Dr. Richard Harris
Guest keynote

Dr. Richard Harris

Dr Richard “Harry” Harris works in anaesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia.
He has expertise in diving, wilderness and remote area health. 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 the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand to 229m depth, Daxing Spring in China to 213m and Song Hong Cave in Thailand to 196m to name a few. He is an enthusiastic but inferior UW photographer and videographer who is resigned to capturing opportunistic images via helmet cams. 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. 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.
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Monday, 27 April, 2020 / 04:15 PM - 05:00 PM AEST
Guest Keynote: 'Against All Odds' — The Inside Account of the Thai Cave Rescue and the Courageous Australians at the Heart of it.

Dr Richard “Harry” Harris SC OAM is an Adelaide based anaesthetist who has experience in pre-hospital and retrieval, diving, expedition and wilderness medicine. Diving for forty years, he has focussed on cave exploration since the year 2000. He was requested to assist with the rescue of 12 boys and their coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave in northern Thailand in July 2018. Along with his dive partner Craig Challen, he was closely involved with the extraction of the boys from over 2.5km underground using an unconventional and unprecedented technique involving general anaesthesia. Harry’s talk about the rescue illuminates the desperate nature of the operation, the importance of close teamwork and the courage shown around the difficult decisions that were made by the team. It is guaranteed the audience will be on the edge of their seats.

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