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Jess Gallagher
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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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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.