Paul de Gelder

Navy Diver, Shark Attack Survivor & Author
Speaker Paul de Gelder
  • Long-time Co-Host of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week
  • One of the Top 15 Inspirational Australians & Top 10 Speakers
  • Starred as a guest trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia

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

Paul de Gelder chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a teen and his whirlwind lifestyle working in clubs & the music industry to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the Australian Defense Forces as an Army paratrooper and then Navy bomb disposal diver.

But trouble hunted him down in the form of a 10 foot bull shark in February 2009 while diving for the Navy. 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, conducting his own rehabilitation. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge whilst amazing the medical staff and the Australian public with his will to succeed, and returned to full-time Navy service after only 6 months.

His inspiring story as detailed in his autobiography Uncaged’, takes the saying never say die” to a whole new level.

In the 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 three years, Paul has travelled the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids. He has spoken at venues across the globe, from the United Nations in New York, to conferences across the U.S. China, London, Vietnam, New Zealand, and of course, Australia.

Paul has also been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S. He starred as a guest trainer twice on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has hosted over 25 documentaries for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Where he learnt to hand feed bull sharks, hammerheads, blue sharks, dive with tiger sharks and even Great Whites without the protection of a cage.

Mega star Will Smith Featured Paul in his Facebook series Bucket List” as his shark diving mentor, UFC hall of famer Ronda Rousey was taught how to hand feed bull sharks by Paul, and most recently Iron Mike Tyson became Paul’s shark diving student.

Paul also became part of an anti-poaching team in Africa to film the amazing work done by the Rangers there for "FEARLESS", aired on NatGeo.

Paul has been touted as one of the top 15 inspirational Australians and top 10 speakers and now based in Los Angeles he is preparing to film yet more documentaries.

Looking to expand his repertoire, Paul completed a lead acting role for a 6 part mini series for Australias largest cable network, and has since appeared in several commercials and short films.

An incredible life and an incredible story.

Paul is available for speaking opportunities throughout the world

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Embracing Resilience and Overcoming Adversity

This presentation focuses on the subject of resilience and its vital role in personal and professional development. Through personal experiences and stories, Paul emphasizes the importance of resilience in overcoming adversity. The audience is guided through the journey of embracing uncomfortable change as a catalyst for growth, understanding the lessons learned from facing challenges and setbacks. Lessons drawn from military experiences highlight the significance of discipline, teamwork, and adaptability in thriving in high-risk environments. Additionally, personal insights from surviving a life-threatening shark attack shed light on the psychological and physical challenges of recovery. The presentation concludes by exploring strategies for developing a resilient mindset, including the power of positive thinking and self-belief. The overall purpose of this presentation is to inspire and motivate individuals to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and cultivate resilience in all areas of life.

Leadership Lessons from Extraordinary Experiences

This presentation focuses on leadership and derives valuable insights from extraordinary life experiences. Paul shares his unique background, highlighting how adventure and leadership intersect. Through personal stories, the audience is guided through the challenges faced as a military paratrooper and clearance diver, emphasizing decision-making and problem-solving strategies in high-pressure environments. The presentation also addresses navigating change and uncertainty, drawing from personal experiences and offering strategies for leading effectively during such situations.

Teamwork and collaboration are emphasized as essential elements of leadership, with insights shared from leading diverse teams in challenging environments. The significance of trust, communication, and mutual support in fostering effective teamwork is highlighted. The presentation further explores courageous leadership, drawing personal insights from surviving a shark attack and emphasizing the role of courage in leading oneself and others through adversity.

In the conclusion, the speaker summarizes key leadership principles derived from these extraordinary experiences, reinforcing the importance of courage and resilience. The audience is encouraged to embrace leadership opportunities with these qualities, as they are crucial for success. Overall, the purpose of this presentation is to inspire and equip individuals with valuable leadership insights derived from extraordinary experiences, encouraging them to lead with courage, adaptability, and effective teamwork.

Finding Purpose and Passion in Life and Work

This presentation focuses on finding purpose and passion in life and work. Paul shares his personal journey of discovering purpose and highlights the significance of aligning personal and professional aspirations. The audience is guided through transformative experiences, emphasizing strategies for overcoming self-limiting beliefs and embracing personal growth. Lessons from Paul’s adventures as a Shark Week host shed light on following one's passion, taking risks, and stepping outside comfort zones.

The presentation further explores crafting a fulfilling career path by aligning personal values and passions with professional choices. The importance of continuous learning and seeking new challenges is discussed. Balancing life and work is addressed, emphasizing the significance of maintaining work-life balance, prioritizing personal well-being, and fostering meaningful relationships.

In the conclusion, key principles for finding purpose and passion are recapitulated. The audience is encouraged to pursue personal fulfillment and make a positive impact in their lives and careers. The purpose of this presentation is to inspire individuals to unleash their personal potential, discover their purpose and passion, and create a fulfilling and meaningful life and work.

Overcoming Fear and Embracing Change

This presentation centers around the transformative power of facing fears and embracing change. Paul introduces personal experiences with fear and change, highlighting their significance in personal growth. Strategies for managing fear and embracing calculated risks are shared, drawing insights from military experiences and diving in dangerous waters. Lessons in courage and resilience are derived from surviving a shark attack, emphasizing the importance of mental fortitude in challenging situations.

The presentation further explores the psychology of change and resistance, encouraging the audience to embrace change as an opportunity for growth. Strategies for adapting to change and seizing new opportunities are discussed. Stepping outside comfort zones is presented as a means to unleash personal potential, with personal experiences of growth and self-discovery through new challenges shared.

In the conclusion, key lessons on overcoming fear and embracing change are recapitulated. The audience is encouraged to view fear as a catalyst for personal and professional growth. The purpose of this presentation is to inspire individuals to confront their fears, embrace change, and unlock their full potential by stepping outside their comfort zones.

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