Gav Schneider in the top ten of security experts globally for the third time

August 12, 2021 by Henry Benjamin
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Brisbane-based Gav Schneider has been placed in the top ten security experts globally by a group of contemporaries.

Gav Schneider

He was placed tenth in the category Security: Association Figures/Academics/Thought Leaders published by a group of IFSEC Global influencers in the security and fire 2021 report. He is the only Australian to have received this order.

43-yr-old Gav Schneider settled in Brisbane in 2008 with his family after immigrated from South Africa.

Gav Schneider was a sickly child. He told J-Wire: “I was pretty asthmatic and badly coordinated. There were actually some doctors who said I wouldn’t exercise my whole life. I started karate when I was five and have been training ever since.”

He received a scholarship to do his PhD at the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security in Brisbane. Karate is a sport of the past for Gav Schneider. He said:  “I’m only training now in jujitsu and  Krav Maga. I trained in Israel for a long time, and I’m actually Australia’s highest-graded practitioner in Krav Maga. I’m actually also listed in the Israeli Museum of martial arts history”

When Gav Schneider finished high school in South Africa he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do but that year was when year conscription finished in South Africa.

He continued: “I actually ended up going to Israel to join the army but was introduced to Dennis Hanover who was the guy who brought karate, judo, to Israel in 1960.  I landed up as a student with him and that was nearly 30 years ago when I was 18.”

This top security expert runs a Krag Mava and jujitsu school in Brisbane. He added: “And then I’ve got affiliate schools one in Perth and two in South Africa.”

The Brisbane Jewish community was under the watchful eyes of Gav Schneider for 10 years when he ran the city’s CSG. Gav told J-Wire: “So when I got here, I offered to help teach self-defence etc for the CSG. I took over the CSG in Queensland in 2010, and now there’s a new head of ESG. And now I’m a special advisor to them.”

Gav Schneider’s speciality is preresilience, a new word that needs defining.

He explained: “In about 2001 I set up my first business which was a specialized security business in South Africa. And we got contracts training. Military Police Special Forces and then we moved into the corporate sector with a lot of work from the banks and the financial services sector.

I became really fascinated with the human decision-making process mainly because people just make prepared decisions.

And when I did my PhD I focused on how we prepare people to make decisions under extreme pressure mainly focusing on the use of force, because you only have a second or two, or less, to make legal consequences decisions.

Australia was so different.

We bought a safety business and then thought it would make a lot of sense to be able to sell security advisory services and safety services, and just found we couldn’t really do it. Organizations here were so siloed. And, and that’s whether it was you know a large part of the company or a government department, you couldn’t integrate these things so we got into the risk management world then, it was about 2013.

Ironically for a nice Jewish boy, we won a contract with the Australian Catholic University. And that was in 2015 to redevelop and deliver their postgraduate program in the psychology of risk, which we’ve still been delivering. And it was probably, I know we’ve maybe had two or 300 people graduate the program, and we just kept seeing that there’s a better way to handle decision making at an individual at a team or group and add an organizational level.

We started rolling out programs what we then called Risk Intelligence and they were quite successful with organizations like Queensland Police and Department of Defence, but again found that was too confusing.

So we started looking at resilience, and then found some problems with why resilience works mainly two things. One, resilience, assumes toughness, you know, something bad happens and I’ve just got to be tough enough to persevere and push through. So there’s, there’s no real preventative piece around us. And that kind of proactive prevention piece for me was a big driver. And then the other frustration we found with resilience in the way it was being rolled out more at an organizational societal level was that whole idea of resilience or something bad happens and how to bounce back to where I was before the bad thing happened. And the question always asked was who says you were in a good place before the bad thing happened? So you’re trying to maybe bounce back to somewhere that’s not that good. What about bouncing forward and learning and adapting from good things? We’ve trademarked Preresilience all over the world now. Got accredited programs in it, and it started rolling out this idea of integrated compliance resilience and preresilience.”

And for the future? Gav Schneider said: “My goal really is to partner and continue to expand our client base, and actually try and drive this idea of preresilience to all the different service lines we offer. So we’re currently a group of five companies security safety medical health and technology. So our goal is to continue expanding that. We’re also just starting the expansion of preresilience programs into the US. And we’ve slowly started expanding them into the UK also in partnership with the Institute of Strategic risk management.”


One Response to “Gav Schneider in the top ten of security experts globally for the third time”
  1. Gavriel Schneider says:

    Thanks so much for the article J-Wire. Just to clarify the term and approach we are using to develop the field of risk and resilience is Presilience.

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