planning, dedication and ability to keep going even when his team mates would have carried him. This story embodies the principle that the most important thing in life is the journey, not the destination

    David Such, ADT
  • Another highlight was hearing an inspirational Australian Adventurer Matt McFadyen describe his voyages in a life-threatening expedition to Antarctica. Matt captivated the audience whilst sharing his story of a crew of five who took a 43-foot yacht across the most dangerous ocean waters on earth. This breath-taking story captured the imaginations of the group and reinforced the key themes of the two days of Accenture Adventure which were passion, leadership and adventure.

    Kylie Turner, Accenture
  • Matt had our entire DDB/Continental team enraptured as he gave a very personal account of how his idea was born, the meticulous planning that went into getting it to the ‘start line’, and the amazing highs and lows he experienced during the actual voyage. He answered tough questions from the group and always tried to draw relevance back to why he was presenting to us in the first place. Matt is a truly inspiring and engaging speaker – we’re still talking about him several days later!

    Kate O’Brien, DDB
  • Thank you for your presentation to the Visa staff in Singapore, you totally encapsulated the room, inviting the audience to share in your journey, moving from highs to lows and giving the audience an insight into both the physical and mental strength that it takes to turn a dream into reality.

    Challenging the audience to accomplish their own goals whilst underpinning the importance of teamwork, the presentation was extremely well received, relevant both in the work place and at home and thought provoking.

    Your life experiences are testament to your determination in your life journey and we wish you all the best with your future endeavours.

    Bruce Mansfield, Visa
  • Matt’s presentation was engaging and relevant. Not easy to capture and hold the attention of an audience of 300 plus senior executives, but Matt did just that. Many people have since commented to me about the personal and business learning’s they took away from the session. Matt was professional, easy to do business with and responsive to our specific needs.

    Peter Jamieson, Telstra
  • Matt’s presentation was terrific. He cleverly articulated to our executive team the mission, challenges and ups and downs of a polar expedition. He did this in a manner which grabbed the attention of everyone in the room, through his confidence and ability to get everyone emotionally involved with the enormity of his task to get to the North Pole.

    Importantly also, the learning’s coming out of Matt’s presentation were applicable at both a personal and business level; which meant that Matt’s presentation was not only engaging, but also generated real value.

    Simon Brookes, Telstra
  • Our brief was to inspire. Our challenge was to be more courageous. Matt was the embodiment of both those things. Grounded, accessible, honest and real…..and yet overwhelmingly impressive and charismatic. He left his mark on our team and will continue to do so for a very long time. When we extend our comfort zone, it will be in large part to him!

    Nicole Sparohott, Unilever
  • I recently had the opportunity to hear Matt McFadyen deliver his presentation on his personal Antarctic journey.

    I was thoroughly memorized by Matt’s subject matter, style, and engagement with the audience. He is able to bring every one of the participants along with him as he experienced the triumphs and epic challenges of his journey. Adding interactive “what would you do” moments into the presentation adds to the immersiveness of the experience and mandates full attention. Matt was able to skillfully leverage his story of leadership, courage, and perseverance to underscore our core meeting objectives through an entertaining and gripping presentation.

    The collaborative nature of Matt makes him a pleasure to work with, and provides an unparalleled audience experience-seamlessly marrying our core content and goals with his high-energy, creative, and engaging style.

    Marty Boyzuck, Hewlett Packard
  • The most successful staff engagement event to date. 96% of people found Matt’s presentation inspiring. 93% found his presentation relevant and applicable to their role here at the firm. Matt was absolutely amazing!

    Manuela Schmid, Price Waterhouse Coopers
  • Thank you for a truly inspiring day! The impact you guys have had on our people will carry forward and permeate the organization long beyond yesterday, as we set out as a team to lead Liquidnet towards the summit of our new vision.

    Todd Cherches, Liquidnet


Speaking / Keynotes


Matt has delivered his inspirational thought provoking keynotes in over 20 countries around the world. Having been part of and led teams in some of the most challenging environments on earth Matt knows first hand just want it takes to build high performing teams, execute under pressure and overcome adversity. Matt’s keynotes will not only inspire and motivate your audience but the will challenge people to think and act differently both personally and professionally.





Journey to the end of the earth

As a 22 year old, Matt and 4 others set sail aboard a 43 ft yacht bound for Antarctica on a 54 day expedition across one of the deadliest and dangerous oceans on the planet.

On the return voyage Matt and his team faced the full strength of the ocean battling a hurricane strength storm that almost took the lives of the 5 souls on board.

Matt’s presentation focuses on building a high performing team, overcoming extreme adversity and executing under pressure

Matt’s and the teams heroic fight for survival sparked a change in Matt’s life and the event became the foundation of his leadership journey.


Sitting still means going backwards

 Matt’s brush with death in the icy waters of the Great Southern Ocean ignited a passion to lead others to the ends of the earth. Matt became the youngest Australian to reach the North Pole, returning as an expedition co-leader on 2 more occasions.

Surviving -45°C to battling ice drifts that move the team backwards while dragging heavy sleds, Matt knows the perseverance needed to lead a team through challenge, change and ambiguity.

Matt’s presentation looks at how to build resilience both personally and professionally how to inspire others to achieve their full potential.


In 5 short years Matt went from being a 22 year old novice adventurer to co leading his 3rd expedition to the North Pole & partnering with PricewaterhouseCoopers on an 18 month firm wide engagement program.

This top talent focussed presentation looks at how to leading self, lead teams and lead the organization. This is a must have for any organization that wants to accelerate the leadership journeys of their next generation of leaders.



The Beauty of Failure

In the summer of 2013, Matt attempted to row, sail and drag a 17.5-foot open boat across 3000 miles of ice choked waterway known as the North West Passage.  After 41 days of the coldest summer in decades having covered 1500 miles Matt and his team mate Cameron were unable to continue due to the severe conditions.

After 2 years of planning preparation and hard work both Matt and Cam struggled to deal with this looked upon failure…But with Failure comes opportunity and incredible learning.

Failure is inevitable in all aspects of life but how we process, analyse and learn from failure is a skill.