Gill Hicks AM
Founder of M.A.D., Australian of the Year (UK) and Australian Woman of the Year (UK), London Bomb Survivor, Peace Advocate, Inspiring Speaker
Gill is a powerful and thought-provoking communicator, challenging us to think deeply about the relationship we 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 co-ordinated terrorist attack on London’s transport network in July 2005.
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 founded both a ‘think’ and ‘do’ tank, M.A.D. Minds, and a creative, collaborative agency, Music Art Discussion, where she brings performance and visual art together to communicate beyond spoken word.
Receiving several 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.
More about Gill
A published author, musician, artist and mother, Gill’s appreciation and gratitude for life is present throughout all her creative works.
Originally from Adelaide, Gill had lived in London since 1992. She returned to her native Australia after 25 years in London, continuing her passion for communicating the importance of recognising our shared Humanity by launching a new practice exploring Music, Art and Narrative as powerful forms of universal communication.
Gill is the former Publishing Director of the architecture, design and contemporary culture magazine, Blueprint, Director of Dangerous Minds multi-disciplinary design and publishing group, and latterly Head of Curation at the UK’s Design Council. Gill Hicks is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Trustee of the Women’s Playhouse Trust and an Advisor to Psychology Beyond Borders.
Gill left her career within architecture, design and the arts, notably a respected curator and publisher in London, to devote her life to deterring anyone from following a path of violent extremism and the destructive ideologies that seek to divide our global societies.
In 2006 Gill was appointed Ambassador for Peace Direct (Best New Charity 2005), in 2007 an Advocate for Leonard Cheshire Disability and has founded M.A.D. for Peace, a not-for profit organization which communicates the importance of our individual responsibility in creating a world in which extreme conflict is ended.
Gill’s first book, One Unknown, is published by Rodale, part of Pan Macmillan and was short-listed for the Mind Book of the Year, 2007.
Gill continues to be recognised and highly awarded for her work within the Arts, Community and Healthcare. She was been honoured with an MBE for her services to charity in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List, and an AM for her ongoing devotion to making a positive difference through her own adversity. Gill became both Australian of the Year in the UK and Australian Woman of the Year in the UK.
What Gill speaks about
Mind Posture TM
‘Mind Posture’ is finding the Confidence and the Strength within your mind to create a perspective that is always positively supporting your growth and ability to move through adversity, change, obstacles and anything that stands between You and where you want to be.
It requires conscious exercise, being aware that a single thought can inform our actions!
There is a lot I have to say on
Adapting to Change; Facing what you Fear; Finding Purpose and Meaning; Laugh more than you Cry; Be your Own Mentor and The importance of Belonging
Health, Counter Extremism, Community, Rebuilding, Ability / Disability, Humanity.
One could not help but be inspired and challenged - and in the very self centred world of the City reflective on how we spend our time, live our lives and evaluate what is truly important. Pity I could not have made it mandated viewing for all on the trading floor!!!
Inspiring! ... Gill was fantastic - I could have listened to her all day! ... She made me realise that little things mean a lot.
-Nurse in the West Midlands
Gill gave two of the best received, uplifting and thought provoking presentations I have heard in many years of attending conferences and events. Her presentation at the National Meetings and Events Association in Adelaide in April 2009 achieved the highest ever rating from attendees for a presentation at the conference. The Melbourne presentation was equally well received by a totally different audience and greatly added to the effectiveness of the lunch and the achievement of its objectives.
-Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
In her speaking engagements on behalf of Leonard Cheshire Disability she always manages to move and inspire people so their combined energy and creativity can be used positively to benefit others less able.
Gill held the audience spellbound for well over an hour. The presentation was both confronting and inspirational. It gave our members a new perspective on prioritising their lives and what is truly important as well as the sheer determination in beating the odds... truly a unique experience.
-YPO Education Chair, Adelaide
You could hear a pin drop, in all my years in events management I have never seen an audience so gripped by every word, Gill inspired us all, amazing...