Regional Youth Service awards names Hunter River High student in their top honours

Young woman on a mission, Gabby Rickard.
Young woman on a mission, Gabby Rickard.


HUNTER River High School has another high achiever in its student body, with Year 10 student Gabby Rickard named 2017 Young Person of the Year for Port Stephens at the Regional Youth Service Awards.

In 2017, Gabby joined a community mentoring program at Hunter River High School called ‘Youth Frontiers’.

The program is designed to help students who are matched with like minded mentors.

Students are given opportunities to build life skills and self confidence through mentoring support and by undertaking a community engagement project with their mentor.

Gabby chose to highlight thyroid disease, a condition that has affected her immediate family.

Gabby was matched with renowned Port Stephens filmmaker Annette Hubber (FilmFest) and together they created a short documentary which includes interviews with Australia’s leading surgeon for thyroid conditions from Royal North Shore Hospital, and the CEO of the Thyroid Australia Foundation.

Gabby also interviewed local people, and those who had family impacted by the disease.

The documentary was a massive success and the Australian Thyroid Foundation will be using it as a marketing tool on their website this year.

The organisation CALM (Community Activities Lake Macquarie) that ran Youth Frontiers in 2017 nominated Gabby for the Young Person of the Year.

They recognised in Gabby, a young woman who not only had an important project happening, but who was also participates in her school’s Student Council and is involved in other academic activities at Hunter River High School.

Ms Kerrie Howells from Hunter River High School told News Of The Area, “We are thrilled for Gabby and see wonderful things ahead for this dynamic young woman.”

“She puts her hand up for almost everything and herself is a great role model for those following behind her.”

Principal of Hunter River High School, Mrs Deb Dibley, said, “Gabby is a determined and committed young person who has worked tirelessly for our school and the local community.”

“Gabby’s Youth Frontiers documentary in regards to thyroid disease was inspired from a personal perspective and resulted in a professional finished product.”

“Our school community is very proud of Gabby,” Mrs Dibley said.


By Rachael VAUGHAN

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