Dr Gill Hicks AM MBE
Keynote Speaker


A published author, musician, award winning artist and performer, Gill’s appreciation and gratitude for life is present throughout all her creative works. Gill is a powerful and thought-provoking communicator, challenging us to think deeply about the relationship with have with the world around us, with each other and importantly hold with ourselves. Her vital work, particularly in countering violent extremism, became her focus after she was left severely and permanently injured from the actions of a suicide bomber in the coordinated terrorist attack on London’s transport network in July 2005.

Dr. Gill Hicks is considered to be one of the most life affirming speakers in Australia. She is globally known as a survivor of the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005. She survived, but suffered severe and permanent injuries, losing both legs from just below the knee. Her unique and compelling projects and initiatives, aimed at both deterring anyone from following the path of violent extremism and building sustainable models for peace, draw upon Hicks’s previous roles within the Arts.

Prior to the bombings, Gill was a respected figure within the fields of Architecture, Design and the Arts in London.  As Publisher of Blueprint, the contemporary culture magazine, she established herself within the world renown British design scene. She later went on to be Founding Director of The Dangerous Minds Design consultancy and then Head Curator at the Design Council.

‘Designing a sustainable peace’ has become the core focus to Gill’s 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 Honorary Doctorates within 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.

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

After living and working in London for over two decades, Gill returned to Australia where she continues to grow her Arts practice. A recipient of the prestigious Ed Tweddell Residency at Central Studios, Adelaide, she runs a commercial studio within this consortium of acclaimed artists.

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.

In 2008 Hicks released her first book, One Unknown, named after the chilling label given to her as she arrived at hospital as an unidentified body. The book was shortlisted for the Mind Book of the Year Awards.

Since her return to Australia in 2012, Hicks has been recognised as South Australian, Australian of the Year 2015 and is Chair to the Innovation component for the Committee for Adelaide.