At 22 years old Gemma Sisia travelled to Uganda to volunteer as a teacher, where she taught girls maths and sewing. This experience led to a fervent belief that a free, high-quality education should be the right of all children in the world and that education is the strongest weapon in the fight against poverty, corruption and political instability.

Upon returning to her native Australia, Gemma fundraised to help underprivileged children in East Africa complete their schooling. She would raise enough money to start an official fund to invest in the education of East Africa’s poorest children. Along with the gift of a small plot of land in Arusha, Tanzania, Gemma began to build The School of St Jude with the help of friends, family and Rotary groups.

In 2002, The School of St Jude opens with three students.

By 2006, St Jude's is educating 662 students and employing 114 local staff and 30 acres of land is purchased at Usa River for a second campus.

In 2010, St Jude’s celebrates its ten year anniversary, and is providing quality education to over 1,500 students.