James Nash High School Year 11 ATAR students Eli Hall, Joseph Greer, Ava Barry and Dillyn Blackburn.
James Nash High School Year 11 ATAR students Eli Hall, Joseph Greer, Ava Barry and Dillyn Blackburn. Josh Preston

Celebrate Gympie's top students - who will make the grade?

ON SATURDAY we start rolling out our celebration of the high achieving youngsters kicking goals at our region's high schools.

Too often our young people are dismissed because of their age, or criticised for their screen addictions and attitudes that don't sit easily with older generations.

CLICK HERE: 7 schools, 255 photos, 418 faces of Gympie's 2018 high school formals

MEGA GALLERY: Every single Gympie formal photo from 2017

But these young people are the leaders of tomorrow; the ones who will inherit the earth.

2016 Gympie high school formals - 6 schools, 545 students, 249 photos

They are our great hope, and I personally find enormous inspiration in their innocence, passion and ability to cope with what must be a very different and difficult world to grow up in.

JUNIOR LEADERS: Gympie State High School's junior leaders for next year are (back from left) Xavier Lynam, Jessica Thompson, Charlotte Keogh, (front) Sophie Redshaw and Jai Daniel.
JUNIOR LEADERS: Gympie State High School's junior leaders (back from left) Xavier Lynam, Jessica Thompson, Charlotte Keogh, (front) Sophie Redshaw and Jai Daniel. Anna-Riitta Ovaska

I have no doubt that every generation despairs for the future of mankind based on the differences (and terrible music) of the younger generation.

READ MORE: A cut above at Gympie High School

But the truth is, somehow humanity keeps muddling along; getting a lot of things wrong, but generally moving the human race forward, hopefully towards a better future for all, not just a lucky few.

SENIOR LEADERS: Gympie State High School's senior leaders for next year are (from left) Lewiis Crump, Emily Noon, Jack Marshall and Amelia McDermott.
SENIOR LEADERS: Gympie State High School's senior leaders (from left) Lewiis Crump, Emily Noon, Jack Marshall and Amelia McDermott. Anna-Riitta Ovaska

Responsible for nurturing that beautiful, innocent youth, is parenthood. Some young people cursed with crappy parents find a miraculous strength deep down inside to rise above and carve out a positive life despite their upbringing, but for too many abuse and neglect victims, their future is set.

On Mother's Day this Sunday let us acknowledge the under-acknowledged, critical importance of mothers and the incredible, powerful maternal instinct that drives them.