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Dr Bridie O'Donnell

Inducted:
2021
Category:
Change Agent

Dr Bridie O’Donnell graduated Valedictorian from the University of Queensland Medical School and won the JRS Lahz Prize for Most Outstanding Intern at Mater Adult Hospital. After rotating through various Medical and Surgical departments as part of junior residency she moved to Melbourne in 2001.

While working in Intensive Care and studying for physician exams, Bridie competed first in rowing and Ironman Triathlon. In 2006, she finished Ironman Austria, Ironman Hawaii and rode a bike course record at Busselton Ironman.

From 2007 to 2016, Bridie competed in road and track cycling. She won national championships, Oceania Championship, raced in the AIS National team in Europe and was a member of professional women’s teams in Europe and the United States. She represented Australia at three Road World Championships and broke the UCI Women’s Hour World Record in 2016, riding 46.882km at the Adelaide Superdrome.

Bridie returned to full-time work in 2013 at Epworth HealthCheck and teaching doctor-patient communication at Deakin University Medical School. In 2014, she took on an inaugural role as a breast physician at the Epworth Breast Service.

In 2017, she was appointed the inaugural head of the Victorian Government Office for Women in Sport and Recreation, and in 2018 she published ‘Life and Death – a cycling memoir’ about her experiences racing in the women’s professional peloton.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, she worked in the Industry Recovery Group of Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, and was then appointed Executive Director for the Public Events Team.

Bridie was the first woman to join SBS Cycling to commentate the Tour de France, covering the race in 2020 and 2021. She also graduated with a Master in Public Administration from the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in 2021.

She is currently on secondment to the Department of Health as Area of Operation Controller for the South-East Metro region in the COVID-19 response.

Reviewed 12 November 2021

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