Gillian (Gill) Hicks AM, MBE, FRSA is considered one of the most thought provoking, powerful and life affirming speakers in Australia and the United Kingdom. She is known globally 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 permanently injured in the London terrorist bombings on 7 July 2005. She survived but lost both legs from just below the knee.

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, along with being one of the first women to be invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Ms Hicks has made it her mission to use her experiences and her new body form to positive effect. In 2007, Ms Hicks founded the not for profit organisation M.A.D. for Peace, a platform that connects people globally and encourages ‘us’ to think of Peace as a Verb, something that we have an individual responsibility to ‘do’ every day.

In 2008, Ms Hicks released her first book entitled One Unknown, named after the chilling label given to her as she arrived at hospital as an unidentified body. Her book received fantastic reviews and as a major recognition it was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year Awards in 2008.

Since returning to Australia in 2012, she has been recognised as South Australian, Australian of the Year 2015 and wonderfully became a Mother to her daughter, Amélie, a privilege that she sees as her greatest ever achievement.