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Newsletter 11/2019

皇冠体育投注Meet our Members | Jessica Smith OAM

 

Jessica Smith moved to Dubai inearly 2019 with her husband and two children (and another on the way). She hashad an incredible journey being born missing her left arm and then suffering ahorrific kitchen accident when she was a toddler sustaining burns to 15% of herbody. Jessica defied the odds and went on to represent Australia in the sport ofswimming for seven years, culminating in representing Australia at the 2004Paralympic Games.

Sport gave Jessica ambition andfocus while she tried to confront societal obstacles around body image anddisability acceptance. She was able to eventually break free from personalstruggles with depression and eating disorders in her 20’s. But perhaps themost important story there is to tell about Jessica, is that of the inspiringwoman she is today. Since retiring from her international swimming careerJessica has gone on to become an internationally recognised advocate forpositive body image, dedicating her life to raising awareness around diversity anddisability.

皇冠体育投注Jessica is an accomplishedmotivational speaker and MC, having stood on many platforms throughout schools,universities, businesses and community organisations, including the UN, whereshe shares her personal journey and highlights the importance of Mental Healthawareness, focusing particularly on body image, diversity and eatingdisorders. 

Jessica completed a BSc.Population Health from the University of Wollongong, Australia, and hasrecently been accepted to complete her PhD Doctorate in Health Psychology.

Jessica is continuallyacknowledged for her incredible advocacy work; awarded ‘Emerging Leader’ by theAustralian Government at the Positive Body Image awards, as well as beingawarded a Pride of Australia Medal. In 2015 Jessica was a state finalist forYoung Australian of The Year and more recently in 2017 she was namedCosmopolitan Magazine ‘Woman of The Year’ in the category of Game Changer.

皇冠体育投注Most recently, Jessica wasawarded one of Australia’s highest honours, the Medal of the Order of Australiafor a number of roles within the community, and dedication to sport. We were incrediblyexcited for her when she received her medal from Australian Ambassador, H.E.Arthur Spyrou, just last month at the Australian Ambassador’s residence here inthe UAE!

皇冠体育投注Not only is Jessica anaccomplished speaker, advocate and advisor on the topics of diversity andinclusion; a PhD student; a wife and mother to two (about to be three) youngchildren; she has also written a children’s book about disability andacceptance. Her first book ‘Little Miss Jessica Goes to School” is about ayoung girl with one hand on her first day at school, where she learns thatbeing ‘different’ is OK

Jess is a great supporter of theABCD and comes along to as many events as she can fit into her busy (about tobe busier) schedule and is always up for a chat! We wish her every success (andhopefully some sleep) as she welcomes her latest edition in the coming weeksand we look forward to working with her in the new year.

 

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