Daniel Keighran

Australian soldier, recipient of the Victoria Cross.


Daniel Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army at 17 and served his country for 11 years. Upon graduating from the School of Infantry he was posted to Delta Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) – A Company that is engraved in Australia’s military history for its involvement in Vietnam for the infamous Battle of Long Tan and more recently in Afghanistan with its contribution to the Battle of Derapet, a fierce and deadly firefight that would see Dan earn the Victoria Cross for Australia – The first and only Victoria Cross awarded to a soldier from the Royal Australian Regiment in its proud 67 year history.

Daniel has intimate insight into high risk environments understanding the importance of planning, teamwork and how making decisions under pressure can ultimately influence the outcome of any event or project.

Previous experience

Education: Daniel Keighran was born in Nambour, Queensland and grew up in Lowmead; a small town approximately 80km from Bundaberg in regional Queensland where his parents bred Paint and Quarter Horses. Dan enlisted into the Australian Army immediately after completing High school on the 5th of December 2000 and completed recruit and infantry training to be posted as a rifleman to 6RAR based at Enoggera in Brisbane all before his 18th Birthday.

Army: He deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth, Malaysia in 2001, on Operational Citadel in East Timor in 2003-04 and again to Rifle Company Butterworth in 2004. In 2005 Dan was promoted to Lance Corporal and then served within Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 6RAR. In 2006 he deployed on Operation Catalyst in Iraq serving as a Bushmaster armoured-vehicle driver, a role he again fulfilled on Operation Slipper in 2007 when he deployed to Afghanistan with the Special Operations Task Group. In 2009 when promoted to Corporal Dan was posted back to Delta Company 6RAR.

Afghanistan: In February 2010, Dan again deployed on Operation Slipper to Afghanistan, this time with his original Company Delta. On the 24th Aug 2010 his patrol was under fire by a numerically superior insurgent force. After receiving a friendly casualty, Dan Keighran acted on his own initiative to take decisive action to turn the tide of battle. This decision would see him risk his life and purposefully draw enemy fire to himself and away from the rest of the members of his patrol who were treating the casualty. This firefight and Dan’s actions would continue for over three hours. The citation for the Victoria Cross reads ‘For the most conspicuous acts of gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in action in circumstances of great peril’.

Mining: In 2011, Dan discharged from full-time Army service and commenced work in the mining industry. Initially working in exploration drilling throughout Western Australia and then as an underground shotfirer (blaster) in a gold mine outside of Kalgoorlie. In 2015, Dan returned to his home state of Queensland and is exploring new options with study and employment. During these years Dan has continued to serve his country as an Active Reservist with the Australian Army and donates his time as an Ambassador to two worthy charities the ADF Assistance Trust and Mates4Mates.