Gabby Tan: Future Change-Maker

The Power of Reading
The Power of Reading
February 11, 2020
Great Minds Don’t Think Alike
March 5, 2020
Home > School Life > GIS Blog > Gabby Tan: Future Change-Maker
back to blog

Gabby Tan: Future Change-Maker

Gabby Tan: Future Change-Maker

At GIS, we believe in raising awareness about global issues amongst our student body, and encouraging our students to get behind the issues they really believe in. But we know that it’s not just knowledge and great grades that make a change-maker: providing the right experiences that help to build confidence, give context and enable students to articulate their thoughts and feelings is an important process in finding one’s voice.

Read on to learn about the amazing impact alumna Gabby Tan is already having, and how the GIS experience helped set her up to truly make a difference.

Last year, Alumna Gabrielle Tan (Class of 2018) delivered a talk at TEDxVicenza 2019. As a member of the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council, Gabby was invited to join 13 other speakers to speak in front of 1,000 people (with more watching via livestream). Gabby spoke about her environmental advocacy journey, plastic pollution, and climate change, while emphasising the 2019 World Oceans Day theme of “Together We Can”. If you’re interested, you can view her talk via this link.

Gabby Tan on stage talking at Tedx Vicenza


That same year, Gabby was also presented with two prestigious awards, established in memory of Princess Diana, in recognition of her dedication to educational equality and environmental justice. She was also invited to the House of Lords to receive a Diana Award.

Following her receipt of a Diana Award, a panel of 15 judges selected 20 young people from across the world to receive a 2019 Diana Legacy Award – and Gabby was one of them. The Diana Legacy Awards are granted every two years and celebrate the achievements of 20 outstanding young leaders, visionaries, and role models who have made a monumental impact on society. According to The Diana Award, the Legacy Award is “the most significant accolade a young person can receive for their social action or humanitarian work”.

Gabby Tan receiving The Diana Award from Earl Spencer


Gabby’s outstanding achievements to date include:

  • Being a current member of the UK Student Climate Network, and an advocate for the Global Schools Programme;
  • Representing both the UK and Malaysia on the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council;
  • Leading a range of campaigns and events on eliminating single-use plastic, including a pledging scheme with her local council in the UK;
  • Impacting the lives of thousands through her work supporting refugee education with her youth-led project, Horizon of Hope;
  • Attending as a youth delegate to the first-ever UN Youth Climate Summit, EurOCEAN 2019 as well as the SB50 Bonn Climate Conference this year.

As Gabby explains, “Getting involved with over 16 CCAs and student leadership roles during my time at GIS helped me hone key skills such as communication and organisation that I carry with me today, and the support of all the incredible people around me helped me develop the confidence needed to start this amazing journey in the first place. I will forever be grateful for the GIS community’s endless support!”

Here at GIS, Gabby’s schooling experience isn’t unusual. We know that our students need more than just great grades to really make a difference. That’s why, to support the outstanding academic work happening in lessons, we offer one of the largest co-curricular programmes in the region, with over 200 clubs, sports and activities for our students to get involved in each term. From the Model United Nations to our environment-focused ‘Green Dragons’, GIS students get plenty of chances to explore their passions and build key skills. In addition, our unique Student Leadership programme, again one of the largest in Malaysia, offers our students real-world leadership experience and the chance to make sustainable change in our school community. These enrichment opportunities help ensure every graduate leaves GIS #packedforlife and we look forward to sharing more stories that reflect our holistic approach to education throughout 2020.

We are delighted to announce that six GIS Sixth Form students have recently received Oxbridge offers for 2020! Click here to learn more about these students’ remarkable achievements and how the GIS experience has benefited more than just their studies.

GIS A Level Scholarships 2020 are open now for eligible students, apply now until 13 March #BornToStandOut

GIS Blog