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Jess Gallagher

Jess Gallagher

Jess Gallagher is Australia’s first female winter Paralympic medalist - Dual summer & winter Paralympian. As a speaker, Jess is no doubt one of those rare, inspiring individuals who with humility and humour affects any audience with her message.

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Testimonials for Jess Gallagher

"Thanks to our I Support Women in Sport (ISWIS) campaign, I crossed paths with this inspiring, driven, vivacious and smart woman about five years ago. While I'm impressed with her sporting and eduction achievements, I've been even more impressed by her off-field performance. She is the utmost professional. She was the keynote speaker at our 2014 ISWIS Awards' night and she was absolutely fantastic - well-prepared, interesting and had the room riveted the entire time she was on stage. I look forward to working with this fantastic woman in the future (and not just because she goes for the same footy team. Go Geelong!)."
Felicity Harley, Editor Womens Health Magazine Australia


“Having Jess Gallagher come and speak to 1,000 secondary students at The National Young Leaders Day in 2014 was such a privilege. She followed and understood the brief exactly and was engaging, inspiring, personable and a great communicator. The students submit a survey at the end of the event and Jess was voted as favourite speaker for the day!  She was extremely easy to work with in the lead up to the event and I wouldn’t hesitate having her come again.”

Janice Hickman, Event Manager Halogen Foundation Ltd

Jess Gallagher Travels from VIC
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Jess Gallagher's Biography

Jess Gallagher is both a Summer and Winter Paralympian, having competed for Australia in Long Jump, Javelin and a number of Alpine Skiing events. She was the first Australian female athlete to win a Winter Paralympics medal. Jess is also a fully qualified osteopath and an ambassador for a number of not-for-profit organisations.


She was diagnosed with a rare disease, cone dystrophy, in her mid-teens, causing her to lose much of her eyesight. She is now classified as legally blind.


Jess has been involved in elite sport for much of her life, having represented Victoria in netball and being named as an emergency for the Australian U16 netball team. She also represented her region in underage basketball.


Since losing her eyesight, Jess has turned her sporting attention to representing Australia at the highest level in both winter and summer sports.


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ski down a mountain at 100km/hr? How you might do this when you’re vision impaired and being instructed by someone else acting as your eye sight? Could you trust someone when they literally take your life into their hands?  Jess was first selected to represent Australia at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympics but narrowly missed qualifying due to the sight in one eye being 0.01% too good to be eligible. When she returned to Australia, she took up alpine skiing and by 2010 was ready to compete in her first Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada.


Assisted by her skiing guide, Eric Bickerton, Jess became the first Australian female to win a medal at a Winter Paralympic Games, finishing third in the Women's Slalom for Visually Impaired.


She returned to athletics soon after the Vancouver Games and in 2011, Jess became the first Australian female to medal at both a Winter and Summer event at international level when she won the silver medal in the long jump and the bronze medal in the javelin at the 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.


In 2012, Jess qualified to participate at the London Summer Paralympics, but tore her meniscus six weeks out from competition. Despite being severely hampered by her injury in both training and competition, Jess participated in both long jump and javelin, finishing fifth and sixth in her events.


Jess is a highly sought-after motivational speaker at corporate training programs, away days, dinners and other events. Her message of overcoming adversity and her subsequent success is both entertaining and inspiring. What is unique but probably not surprising is the relevance her message has for the business world of today as we all face greater volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The VUCA world might be new to us but to Jess it’s standard operating procedure. It’s some what ironic then that the expert who might lead us into this future is one with low physical vision but an acute foresight around what it will take to thrive in this rapidly disrupted workspace.


Outside of her sporting activities, Jess is also a fully qualified and registered osteopath. Jessica is an ambassador for Vision Australia, Seeing Eye Dog Australia, and a global ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia since 2010.


When not travelling to train and compete, Jess is based in Melbourne, Australia.