Outstanding Students Making A Difference


Five Gold Coast students were recently acknowledged for their outstanding achievements and their impact on our city at the Gold Coast Student Excellence Awards in a wonderful celebratory ceremony at HOTA.

Now in their third year, the Awards were established to recognise the valuable contributions that students make to the wider benefit of our community and how they enrich the cultural fabric of our lives. The award categories are: Championing Diversity, Fostering the Creative Arts, Protecting Our Environment, Enhancing Our Communities and Peer to Peer Support.

This year’s winners covered a broad scope of achievements, from building social and public speaking skills through drama to working with disabled children and a raft of initiatives advocating for gender equality.

Students celebrate the end of the academic year.


Tanza Gray is from South Africa and is currently studying Cabinet Making at TAFE on the Gold Coast. Her work as a volunteer for Serving Our People saw Tanza recognised for Enhancing Our Communities. The charity's main call to action is to provide a free delivery service, delivering anything from medicine for the sick, to baby formula for mums.

With a background as an interior designer and being very hands on with her cabinet making skills, Tanza builds beautifully crafted in-store donation boxes which are placed in retail outlets for the collection of non-perishable donations.

“Our goal is to have the boxes dispersed throughout supermarkets across the Gold Coast”, Tanza says. “I think it’s particularly important at this time when so many people are in need that we all try to help others, we’re all in this together.”

Griffith University's Aneez Anver was the Peer to Peer Support winner.

Sustainable future

Togetherness and finding solutions for the common good are also driving Hannah Daley’s ambition to create more sustainable practices for our future. The Palm Beach Currumbin State High School student took out the Protecting Our Environment category at the Awards for her efforts.

Hannah has been instrumental in her leadership of sustainable practices at school and within the wider community, implementing recycling, composting and container deposit practices which have completely overhauled her school's environmental footprint.  

The school’s Deputy Principal Mitch Kennedy says: “Hannah is a natural leader with an outstanding work ethic and moral compass. Through her identification, strategic vision and implementation of sustainable practices she has been at the forefront of both educating her school community and changing their behaviours for the benefit of all.”

Hannah has also been politically influential, presenting to several key members of parliament to encourage an ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in the community.

The Gold Coast Student Excellence Awards are conducted by Study Gold Coast and are open to all secondary and tertiary students studying on the Gold Coast. You'll find the full list of winners here.

Dancing the night away