Megan Hackwood (she/her)

Disability and Mental Health


Place of Birth: Brisbane, Australia
Current location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Age: 27 years old
Language/s: English only
NDIS Participant: No
Diagnoses: SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia), Fibromyalgia, FND (Functional Neurological Disorder), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Asthma, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), ovarian cysts, anxiety, Melancholia Major Depressive Disorder & PTSD
Healthcare Access: Primary Health Care, Allied Health, Mental Health, Secondary and Tertiary care


Megan Hackwood is a regular user of the health system since the onset of at times debilitating illness in her teens. Over many hospitalisations, specialist visits and frequent trips to the emergency department, specialists were challenged by Megan's symptoms, and struggled to find a diagnosis. Megan had to navigate her career path beyond school in an innovative way due to the barriers she encountered facing a disability with a fluctuating functional impact. As a result of her poor physical health, Megan experienced mental health challenges as she faced a declining quality of life while fiercely advocating for answers, treatment and management of her physical symptoms. From her experiences, Megan built expertise as a health consumer, and is able to use this knowledge in combination with her skills in business, fundraising, community and public speaking. These additional skills outside of health were built through a wealth of business and community experience, with the highlight being awarded the International Leo of the Year in 2014 and being the founding Leo's Club Charter president, that led her to a speaking and community tour of Australia. Megan is the founder of 'Shields Up' - an initiative launched during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide masks and face shields to the most vulnerable in society, inspired by her passions for public health and protecting those with compromised immune systems. Megan looks forward to combining her lived experience and professional knowledge to improve the health outcomes and patient experience of people across Australia.  



  • Founder of Shields Up Australia during the COVID19 Crisis, March - July 2020

  • International Leo of the year 2014

  • Australian Leo of the year 2013

  • Guest on the Largest Minority Podcast

  • Wellness Empowerment Movement Ambassador

  • Founder of the GVK Leos Club Charter President/member
    2012 – 2016

  • Fundraising for Variety the Children’s Charity & Leos and
    Lions Clubs Australia

  • Miss World Australia State Finalist 2018