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Dr Gill
Hicks AM MBE

Inspiring advocate of peace


Just because I can’t feel the ground, doesn’t mean it's not there.

Gill Hicks is considered to be one of the most thought provoking, powerful and life affirming speakers in Australia and the UK. She is globally known as an advocate for sustainable peace and a valuable resource in countering violent extremism.

Her devotion to making a personal greater contribution and positive difference to the urgency of building peace was realised when she was made permanently injured in the London terrorist bombings on July 7th, 2005.

But Gill is much more than a survivor.
‘Designing a sustainable peace’ has become the core focus to her body of work. Under the acronym for Making a Difference ( M.A.D. ), Gill has created both an agency, a ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank, M.A.D. Minds and a creative business, Music Art Discussion, where she brings her performance and visual art together to express her wonder and observations of life.

Receiving Doctorates in Philosophy from London Metropolitan University, Kingston University and University South Australia, Gill is also an Adjunct Lecturer with Edith Cowan University. Working within Education, she develops critical thinking modules for primary and secondary school-age children.

She has also been awarded an MBE and an AM in recognition of her work within the Charity sectors.
Gill is an active Board Director for The Women’s Playhouse Trust, UK and Europe and SALA ( South Australian Living Artists ).

After returning to her native Australia after 26 years in London, she continues to grow her Arts practice, becoming a studio member at Central Studios, Adelaide, after being awarded the Ed Tweddell residency.

Her 2021 Adelaide Fringe debut performance, Still Alive and Kicking, played to sold-out audiences, received five-star reviews and won multiple awards, including the coveted Edinburgh Fringe award.

Her presentations focus on topics such as confidence and trust within ourselves, and how having both allows us to make transformative choices. Gill advocates for the growth of a more confident collective/communities, societies and a nation. As a finalist for Australian of the Year, her platform was centred on the importance of growing a confident and cohesive Australia.

She speaks of change, or rather the negative connotation change has and change-makers are often revered figures who are seen as ‘pioneers’ and ‘leaders’. She encourages audiences to take control of change through our Choice of how we React and Respond... and use it as an opportunity.

Her life is built on what she describes as a series of conscious choices, of mindfulness and being aware of the importance of the moment. Sharing what she has learnt about herself, about humanity and the extraordinary and what she believes is an inherent ability to not only face but to rise in the wake of adversity is not only inspiring, but it is valuable insight into what is possible in life.

Each of Gill’s unforgettable presentations are bespoke, written and created with stunning visuals especially for the audience she speaks with.

Previous experience:

Achievements: Gill’s achievements are also certain to inspire. Starting from the ground up, she arrived in London as a 19-year-old and rose to become a recognised figure within the creative and cultural landscape of London, wider UK - and internationally - exhibiting work in Milan and New York. She owned and operated a design consultancy in London and turned an architectural publishing company around from the value of 1 pound to being sold for 1 million pounds! Gill was one of the first wave of women to be exclusively invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, no small chore for a woman in a heavily male-dominated industry.

Her ‘lived experience’, from survival to rehabilitation as a double amputee, created a clear demarcation from all she had known before the bombings, being at the helm of some of the UK’s most prestigious and respected institutions-including Publishing Director of the architecture, design and contemporary culture magazine, Blueprint, Director of the Dangerous Minds design consultancy and Head Curator at the Design Council.

Talking Points

One Unknown

Facing the Unknown: A story of achievement over adversity

Surviving Life - what are the attributes we need to live the best, most rewarding and fulfilling life possible.

Accessibility - exploring ability within disability

Peace - imagine if it was a Verb!

What’s the Worst that Can Happen? - exploring what ‘we’ fear. Imagine if we took fear out of living - what could we achieve?

Choose choice - The greatest power we have is the power to choose how we want to respond and react to every single moment of our lives.

Gill held the audience spellbound for well over an hour. The presentation was both confronting and inspirational. It gave our members a new perspective on prioritising their lives and what is truly important as well as the sheer determination in beating the odds... truly a unique experience. YPO Education Chair

In her speaking engagements on behalf of Leonard Cheshire Disability she always manages to move and inspire people so their combined energy and creativity can be used positively to benefit others less able.

Leonard Cheshire Disability

Gill is a constant reminder that our work is hugely valued and appreciated, and has become a dear friend to many. Her frequent and overwhelmingly positive comments about St Thomas', her fundraising efforts and her willingness to talk candidly about her experiences as a patient and of her recovery continue to enrich the lives of everyone who has met her since those tragic events on July 7.

Guy's St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust

Gill was the perfect speaker for the end of day - she had the audience enthralled and the evaluation feedback was 100% positive. I would have absolutely NO hesitation in recommending Gill to any event.

Aged & Community Services Australia

Gill Hicks is the most fascinating guest I’ve ever had on my program. Gill’s ability to discover moments of kindness and insight (and even humour) in her ordeal is astonishing and deeply moving. She tells her story in such a compelling manner; she generated a flood of warm responses from people who simply had to stop what they were doing, and just listen, spellbound, to her voice.

Richard Fidler, ABC Radio

Real and raw. Gill is a lovely and brave woman. Inspiring and a fantastic way to end the conference. I wasn’t aware of her story, and was touched and inspired by her presentation to us. Wow. Gill was amazing - so humble and funny and such an amazing story of courage and resilience. The closing conference session delivered in spades. A remarkable life story and one that will stick with me for a long time. If we could measure engagement on the faces of the delegates over the 3 days, she won hands down. An absolutely brilliant choice as the closing speaker of a conference that was all about shedding fear and embracing a new world.

Recruitment & Consulting Services Association

What can I say, it was absolutely insanely amazing; theatrical, moving and beautiful!

Wired for Wonder

This was hands down one, of the most powerful and inspiring talks I've had the privilege of listening. Gill crafted an intimate space to deliver her keynote for The Business Institute’s quarterly Lecture Theatre Series which was held via national broadcast. The feedback we received during and post the event highlighted the genuine connection Gill was able to make with our audience through her own powerful story which was delivered with deep insight and empathy for the human spirit. I loved Gill's sentiments about; trusting yourself , My Wisdom CV and the importance of continuing - no matter what!! I can highly recommend engaging Gill to present for any and all levels within your organisation.


Dr. Gill Hicks is a wonderful speaker, engaging, vulnerable and able to connect with a wide audience. Gill is so much more than a survivor, she is an icon for adapting to change and overcoming difficulty. We can highly recommend this speaker, such an honour to have had her visit our town.

Murray Bridge Library

Gill was incredible to work with at all stages of the event. She made full use of her briefing session and put thought into how to ensure its relevancy to our audience. On the day, Gill arrived early and weaved elements of the topics prior to hers into the TED style talk. Gill was able to engage the audience just by using her stage theatrics and vocal tone and had the audience hanging off her every word. She was polite and is overall a beautiful human being. I would highly recommend Gill.

Registered Clubs Association of NSW t/a ClubsNSW

Gill was an incredible speaker. She was literally breathtaking to listen to. Her entire journey, what she’s been through and where she is now is just we-inspiring. She had the skilled balance of sharing her story whilst tying it back in to our conference and the audience. Our delegates raved about her and she was such a powerful opening for our conference!

Medical Technology Association of Australia Limited - MTAA
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