Speakers Profile - Paul de Gelder

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These three words – A mantra Paul learnt in the Australian Army as a young Paratrooper – resonated with him the first time he heard them.

Paul chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a hoodlum teen and his drug-and-alcohol fuelled stint working in a strip club to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the defence forces as an Army Paratrooper and then Navy Clearance Diver.

But trouble hunted him down in the form of a brutal shark in February 2009. Paul lost two limbs, and his career as a daredevil Diver was flung into jeopardy.

Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him, Paul left nothing to chance in his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge, and amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed. His inspiring story takes ‘never say die’ to a whole new level.

In the seven years since the shark attack, Paul’s life has changed in every aspect.

Having left full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further 3.5 years, Paul has traveled the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.

Paul has spoken at venues all around the world, from the United Nations in New York and the US Navy in San Diego to Anzac Day Military celebrations in front of thousands, to keynotes for multimillion dollar corporations and charity organizations around Australia.

He has also been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S. He starred as a guest trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has co-hosted 3 documentaries for Discovery Channel’s 2014, 2015 & 2016 Shark Week. He hosted the behind the scenes footage for Sonys 2016 hit movie The Shallows and interviewed it’s star Blake Lively. Paul also became part of an anti poaching team in Africa to hunt poachers and film the amazing work done by the Rangers there for FEARLESS, aired on NatGeo.