Damien Mander

Damien Mander

Based: Johannesburg.

Damien has informed, entertained, motivated and inspired select audiences around the world with highlights including; a packed Sydney Opera House for TEDx 2013, Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking at the Department of Interior in Washington DC, The United Nations Great Apes Survival Summit in Jackson Hole, The Royal Geographical Society in London and sell-out crowds at The Explorers Club in New York City.

Damien has lived an extraordinary life for a 37 year old. At 19, as a garbage collector in Melbourne, he joined the Australian Defense Force as a Clearance Diver and went on to become a Special Operations Sniper. Later becoming a mercenary, he deployed to Iraq where, amongst other roles, he Project Managed the Iraq Special Police Training Academy overseeing paramilitary training and deployment of troops. Following three years service in Iraq, he left the frontlines with no direction in life.

A trip to Africa in early 2009 awakened him to the horrors that the natural world is facing from poaching. Identifying his niche capabilities to dealing with this injustice, Damien liquidated his wartime savings, and founded the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF). Now a multinational not-for-profit, the IAPF runs operations on the frontlines of the world wildlife wars. Using battle-proven training and management methods IAPF applies a project based paradigm, whereby they operate only in areas which represent high environmental value and where application of unique skills can produce an effective and enduring local solution.

Topics include:

  • Follow your passion to live your dream:

    How giving up everything, and breaking away from societies expectation can set you free to fulfil your true destiny

  • Conservation, Adventure & Leadership:

    From 12 tours of Iraq and travel through more than 60 countries, Damien can recount numerous tales, lessons and methods to overcome many obstacles that life can throw at you

  • Destroying fear of failure:

    Conquering a fear of failure to graduate through some of the world’s most arduous military selection phases can only come with the acceptance of mistakes along the way. Some fatal. These are the school fees of life, not failure

  • Entrepreneurial spirit & raw grit:

    If you chose not to follow anyone’s dreams but your own, it will require two things above all else: The belief that your concept is different and can effect change and the refusal to give up on making it reach its full potential.

  • Overcoming adversity in hostile environments:

    The ability to operate a multinational organisation across three continents, with multiple cultures, languages and often in a hostile environment is not an online lesson or something university can prepare us

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Let us entertain you

Complete the form below to make an enquiry or send an email to entertainment@hands-on.co.za

    Dion Chang

    Dion Chang

    Based: Johannesburg. 

    Dion Chang is an innovator, creative thinker and walking ideas bank. He is one of South Africa’s most respected trend analysts and takes the unique view of “trends as business strategy”. While his feet remain firmly planted on African soil, he uses a global perspective to gauge the zeitgeist, source ahead-of-the-curve concepts and identify shifting business templates. In a world struggling to adapt to a new world order, his trends analysis company – Flux Trends – specializes in understanding consumer mindset and identifying unexpected business opportunities within shifting trends, ensuring that global trends have relevance when translated for South African businesses.

    He has 20 years experience in the magazine industry and as a journalist and media spokesman, which enables him to provide insights into the ever-changing relationship between brands, consumers and the communication channels that bind them.

    He has devised and hosted 3 trend conferences and published 3 trend books (the last being, “New Urban Tribes of South Africa”). Flux Trends currently releases industry specific trend reports every quarter. Apart from being an information source on a cross section of trends for many journalists, he currently writes columns for City Press, SAA’s Sawubona magazine, Acumen (a C-suite business quarterly for GIBS) and has a monthly radio slot on MetroFM, and contributes to eBizRadio, an online radio portal.

    He is part of the Duke CE faculty and also lectures a trend module at UCT’s Graduate School of Business for business executives and senior management, focusing on “The Business of Disruption”. He is passionate about youth trends and subcultures, their impact and influence on an emerging new world order, as well as innovative ideas for greater good.

    Let us entertain you

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      Dr Dean Allen

      Dr Dean Allen

      Based: Cape Town. 

      He was brought up in the West Country of England and was the first person in my family to go to university. Since then I have gone on to teach at leading Universities in South Africa, Australia, Northern Ireland and the UK. Dean established a reputation as a popular guest lecturer and speaker, and have presented motivational talks and keynote papers around the world.

      He attributes much of my success to the cultures and people he has been exposed to during my travels. South Africans in particular have taught him that the power of determination, when channelled correctly, is immensely powerful. He is greatly influenced by one of the greatest statesmen of our time, Nelson Mandela – a true leader who also saw the value of sport in uniting people and healing the past. It is a story that Dean feels we all can learn from.

      Dean is a popular motivational speaker and MC, known for his educational and entertaining style. A selection of speaking topics and themes:

      Sport and empowerment

      What disadvantaged communities can teach us

      The business of sport

      Have we sold our souls? A look back to when sport was a passion, not a pay cheque

      Teamwork or synergy

      Is the discipline of sport changing?

      Sport in business

      Embracing effective teamwork by valuing the contribution of others

      Most recently he has published a book in the areas of sports history and sociology I have recently released my new book Empire, War and Cricket to great acclaim.

      Let us entertain you

      Complete the form below to make an enquiry or send an email to entertainment@hands-on.co.za

        Gary Kirsten

        Gary Kirsten

        Based: Cape Town

        In between his coaching obligations, Gary Kirsten engages with a variety of groups in varying forums, giving insights into his leadership philosophies and how these helped Team India and Cricket South Africa reach their respective goals. His achievements and humility set him apart as speaker.

        Guest Speaking:

        His attention to detail and structured approach makes him an effective communicator. His articulate and eloquent manner combined with an unmistakable presence endears him to all. Known for his straightforward approach, Gary has the knack of simplifying often complicated issues. His passion for excellence and accountability is infectious

        Topics as guest speaker:

        • Building a winning culture
        • Managing team dynamics
        • Optimising individual talent
        • Creating informal team leadership
        • Managing risk in a changing environment
        • Unlocking team potential

        Leadership Philosophies:

        It seems that we’ve forgotten that school is a place where you learn. It’s a place of preparation, not performance. Once you have learnt skills and gained confidence based on real competence, you are better prepared for the stress of performance and competition.

        As a proud father and sporting icon, Gary also enjoys speaking to parents and educators about their approach to our children’s sport-life, and how it affects the children’s entire lives. Gary shares remarkable parts of his own story, and helps us to rethink and sharpen our involvement in school sports.

        Leadership Philosophy Topics:

        • My experience of playing sport at school
        • Meeting two of my mentors. Positive influences in my life.
        • Becoming a professional. The burden of expectation.
        • Becoming the Coach. What did I hear? What do they want to hear?
        • Becoming the parent. Looking through the eyes of my child, what do they hear?

        Let us entertain you

        Complete the form below to make an enquiry or send an email to entertainment@hands-on.co.za

          Jannie Putter

          Jannie Putter

          Based: Johannesburg. 

          Jannie studied for 9 years at the North-West University (Potchefstroom) and obtained his BA degree, an honours degree in Psychology, an honours degree in Sport-Science as well as his Masters-degree in Sport-psychology.

          He played rugby on a provincial and national level – represented the former Western Transvaal (Leopards) in 76 matches. He was invited to the Springbok trials in 1992. He was selected for the SA-Barbarians, SA Universities and SA-defense team and captained a number of the teams he played for.

          He is married to Tertia (a Biokineticist) and they have two wonderful children – a son Victor and a daughter Danielle.

          He was the mental coach at the BLUE BULLS from 2006 to 2010 (when they won the super 14 three times!!!

          He is a motivational speaker and he has been working with various companies / sports-teams & organizations on leadership, teamwork, executive coaching etc… He also presents workshops on leadership / coaching / parenting /mental toughness etc…

          He is the mental coach of various national and international athletes / teams in a variety of sporting disciplines (rugby, athletics, golf, netball, equestrian, tennis, squash, parachuting, swimming, etc…)

          He is currently the mental coach of the Golden Lions rugby team (since 2015)

          He is the author of six books.

          The first book was about dealing with children, parents and competition with the title: “Winning is for kids…. and parents”.

          His second book has been released in 2004 with the title: “The secrets of a champion”.

          His third book: “Gameplan for life” has been released in 2011

          His forth book “Mentally Tough – principles of competing” has been released in 2012

          His fifth book “Wenplan vir jou kind se lewe” (Gameplan for your child’s life) has been released September 2014 and was recently voted the no 1 book in SA regarding working with youth.

          His sixth book: “The Sport Coach – the psychology behind coaching” has been released in 2016

          He has been in practice since 1994 and he is a regular speaker on a variety of radio stations and often speaks on television as well.

          He is still a keen golfer and tennis-player and has also completed a Warrior-race in 2016!

          Let us entertain you

          Complete the form below to make an enquiry or send an email to entertainment@hands-on.co.za