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Cessnock student Matilda Gibson named Fred Hollows’ NSW Junior Ambassador


Cessnock youngster Matilda Gibson’s kind-hearted disposition has earned her a major state accolade.

The St Phillip’s Christian School Nulkaba student was recently announced as the NSW Junior Ambassador to The Fred Hollows Foundation at a ceremony for the Humanity Award.

The initiative acknowledges Year 6 pupils who follow in the late ophthalmologist’s footsteps by demonstrating integrity and humanitarian values towards others.

Matilda was nominated for her thoughtful, altruistic and compassionate nature.

“She is a very caring young girl within her local community of Cessnock,” her mother Mellissa said.

“Last year Matilda and her sister raised more than $2,400 for Ronald McDonald House’s Dance of Sick Kids.

“During the pandemic, she hand-wrote Christmas cards to the residents in a nearby nursing home, with a message of hope during their lock-downed festive season.

“Matilda also supported the backpack venture by purchasing four backpacks filled with stationary items, lunch boxes and drink bottles for children to return to school with.”

Since 2012, the Fred Hollows Humanity Award has recognised more than 2,000 students who emulate the man, who became known for his work in restoring eyesight for thousands of people, by making a positive change in the lives of others.

Foundation founding director Gabi Hollows congratulated all 230 pupils who were nominated from across the nation for their kindness, compassion and integrity.

“I have always loved reading about each and every Humanity Award nominee – our nation’s future leaders,” she said.

“I’m so glad that we could celebrate your altruism and the difference you’re all making in your communities.

“It’s incredibly humbling to read about what you’ve all been doing.

“I know that Fred himself would be so proud of the young humanitarians who have been honoured.”

As a Junior Ambassador to The Fred Hollows Foundation, Matilda has extended her humanity by allocating $5,000 to the organisation’s program work in Vietnam, where it works to end avoidable blindness.

This gift is possible through generous donation by the award’s charity partner Specsavers.

The Fred Hollows Humanity Award will return to NSW in 2023.

To learn more about the initiative, visit

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