Academy presenter profile: Aaron Fleming

Aaron Fleming’s personal story of overcoming serious health issues to complete twelve gruelling Ironman’s after his surgeon told him he’d never again be physically active is enough of a reason to join this motivational session.

But Aaron’s sporting achievements, which include being a torchbearer for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, are only part of the story. As Director of Operations for the Department of Conservation’s Southern South Island Region, Aaron has ultimate responsibility for over three million hectares of New Zealand’s treasured heritage estate. With two UNESCO World Heritage sites, three national parks encompassing the country’s most iconic scenery, and endangered icons like the Orange-fronted Parakeet and Kakapo, his is a varied daily task list.

Aaron’s session offers a unique opportunity to look inside a management story that’s both inspiring and demanding. With a workforce of over 400, operating in high-risk and isolated environments, he combines leadership qualities with a deep and practical understanding of the role technology plays in keeping his people safe.

As a relatively young manager still in his mid-thirties, Aaron exemplifies the value of personal determination and demanding proving grounds. He’s one of the youngest senior managers in both local and central government, as adept at managing inter-agency collaboration as he is at negotiating a 226-kilometre swim, cycle and run challenge. Variously described as audacious, gutsy and inspiring, his is a leadership style that will reward you with one of Smartrak Academy’s most memorable experiences.

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