Paul De Gelder (NSW)

Keynote Speakers

About Paul De Gelder (NSW)

Paul de Gelder’s life reads like a Boys Own Adventure. From rebel, drug dealer, and strip club worker, to adventurer, soldier, fitness enthusiast, Navy diver, motivational speaker and mentor to kids across Australia, Paul is an exceptional man. On February 11th, 2009 Paul was on exercise in Sydney Harbour between Garden Island and Mrs Macquaries Chair when he was attacked by a massive bull shark resulting in the loss of his left leg and right hand.

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Pauls recovery is an inspirational story of mental and physical courage. At 32 he doesnt ever let his situation let him down, even to the point of selecting black prosthetics so as not to hide them. Discharged from hospital, Paul refused to go to a rehabilitation institute and declined sessions with a counsellor; instead he chose to do it all himself – with a little help from his friends.

Four months after the attack he went skydiving with his partner. Today hes back surfing, driving a car and pumping out 20 chin ups with the help of specially designed prosthetics. He has flown a plane, raced a Porsche and amazingly, has dived with sharks twice since in an oceanarium.

Paul speaks from the heart about overcoming adversity, to beat the odds through the combination of physical strength, mental toughness and the sheer will to live. His presentations range from talking with kids with cancer who he says are far worse off than him, to personnel from the US Navys diving branch who recently flew him to San Diego and gave him a standing ovation.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome has become his mantra, echoing that of the US Marines. It is a lesson that we each owe to ourselves to help us make the best of our lives. Paul de Gelder’s story will simply inspire you.

Paul De Gelder (NSW) Videos

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