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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IMPROVISE...ADAPT...OVERCOME...

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 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 Defence Forces as an Army paratrooper and then Navy bomb disposal diver.

But trouble hunted him down in the form of a 9ft 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 in his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge whilst amazing the medical staff and the Australian public with his will to succeed. His inspiring story as detailed in his autobiography “No Time for Fear” 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 and a half 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 and the US Navy in San Diego to Military celebrations in front of thousands and keynotes for multimillion dollar corporations and charity organisations around Australia and Asia.

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 on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has hosted 16 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 between Sydney & Los Angeles he is preparing to film yet more documentaries and recently completed an acting role for a 6 part mini-series for Australia’s largest cable network.

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Speaker Video

Paul de Gelder Speaker Promo Video

Improvise, Adapt & Overcome

Paul’s presentation isn’t a shark attack story nor is it a military story. It’s a journey of discovery and triumph that can relate to us all. It encapsulates aspects of our private, professional, mental and emotional strength and well being to make you understand how much we are truly capable of. Paul takes his audience on an emotional rollercoaster of dizzying highs and tearful lows strengthening their resolve and reinforcing their belief in themselves that they can and should live their own impossible dreams. 

Takeaways include:

  • Discovering the strength of the team
  • Understanding why everyone wants you happy
  • Improvising, adapting and overcoming
  • Turning weaknesses into strengths
  • Why embrace the power of change

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booksLatest Books

No Time for Fear: How A Shark Attack Survivor Beat the Odds

No Time for Fear: How A Shark Attack Survivor Beat the Odds