- Gail O'Brien AO, tragically lost her husband, celebrated surgeon and cancer specialist, Professor Chris O'Brien AO to brain cancer, and her son a short time later to undiagnosed epilepsy.
- Following their deaths, Gail dedicated herself to bring her husband's vision of NSW’s first purpose-built, state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer centre.
- Gail works at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse in an executive role as Patient Advocate. She serves as an active member of the Board of Directors, public advocate and spokesperson, patron of the Bequest Society, and member of the Chris O'Brien Foundation.
- Received the Order of Australia in 2018 for distinguished service to the community as an advocate for and supporter of cancer sufferers and their families.
- Courage and resilience in the face of adversity
- Motivational speaker
- Patient-centred health care and cancer care
- Human-centred care and service in business including finance and insurance
I would highly recommend Gail as a passionate speaker on a range of topics. Gail has the ability to capture a room and create a deep emotional connection with the audience.
I have been fortunate to hear Gail speak on several occasions to a diverse range of audiences about her deep involvement in the creation of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney and the legacy and work of her late husband Prof Chris O’Brien AO .
Her drive, passion, strength and resilience are evident as she speaks about the process that has brought to fruition his dream of the first comprehensive, integrated and holistic cancer centre in Australia. Her philosophy on life is inspirational and thought provoking. Her very human stories bring to life the staff and patients where cancer is the norm, and helps the audience identify with them and strive to support them.
Gail has also spoken at financial planning events on her family’s experience after her husband’s diagnosis and the very real issue of a patient and their family’s financial wellbeing after a cancer diagnosis.
This has been enormously educational for client focussed advisers around the impact of insurance for families which can alleviate financial pressures allowing the focus to be on the care of the ill person.
Gail’s stories are very moving. Looking around the audience, there is rarely a dry eye.
Gail delivered a powerful and compassionate address on a subject that can be quite hard for many people. She spoke of her personal experiences of cancer and of her and her late husband, Chris’s, determination not to succumb to the trauma of the disease but to use this experience to make a better outcome for others. Our Conference delegation was very moved by her life story, and the strength of her character and passion to achieve real change for others.
Chief Executive Officer
RSL & Services Clubs Assn