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David Roberts

Celebrated author of 'Shantaram'.


Gregory David Roberts was born in Melbourne in 1952 and there began a remarkable life affirming story.

When the brilliant writer and philosophy student's marriage broke up, he turned to heroin, and was imprisoned as punishment for a series of toy gun robberies that earned him the name 'The Gentleman Bandit'. In July 1980 he escaped from Victoria's maximum-security prison in broad daylight, thereby becoming one of Australia's most wanted men for what turned out to be the next ten years. His incredible adventure included going to two wars, setting up a clinic for the poor in a Bombay slum; and working as a forger, counterfeiter, smuggler and gunrunner for a branch of the Bombay mafia. He was later captured and imprisoned in Germany with Europe's most notorious terrorists from where he was extradited to Australia and put into solitary confinement for two years as a punishment for escaping.

His extraordinary journey though could be considered as just the beginning.

His humanitarian work in Bombay was to become the nucleus of a life dedicated to assisting others
- a story of hope, compassion and love of one's fellow man.

His inspirational achievements have been recognized in many ways including being awarded the Hope Medal. Gregory gave the Hope Speech at the Royal Albert Hall to an audience of 6,000 people (600 million people saw the telecast live on cable TV), on World Peace Day last year. He also convened the Ethics Conference for The Elders (Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson, Kofi Annan, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi), at Windsor, and wrote the constitution and ethical foundation documents for The Elders. It is notable that he was personally invited to participate in the Elders project, and to convene the Ethics Conference, by Sir Richard Branson.

Gregory's novel Shantaram which recounts much of his adventures has been internationally acclaimed. Gregory is however a most gifted speaker and hearing him personally is at once an exciting, entertaining and most uplifting experience.

Gregory David Roberts shares with his audiences some lessons learned on leadership and love along the way in A Life's Journey.


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His life is testimony to power of love. Gregory is most exciting new speaker to hit the circuit in years . Unbelievably inspiring story brilliantly told. Gregory is not your usual garden variety speaker. - He challenges us all with powerful messages and shares a philosophy that everyone deserves a second chance. Charming and charismatic stage presence. The Man of Peace may be a guru for the new age. AMP
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