Heather Rice

Heather Rice's story has been one of constant change, growth and self-discovery.

In her 54 years, Heather has gone through many ups and downs in her personal and professional life, but her steely determination and strength of character quickly become an inspiration to everyone who meets her.

Heather is the proud mother of five and grandmother of six and lists raising her children and grandchildren as her biggest achievement.

Her professional journey has taken her through a vast array of careers including cleaning, retail, gardening and hospitality.

But in the past few years, it's been her desire to help young people in their quest to successful futures that has been her driving force.

"I've always had a passion for helping youth in the community," she said.

"And I think it's very important to let young people know that education and employment are the way to a successful and more enjoyable life."

After working as a teacher's aide at Kirwan State High School, Heather took on the role as Indigenous Liaison Officer and then Indigenous Programs Coordinator with Tec-NQ, helping young Indigenous people finish their senior school studies and secure an apprenticeship.

"I believe that if we really want to bridge the gap for our young people we really need to start at home and make sure we give them the support and encouragement they need to finish their studies and strive for their goals," she said.

"I want to be part of that solution."