Paul de Gelder

Shark Attack Survivor, Environmentalist, Adventurer & Speaker

Paul de Gelder was born for adventure and survival. Following a wild youth, he spent his teenage years doing drugs and alcohol while working in a strip club, then he joined the Australian Defence Forces, first as an Army Paratrooper and later as a Navy Clearance Diver. However it was a brutal shark attack in 2009 while on a Navy exercise in Sydney Harbour that presented the biggest challenge of all and shaped the rest of his life.

Despite the despair of losing two limbs, and his career as a daredevil diver, Paul left nothing to chance when it came to his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge while amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed.

Today, Paul travels the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids. He has spoken to diverse audiences that range from the United Nations in New York and the US Navy in San Diego, to Anzac Day military celebrations, multimillion dollar corporations and charity organisations.

More about Paul de Gelder:

Prior to being attacked by a shark, Paul de Gelder’s two major fears were sharks and public speaking. However since that day in 2009, Paul has become a fierce advocate for sharks and an internationally renowned keynote speaker.

Stepping away from full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further three and a half years, 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 co-hosted six documentaries for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week including swimming with bull sharks – the species that attacked him – and catching crocodiles. 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.

Paul’s inspiring story, as detailed in his autobiography No Time for Fear takes the saying “never say die” to a whole new level. His story has the power to mesmerise audiences in a way few other speakers can.

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