Earle de Blonville, FRGS
Chief Exective Officer
Member, Research Committee
Earle is co-founder and CEO of ORI, responsible for long-term development of shore-based and oceanic programs and international research partnerships. He is supervising skipper of the fleet of Research Expedition Vessels (REVs) and will personally lead ORI’s first two Arctic expeditions. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London (since 1984); Fellow, Laboratory of Applied Bioacoustics, Catalonia University, Spain; and Adjunct Professional Fellow, Institute of Development, Environment and Sustainability, Southern Cross University, Australia. He holds the Queen Elisabeth II Silver Jubilee Award.
An Arctic explorer, author and filmmaker, in 1979 he made Australia’s first modern major sea kayak expedition, a 70-day, 1,600km circumnavigation of Tasmania, and later he led the first northerly sea kayak crossing of infamous Bass Strait. He was co-leader of a 1985 pioneering science expedition into an unexplored region of the Kimberley, which provided reconnaissance data for the Royal Geographical Society’s 1988 Kimberly Research Project. In 1985-86 he led Australia’s first Arctic expedition, with HRH The Prince of Wales as patron and Lord Shackleton as Principal UK Advisor. Earle has an intimate knowledge of Greenland, having explored more than half of its navigable coast by yacht and sea kayak.
His critically acclaimed sold-out book Seventh Journey is in collections and libraries worldwide, with the latest edition, Savage Coast, now available through major retailers. His television documentary film Savage Coast was released internationally through Discovery, BBC, CBC, ABC, plus European and South American broadcasters.
In the 1980s Earle served as founding President of a Victorian Chamber of Commerce, helping to restore a regional economy to sustainable growth through creative tourism development initiatives. His Doctoral research (deferred) built on 40 years of Harvard research to develop an innovative approach to leadership for today’s era of climate crisis, and in the corporate sphere he consulted as a C-Suite executive leadership coach.
Earle has strong affiliations with traditional wooden ships in Europe and the UK, through restoration, racing events and club development. In 1987 – 88 Earle was Director of the Tall Ships spectacular where the Prime Minister officially opened Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations before a multi million international television audience. It was the largest staged event in Victoria’s history.