Derrick McManus

Motivational, Business, Sport

Being shot 14 times with a high-powered rifle wasn't something Derrick McManus asked for but he now knows that it's not what happens to us but how we deal with it that determines our future. As a member of the SA Police elite STAR (Special Tasks and Rescue) Division Derrick knew being shot may possibility happen so he prepared for it. Most importantly he prepared for success. When he was shot, he didn't let this tragedy control him - he took control of it and turned tragedy into triumph.

Derrick is a much sought-after speaker with a natural, dynamic style of presenting. His presentations are always full of fun so much so that Derrick was the invited Keynote Speaker in a Humour Speaking Competition. His story is an inspiration of what can be achieved by sheer guts and setting achievable goals. It also highlights the role that self belief and attitude play in achieving results and in the condition of the human spirit.

Derrick was prepared to WIN!
Being prepared is a major contributing factor for dealing with and winning when 'things' happen to us. Derrick can help your staff 'Prepare to Win', for themselves and your organisation. He can help them to learn about their inner strengths and that they too can 'Prepare to Win'.

Derrick will have your audience belly laughing during his presentation that looks at the shooting itself, lying on the ground for three hours, coming within 30 seconds of death and how he was mentally, physically and emotionally prepared to meet the demands that were placed on him. It will also reflect on personal strengths he discovered as a result of being shot. Derrick shows there is a direct link between what he did to prepare for and survive the shooting and what your people can do to prepare for and survive in business and personal life.


On 3 May 1994 Senior Constable Derrick McManus was shot 14 times with a high-powered semi-automatic weapon. With broken bones and severed arteries he lay bleeding to death for three hours before he could be rescued, during South Australia 's longest running siege. The siege at a property near Nuriootpa, continued for 40 hours, with some 2,000 rounds of ammunition fired during this period, most prior to Derrick’s rescue. Incredibly, Derrick survived and in doing so demonstrated that individuals can defy the odds and that nothing is impossible.

The story of Derrick’s physical and emotional recovery is a heart-wrenching, amusing and absorbing story of determination to survive, of setting goals, building personal belief and overcoming change. And in doing so, Derrick achieved his ultimate goal - returning to active duty as a member of the elite South Australia Police STAR Group.

Derrick is very clear about the value of family, friends and team mates in his survival and recovery. Above all, the account of Derrick’s experience is a motivational tale of one man's positive approach against adversity and the success his approach achieved. Everyone has something to learn, both personally and professionally from Derrick McManus' amazing experiences.

Derrick has been a member of South Australian Police for over 20 years. He was awarded the inaugural SA Police Bravery Medal in 1989 when, prior to STAR Division, he and his partner wrestled a gun from the hands of the man intent on shooting them. He also has a long history of community involvement ranging some 20 years and was awarded an Australia Day Young Citizen of the Year Award. In 1997, he was appointed Ambassador to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, having received 24 units of blood and blood products following the Nuriootpa shooting.

Some of Derrick's Speaking Topics

  • Motivational and Inspirational
  • Personal Leadership
  • Personal Achievement Against the Odds
  • High Achiever
  • Self Belief
  • Value of Teams and Team Building
  • Dealing with Change
  • Overcoming Adversities
  • Improving Performance
  • Occupational Health Safety and Welfare
  • Risk Management

Short Courses with Powerful Outcomes

  • Prepare To Win
  • Accelerate Your Success
  • Enjoy The Scenery On The Detour
  • Business Success Forum
  • Peak Performance Teams
  • Formula For Success – for Schools

Previous Clients

Life Plan Funds Management, BankSA, Mitsubishi Aust., Telstra Aust., NSW Mining Challenge, CPA Aust. Conference, Housing Industry Assoc., The Professionals (Real Estate), Local Govt. Assoc Qld., Electrolux, SA Department of Premier and Cabinet, Police Credit Union, MGA Whittles Group, Primary Industry and Resources SA.


"Derrick was excellent! The audience feedback was great and they loved his presentation and story. If people could adapt the qualities Derrick discussed in their lives, we would all be much better off. Thankyou for your assistance."
Angelo Mignanelli, Project Manager - Flinders Medical Centre

"Derrick's situation was such that I felt many parallels could be drawn to illustrate goal setting, teamwork, perseverance and determination, training focus and courage. He delivered his talk in a very natural, open and insightful manner. It had a very positive effect on my staff."
Geoff Qurban - State Director - Tmp.worldwide

"If Derrick could conjure up all the will power to endure what he did, and win through, then so can we. This is exactly the commitment we were looking for in our people."
Jeff Boundy - Mitsubishi Motors Australia

"Derrick McManus was very good to deal with leading up to and on the day of the event, he was accessible, easy to talk to and very professional I would recommend him, he is a great communicator with a great story. Speaking personally I though he was one the of best presenters I have seen - I think this is because of his down to earth approach and the unique story and experience."
Rosemary Irons - Capstone Financial Services