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Thai Rescue Diver and co-Australian of the Year 2019


Dr Richard “Harry” Harris has worked in anaesthesia, diving and aeromedical retrieval medicine, based in Adelaide, South Australia.

His passion for cave diving goes back to the 1980’s and has taken him to the corners of the globe in search of new adventures.

Harry and his colleagues have explored caves to 245m depth, and shipwrecks to over 150m, in dives lasting over 16 hours. He is an enthusiastic UW photographer and videographer who is now also building a career in documentary films.
Harry has a professional and voluntary interest in search and rescue operations, establishing the first sump rescue training course in Australasia. By building relationships with emergency services locally he has been preparing for such an event. The 2018 Thailand cave rescue was an opportunity to put this training to work.

Awards: In 2018 he received the Star of Courage, Australia’s second highest civilian award for bravery, and the medal of the Order of Australia for his role in the Thailand cave rescue.
Harry is the 2019 Australian of the Year for South Australia and the joint 2019 Australian of the Year with his dive partner Craig Challen.

Talking Points



How to focus on goals no matter the odds.

Book Dr Richard Harris to speak at your event

Dr Richard Harris SC OAM is a leading Australian Keynote Speaker. Dr Richard Harris is a popular motivational speaker for conferences, events, webinars and virtual presentations.

Dr Richard Harris is also available for Q&A or In Conversation events and can present in partnership with Dr Craig Challen.

Enquire to engage Dr Richard Harris for your next event.

Dr Richard Harris was a sheer delight to work with. He went over and above to customise his presentation to our audience which certainly did not go unnoticed. The feedback for his session was amazing with phrases such as “humble hero” and “true Australian legend” and being used freely. There was not a dry eye in the house. eBusiness Media

Our conference delegation was riveted by Dr. Harris’ presentation. The story of the Thai cave rescue and decision-making in the face of adversity was incredibly inspirational. His talk was one of the highlights of our conference. I could not recommend him enough.

Crowe Global

Dr Richard Harris was absolutely outstanding!! Such a humble man with a captivating story. His generosity to share so much of his experience and be so raw was a privilege to listen to. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the audience were eager to ask endless questions of him. Thank you.

MCI Australia
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