11 July 2019

Gabby Tan: Diana Award

Congratulations to Gabby Tan on receiving a Diana Award

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Gabby Tan (L6) has received a prestigious Diana Award. The Diana Award is the most significant accolade a young person aged 9-25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. Gabby has dedicated the past five years to advocating for the environment, and working against educational inequalities in Malaysia and London. She has also founded Horizon of Hope, a youth-led organisation which supports refugee and asylum-seeker education.

I first started advocating for educational equality six years ago when I learned about the plight of refugee youth in Malaysia who have no access to formal education, during a visit to a learning centre. This led to me working with a range of local groups before branching out and creating a supplementary arts curriculum for refugee students that is endorsed by UNHCR Malaysia, and fundraising to provide centres with food necessities, classroom fittings, and school supplies. 

A couple of years down the line, I also started fighting for healthy oceans and a liveable, just climate after witnessing the first-hand impacts of climate injustice, plastic pollution, and coral destruction on people and our planet during a Geography trip. From speaking to a hall of primary school students while dressed in a Dory costume to creating educational resources for schools and coordinating a range of awareness campaigns, I’ve strived to inspire change through education. 

Since joining Sevenoaks in 2018, I have relished the challenges and opportunities of living in a new country. I’ve represented the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council at TEDxVicenza and EurOCEAN, worked with the Sevenoaks Town Council on an initiative to rethink plastic, campaigned for climate justice with UKSCN, and helped provide academic support for asylum-seekers at the WLS drop-in. 

The Diana Award recognises youth for their social action or humanitarian work and was established in memory of Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world.

I was honoured to have been invited to the House of Lords to accept a 2019 Diana Award. I’ve had such a great time thus far and look forward to continue embodying Princess Diana’s qualities of kindness and compassion in all that I do. 

Gabby Tan, L6

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