Contact: Andrew Csabi
Gold Coast
Southport Yacht Club
1 Macarthur Parade
Main Beach, QLD 4217

In 2007 Gemma’s achievements were honoured by an Order of Australia medal. Her story has been featured twice in the ABC TV documentary program Australian Story, in 2005 and a follow-up in 2009. In 2012 Gemma was named one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence, nominated in the Global category and was also a finalist in New South Wales for Australian of the Year.

“I opened the gates to The School of St Jude on January 29 2002, with support from generous volunteers, donors and Rotarians, united by a shared goal; providing some of the brightest, poorest students in Tanzania with access to a free, high quality education.  On day one, St Jude’s first three scholarship recipients stepped out of a small van and into a well-equipped classroom with a volunteer teacher.

The School of St Jude now boasts three campuses filled with 1,800 students, provides boarding facilities for 1,200 students, owns and maintains 25 buses which transport students and staff safely to and from school, provides 29,000 hot meals each week and employs over 290 people – more than 95% of whom are Tanzanian. This is only possible thanks to donors and supporters who believe in fighting poverty through education.

We’ve come a long way but there is still more St Jude’s can do. In January 2020, we will be opening a girls’ secondary school. Girls from a poor, rural background are the least likely to complete their schooling and yet, having educated girls is one of the surest ways to break the cycle of poverty. It’s an important next step and I can’t wait to share our success stories with you.”

Hear Gemma’s inspiring story, told by her.

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