Local Jessica Gallagher claims Australia’s first gold medal

Published on 03 August 2022


Maribyrnong City Council congratulates Seddon based cyclist Jessica Gallagher for claiming Australia’s first gold of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The vision impaired Paralympian and her sighted pilot Caitlin Ward, who have only been racing together since February, won the tandem sprint match.

It’s the latest in a number of first’s for the 36 year old, who also won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in the same events and has represented Australia in three sports – athletics, alpine skiing and track cycling. She had only decided to give cycling a go when the long jump was dropped from Rio’s program.

Jessica finished 3rd in the Women’s Slalom (assisted by guide Eric Bickerton) in 2010 – the first Australian female to medal at a Winter Paralympics. At 2016, in Rio, she created sporting history becoming the first Australian athlete – Olympic or Paralympic – to medal at both a summer and winter games when she won bronze in the 1km Time Trial.

Mayor, Cr Anthony Tran, said her commitment and tenacity are to be admired.

“Jessica is clearly a phenomenal athlete and with the support of her pilot has not only put herself on the top rung of the podium, but also put Seddon back on the international map once again – following her unprecedented Paralympic double in Rio in 2016 (where she became the first Australian to win a medal at both a summer and winter Games.)

“What a fantastic role model for our community. I am sure all of Maribyrnong is applauding her achievements and eagerly waiting to see what else she, and the other athletes, can deliver at this year’s event. We hope she can hear us all cheering from home.”

Born in Geelong, Jessica works as an Osteopath in Malvern. She is Board Director and global ambassador for Vision 2020 Australia and ambassador for Vision Australia and Seeing Eye Dogs Australia. She was recently profiled as one of 200 Women Who Will Change The Way You See The World.

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