Daniel Keighran VC

First RAR Recipient of Victoria Cross & Keynote Speaker

Daniel Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army at 17 and served his country for 11 years. He is the first and only recipient of the Victoria Cross awarded to a soldier from the Royal Australian Regiment. The Victoria Cross was awarded, ‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril'.

Following discharge from full-time Army service in 2011, Dan commenced work in the mining industry. Today he is a consultant with Channel 7 and a Brand Ambassador with Australian Defence Apparel (ADA). He is also an Active Reservist with the Australian Army and an Ambassador to Mates4Mates, which supports current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families.

With an intimate insight into high risk environments, Dan is an authority on the importance of planning and teamwork, and how making decisions under pressure can ultimately influence the outcome of any event or project.

More about Daniel Keighran:

Daniel Keighran was born in Nambour, Queensland and grew up in Lowmead; a small town approximately 80km from Bundaberg in regional Queensland where his parents bred Paint and Quarter Horses. Dan enlisted into the Australian Army immediately after completing High school on the 5th of December 2000 and completed recruit and infantry training to be posted as a rifleman to 6RAR based at Enoggera in Brisbane all before his 18th Birthday.

He deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia in 2001, on Operational Citadel in East Timor in 2003-04 and again to Rifle Company Butterworth in 2004. In 2005 Dan was promoted to Lance Corporal and then served within Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 6RAR. In 2006 he deployed on Operation Catalyst in Iraq serving as a Bushmaster armoured-vehicle driver, a role he again fulfilled on Operation Slipper in 2007 when he deployed to Afghanistan with the Special Operations Task Group. In 2009 when promoted to Corporal Dan was posted back to Delta Company 6RAR.

In February 2010 Dan again deployed on Operation Slipper to Afghanistan, this time with his original Company Delta. On the 24th Aug 2010 his patrol was under fire by a numerically superior insurgent force. After receiving a friendly casualty, Dan Keighran acted on his own initiative to take decisive action to turn the tide of battle. This decision would see him risk his life and purposefully draw enemy fire to himself and away from the rest of the members of his patrol who were treating the casualty. This firefight and Dan's actions would continue for over three hours. The citation for the Victoria Cross reads ‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril'.

In 2011 Dan discharged from full-time Army service and commenced work in the mining industry. Initially working in exploration drilling throughout Western Australia and then as an underground shotfirer (blaster) in a gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie.

In 2015 Dan returned to his home state of Queensland to pursue studied with QUT, consult to Channel 7 and take up the role of Brand Ambassador with Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) working on Military Apparel and load carriage with the Research, Development and innovations Team. Additionally, Dan continued to serve his country as an Active Reservist with the Australian Army and donate his time as an Ambassador to Mates4Mates supporting current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members (and their families) who have physical or psychological wounds, injuries or illnesses as a result of their service.

Daniel Keighran talks about:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Effective decision making
  • Core values and personal ethos
  • The importance of setting goals and planning
  • Working in high pressure / high risk environments
  • His experiences in mining

Client testimonials

Daniel's presentation was an inspiration to the 400 people in the audience. His ability to convey his story in vivid detail enabled the audience to immerse themselves into his words and had them fully engaged. Throughout his talk, Daniel's style enabled him to speak to a large group, but ensured each individual felt like Daniel was speaking to them directly. His thought provoking, life valuing and self-deprecating style conveyed the seriousness of his story in an entertaining manner whilst ensuring that relevant lessons were clearly articulated. At the conclusion of Daniel's talk, the audience was fortunate to be able to spend some time engaging with him personally. This opportunity was especially valuable as each of us was able to see firsthand Daniel's down to earth and genuine nature. It would be remiss for any business or organisation not to engage Daniel to enable him to tell his story and inspire the audience to power through adversity and achieve greatness

Fadden Annual Dinner

Daniel was amazing, my membership hung onto every word he said and he really was the perfect fit to our program

Australian and New Zealand Funeral Directors

Daniel Keighran is an outstanding and inspirational speaker. His keynote address to CEO’s and Executive’s from across the Sydney Business Community delivered a compelling and insightful journey covering his early childhood growing up in rural Queensland to the battle in Afghanistan where he was awarded the VC. His story is one of inspiration and bravery displaying gallantry above and beyond the call of duty. You could have heard a pin drop in the room during his entire keynote address. Every guest left the room acknowledging how privileged they felt being a part of this special keynote address

NSW Business Chamber

Easily the keynote speaker of choice. Daniel's passion and commitment to what he was doing were fantastic. He was able to convey the importance of teamwork, perseverance, being adaptive to change and being a leader when required. The experiences Daniel shared were truly amazing

Defence Finance Congress

The audience hung on Dan's every word and his time on the stage concluded with a spontaneous standing ovation.

FineView Group