Founder of HabitSafe
and Professional Speaker
Biography & Education: Cristian Sylvestre is passionate about applying the latest brain science and evidence-based behavioural research to help individuals and organisations be safer. His 20 years of practical experience enables him to help organisations map their current way of thinking about safety, identify the barriers that exist to taking the next step and exploring options to transition effectively.
Cristian believes that we need to help individuals take more control for their own safety, if we are to improve safety performance in a meaningful way.
Cristian is a sought-after professional speaker that has spoken at more than 50 conferences. He has written a book to share the learnings from his working career.
MES (Env), University of Sydney, 1991- 1993 BE (Chem), UNSW, 1982-1985
A Brief Bio
I grew up and went to school in one of the “more interesting” parts of Sydney, where you didn’t get anything unless you really worked for it.
What led me to study chemical engineering at university I’ll never know, but I remember it made me very good at testing out theories. You don’t just believe something because someone tells you. You need evidence, and if it isn’t there, you say goodbye to that theory and find a new one. That’s the way we progress.
And next came backpacking around the world. The gap year is a real thing now, but back then it wasn’t. I was told it would hurt my career and I should settle down like a sensible 22 year old.
That was never going to happen, and I just hoped that people hiring for jobs would be intelligent enough to appreciate a broader life-experience.
Fortunately, I was right. I spent my time in large companies like ICI and Shell, where quite frankly I learned a lot. They were great companies, with an excellent approach to growing their people.
It certainly gave me the stability I needed to settle down and start a family that remains my priority.
And something else I did before it became trendy: I studied Environmental Science in the early 1990’s, completing my Masters in 1993. I was just interested in how people impacted the world.
I first became involved in safety when I was working as an Environment Adviser and was asked to integrate the systems for safety and environment.
When the HSE system was certified, I turned my hand to preventing avoidable incidents.
We'd done all we could about the hazards, we were training people within an inch of their lives and we were addressing behaviour through numerous safety conversations, yet we were still having incidents, even serious ones.
By the early 2000’s I finally saw that the world didn’t need more Environment Advisers as much as it needed people to help with safety. And, from here, my story becomes the story of HabitSafe.
I speak at conferences (more than 50 at last count), occasionally consult, but mostly my professional life is about HabitSafe.
I hope to help people be safer so they return to their families after a day’s work, never knowing what incidents were prevented.