02 October 2019

Gillian ‘Gill’ Hicks AM, MBE, FRSGillian ‘Gill’ Hicks AM, MBE, FRSA, one of Australia’s most thought-provoking speakers and strongest advocates for sustainable peace, will receive an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia today. 

Hicks began her public speaking career in the wake of the July 7, 2005 London bombings. She was the last living victim rescued after the attack and lost both legs from below the knee. 

Prior to the bombings, Hicks held several high-profile positions in the UK, including the role of 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. 

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 released her first book One Unknown the following year. One Unknown was named after the chilling label given to her as she was admitted to hospital as an unidentified body. It received rave reviews 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 made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Australia Day Honours list. She promotes peace through public engagement, education, and network building initiatives that advocate for unified and supportive communities. 

In 2013, Hicks welcomed her daughter into the world, describing Amelie’s birth as her greatest achievement and powerful evidence of the resilience and brilliance of the human body. 

UniSA Vice Chancellor, Professor David Lloyd, says Hicks’ vast range of achievements and awards demonstrate her strength and commitment to leaving a positive impact on society. 

“Gill embodies the miracle of life, and the power of forgiveness,” Prof Lloyd says. 

“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.” 

More than 1600 students will graduate from UniSA this week. Gill Hicks will receive her Honorary Doctorate at 10.30am on October 2 at Pridham Hall, City West campus.

Media contact: Candy Gibson office +61 8 8302 0961 mobile: +61 434 605 142 email: candy.gibson@unisa.edu.au

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