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Dr Richard
Harris OAM

Thai Rescue Diver and co-Australian of the Year 2019


Dr Richard “Harry” Harris has worked in anesthesia, diving and aeromedical medicine around the world.

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

Harry has a professional and voluntary interest in search and rescue operations, establishing the first flooded cave rescue capability in Australasia. The 2018 Thailand cave rescue was an opportunity to put this training to work.

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 was the joint 2019 Australian of the Year with his dive partner Craig Challen. He is now primarily working as a speaker, author and filmmaker.

He is an advocate for sensible risk-taking in young people, encouraging youth to get off their screens and outside to build independence, resilience and improved mental health.

Talking Points



How to focus on goals no matter the odds.

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

Harry has cemented himself as our favourite keynote speaker, and we have had many! His presentations were relevant, interesting, entertaining and thought provoking. He was very gracious and friendly to everyone and we thoroughly enjoyed hosting him. Would highly recommend.

Whitsunday Anglican School
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