Skip to main content
January 04, 2024

#296: Jessica Smith OAM PLY

Podcast Details

Jessica Smith, OAM, OLY: Inspiring Leader and Champion of Inclusivity
Jessica Smith stands as a beacon of resilience, inspiration, and impactful change. An Australian Paralympian swimmer who competed in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Jessica has transformed her athletic achievements into a powerful platform for advocacy and empowerment.

Background and Achievements:
Australian Paralympian: Competed in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens.
Motivational Speaker & Published Author: Renowned for her dynamic speaking skills and insightful children’s books.
Co-founder: Instrumental in establishing a company focusing on inclusive talent management.
Accolades: 2017 Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year Game Changer, Australian Government Positive Body Image Award Emerging Leader, and recipient of the Pride of Australia Medal.

Disability Inclusion Consultant:
As a global consultant, Jessica is dedicated to enhancing disability inclusion across various sectors.
Her work spans public speaking, writing, and leveraging social media to foster discussions on diversity and accessibility.
Personal Journey:

Overcoming physical challenges:
Born without her left arm and surviving a severe burn accident at a young age.
Sporting success: Represented Australia in swimming for seven years, leading to her Paralympic journey.
Battled and overcame personal struggles with depression and eating disorders in her 20s.
Advocacy and Impact:

Jessica emerged as a vocal advocate for positive body image, diversity, inclusion, and disability awareness.
Educational qualifications: BSc. Population Health from the University of Wollongong and executive studies in Gender Diversity at INSEAD.
Speaking Engagements:

Featured at schools, universities, corporations, community organizations, and international platforms like the UN.
Focuses on sharing her experiences and insights on diversity, inclusion, and equality.
Awards and Honors:

Recognised for her advocacy work with numerous awards, including a Pride of Australia Medal, ‘Emerging Leader’ by the Australian Government, and the ‘Woman of The Year’ by Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Honored with the ‘Medal of the Order of Australia’ for her community roles and dedication to sport.
State finalist for ‘Young Australian of The Year’ in 2015.

Literary Contributions:
Authored the children’s book series ‘Just Jessica’, inspired by her journey into motherhood and the need for resources on disability and acceptance.

Current Endeavors:
Relocated to Dubai, working as a speaker and advisor on diversity and inclusion.
Jessica Smith’s life story is not just about overcoming adversity but about harnessing those experiences to inspire, educate, and make a tangible difference in the world. Her journey from a Paralympic swimmer to a global advocate for inclusivity is a testament to the power of resilience and the impact of visionary leadership.

How can we help you?