Summer & Winter Paralympic Medallist, Passionate Keynote Speaker
Dr Jessica Gallagher was just 17 when she was diagnosed with a rare, degenerative eye disease. Although her diagnosis impacted her sporting dreams as a netballer, Jessica never lost sight of her dream to fulfill her sporting and academic potential and to represent her country.
Dr Jessica Gallagher's story of resilience against all odds, and her anecdotes of competing at international level, are inspiring and empowering for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Four years after her diagnosis, aged 21, Jess found the world of Paralympic sport. Despite being banned from competing at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 because she was too sighted, Jess pursued her passion and, having lost more sight, became Australia's first female winter Paralympic medallist in 2010.
Jess went on to become a dual summer and winter Paralympian. She won a second bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Paralympics and made the switch to a third sport of track cycling. In March 2016 Jess made a stunning debut for Australia alongside her pilot becoming World Champions in the tandem match sprint breaking the flying 200m World Record in the process.
In September 2016 at the Rio Paralympics, Jess created stunning sports history becoming the first Australian athlete to medal at a summer and winter Paralympics or Olympics after winning bronze in the 1km Time Trial joining only a handful of other athletes around the world to achieve this incredible feat.
Off the bike Dr Jessica Gallagher is an osteopath, board director and global ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia as well as ambassador for Disabled WinterSport Australia and Vision Australia.
It's somewhat ironic that the expert who might lead us into this future is one with low vision but an acute foresight around what it will take to thrive.