INSPIRING: From heart surgery to Young Citizen of the Year
Not even open heart surgery can hold Georgia Laidler, 18, back from achieving her dreams, whose courage, determination and dedication to her community in times of adversity landed her the 2021 North Burnett Young Citizen of Year.
Georgia has spent most of her young life being involved in the community clubs and inspiring other young people,” North Burnett Councillor Dael Giddins said.
“She has never shied away from becoming a young leader or helping others reach their potential. She has been an active member of the Gayndah Girl Guides, the Gayndah Show Society, and a valued member of the Gayndah Netball Association.
“She’s had her fair share of hurdles, but she has never let that stop her from reaching her goals and achieving. Everything Georgia has achieved is because of her determination and grit.”
From the age of seven, Miss Laidler has been involved in the Gayndah Girl Guides, rising through the ranks to become a junior leader.
Through the Guides, Miss Laidler participates in a range of fundraising activities to assist other organisations, doing her part to tackle topical issues such as drought and domestic violence.
In recent years she joined the boomerang bag initiative, creating reusable bags from waste materials for a local Gayndah business.
“When they were doing the change between plastic and reusable bags, people in the community sewed these boomerang bags, so you could put them into shops and people could borrow the bag and then bring them back,” Miss Laidler said.
“I made a heap of those and we put them in the Gayndah Meat Hall.”
Born with a genetic heart condition called Marfan Syndrome, Miss Laidler underwent heart surgery at the beginning of year 12, but even that couldn’t stop her making the most of her final year at school.
Kicking off the year with the serious surgical procedure, she went on to complete her traineeship and the Queen’s Guide - the peak achievement award for youth members of Girl Guides Australia.
With the help of her grandmother Irene Law, who would take her to class and then back home to rest, Miss Laidler managed to complete her final year at school with a score high enough to land her a spot at one of Queensland’s top Universities.
Miss Laidler is currently in her second year studying early childhood education at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane.
“I’m going into my second year in 2021 and I’m really loving it,” she said.
“My grandma was a teacher and mum was a teacher, so it was always going to be that.”