Jackie, 18, graduated from Whanganui High School last year, where she was the 2017 Head Girl. Her interest in the environment comes from a passionate teacher at primary school who encouraged her to be brave in sharing her identity as a conservationist. This year in February, Jackie was proud to share with that teacher her completion of her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
Within the community, Jackie used her role on the local youth committee and school council to be outspoken about environmental issues. She led a volunteering day at a local wildlife sanctuary, raised money to support an environmental education program from a local Rotary club, and spoke at a local conference on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, Jackie has also been fortunate to gain experience in the environmental sphere in other ways; she was selected to be an intern at the Ministry for the Environment for two weeks in 2017 and was awarded a United World College Scholarship. Jackie has also attended the Environmental Defence Society annual conference on a scholarship in 2016, volunteered in the Natural History section of her local museum and ran a workshop at YELF 2017.
Jackie sees science communication as playing an extremely important role in conservation. Her highlights of 2017 included attending the Rotary Science and Technology forum in Auckland and the London International Youth Science Forum. Jackie plans to study environmental law at university, following a year abroad in South Africa.