Heston Russell, a former Australian Special Forces Major with over 10,000 hours of leadership in combat operations in the Middle East, has seamlessly transitioned into a motivational speaker and leadership expert.
Enlisting in the army at the age of 17, Heston has dedicated his life to serving his country, undertaking operations and missions across Afghanistan and the Middle East. Rising to the rank of Major and Officer Commanding of the Commando, he played a pivotal role in various military capacities.
Beyond his military career, Heston openly shares his personal trials, including the challenges of accepting his sexuality, struggling with mental health, and combatting a growing culture of entitlement.
Drawing from more than a decade of combat leadership, Heston is an advocate for learning leadership, developing a high-performance mindset. These critical components have been integral to his success and are subjects he passionately addresses to audiences from all walks of life, both within and beyond the Special forces.
Post his final operational deployment to Iraq in 2017, Heston spearheaded the expansion of Barry’s Bootcamp in Australia and Singapore, officially discharging from the Australian Defence Force in January 2019. He has emerged as a mental health advocate leading campaigns such as ‘Veteran Support Force’ and ‘Voice of a Veteran’ offering support to veterans and their families.
In a significant victory in October 2023, Heston won a defamation case against the ABC and two journalists for false reporting of war crime allegations.
As a sought-after speaker, Heston shares his wealth of experience, emphasising the importance of leadership, mental toughness, and adaptability. His presentations are a compelling journey through his lived experiences, sharing valuable insights and delivering a vision of a culture that thrives in crisis
and grows stronger with both success and failure. His ability to inspire and empower audiences to overcome challenges has solidified him as a key national figure.