The world of television and film is noted for its oversupply of inflated egos—but actor and World Vision ambassador Rebecca Gibney isn’t one of them.
For more than 30 years, Rebecca has been an ambassador and does a lot more than just give lip service to the role. She first visited a World Vision site on her travels in 1988, and since then has travelled to World Vision projects in Vietnam, Thailand, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
While those destinations might not be on popular tourist routes like London, Paris and New York, Rebecca has found her travels to be an important element of her life and something she is passionate about.
“I have met families whose lives have been changed by World Vision’s work,” Gibney told looktothestars.org.
“I have seen for myself how donations from ordinary Australian families really do make a difference.”
Those donations funded an emergency response to the West Africa Food Crisis Appeal, providing life-saving interventions including feeding programs for severely malnourished children, food aid delivery and restocking village granaries.
In Malawi, Rebecca visited a hospital that worked without running water or stable electricity, but still managed to provide healthcare to more than 120 mothers every day, in a district where the infant mortality rate was 100 deaths from 1000 births.
I have seen for myself how donations from ordinary Australian families really do make a difference.
Rebecca was astounded at the dedication of the medical staff in a small hospital that serves a district of more than 15,000 people.
“Dr Dan saw 100 patients before lunchtime. That in itself is awe-inspiring, but he delivered seven babies in the night and another two in the morning, and didn’t sleep. Yet he was still so enthusiastic and showed the conditions he was working in,” Rebecca says in a World Vision film clip.
“Having a child myself, I’m saddened but inspired and I want to try and do as much as I can to help,” she says.
Although born a Kiwi, Rebecca has often been described as one of Australia’s most beloved and respected actors. Her early days were in the Australian family drama Zoo Family, before she became Emma the mechanic in Flying Doctors, then Julie in the family drama Packed to the Rafters and lately as Lola in Wanted, a series she co-created and co-produced.
One of her most critically acclaimed awards was as Dr Jane Halifax in Halifax f.p., a character that was created especially for her.
She holds multiple award nominations, including a Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality and two Silver Logies for Most Popular Actress.
Yet her own background had its share of trauma, with an abusive grandfather, an experience that has made her an active campaigner against domestic violence and a patron of the women’s charity Share the Dignity.
Married to Richard Bell, and mother of teenager Zachary, Rebecca is one celeb who not only cares about the rest of the world, but travels to help humanity whenever and wherever she can.