One of Australia’s most thought-provoking speakers and strongest advocates for sustainable peace, London bombing survivor Gillian Hicks AM, MBE, FRSA, was acknowledged for her vast range of achievements.
UniSA Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says Hicks embodies the miracle of life and the power of forgiveness.
“Sharing what she has learnt about herself, about humanity, and what she believes is an inherent ability to not only face but rise in the wake of adversity, is inspiring – and provides insight into what is possible in life,” Prof Lloyd says.
Hicks began her public speaking career in the wake of the 2005 London bombings. She was the last living victim rescued after the attack and lost both legs from below the knee.
Before the bombings, Hicks held several high-profile positions in design and architecture in the UK. After the London bombings, Hicks’ life changed completely. She made it her mission to use her platform to promote peace and counter violent extremism.
In 2007, Hicks founded the not-for-profit organisation M.A.D. (Making a Difference) for Peace and the following year released her first book One Unknown. One Unknown was named after the label given to her as she was admitted to hospital as an unidentified body; and was shortlisted for the 2008 Mind Book of the Year Awards.
Hicks moved back to Australia in 2012, was named South Australian of the Year in 2015 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Australia Day Honours List.