BlogTrailblazer 2023Maya Farmer – Toormina High School | Top 10 Year 11 & Year 12 Trailblazer 2023

Maya Farmer – Toormina High School | Top 10 Year 11 & Year 12 Trailblazer 2023

Maya Farmer

What are the Trailblazer Awards?

The Trailblazer Awards celebrates Year 11 and Year 12 students beyond their ATAR, recognising those who have overcome personal challenges and used their final year of school to positively impact their community.

Our Trailblazers will have the opportunity to build their personal brand and profile as a future leader, learn how to successfully apply for Early Entry, Scholarships, Co-Op, and Cadetships Opportunities, and so much more!

Find out how Maya navigated her senior schooling differently throughout 2023!

Introducing: Maya Farmer

Category: Social Impact & Change

School: Toormina High School

State: NSW

Career Aspiration: Medicine with an emphasis on medical research, humanitarian law, or health/foreign policy


  • Recipient of the 2021 Bonville Sawtell Lions Neville Brown Memorial Scholarship
  • Honoured with the 2021 Rotary Club of Sawtell Citizenship Award
  • Recipient of the 2022 Coffs Harbour Zonta Club Pat Funnell Award
  • Received the 2022 Premier’s Respect Award from her school
  • Co-founded the Coffs Youth Climate Alliance (CYCA) and advocated for climate justice
  • Joined the School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) and Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC)
  • Participated in the University of Sydney’s Climate Distress Youth Advisory Group

What makes Maya a Trailblazer?

Maya is an exceptional individual who has dedicated herself to fighting for climate justice and creating a positive impact in her community. Throughout her high school years, Maya has been an active advocate for climate action and has made remarkable contributions to various climate-focused initiatives.

One of Maya’s most significant achievements is her involvement in the School Strike 4 Climate (SS4C) and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC). As a member of SS4C Australia, Maya has worked tirelessly in both organising and mobilising aspects of activism. She actively contributes to several working groups, including onboarding and recruitment, strategy, and social media and communications. Maya’s dedication to these initiatives has allowed her to make her voice heard on platforms like the podcast ‘Seriously Social‘, where she discussed the importance of lowering the voting age to support the climate justice movement.

Maya’s passion for climate action has also led her to co-found the Coffs Youth Climate Alliance (CYCA). With this group, Maya has organised and spoken at protests and strikes, leading to significant achievements like the declaration of a climate emergency in Coffs Harbour. She further demonstrated her commitment to climate justice by organising the Concert 4 Climate, a successful event that raised awareness of climate justice issues in the community.

Beyond her local activism, Maya’s dedication to climate justice led her to join the University of Sydney’s Climate Distress Youth Advisory Group. In this group, she actively discussed the impact of climate anxiety on young people and collaborated with academics and mental health clinicians to explore ways to improve treatments for youth experiencing climate distress.

Maya’s involvement in climate justice activism has honed her organisational and communication skills, which have proven valuable in her academic pursuits. She effectively uses digital tools, such as spreadsheets and organisational software like Notion, to stay organised and maximise her impact as a climate activist.

Throughout her Year 11 and 12 journey, Maya has faced the challenge of being a regional student. Living in a rural area has presented certain limitations and disparities in educational opportunities compared to metropolitan students. Despite these challenges, Maya remains grateful for the support of her school and has actively advocated for educational equity.

As a passionate public speaker, Maya participated in the Plain English Speaking Award and addressed the educational divide between metropolitan and rural areas. Her efforts in public speaking and advocacy have earned her recognition, including being elected the 2023 Girl School Captain. In this role, she collaborates with other Year 12 leaders to work on goals related to student wellbeing and the school environment.

Maya’s aspirations extend beyond her dedication to climate justice. She envisions a future in the sciences, possibly pursuing medicine with an emphasis on medical research. Additionally, she is considering working with organisations like Medécins Sans Frontiers or the World Health Organization.

The Top 50 Year 11 and Year 12 Trailblazer Awards

The Trailblazer Awards aim to identify and celebrate students who use their final years of school to invest holistically in the skills and experiences that will maximise their own future opportunities and make a contribution to the future of our society.

Our winners for the Year 11 and Year 12 Trailblazer Awards have demonstrated initiative in volunteering for their school or community, have participated in co-curricular activities, and have held leadership positions within their schools.

Learn more about who placed in the Top 50 Year 11 and Year 12 Trailblazers here!

About Art of Smart Education

At Art of Smart Education, we’re an award-winning provider of holistic tutoring and mentoring for students in years K-12. Our mission is to help students answer the difficult question, “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school, and how do I get there?” 

We understand that true success involves mastering study, career and leadership skills while maintaining your wellbeing, not just excelling in academics and as a result, over the last decade, we’ve supported over 10,000 students to achieve their best and maximise their options for life after school.

Each year over one million young Australians, parents, and teachers access our guides, videos and resources to navigate the journey through high school.

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