Brett Connellan Keynote Speaker

  • Shark attack survivor and professional surfer
  • Motivational speaker on resilience
  • Advocate for mental health

Brett Connellan's Biography

“It’s unfortunate that it often takes a bad event in one’s life to gain perspective and finally start living” says Brett Connellan.

Brett Connellan is a shark attack survivor.

On March 30, 2016, every surfer’s worst nightmare became Brett’s reality when a Great White Shark took off most of his thigh on the South Coast of New South Wales.

Then 22-years old, Brett Connellan had lost three-quarters of his left quad, and emergency responders on the scene were sure he would not make it. Fortunately, the cards fell in Brett’s favour, and he managed to pull through with the help of a brave friend, timely emergency support and a healthy serving of luck.

One of Brett’s many operations required extracting his left lat muscle and replacing it in his thigh in hope that it would enable him to walk again. With doctors unsure if he could even walk, the likelihood that he would ever be able to surf was next to zero.

The events that saved Connellan’s life were not lost on him, and that perspective was needed as he faced a long and challenging road to recovery. While questioning his purpose and identity, he also developed a different mindset towards resilience, which eventually helped Brett defy the odds to be able to walk and now, surf again.

Brett Connellan is currently producing a feature film that documents not just how the freak attack happened but also charts his mental and physical recovery. In 2022, sans lat and majority of his thigh, Brett has started training for the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships which entails paddleboarding 52-kilometres in open, treacherous waters.

Powerfully open and engaging, Brett Connellan has shared his inspiring story through a series of keynote sessions for corporations, schools and mental health organisations in Australia. Not only do they highlight key principles that he has learned along the way; they provide major life perspectives and tangible takeaways that his audience can start implementing today to live a happier, more purpose filled life.

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