Join us for a special lunch event – In conversation with peace actionist Gill Hicks, 2005 London bombings survivor
It is with great anticipation that we welcome London bombings survivor Gillian ‘Gill’ Hicks AM MBE FRSA to our special lunch event at the Next Level. In conversation with Stan Kontos, Gill will share her engaging and uplifting emphasis on peace among humanity, despite the trauma and injuries she suffered in the terrorist attack on London’s public transport system on 7 July 2005.
The last living survivor rescued from her train carriage after the attack, Gill lost both legs below the knee in the blast and was not expected to survive. In the time before she was rescued, thereafter being admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital identified only as ‘one unknown estimated female’, Gill said she contemplated the whole of her life. The love and comfort she felt from her rescuers amidst the chaos was what ultimately led to dedicating herself to being an advocate – an ‘actionist’ – for peace.
The mindset of connection and acceptance among human beings continues in Gill’s consultancy practice M.A.D. Minds, which she founded to combine the talents of leading psychologists, artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, and technology and communication experts. The M.A.D. group participate in public campaigns, specialist communications and other projects using a ‘Think’, ‘Create’ and ‘Do’ approach to creating empathetic and unifying ideologies in each initiative.
In the spirit of actively promoting widespread affirmative change and negating feelings of helplessness and fear around terrorism, Gill founded the M.A.D. For Peace app, which helps users to log five acts of positive humanity to defy every one act of extremism. The app connects users with peace-focussed projects, events, organisations and individuals.
A raft of accolades has been given to Gill in honour of her gratitude for life and dedication to fostering peace around the world. Some of the awards include:
- Being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Australia Day Honours list for ‘significant service to the promotion of peace in the community through public engagement, education and network building initiatives’
- Being named South Australian of the Year in November 2014
- Receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science from Kingston University, London, in 2013, in recognition of her determination to overcome her injuries, and of her work in raising awareness of disability
- Receiving an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from London Metropolitan University in 2009, in recognition of her work in promoting the importance of establishing sustainable peace
- Receiving an Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to charity in the Queen’s New Year Honours List in 2009
- One Unknown, Gill’s memoir published in 2007, was shortlisted in 2008 as Book of the Year by Mind, a mental health charity in England and Wales.
This lunch event is not to be missed! This is your chance to be inspired by one of the world’s leading motivational speakers and learn how, despite her experience in London, Gill is able to celebrate life and believe in the brilliance of humanity and the potential for positivity.