Wild Leadership

Wild Leadership

Wild Leadership is a unique workshop that delves into the team work and leadership styles of wild animals and explores how we, as humans, have evolved over time. The workshop reflects upon the shared links between wild animals and humans, with discussions on our evolution and morality.

In particular the workshop takes a look at specific groups of animals, paying close attention to their social structures, team work, intelligence, social awareness, interpersonal skills and ultimately their leadership styles. You will be taken on a journey exploring our evolved traits and how animal order and behaviours relate to the dimensions of leadership in today’s world.

Course details

Wild Leadership is a full day workshop from 9am – 5pm on Friday 8 November 2019 and is delivered face-to-face. The workshop will be held within a classroom setting with explorations into Taronga Zoo Sydney grounds covering the following topics:

  • Social structures in wild animals
  • Leadership styles in wild animals
  • Team work in the animal world
  • What can wild animals tell us about leadership


This workshop is intended for individuals looking to enhance their leadership skills within their management/senior executive roles.

Enrolling into the Wild Leadership course has a range of benefits to you and your organisation including:

  • Nurturing future leaders
  • Fostering cross-pollination of ideas and experiences
  • Increasing employee engagement and morale
  • Implementing effective leadership styles
  • Increasing productivity
  • Strengthening organisational bonds

About the facilitator

Erna Walraven’s career at Taronga has so far spanned over almost three decades. Originally a zoo keeper for the first twelve years, Erna then moved on to becoming a curator and then Senior Curator for both Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo. 

As Senior Curator her role included overseeing the entire management process for all the animals in our care. She has published a book on caring for and rehabilitating native wildlife.

Erna is most passionate about animal welfare. Providing dignity, respect and the best care for our animals and strives to be a leader and advocate for animal welfare. 

“Magic moments are when you connect with an animal at some level. Dancing with a Brolga, laughing with a Chimp, getting a purr from a Tiger or a friendly rumble from a Gorilla. I have had many moments of pure joy spending time with wild creatures and getting a small insight into their world.”

- Erna Walraven